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The cavalry units of the Empire were used as scouts, patrols, and couriers. Their speed and ability to cover roughly 80 km made them an important element in the Roman frontiers. In wars, too, the cavalry soldiers (equites) were superior to the foot soldiers. The cavalry had a long tradition in the Roman military and their training and supplies were associated with high costs.

The "ala" was an independent military unit of 500 ("ala quingenaria") or 1,000 ("ala milliaria") cavalry soldiers.

The cohorts were often supplemented with 120 or 240 cavalry soldiers ("cohortes equitatae").

The legions had a relatively small contingent of about 140 cavalry soldiers.

We know about the armour not only through the finds, but also from a written source, the tract about the cavalry of Arrianus from the first third of the 2nd century..

Literature:
"Reiterei", Limes-Lexikon 2009, 112f.

Horse sculpture from Fort Stockstadt
1
Reconstruction of a cavalry soldier of the auxiliary troops at the Upper German-Raetian Limes in the Limesmuseum Aalen, branch of the Archäologischen Landesmuseums Baden-Württemberg
2
1 Horse sculpture from Fort Stockstadt © Museen der Stadt Aschaffenburg 2 Reconstruction of a cavalry soldier of the auxiliary troops at the Upper German-Raetian Limes in the Limesmuseum Aalen, branch of the Archäologischen Landesmuseums Baden-Württemberg © Photo Jörg Scheuerbrandt, Osterburken

Bavarian State Conservation Office Landesstelle für die nichtstaatlichen Museen & Bavarian State Archaeological Collection with the support of the Bayerische Sparkassenstiftung