chapter  4
15 Pages

TRAINING

But it is in Hadrian's time that we find the most information. The emperor himself attached great importance to exercise, an attitude that enabled him to secure the obedience of the officers in the army who otherwise blamed him for a certain 'pacifism' or at least a reluctance to go on the offensive. 11 He personally went to Lambaesis, to the north of the Aures, to preside over some of the African army's manoeuvres, and in some famous speeches, preserved for the most part in an inscription, he gave his views on training. One of his generals, Arrian, effecting a tour of inspection of garrisons stationed around the Black Sea, made the soldiers do some training. A tribune in charge of an auxiliary force of 1000 Batavians in Lower Pannonia boasted of having swum across the Danube at the head of his fully-armed troops, claiming Hadrian's support for this exploit. 14 A little-known passage from Fronto can also be cited. 15 In fact, the most interesting source for this subject remains Vegetius, the fourth-century writer who gives information on earlier periods. 16 He took pains to name the authors he used, Cato the Elder, three great emperors (Augustus, Trajan, Hadrian), and finally Tarruntenus Paternus and Cornelius Celsus. The question to be asked here is exactly why training acquired such importance, and there will be more than one explanation.