A Roman redoubt Assaulted

Romans commonly constructed small castra or fort which we would call redoubts when besieging a fortified place. Due to the broken ground surrounding Alesia Caesar had constructed by his engineers numerous little forts or redoubts. Each contained the type of unit that best suited the terrain. 

Some of these redoubts served either horse or foot units. In some places cavalry would work best and in others infantry would be most effective. These redoubts could block open areas which the enemy could utilize.

Above is one of these redoubts. Each had a surrounding ditch, obstacles had many names like lillies or stymuli (punji stick driven into the ground). Above the ditch would be a rampart topped with some form of wall. This wall could be palisades covered with thorn bushes or tree branches. Palisades should not be confused with stackards. Stockades are continuous wooden walls with each log touching the other. A palisade is more open. The men would carry two or more long wood stakes that were planted in the ground with spaces between each.

To the right is a beautiful water color by Luca Marini of a Roman standard bearer. Beneath Luca’s water color is a sculpture from the triumph arch the Romans built. These figures are typical of Roman soldiers of Caesar’s time.