Vigiles

Definition

The vigiles (or cohortes vigilum) were formed during the reign of Augustus to act as ancient Rome's permanent firefighting service. Evolving from earlier slave teams, the vigiles were organised as an urban military unit and eventually recruits came from the Roman citizenry. The body, with a permanent camp of its own and equipment stations dotted around the city, patrolled the streets of Rome each night and also performed certain nocturnal policing duties to ensure public order.

More about: Vigiles

Timeline

  • 6 CE
    Augustus creates Rome's permanent firefighting force, the Vigiles.
Membership