World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Evocatus (plural Evocati) was the Latin term for a soldier in the Roman army who had served out his time and obtained a discharge (missio) but had voluntarily enlisted again at the invitation of the consul or other commander.[1]

There always existed a considerable number of evocati in every army of importance, and when the general was a favorite among the soldiers, the number of veterans who joined his standard naturally increased. The evocati were officially released, like the vexillarii, from the common military duties of fortifying the camp, making roads, et cetera,[2] and held a higher rank in the army than the common legionary soldiers. However their treatment was not guaranteed as some legionary commanders pressured men to stay on to ensure their command retained enough soldiers, as recruitment into the imperial legions was not a universally popular career choice.

They are sometimes written of in conjunction with the equites Romani,[3] and sometimes classed with the centurions.[4] They appear to have been frequently promoted to the rank of centurion and were customarily entitled to bear the vine staff and discipline fellow soldiers. Thus, Pompey induced a great many of the veterans who had served under him in former years to join his standard at the outbreak of the civil war with the promise of rewards and the command of centuries.[5] Not all evocati could, however, have held the rank of centurion,[6] nor could they belong to certain cohorts in the army. Cicero[7] speaks of a Praefectus evocatorum,[8] an officer in charge of the evocati.

The name evocati was also applied to a select body of young men of the equestrian order who were appointed by Emperor Domitian to guard his bedchamber.[9] This body is supposed by some writers to have existed under succeeding emperors and to have been the same as that consisting of those known as Evocati Augusti.[10]



  1. ^ Dio Cassius, Roman History 45.12
  2. ^ Tacitus, Annals, 1.36
  3. ^ Julius Caesar, Commentarii de Bello Gallico 7.65
  4. ^ Julius Caesar, Commentarii de Bello Civili, 1.17
  5. ^ ordinum, Julius Caesar, Commentarii de Bello Civili, 1.3
  6. ^ Ib. 3.88
  7. ^ Cicero, Epistulae ad Familiares, 3.6 §5
  8. ^ Cicero, Epistulae ad Familiares, 15.4 §3; Julius Caesar, Commentarii de Bello Civili 3.91; Suetonius, Lives of the Twelve Caesars: Augustus 56; Justus Lipsius, De Militia Romana 1.8
  9. ^ Suetonius, Lives of the Twelve Caesars: Domitian, 10
  10. ^ Hyginus, de Lim. p209; Johann Caspar Orelli, Inscript. No. 3495, 153


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.