Talk:Castra

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Celtic Criticism[edit]

Paragraph 2 and note 1 seem to have some sort of pro-Celtic bias. Italic and Celtic are both at the same level of hierarchy in the divisions of Indo-European language families, each deriving separately in the Centum branch; Celtic languages are not usually some sort of derivational intermediary for Italic language as the language of paragraph 2 implies. Further, talk of Celtic forts in the first note (which are beyond the scope of the article) and the "domination" by Indo-Europeans (presumably the Romans) of "non-Indo-Europeans" (presumably the Celts, though these were just as Indo-European as anyone else in Europe, save perhaps the Basque) are very out of place. Non-NPOV? I think so.

Hi buddy. You didn't sign the critique, a great shame, as now I cannot address you by name. Be that as it may you are entitled to a reponse (I think). The critique seems serious but to tell you the truth it is mainly a matter of words. No bias was intended as you will see.
without any historic intermediary, such as Celtic.--The Celtic dunum, or "hill fort", belongs to a different Indo-European military tradition, almost as ancient. While the castra was designed for large numbers and rolling countryside, the dunum was essentially the fortified crest of a hill or artificial mound. This type of fort appears on high riverbanks or hills when the Indo-Europeans begin to move into Europe, probably in small war bands. From these fortified locations, which the Greeks called akropoleis, the Indo-Europeans dominated the non-Indo-European countryside.--It is not a Celtic loan into Latin, but that is not to say the Celts did not have a word like it or did not borrow the word from Latin.
Basically because I seemed to bring it up you concluded I might have thought an intermediary existed. I can see how you might give it that interpretation. But in fact the real reason is that the previous writer on it tagged castra as a Celtic word. Thus I felt compelled to answer it. No, I don't think there was any intermediary. No one serious today does either although 40 years ago one was hypothesized.
Similarly the whole topic of the Celts comes up because the previous writer brought it up and we don't just discard the thought of previous persons without a good reason. Now you as a reader have brought it up so that is a good reason to delete the whole paragraph. After all the reader does not have the previous before him. Since I am deleting the paragraph and that was the reason for the Non-NPOV tag I am going to delete that too.
Maybe when correcting speculation from previous versions of an article, that sort of information should go on a talk page, or something like it, so as to make a main entry more accessible to "unsophisticated users."
Moreover buddy from your comment it is plain that you are an unsophisticated reader. The Celts of course are not non-Indo-European. That is fine, you are the reader and it is beneficial to have your take on the thing. Most readers are probably unsophisticated. I happen to be educated in the field, but that is neither here nor there. Talent does not necessarily follow education; in fact, some would argue that it does not.
Usually in such cases the "little professor" (me, but I'm not a professor) would give you a string of inaccessible books and articles to read, which you could only get at great cost and trouble to you from some college library or bookstore. But, Wikipedia keeps getting better and better. I'd say, if you still want to know who the Indo-Europeans are and were, look under Indo-European.
Now, the NPOV is actually in your mind. Don't "presume" to know what I mean in a field you don't know a thing about. Nobody who does know would have made such a presumption about what was meant. Having made that statement I now must thank you for having made the presumption. What the fresh and unsophisticated reader concludes is a valuable indication about whether the article says what it was intended to say.
Well that exhausts my momentary thoughts. I must go on. If you make any more comments eventually I will read them. Good luck, thanks for your interest.Dave 14:57, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, I as the reader didn't understand why there was this sudden digression into the Celts. Without knowing that a previous version of this entry had something else and you'd corrected it -- on it's face it looked like some sort of agenda or personal opinion shoehorned into an article about Roman forts. I understand that the Celts are Indo-Europeans; I was a little hasty in my admonishment (or whatever this is).


Though I've used wikipedia as a source of quick facts for a year or two now, this is one of the first times I've used any of the interactive bits. I thought those paragraphs were really strange, and wanted to let someone know. I have occasionally fixed little bits of grammar (pronouns, articles non-native constructions) on some pages, mainly towns in Italy -- where it looked like the original writer was more accustomed to writing in Italian than in English. I haven't done any editing of content, and figured it'd be best if I flagged someone down who actually knew about Roman forts.
I appreciate you taking my brash, unsigned remarks into consideration.
--Bennyfactor 07:07, 29 July 2006 (UTC) (Hopefully I'm signed in this time)
Thanks. In fact the article is way too long so that was a good thing to cut out. I got to go through it again cutting down and moving material if necessary. It's easy to get carried away in writing but the sword of the editor sometimes must be wielded ruthlessly. Burn all your favorite toys. There are no Romans, no camps, no gates, no walls, ....
It sounds as though you are being drawn into Wikipedia. It is fun to do. There is a down side but I try to avoid getting dragged into harangues, sometimes unsuccessfully. Perhaps you should do more if you have the time and interest. It certainly is good experience, I dare say. You just have to know when to go on and not look back, but right now I need to go back and get this into size and format.
PS If I didn't take your comments into consideration someone would notice it down the line and paste notes all over the thing just as you did. Ciao.Dave 02:22, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

Too long[edit]

I see the article is really too long. Eventually I can address this by shortening the article but meanwhile it would be nice to have some reader suggestions as to how to shorten it. If you really feel strongly, go ahead, shorten it.Dave 15:07, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

Later. I thought of a way to shorten it. Let's move List of castra to a separate article as has been done for some other cases, such as List of Germanic peoples. I'll let this sit for a bit until I see if you have any thoughts.Dave 00:17, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

Later. I split out subsection on castra to a separate article, List of castra. However, that only cuts it down from 45 to 41 instead of 32. It seems as though a condensation is in order, with searches to see if some of that information is elsewhere and can be referenced there. Will work on it. Also I noticed the new pictures need some formatting.Dave 02:08, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

Later. I had to move some commented material here to gain space. You have to edit to see it.

Later. Well, I declare. The article is down to 31.7 KB and the "too long" message is still there. I'm guessing that the list of long articles is only updated periodically and that the message depends on the list. Either that or it is the judgement of a system administrator. For myself I'm going on now. I did the best I could. There is more that could have been said. Bonne chance, whoever...Dave 16:27, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

Later. I've been looking at some articles and lengths. All I can say is, the lengths do not in any way match the articles. For some reason the message is set for this article. Apparently the system isn't working. So, I'm just going to ignore it. If I see a system I can follow it. I don't see any here, certainly not the one written up in Wikipedia help. In any case I'm done with this article. If you have any issues and you feel you would like to contact me my talk page is always available. Later I will be working on the list of castra, which I have broken out.Dave 17:53, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

Pics of Istria[edit]

The picture of the city wall of Istria with main gate is a nice one, but it isn't the topic. The topic is castra. The gates and walls of castra are fair game but not city walls and gates unless they derive from those of the castra. As far as I can tell Istria was not primarily or originally a Roman camp but was a prior city fortified by the Romans. There are some wonderful city gates. Rome had some, but they were not CASTRA gates. So with regret I commented the pic out. One runs into the same sort of situation with rivers. There might not be a picture available of the river you want. You can't put in any nice picture of a river if you are presenting this article as fact. There are some nice city walls at Istria and some great sewer systems. These are too fine for castra and are part of the city's permanent defense system, not its forts.Dave 10:20, 20 August 2006 (UTC)


Etymology - original research?[edit]

"Considering that the earliest structures were tents, which were cut out of hide or cloth, one castrum may well be a tent, with the plural meaning tents." Doesn't "may well be" suggest original research, or at the very least enough doubt that it shouldn't be mentioned in an encyclopaedic article? I was always taught in my few years of Latin at school that castra was one of those words that simply had no singular form. And therefore there's no need to try to ascribe a meaning to the singular, especially if it doesn't exist. Is there a reference to the singular form being used anywhere? Else I'd suggest removing this bit. 59.167.61.14 12:49, 3 October 2006 (UTC)DaveY

I know what you were taught. I was taught the same thing and I have an MA in it. But, as so often happens, what we were taught was wrong. These things get institutionalized you know, and I was taught that too. In graduate school you never use a "handbook." Everyone knows they are wrong. So I was as surprised as anyone when I did my etymological research and found that it just ain't so. The singular is just as good as the plural. Just get yourself any unabridged or comprehensive dictionary, look up the singular, and you will find that I speak rightly. What I wrote there I GOT from the dictionaries. Theirs also is the speculation about the tent. You got to CUT the hide or the cloth, right? Snip snip. I'm sure the topic has been researched many times before. Out there somewhere is an article or articles on which the dictionary conjectures are based. They aren't MY conjectures, my friend. I thought it was too trivial a topic to research heavily but not trivial enough to remove, and that is still my judgement. Currently I'm revisiting the article, which I think is a very good one, not to mention being well-written and well-researched, to match the main facts with the listed sources, which are really very excellent sources, without over-annotating. The tent is a topic of its own I am sure but I am not ready to do an article on tents. That is where any extensive research on tents belongs. So for the time being if I see an article that covers it (and I may) I will throw a note in there. Meanwhile since the dictionaries do cover it I'm going to leave it in. Did you check the dictionaries? Did you check anything at all? Did you read anything at all? Or is your thing that you just mainly go around throwing in comments about what you think off the top of your head might possibly be original research? If you are going to work on Wikipedia, WORK on it, otherwise leave it alone.Dave 13:43, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

Rename to Castrum[edit]

The opening line "The Latin word castra,[1] with its singular castrum, was used ...." reads oddly, and in fact "castra" is then treated in much of the text as though it was the singular form. Really the article should be renamed Castrum and the text corrected. Any objections? Johnbod (talk) 14:34, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

The romans called a single camp "castra" so that's why it's like that. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 134.126.212.245 (talk) 17:05, 4 June 2008 (UTC) e.g. Castra_Praetoria, Castra_Vetera, castra aestiva. In fact the wikipedia article for Castra Praetoria, show similar construction in English: the word 'barracks'. This is a plural word, but it is used to describe one single location as well as a several different locations. ie There is a barracks on an army base, not a barrack.
I just saw this now after a long time. The unsigned comment is correct. In the neuter the distinction between singular and plural often breaks down and the Romans did not use castrum they used castra. So if you change it to castrum you will be inventing your own Latin. I don't know what would be strange about the use of the plural to mean the singular. As yet another example one never refers to a pant only to pants, never to a scissor, only to scissors, etc. The presumption of many editors is that because this is Wikipedia they know more than the author of what they are reading and therefore because it does not correspond to their current understanding it must be wrong. And yet when they read matters in print they swear by it even though it might be totally wrong or have been written by an author who knew nothing at all about it. Before you change something to correspond to your understanding first make sure your understanding is correct. Any editing at all requires some work other than guesswork. By the way this article is not a start article now and does not suffer from lack of references. There have been no major criticisms that were correct. It is on an important subject. A lot of articles link to it. It doesn't lack any major elements and it does not misfollow Wikipedia policy. People use it all the time. So, the discussion page is somewhat behind the article, which in my opinion is a good one on a desirable and important topic.Dave (talk) 03:30, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
I've checked a large number of online latin dictionaries, and they all agree that the singular castrum refers to "any fortified place; a castle, fort, fortress", but that "castellum" was in more general use. "Castra" was used in the sense of a camp, that is a temporary or semi-permanent camp, a collection of tents inside a fortification or vallum. This led to "castra" becoming part of the name for the place, which of course was not changed when and if the camp was rebuilt as a stone fort. It does not mean that a stone fort or legionary fortress was a "castra". Literature of the period often refers to castra or castris but is usually describing campaigns in hostile territory, where camps would have initially been used, and are also generally referring to the name of the place, rather than the type of fortification. The names of many Roman forts and some towns include castrum rather than castra. The idea that all Roman fortifications were, and were referred to as castra is flawed.
So this article should constrain itself to the subject of Roman camps, and not permanent forts or fortresses. The layout of all of these was similar of course, the Roman way was method and order. Watch-towers, signal stations, also milecastles and towers on Hadrian's Wall had a specific purpose. They were not castra and were not referred to as castra. I agree that this article is an important one, and I'd like to see it improved. Pictures of reconstructed stone fort gateways and stone granaries are not relevant to the subject this article should be concentrating on, and give a misleading impression. They're nice to look at, but they don't form part of a castra even if that's included in the Roman name for the place.
Also there are some issues with this article., as I've detailed below. You need to cool down when responding to comment on an article you've put a deal of work into. You seem to take it as a personal attack. Your attitude seems to be "I'm right and you're wrong so pipe down and get out of here", and condescending in the extreme. Not a laudable attitude for a Wikipedia editor, I'm thinking, No one owns these pages. You're entitled to your opinion, but so are all the rest of us. Rambler24 (talk) 23:02, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
I also vote for renaming to castrum for consistency. Please bring references showing that Romans used instead castra, similar to the use of scisors.--Codrinb (talk) 19:01, 28 December 2010 (UTC)
Ditto - Latin dictionaries that I've looked at - e.g. Lewis & Short - are clear on the classical currency of "castrum". Also, WP may not be RS, but "castrum" crops up often enough, in valid contexts, to suggest that it is acceptable here, I think. "Castra" is a subset of "castrum" IMHO, and if you see what I mean. Nortonius (talk) 00:16, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
I'm no great Latinist, & if the plural-as-singular usage can be referenced, agreed, and then explained in the article, fine. But the lead needs expanding anyway, & this stuff might go in a separate section, as it is already long. Johnbod (talk) 15:31, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
I would love to clarify this as I am working to create articles and categories both here and on Commons for the Roman castra in Dacia (see also ro:Lista castrelor romane din România - Romanian version) and I want to know how to properly name them in "English" :-) For example right now we have commons:Category:Potaissa Castrum, and I proposed the rename to commons:Category:Castra Potaissa. However, after all this discussion, I am not sure what the best term would be. I can tell you that in the Romanian language which is derived from Latina vulgaris, we use the form castru/"castrul" (article) for singular and castre/"castrele" (article) for plural. When we refer to one specific castra/castrum in Romania, we say "Castrul Potaissa", "Castrul Porolissum", "Castrul Apulum", we never use the form "Castrele Potaissa". Not sure if it is relevant though as I am not a linguist. Also, here is a very interesting article named The castra of Frontinus. Can't wait to clarify this one out. --Codrin.B (talk) 15:45, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
Hmm, "The castra of Frontinus" article is interesting stuff, but I think its only interest here is the mention in this recent, scholarly article of "the use of castra for an overnight marching camp", which agrees with the indications made above, whereby "castrum" is conversely understood to indicate a relatively permanent structure, e.g. one built of stone. So, for example, Potaissa is a castrum on that basis. About the relationship between modern Romanian and Latina Vulgaris, though, you'd need an expert - for example, do "castru/castrul" (singular) and "castre/castrele" (plural) in modern Romanian belong to a regular pattern of linguistic alteration, from e.g. (castr)um (neuter singular) and (castr)a (neuter plural) in classical Latin? Bet you can find such an expert in a Romanian library though, or anywhere where the Romanian language and/or history, or the history of Latin itself come to that, are studied - it'd be interesting to know, anyway, but it might not mean much for this article...? HTH a little - though I've made contributions based on what I've seen in dictionaries and what others have said here, I'm no specialist on any of this! Nortonius (talk) 23:19, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I asked some Romanian linguists and I was pointed to these CIL inscriptions:

  • CIL XIII 8502: castrum Divitensium
  • CIL IX 5185: Castro Truen(tino)
  • CIL XI 76: Castri Planae
  • CIL XIV 2461: Castri Moiniensium
  • CIL XIV 2468: Castri Moen(i)e(n)sium
  • CIL XV, 07239b: castrum praetorium

It seems that Castrum is not a plurale tantum after all and it also has the form Castri. I think a more thorough research has to be done here and bring much more sources to the table. Any volunteers? :-) --Codrin.B (talk) 03:05, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

I do not have access to the inscriptions cited, but it is surely much more likely that castri is a locative case (i.e. "place where"). However, I do have a problem with the title of this article. Why on earth is it headed with a Latin word which is not in use in English? Is it a sort of pretentiousness, or simply misplaced enthusiasm? This is the English Wikipedia, and the article – which contains a lot of useful material – should surely have a simple English title, such as "Roman forts" or "Roman camps"! Deipnosophista (talk) 16:34, 21 May 2014 (UTC)

A few observations[edit]

The plan (Types of castra section) would be better moved to the Layout section or just following it.

Legionaries were quartered in a peripheral zone inside the intervallum, which they could rapidly cross to
take up position on the vallum. Inside of the legionary quarters was a peripheral road, the Via Sagularis

How many peripheries can a camp or castra have? In fact the Via Sagularis ran along the intervallum. Apart from that, accommodation for soldiers took up most of the interior - hardly a peripheral zone.

The vallum was quadrangular aligned on the cardinal points of the compass

I don't know of any camp, fort or fortress in Britain which is so aligned. There may be a few, and a few more are close to it, but they'll therefore be the exception. All the plans I've seen of forts or fortresses in Europe are not so aligned either. In general, forts and camps were aligned to take advantage of the lie of the land, and faced towards enemy territory.

The "headquarters" building was called the praetorium

The headquarters building was called the principia. The house of the commander was the praetorium, from Praetor, leader or commander. Every book or reference (other than Wikipedia) I've read uses the terms in this context. The via Principalis was so-called because it ran past the principia.

The central region of the Via Principalis with the buildings for the command staff was called the Principia

Not the region, but the single building, and in the Roman army, as in modern armies, the building occupied by the "command staff" is the headquarters. I note that none of the section I've been discussing contains any relevant references.

Several illustrations have incorrect captions:

Gateway of a Castra Stativa. Note the battlements, the Roman arch, the
turres.

This gives the impression that it's an actual gateway. It's the reconstructed gateway at Arbeia Roman Fort in South Shields, near Newcastle upon Tyne. Why not state that?

Ruins of the Porta Praetoria, or "Headquarters Gate", from a Castra
Stativa, a more permanent base.

Not ruins at all, but another reconstructed gateway, this time the Porta Praetoria at Kastell Welzheim in Germany.

Not much remains of these horreae at Arbeia, probably the floors of bins
between aisles.

Not much indeed, but "probably"? Actually, they are the bases of longitudinal or "sleeper" walls which supported the floor. The gaps were to allow air to circulate freely. Which brings us to -

Under-floor heated granary at Vercovicium

Granaries didn't have under-floor heating, as the contributor of the photograph makes clear: "The pillars supported a raised floor to keep food dry and free from vermin.... They are not part of a hypocaust"

The remains of a fort near Housesteads, England, on Hadrian's Wall.

It's the other granary at Housesteads fort, rather than a fort near Housesteads. I've corrected these captions. Rambler24 (talk) 21:47, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

A replacement image?[edit]

What if we replaced the image of the castrum at Masada, Israel, with this one? It shows a more detailed structure (with a bit of the circumvallation wall) and is fully public domain. Wilson44691 (talk) 13:40, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

Since there was no objection, I replaced the image. Wilson44691 (talk) 02:41, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
The older image had better contrast, but I'm not sure that either add much to the article to be honest; there just isn't enough detail. In a section entitled wall and ditch, the wall is sadly lacking. Perhaps a plan would be better? There's this free-use image of Ambleside for instance (although there's already a generalised plan further up)? Nev1 (talk) 02:50, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
Actually, this image makes the wall a bit clearer (which I couldn't see before). Nev1 (talk) 02:52, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
That last image you found, Nev1, is better. I went ahead and made the second replacement.Wilson44691 (talk) 02:55, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

"Marschlager nach Polybios"[edit]

Camp of Polybios, 2nd Century BC

I've taken the liberty of moving this recently-added image from the article to talk, for a number of reasons. The main reason will be that the modern language elements are in German, whereas this is English language Wikipedia, so it's not really a very helpful image as it stands. Also, while I have no reason to doubt that it is a faithful interpretation of Polybius' description of a Roman "marching camp", it is not referenced to a reliable source as such. On the other hand, if these snags were ironed out, I think it could be a very useful image - perhaps someone would like to take that on? In the process, they might like to note that, rightly or wrongly, in English the author's name is rendered "Polybius", not "Polybios". Nortonius (talk) 15:30, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

If you want, I make you a English version of this picture. The source is the German version of the book of Anne Johnson: Roman Forts of the 1st and 2nd centuries AD in Britain and the German Provinces. In German: Römische Kastelle (made for Germany from Dietwulf Baatz). Baatz is one of the best archeologist for the German Limes. Mediatus (talk) 00:28, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
Well, you don't need my permission, though it seems then that this plan is derived by you from an image in a book published in 1983? Are you sure there are no copyright issues here? Yes, I know, Polybius died more than 70 years ago! Just asking, because Anne Johnson didn't! Otherwise, yes, that would seem to be a good idea. Nortonius (talk) 07:41, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
I see: You do not have the book of Anne Johnson. Look at the picture in the Book and than at my file. My file ist very exakt. The picture in the book is more free. So you will not see a trench by Johnson, etc. The map of Polybius will be allways very, very similar, because the specified dimensions are from Polybius himself. And in the book of Johnson are this Data given. : ) Mediatus (talk) 00:23, 20 August 2010 (UTC)
Really, in my previous comment I was saying yes, if you're happy to do it, and you understand the matter of copyright, you do not need to ask me, so do it! Cheers. Nortonius (talk) 09:26, 20 August 2010 (UTC)

Castra revisited, by the original author[edit]

I've been invited back to comment on the usage of castra in Latin. All right, I will. But first, I notice that it is still start class. Whatever it is, this article is NOT start. I was a good article when I did it. It is still a good article. I am proud to be associated with you good revisers of this good article and to have had a chance to write it in the first place. I am not going to nominate this as anything. There are gremlins afoot in WP. Whenever you want something they are going to make darn sure you don't get it. Maybe you did not contribute money to WP, or maybe you had the infuriating and intolerable audacity to utter one word of criticism of their material (frankly, I've uttered many), or maybe what you wrote is contrary to German nationalism or CIA policy. Whatever. So, in keeping with the spirit of WP I hereby recommend this article be demoted from a start class and tagged as a stub.

Now, for the word. It appears fully developed in the earliest literature. Both singular and plural are used. Moreover, there is no discernable system, only a most frequent usage. The plural is most frequently used. Over hundreds of years of change you cannot expect this word to conform to any system. On the whole I believe it is most like English fortification(s), which can be singular or plural when applied to anything whatsoever. Anything military or analogous to it is either a fortification or fortifications. Another similar word is water. You can drink either the water of the lake or the waters of the lake, whichever your heart desires. The usage is too big for a discernable system. Any reference to any such ought to be removed.

What you perceive that you may mistake for system is usage: we say this, we do not say that. Why do we? Because that is the way we do it. Lan-caster, Wor-cester, Win-chester, these were all originally the sites of Roman camps and the usage at that time was to name such settlements castra not castrum. Either castra or castrum can be used in any context to mean fortification/fortifications. You could use them both in the same sentence if the context in which you used each conformed to usage. Many times on WP I have had to correct a foreign native who was trying to use a word that is an English word but is just never used in that way. It's part of the vernaculra lingo: this is the singular, this is the plural, this is how you use it, this is how you never use it even though technically correct. Where I appreciate the Roman victorious use of system in the military and our almost universal desire to depict its system, castra is more a part of the language than the military and the language often ain't too systematic. This is about the best I can do for you. What you need here is the unabridged dictionary, that lists every possible use of castrum and castra and the other words that refer to fortifications; oops, excuse me, to fortification; no, I mean, fortifications - oh, to heck with it. If you really want a serious revisit by me I would have to do a line by line edit. If you want to break something out, go by type of fortification - say, permanent camp, summer camp, naval base, fortified wall, etc, regardless of what they may have called it, which in each case undoubtedly varied with time and place. Take our word fort. Is a base a fort? Let's see you answer THAT one.Dave (talk) 02:16, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

It is probably between Start and C class in my opinion. It would not qualify as a Stub given all the content and I don't see why to demote it?! Not sure if you noticed the thread above on Rename. There are some additional notes and views added to the old thread. I left you a note on your page as well about the need to clarify whether to use castra or castrum consistently in article names and categories. I am still not clear as what is the best approach here. Thanks for getting back. --Codrin.B (talk) 18:57, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
It went from B to start in 2007 here, failing the "B1" criterion. I had thought the Start was harsh & would have changed it, except it was a milhist thing & they have their own ways. I think C should be non-controversial. Johnbod (talk) 19:54, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

Correction of notes 14 and 15: Cardo maximus and Decumanus maximus[edit]

I recently created the article on Roman centuriation, translated and adapted from the articles in the Catalan, French and Italian Wikipedias. Each of these articles focuses on centuriation, respectively in Catalonia, France and Italy, whereas I have tried to be more comprehensive, as the system applies to the entire Roman Empire. In my source articles it says that the east-west Decumanus maximus was traced BEFORE the north-south Cardo maximus, but it is not explained why. I found the answer in :

which is already cited here as an external link. Bell says: "This ritual consisted of the choosing of a sacred spot where a priest would place a groma, which was then use to determine the path of the decumanus. This was achieved by noting the place where the sun rose in order to know exactly where east was. The cardo was then calculated running at a right angle from the decumanus at the groma."

"Elementary, my dear Watson": the sunrise (presumably on the equinoxes).

Notes 14 and 15 currently read as follows:

Note 14: Cardo is the hinge line of a door and therefore is any main axis. In surveying it was the first line drawn, on which all the others depended. The via principalis would certainly be a cardo.

Note 15: Decumana (feminine of decumanus) derives most likely from decima manus, "tenth part" or "tenfold". As tenfold, it meant "immense." As tenth part, it also meant "across", such as a cross-path or cross-boundary. In surveying it was the first line across the cardo at right angles. The connection between tenth and across remains obscure. The presence of numbered streets makes it less likely that the via decumana was "cross street" than that it was "10th street."

I assume that the reference to surveying is based on modern practice, where the surveyor is equipped with a pocket compass, so that the north is easy to locate.

If Bell is right, then these notes should be corrected as follows:

Note 14: Cardo is the hinge line of a door and therefore is any main axis. In surveying it was the first line across the decumanus at right angles. The via principalis would certainly be a "cardo".

Note 15: Decumana (feminine of decumanus) derives most likely from decima manus, "tenth part" or "tenfold". As tenfold, it meant "immense." As tenth part, it also meant "across", such as a cross-path or cross-boundary. In surveying it was the first line drawn, after noting the place where the sun rose in order to know exactly where east was. The connection between tenth and across remains obscure. The presence of numbered streets makes it less likely that the via decumana was "cross street" than that it was "10th street."

If no one objects, I will make these corrections in the near future, obviously before 21 December 2012, after which it would be too late.LombardBeige (talk) 06:28, 30 September 2011 (UTC)

Planning for camps/cities[edit]

My understanding reading the Italian wiki page is that the two plans were similar, but not identical. For instance, in this article it is stated that the via Preatoria, the cardus maximus in a military camp, was not interrupted. This is not true, because the via praetoria takes its name by the fact that the tent/accommodation of the Praetorius was exactly interrupting it. This apparently had a defensive function: the main gate of cardus maximus was built facing the enemy, hence, if it was breached, the enemy could not sweep through the camp. Cities did not require this. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 173.206.252.66 (talk) 14:53, 21 April 2013 (UTC)

Template for discussion: Template:Infobox castrum[edit]

For those interested, there is a request for deletion on Template:Infobox castrum, currently used in a series of articles on Roman castra. For example Porolissum.--Codrin.B (talk) 16:29, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Marriage & Family[edit]

I took out the Dubious tag, replacing the existing with the suggested rewording. It seems more NPOV to describe what the policy was, rather than giving the presumed justification for the policy.--Wcoole (talk) 18:34, 25 September 2014 (UTC)