• Ancient Rome
  • 1 min

By Crusader1307

This was the Standard Bearer of The Roman Army. Seen through The Republican and Imperial Periods, The Standard - of Signum, was carried in front of a Cohort or Century. Therefore a "typical" Roman Legion would have 59 Signifer's assigned. The design of the Signum was a number of small disks or medallions (known as Philarae), mounted on a 6 to 10 foot wooden or metal staff. A number of other decorations and devices could be attached to the Signum as well (battle awards). A junior-grade officer would normally carry the Signum (but a common soldier could earn the position if her showed great courage in battle).


The Signifer was a very dangerous position in combat. Often, he was the first person an enemy would attack (to cause fall or capture the Signum to demoralize the soldiers). He was unable to carry weapons, as he had to maintain the upright position of the Signum. Often they carried a Parma shield (a small buckler-type of shield protection). He too would don the "animal hide" uniform to show his tenacity in combat. In time of rallying troops on the battlefield, they would rally to the Signum.