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In the Roman Empire, the Latin word castrum (plural castra) was a building, or plot of land, used as a fortified military camp.

Castrum was the term used for different sizes of camps including a large legionary fortress, smaller auxiliary forts, temporary encampments and "marching" forts. The diminutive form castellum was used for fortlets, typically occupied by a detachment of a cohort or a century.

In English, the terms "Roman fortress", "Roman fort" and "Roman camp" are commonly used for castrum. However, scholastic convention tends toward the use of the word "camp", "marching camp" and "fortress" as a translation of castrum.

For a list of known castra see List of castra.

The term castrum appears in three Italic languages: Oscan, Umbrian and Latin. In Latin castrum was probably originally the term for an estate or a tract of land enclosed by a fence or a wooden or stone wall of some kind, as seems to be used in a few passages in Cornelius Nepos' works.

This page was last edited on 11 January 2018, at 18:20.
Reference: under CC BY-SA license.

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