As has been made very clear on other websites, no actual manual of drill from the earlier periods of the empire have survived. What is used by us is derived from the works of later period writers, specifically from the Strategikon, and a dose of common sense. The commands we use today, along with our companion legions, were pioneered by the Ermine Street Guard in Britain. The Commander of the XXth legion added more later and so we have what is widely used today, with minor differences between groups. This list will be tweaked as we develope our own way of doing things.


Ad Signa!:  This means fall in on the standard. At this command, troops stop whatever they are doing, take up scuta and pila, and form ranks facing the CO and vexillum.

Silentium!:  Silence in the ranks.

Mandata captate!:  Attention to orders. Literally, observe the orders..

Intente!:  Attention.

Dirige frontem!: Essentially 'dress right, dress'...ranks are dressed to the right. About two feet between each shoulder, scuta bosses and trooper's toes lined up, the whole rank in a neat line.

Laxate!:  At ease. The right foot moves sideward about shoulder width, the scutum is grounded, the butt of the pilum on the deck and angled forward. No nattering about in the ranks. This is the usual point at which orders are read and details given.

Ad gladium, clina!:  Right face. Troops wear the gladius on the right side, hence the term 'gladium'; sword side.

Ad scutum, clina!:  Left face.

Transforma!:  About face. Toe of the right or left  foot is placed behind and the body pivoted 180 degrees. Scuta are not to fly about in the movement. [ ad gladium, transforma!/ ad scutum, transforma!]

Langia partes!: [ad dex/ad sin/ambas] Open ranks [right/left/both sides]. Sidestep in the designated direction(s) one full arm length.

Intra!:  Half rank fall back one pace. This command turns one rank into two. Starting on the left, every other trooper takes a step back then sidesteps right to line up behind the trooper who had been on their right.

Iunge!:  Pronounced yungay. Close ranks. Generally given after executing the 'Intra; command to tighten the ranks.

Exi!: Pronounced 'exee'. The reverse of Intra. Makes one rank from two, rear rank sidestepping left and then stepping forward.

Simplicem ordinem facite!:  Form single file.

Unum ordinem facite!:  Form one line.

Duos ordines facite!:  Form two files.

Quattuor ordines facite!:  Form four files. Given when the unit is in two files already.

Expectate...:   Wait for it.

Ut fuistis!:  As you were.

Move!:  March forward. Pronounced 'moo-way'. Can be combined with other commands; ad gladium clina - move!  This would mean the column or rank executed a right face and then began marching. We step off with the left foot, mainly because some of us are old Marines and it's a tough habit to break. Other groups step off with the right.

Accelera!:  Speed up.

Tarda!:  Slow down.

Ad dex / Ad sin depone!:  Pronounced 'day-po-nay'. Right or left wheel. An impressive and difficult command to execute. Trooper on the end in the direction of wheel is the pivot. Difficult to explain, difficult to execute in an orderly way, simple concept.

Signo Sequute!:  Pronounced 'say-cue-tay'. Follow the standard, basically follow the leader. Used for files over difficult terrain.

State!:  Halt.

Muta Locum!: Countermarch. Makes a file or multiple files double back while marching.

Pulsam pedibus date!:  Mark time.

Ad agmine!: Pronounced 'ad ag-mi-nay'. Form marching column. Column of twos, threes, whatever is ordered.

Pila infige!:  Pronounced 'in-fee-gay'. Plant pilum. Butt is planted in the ground so the weapon is upright.

Pila pone!:  Pronounced 'po-nay'. Lay pilum down.

Pila tolle!:  Pronounced 'toll-ay'. Pick up pilum.

Repitate!:  Repeat.

Salutate!:  Salute. Arm is held out and up at a 45 degree angle, gladius or pilum in line with the arm.

Dimitto!:  Dismissed.

Ab signis descedite!:  Fall out.

Battle Drill:

Ad aciem!:  Pronounced 'ad ack-ee-em'. Form battle line. Facing the enemy, scuta raised, pila held lightly ready to cock for throw.

Ad testudinem!:  Pronounced 'ad tes-too-di-nem'. Hallmark legionary formation. Fronted, flanked, and covered by scuta. Usually used in sieges or for protection from heavy missile fire. The step is slow and called to keep the formation tight. Quite impressive.

Ad cuneum!: 
Form wedge. Impressive in display but probably not what is commonly thought of. Possibly used for multiple units rather than indiviudal members of a unit.

Gladium stringe!:  Pronounced 'Strin-gay'. Draw gladius.

Gladium reconde!:  Sheath gladius.

Ordenem servate:  Stand fast, hold your position. Not commonly used.

Parati!:  Ready! Usually preparation to charge or prepare a weapon.

Pila iace!: Pronounced 'ee-ack-ay'. Throw pila, however this is the final execution in a sequence. It is preceeded by the command 'pila parati' at which command the first rank executes a number of steps with each following rank executing one less and raising the pila into throwing stance. At the command 'Pila.......iace!' the ranks take three steps forward and throw, immediately after which the arm continues down and draws the gladius, effectively executing an automatic 'gladium stringe' and closing the formation to either receive a charge or execute a close to combat.

Percute!:  Pronounced 'Per-cute-tay'. Charge!