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Stone remnant of the Praetorian Guard. Praetorian gu. By: Justus By: Joshua Turner. Praetorian Guard. The Praetorian Guards were the Personal Bodyguards of the Roman Emperors.

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praetorian guard
Praetorian Guard

The Praetorian Guards were the Personal Bodyguards of the Roman Emperors.

The title was already used during the Roman Republic for the guards of Roman Generals, at least since the rise to prominence of the Scipio family around 275 BC.

praetorian guard1

A stone statue of the praetorian guard

Praetorian Guard
  • Initially, the Praetorian guard consisted of nine cohorts of 500 men each. This was increased by emperor Caligula to twelve cohorts. Vitellius again increased their number to sixteen cohorts. Vespasian thereafter reduced their number again to nine cohorts and Domitian increased them to ten cohorts of 500 men. A cohort was commanded by a tribune, together with two equestrians(Cavalry or knights). The Guard constantly went up and down for each emperor

Number of


Emperors that changed the the praetorian guards numbers.

praetorian guard2


Praetorian Guard
  • The emperor who started the Praetorian Guard was Augustus
  • He thought about the protection of Rome.
  • He left 3 cohorts in the major buildings and the Palace.
praetorian guard cohorts
Praetorian Guard Cohorts
  • Soldiers of the praetorian guard served only for sixteen years, a term much shorter that the service of an ordinary legionary. But after their sixteen year term they became so-called evocati, which ment that they were held back from discharge. Their service in the praetorians meant they either went on to perform specialist military duties or it simply qualified them either for service as centurions. These centurionates would usually be taken up in praetorian guard itself or in the city cohorts and the vigiles. Though some also took commands as centurions in the regular legion.
praetorian perfects
Praetorian Perfects
  • The guard itself was commanded by the praetorian prefects, who were equestrians rather than of senatorial rank. A sign of the exclusion of the mighty senate from certain key positions by the emperor
praetorian guard3

Castra Praetoria

Praetorian Guard

One of the powers of the Praetorian Guard was they could elect emperors

They where place in Castra Praetoria. The Praetorian Barracks. It was built when Tiberius was emperor.

The Guard was dissolved by Emperor Constantine I in the 4th century.


tibi gratias ago pro vigilantem

Ut 'omnes folks