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They were the socii or foederati (allies). They were conquered peoples who made or were forced to make military alliances with Rome and supplied troops. These were the auxiliaries, troops which supported the Roman legions and supplied the bulk of the cavalry. The auxiliaries were paid less than the Roman legionaries.

Over time the Romans also relied on foederati from outside the empire. In northern Gaul, military units of the Batavians, a branch of the Franks from Holland, fought with the Romans. In the late empire the Romans substantially relied on Germanic foederati, particularly Visigoths who had been allowed to settle in the empire by emperor Valens. Some of the Germanic peoples who invaded the western empire, such as the Burgundians and the Vandals, were temporarily Roman foederati. These kinds of foederati were paid in the form of tributes paid to their leaders, rather than pay for the soldiers. There were also Germanics which joined the Roman army and received an auxiliary's wage.

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11y ago
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13y ago

They were called mercenaries

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