The leves are the legion's front line skirmishers. In a pitched battle they will screen the legion's main battle line during the advance and harass the enemy with showers of javelins.
They can be recruited in the central Italian provinces Latium, Umbria, Etruria, Apulia, Liguria and Campania. These are the heartlands of the Res Publica, filled with our colonies founded during the epic struggles of the past centuries.
The Leves are the legion's front line skirmishers. In a pitched battle they will screen the legion's main battle line during the advance and harass the enemy. Before the heavy infantry engages trumpeteers signal them to retreat through the gaps in the Roman line and reform in the rear of the formation, or on the wings with the cavalry.
The leves are armed with the gaesum, light javelins of Iberian style, a short thrusting spear and a small, but strong round shield. They wear no armour despite a helmet.
Historically, the roman infantry of the late 4th and early 3rd century BC was divided by wealth in two groups. Those with the lowest property classification for military service were fighting as light infantry, separated by fighting ability into the Leves, Rorarii and Accensi. The second, more wealthy group consisted of those fighting as heavy infantry, separated by their age and fighting ability into Hastati, Principes, and Triarii.
Every male roman had the duty to serve in the infantry for 16 years, or 20 years in the case of national emergency, until he had completed his 46th year of life. (Excepting those rated high enough by the censor to be members of the ordo equester.) Normally, every roman must have served at least ten years in the military before he was permitted to hold any political office.