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References to late Roman army???
#31
(04-26-2017, 03:28 AM)Steven James Wrote: Nathan has replied that the martyries could be drawing on 4th or 5th century sources relating to the numbers of soldiers

Just to confirm, I didn't say exactly that! [Image: wink.png]

My reply was:

"They are at least close to Vegetius's figures - which might show that some people at least around the end of the 4th century or beginning of the 5th believed a legion to be that size (in the past, perhaps...?)"

It's possible that whoever composed these martyr stories was raiding old official documents for 'authentic garnish', but just as likely that they were relying on details passed down from previous stories, or from what people at the time of writing thought people in the past did...

That some historical sources are more reliable than others is self evident. Some news sources today are more reliable than others. Treating them all as identical and entirely neutral is not a good idea.



(04-26-2017, 03:28 AM)Steven James Wrote: Prove to me Robert the martyries did not use military sources, after all, some of those martyrs were supposedly soldiers.

But the martyrs did not write their own stories. Many of these passiones appear to have been recorded a hundred or more years after the event, and we don't know where their information comes from.

Apparently there were a multitude of them composed in the closing decades of the 4th century, and only some survive - what we have today may just be the tip of an iceberg of martyrology! Some stories we know drew on previous ones (the passio of SS Sergius and Bacchus, for example), which may in turn have drawn on still further previous ones now lost to us.

It does seem that some details were transmitted inaccurately, even in the stories that survive. The passio of Typasius has a praepositus saltus and a decurion as officers of a vexillatione: the former official was caretaker of a tract of land, and the latter was probably a city councilor. Whoever copied the surviving version of the story mistook them for military officers. Often we have no way of telling how many other mistakes of this sort these stories contain.
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#32
Steven wrote: 
That is because they have developed this ridiculous “reliability” list, so Polybius is more trustworthy than Livy, and Livy is more reliable than Appian, and so it goes on. Every ancient historian brings something to the table, and in equal measure. So going by your measure, I am not a decent historian. Time will tell.

 
No sir, we are not talking about that. We are talking about historians and the used of methodology regarding types of sources, not favorites among ancient authors.
 
As to you not being a decent historian, those are your words. You called for all historians to revise their methodology, so to me it seems you are setting yourself apart from them.
 
Steven wrote: 
How about instead of skirting around the edges, you examine the numbers instead of being so dismissive without any scientific investigation?

 
Why would I ‘examine the numbers’ from a myth? Haven’t you understood a thing I wrote? It’s like asking historians to investigate the military details for 5th century Britain from various tales of King Arthur.
 
Steven wrote:  
What you are saying is if the primary sources do not specifically mention cohorts or cavalry for the Theban legion, then I am wrong.

 
No, I am saying that the martyriums mentioning the ‘Theban legion’ do (as far as I recall) no specific number of cavalry or cohorts. Do they?
 
Steven wrote:  
Can you forget the legend stuff for a second? Nathan has replied that the martyries could be drawing on 4th or 5th century sources relating to the numbers of soldiers, yet you have not raised this issue with him.


No, Nathan did not do so (see above). You misinterpreted what he wrote. This is not personal Steven.
 
Steven wrote:  
As you have not to my knowledge read my entire opus, you cannot make such claims as to what historians will or will not accept. My view is they will not accept anything that is contrary to their theories or can disprove their theories.

 
Of course I cannot speak for any historian, whereas you seem to have them pegged.. But I am not making claims based on your grand opus, but on your repeated claims about historical methodology, your use of historical evidence and your many (negative) comments on how historians work.
 
Steven wrote:  
That is ridiculous! If I wanted to make my fake story have some basis of fact, then I would use fact. Prove to me Robert the martyries did not use military sources, after all, some of those martyrs were supposedly soldiers.

 
Why should I have to prove that? If I were to claim that some fairytale about a soldier was useless as a primary (!) military source because it was a fairytale, why would I have to be the one proving a negative? It’s your claim that these martyriums are worth as much as a primary source, isn’t it? My good sire, that means the burden of proof is on you, not me.
And no, the objects of the stories may be military, the writers are not. they are priets and monks who sometimes wrote long after the Roman army ceased to exist.

Steven wrote:  
I never said the mathematical system made them move to Constantinople. You are not fully aware of how the mathematical system works, so therefore, you cannot make an accurate judgement.

 
Then why did you bring it up as an example of something ‘beyond belief’? OK, let’s forget about Constantinople and get back to your claim.
For clarity I will repeat my earlier comment: “If the Romans want to split their legions, no problem with me. But if you claim they would only do that for the sole reason of that ancient mathematical system (and not purely strategic reasons) than indeed, I say that is beyond belief.“

That’s what we were discussing, and that was your claim.
I’ll be the judge of me being able to make accurate judgements.
_________________________________
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THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
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#33
Nathan wrote:

It's possible that whoever composed these martyr stories was raiding old official documents for 'authentic garnish'
 
That is a position I support, and the possibility has to be (for me) investigated. My investigate shows that this is what is happening.
 
Nathan wrote:
That some historical sources are more reliable than others is self evident. Some news sources today are more reliable than others. Treating them all as identical and entirely neutral is not a good idea.
 
Well, I believe being neutral is good. It keeps emotions from getting in the way. Lately I have more numbers that have been compiled and some conform to the maniple and cohort sizes I have constructed for a legion of this period from other sources. I do not immediately accept these numbers as a given (none emotional), but I keep them in the mix and see where it takes me.
 
I have on a white board, my hypothesis of the 4th century legion based on the data in the primary sources (Ammianus etc), with its century, maniple and cohort organisation (based on references in the primary sources). I then put in columns the other data that matches this organisation and others that do not. One other column is called confusing as it can belong in both the 3rd and 4th century.
 
A distinct picture is emerging that I cannot ignore. There is a lot of data matching the 4th century legion and my 3rd century legion. Within each of these two mathematical groups the larger numbers are divisible by the smaller numbers. The math is talking and I am listening. Some other references say soldiers, but the numbers match the organisation I have for the cavalry, which I cannot just ignore. If none of the numbers matched with anything, I have no case, but as this is not so, I have to continue my investigation.
 
Some of the latest infantry numbers I have received from a colleague taken from Christian sources, match my research data and those latest infantry numbers include officers. One in particular caused me to rethink the maniple organisation. I have found that the legion has a vertical and horizontal cohort organisation, simply called a cohort in the primary sources, but for the love of me, I never looked into the concept of the legion having a vertical maniple and horizontal organisation, but this seems to be the case with the principate. Such a system allows the legion to be separated horizontally or vertically.
 
Nathan wrote:
But the martyrs did not write their own stories. Many of these passiones appear to have been recorded a hundred or more years after the event, and we don't know where their information comes from.
 
Therefore, we cannot rule out that they used factual military numbers from various periods.
 
Nathan wrote:
It does seem that some details were transmitted inaccurately, even in the stories that survive. The passio of Typasius has a praepositus saltus and a decurion as officers of a vexillatione: the former official was caretaker of a tract of land, and the latter was probably a city councilor. Whoever copied the surviving version of the story mistook them for military officers. Often we have no way of telling how many other mistakes of this sort these stories contain.
 
And you offer good advice. However, I don’t want to make the mistake of throwing out the baby with the bathwater. I approach the martyrs from a purely mathematical point of view. I am looking at ascertaining if there is any authenticity in those numbers.
 
Robert wrote:
No sir, we are not talking about that. We are talking about historians and the used of methodology regarding types of sources, not favorites among ancient authors.
 
Unfortunately the reliability list exists, which has created the “accept or dismiss” methodology. So in times of contradiction, Polybius’ account will override that of Livy’s account.
 
Robert wrote:
As to you not being a decent historian, those are your words. You called for all historians to revise their methodology, so to me it seems you are setting yourself apart from them.
 
I do not use selective data that conforms to my theory, and ignore data which does not conform to my theory, which is a common trait among historians. I introduce all data and work from there. Not having a preconceived theory means I have nothing to protect. And what I believe today and defend, well as it is research, new research could change that overnight.
 
Robert wrote:
Why would I ‘examine the numbers’ from a myth?
 
Isn’t that better than throwing the baby out with the bath water?
 
Robert wrote:
Haven’t you understood a thing I wrote? It’s like asking historians to investigate the military details for 5th century Britain from various tales of King Arthur.
 
Then how would you know if some fact was not buried in the myth? I keep an open mind.
 
Robert wrote:
No, I am saying that the martyriums mentioning the ‘Theban legion’ do (as far as I recall) no specific number of cavalry or cohorts. Do they?
 
Vegetius does, and so does Isidore. Isn’t that what research is about, correlating data to gain a better understanding? Now if Isidore ranted on about a 4323 man legion and not a 6000 man legion, well there is nothing to correlate. However, many of the ancient historians are in the same ball park.
 
Robert wrote:
Of course I cannot speak for any historian, whereas you seem to have them pegged. But I am not making claims based on your grand opus, but on your repeated claims about historical methodology, your use of historical evidence and your many (negative) comments on how historians work.
 
My negative opinions have come about from reading their papers. Many only use data that supports their theory, throw the baby out with the bath water, are close minded, and most just conform to the latest theories. Best not to rock the boat seems to be road most trodden.
 
Robert wrote:
Why should I have to prove that? If I were to claim that some fairytale about a soldier was useless as a primary (!) military source because it was a fairytale, why would I have to be the one proving a negative?
 
Then why should I have to prove that a negative is a positive? Seems I can apply your logic to the same situation. Putting that aside, I do not see how the burden of proof is on me when you are making claims of authenticity. You have place yourself in the wonderful position of saying anything and not having to prove it because the subject being debated is a negative. Strange logic to me.
 
Robert wrote:
For clarity I will repeat my earlier comment: “If the Romans want to split their legions, no problem with me. But if you claim they would only do that for the sole reason of that ancient mathematical system (and not purely strategic reasons) than indeed, I say that is beyond belief.“ That’s what we were discussing, and that was your claim. I’ll be the judge of me being able to make accurate judgements.
 
Where is this claim that the Romans split the legions for the sole reason due to a mathematical system? My theory is the Romans used the tribal system and divided it by the triad to arrive at smaller and more numerous legions.
 
 
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#34
Steven wrote:
I do not use selective data that conforms to my theory, and ignore data which does not conform to my theory, which is a common trait among historians. I introduce all data and work from there. Not having a preconceived theory means I have nothing to protect. And what I believe today and defend, well as it is research, new research could change that overnight.

I don’t think you don’t have a ‘preconceived theory’. I believe you when you say that you did not start out with that for sure. But like so many researchers such a theory forms along the way and at some point the theory is ‘conceived’ anyway. Especially in this recent discussion I feel that your theory is the stone on which the material is tested, and not the other way around. Your call on historians to change their methodology of judging each source on its merit is a clear indication of that I’m afraid.

Steven wrote:
Isn’t that better than throwing the baby out with the bath water?
[..]
Then how would you know if some fact was not buried in the myth? I keep an open mind.

There is a big difference between ‘keeping an open mind’ and disregarding something that you know is impossible to test with regards to the trustworthiness of the information. What you are doing is using all the information from such a source, which is essentially going back to what was done until the 1970s. You want to return to uncritical use of sources that’s your choice of course. But history has moved on as a study and for all the right reasons.

Steven wrote:
Vegetius does, and so does Isidore. Isn’t that what research is about, correlating data to gain a better understanding? Now if Isidore ranted on about a 4323 man legion and not a 6000 man legion, well there is nothing to correlate. However, many of the ancient historians are in the same ball park.

If the martyriums (as I thought) don’t even mention the actual composition of the mythical ‘Theban legion’, then how can you possible write “Vegetius allocates 66 cavalry to cohorts 2 to 10, but the Theban legion would allocate 66 cavalry to cohorts 1 to 10.” That’s an assumption that you are grabbing out of thin air as apparently none of the martyrium authors ever mentions anything of the sort apart from that number that attracted your attention.
Like I said, it’s like you would study the Hans Brinker fairytale for historical information about 18th –century dykes in Holland…

Vegetius and even Isidore of Seville are incomparable as sources to the religious saints’ lives and martyriums. Any good historian knows that and knows why.

Steven wrote:  
Then why should I have to prove that a negative is a positive? Seems I can apply your logic to the same situation. Putting that aside, I do not see how the burden of proof is on me when you are making claims of authenticity. You have place yourself in the wonderful position of saying anything and not having to prove it because the subject being debated is a negative. Strange logic to me.

You make the claim that is out of the ordinary, so of course you must provide the information that backs up your claim. It that strange logic? You discard the whole field of historical studies and their methodology with the flick of a hand and you pretend that your personal opinion, while not backed by a methodology that has been published and tested over half a century, is of equal value as that of thousands of trained historians. While of course very modern it’s still invalid. I am reminded of people who discard the opinion of, say, the entire medical profession because ‘it’s after al just an opinion’, or the tale of the mother who watches a ballet class and complains that ‘all the other children’ are dancing out of step.

Steven wrote:  
Where is this claim that the Romans split the legions for the sole reason due to a mathematical system? My theory is the Romans used the tribal system and divided it by the triad to arrive at smaller and more numerous legions.

Excuse me? What ‘claim’?
I really hope you are familiar with the facts about the legions becoming smaller from the 4th c. onwards? Legions did not get smaller because the old ones were disbanded and all new ones were created smaller. If you recall (we’ve discussed this on plenty of occasions here on RAT), most of the larger legions were split up during the fourth century into two or more equal parts, or even along the lines of cohorts (and some other ways) to arrive at units of between 500 to 2000 men in size. That’s how they got more numerous but smaller units, besides the newly created ones.

Now I’m interested to know whether this (very well-known) practice is not incorporated in your theory (apparently it’s not?) and you were so far solely talking about the newly created legions that appear since the time of Diocletian?
Then I would also be interested to know how you DO think about the old big legions being reduced in number (as we see happening).

My question about your mathematical system still being used was with the former practice in mind, to clarify this discussion.
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Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR: Forum rules
FECTIO Late Roman Society
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
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#35
Well I must say Robert; my response is just going over the same ground, so I think we are now going around in circles.

 
Robert wrote:
Your call on historians to change their methodology of judging each source on its merit is a clear indication of that I’m afraid.
 
No Robert, I don’t like some of their methods. I am happy for them not to change as I like travelling the road least trodden.
 
Robert wrote:
You want to return to uncritical use of sources that’s your choice of course.
 
I find it far better than the “dismiss it without investigation” method.
 
Robert wrote:
If the martyriums (as I thought) don’t even mention the actual composition of the mythical ‘Theban legion’, then how can you possible write “Vegetius allocates 66 cavalry to cohorts 2 to 10, but the Theban legion would allocate 66 cavalry to cohorts 1 to 10.”
 
I use this method of mathematical deduction. Like adding, dividing and subtraction. The Theban legion of 6660 can be broken down to 6,000 infantry and 660 cavalry. Regardless of the sources not saying that, it is mathematically viable. Vegetius’ 726 cavalry divided by his figure of 66 cavalry to a cohort equates to 11 units of 66 cavalry. Both have mathematical similarities which I believe need to be examined. However, I have done that years ago and am quite impressed with where it has taken me.
 

Robert wrote:
Vegetius and even Isidore of Seville are incomparable as sources to the religious saints’ lives and martyriums. Any good historian knows that and knows why.
 
Vegetius mentions a legion of 6000 men as does Isidore. The saint’s live mention some other data that is mentioned by Vegetius, but is you say they are incomparable then you must be right. However, I am going to continue to indulge myself in being utterly and happily wrong, and will continue to do so until I say I am wrong.
 
Robert wrote:
You discard the whole field of historical studies and their methodology with the flick of a hand and you pretend that your personal opinion, while not backed by a methodology that has been published and tested over half a century, is of equal value as that of thousands of trained historians.
 
You got that right. I follow the path of least resistance, which means I work with the primary sources. Of the many historians I have read, they follow the path of most resistance, and bend the primary sources to their way of thinking. That means they have to debunk data that threatens them or ignore it entirely. Methods I am not happy with.
 
Robert wrote:
I am reminded of people who discard the opinion of, say, the entire medical profession because ‘it’s after al just an opinion’, or the tale of the mother who watches a ballet class and complains that ‘all the other children’ are dancing out of step.
 
And imagine if the mother was right. Wouldn’t the others have a hard time accepting it? The Wright brothers came to the conclusion that every theory of flight and aerodynamics by every so called expert in the field was wrong and they started their own investigation. Look where that got them.
 
Robert wrote:
Then I would also be interested to know how you DO think about the old big legions being reduced in number (as we see happening).
 
A 6000 man legion can be split into 5 parts each of 1200 men.
 
Robert wrote:
My question about your mathematical system still being used was with the former practice in mind, to clarify this discussion.
 
What former practice is that?
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#36
(05-02-2017, 02:26 AM)Steven James Wrote: Well I must say Robert; my response is just going over the same ground, so I think we are now going around in circles.

On that one we are in total agreement! In fact I was just thinking that very same thing before I even read your opening line.. Big Grin
_________________________________
Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR: Forum rules
FECTIO Late Roman Society
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
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#37
Robert wrote:

On that one we are in total agreement! In fact I was just thinking that very same thing before I even read your opening line.
 
Who said we cannot find grounds for agreement.
 
I want to share with you a dilemma I have.
 
The Acts of the Disputation Of Archelaus
Archelaus was offered a large number of prisoners by the soldiers of the camp. The number of prisoner is given at 7,700 with a further 1,300 killed and 500 wounded.
 
This is quite a detailed list of prisoners, and providing how many were killed and wounded. Zosimus has 6 tagmata numbering 4 myriads arrived in Ravenna. For the same event, Sozomen has 6 arithmoi of about 4,000 soldiers. This produces a ratio of 10 to 1 in men and a ratio of 3:2 in units. From that information, I have calculated how many men in Zosimus tagmata and Sozomen’s arithmoi.
 
Here’s my dilemma, the prisoner figures of Archelaus conform to Sozomen and Zosimus’ figures for a tagmata or arithmoi. The margin of error is point 1%, which is due to rounding. The 500 wounded prisoners work out to be cavalry.
 
My theory is the writer has taken the number of soldiers in the camp and substituted this for the number of prisoners. So we have 9,500 Christians made up of men, women and children captured because the soldiers thought the 9,500 Christians were going to ambush the soldiers, when in fact they were performing some religious ceremony.
 
So if you were in my shoes Robert, what would you do?
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#38
(05-03-2017, 07:30 AM)Steven James Wrote: I want to share with you a dilemma I have.
The Acts of the Disputation Of Archelaus

As far as I can tell (quick judgement here), the source of that "The Disputation [with Manes] of Archelaus bishop of Caschar" is mentioned by Socrates of Constantinople during the 5th c. as well as Jerome and later by Photius (attributing it to one Hegemonius).

The dilemma in this case is not that it's about some non-event from a much later religious source, but from a lost source mentioned by several historical authors not long after the event (I think?), two of them of recognised reputation.
Trouble is of course that the Original (Syriac according to Jerome) is lost and that we only have the later Latin translations of the Greek translation.

In my opinion, the source (if original) would be acceptable for such details, and that with every translation you run the risk of corruption of data. On the other hand, you have more reputable sources that confirm the same event, which is what every historian wants.

As far as I can see (and this is a quick judgement) your details should be OK to use. I'll must read the source a bit more of course.

That OK with you?
_________________________________
Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR: Forum rules
FECTIO Late Roman Society
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
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#39
(05-03-2017, 07:30 AM)Steven James Wrote: Zosimus has 6 tagmata numbering 4 myriads arrived in Ravenna. For the same event, Sozomen has 6 arithmoi of about 4,000 soldiers. This produces a ratio of 10 to 1 in men and a ratio of 3:2 in units.
Haven't we been here before? http://www.romanarmytalk.com/rat/thread-...#pid315055 and the preceding three pages of the thread.
Michael King Macdona

And do as adversaries do in law, -
Strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends.
(The Taming of the Shrew: Act 1, Scene 2)
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#40
Robert wrote:

In my opinion, the source (if original) would be acceptable for such details, and that with every translation you run the risk of corruption of data. On the other hand, you have more reputable sources that confirm the same event, which is what every historian wants.
 
Oh yes, the number of the prisoners do confirm to my research on the arithmoi and tagmata. I would say the original author simply used the number of soldiers in the camp and converted them to the prisoners. I shall make my case and add it to the book.
 
Michael wrote:
Haven't we been here before?
 
So what if we have?
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#41
(05-03-2017, 07:30 AM)Steven James Wrote: The Acts of the Disputation Of Archelaus

Online here.

When was this supposed to have happened? Where was it supposed to have happened? ('Charchar' is otherwise unknown) Who wrote it down originally, and when, and why?

Unless you can begin to answer some of these questions, the exact information contained in the account is of no use.

The story is very peculiar - 7-10,000 Christians are apparently captured by the garrison of the city, brought back to the city and then ransomed to the bishop, who asks a wealthy man to redeem them out of his own funds.

This would suggest that the story was set during one of the episodes of persecution in the 3rd century - but where was this city of 'Charchar' that could lose 7-10,000 of its inhabitants to a prayer meeting, and had a garrison strong enough to kill or wound nearly 2000 of them, and round up the rest and hold them as prisoners?

Of all the details in the story, the number of prisoners seems the very least reliable.


(05-03-2017, 07:30 AM)Steven James Wrote: My theory is the writer has taken the number of soldiers in the camp and substituted this for the number of prisoners.

Why would the original writer of the tale have known the number of soldiers in the camp (especially with any exactitude)? It is not at all important to the story - the number of prisoners, on the other hand, is very important as Marcellus had to pay for them all!

I've noticed that quite a lot of your method involves ancient writers swapping one sort of information with another, either deliberately or by accident. Do you know of anyone else who has identified this kind of mistake?
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#42
(05-04-2017, 05:58 AM)Steven James Wrote:  
Michael wrote:
Haven't we been here before?
 
So what if we have?

I may have misunderstood you but you seem to suggest that Zosimus's four myriads is correct. The conclusion of that discussion and centuries of scholarship is that it is not.
Michael King Macdona

And do as adversaries do in law, -
Strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends.
(The Taming of the Shrew: Act 1, Scene 2)
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#43
Nathan wrote:

Unless you can begin to answer some of these questions, the exact information contained in the account is of no use.
 
Beg to differ. The numbers have been taken from a military organisation that is repetitive throughout the primary sources. Scream all you want, but I but I am standing by my position.
 
Nathan wrote:
The story is very peculiar - 7-10,000 Christians are apparently captured by the garrison of the city, brought back to the city and then ransomed to the bishop, who asks a wealthy man to redeem them out of his own funds.
 
And the fact Marcellus fed them from one calf from the herd and had 700 tables prepared and had 10 Christians sit at each table is also bollocks. What do we have here, some contubernium arrangement for feeding people? Why 10 people?
 
Nathan wrote:
This would suggest that the story was set during one of the episodes of persecution in the 3rd century - but where was this city of 'Charchar' that could lose 7-10,000 of its inhabitants to a prayer meeting, and had a garrison strong enough to kill or wound nearly 2000 of them, and round up the rest and hold them as prisoners?
 
The prisoners apparently were 3 days journey from their home city, which is not even named. The story is bollocks, but I will stand by the numbers. Full stop.
 
Nathan wrote:
Of all the details in the story, the number of prisoners seems the very least reliable.
 
Well it fits in with my research on the Late Roman army. No fudging, no bending the numbers, no manipulation. Anyway, I have included those numbers and the story around them and left it to the reader to decide. My conclusion will be they will not be dismissed lightly. What those numbers also tell me is the ratio of infantry to cavalry is 18 to 1, and that is also confirmation relating to other data, especially the cavalry.
 
Nathan wrote:
Why would the original writer of the tale have included the number of soldiers in the camp (even if they knew such a thing with any exactitude)?
 
How can I answer for the original writer?
 
Nathan wrote:
I've noticed that quite a lot of your method involves ancient writers swapping one sort of information with another, either deliberately or by accident. Do you know of anyone else who has identified this kind of mistake?
 
Do you know anyone who has reconstructed the tribal system from the Servian constitution? Historians are also aware of contradictions in the primary sources. Look at Hannibal’s brother Mago and the different accounts and time frames of when and how he died. Zonaras states nothing of importance happened during the reign of Servius Tullius why others accredit Servius with a myriad of events. Why are there conflicting accounts? Because some of them cannot be true, or mistakes have been made. Isn’t that the historian’s job, to investigate rather than be dismissive all the time.
 
What can I prove about some ancient historians? A lot! The most common problem in the primary sources is double counting. This happens when sub totals are added to the total. Polybius would be the worst offender. Why can I prove this? Well, I have undertaken the most comprehensive and exhaustive study of the numbers in the primary sources to date, that is why.
 
Have you ever read a proper investigation into Isidore’s claim a 6000 man legion was organised into 12 cohorts? No you haven’t, it is dismissed without proper investigation. Has anyone thought of the possibility the 12 cohort organisation could be used when the legion wants to decrease its frontage and increase its depth? Has anyone considered the 12 cohorts could be the legion’s camp organisation? Have you ever considered Nathan that your understanding of the Roman legion could be wrong?
 
People see contradictory numbers in the primary sources, I see different military doctrines in play. A legion can simply produce a lot of different numbers by simply deploying in three lines or two lines, or 10 cohorts wide or 5 cohorts wide by 2 cohorts deep. A legion can change its numbers and organisation by simply leaving the triarii/pilani/triarius in the camp.
 
What I have learnt is each of these military doctrines, has an organisation and name for those organisations beyond cohort, maniple and century. A numerus is one such name. I had a hunch about what a numerus could be and now I know what a numerus is, and I know why it came into being.
 
The figures in the primary sources show they are coming from the same parent unit. However, when the parent unit or legion is reduced in size, the secondary organisation takes over, so what you see is figures in the primary sources that are not divisible by each other, example 800 is not divisible by 300. The figure of 300 shows it is using the secondary organisation of the legion.
 
Most of this forum follows the Holy Grail that the Late Roman legion cannot be determined due to a paucity of information. I beg to differ and believe the manner in how the information is being processed and interpreted is at fault.
 
Michael wrote:
I may have misunderstood you but you seem to suggest that Zosimus's four myriads is correct. The conclusion of that discussion and centuries of scholarship is that it is not.
 
Michael, I am not interested in the centuries of conclusions reached by scholars. I determine my own views by doing my own research. However, I do not nor have I suggested the 4 myriads are correct. When you have two sources describing the same event and both have widely different totals of men, that is a god sent because Zosimus’ mistake in comparison to Sozomen provides the clues as to how Zosimus arrived at his total. The end result is both references support each other. The difference in men is 10 to 1, and Zosimus 6 tagmata ending up as 4 myriads produce the ratio of 3 to 2. Those two facts are the key to determining how many men are in an arithmoi or tagmata. It is sixth grade mathematics and does not require an Einstein.
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#44
(05-05-2017, 05:55 AM)Steven James Wrote: The numbers have been taken from a military organisation

Or so you are assuming! The number of 7700 prisoners could equally be taken from the second Book of Chronicles - this is the number of rams and goats presented as tribute by the Arabians.

For a religious story, that would make at least as much sense as the idea that the unknown author has copied the exact numbers of an extra-sized Roman legion and for some reason decided to transfer them into numbers of dead, wounded and captive Christians.


(05-05-2017, 05:55 AM)Steven James Wrote: Has anyone thought of the possibility the 12 cohort organisation could be used when the legion wants to decrease its frontage and increase its depth?

Why would an army reorganise its internal structure in order to alter deployment on the battlefield? That would be insane.

Similarly, why would an army change its internal structure in order to make camp? - the whole point of a regular camp was to preserve the structure and formation, to enable easy deployment.

So its not surprising that nobody has thought of these possibilities.


(05-05-2017, 05:55 AM)Steven James Wrote: I do not nor have I suggested the 4 myriads are correct... both have widely different totals of men... The difference in men is 10 to 1

If you're saying that Soz and Zoz have different totals then you are indeed suggesting the 'myriads' are correct. Everybody else goes with the idea that Zoz's myriadori should have been chilliadori - 4000 rather than 40,000, which fits with Soz.

So there's no need to multiply the number by ten, or come up with a ratio to shrink the number back again. Six units - 'about 4000' men = approx 650-700 men per unit. No ratios or complex calculations required!
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#45
Nathan wrote:

Or so you are assuming! The number of 7700 prisoners could equally be taken from the second Book of Chronicles - this is the number of rams and goats presented as tribute by the Arabians.
 
It’s missing another 1300 plus 500. I see your point but I am not bothered. However, the original author could have broken down his total of 9500 prisoners into 7700 men, because he was aware of the 7700 goats and 7700 rams, and noticing a similarity in the organisation of the soldiers went down that road. You can get emotional and reject this, but you cannot prove it.
 
Nathan wrote:
For a religious story, that would make at least as much sense as the idea that the unknown author has copied the exact numbers of an extra-sized Roman legion and for some reason decided to transfer them into numbers of dead, wounded and captive Christians.
 
You still cannot prove this did not happen. And who said it is an extra sized Roman legion? Oh, you did, so that makes it your interpretation, not mine.
 
Nathan wrote:
Why would an army reorganise its internal structure in order to alter deployment on the battlefield? That would be insane.
 
How do you know that such a reorganising would not be difficult? Why would you reorganise on the battlefield when it can be done in the camp before moving onto the battlefield. Did not Scipio deploy four cohorts wide in one engagement due to the terrain? What about Zama, in which Polybius tells us the maniples were not arranged in the standard manner.
 
Nathan wrote:
So its not surprising that nobody has thought of these possibilities.
 
Yes I get the subtle of your comment.
 
Nathan wrote:
If you're saying that Soz and Zoz have different totals then you are indeed suggesting the 'myriads' are correct.
 
Don’t put words in my mouth! Do you even read what I write? My previous posting read “However, I do not nor have I suggested the 4 myriads are correct.”
 
Nathan wrote:
So there's no need to multiply the number by ten, or come up with a ratio to shrink the number back again. Six units - 'about 4000' men = approx 650-700 men per unit. No ratios or complex calculations required!
 
It does not explain how Zos arrived at the figure of 4 myriads. By your calculations you end with a force of 3900 men or 4200 men. You have no way of knowing if the figure is rounded down or up. Maybe you need to sharpen your mathematical skills a little and understand how to apply ratios. Also your broad figure does not tell me how many centuries there are and what size is the century. It is easy to just divide numbers and get a total, but that total should then be compared with other primary source data to determine how well it stands up to scrutiny. The figure of 7700 and 1300 do just that so I am sticking to it.
 
Further discussions on this will just be going around in circles again.
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