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Legions of Trajans Dacian wars
#1
Salvete omnes,
Trajan's dacian wars are a particular interest to me and in, if i remeber correctly,'Traianus Optimus Princeps' by Julian Bennett he states that Trajan took 13 Legions in his second campaign against the Dacian Kingdom.

Legio I Adiutrix ("helper", later Pia Fidelis "loyal and faithful")
Legio I Minervia (later Pia Fidelis, "loyal and faithful")
Legio I Italica
Legio II Traiana Fortis (Trajan's strong or brave legion)
Legio II Adiutrix ("helper") Pia Fidelis
Legio IV Flavia Felix (Vespasian's fortunate)
Legio VI Victrix ?
IX Hispania ?
Legio X Gemina ?
Legio XIII Gemina pia fidelis
Legio XIV Gemina Martia Victrix
Legio XV Apollinaris
Legio XXX Ulpia victrix

Most of these Legions have archaeoligical evidence to back up there participation but a few i'm not to sure about.
As i am a newcomer to RAT but passoinate about all things Rome, her Legions and Roman warfare i would welcome any and all advice and corrections to my potential mistakes

Frustratingly the lack of written evidence on Trajans campaigns both in Dacia & Parthia hampers my attempts to know more on what is arguably the high water mark of the Imperial Roman Empire and again arguably the 'Best of Emperors'
Now historians are begining to question the accuracy and validity of the depictions of the Dacian campaign on Trajans coloumn

Valete omnes
Quadratus
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#2
Quote:Julian Bennett... states that Trajan took 13 Legions in his second campaign against the Dacian Kingdom.

I've seen this figure quoted elsewhere as well, but I don't know if it's supported by sources - perhaps Bennett just counted up the available legions in the area?

Quote:Most of these Legions have archaeoligical evidence to back up there participation but a few i'm not to sure about.

The only legions we can be fairly sure about are XIII Gemina, IIII Flavia Felix and V Macedonica - these left copious inscriptions in Dacia dated to between or shortly after the wars of Trajan. VII and XI Claudia were also in the Moesian garrison, left inscriptions in Dacia and were probably at the core of Trajan's invasion force.

Beyond this, several other legions also left traces in Dacia - although in some cases we should beware of inscriptions relating to legionary veterans from elsewhere settled in new colonia. Men from VI Victrix appear on a few inscriptions, but these probably relate to veteran colonists. I Minervia does not appear in any Dacian inscriptions to my knowledge. There's also no mention of II Traiana or XXX Ulpia Victrix - we don't know when these legions were raised anyway, and it might have been after the Dacian wars.

Interestingly, one inscription (AE 1983, 0825) mentions a 'vexillatio legionis VI Ferratae' - it has been dated to the Trajanic period.

There's no evidence for the involvement of IX Hispana, and if there was it would be rather sensational!

It would seem very unlikely, then, that Trajan led thirteen full legions into Dacia - for a start, this would involve stripping the entire Danube and most of the Rhine of troops! These areas were probably still fractious following Domitian's campaigns, and needed their garrisons. More likely, vexillations were drawn from these legions (and perhaps from further afield, if VI Ferrata were involved!) to support the main units from Moesia.

Quote:Now historians are begining to question the accuracy and validity of the depictions of the Dacian campaign on Trajans coloumn

They began doing that quite a while ago! :wink:

- Nathan
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#3
How much Trajan's Column can be trusted as a source of evidence is anybody's guess, however, for what it is worth, I once went through a book of photographs of the entire sculpture of the column in order to try to make a list of all of the different shield blazons. One thing that struck me was that only nine different blazons were associated with straight sided scuta. Of these, three were consistently associated with praetorian standards, suggesting that they were intended to portray the presence of three praetorian cohorts. That left six blazons. Unfortunately I no longer have the (rather roughly) illustrated list I made then, but I do recall that at least one of the blazons only appeared in the first half of the frieze and at least one only appeared in the second half of the frieze. This suggested to me that whatever the relationship between the blazons on the column and actual blazons, the sculptors may well have been trying to portray the presence of three praetorian cohorts and six different legions, no more than four of which would have been involved in each of the two wars.

Of course this is far from conclusive, and the small number of different blazons might have been simply artistic shorthand for an acknowledgment that more than one legion was involved, but if that was the case, then it is odd that forty or more different blazons can be seen on the shields of Roman auxiliaries shown on the column, suggesting that assigning different blazons to shields on the column may have been intended to indicate the involvement of particular units.

Crispvs
Who is called \'\'Paul\'\' by no-one other than his wife, parents and brothers. :!: <img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_exclaim.gif" alt=":!:" title="Exclamation" />:!:

<a class="postlink" href="http://www.romanarmy.net">www.romanarmy.net
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#4
Quote:Salvete omnes,
Trajan's dacian wars are a particular interest to me and in, if i remeber correctly,'Traianus Optimus Princeps' by Julian Bennett he states that Trajan took 13 Legions in his second campaign against the Dacian Kingdom.

Legio I Adiutrix ("helper", later Pia Fidelis "loyal and faithful")
Legio I Minervia (later Pia Fidelis, "loyal and faithful")
Legio I Italica
Legio II Traiana Fortis (Trajan's strong or brave legion)
Legio II Adiutrix ("helper") Pia Fidelis
Legio IV Flavia Felix (Vespasian's fortunate)
Legio VI Victrix ?
IX Hispania ?
Legio X Gemina ?
Legio XIII Gemina pia fidelis
Legio XIV Gemina Martia Victrix
Legio XV Apollinaris
Legio XXX Ulpia victrix

Most of these Legions have archaeoligical evidence to back up there participation but a few i'm not to sure about.
As i am a newcomer to RAT but passoinate about all things Rome, her Legions and Roman warfare i would welcome any and all advice and corrections to my potential mistakes

Frustratingly the lack of written evidence on Trajans campaigns both in Dacia & Parthia hampers my attempts to know more on what is arguably the high water mark of the Imperial Roman Empire and again arguably the 'Best of Emperors'
Now historians are begining to question the accuracy and validity of the depictions of the Dacian campaign on Trajans coloumn

Valete omnes
Quadratus

Salve Andy

From what i know the number is correct, i saw mentioned even 14 legions involved (in "The Dacian threat" of Michael Schmitz, pg.15). I think Schmitz quote as well from Karl Strobel, who i saw in another text say about 175,000 roman soldiers involved in first war (and numbers as 150,000 are usual, i saw even 200,000 roman soldiers for second war 105-106 AD).
Anyway Bennett said too it was the largest Roman Army deployed against a foreign enemy, so i think the number is correct. Same book said, and i saw an article of Blanchard, (if i remember correct the name) saying that Romans (both Domitian and Trajan) took troops from Britania, Germania, and even Syria (or Mauretania) for this wars.
Domitian called back Agricola and his troops who was about to secure Caledonia/Scotland very possible because problems with Dacians who invaded Moesia and he keep there after he drive them off some 8 (or 9) legions i think, even before Trajan come to power (who bring more 4 legions)

Beside those legions Romans bring lots of auxiliars and even many irregular troops (mercenaries raised just for this wars and discharged after)

Almost half of Roman army participated to war, and some extraordinary feats was done. Romans even diverted a part of Danube, making a secondary channel alongside the main river course, and build the Appolodor bridge over the Danube, the biggest bridge in the world for some 1000 years. As well they rebuild and reinforce with stone all fortifications in Moesia.

The second battle of Tapae (101 AD) was probably one of the biggest and bloodiest of ancient times (Dio Cassius said that Trajan himself needed to rip his "toga" to make bandages for wounded soldiers) but unfortunately most of the writing sources either disapeared either some authors, from some considerations, didnt give details about this wars

Paulus Orosius
http://bss.sfsu.edu/mwilliams/hist710/re...us_bk7.pdf

<<I should like to tell in detail of the great battles fought by the Dacian king Diurpaneus (Decebalus) against the general Fuscus, as well as of the extent of the Roman losses. But Cornelius Tacitus, who wrote an exhaustive history of these events, has declared that Sallustius Crispus and very many other authors established the practice of keeping silence about the numbers of the slain, and that he himself preferred to do likewise>>.

Interesting, Tacitus writings about Dacia wasnt found. Neither "Getica" of Dio Crysostomus, "Getica" of Criton (Trajan personal doctor) or "Dacica"/"De bello Dacico" of Trajan, and from Dio Cassius there is just few short things survived.

I saw several reasons proposed for this aparent silence, but no one possible to be prouved 100% (and some even little on conspiracies side)
Razvan A.
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#5
Quote:From what i know the number is correct, i saw mentioned even 14 legions involved (in "The Dacian threat" of Michael Schmitz, pg.15). I think Schmitz quote as well from Karl Strobel, who i saw in another text say about 175,000 roman soldiers involved in first war (and numbers as 150,000 are usual, i saw even 200,000 roman soldiers for second war 105-106 AD).


But do any of these authors provide references for their amazing totals? Cassius Dio - the main source for the Dacian wars - gives no estimate of the size of Trajan's army. I can't help but think that these extraordinary figures are inflated - perhaps they assume that every legion epigraphically attested in the region participated in the campaign, whereas in fact they may have just sent a vexillation, or even some veteran colonists in later years?

Quote:Same book said, and i saw an article of Blanchard, (if i remember correct the name) saying that Romans (both Domitian and Trajan) took troops from Britania, Germania, and even Syria (or Mauretania) for this wars.
Domitian called back Agricola and his troops who was about to secure Caledonia/Scotland very possible because problems with Dacians who invaded Moesia and he keep there after he drive them off some 8 (or 9) legions i think, even before Trajan come to power (who bring more 4 legions)

The was a British vexillation operating on the continent in the 80s, but it was probably used in Domitian's wars on the Rhine. It's unlikely that this same group of men then moved to the Danube and were still there 20 years later. The 'Mauretanian detachment' presumably refers to Vellius Rufus's vexillation command in Domitian's Sarmatian war - Rufus had been Tribune of the Urban Cohorts at Carthage and fought in Mauretania, but there's no evidence that (as some have suggested) he actually brought troops from Africa to fight on the Danube. II Adiutrix was indeed brought from Britain by Domitian, though, and remained on the Danube long afterwards. Do the 'troops from Syria' refer to the vexillation of VI Ferrata I mentioned above?

Various bits of evidence suggest that a large force was concentrated in Upper Pannonia at the end of Domitian's reign - possibly for a putative third war against the Sarmatians and Suebi. The only units known are auxiliaries though.

Quote:Paulus Orosius
http://bss.sfsu.edu/mwilliams/hist710/re...us_bk7.pdf

Orosius is discussing Domitian's Dacian war in the piece you excerpted. His details elsewhere are rather faulty (did Claudius really conquer the Orkneys?), so even if he did estimate the size of Trajan's army - which he didn't - we should be sceptical.

I think Crispus's estimate of six legions and three praetorian cohorts is probably much closer to the mark. This does raise an interesting problem about the interpretation of Trajan's Column though - it's become fashionable to assume that the public in Rome were largely unschooled in military affairs and had never seen a real soldier, hence all the mistakes in kit, armour etc. But if they could recognise individual legion shield blazons (and why go to all the trouble of carving them in such detail otherwise?), they were surely a bit more up to speed than we give them credit for! Confusedhock:

- Nathan
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#6
About 2 or 3 years ago there was a BBC program about the Batavian auxiliaries at Vindolanda who were to go on Trajan's Dacian adventure. Anyone remember that?

I'm trying to remember what the unit was.

Cheers
Spurius Papirius Cursor (Howard Russell)
"Life is still worthwhile if you just smile."
(Turner, Parsons, Chaplin)
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#7
Quote:
But do any of these authors provide references for their amazing totals? Cassius Dio - the main source for the Dacian wars - gives no estimate of the size of Trajan's army. I can't help but think that these extraordinary figures are inflated - perhaps they assume that every legion epigraphically attested in the region participated in the campaign, whereas in fact they may have just sent a vexillation, or even some veteran colonists in later years?

I think numbers are estimative, ofcourse, and come from legions attested in the region at that time, auxiliars (which i suppose was about equal or close in number with legionars) and irregular troops rised just for this wars (as Germanic ones depicted on Column for ex).
Beside Schmitz and Strobel numbers (175,000 Roman soldiers deployed in the battle area), Romanian authors give usualy (from what i read) about 150,000 Roman soldiers and Dacians varying from 40,000 to 100,000, again, just an estimation, Schmitz give for Dacians a potential number up to 250,000, thus not all up to be deployed on a single area or battle or all at once, but i think this number is exagerated.

I saw for Roman Army numbers even like 200,000 for the second war, when Roman Army advanced on 3 or 4 fronts in Dacia (and as low as 20,000 for Dacians in the second war). Unfortunately for Dacians numbers are even (much) less possible source then for Roman ones, and we can just speculate, thats why the range is so big.

Quote:The was a British vexillation operating on the continent in the 80s, but it was probably used in Domitian's wars on the Rhine. It's unlikely that this same group of men then moved to the Danube and were still there 20 years later. The 'Mauretanian detachment' presumably refers to Vellius Rufus's vexillation command in Domitian's Sarmatian war - Rufus had been Tribune of the Urban Cohorts at Carthage and fought in Mauretania, but there's no evidence that (as some have suggested) he actually brought troops from Africa to fight on the Danube. II Adiutrix was indeed brought from Britain by Domitian, though, and remained on the Danube long afterwards. Do the 'troops from Syria' refer to the vexillation of VI Ferrata I mentioned above?

I read some info from several authors about troops took from Britania and Germania (see as well the above post of Spurius Papirius Cursor), and about those from Mauretania for ex. they apear on Trajan Column (mauretan cavalry which was lead by Lusius Quietus). I think syrian archers are depicted too, or is just about that legion was mentioned before, dont know exactly. There are even slingers depicted there, germanic mercenaries armed with clubs, lots of diferent troops

Quote:Various bits of evidence suggest that a large force was concentrated in Upper Pannonia at the end of Domitian's reign - possibly for a putative third war against the Sarmatians and Suebi. The only units known are auxiliaries though.

From what i know Domitian managed to defeat Marcomani and Sarmatians wasnt any such threat to require any big concentration of troops. I think only real danger was Dacians. In fact i read (dont remember exactly the author now) that first defeat of Domitian by Marcomani and Quadi come because he keep a large bulk of its troops in Moesia, fearing of another Dacian surprise attack, and he attacked the Marcomani with a smaller army.

In fact Domitian problems with Marcomani comes from the fact he wanted to punish them, not because they attacked Romans or so. I think Dio Cassius said that Domitian wanted to punish them because they didnt join the Romans in their fight with Dacians (Marcomani was Roman clients/vassals at that time). Marcomanii even send 2 peace requests, but Domitian rejected them and even killed the messengers from the second envoy

Romans probably suffered already some great losses against Dacians (as mentioned by Orosius) and later was forced to pay even a tribute to Dacians and Decebalus, so is possible Roman authors to try cover such humiliations for the Empire (for ex. after peace was signed Roman standard and war machines captured by Dacians was kept by Decebalus, as well most of war prisoners, Romans paid large sums of money and send lots of engineers and military instructors to work for Decebalus, and allowed Dacian merchants to sell free their stuff in the empire) and dont talk about troops involved or details about battles, and i saw hypoteses that one of the main reasons for Domitian assasination was because of problems with Dacians and how the Empire come from that

Quote:Orosius is discussing Domitian's Dacian war in the piece you excerpted. His details elsewhere are rather faulty (did Claudius really conquer the Orkneys?), so even if he did estimate the size of Trajan's army - which he didn't - we should be sceptical.

From what i read and saw, apparently Romans used a large force, many scholars agree it was the largest used against a foreign enemy so i incline to believe it was around those numbers mentioned previously. Think just at the engineering features, as dig a secondary channel to drove a big part of Danube (which is second river of Europe, after Volga, and i think is in top 15 rivers in the world as water volume) from its main course and build the Trajan bridge (the biggest in the world for a millenium) and rebuild and reinforce in stone all fortresses in Moesia.
Razvan A.
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#8
Quote:I read some info from several authors about troops took from Britania and Germania... and about those from Mauretania for ex. they apear on Trajan Column (mauretan cavalry which was lead by Lusius Quietus). I think syrian archers are depicted too... germanic mercenaries armed with clubs, lots of diferent troops

Ah, ok - if you're talking about auxiliaries as well there were certainly troops from all over the empire! But legions are a different matter, perhaps...


Quote:From what i read and saw, apparently Romans used a large force, many scholars agree it was the largest used against a foreign enemy so i incline to believe it was around those numbers mentioned previously.

Actually I think Bennett suggests that the force Trajan led into Parthia was the largest ever - he estimates 17 legions, if I remember correctly. This too seems an incredible figure!

Here are some inscriptions mentioning named legions involved in wars in Dacia:

CIL 02, 02424: (centurio) leg(ionis) I M(inerviae) P(iae) F(idelis) don(is) don(ato) ab Imp(eratore) Traiano bell(o) Dac(ico)

CIL 03, 00550: leg(ionis) I Minerviae P(iae) F(idelis) bello Dacico

These two are good evidence for the involvement of I Minervia - but it could have been a vexillation rather than the whole legion (see below).

CIL 03, 02917: p(rimo) p(ilo) leg(ionis) XII Fulm(inatae) trecenario donis don(ato) ab Imper(atore) Vespasian(o) et Tito Imp(eratore) bell(o) Iud(aico) ab imp(eratore) Trai(ano) bell(o) Dac(ico)

This is a tricky one - I think this man was a praetorian (trecenarius) at the time of Trajan's Dacian war, so no need to involve XII Fulminata!

CIL 03, 07397: centurio leg(ionis) XV Apol(linaris) item (centurio) leg(ionis) V Mac(edonicae) et leg(ionis) XVI Fl(aviae) Fir(mae) bis donis donatus bello Dacic[o] et bello Germanico

The inclusion of a German war suggests that this is Domitianic. XV Apol and V Mac would fit the Dacian and German wars of 84-92.

CIL 03, 10224: (centurio) leg(ionis) II Adiutric(is) donis donat(us) ab Imp(eratore) Caesare Aug(usto) bello Dacico

II Adiutrix were probably used in Domitian's Dacian war. Could that be why the name of the Emperor is not given?

CIL 03, 10317: str[atore] leg(ati) leg(ionis) II Ad(iutricis... bello] Dac(i)co

CIL 03, 12411: mil(es) leg(ionis) V M(acedonicae)...(centurio) leg(ionis) eiusd(em) d(onatus) tor(quibus) ar(millis) / pha(le)r(is) bel(lo) Dac(ico)

These could be Domitian's or Trajan's wars.

CIL 03, 14387d: leg(ato) Aug(usti) leg(ionis) XI Cl(audiae) P(iae) F(idelis) praeposito leg(ionis) IIII Scyth(icae) bello Dac(ico leg(ato) pro pr(aetore) provinciae Iudaeae et leg(ionis) X Fret(ensis) adlecto inter comites Aug(usti) exped(itione) Dacic(a)

This is a strange one, as it suggests IIII Scythica were involved in Dacia! Being led by a praepositus might mean a vexillation again, or the order could have been mixed up and Scythica relate to the later service in Judea, perhaps.

CIL 06, 03584: leg(ionem) I Ital(icam) donis d(onato) torquib(us) armill(is) phaler(is) corona val(ari)] bello Dacico

CIL 10, 06321: leg(ato) leg(ionis) V Macedonic(ae) in bello Dacico

CIL 11, 05696: (centurioni) leg(ionis) II Aug(ustae) leg(ionis) IIII F(laviae) F(elicis) leg(ionis) III Gall(icae) leg(ionis) VI Ferr(atae) leg(ionis) XXX U(lpiae) V(ictricis) p(rimo) p(ilo) praef(ecto) castror(um) leg(ionis) IIII F(laviae) F(elicis)donis donato bello Dacico

The Dacian legion here is IIII Flavia Felix, and the man presumably gained his dona as a centurion. Alternatively, he could have been praef castrorum of the same legion, but that would mean XXX Ulpia Vicrix were formed before the Dacian war...

CIL 12, 03167: leg(ato) Aug(usti) leg(ionis) IIII Flaviae... donis donato in bello Dacico

AE 1997, 01522: (centurio) leg(ionis) XV Apol(linaris) XIII Gem(inae) I Adiut(ricis) XVI F(laviae) F(irmae) hast(atus) I Miner(viae) princ(eps) et p(rimus) p(ilus) beneficio Imp(eratore) d(onis) d(onatus) bello Ger(manico) item d(onis) d(onatus) bel/lo Dac(ico)

Again, the German war would be Domitian's, but the Dacian war might be Trajan's. Involving XIII Gemina, perhaps, as they are attested in Dacia pretty early, or I Minervia again?

AE 1969/70, 00583: eque(s) in leg(ione) VII C(laudia) ...singularis legati legionis eiusdem vexil/larius equitum item bello Dacico ob virtute(m) donis donatus ab Imp(eratore) Domitiano factus dupli(carius) a divo Traiano in ala secu(n)d(a) Pannoniorum a quo et fa©tus explorator in bello Dacico et ob virtute(m) bis donis donatus bello Dacico et Parthico

This is Tiberius Claudius Maximus, who served in Dacia under Domitian and Trajan. VII Claudia was certainly involved the first time, and probably the second as well.

CIL 13, 07697: vexillari(i) l(egionis) I M(inerviae) P(iae) F(idelis) l(egionis) VI Vic(tricis) P(iae) F(idelis) l(egionis) X G(eminae) P(iae) F(idelis) et al(arum) coh(ortium) cl(assis)

No mention of a Dacian war here, but the governor mentioned was in Germania Inferior around 103, so this has been suggested as a 'task force' sent to Dacia. The whole thing appears to be commanded by a centurion from VI Victrix, so probably not a vast amount of troops - it could explain the involvement of I Minervia though.

The principal legions mentioned above are those of the Moesian garrison: I Italica and V Macedonia from Moesia Inferior and IIII Flavia Felix from Moesia Superior. To these we should probably add VII Claudia from Superior. Others apparently involved (I Minervia, II Adiutrix, possibly VI Victrix and X Gemina, XIII Gemina, maybe VI Ferrata from the inscription mentioned earlier, possibly even IIII Scythica) could have been present only as vexillations from their home bases.

Crispus' estimate (above) of four full legions used in each of the two wars still seems probable, therefore. As a hypothetical reconstruction, to account for the differences in shield designs on the two halves of the column, we might imagine that the first war involved the four main Moesian legions: IIII Flavia Felix and VII Claudia advancing from the west while I Italica and V Macedonia advanced from the east. In the second war, the legions in Moesia Inferior stay put, and IIII FF and VII C are reinforced by two new legions drawn from elsewhere (XIII Gemina and II Adiutrix?) in a single advance from the vicinity of Viminiacum. Various vexillations of other legions may have participated in one or both wars.

If we assume each of the four main legions was at full strength (unlikely), that gives 20800 legionary troops. Supported by four or so vexillations of about 1000 men each from other legions brings this figure to 24800. Adding three Trajanic (double sized) Praetorian cohorts adds another 3000 men (27800), and a matching force of auxiliaries would bring the maximum total army strength to 55600 men.

That in itself is a very significant force! The logistics alone for such an army in the field would be formidable. But it's substantially less than the figures quoted above, in their hundreds of thousands.

Nobody doubts that the Dacian wars were both long and hard, or that the Dacians were a considerable threat to the Danube frontier. But there is no need, I would say, to vastly inflate the figures on the Roman side to illustrate this. It has been said that Caesar used ten legions to conquer Gaul - but in the Imperial era the legions were supported by their own number of trained and well equipped auxiliaries: if Caesar had these troops at his disposal he perhaps would only have needed five legions!

- Nathan
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#9
Quote:CIL 02, 02424: (centurio) leg(ionis) I M(inerviae) P(iae) F(idelis) don(is) don(ato) ab Imp(eratore) Traiano bell(o) Dac(ico)

CIL 03, 00550: leg(ionis) I Minerviae P(iae) F(idelis) bello Dacico

These two are good evidence for the involvement of I Minervia - but it could have been a vexillation rather than the whole legion (see below).
The clincher -- or one of them -- is ILS 308, a career inscription of Hadrian, which names him as leg(ato) leg(ionis) I Minerviae P(iae) F(idelis) bello Dacico. (He couldn't have gone without his legion! :wink: )
posted by Duncan B Campbell
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#10
Quote:The clincher -- or one of them -- is ILS 308, a career inscription of Hadrian, which names him as leg(ato) leg(ionis) I Minerviae P(iae) F(idelis) bello Dacico. (He couldn't have gone without his legion! :wink: )

Ah, you're right! This is actually the CIL 03, 00550 inscription I cited - should have quoted more of it... Here it is in full:

P(ublio) Aelio P(ubli) f(ilio) Serg(ia) Hadriano co(n)s(uli) VIIviro epulonum sodali Augustali leg(ato) pro pr(aetore) Imp(eratoris) Nervae Traiani Caesaris Aug(usti) Germanici Dacici Pannoniae inferioris praetori eodemque tempore leg(ato) leg(ionis) I Minerviae P(iae) F(idelis) bello Dacico item trib(uno) pleb(is) quaestori Imperatoris Traiani et comiti expeditionis Dacicae donis militaribus ab eo donato bis trib(uno) leg(ionis) II Adiutricis P(iae) F(idelis) item legionis V Macedonicae item legionis XXII Primigeniae P(iae) F(idelis) seviro turmae eq(uitum) R(omanorum) praef(ecto) feriarum Latinarum Xviro s(tlitibus) i(udicandis)

Does 'tempore legato' mean that Hadrian was given temporary command of the legion? It seems he was previously laticlavius tribune in two Moesian and Pannonian legions, so was probably in the area of the campaign: was he promoted directly to legate from 'comite' to the Emperor during the expedition? This might suggest that I Minervia were brought across from Germany as reinforcements for the second war, perhaps...

Anyway, that's another certain one to add to the list Confusedmile:

EDIT: hmm, looking at this one again: (CIL 03, 02917): p(rimo) p(ilo) leg(ionis) XII Fulm(inatae) trecenario donis don(ato) ab Imper(atore) Vespasian(o) et Tito Imp(eratore) bell(o) Iud(aico) ab imp(eratore) Trai(ano) bell(o) Dac(ico) - the 'trecenari' would actually fall before the primipilate, so having this man as a praetorian centurion after his service in XII Fulminata wouldn't work! Could be he was in Dacia with the legion after all... :-?

- Nathan
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#11
Quote:Does 'tempore legato' mean that Hadrian was given temporary command of the legion?
The inscription explains that he was praetor and eodem tempore ("at the same time") legatus legionis I Minerviae bello Dacico ("legate of the First Minervia in the Dacian War"). The year was AD 105.

Quote:It seems he was previously laticlavius tribune in two Moesian and Pannonian legions, so was probably in the area of the campaign: was he promoted directly to legate from 'comite' to the Emperor during the expedition? This might suggest that I Minervia were brought across from Germany as reinforcements for the second war, perhaps...
Hadrian's last tribunate was in XXII Primigenia at Mainz in (probably) AD 97. He held several other posts (e.g. tribune of the plebs, AD 102) prior to his legionary command. He seems to have been quaestor imperatoris Traiani et comes expeditionis Dacicae in AD 101, which will be the occasion when he previously accompanied Trajan to Dacia.

Quote:Could be he was in Dacia with the legion after all... :-?
No evidence for XII Fulminata in Dacia, as far as I know.
posted by Duncan B Campbell
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#12
Quote:The inscription explains that he was praetor and eodem tempore ("at the same time") legatus legionis I Minerviae bello Dacico ("legate of the First Minervia in the Dacian War"). The year was AD 105.

Thanks for clearing that up!


Quote:No evidence for XII Fulminata in Dacia, as far as I know.

As I thought originally, and I think I was probably right the first time - this man would have held numerous centurion posts prior to his Rome service and becoming primus pilus - his role in the Jewish and Dacian wars would therefore have been in other legions. Shame the inscription doesn't give more details!
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#13
Quote:
Actually I think Bennett suggests that the force Trajan led into Parthia was the largest ever - he estimates 17 legions, if I remember correctly. This too seems an incredible figure!

I am pretty sure i remember Bennett said that the army assembled for war against Dacians was the largest ever. However i read it quite long ago. I doubt as well the number of 17 legions against Parthia (i read numbers around 11 legions, or 100,000-120,000 soldiers for that invasion).

For ex. Sarmizegetusa, the Dacian capital, was at no more then 200 kilometers i think, from Roman border of Moesia (which was close to core of the empire). A rather short distance for a logistic supply line, even for a large force, even in mountain areas and conditions. Compare this with much large desert areas in Parthia with much longer supply lines needed.


Quote:If we assume each of the four main legions was at full strength (unlikely), that gives 20800 legionary troops. Supported by four or so vexillations of about 1000 men each from other legions brings this figure to 24800. Adding three Trajanic (double sized) Praetorian cohorts adds another 3000 men (27800), and a matching force of auxiliaries would bring the maximum total army strength to 55600 men.

That in itself is a very significant force! The logistics alone for such an army in the field would be formidable. But it's substantially less than the figures quoted above, in their hundreds of thousands.

Nobody doubts that the Dacian wars were both long and hard, or that the Dacians were a considerable threat to the Danube frontier. But there is no need, I would say, to vastly inflate the figures on the Roman side to illustrate this. It has been said that Caesar used ten legions to conquer Gaul - but in the Imperial era the legions were supported by their own number of trained and well equipped auxiliaries: if Caesar had these troops at his disposal he perhaps would only have needed five legions!

- Nathan

Hmm, wasnt 6000 (or 5800) soldiers for a legion? And i am pretty sure legions was in full number, as Trajan prepared several years for the war

So if we took that 13 legion + a close number of auxiliars + quite many irregular troops (mercenaries rised just for this wars and disbanded after, as probably those Germanic ones present on the Column) we get a number around those 150,000 - 175,000 - 200,000 (agree, last one sound a bit exagerated but was mentioned too) mentioned previously.

Just if we look at engineering works we saw that required huge resources and manpower. A channel was dig to divert a big part of Danube (who is quite a large river), and Appollodor construct in couple years the largest bridge in the world (for at least a millenium). And all fortresses in Moesia was reinforced or rebuild in stone. All this was done by legionars i think (not sure if auxiliares participate to such engineering works too) in few years, legionars who participated to war too, so i really doubt was just 20,000 or 25,000 of them.

And most of the Roman troops massed in Moesia participated in invasion in Dacia, because after the battle of Tapae (one from 101 AD) Dacians managed to slow down the Roman advance and Decebalus ordered a counterattack in Moesia during the winter of 101/102, trying probably to cut the Roman logistic lines and leave the invasion army isolated in the mountains during harsh winter time.

Dacians are depicted assaulting Roman fortresses with battering rams and archers, so Trajan left behind just a small number of troops with garrison duties who was not able to give a battle in open field to Dacian invasion force.

Trajan himself was forced to retreat with a part of his army from Dacia, and quite rushing, he is depicted riding a horse in front of his troops and Roman cavalry is the one who intervene first defeating Sarmatian cavalry (who apear in 2 scenes on the Column). Romans was lucky that Danube didnt froze as usualy during winter, and used boats to move quickly this troops to resolve the problems in Moesia.
Razvan A.
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#14
The battle in lower Moesia during the winter of 101-102 is believed to be a very hard fought one. The Tropaeum Traiani monument from Adamclisi was erected to commemorate the victory, and the names of approximately 3800 fallen roman soldiers were preserved on the funeral military altar of it. This is, supposedly, the battle during which Trajan gave his imperial wardrobe for use as bandages when the medics ran out of them.

Now, 3800 dead (raman) soldiers for a victory is something worth looking into, as (if confirmed), sounds mostly like one of the pyrrhic victories over the romans.. You can't have 3800 winning dead if it wouldn't have been a huge long bloody fought battle.
Dan Antonescu
game developer (designer, producer - Newrosoft Research & Development)
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#15
Quote:So if we took that 13 legion + a close number of auxiliars + quite many irregular troops (mercenaries rised just for this wars and disbanded after, as probably those Germanic ones present on the Column) we get a number around those 150,000 - 175,000 - 200,000 (agree, last one sound a bit exagerated but was mentioned too) mentioned previously.

But we still have no evidence that 13 full legions took part! In fact, as I've said above, we only have less than half that number directly attested. Such a huge army would strip the northern frontier of almost all its troops - even if the Germans and Sarmatians were quiet during this period, for Trajan to have left such a frontier undefended for several years would not, I suggest, be plausible.

Quote:Just if we look at engineering works we saw that required huge resources and manpower. A channel was dig to divert a big part of Danube (who is quite a large river), and Appollodor construct in couple years the largest bridge in the world (for at least a millenium). And all fortresses in Moesia was reinforced or rebuild in stone. All this was done by legionars i think... so i really doubt was just 20,000 or 25,000 of them.
Hadrian built his wall in Britain, with all its forts and bridges, using only three core legions. Doubling this number would provide more than enough men for Trajan's engineering work on the Danube. Again, no need to imagine hundreds of thousands of troops being involved. :wink:

Quote:The Tropaeum Traiani monument from Adamclisi was erected to commemorate the victory, and the names of approximately 3800 fallen roman soldiers were preserved on the funeral military altar of it. This is, supposedly, the battle during which Trajan gave his imperial wardrobe for use as bandages when the medics ran out of them.
The names of the fallen men are actually recorded on the altar near the Tropaeum - the suggested number comes from an estimate of the size of the complete monument, which survives only in fragments. These surviving fragments do indeed give us the names of legionaries and auxiliaries, plus possible praetorians. An imaginifer and several signifers are listed. So the altar commemorates a sizeable battle, but we don't know which one - it predates the Tropaeum, and the name of the emperor is missing: this has suggested to some that the altar is Domitianic, and records losses under Oppius Sabinus or Cornelius Fuscus, both of whom suffered major defeat and death at Dacian hands.

Cassius Dio relates that Trajan 'in honour of the soldiers who had died in the battle... ordered an altar to be erected and funeral rites to be performed annually' (Roman History 68.8) - that sounds a lot like the Adamklissi altar, but Dio also implies that the battle in question was at Tapae, and this was where the emperor used his clothing as bandages. He, or his copyist, could well be confused - not unusual in Dio! A Dacian invasion into the Dobruja remains quite a decent explanation for the altar.

Regarding losses in the war, we have to consider that most of our Roman sources were damning of Domitian, and enjoyed pointing out the casualties of his reign - at least two legions apparently destroyed in Dacia and Pannonia. Those same writers are supportive of Trajan, and so might have downplayed the extent of any comparable disasters during his own Danubian wars. The best we can assume is a big :?: over the issue...

- Nathan
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