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In the article by M.P.García-Bellido (Lingots d’Espagne in <em>Les Legions sous le Haut-Empire</em>, II), it is suggested that legio X Gemina was specialized in mining and therefore always in areas with mineral deposits. Now apart from the fact that there's nothing suchlike in the area around Nijmegen as far as I know, does anyone know of other legions with any possible specialization? <p>Greets<br>
<br>
Jasper</p><i></i>

Anonymous

I have some vague memory of there being an artillery legion or 2?? <p></p><i></i>

Anonymous

The artillery legiones are in the Notitia with names like Balistarii Seniores. IIRC there are something like 5 in the east and 2 in the west.<br>
<br>
However, I don't think there is any direct evidence that they were artillery units just suposition.<br>
<br>
Nik <p></p><i></i>

Anonymous

Legio XXX "Ulpia Victrix" was granted the triple "X" because they had a way with the ladies...if you know what I mean. <p>Magnus/Matt<br>
Legio XXX "Ulpia Victrix"<br>
Niagara Falls, Canada</p><i></i>

Anonymous

Well, actually I heard they had the triple X because they were originally from Amsterdam... <p></p><i></i>
About the late ballistarii legions, Dietwulf Baatz guessed -quite right, IMHO- that they were equipped with manuballistae, hence their striking swiftness of movements during Julian's Gaul campaign. Perhaps he had no other units at hand at the moment of perhaps he chose them deliberatly due to their firepower.<br>
Of course, I'm thinking of really portable manuballistae, not those highly over-engineered, unwieldy machines called manuballistae by some people...<br>
<br>
Aitor <p></p><i></i>
I have heard that the names of sevral units from the Notitia Dignitatum did not reflect the arms, specialisms nor ethnicity of the troops. The 'scutarii' did not have different shields, the 'balistarii' would not have had more experience with the balista, the marcomani or the Batavi would not neccesarily have been from those tribes, many of whom had long gone by then.<br>
<br>
Of course, this would be a general rule, and it could be the case that there exceptions, and the 'balistarii' could have had more experience at some given moment. I mean, maybe the Herculiani and Ioviani were once name 'plumbatarii' or 'martiobarbulii' or something for their skill with the plumbata. But one should not think of units armed with only that weapon.<br>
<br>
Valete,<br>
Valerius/Robert <p></p><i></i>
Aitor,<br>
<br>
I take it that the "highly over-engineered, unwieldy machines" you mentioned are our manuballistae, as reconstructed by Alan Wilkins and Len Morgan. Even if they are not as man-portable as your small shoulder fired reconstuction, with an experienced two man team each can be moved quite quickly in two pieces (ballista and stand - the man carrying the stand also carries the ammunition) and slotted together again in a matter of seconds with the first bolt being able to be shot about 20 seconds later. We can shoot up to 230 meters with them too, and that's without having access to sinew cordage. I think that qualifies both as man-portability and good firepower.<br>
<br>
Crispvs<br>
R.M.R.S. <p></p><i></i>
But, with all due respect, it's not exactly a rapid response unit, is it? <p></p><i></i>

Anonymous

When I first read the detail of Julian being escorted by a unit of ballistarii, I couldn't really figure why he would take artillery along in a flying column.<br>
Then I figured that maybe "ballistarii" meant merely javelineers. That was making more sense.<br>
Then I had this conversation with Aitor and it finally figured. Simply crossbowmen type troops. Enough to keep any marauding band of barbarians at bay with their long range firepower.<br>
.And I won't get into the debate about what is to be called a manuballista and what should be called an arcuballista.<br>
or maybe the opposite...<br>
But to go back to the original question wasn't there a High Empire legion known for its superior artillery?<br>
I remember XII Fulminata but I'm not sure. Maybe I mix it up with XII Fulminata losing its artillery in Judea..<br>
And at some low point of Roman history I recall officers having to fetch legionaries from the eastern regiments at Daphne, the famous party place of Antioch and the said legionaries dressed up like dandies with garlands and stuff.<br>
I don't know if that can pass as some ort of specialization, though... <p></p><i>Edited by: <A HREF=http://pub45.ezboard.com/[email protected]narmytalk>Antoninus Lucretius</A> <IMG HEIGHT=10 WIDTH=10 SRC="http://lucretius.homestead.com/files/Cesar_triste.jpg" BORDER=0> at: 4/6/04 11:58 pm<br></i>
Crispus,<br>
I tried to choose my words carefully because I knew that you (and maybe others from your group) were in RAT and I didn't want to start one of our ('we' does not stand for you, but rather for me and other artillerymen ) boring cheiroballistra discussions !<br>
I said over-emgineered because Alan and Len's machine could have done the same good work using much slimmer components (when I look at close photos of the trigger assembly it strongly reminds some of the massive iron sculptures by our late Basque artist Chillida... )<br>
I said unwieldy because the machine weighs 27 kg. without stand and Vincula has expressed the point quite clearly: How many kilometers could do per day a unit carryinng by hand Alan and Len's machine?<br>
The answer would be 'four or five during the first day and Mars knows if they would be in condition of doing more during the next one'!<br>
Infantrymen carrying heavy seven to nine kg arcuballistae (true crossbows) and manuballistae (torsion crossbows) on their backs could move faster or at least move, like Baatz suggests...<br>
<br>
Aitor <p></p><i></i>

Anonymous

I think you two are talking about two different things.<br>
1) an individual weapon and<br>
2) a "squad weapon".<br>
Julian took with him soldiers carrying individual weapons.<br>
And I'm beginning to wonder whether they were on foot or on horseback..<br>
For a flying colulmn in a real hurry like Julian was then, the second solution would seem logical.<br>
However, Alan and Len's machine may be over engineered --for safety reasons according to its makers-- it nevertheless represents a type of "squad weapon" that obviously was widely used not only on fortifications but also on campaigns and assaults.<br>
27 kilograms is not an excessive weight as compared to the 30 kilograms on average of the modern infantryman's load.<br>
They were most certainly carried on mules during marches but could be moved around and operated on the battlefield quite easily by two men. Some of them were mounted on wheels as shown on Trajan's Column and they were often used as a sniping weapon, to pick out enemy leaders, as shown in the siege of Anglesey. <p></p><i></i>