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Full Version: military "ranks" in the roman army ?
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Anonymous

Salvete<br>
Can we consider that the roman used "ranks" in their armies ?<br>
can we compare them with the modern "ranks" ?<br>
Vale,<br>
Draco<br>
<p></p><i>Edited by: <A HREF=http://pub45.ezboard.com/bromanarmytalk.showUserPublicProfile?gid=caiusminiusdraco>Caius Minius Draco</A> at: 1/5/04 2:28 am<br></i>
Draco,<br>
<br>
(A)The Romans certainly used ranks (I assume you mean this in the hierarchical sense), both in military and civilian life (if it is possible to separate the two). In the army the legutus ranked above the tribuni, who ranked above the primus pilus, who ranked above the other centuriones, who in turn outranked their optiones, who were outranked by the signiferi, who also outranked the tesserarii and cornicerns. These in turn outranked the milites gregarii or common soldiers. It is slightly more difficult to know if some other grades of seniority or job counted as separate ranks, such as veterani, beneficii, medici, or the ten grades of centurio apart from primus pilus.<br>
<br>
(B)It is not possible to successfully compare Roman ranks with modern ranks. For example, a centurio could be compared to a sergeant, due to the number of men under his command, but this comparison does not work as the centurio also had administrative duties roughly commensurate with those of a modern captain or major. Within the century there were four other officers, the signifer, the optio, the tesserarius and the cornicern. The optio could be compared tentatively with a drill sergeant as he was responsible for the men's training but apart from this these men cannot be compared to a modern rank such as corporal as none seem to have had responsibility for any particular group of men in the unit. Rather, they fulfilled the functions required by the unit for greatest efficiency which needed to be undertaken by specialists with limited responsibility. Even the optio/drill sergeant comparison is tenuous, as it is clear that the conturiones exercised very close personal discipline on the soldiers themselves. Above the centurionate ranks it is even harder to draw comparisons. The tribunes were administrative staff officers and the praefectus castrorum was the fortress manager and chief advisor to his senior the legatus, who was effectively a member of parliament appointed by the emperor to act as commander of an army. As far as I know, modern armies are not structured this way.<br>
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I hope this helps and isn't too confusing.<br>
<br>
Crispvs <p></p><i></i>
This is simplified and I know it is not perfect, but this is how we explain rank in the sixth to people who are new.<br>
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Tirones (Recruit): Brand new soldiers, Knobs, rats, etc etc etc.<br>
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Milites Gregarii (Private): Grunt labor pool, the bulk of the Legion<br>
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Immunis (Private First Class): Usually assigned some special duty, immune from manual labor.<br>
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Contubrius (Corporal): Leader of a tent group of eight men, senior Milites (created by us)<br>
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Tesserarius (Sergeant): Guard sergeant, drill instructor, and more<br>
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Cornicen (Bugler/Adjutant)*: No modern equivalent, Probably a Senior sgt?<br>
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Optio (Lieutenant): 2nd In command of the Century, drill sergeant<br>
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Signifier (Color Bearer)*: No modern equivalent, Senior Sergeant? Treasurer/clerk<br>
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Aquilifier (Eagle Bearer)*: No modern Equivalent, senior sergeant major?<br>
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Centurion (Captain to Colonel, depending on assignment): Commander of the Century<br>
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Tribuni Augusticlavi: Cohort Commanders (we think). Had command experience with auxiliaries. Full bird Colonels<br>
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Praefectus Castrorum: Camp Prefect, Advisor to Senior staff from the centurionate. The guy who tried to keep the general and tribunes from doing boneheaded things. Perhaps a Sergeant Major, but with more practical authority than that shows.<br>
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Tribunis Laticlavis: Staff Officers (brand new to army life) serving first posting. Rank is high, but experience is lacking. (Cpt/Major/Lt. Col??)<br>
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Legatus: General<br>
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Very Simplified, but obviously an easy way to compare and understand the roman rank system. Remember that the “practical rankâ€ÂÂ

Anonymous

Thanks a lot! <p></p><i></i>

Anonymous

Draco you can take a look at the thread:<br>
p200.ezboard.com/fromanar...1118.topic <p></p><i></i>

Anonymous

Salve Rusty,<br>
<br>
In most UK groups your rank of conturbrius is known as a decanus. I'm not sure of the historical background to this. Crispus?...anyone?<br>
<br>
Mummius <p></p><i>Edited by: <A HREF=http://p200.ezboard.com/bromanarmytalk.showUserPublicProfile?gid=mummius>mummius</A> at: 3/4/05 7:09 pm<br></i>
<em>Decanus</em> is a rank mentioned by Vegetius. It is not known before the 4th century AD. <p></p><i></i>