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I normally do not concentrate on the late Roman period, so please excuse the simple question. I was reading the book by DAmato on centurions and he mentioned the name lochagoi. Is this the new name they were given but their duties remained the same or did the name change to reflect new duties.

The name lochagoi, sounds Greek......is it?
Quote:The name lochagoi, sounds Greek......is it?
Yes.

Quote:I was reading the book by D'Amato on centurions and he mentioned the name lochagoi.
I have not seen that book, but I expect D'Amato has his reasons!

Polybius calls a centurion a ταξίαρχος (literally, "commander of a taxis", a file of soldiers roughly 100 strong, according to the technical manuals), and Josephus calls a centurion a ἑκατοντάρχης (literally, "commander of one hundred"). λοχαγός, by contrast, is a fairly general word for a commander (literally, "commander of a lochos"), since the lochos could vary wildly in size. The technical manuals use it for a very small unit of men, which makes me wonder at the use of lochagos to mean centurion.
Quote:
Doc post=313078 Wrote:The name lochagoi, sounds Greek......is it?
Yes.

Quote:I was reading the book by D'Amato on centurions and he mentioned the name lochagoi.
I have not seen that book, but I expect D'Amato has his reasons!

Polybius calls a centurion a ταξίαρχος (literally, "commander of a taxis", a file of soldiers roughly 100 strong, according to the technical manuals), and Josephus calls a centurion a ἑκατοντάρχης (literally, "commander of one hundred"). λοχαγός, by contrast, is a fairly general word for a commander (literally, "commander of a lochos"), since the lochos could vary wildly in size. The technical manuals use it for a very small unit of men, which makes me wonder at the use of lochagos to mean centurion.

Yes, but in the late Era the Centurio is called a Centenarius. I think Notitia or Vegetius mentions that, not sure which.
Quote:
Doc post=313078 Wrote:I was reading the book by D'Amato on centurions and he mentioned the name lochagoi.
I have not seen that book, but I expect D'Amato has his reasons!
I sure like to know what he was referring to! It's possible that a source used this word for the benefit of his readers, as seen below:

Quote:Polybius calls a centurion a ταξίαρχος (literally, "commander of a taxis", a file of soldiers roughly 100 strong, according to the technical manuals), and Josephus calls a centurion a ἑκατοντάρχης (literally, "commander of one hundred"). λοχαγός, by contrast, is a fairly general word for a commander (literally, "commander of a lochos"), since the lochos could vary wildly in size. The technical manuals use it for a very small unit of men, which makes me wonder at the use of lochagos to mean centurion.
Indeed, we see a number of words used by different authors. However, it's doubtful that Greek words were used in the Roman army itself. By the time of the Dominate, the Heeressprache was Latin. We can see this in the early Byzantine manuals, where the language and terminology is Greek, yet the commands are still in Latin (until the 9th century).

Quote:Yes, but in the late Era the Centurio is called a Centenarius. I think Notitia or Vegetius mentions that, not sure which.
A centenarius is the officer comparable with the centurio, at least for the units of the Limitanei. For the Comitatenses, it's the ordinarius.
Quote: A centenarius is the officer comparable with the centurio, at least for the units of the Limitanei. For the Comitatenses, it's the ordinarius.

Never heard that term used before, good to know Wink
I apologize for the late response with Mr. Campbell about D'Amato's book.

Here is the direct quote from his book: Roman Centurians 31 BC - AD 500 pg 8 middle/bottom

"Eusebius (Vita Constantina IV, 51) states that when the Emperor Constantine divided the empire between his three sons, he assigned to each of them teachers in the arts of war, and a retinue consisting of infantry of several classes (oplitai, doryphoroi, somatofylakes), commanded respectively by centurions (lochagoi), generals (strategoi), and tribunes (taxiarchoi)"

However, after the above statement, on the same page, bottom he goes on to say the following

"With the division of the empire, the rank of centurio or centenarius is mentioned at the beginning of the 5th century in both armies, but after the fall of the West it survived only in the East. The Legio or bandon was commanded by a tribunus or comes, assisted by a vicarius. Each unit was still divided into centuries (lochoi), under the command of a centurio or centenarius........."

So during Constantine it was lochagoi and then later centenarius? I understand what has been said in reply to my particular question but reading the above, it gets somewhat confusing.
Quote:So during Constantine it was lochagoi and then later centenarius?
Eusebius was writing in Greek, and so used Greek terms. The Roman army used latin right through the centuries though - so a centurion was probably still called a centurion in Constantine's day, although possibly the alternative terms centenarius/ordinarius were already coming into use by then.
Quote:"Eusebius (Vita Constantina IV, 51) states that when the Emperor Constantine divided the empire between his three sons, he assigned to each of them teachers in the arts of war, and a retinue consisting of infantry of several classes (oplitai, doryphoroi, somatofylakes), commanded respectively by centurions (lochagoi), generals (strategoi), and tribunes (taxiarchoi)"
I cannot see why D'Amato has chosen to translate lochagoi here as "centurions". The whole passage seems a little vague, as if Eusebius wasn't sure what officers commanded what units in the imperial retinue. (The first of the three named units -- ὁπλῖται -- should, of course, be hoplitai.)
Quote:The whole passage seems a little vague, as if Eusebius wasn't sure what officers commanded what units in the imperial retinue.
So it does! The 'commanded respectively' is odd, as if what follows are the commanders of different types of unit. But if lochagoi are centurions and tribunes are taxiarchoi, these are both legion officers - assuming this is the comitatus of each of the Caesars, with tribunes in command of the 'new' legions. So what are 'strategoi' supposed to be? I would have thought that strategos might be a translation of Dux, or even Magister, but the context suggests that some lower rank is implied.
Thanks for the replies.

Nathan, I was going to ask when did the Romans use Greek terms and stop using Latin terms but you have already answered my would be query.

Yes, I too was somewhat confused since it is vague about how different officers were described in the book.

So technically centurion in Greek could be lochagoi?
I'd say that by the time of the first Byzantine Roman manuals, the army vernacular would be mixed. I guess that both Latin and Greek terminology would exist among the ranks, Latin as the official language of the state when promotions and rewards should be recorded, Greek when among mostly Greek-speaking recruits. A lochagos would hardly ever have been a centurion, to me it would be a very strange use of the word. In the far past, a lochos could be a considerably strong unit of unknown (or maybe deliberately unspecified strength). Xenophon uses it for a unit of 24 men (Persian lochos), in the Spartan army he defines it as 1/4 the size of a mora (the size of a mora is given as 500-900 men in the sources) but even uses it as a synonym to mora (Sciritis lochos). Thucydides also uses the term as a large unit made up of 4 pentecostyae, which should have about 50 men as their name would imply but may even have 128 men each (something to do with how he describes the strength of an enomotia), which would make a lochos 512 man strong... Thucydides too may be using the term lochos to describe a full mora, since he has individual lochoi being led by polemarchs. But as we are progressing past classical armies, a lochos tends to be a full depth file (8-16 men, sometimes even 32) and the lochagos usually is the file leader.

Generally, to the Greeks, a centurion would be easily translated as an ekatontarch, which was a term not generally used for the Greek armies but would also be totally understood by any reader. The closest thing to that would be a taxiarchos. Taxiarchos is the term used by Polybius, ekatontarchos (or ekatontarches) is used by Phocas and Uranus. Other mentions/terms are kentarchos, kenterion (which is naught but a transliteration of centurion in Greek) or ekatontarchos (Sylloge Tacticorum). The Suda Onomasticon Tacticon offers taxiarchos as a synonym to ekatontarches, De Re Strategica calls the closest thing to a centurion also a taxiarches. Arrian also writes of taxiarches or ekatontarches (when the taxis is comprised of 100 men). Asclepiodotus also gives ekatontarches as a synonym to taxiarchos, as does Aelian...

Nevertheless, the word centurion seems to be in full military use all the way into the 10th (even 11th) century AD. I have found it as kentyrion (Κεντυρίων) in many texts and never as a synonym to lochagos.
Quote:So technically centurion in Greek could be lochagoi?
I would say not. If this passage of Eusebius is all that D'Amato is going on, I'd say he's made a blunder. (And why are the taxiarchoi necessarily "tribunes"? :? )
Quote:I too was somewhat confused since it is vague about how different officers were described in the book.
Late Roman ranks can seem a bit vague - I think AHM Jones mentions that 'tribune' was widely used to describe officers of varying positions. The crossover into Greek terminology only makes things vaguer...

The full quote from Eusebius, by the way, is this (in Richardson's 1890 translation): "To each [of his sons] moreover was granted a truly royal retinue, consisting of infantry, spearmen, and body guards, with every other kind of military force; commanded respectively by captains, tribunes, and generals of whose warlike skill and devotion to his sons the emperor had had previous experience."

So the point is more that the various officers were experienced military men known to Constantine, rather than their actual rank in the military hierarchy. In this context, the Greek terms could mean nothing more specific than 'junior officers, generals and commanders'.

As for the 'classes' of troops, (h)oplitai, doryphoroi and somatofylakes mean just infantry, spearmen and bodyguards. This could refer to legionarii, lanciarii and protectores, who would be indeed found in the comitatus, but again Eusebius (not a military man, I think) could just mean that all sorts of soldiers were placed under the command of the Caesars.

Regarding strategoi - this too seems to be a vague term. Zosimus (III,8,2) mentions the strategos Lucillianus defending Nisibis against the Persians in 350 - this is the same man that turns up as magister equitum (probably) under Julian, so he could have been something like Dux Mesopotamiae at the time. But MacMullen (Soldier & Civilian) mentions a strategos commanding the city militia at Olbia. Clearly the term meant little more specific than 'commander'.

Later titles of centurions, meanwhile: the first mention of an ordinarius I can find is an inscription from El-Meshkuk dated to c.350, mentioning the ordinarius Bassus having inspected a watchtower. Biarchus (a subordinate rank) is mentioned in an inscription of 327, however (Flavius Iovianus, biarchus draconarius), so the 'new' rank titles could have been in place by then.
Thank you all for the replies.

Nathan, what you wrote makes more sense because you are not trying to re-state the nature of each rank as I saw in the book.

So I guess relegating back to the original point, centurion thus would be ordinarius/centenarius as pointed out earlier by Robert. However, the taxiarchoi was also possible as stated by Mr. Campbell (citing Polybius)
I cannot speak of the Latin terms but as far as Greek is concerned, there are many Greek or Graecisized terms that may or directly refer to the office of the centurion. Taxiarchos has been used, ekatontarches or ekatontarchos has also been used. Later, the term kentyrion, which is a direct transliteration of the word centurion also is abundant in the sources and is used well into the 10th and 11th centuries. The term lochagos also often crops up in Greek texts of the late Roman era. At least some of the times met it may (I haven't looked into it yet with proper diligence) have to do with centurions. Tactically, it has already gotten its "proper" meaning as first-ranker, but there are certain writers who often use it as a (low) office of the Roman army, possibly a centurion.

Official military terminology would certainly be Latin for many centuries to come, although Greek may have as well been used in Greek-speaking parts of the army. I do not think, though, that any centurion would have officially be called a taxiarchos or even an ekatontarchos. His unit may have called him so, though if Greek speaking.
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