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antiochus

This has been transferred from the thread “Roman Cohort Commander.”

Renatus wrote:
It would be dangerous to assume from this that there was any such thing as a cavalry cohort or to ascribe any particular number of men to it.


The term cavalry cohort is also mentioned at 40 4 for the same battle. The battle is set in 423 BC and as the tribes do not increase in size until 406 BC (the increase to six consular tribunes is a clue), I simply work with the old system of 21 tribes. However, the Roman levy system never works on odd numbers, so one tribe is exempt from the levy. As I have stated, cavalry are assigned to centuries and the reference to a cavalry cohort indicates this force which broke through the enemy lines and then occupied a hill has to be large and to be large is has to be equivalent to the number of cavalry assigned to the number of centuries under the command of a military tribune for the size of the army allocated to one consular tribune. However, in the book I word it as “which indicates the cavalry possibly amount to **** men.”

Duncan Campbell has made the claim “The Polybian legion cannot be compared in any detail with the imperial legion…The two are very different, particularly in the make-up of the cavalry component. Polybius' legionary cavalry are provided by the Roman gentry ("equestrians"), and are quite separate from the infantry levy.”

Mr Campbell has not provided any evidence to show that the cavalry of the Polybian legion are not included in the same century as the infantry, and his conclusion is misguided. Out of dozens of examples I have covered in the book, which I have been informed to get rid of some of them, I will chose one from my analyst of the battle of Zama in 202 BC to highlight the fact that during the republic the cavalry were on the same roll as the infantry, which means they belonged to an infantry century.

For the invasion of Africa in 204 BC, Livy stipulates the size of the Roman legion numbered 6200 men and 300 cavalry. The figure of 300 cavalry represents Roman cavalry, not allied. At the battle of Zama, Appian numbers the Roman army at ‘about 23,000 Roman infantry,’ an indication this is slightly short of 23,000 men. Now begins the hard part…by dividing 23,000 infantry by four legions each legion amounts to 5750 men. Roman legion sizes end in round numbers so a legion of 5700 men would be more appropriate. Four legions at 5700 men amounts to 22,800 men. Now are the cavalry included in the 6200 man legion? Appian numbers the Roman cavalry at 2000 men which equates to each legion being assigned 500 men, so:

6200 men
minus 500 cavalry
= 5700 men

By adding the 300 Roman cavalry to a Roman legion of 5700 men increases the Roman legion to 6000 men and by further dividing the 6000 men by 60 centuries, a century amounts to 100 men (95 infantry and 5 cavalry per century).

Livy states the Roman cavalry numbered 2200 horse; while another source mentions 35,000 foot and horse embarked for Africa. Livy and Polybius also mention Masinissa providing 6000 infantry and 4000 cavalry. So if we deduct the above figures from 35,000 men, the result is:


35000 men
−10000 men (Masinissa)
−2200 cavalry (Livy)
= 22800 men

The figure of 22,800 men proportionates to Appian’s figure of ‘about 23,000 men,’ and when the 22,800 men is divided by four legions (2 Roman, 2 allied) the result is a legion of 5700 men. The figure of 35,000 men is not the number of men that embarked for Africa as Livy states but the number of men in Africa.

The book then breaks down the organisation of the 5700 men legion and the cavalry numbers given by Appian and Livy. The organisation of the legion basically follows standard Roman practice for this period. However, although it is structured to fight in its standard triple acies, of great interest and another mystery, it is also structured to fight in single acies. The depth is constant, regardless of the troop type when in single acies. I matched the Roman infantry deployment at Zama with the Carthaginian first line of 12,000 men and found the figure of 12,000 men is exact and not rounded. When this is added to the studies of the Trebia, Cannae, Ilipa, the Great Plains and Zama, the Carthaginian army seems to comfortably comply with Hellenistic organisation.

At the battle of Lake Regillus in 496 BC (Dionysius) or 499 BC (Livy) Dionysius claims the Latin army numbered 40,000 men and the Roman army numbered 23,700 men. My reconstructed tribal system shows the Romans are incapable of fielding an army of 23,700 men, and also the Latin levy system which I reconstructed proves the Latin system is identical to the Roman Servian constitutions, also shows the Latins cannot levy 40,000 men. The Roman tribal system under a dictator shows the Roman should have 15,300 infantry at Lake Regillus with each of the three commanders being allocated 5100 infantry. The figure of 23,700 men is an indication of a correct source as it has not been rounded. What has happened is Dionysius or his source has added the size of the Latin army to the Roman army to arrive at 40,000 Latins. So by subtracting 23,700 men from 40,000 the result is 16,300 Romans versus 23,700 Latins. As Dionysius claims the Romans had 1000 cavalry at Lake Regillus, this reduces the Roman army from 16,300 men to 15,300 infantry and 1000 cavalry. This is the only example of my tribal reconstruction coming under threat, but in the end it has been proven correct.

In 192 BC, Livy mentions legions of 5400 men. Now by subtracting the 300 Roman cavalry, the legion numbers 5100 men, which is the same legion size found at Lake Regillus. Because everything is based on the Servian constitution, the legion sizes remain the same but the internal organisation of a legion only changes if the Servian constitution changes. So basically the legion sizes are standardised. But as no historian has undertaken a serious analyst of the army numbers in Livy’s books one to five and Dionysius, how would they know what’s going on?

It’s not just the Servian constitution as given by Livy and Dionysius I work with, it’s the mathematical system of the Roman cosmos that is catalyst for the Servian constitution that I have at my disposal and it is a very powerful tool. This cosmos mathematical system is the mathematical DNA of the Roman system, and it has been discussed by philosophers and astronomers for centuries, yet no one has realised the Romans implemented this mathematical concept to design the Servian constitution. Ancient astronomers also describe the ages of man in relation to the planets and this is also used by the Romans. The military age of the iuniores represents the distance from the planet Venus to Mars, and the seniores, from Mars to Jupiter. Varro claims the seniores were aged to 60 years, but with the ages of the planets, I can show that Varro has rounded his figure to 60 years.


Steven
Antiochus wrote:

My reconstructed tribal system shows the Romans are incapable of fielding an army of 23,700 men, and also the Latin levy system which I reconstructed proves the Latin system is identical to the Roman Servian constitutions, also shows the Latins cannot levy 40,000 men. The Roman tribal system under a dictator shows the Roman should have 15,300 infantry at Lake Regillus with each of the three commanders being allocated 5100 infantry.


Could you expound on this? Are you saying Romans could not afford to gather more than four legions (two consular armies) at a time? Am I missing something?
Quote:The term cavalry cohort is also mentioned at 40 4 for the same battle.
I couldn't find anything there but I did find this at 4. 40. 8:

postero denique die ecquid praesidii usquam habueris, an tu cohorsque in castra vestra virtute perruperitis

'furthermore, whether you had any help anywhere next day, or you and your cohort forced a way to the camp by your own valour' (Loeb translation)

Is that what you had in mind? If so, it relates to Tempanius and his comrades when they were fighting on foot and the term 'cavalry cohort' does not appear.

antiochus

Byran wrote:
Could you expound on this? Are you saying Romans could not afford to gather more than four legions (two consular armies) at a time?


I’m stating the sizes of a legion whether it is in 499 BC or 192 BC were consistant in size but changed in their internal organisation. It has nothing to do with the number of legions able to be fielded. The early pre-maniple Roman military system worked on dividing the number of centuries available for a given campaign, so at times when required they used 40 century legions and in this manner created more legions but smaller legions. Other campaigns they used 50 or 60 century legions but in doing so they had less legions but larger legions. That is why Dionysius makes the statement the senate deliberated about what forces to send in the field. It’s a very flexible system.

Renatus wrote:
Is that what you had in mind? If so, it relates to Tempanius and his comrades when they were fighting on foot and the term 'cavalry cohort' does not appear.


Thank you Renatus for highlighting my textual mistake. You’re right the primary sources do not have the word cavalry in front of cohort. Stupid me, I presumed that Tempanius being a cavalrymen and accompanied by cavalrymen and as the senate referred to his force as a cohort I thought his cohort must be made up of cavalrymen, therefore making it a cavalry cohort.

Does this textual mistake now imply my empirical data regarding Zama has no merit or credibility?

Steven
For everyone's reference, the bit of Livy on the legions which invaded is the end of 29.24: according to the Latin Library text Scipio suppleuitque ita eas legiones ut singulae sena milia et ducenos pedites, trecenos haberent equites. that is "Scipio filled up these legions with the result that each had six thousand two hundred foot and three hundred horse." So Livy says that the legions which left Sicily each contained 6500 soldiers of which 6200 were infantry and 300 cavalry.

I am not sure why reconciling this with Appian's implication that some months of campaigning later, their strength was about 10% lower is difficult? Or why you subtract 500 cavalry from Livy's infantry figure and add 300 back in?

The idea that Republican cavalry were enrolled as extra men in a century is interesting, and Polybius 6 does not appear to contradict it. I will be interested to see you explore this in your book.
If they are enrolled in the centuries, they still camp separately.
Quote:Thank you Renatus for highlighting my textual mistake. You’re right the primary sources do not have the word cavalry in front of cohort. Stupid me, I presumed that Tempanius being a cavalrymen and accompanied by cavalrymen and as the senate referred to his force as a cohort I thought his cohort must be made up of cavalrymen, therefore making it a cavalry cohort.

Does this textual mistake now imply my empirical data regarding Zama has no merit or credibility?
I certainly would not accuse you of stupidity but I do think that you are stretching the evidence beyond its limits. Tempanius and his men are described as a cohort only in the context of their fighting as infantry. The situation is unusual and, as I have said, it would be dangerous to base a theory of the existence of a cavalry cohort upon it. If you were to find a passage specifically referring to such a cohort, the position might be different but, even then, you would have to decide, on the basis of the evidence, whether this meant a formal unit with an established internal structure or simply a body of soldiers of indeterminate number.

As to Zama, I have the same problem as Sean. I do not see the logic of taking Livy's figure for a legion (apparently infantry only), deducting Appian's figure for the cavalry and then adding Livy's figure for cavalry. I am not getting into the "apples and oranges" debate but you do seem to be combining two separate and conflicting sets of figures. Please explain.
Quote:The idea that Republican cavalry were enrolled as extra men in a century is interesting, and Polybius 6 does not appear to contradict it. I will be interested to see you explore this in your book.

In my understanding it is very propable, that even in imperial times, the 120 equites legiones were enrolled as extra men of the centuries (2 per century). Even if they had their own command structure. Historians still look for their barracks, afaik. Also the staff of the governor and others was still on the payroll of the century. From centuriones supernumerarii down to librarii procuratoris in an other province. However, it is not clear, if some of the lower ranks have been supernumerarii, too. If you add the calones, which needed at least to be administered regarding food, a century could indeed be about 100 men strong on paper by administration purposes only.

Also in Vegetius Neverland-Legion, the equites are enrolled in the centuries. Nevertheless administration and command structure, thats quite another cup of tea.
Antiochus,

Here is a calculation that may interest you. If Livy knew no more than that a cohort comprised 600 men, that a legion held 300 cavalrymen and that a consular army consisted of two legions, there is Tempanius' cohort of cavalrymen-turned-infantry - the cavalry element of a consular army. I don't know that this proves very much (I am sceptical that one can talk in such terms as early as 423BC) but it may demonstrate what Livy believed or thought his audience would understand.
Quote:If they are enrolled in the centuries, they still camp separately.

I have seen the idea of the mounted men being accounted for on a century's manpower roll suggested in several 'modern' references, however I would be most curious if someone could point me at a good 'ancient' reference?

As far as I understand, Livy & certainly Polybius are fairly clear - the cavalry are organised from the Equestrian Class as opposed to the Plebeian farmer-milites - the structure is different for sensible reasons - they camp separately. In short - completely different.

When it comes to cohort - whilst my Latin is rudimentary I understand it effectively means a 'group of soldiers' and the Romans use it to describe anything smaller than a Legion. Post-Marius (or around that time) the term becomes regularised, although I believe the proto-cohort structure is certainly present in the Extraordinarii.
Quote:I have seen the idea of the mounted men being accounted for on a century's manpower roll suggested in several 'modern' references, however I would be most curious if someone could point me at a good 'ancient' reference?

Just Vegetius, as already mentioned.


Quote:As far as I understand, Livy & certainly Polybius are fairly clear - the cavalry are organised from the Equestrian Class as opposed to the Plebeian farmer-milites - the structure is different for sensible reasons - they camp separately. In short - completely different.

This is correct for the pre-marian manipular legion. But is it correct for the administration of a legion in the late republic or empire?
Quote:Just Vegetius, as already mentioned.
Not so. Inscriptions demonstrate that legionary cavalrymen belonged to particular centuries. These are probably the centuries in which they were originally enrolled as infantrymen, as no man appears ever to have enlisted as a cavalryman, but had to be promoted. ILS 2325, for example, is the tombstone of Gaius Valerius Proculus, eques legionis XI > Vindicis (i.e. "cavalryman in the Eleventh Legion in Vindex's century"). There is also evidence to show that an officer called the optio equitum ("optio of the cavalrymen") was carried on the books of a particular century, just like the other promoted posts in the century. Meanwhile, the well-known career of Tiberius Claudius Maximus shows a legionary infantryman being promoted into the legionary cavalry, before going on to hold further promoted posts.

As I said earlier, this is fundamentally different from the situation described by Polybius.
Quote:Duncan Campbell has made the claim “The Polybian legion cannot be compared in any detail with the imperial legion…The two are very different, particularly in the make-up of the cavalry component. Polybius' legionary cavalry are provided by the Roman gentry ("equestrians"), and are quite separate from the infantry levy.” Mr Campbell has not provided any evidence to show that the cavalry of the Polybian legion are not included in the same century as the infantry, and his conclusion is misguided.
When you say that I did not "provide any evidence to show that the cavalry of the Polybian legion are not included in the same century as the infantry", obviously you are correct, because the Polybian legion has no centuries! However, I would venture to suggest that it is your conclusion that is misguided.

You seem to be implying that the infantry and cavalry were allocated from the same general levy, in a proportion of your choosing, whereas the point that I actually made was that the legionary cavalry came from a different source entirely (namely, the equestrian nobility), so it was fundamentally separate from the make-up of Polybius' legion.

I'm sure most of us are familiar with Polybius' famous description of the Roman military system in Book 6 of his Histories. I would have thought that his explicit statements, (a) that the cavalry are chosen before the infantry, and (b) that they are selected according to their wealth, are sufficient to show that they are not numbered amongst the infantry levy (Polyb., Histories 6.20.9). Polybius goes on to describe how the legion is mustered (6.22.6-10), but -- naturally -- they are all infantrymen. The cavalry are organized separately (6.25.1-2).

This is, of course, fundamentally different from the system that prevailed during the period of the empire, when admission to the legionary cavalry was treated as a promotion for an infantryman. That's about as different as an apple is from an orange. Wink

antiochus

Sean Manning wrote:
I am not sure why reconciling this with Appian's implication that some months of campaigning later, their strength was about 10% lower is difficult? Or why you subtract 500 cavalry from Livy's infantry figure and add 300 back in?


The only evidence I have in the book for a legion being under strength is Caesar’s ninth legion at Pharsalus, of which Caesar informs us this is the case. All my research shows the legion numbers in the primary sources record paper strength as do many of the battle accounts. Zama is an interesting example as generally all the examples I have, it is the number of Roman cavalry (300) that is included in the legion number. Zama is unique because it includes the whole number of Roman and Italian cavalry distributed among the legions, and because of this I left my analyst of Zama last so I could be sure this was the case.

Appian numbers Scipio’s army leaving for Africa at 16,000 infantry and 1600 cavalry. Now this is my third example in the book and I can show without number fudging, this is the number of men in Scipio’s army leaving FOR SICILY (from Italy) and not for Africa. What Scipio is taking is four standard legions, (16,000 divided by 4 = 4000 men), and while in Sicily he will add to these men suitable for fighting from the Cannae exiles. So my number of 22,800 minus 16,000 = 6800 divided by four legions = 1700. In the end all Scipio is doing is creating a variation on the emergency legion, which is to add 1000 men, but in this case 1700 men.

So why did I subtract 500 cavalry and add 300 back in? I was giving an example that when you know the number of infantry for a Roman legion you then add the 300 Roman cavalry to establish the correct size of the Roman legion. A legion of 6200 men as given by Livy when divided by 60 centuries means each century will number 103 point 33333 men. I know Roman protocol for this period and you cannot have a century exceed 100 men. All Roman centuries are vertically structured, which means the men in a century consist of hastati, principes triarii cavalry etc and when on the battlefield, the centuries are then arranged horizontally into their respective organisations, and when the horizontal organisation is implemented THIS MEANS THEY ARE ORGANISED SEPERATELY!

My hypothesis is the centuries are deployed abreast of each other then the varying troop types within the century form into their respective battle lines by simply moving forward the required distance. This meant in the BEGINNING the cavalry were deployed last and behind the infantry and would dismount and come to the aid of the infantry when in distress. Later in their history, the Roman cavalry deploy on the wings of the infantry, but they still belonged to a century because it’s all related to how they vote in the Century Assembly. And when they were levied from the tribes, after the senate had deliberated about the size of the army required for the campaign, if they decided on six legion, then the senate called upon 360 centuries to be levied (60 per legion), and because the cavalry were on the same roll as the century (tribal) they knew they would get six legions each accompanied by 300 cavalry (5 cavalrymen per century). So a call would go out for 1800 equites registered in the tribal centuries to report for duty.

The Roman cavalry are placed at the bottom of the century is because in the Roman cosmos system the cavalry represent Earth and the infantry of Class I represented the heaven, and the rest of the classes; what is in between. So in this manner the cosmos is enclosed by the aristocrats. A century represents the upper heaven (180 degrees) in the following order:


Saturn (Class I)
Jupiter (Class II)
Mars (Class III)
Venus (Class IV)
Mercury (Class V)
Moon (Class VI)
Earth (equites)

Sean Manning wrote:
The idea that Republican cavalry were enrolled as extra men in a century is interesting, and Polybius 6 does not appear to contradict it. I will be interested to see you explore this in your book.


The idea the cavalry belonged to an infantry century and the masses of evidence given (non cosmos empirical data) throughout the whole book is pretty watertight. I’m quite prepared to die in a ditch for it.

Duncan Campbell wrote:
because the Polybian legion has no centuries!


I’m keeping this quote and adding it to your many others. It is priceless.


Steven
Quote:Duncan Campbell wrote: because the Polybian legion has no centuries! I’m keeping this quote and adding it to your many others. It is priceless.
I'm sure you are. After all, we are attempting to help you to rewrite your book, by highlighting flaws in your sweeping theory and pointing out basic errors. I must say that I'm surprised you didn't realize that the Polybian legion is divided into maniples, not centuries -- which is yet another fundamental difference between the Republican apples and Imperial oranges.
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