Full Version: Chief of Staff
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
Ave Civitas,

I looked through my copy of ND and I cannot find a listing for the staff of the Master of Horse or the Master of Foot.
I was wondering. Since those offices were supralegionis, would they have been staffed with soldiers of the legion (special duty) or would they have been civil administrators holding positions such as chief of staff, adjutant, paymaster, quartermaster, etc.?

Again, thanks in advance.

Hi Tom,

The staff of a MH or a MF would most likely be staffed by bureaucrats. Although of course the Romans at the time would hardly see the difference between 'soldiers' or 'civilians' where such staffs would be concerned - all were 'militare'. The function is often translated with 'general', but it was more often than not a title that was not a strict military rank, but one of political power. Stilicho for instance was never a general, but as de facto most powerful man behind the throne that's what he did - as Magister militum. The titles MH and MF were also not long-lived, we see them soon shorthened to 'magister' or combined by the 'patrician' - the puppet-master behind the increasingly less powerful emperor. The staff of thiese powerful men would certainly have included military men, but more likely far more bureaucrats in the 'civilian' sense, who never went on campaign and probably never saw a frontier fort up close.
Quote:Romans at the time would hardly see the difference between 'soldiers' or 'civilians' where such staffs would be concerned - all were 'militare'.

There's also the odd business of late Roman bureaucrats being 'symbolically' enrolled in Legio I Adiutrix, long after the real legion of that name had ceased to exist!
We know that Aetius' staff consisted of the comes et magister utriusque militae of Gaul (Avitus, Litorius, (possibly Vertericus a goth), Aegidius, dependig on the year), Spain (Astyrius, Merobaudes who was his pangerycist, and Vitus), the junior Magister Utriusque Militae (Sigisvult, a goth), and then various other offices including different comites (Marcelinus Comes Dalmatae, Censorius (probably Comes Hispaniae), and praetorian prefects (Ferreolus notably). Sidonius Apollinaris also seems to have connections to Aetius, and so did Trygetius, the envoy to the Vandals. The Gallic aristocracy was forming its own division at this time, and was mostly loyal to Aetius, and the Italian aristocracy did not like the gallic one encroaching in the senate and bureaucracy.

The Magistri served as the staff of the senior MAgister, it seemed.

The Bureaucracy and the Military both served the same same functions, and the Bureacracy was listed on the military rosters in both real and fictional units (I Audiatricis, old Legio I Audiatrix, was an active unit until around 450 in szony. Much of the Magister Officorum's staff was listed as part of it)