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Given my lack of Greek, I wonder if someone (perhaps Macedon, although I would appreciate anyone wading in) could assist in determining exactly what Arrian says in the sentence translated (DeVoto 1993) as:

"Two Tarantine troops are called a cavalry unit at five hundred and twelve riders which the Romans call a unit."

The query I have is 'what is the meaning of the Greek word(s) that have been translated as that second (bolded) 'unit'? It is normally referenced to the Latin 'ala' or 'alae', but they are, of course, in a different language. What I would love to know is what is a colloquial, or the definitive if such, translation? Does it say:

"......which the Romans call wings." OR "....which the Romans call a wing." OR with some reference to the 'wings of birds' OR 'anything similar' :unsure:

[Aside: Aelian's (Christopher Matthew 2012) comparable section says - "Two Tarantinarcharchia are called a hipparchia, which contains 512 horsemen." This translation does contain some useful anglicised pronunciations for those of us who do not read Greek sadly]
[2nd Aside: Loeb's Asclepiodotus translation is also fairly clear on the cavalry, but specifically doesn't reference numbers (the basic squadron seemingly ~61). As it's the earlier work and supposedly based upon a lost work of Posidonius, are Arrian's and Aelian's works inserting those numbers to make them similar to the infantry breakdown, but perhaps they shouldn't have?]

I thought I would add, as it would certainly help and for anyone else's interest....

The Aelian translation helpfully shows ϊλη (ilē) translated as 'troop'; Asclepiodotus has εϊλας translated as 'squadron'.

Josephus (BJ) in Book III uses the former, but at II/67 and II/500 uses ϊλας. Are all these uses accurate Greek or, I wonder, is the use of (particularly the latter) an attempt to transliterate the Latin ala(e)(s) as Greek?

I would be grateful for any help or comment. I can certainly attempt to re-type the necessary Greek text, but am even hampered there by my lack of knowledge on how to read it - looking up turma or ala in Tactitus is much easier! Big Grin
Yes... I know the text that troubles you. So, it is in Arrian's Tactica (18.3) and it reads in Greek terminology :

"αἱ δὲ δύο ταραντιναρχίαι ἱππαρχία, δώδεκα καὶ πεντακοσίων ἱππέων, ἥντινα Ῥωμαῖοι εἴλην καλοῦσιν·"

"the two tarantinarchiae (are called) a hipparchia, (of) 512 horsemen, which the Romans call an eile."

Taking into account that only some lines above he has defined a cavalry ile (or sometimes, like in this version of the Tactica "eile" (i and ei are often used in ancient Greek interchangeably and both are -and were at the time of Arrian as far as I know- pronounced as (a short or long according to circumstances) "i" in bit/ "ea" in leak, as also is the case with η which is transliterated as e, effectively making both words pronounced as ili) of the "Greek perfect army") as being formed of 64 men, it is my opinion that Arrian wants to give the "graecisized" version of the Roman term for a unit of 512 (or thereabouts).

You might also want to get through the Ektaxis too, where this term is again encountered in a Roman context (9.3, the Galatian eile)

The word "ile" is usually translated as squadron, I think in older translations more often as a troop (when in Greek or Byzantine context).

As for the term being used by Josephus, also look at 2.236, where he mentions an ile by name "he took over a cavalry ile from Caesaria, the so called "of the Sebastenes" ".
Quote:................ in Greek terminology :

"αἱ δὲ δύο ταραντιναρχίαι ἱππαρχία, δώδεκα καὶ πεντακοσίων ἱππέων, ἥντινα Ῥωμαῖοι εἴλην καλοῦσιν·"

"the two tarantinarchiae (are called) a hipparchia, (of) 512 horsemen, which the Romans call an eile."
........................

Macedon, thank you kindly. So, the 'word' in question, I assume, is that which I have just bolded?

This 'eile' is therefore intended to be a transliteration of 'alae' and not anything to do with the Greek terminology for 'wing' or 'wings'?

And, which I tried to ask before, but wished to try and tease out fully (mainly as it would help, otherwise I have to think this is a 'negative' rather than a possible 'positive') - there's no way this can be read as - 'the two Tarantine (regiments).....which the Romans call wings'?

The eile/alae is definitely a singular 'wing'? Sad

Finally, I normally see 'tarantinarchiae' capitalised as a proper noun, the only one of the organisational nouns so highlighted. Is there any obvious reason for this? It has seemed to me to identify that level of organisation as something significant.
Quote:This 'eile' is therefore intended to be a transliteration of 'alae' and not anything to do with the Greek terminology for 'wing' or 'wings'?
The Greek word means a "crowd" or "throng" (not an uncommon derivation for ancient unit designators). Nothing to do with ala. Nothing to do with "wing". (It was perhaps selected in Roman contexts for its perceived similarity to the Latin word ala.)
Quote:
Mark Hygate post=339492 Wrote:This 'eile' is therefore intended to be a transliteration of 'alae' and not anything to do with the Greek terminology for 'wing' or 'wings'?
The Greek word means a "crowd" or "throng" (not an uncommon derivation for ancient unit designators). Nothing to do with ala. Nothing to do with "wing". (It was perhaps selected in Roman contexts for its perceived similarity to the Latin word ala.)

Thank you DrC - that's extremely helpful. On that basis and given that a pair of 'wings' would be needed to flank an infantry 'line', is there any reasonable way that each 'Tarantine (regt)' represents a singular 'wing'/'alae' and both together make 'wings'/'ala'?

There's more than one way to try and fit Arrian's statement on Roman cavalry 'unit(s)' into a possible theory, I just wonder which is better - although one is much better than the others.
Duncan is right, ile/eile has nothing to do with "wings", which in Greek would normally be "pteruges". Also, "ala" is singular and "alae" plural.

Tactically, apart from the "hellenistic" manuals, there is no mention of a tarantinarchia on the field. According to the sources, Greeks did not customize their battle-lines -or campaign forces for that matter- as "rigidly" as the Romans seemed to have done. The commander-in-chief would decide how much and which cavalry would be stationed on which wing or wherever else he would see fit. It is of course true, that customarily, the cavalry would be arrayed in the wings but what and how much was very very fluid.

Also, there is no reason whatsoever to capitalize the term "tarantinarchia".
Thank you both.

No one else?