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Full Version: Troop Dispositions AD 57 / 60
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The Governorship of Veranius is hardly documented and there is little archaeology to support his tennure yet he was supposed to be a military genius. Seutoninus Paulinus triumphed easily over the Silures during his first year when many Governors previously had struggled to defeat the Silures and the proposal of this argument is that it was the strategic work of Veranius that made it easy for Seutonius Paulinus to succeed.
I appreciate the establishment view and I would agree that the Twentieth would have been on the East and North of the Silurian territory but they didn't have enough men (in my opinion) to cover the opening of another front on the West of the Silurian Territory in AD58.

Prior to Seutonius Paulinus, the Silures could only be bottled up by the Twentieth being at Usk, Abergavenny and Clifton

No previous Governor had been able to make inroads into their territory, yet Seutonius seems to have had no problem at all.

I was wondering therefore what changed this?

If Veranius had opened another front with part of the Second this would have given Seutonius Paulinus a good base to attack in AD59 with further landings on the South Eastern coast at Loughor, Neath and Cardiff.

I have not been able to find where the Second were fully deployed at this time although they had been in the South West for a number of years and the area seems to be have been quiet for some time and it seems unlikely that they would have been confined to pure garrison duty in this peaceful environment.

If a campaign force of the Second were occupied in the west of what is today Wales under its high command during AD58, AD59 and AD60 guarding the Southern flank of the Fourteenth this may explain why the Legate and the Second in Command were not in Exeter when Seutonius Paulinus requested the Second.
Vindex Wrote:

At the risk of straying even further off topic, may I please ask what is the basis of your assumption that the XXth did not have enough men?

Although Gallus appears to have stabilised the Province after Scapula had defeated Caratacus but left the Silures on the rampage when he died it would appear from Tacitus that it took at least one and possibly two Legions to push the Silures into their territory.

Subsequently the Fourteenth was used to man Watling Street as far as Wroxeter, Whitchurch, Chester whilst forts at Rhyn Park, Forden Gaer, Caersws and Leintwardine in Wales were also occupied

The Ninth were used to partially to garrison the East from Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and up into Yorkshire, again to monitor the instability between the Brigantian aristocracy.

The Twentieth were possibly at Clifford, Brecon Gaer, Abergavenny, Usk, Monmouth, Gloucester, Cirencester and Bath but they were only able to contain the Silures not take direct action to ensure a victory.

The Second's location is poorly documented but they would appear to be garrisoning the South West and have their Legionary Fortress at Exeter.

Kind Regards - Deryk
Quote:The Governorship of Veranius is hardly documented and there is little archaeology to support his tennure yet he was supposed to be a military genius.

Tacitus rates him quite well, although not as a 'genius' I think! He might have done more, had he lived: "Veranius, after harrying the Silurians in a few raids of no great significance, was prevented by death from carrying his arms further." (Annals, 14.29) We learn in Agricola that Veranius died only a year into his governorship, so it's not surprising that he left little tangible behind him.

The situation with the Silures seems to have been one of ongoing low-level hostility. There were some significant conflicts in the early 50s, involving the defeat of a legion (unidentified) and the massacre of several cohorts under a camp prefect (ditto). (Annals, 12, 38-39).

As we have so little real evidence of the movements and positions of various legions and the building of various camps and forts during this period (most apparent accuracy is guesswork, I think, when we're talking about dating things between decades!), we might presume that at least some elements of the Second and perhaps the whole legion were operating against the Silures, at least in the 50s. Whether they remained in the area for long or not is harder to say.

I'm not so sure about the idea of some additional small war going on in south-west Wales in AD60 though. Paulinus would have gathered all the troops not needed for frontier defence for his attack on Anglesey.
Nathan Ross states:

Tacitus rates him quite well, although not as a 'genius' I think!

I came across this (on Google as it happens :grin: ) and it indicates that Veranius was a great strategist.

“Quintus Veranius Nepos was a distinguished general to whom the Greek philosopher Onasander dedicated his Strategikos, a book on military tactics.”

Nathan Ross states:

I'm not so sure about the idea of some additional small war going on in south-west Wales in AD60 though. Paulinus would have gathered all the troops not needed for frontier defence for his attack on Anglesey.


My proposal is that under Seutonius Paulinus in AD59 that much the Second and the Twentieth moved against the Silures in a combined manoeuvre, the Second advancing from the West (Carmarthen, Llandeilo, Llandovery) and the South (Loughor, Neath and Cardiff via a sea landing) whilst the Twentieth advanced from the North (Brecon Gaer, Abergavenny) and the West (Usk).

A successful campaign finalised against the Silures.

In AD60 the Silures were garrisoned by parts of the Twentieth and the Second but most of the Second moved North up through the West of Wales into the Ordovices territories establishing forts at Beulah, Llandridrod Wells and up to Caersws towards Wroxeter.

Further forts possibly were established at Pumsaint (for the gold mine), Llanio and perhaps to Aberwystwyh and even beyond.

Some of the Twentieth covered the South Eastern border of the Ordovices perhaps building the fort at Clyro.

Meanwhile the Fourteenth were moved to Wroxeter to fortify the North Eastern border of the Ordovices.

Again this campaign was successful but by now the Second were garrisoning a huge area but they, by occupying the Ordovices lands, were acting as cover for Seutonius Paulinus’ campaign in AD61 by protecting his Southern flank when he attacked Mona.

Kind Regards - Deryk
Can I recommend W H Manning's various papers and excavation reports and the first few papers in "The Second Augustan Legion and the Roman Military Machine" which is a collection of papers given at the Caerleon Museum and edited by Richard J Brewer (Available from the National Museum; much cheaper to buy it from there than Amazon). It may fill in some of the gaps for you.

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Vindex wrote:

Can I recommend W H Manning's various papers and excavation reports and the first few papers in "The Second Augustan Legion and the Roman Military Machine?"

Hi Vindex

Many thanks for your advice on a book that is frankly superb if you are interested in this period and the Second Augustan Legion and I would recommend it.

This is an extremely interesting period and the location and make up of the Legions especially the Twentieth and the Second is fascinating.

It seems that the Second Legion was operating as a number of mixed units of Legionaries and Auxilliaries at this time according to the sizes of the forts and camps but this may have applied to other legions as well which may have suited the fighting style required against the Brythons and to combat their mobility especially in retreat.

There are many unanswered questions, not least the early establishment of the Cardiff fort in AD50 and the Legion that garissoned it and also the use of the Classis Britannicus in the Bristol Channel.

Dating is also a problem on some of the West Wales forts but whether the established view of Carmarthen, Llandeilo and Llandovery being of the Flavian period or earlier is certainly debateable.

Kind Regards - Deryk
I'm glad you read that book, most of us did about 3 years ago, it is the most comprehensive compilation of the movements etc of II AVG, but it still omits up to date info.
I hope you are now a tad more enlightened to the disposition of II AVG at this time as proven by archaeology, and will refrain from going into fantasy world and literally making up scenarios for II AVG when no such evidence does not or has not ever existed.
Research is the best form of coms, not ideas.
As much as I enjoy reading this thread....even after, is it 4 years now?, I don't take lightly to unproven, fantasy scenarios without research. It gets us no where on this thread. I know II AVG.
Kevin
PS.....don't worry about Cardiff...Masrtinhoe on the north Somerset coast covers that along with Sea Mills about 1/1.5mile down the Avon from Avonmouth.
Kevin Mills wrote:

“I don't take lightly to unproven, fantasy scenarios without research. It gets us no where on this thread.”

I am surprised that you feel you need to have yet another side swipe at me.

I had thought that this site was one where we could exchange ideas and perhaps by working with different disciplines shine a light onto the past based on the idea of having an open mind rather than an exclusive club mentality only open to the initiated and accepted.

I have tried to treat others, yourself included, with politeness and courtesy and I am disappointed that you feel you have the right to try and stifle debate or ideas by launching attacks on me by derogatory remarks like “you could have looked that up on Google”.

Surely it would not have offended you to have referred me to the information that Vindex did, when you had already reviewed the book yourself previously, rather than to try and belittle my method or understanding in seeking realistic answers.

I have appreciated people’s advice, sometimes I have taken it and have always been prepared to listen to other’s arguments, look at the research and not be totally immersed in only the archaeology – after all as Michael G Jarrett stated in his lecture after a re-evaluation of the dating of the fort at Llandovery: “a salutory reminder of the problems of using archaeology as a source for military history”.

There is also the documented evidence to be considered and I have tried to take this farther forward by everyday analysis as well as looking at other avenues of research hence my questioning from what I had believed was a font of expertise.

I also resent that you seem to feel that I have done little or no research or that somehow that the results of this are inferior to your understanding or not worth consideration.

To speculate would seem to me to be a viable option, otherwise how would people move understanding forward or even to investigate new archaeological sites.

An example would be the Llandeilo Fortresses which were unknown only a few years ago until someone turned their conviction into a project and then the discovery of two forts or the new discoveries at Caerleon or those in Mid Wales or even the recent discoveries in the South West of England when it was thought there were no more forts to be found.

As you say "I know II AVG" but still there is no definitive answer of why the 3rd in command was in charge of the Second Legion during Boudica's uprising or where the Second were at that time etc., apart from speculation.

I don’t think that the hypothesis I put forward lies outside the known facts although you would be correct in that although it pushes the established view where even the experts acknowledge that dating is only “apparent” and twenty years is a very small timescale to be certain over.

Having said that - it is your club and you have been here far longer than I and patently with my ideas I am not welcome and gracefully withdraw from your hallowed and closed halls.

Many thanks to those who have helped me - Deryk

antiochus

Deryk wrote:
I had thought that this site was one where we could exchange ideas and perhaps by working with different disciplines shine a light onto the past based on the idea of having an open mind rather than an exclusive club mentality only open to the initiated and accepted.

Unfortunately from past experience, I have to agree with Deryk. If you are a believer in the accepted theories, you are part of the boys club, if not, members who have not even evaluate or seen your work think it is their divine right to call you a crackpot, or lace their responses with sarcastic innuendo. The cowards on this forum even resort to abusive PM’s.

History is full of stories of the small and close minded attacking someone who dares to think outside of conventional thinking. And in so many of those incidents the lone voice has been proven to be correct. If every original thinker had listened to the small minded, we would still be living in caves. A true story of inspiration is Jean-Francios Champollion, the man who deciphered Egyptian hieroglyphs. Even after his death in 1867, his opponents as late as 1896 were still devoting their entire lives to vilifying his work. This is because the small minded have sick minds.

Deryk wrote:
Having said that - it is your club and you have been here far longer than I and patently with my ideas I am not welcome and gracefully withdraw from your hallowed and closed halls.

No don’t go Deryk, stick around and give em hell. Change your signature to something that gets in their face.
Hey guys, keep it civil. We're here to discuss, not to instigate. Just because someone is using research that isn't up to date, has an idea that isn't widely accepted, or proposes something misguided, doesn't mean they should automatically be shot down for it.

Our job here is to educate and guide scholarly pursuit, not to promote the stigma that Classicists are cold-hearted people who bicker with each other non-stop hoping it will somehow get them enough pay to cover their water bill.
Quote:I'm glad you read that book, most of us did about 3 years ago
Some of us read the lectures when they were published as individual booklets.


Quote:No don’t go Deryk, stick around and give em hell.
I'm right beside antiochus on this one. I'm not sure about giving 'em hell but certainly stick to your guns and fight your corner (if that's not a mixed metaphor).


Quote:Change your signature to something that gets in their face.
Or choose one that, I hope, reflects the true character of this forum.