RomanArmyTalk

Full Version: Troop\'s recruitment and consistency
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
Good evening,

currently I'm reading about the organisation of (late) Roman Limes-fortifications /castellae, especially their stationed troops and people living there. Sadly I do not know the whole process of levying troops (/do not have access to the good literature?), which would be necessary to understand the population of an (cohort) fort and its canabae or vicus.

First of all, the troops. As far as I got it, in a body's name specific tags can lead to its originial/home province/region/town, so for example the ala Asturum II (stationed 70-92 in Intercisa, Hungary) likely was levied in northern Spain (Asturias), or the cohors I Aurelia Antonina mil. Hemesenorum sag. eq. c. R. (176-mid 3rd c. in INtercisa) in (the near of) Hemesa (Homs, Syria). Or that this tag can address a tribe: ala I Tungrorum Frontoniana, which leads to the Gallic Tungi in modern Belgium.
The question is, do these leads show of which ethnic group/tribe the original body's troops where recruted from, or does it more likely just tell the region the troops where levied, without giving based informatoin about its consistency?
Another thing, alae without those regional-tags, like the ala I c. R. (138-176 in Intercisa), how might it be possible here to address the troops, especially its original ones? From what I've read so far the recruting-process for 'none-defensive-troop-bodys' worked something like this: governor of region A gets an order from Rome to levy a certain number of troops, which is to be recruited of local population (+ also foreigners, when they are in the region). After doing this this troops were sent to their destination province. If the troops suffered losses, be it due to fighting, disease, retirement or desertion, the local governor/administration was responsible of reinforcing them, so by time, if this spec. troop-body travelled much, its ethnic variation could become quite colourful, leaving less and less of its original compilation.
Back to the ala I c. R., before coming to Intercisa in 138 it was stationed under Vespasian in Pannonia (possibly. Cornacum) → went later with Traian into his wars with the Dakians, in 113/114 → Pannonia Inferior (Rittium) → 118/119-138 unknown (Burgenae?). So from the early 70's until the 120's, 50 years, we more or less know its track, "just" the 20 years before Intercisa are not known. In this 50 years the crew would have been replaced already two times, taking a term of service of 25 years, not unlikely is, that this had happend to a good share of men also within the following 20 years of unknown station.
Following my thoughts above, this means that, in case the ala wasnt levied in Pannonia, compared to its look in the 1. c. it was completely different in the 1/4 2. c., as the predominant ethnicity then already was build from 'Pannonians', making the question of where it was levied in the first place unimportant regarding the understanding of the people living in the fort and its vicus.
The already mentioned cohors I Aurelia Antonina mil. Hemesenorum sag. eq. c. R. then could serve as a perfect counterexample. It is thought, that it was levied shortly before being sent to Pannonia, giving just little time to change its soldiers, so by its arrival it would have shown a rather homogenous composition.
I think with a similar argumentation one could clarify the impedimenta (with higher fluctuation probably) making (parts of) the vicus as well.

Greetings,
Egon.
Following my thoughts above, this means that, in case the ala wasnt levied in Pannonia, compared to its look in the 1. c. it was completely different in the 1/4 2. c., as the predominant ethnicity then already was build from 'Pannonians', making the question of where it was levied in the first place unimportant regarding the understanding of the people living in the fort and its vicus.
Right, I should have added the question, if this argumentation was even valid? Wink