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Has anybody any idea what the Romans called these 'irregular Germanic infantry' on Trajans column ??
I know it's not the usual Auxilia or Batavians but they had a specific name which for the life of me I cannot remember..
Any help would be greatly appreciated!!
Richmond suggested that they were symmachiarii.
(07-02-2016, 03:18 PM)Renatus Wrote: [ -> ]Richmond suggested that they were symmachiarii.

Some of Richmond's suggestions were quite brilliant; others less so. His reasoning in this case was his knowledge of a Trajanic inscription (AE 1926, 88) mentioning a praefectus symmachiariorum Asturum ('prefect of the Asturian allies') and his conjecture (a) that such a class of troops must have been less regular than the usual run of the auxiliaries (otherwise they would simply have been named as auxilia) and (b) that they must have been drawn from other communities than just the Spanish Astures. His conclusion was that these bare-chested irregulars wielding makeshift weapons on Trajan's Column must have been just such troops. You will no doubt appreciate the fragility of such a theory.

Equally, the fact that Lepper & Frere (in their Trajan's Column book, p. 108) call them clibanarii is best forgotten.
(07-02-2016, 04:41 PM)D B Campbell Wrote: [ -> ]Equally, the fact that Lepper & Frere (in their Trajan's Column book, p. 108) call them clibanarii is best forgotten.

I looked at Lepper & Frere first but gave up at that point.
The fact that Herodian calls Caracalla's Germans symmachoi (History 4.7.3) may have been at the back of Richmond's mind. (Or maybe I'm just feeling charitable?  Wink )
If the men with clubs on the column represent troops types which really existed and were really irregular, their unit  would probably at first be called 'numerus', followed by an ethnic title.
Might the word gentiles have been used this early for 'tribesmen' in Roman service? There are a couple of Antonine diplomas from Dacia that I think mention Mauris gentilibus among the cohorts and alae - I'm not sure if this actually refers to 'Moorish tribesmen' though!

Does Ps-Hyginus not mention some sort of troops called nationes as well?