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https://books.google.nl/books?id=eBoFAAA...ia&f=false

Let his own words describe the scene:

It was night ; the people were all assembled in the church, preparing for the festival of the next day. Suddenly it was invested by more than five hundred soldiers, under the command of Syrianus, their chief and armed with naked swords bows arrows and lances.

Does anyone know of this reference?
(04-23-2017, 09:03 AM)Julian de Vries Wrote: [ -> ]Does anyone know of this reference?

It seems to be from a letter by Athanasius to the emperor Constantius explaining why he had fled from Alexandria in February AD356. Although the number appears to be 5000 - Syrianus is described as dux, and seems to have drawn together a large body of troops (described elsewhere as 'all the legions of soldiers throughout Egypt and Libya' - detachments, presumably) to suppress non-Arians in the city. Syrianus is also described attacking an Easter congregation in a cemetery with 3000 troops.

English translation here

[Edit - the reference is Athanasius, Apologia de Fuga, 24. There's another letter about the same event: Apologia ad Constantium, 25).
He may have been Dux Thebaidos
So 5000 men. Many thanks for clearing that up. Now, about the dux, here is an inscription of a dux commanding two legions:

Circa AD 300 Thrace IGR I.1496; translation of Stein, <Traianus 1> PW 6A (1937), col. 2088:

Traianus Mucianus duc(enarius) miles cohortis I Concordiensium et legionis II Parthicae, eques cohortis VII praetoriae, evocatus, (centurio) protector leg(ionis) XIII gem(inae), (centurio) prot(ector) vigilum, (centurio) pr(o)tect(or) urb(anicianus), prot(ector) cohort(is) V pr(ae)t(oriae), princeps prot(ector), primop(ilus), … praefectus leg(ionis) III Flaviae, dux legionum VII Claudiae et IIII Flaviae…
(04-23-2017, 02:55 PM)Flavivs Aetivs Wrote: [ -> ]He may have been Dux Thebaidos

Syrianus was probably dux Aegypti et Thebaidos utrarumque Libbyarum (see AE 1889, 00152 / AE 1934, 00007 and 00008 / AE 2004, 01636) - this was apparently the commander of all the troops in the area before the creation of the diocese of Egypt in c.390 - just as the letter says, 'all the legions of soldiers throughout Egypt and Libya'.

Oddly, somebody called Lucifer of Cagliari describes Syrianus as Iudaeorum militum ducem - perhaps, as an extreme sectarian, this Lucifer referred to all Arians as 'Jews'?


(04-23-2017, 03:07 PM)Julian de Vries Wrote: [ -> ]an inscription of a dux commanding two legions:

Circa AD 300... Traianus Mucianus...

Mucianus is one of the earliest known protectores, and his career is usually assumed to begin under Gallienus and extend through to Aurelian or perhaps even Diocletian. Late 3rd century anyway - he's also one of the last known primipili, I think.

The institution of the dux as a frontier or provincial commander seems to date to the tetrarchy (the earliest known one appears in an inscription under Constantius I). So Mucianus's ducate would probably be similar to the 2nd-3rd century model known elsewhere - a senior centurion or primipilare given temporary command over a combined force of varying size for the duration of a particular campaign.
(04-23-2017, 10:47 AM)Nathan Ross Wrote: [ -> ]English translation here
[Edit - the reference is Athanasius, Apologia de Fuga, 24. There's another letter about the same event: Apologia ad Constantium, 25).

It can also be found online here: https://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf204...#highlight

(04-23-2017, 10:47 AM)Nathan Ross Wrote: [ -> ]Although the number appears to be 5000 - Syrianus is described as dux, and seems to have drawn together a large body of troops (described elsewhere as 'all the legions of soldiers throughout Egypt and Libya'

Best don't tell that to Steven. Wink
Just to be on the safe side, I checked the Greek:

24 Ἱκανὰ μὲν οὖν ταῦτα τὴν μανίαν τῶν ἀσεβῶν ἀνατρέψαι, καὶ δεῖξαι μηδὲν ἕτερον αὐτοὺς σπουδάζοντας ἢ ἵνα μόνον εἰς λοιδορίας καὶ βλασφημίας φιλονεικῶσιν. Ἐπειδὴ δὲ ἅπαξ χριστομάχοι τολμήσαντες εἶναι, λοιπὸν καὶ φιλοπράγμονες γεγόνασιν, ἐξεταζέτωσαν ὅμως καὶ τὸν τρόπον τῆς ἀναχωρήσεως, καὶ μανθανέτωσαν παρὰ τῶν ἰδίων. Ἦσαν γὰρ Ἀρειανοὶ συνδραμόντες τοῖς στρατιώταις εἰς τὸ παροξύνειν αὐτούς, καὶ ἀγνοοῦσιν αὐτοῖς δεικνύειν ἡμᾶς. Καὶ εἰ καὶ οὕτως ἀσυμπαθεῖς τυγχάνουσιν, ἀλλὰ κἂν ἀκούοντες ἠρεμείτωσαν αἰσχυνόμενοι. Νὺξ μὲν γὰρ ἤδη ἦν, καὶ τοῦ λαοῦ τινες ἐπαννύχιζον προσδο κωμένης συνάξεως· ὁ δὲ στρατηλάτης Συριανὸς ἐξαίφνης ἐπέστη μετὰ στρατιωτῶν πλεῖον πεντακισχιλίων ἐχόντων ὅπλα καὶ ξίφη γυμνὰ καὶ τόξα καὶ βέλη καὶ ῥόπαλα, καθὰ καὶ πρότερον εἴρηται. Καὶ τὴν μὲν ἐκκλησίαν αὐτὸς περιεκύκλωσε στήσας τοὺς στρατιώτας σύνεγγυς, ὡς μὴ δύνασθαί τινας ἀπὸ τῆς ἐκκλησίας ἐξελθόντας παρελθεῖν αὐτούς. Ἐγὼ δὲ ἄλογον ἡγούμενος ἐν τοσαύτῃ συγχύσει καταλεῖψαι τοὺς λαοὺς καὶ μὴ μᾶλλον προκινδυνεύειν αὐτῶν, καθεσθεὶς ἐπὶ τοῦ θρόνου, προέτρεπον τὸν μὲν διάκονον ἀναγινώσκειν ψαλμόν, τοὺς δὲ λαοὺς ὑπακούειν· «ὅτι εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα τὸ ἔλεος αὐτοῦ» καὶ πάντας οὕτως ἀναχωρεῖν καὶ εἰς τοὺς οἴκους ἀπιέναι. Ἀλλὰ τοῦ στρατηλάτου βίᾳ λοιπὸν ἐπεισελθόντος, καὶ τῶν στρατιωτῶν περιλαβόντων τὸ ἱερατεῖον ἕνεκα τοῦ συλλαβεῖν ἡμᾶς, οἱ μὲν εὑρεθέντες ἐκεῖ κληρικοὶ καὶ οἱ ἀπὸ τῶν λαῶν ἐβόων, ἠξίουν ἀναχωρεῖν ἤδη καὶ ἡμᾶς· ἐγὼ δὲ μᾶλλον ἀντέλεγον, μὴ πρότερον ἀναχωρήσειν εἰ μὴ πάντες καθ' ἕκαστον ὑπεξέλθοιεν. Ἀναστὰς γοῦν καὶ προστάξας εὐχὴν οὕτως ἀντηξίουν ἀπιέναι πρότερον τοὺς πάντας, «βέλτιον εἶναι, λέγων, ἐμὲ κινδυνεύειν ἢ βλαβῆναί τινας ἐξ ὑμῶν». Ἐξελθόντων τοίνυν τῶν πλείστων, καὶ τῶν λοιπῶν ἐπακολουθούντων οἱ σὺν ἡμῖν ὄντες ἐκεῖ μοναχοὶ καί τινες τῶν κληρικῶν ἀνελθόντες εἵλκυσαν ἡμᾶς. Καὶ οὕτως, ἐπὶ μάρτυρι τῇ ἀληθείᾳ, τῶν στρατιωτῶν τῶν μὲν περιεστηκότων τὸ ἱερατεῖον, τῶν δὲ περιερχομένων τὴν ἐκκλησίαν διήλθομεν, τοῦ Κυρίου ὁδηγοῦντος καὶ αὐτοῦ φυλάττοντος, λαθόντες αὐτοὺς ἀνεχωρήσαμεν, δοξάζοντες μεγάλως αὐτὸν τὸν Θεόν, ὅτι μήτε προδεδώκαμεν τὸν λαόν, ἀλλὰ καὶ προπέμψαντες αὐτοὺς διασωθῆναι καὶ διαφυγεῖν τὰς χεῖρας τῶν ζητούντων ἠδυνήθημεν.

5000 (πεντακισχιλίων) seems to be OK.
(04-24-2017, 01:30 PM)Renatus Wrote: [ -> ]Just to be on the safe side, I checked the Greek

Thanks!


(04-24-2017, 01:30 PM)Renatus Wrote: [ -> ]5000 (πεντακισχιλίων) seems to be OK.

Although Syrianus's command during this incident was clearly not a single unit, but a collection of different units or detachments drawn together. The figure of 'more than five thousand' should be taken as approximate, I would guess. Elsewhere I think Athanasius mentions Syrianus leading 'an infinite number of soldiers'...

So these quotes neither help nor hinder the endless debates about unit sizes - except for demonstrating that a dux could assemble a field command of several thousand men if required.