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Late Roman Army - seniores and iuniores
Hello all,
I remember that when I read Nicasie's long dissertion about iunores/seniores, his conclusions (which Robert has already shared) seemed to me appreciable under a logical point of view, but clearly lacked any substantial proof (and Nicasie never tried to hide or deny this point), and also raised questions about the actual level of application of this distinction in the army before 364.
My idea was that it would have been easier to assume that Costantine (if Nicasie is correct , or someone else, still before 364, if he is not) did not actually extensively apply such a new system of designation, but did - (if ever) - "just" bring it in, which doesn't necessarily mean that it was suddenly applied to the entire army, not even to a large part of it.
This made it possible to keep on referring to Hoffmann's theory as the most valid one, provided we apply to it a few corrections, as a consequence of the discovery of sources Hoffmann couldn't have known of, about which you all have extensively talked here.
In a few words, I totally agree with these words:

Quote:I therefore think that most seniores/iuniores were created in 364, because that west-east division seems also to take place just then.

Naissus stands clearly, in my opinion, as the most likely event for the iuniores/seniores distinction as we know it from the Notitia Dignitatum.
The Nakolea epigraph "proves" that this system was already in use, but doesn't affect the fact that the ND pattern of distinction might have mainly been originated at Naissus.
I understand that so far I haven't added anything to what has already been written in this topic, but my opinion (and I also did that in a worst english Big Grin ).
I wish, anyway , to mention another author (who shares this view and with whom I substantially agree, by the way ) who briefly deals with this problem, having at hand all available sources and other scholars' theories: Noel Lenski, in "Failure of empire, Valens and the roman state in the IV century a.D.", 2002, after briefly mentioning some theories (Hoffmann, Tomlin, Drew-Bear, Scharf, Nicasie), concludes that Hoffman's and Tomlin's theory, if modified, remains the best since the Seniores/Iuniores distinction in the ND, even if it already existed before 364, is largely a reflection of the 364 division.
I think this would be a good starting point for any further research.
Just my opinion.

Iuppiter Optimus Maximus resistere atque iterare pugnam iubet
(Liv. I.12)

Tiberius Claudius Nero
a.k.a. Carlo Sansilvestri

SISMA - Società Italiana per gli Studi Militari Antichi

Messages In This Thread
Re: Late Roman Army - seniores and iuniores - by Ti Cl Nero - 02-25-2007, 06:17 PM

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