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Rome versus Pyrrhus
#16
Hi Steven,

Although as a historian I'm always suspicious when anyone says that 'the source is corrupt', but i don't really know enough about this period to voice an opinion. :wink:

This one i was wondering about though:
Quote:The reason why the state supplied the horses is because all equipment for war was provided by the state, so no need to for anyone to buy their own equipment or parts of it. Now if the men had to provide their own equipment, I would imagine it would have been very difficult to levy artillerymen. Plus who brings the tent? My viewpoint will not change Big Grin – “the state issued the equipment, which includes all the equipment necessary for the army.”
of course much of what you say there sounds reasonable, but I guess there is no proof available about what the state actually provided at this point isn time, is there?
As to the horses for the cavalry, just for the sake of clarity, are you saying that the state always provided the horses?
If so, how do we get the connection of the rich folks (equites) with the cavalry, if this connection never existed?
If not, and the cavalry was indeed reserved for the wealthier classes because they could afford 9and ride) horses, when is this situation likely to have ended?
Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR
FECTIO Late Romans
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
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#17
Hey Big Grin
You have quoted a massive amount of, at least, second hand information there. Livius, born ~59 BC; Dionysius, born ~60 BC; Plutarchos, born ~46 AD…
Polybius, born ~203BC, is the only first hand witness of the republican roman army whose works have been preserved, I think…. But then again we dont have much else do we?

Actually I did not go by Cornell, but I think the authors I have read went by Cornell…ironic… One would think trusted authors would have read the ancient texts that I have been too lazy to read. Especially considering this is their profession(slightly annoyed at this…).

Anyway, REALLY good post above! Finally some firm support for the pro-State issued equipment team! ?

Btw your first quote is not mine, it’s Cornell quoted by Epictetus…
So I’m not quite sure what to say about the first part? I have always thought the weapons and arms were state provided at a very early time mainly due to logic - a heterogenous military unit is not an efficient unit(in general)…

The second quote is very interesting to me, I have seen this(phalanx to maniples in late 4th cent.) so many times so that I have started using it myself… :oops: I never saw an explanation to the phalanx occurring in Italy, so I presumed the greek colonies had enough military influence to switch the Italic peoples from barbarian horde to phalanx at a very early stage. A phalanx is not a flexible unit(flank it!) and not very well suited to movement due to the clumsiness of the tightly packed structure – exquisite for frontal assaults on a greek plain though. Italy is very hilly, especially central italy! So I have never understood why the Italic people would take on the phalanx. Again I have presumed that they simply had no organisation when the greek military influence was enforced upon them. I have never seen any references to the ancient texts on italic people forming up in a phalanx, then again I have not read much…
If the maniple system was there all along that would make much more sense to me.
But is there any proof for that? Plutarchos you say? And what is his source for that? After all he lived almost half a millennia after anything that would be seen as archaic latin..

Quote:I’ve compiled all the battle accounts of the Servian army from any source I can get

What battle accounts are those? Which historians?

Quote:The reason why the state supplied the horses is because all equipment for war was provided by the state, so no need to for anyone to buy their own equipment or parts of it

Ever heard of “Equites” Equo Privato? Private warhorses owned by rich ppl to be able to do battle from horseback. Theses people belonged to Census class I but were not rich or noble enough to qualify for the Equites class and thus get an Equo Publico. Most likely they did this with political aspirations in mind as well as personal security. As I understand it a horse was very expensive to support unless you had estates, this might have been one of the original reasons why only the richest got a free horse, they had the means to provide for it all year round(I am trying not to be cynical here)… In early Rome cavalry seems to have been valued higher than infantry… Again, slightly askew considering the terrain, perhaps explained not by military virtue but rather because the nobles were riding them(and the expense of a horse)?

So you think that the “war tax” would have covered mail shirts for example(extremely expensive…)… Communal equipment generally are not of the best quality, I think we can safely say that this is due to human nature Smile I personally question whether the fanciest stuff was communal during the early times.
It would be incredibly expensive to provide mail shirts for all principes or triarii for example. Question is whether some principes/triarii using cheaper armour would influence the function of their unit a lot. Cost efficiency vs functionalty.
Cheers,
Jesper
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#18
Quote:Valerius wrote:
Although as a historian I'm always suspicious when anyone says that 'the source is corrupt'.

But unfortunately it has become a common catch-cry among historians. Blame the primary sources.

Quote:Valerius wrote:
but I guess there is no proof available about what the state actually provided at this point isn time, is there?

There are references to the equipment and the horses supplied by the state. I thought the numerous references are...overwhelming!

Quote:Valerius wrote:
As to the horses for the cavalry, just for the sake of clarity, are you saying that the state always provided the horses? If so, how do we get the connection of the rich folks (equites) with the cavalry, if this connection never existed?

Did the state supply the horses...yes. During the early republic, the cavalry were mainly drawn from the rich. However, Dionysius (VI 44) does state 400 plebeian were knights. In the Roman system, a plebeian can be rich or poor, and a patrician, also can be rich or poor.

Quote:Valerius wrote:
If not, and the cavalry was indeed reserved for the wealthier classes because they could afford and ride) horses, when is this situation likely to have ended?

Because of losses during the civil war, Sulla (Appian BC I 100) appointed three hundred of the most distinguished of the equestrian order as senators. There are other references to the equestrian order for different periods.

Quote:Jesper wrote:
Actually I did not go by Cornell, but I think the authors I have read went by Cornell…ironic… One would think trusted authors would have read the ancient texts that I have been too lazy to read. Especially considering this is their profession (slightly annoyed at this…).

I had this discussion with some retired academics at Melbourne University yesterday. They are of the conclusion many academics are just “cut and paste merchants.” The consensus was there was a lack of original research. What gets me hot under the collar is when academics bend the information in the primary sources to support their theory. There is nothing wrong with having a theory, but test it against the information or empirical data in the primary sources. The primary sources contain many revealing patterns. When you put them together, they are very informative. In the early republic, there are three distinct patterns for the distribution of the army. Of the three patterns, two are for consuls and the third for dictators. The Romans adhere to these patterns. However, with the introduction of the maniple legion, the distribution pattern of the army changes.

Quote:Jesper wrote:
If the maniple system was there all along that would make much more sense to me. But is there any proof for that? Plutarchos you say? And what is his source for that? After all he lived almost half a millennia after anything that would be seen as archaic latin.

I guess Plutarch trusts his sources. Jesus Christ lived over 2000 years ago but this hasn’t stopped people believing in him. But returning to the maniple legion, I do my research through the empirical data in the primary sources. When the maniple legion is introduced can be proven by the upheaval in the military and political mathematics, plus some textual evidence. I have 700 years of military organisations that show everything interlocks and is built on the Servian constitution. Now the primary sources do not give a 12-step program when the maniple legion was introduced, but things like the cavalry organisation and the voting system just go completely haywire. Moreover, the command structure with the ratio of officers to units ends in fractions. That is a definite sign of change. What is surprising is the maniple legion is a manifest of a plan formulated by the Roman senate some 70 years before its introduction. This information is contained within the primary sources. To access it, you need to ask the right questions. This was taught to me by the Napoleonic historian Howie Muir. His theory was asking the right question will get the right answer, something he believes I have done.

Quote:Jesper wrote:
What battle accounts are those? Which historians?

Dionysius and Livy are the main historians. Then for snippets throw in Lydus, Appian, Plutarch, Ovid, Servius and others.

Quote: Jesper wrote:
Ever heard of “Equites” Equo Privato? Private warhorses owned by rich ppl to be able to do battle from horseback. These people belonged to Census class I but were not rich or noble enough to qualify for the Equites class and thus get an Equo Publico.

Without knowing who the Equites Privato is this is conjecture. Some academics believe it represents a reform of the cavalry and the equestrian order, and therefore try to include it in the Augustine period. But what was it really? Well it was a one off event when the army suffered a defeat at Veii in 403 BC. I have them listed at 500 men, and they belong to the equestrian order, but after this incident, they disappear. If in doubt, count the number of references to the equo privato in the primary sources.

What I have found exciting about the cavalry centres on the year 423 BC, when Livy (IV 37) records the troopers in every squadron dismounted, then when dismounted they are from then referred to as a cohort. Now Livy’s terminology here is accurate as a number of squadrons make a cavalry cohort. Roman cavalry is mentioned being organised into decurions, centuries and cohorts, and I have found this to be accurate. You must have all organisations in a squadron. Get this right and you have the frontage and depth of the squadron as there is only one mathematical possibility.

Quote:Jesper wrote:
As I understand it a horse was very expensive to support unless you had estates, this might have been one of the original reasons why only the richest got a free horse, they had the means to provide for it all year round(I am trying not to be cynical here)…

Livy (I 44) claims each century of cavalry received a grant from the treasury of ten thousand asses for the purchase of the horses, with a further grant, levied on rich widows, of 2000 asses a year for their feeding and maintenance. Notice how he mentions “centuries” for the cavalry. So in this reference there is no mention of the rich paying for or providing their own horses, nor are they required to pay for their upkeep. This leaves the question, if I am a rich plebeian, and remember Dionysius (VI 44) does state 400 plebeian were knights, and my income is derived from owing all the brothels in Rome. Now because of this I have no country estate, where do I put my stupid horse, in anticipation of being mobilised as a cavalrymen when war breaks out. Be folly to put it at the back of one of my brothels as Jupiter only know what could happen to it.

Quote:Jesper wrote:
So you think that the “war tax” would have covered mail shirts for example (extremely expensive…)… Communal equipment generally are not of the best quality, I think we can safely say that this is due to human nature.

“Although we know of the use of chainmail in the republic, but the question is the extent of its use is uncertain” (Roman chain mail: Experiments to Reproduce the Methods of Manufacturer, David Sim, Britannia Volume 28 1997pp 359-371. The references to Roman armies stripping the dead on order to get their hands on better chainmail could be a possibility. The Germans in the Second World War used slaves to make weapons. The standards were poor but that didn’t stopped the Germans from using slave labour. It was a case of necessity. I remember reading of one account during the defence of Silesia in 1945 one German soldier fired five panzerfaust at passing Russian tanks and all failed to fire. His comment was sabotage and the German soldiers expected a high rate of equipment failure because of the employment of slave labour.
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#19
Publius Valerius Publicola(d. ~503 BC) speaks to the plebeians in your quote above(Dionysius of Halicarnassus, VI 44):
"But the thing in particular which has occasioned the greatest indignation against me is that, in raising the army, more than four hundred well?to?do plebeians were added to the knights."

This might be the first few plebeians raised to the Equites rank i.e. the first of the 12 centuries of pleibeian Equites?

The point is that the senate was pissed off regarding this... It was not normal and not acceptable...As I understand it the equites class was orginally founded based on patricians only, 6 centuries of them. Equestrian rank was thus hereditary. When the need for more cavalry arouse, 12 centuries of census class 1 plebeians were added to the same class and granted the privileges this class enjoyed.

Of course over time the patricians ceased to exist per se and was instead replaced by the senatorial class, who then filled the equestrians ranks with their sons etc....

Yes I know that, according to Livy, in a crisis during the siege of Veii the Equites Equo Privato was created for the first time. The problem is I do not know for how long they remained in service... You believe they were disbanded after the battle then? Loads of other authors seems to believe they remained in service throughout the republic, Mommsen is one of these authors. I am bad at the numbers of the roman republican army, but would the romans need more cavalry if they only assigned 3 centuries of Equites to each legion(?). The 18 centuries would then cover 6 legions, what did they do if they needed more than 6 legions? How often did that happen?


Cheers,
Jesper
Cheers,
Jesper
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#20
Quote:What gets me hot under the collar is when academics bend the information in the primary sources to support their theory.
I've noticed this frequent complaint in your posts, Steven, without citing any examples. I hope you'll eventually name your bugbears. (They do exist, ... don't they?)
Quote:I guess Plutarch trusts his sources. Jesus Christ lived over 2000 years ago but this hasn’t stopped people believing in him.
Your casual methodology doesn't inspire confidence. But maybe this was just a flippant remark.
Quote:This was taught to me by the Napoleonic historian Howie Muir. His theory was asking the right question will get the right answer, something he believes I have done.
Thank goodness a Napoleonic historian appreciates your research, when Classicists have (according to your own testimony) been less than thrilled. I'd've thought that, provided you employ a solid methodology, no-one should have any problems.
Quote:Dionysius and Livy are the main historians. Then for snippets throw in Lydus, Appian, Plutarch, Ovid, Servius and others.
Ovid?! I hope you are just being flippant again. If you're planning to turn the establishment upside-down, you better be sure of your sources (and the accuracy of their sources).
Quote:Without knowing who the Equites Privato is this is conjecture. ... But what was it really? Well it was a one off event when the army suffered a defeat at Veii in 403 BC.
I think you're mistaken. Livy mentions equites serving equo publico during the Hannibalic War (Livy 27.11). But maybe you have another explanation?
Quote:... The Germans in the Second World War used slaves to make weapons. ... ...
Of course, as you well know, it would be foolish to use Nazi policy to support a Republican Roman theory. (Just being flippant again?)
Quote:Now if the men had to provide their own equipment, I would imagine it would have been very difficult to levy artillerymen.
Thank goodness your early Roman armies didn't field catapults. Smile
posted by Duncan B Campbell
https://ninth-legion.blogspot.com/
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#21
Antiochus wrote:
Quote:Without knowing who the Equites Privato is this is conjecture. ... But what was it really? Well it was a one off event when the army suffered a defeat at Veii in 403 BC.


D B Campbell wrote :
Quote:I think you're mistaken. Livy mentions equites serving equo publico during the Hannibalic War (Livy 27.11). But maybe you have another explanation?

Maybe I misunderstand, but Livius XXVII mentions that the surviving Equites that took part in the Battle of Cannae lost their right to a public horse, there's no direct mention of Equites Equo Privato unless one assumes that these Equites then had to buy their own horse and thus became became Equites Equo Privato.
While this seems feasible, what about the privileges? Livius specifically mentions that very few Equites were stricken off the Equestrian order i.e. the Equites that lost their right to a horse did not lose their rank as Equites. As I understand it, Equites Equo Privato were not part of the Equestrian order, the only reason why they were called "Equites" was because it was the ordinary term for horsemen, it did not specifically mean you were part of the Equestrian order.
Cheers,
Jesper
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#22
Wow. This is a good thread.

Quote: Much of Cornell’s interpretation of the Servian constitution is flawed. Unfortunately, for him, he relies on Fraccaros (spelling) theory for the military aspect of the Servian constitution, that the three classes amounts to 60 centuries (40 + 10 + 10), and this represents a legion. There is one aspect of the Servian constitution that is not discussed by academics and concerns the references by Dionysius and Livy the voting favoured the rich with 98 votes versus 95. Strangely this matter is not raised during the Struggle of the Orders. Everything else from land reform to entering the consul is fought over but nothing on the inequality of the voting system. Now Dionysius does state the century assembly became more democratic over time, so if it was not an issue during the Struggle of the Orders, then it must have become very democratic at a much earlier date. To become democratic, the organisation must have changed, which means the mathematics have changed. And this is what happened. Dionysius and Livy have used sources detailing two different century assembly organisations. Livy’s comment the number of iuniores and seniores had doubled by his day is correct, but he has taken this from a later reform of the Servian organisation which equates to that given by Cicero of 70 centuries of Class I and not 80 centuries as listed in 530 BC. If the number of centuries in the Servian organisation of 530 BC is doubled, for its military aspect, you end up with an exact Polybian legion. So in a nutshell, the organisation as given in the 530 BC Servian organisation is corrupt.

Sorry for coming back to this Steven, but I confess I’m not entirely sure what you are saying. I understand that you are challenging Cornell’s notion of state-provided equipment, but are you also challenging Fraccaro’s theory that the centuriate organisation corresponds to the structure of the legion?
David J. Cord
www.davidcord.com
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#23
Quote:
D B Campbell:2dfg695h Wrote:I think you're mistaken. Livy mentions equites serving equo publico during the Hannibalic War (Livy 27.11). But maybe you have another explanation?
Maybe I misunderstand, but Livius XXVII mentions that the surviving Equites that took part in the Battle of Cannae lost their right to a public horse, there's no direct mention of Equites Equo Privato unless one assumes that these Equites then had to buy their own horse and thus became became Equites Equo Privato.
Apologies, Jesper -- slip of the pen/keyboard. Livy does directly mention equo privato (as well as equo publico) in the passage I cited, which was intended to question Steven's opinion that the equus privatus was a one-off concept from the 5th C. (My understanding is that the men in question lost their right to a "public horse" on account of cowardice, and were forced to continue serving equis suis, i.e. using their own horses.)
posted by Duncan B Campbell
https://ninth-legion.blogspot.com/
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#24
I did read the chapter 11 of book XXVII in english, but I didn't see any mention of anything similar to Equo Privato so I went on to have a look at it in latin.

"[11] Prodigia quoque priusquam ab urbe consules proficiscerentur procurari placuit. in Albano monte tacta de caelo erant signum Iouis arborque templo propinqua, et Ostiae lacus, et Capuae murus Fortunaeque aedis, et Sinuessae murus portaque. haec de caelo tacta: cruentam etiam fluxisse aquam Albanam quidam auctores erant, et Romae intus in cella aedis Fortis Fortunae de capite signum quod in corona erat in manum sponte sua prolapsum. et Priuerni satis constabat bouem locutum uolturiumque frequenti foro in tabernam deuolasse, et Sinuessae natum ambiguo inter marem ac feminam sexu infantem, quos androgynos uolgus, ut pleraque, faciliore ad duplicanda uerba Graeco sermone appellat, et lacte pluuisse et cum elephanti capite puerum natum. ea prodigia hostiis maioribus procurata, et supplicatio circa omnia puluinaria, obsecratio in unum diem indicta; et decretum ut C. Hostilius praetor ludos Apollini sicut iis annis uoti factique erant uoueret faceretque. per eos dies et censoribus creandis Q. Fuluius consul comitia habuit. creati censores ambo qui nondum consules fuerant, M. Cornelius Cethegus P. Sempronius Tuditanus. ii censores ut agrum Campanum fruendum locarent ex auctoritate patrum latum ad plebem est plebesque sciuit. senatus lectionem contentio inter censores de principe legendo tenuit. Sempronii lectio erat; ceterum Cornelius morem traditum a patribus sequendum aiebat ut qui primus censor ex iis qui uiuerent fuisset, eum principem legerent; is T. Manlius Torquatus erat; Sempronius cui di sortem legendi dedissent ei ius liberum eosdem dedisse deos; se id suo arbitrio facturum lecturumque Q. Fabium Maximum quem tum principem Romanae ciuitatis esse uel Hannibale iudice uicturus esset. cum diu certatum uerbis esset, concedente collega lectus a Sempronio princeps in senatum Q. Fabius Maximus consul. inde alius lectus senatus octo praeteritis, inter quos M. Caecilius Metellus erat, infamis auctor deserendae Italiae post Cannensem cladem. in equestribus quoque notis eadem seruata causa, sed erant perpauci quos ea infamia attingeret; illis omnibus—et multi erant—adempti equi qui Cannensium legionum equites in Sicilia erant. addiderunt acerbitati etiam tempus, ne praeterita stipendia procederent iis quae equo publico emeruerant, sed dena stipendia equis priuatis facerent. magnum praeterea numerum eorum conquisiuerunt qui equo merere deberent, atque ex iis qui principio eius belli septemdecim annos nati fuerant neque militauerant omnes aerarios fecerunt. locauerunt inde reficienda quae circa forum incendio consumpta erant, septem tabernas, macellum, atrium regium."

Thanks to the latin library ( http://www.thelatinlibrary.com/ ) for providing free access to classical texts in latin!

The interesting part is:
"in equestribus quoque notis eadem seruata causa, sed erant perpauci quos ea infamia attingeret; illis omnibus—et multi erant—adempti equi qui Cannensium legionum equites in Sicilia erant. addiderunt acerbitati etiam tempus, ne praeterita stipendia procederent iis quae equo publico emeruerant, sed dena stipendia equis priuatis facerent. magnum praeterea numerum eorum conquisiuerunt qui equo merere deberent, atque ex iis qui principio eius belli septemdecim annos nati fuerant neque militauerant omnes aerarios fecerunt."

Aha! He uses the term "equis priuatis" this is plural of equo privato yes? The translation I read ( http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/txt/ah/Livy/Livy27.html ) doesn't go into specifics....I'm glad to see that you are right! But not only that, look at the next sentence!

The translation I read of the last sentence is :

"A large number of men were discovered who ought to have served, and all those who had reached the age of seventeen at the commencement of the war and had not done any military service were degraded to the aerarii."

This seems really interesting, as I understand it the latin specifically reads "who ought to have served on horse". How do we explain this?? He goes on to say that these ppl were "degraded" to aerarii i.e. the poor ppl that paid a tax instead of doing military service. Observe that Livius a few sentences previously said that few Equites were stricken off the Equestrian ranks. As I see it we have ppl here that should have served on horse(if I got that right), they were many, avoided the draft and were punished by being thrown out of the class system, i.e. these ppl had to be of the higher classes otherwise this woulkdnt be much of a punishment, and in with the poor.... Why do I get the feeling that these were Equites Equo Privato i.e. plebeians of class I? And they seem to be expected to serve as horsemen by this date. Speculation of course but reasonable speculation I would say...
Cheers,
Jesper
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#25
Quote:Aha! He uses the term "equis priuatis" this is plural of equo privato yes?
Yup.
Quote:This seems really interesting, as I understand it the latin specifically reads "who ought to have served on horse".
Correct. Interesting stuff? :wink:
posted by Duncan B Campbell
https://ninth-legion.blogspot.com/
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#26
Quote:D B Campbell wrote:
I've noticed this frequent complaint in your posts, Steven, without citing any examples. I hope you'll eventually name your bugbears. (They do exist, ... don't they?)

I must declare I am very surprised by this response. You are an academic as should be like myself aware of the criticism that exist given by modern historians regarding the validity of ancient writers. The academic journals are full of such criticism, and as an academic, you know of their existence, as you would have read many of them. I do not name names as I see no point to it, as I find it unfair to list a few names from a multitude of names. But if you are wanting of examples, here a but are a few from hundreds:

Military Essays of the Ancient Grecian, Roman and Modern Art of War, James Turner. (written in 1670 and 1671), page 84. “Titus Livius, that famous historian, in his eighth book giving a particular account of the great battle fought between the Romans, and their allies the Latines, marshals the Roman legion in such a confused way, that he is not at all intelligible.”

A Critical Inquiry into the Constitution of the Roman Legion; Robert Melville (1703), page 1-2
The passage of Titus Livius (Book VIII. 8) , relating to the legion, is declared, by all the commentators, to be corrupted almost in every sentence, insomuch as scarcely to admit of correction; besides, though the legion underwent different changes in different periods of the state, neither he nor Vegetius mention particularly to what period they refer.

A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, William Smith, D.C.L., LL.D. (1875) page 495
In deference to a great name, we ought not to omit mentioning that Niebuhr (Hist. of Rome, vol. III p97) while he admits that the text of Livy is sound and consistent with itself, argues, we venture to think, somewhat unreasonably, that he did not understand his excellent materials, and although clear at first, became eventually completely bewildered and wrote nonsense.

Livy: His Historical Aims and Methods, P. G. Walsh (1961) page 157 “Livy’s geographical vagueness is a weakness; still more crippling is his ignorance of military matters. The parts of his history left to us are in large measure concerned with commanders and their armies; how unfortunate therefore that he had not the mind of a Xenophon, which readily apprehended the use of weapons and mechanical devices. Equally unfortunate was his lack of military experience which made him ignorant of battle tactics.”

The Legion and the Centuriate Organisation, G. V. Sumner, The Journal of Roman Studies, Vol. 60. (1970), page 69. “In short, Livy's account should not be treated as a valid description of any form of the manipular legion. Only the details confirmed by other sources have any claim to credence.”

Early Roman Armies, Nick Sekunda and Simon Northwood, Osprey Men-At-Arms Series 283, (1995), Page 41 “As he is making the accensi combatants, Livy has to invent weapons for them to carry and consequently he has created an entirely spurious five-line formation with three rear lines.”

A Commentary on Livy Books VI-X, Volume II, S. P. Oakley, Clarendon Press, Oxford, (1998) page 457, “Interpretation of the main body of Livy’s description of the manipular legion is unfortunately impeded by the author’s own mistakes and by subsequent textual corruption. Hence it is approached most easily via the rather more detailed and lucid account of the manipular legion which Polybius provides at VI 21 6-24, which may serve as a point of reference against which to judge the eccentricities of the Livian account.”

Cannae, the Experience of Battle in the Second Punic War, Gregory Daly, Published in 2002. page 30 “It would have been natural for roman writers to exaggerate the size of Hannibal’s army in order to explain their own defeats.” Can Daly prove this?

Holmes, Caesar’s Conquest of Gaul, Page 560 “Plutarch is not a trustworthy authority, least of all about numbers (legion numbers).” But can Holmes prove Plutarch is untrustworthy?

Bell, Tactical Reform in the Roman Republican Army, Historia 14 (1965) pg 404-422 “Despite his military reputation, Frontinus must be treated with great caution. In the first place, he was a careless historian, probably never bothering to check his references very accurately, which made him liable to commit such gaffes as describing a stratagem by which Alcibiades took Syracuse. As a result he commits at least three certain anachronisms, using cohort in incidents involving Titus Quinctius in 468 BC, Fulvius Nobilior in 298 BC and Atilius Regulus in 295 BC. This last is an interesting example of the sort of carelessness to which Frontinus was liable, for it is in one passage which is repeated. Here Regulus is reported to have blocked the retreat of his troops with a cohort, and in the same story as told by Livy (X 36 6) with cavalry. A more serious fault is that he did not seem to understand the manipular system at all.

Now Bell has no problem accepting Livy’s 17 references to the cohort in Spain. However, he remains silent on the fact that Livy first employs the term cohort in Book II 11, for the year 508 BC, and there are over 15 more examples given by Livy between Book II to V. Dionysius’ first use of ‘cohort’ occurs in Book VIII 65 for the year 488 BC, with a further 10 examples specified in Books VIII to XI.

Yet Frontinus is accused of anachronism but Livy, who Bell is dependent on the forward his case, does not received the same treatment. Dionysius also mentions cavalry cohorts and as shocking as it may seem to some, they do exist. It is Bell who does not understand the manipular system and is prepared to ridicule a source that gets in the way of his rather pathetic theory the cohort was invented by the Scipio brothers in Spain.

Brunt, Roman Manpower, page 647 “Appian, who wrongly thought at this time the legion consists of 5000 foot and 300 horse gives Flaminus an army of 30,000 foot and 3000 horse. Pg 648 “The numerical strength of Flaminus’ army is exaggerated by Polybius, drawing on a Greek source which represented the Punic standpoint and inflated the numbers of the enemy in the usual way.” Age 674 “ In general his (Appian) estimates are worthless for the Hannabalic war.”

The problem here Mr Campbell is none of the above historians can or have successfully been able to define the organisation of a legion for any given period yet for reasons beyond me, can inform us about the reliability and validity of the ancient sources. This is quite a remarkable achievement.

For example, and as you are insistent on me providing names, take Roman Legionary 58 BC – AD 69, by Ross Cowan, published by Osprey Warrior Series Number 17 page 7 “A legion was composed of 60 centuries. Each century contained 80 soldiers…Six centuries formed a cohort. There was ten cohorts per legion, 480 men strong, making the legion 4800 infantry at optimum strength.”

However, Caesar (Civil War III 91) claims a century consisted of 120 men and at the outbreak of the civil war, when Caesar crossed the Rubicon with the 13th legion, Plutarch (Caesar 32) claims Caesars only had 5000 men. So how does Ross Cowan reconcile his legion of 80 men per century with Caesar’s 120 men per century, and Plutarch’s 5000 man legion with Cowan’s 4800 man legion? We are missing 200 men.

Quote:D B Campbell wrote:
Your casual methodology doesn't inspire confidence. But maybe this was just a flippant remark.

I believe Plutarch trusted his source, even if they were archaic. For me his numbers are excellent or more accurate than some.

Quote:D B Campbell wrote:
Thank goodness a Napoleonic historian appreciates your research, when Classicists have (according to your own testimony) been less than thrilled.

The historian I mentioned is a brilliant and hard working researcher, and that is why I admire him. He is not cut and paste academic. Not sure about the Classicist “being less than thrilled.” My research is highly regarded among those professors I liaison and share my work with. I did mention rejection with publishing houses but that was from ones who never got past reading the book proposal.

Quote:D B Campbell wrote:
I'd've thought that, provided you employ a solid methodology, no-one should have any problems.

I’m very proud of my methodology. I confront every piece of empirical data I can find. This data interlocks with all other data for a given period. For example, Livy (VI 4) for the year 388 BC states that to capture Contenebra, the Roman army divided into six sections, with each section fighting for six hours until relieved. The figure of six sections corresponds to the Roman army for this time and from this the size of the army is easily determined. Livy is referring to the higher command structure. It is such empirical data as this I can work with, which I will add, no one else is even trying to explain what the army numbers or organisation at Contenebra is.

Quote:D B Campbell wrote:
Ovid?! I hope you are just being flippant again. If you're planning to turn the establishment upside-down, you better be sure of your sources (and the accuracy of their sources).

Do not worry Mr Campbell, I take more care and time with the book than internet emails. I did a cut and copy paste of a list of writers and deleted Fasti but not Ovid. Such mistakes do not happen in the book as I am aware of the nit picking nature of some academics.

Quote:D B Campbell wrote:
I think you're mistaken. Livy mentions equites serving equo publico during the Hannibalic War (Livy 27.11). But maybe you have another explanation?

Well yes I do have “another explanation.” The 403 BC equo public and the 209 BC equo publico are two different things. Both are not an official cavalry unit. The 209 BC equo publico, as Livy states are being punished for their performance at Cannae. The punishment as he states is to pay for their own horses, and all campaigns undertaken on state payed horses are cancelled from their tally. The 403 BC equo publico, which Livy mentions registered as knights are SENIORES. Being seniores they are not supplied state horses, and being seniores, who are recorded as manning the walls of Rome as a home garrison force, they would look pretty stupid trying to sit on a horse while on the ramparts. As seniores of the equestrian order they act as infantry officers.

So taking Livy’s account of the equo publico of 209 BC, being punished by providing their own horses does not indicate the Roman army had a unit or units of equo publico. But if you believe they did, I would be interested to see the evidence. Maybe the equo publico of 209 BC is a punishment unit and in 403 BC the men volunteered to serve in the punishment unit. Just kidding, but it must be remembered the army of 403 BC is described as a volunteer army.

Quote:D B Campbell wrote:
Of course, as you well know, it would be foolish to use Nazi policy to support a Republican Roman theory. (Just being flippant again?)

I gave an example and state the Germans did it out of necessity. If the Romans had slaves making the armour, it would have been out of necessity as well. And by the way, it was the Germans, not the Nazis. Is “flippant” your favourite word?

Quote:D B Campbell wrote:
Thank goodness your early Roman armies didn't field catapults.

Are you positive they didn’t?
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#27
Quote:Jesper wrote:
Yes I know that, according to Livy, in a crisis during the siege of Veii the Equites Equo Privato was created for the first time. The problem is I do not know for how long they remained in service... You believe they were disbanded after the battle then? Loads of other authors seems to believe they remained in service throughout the republic, Mommsen is one of these authors.

Ok if Mommsen and loads of authors believed they remained in service, then why haven’t they given their numbers and organisation and shown us through empirical data via orders of battle proof they were around for some time. I have them as seniores, at 500 men, sued at Veii. Now being aged from 46 to 60 years of age, I’m not sure if all would have been fit for military service. The incident of 209 BC is in relation to being punished for possibly cowardice at Cannae.

Quote:Jesper wrote:
I am bad at the numbers of the roman republican army, but would the romans need more cavalry if they only assigned 3 centuries of Equites to each legion(?). The 18 centuries would then cover 6 legions, what did they do if they needed more than 6 legions?
How often did that happen?

They raised eight legions for Cannae, and with them the appropriate number of cavalry. Dionysius (IX 5-13) records the Roman army for 480 BC at six legions and 1200 cavalry. When the Romans raised 24 legions during the 2nd Punic war, they would have also raised the cavalry for each legion (7200 men).
Reply
#28
Quote:Is “flippant” your favourite word?

D B Campbell:2k147jp5 Wrote:Thank goodness your early Roman armies didn't field catapults.
Are you positive they didn’t?
As positive as any of us can ever be in ancient history. :wink:
posted by Duncan B Campbell
https://ninth-legion.blogspot.com/
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#29
Quote:I must declare I am very surprised by this response. You are an academic as should be like myself aware of the criticism that exist given by modern historians regarding the validity of ancient writers. The academic journals are full of such criticism, and as an academic, you know of their existence, as you would have read many of them. I do not name names as I see no point to it, as I find it unfair to list a few names from a multitude of names. But if you are wanting of examples, here a but are a few from hundreds: ... etc
Your original criticism was of scholars who bend the sources to support their own theories. I don't see any of that in the snippets you quoted. Just the usual cut and thrust of debate. Bending evidence is quite a different thing, implying dishonesty: I just wondered if you could actually support such a serious allegation.
Quote:Caesar (Civil War III 91) claims a century consisted of 120 men and at the outbreak of the civil war, when Caesar crossed the Rubicon with the 13th legion, Plutarch (Caesar 32) claims Caesars only had 5000 men. So how does Ross Cowan reconcile his legion of 80 men per century with Caesar’s 120 men per century, and Plutarch’s 5000 man legion with Cowan’s 4800 man legion? We are missing 200 men.
I might equally ask how you reconcile Caesar's 120-man century with Plutarch's 5000-man legion. They can't both be right. (Or can they?)
posted by Duncan B Campbell
https://ninth-legion.blogspot.com/
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#30
According to Plutarch (Pyrrh. 16.7), Pyrrhus highly praised the contruction or Roman military camps. But, accirding to Frontinus (Strat. II. 1. 14), it was Pyrrhus who first began to fortify his camp by rampart. Which of the authors is right?
8) <img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_cool.gif" alt="8)" title="Cool" />8)
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