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AE 1981 777
#16
A lot of the contributions I have made over the last year or so have been adjuncts to the organisational research I started; but many have been very interesting digressions and have influenced the final(ly..... :errr: .) end product no end with additional 'extra's - and this too is prompting such.

A few possibilities raise their heads in this case.....

- In the manipular (cf Polybius) legion the triarii are the 'senior' elements by virtue of their age and experience and role as the final reserve
- this leads to the Later Republic when the triarii evolve into the pili and lose their spears/hasta and permanently serve in full strength centuries/maniples, but are no longer the 'oldest'; the likely assumption being that the centuries are more homogeneous and fight in cohorts and not the previous legion-based triplex acies
- by the late 3rd century, as the inscription attests, however, the lanciarii have now appeared and it is possible that either, or both, the pili centuries have re-taken up the hasta, or, perhaps more likely given the ideas I've been having on how cohorts may have fought, are now forming a '3rd line' once more (but still in the cohort) behind the lanciarii or even archers by then and thus regained a more accurate triarii 'naming'

- When it comes to the 'ordo', which I have often seen referred to as a possible replacement term for 'maniples'
- is it, firstly, possible that an optio ordines is the senior optio of the two in an ordo/maniple, for that could make sense?
- and that the Early Empire primi ordines (as the 5 senior centurions of the enlarged first cohort) are so described because they each actually command an ordo/maniple-sized double-century?
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#17
Quote:Is it possible, that the greeks never adopted the roman term pilus and insisted to use the term triarius?
A tombstone from Apamea may help here. It is that of Baebius Severus, an immunis in the century of the pilus posterior of the 5th cohort of legio II Parthica and is bilingual, Latin and Greek. The Greek version of the centurion's title is πίλου ύστέρου, so pilus could be transliterated into Greek.
Michael King Macdona

And do as adversaries do in law, -
Strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends.
(The Taming of the Shrew: Act 1, Scene 2)
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#18
Orosius (5 21): “In these days, at the instance of L. Fursidius, centurion of the first maniple, Sulla became the first man to introduce the infamous proscription list.” I have not checked this translation for its accuracy. It would appear that Fursidius could be the senior centurion of the maniple and this would accord with Polybius. Therefore at this point in time nothing has changed. Then we come to Caesar’s (BG 6 40 7) reference to primi, superiores, inferiores, and (BC 2 35) infimi ordines. Generally, centurions are associated with three titles, but here Caesar presents us with four.

“Centuriones, quorum nonnulli ex inferioribus ordinibus reliquarum legionum virtutis causa in superiors ordines errant huius legionis traducti, ne ante partam rei militaris laudem amitterent, fortissimo pugnantes condiderunt.”
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#19
Frank wrote:
I know, that Vegetius says, that the triarius was the lowest rank centurio.

I've missed this. Could you give me the reference Frank?
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#20
Quote:Orosius (5 21): “In these days, at the instance of L. Fursidius, centurion of the first maniple, Sulla became the first man to introduce the infamous proscription list.” I have not checked this translation for its accuracy.
The Latin is as follows:

Tunc Sulla, auctore L. Fursidio primipilari, primus infamem illam tabulam proscriptionis induxit.
Michael King Macdona

And do as adversaries do in law, -
Strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends.
(The Taming of the Shrew: Act 1, Scene 2)
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#21
Quote:Frank wrote:
I know, that Vegetius says, that the triarius was the lowest rank centurio.

I've missed this. Could you give me the reference Frank?

Vegetius II,8

The structure of the 1st cohort according to Vegetius is:

centurio primi pili 400 Men
primus hastatus 200 Men
princeps primae cohortis 150 Men
secundus hastatus 150 Men
triarius prior 100 Men

The structure sounds a bit weird and most historians guess, that Vegetius mixed things up here.
I also found an interesting article from Erich Sander (1950) about the triarius; unfortunately in german.
http://www.rhm.uni-koeln.de/095/Sander.pdf

Sanders theory is, that the triarius is the 6th centurio of the 1st cohort, commanding the vexillatio veteranorum, which is not an official centuria of the 1st cohort, but needs an active commander. Well, his only weak argument for this theory is, that the term triarius fits very well to veterans.
Nevertheless an interesting read about Vegetius and why we should trust him, that a triarius really existed, whatever his role and rank was. And about the good old roman tradition to reuse old terms and give them a new meaning.
Ut desint vires, tamen est laudanda voluntas
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#22
Quote: - by the late 3rd century, as the inscription attests, however, the lanciarii have now appeared and it is possible that either, or both, the pili centuries have re-taken up the hasta, or, perhaps more likely given the ideas I've been having on how cohorts may have fought, are now forming a '3rd line' once more (but still in the cohort) behind the lanciarii or even archers by then and thus regained a more accurate triarii 'naming'

Looking to Arrians report about the battle against the Alans from the 2nd century AD my understanding about lanciarii is, that they throwed their lancea and the lancea was a javelin. At least the light version. In Arrians phalanx formation, the lanciarii are positioned in the 5-8th line, while the legionaries in line 1-4 are using a pilum (perhaps a heavy pilum or even a kind of hasta) as a thrust weapon, always ready to counter cavalry attacks. In the 9th line you then have the archers and behind them the mounted archers. That formation makes a lot of sense against cavalry armies.



Quote: - When it comes to the 'ordo', which I have often seen referred to as a possible replacement term for 'maniples'
- is it, firstly, possible that an optio ordines is the senior optio of the two in an ordo/maniple, for that could make sense?
- and that the Early Empire primi ordines (as the 5 senior centurions of the enlarged first cohort) are so described because they each actually command an ordo/maniple-sized double-century?

Perhaps you are right. In the old manipular legion you basically have 2 ranks of centurions: the priores leading the manipulus and the posteriores leading the other centuria. One of them was elected by the soldiers, the other was appointed. So that explains the different rank or rank-group (ordo), because the voting of free roman citizens had a strong meaning in the roman republic.

Nevertheless, the term ordo is pretty general in latin and used also for non-military groups, e.g. ordo equestris or ordo decurionis (decurio here means an ex-magistrate and member of the curia of a city). So ordo is more a kind of degree (social rank) than a rank. One hint is the career of lateral entrants into the career of the centurions. A member of the ordo decurionis could become directly promoted to centurio (also known as "the ordo"). An ex-praefect and member of the ordo equestris could become a centurio, too. In this case he usually was moved directly to the 1st cohort (centurio primi ordinis).

Social rank (ordo) has a strong meaning in the roman society. We always see a strong connection between social rank and military rank or rank-groups. I would not treat them separately.
Ut desint vires, tamen est laudanda voluntas
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#23
Frank wrote:
Vegetius II, 8 The structure of the 1st cohort according to Vegetius is:

centurio primi pili 400 Men
primus hastatus 200 Men
princeps primae cohortis 150 Men
secundus hastatus 150 Men
triarius prior 100 Men

Thanks Frank, now I see where you are coming from.

Frank wrote:
Nevertheless an interesting read about Vegetius and why we should trust him, that a triarius really existed, whatever his role and rank was. And about the good old roman tradition to reuse old terms and give them a new meaning.

I have to agree about the existence of a triarius. I cannot lightly dismiss the evidence of AE 1981 777. I still believe the term triarius applies to the older troops in the legion and this is why I believe they are at the bottom of Vegetius’ structure. Also the structure presented by Vegetius could apply to the deployment of the first cohort. Notice that all the numbers are divisible by 50.

centurio primi pili 400 Men = 8 men deep
primus hastatus 200 Men = 4 men deep
princeps primae cohortis 150 Men = 3 men deep
secundus hastatus 150 Men = 3 men deep
triarius prior 100 Men = 2 men deep

This gives a total of 20 men deep. Vegetius (3 15) instructs us the lines can be drawn up 10 deep or more. So the 20 men deep from above can be deployed in two lines each of 10 men. Now in relation to Vegetius’ 10 deep or more, in order to increase the depth above 10 men, we need the remaining triarius posterior.
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#24
Renatus wrote:
Of these, optio triarius is the first and, presumably, the most junior. This is diametrically opposite to the position under the Republic.

Continuing on with your theory Renatus, this has revealed a pattern I had not seen within my research. And I am very excited about where it is leading. I am now conducting further investigation into Vegetius’ description of how the centurions are promoted. Should your theory prove right I will make sure that in the book you are given full credit for the concept of the junior centurion structure.

Thank you for sharing this information.
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#25
Quote:I have to agree about the existence of a triarius. I cannot lightly dismiss the evidence of AE 1981 777.

Of course, but remember Sander wrote his article in 1950. This time there was no epigraphic proof for a triarius. When Sander says, that we should trust in Vegetius, he means that Vegetius had no reason to invent anything. He just copied the terms he found in older sources.

Of course, that does not mean, that we should trust in Vegetius' numbers. Speidel wrote an interesting article, how easily all numbers about Vegetius' ancient legion could have been pure speculation, because Vegetius like modern historians found no exact numbers in his sources and had to design something, he thought could be reasonable.

Similar story with the triplicarius. Domaszewski speculated 1905, that this highest rank of the principales must have existed. For 100 years most historians tended to disgree with him. And then we found this tombstone of a mounted archer in Germania, who was a triplicarius.
Ut desint vires, tamen est laudanda voluntas
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#26
Quote:
Magister Militum Flavius Aetius post=351207 Wrote:It's a weird term, because it seems to refer to some sort of higher rank than Centurion, or a High Ranking Centurion in the Limitanei Garrisons. In the Comitatenses and Palatina though, it seems to just mean "Centurion" generally.
Interesting, that could mean, that the Limitanei had 2 ranks of centurions like the early legions. The higher ranked were primi ordines or now called ordinarius. You could also guess, that after a few hundred years and citizen rights for everybody, the centurio princeps of an auxilia, which was the highest centurio of an auxila and 2nd in command behind the tribune/praefect was called ordinarius, too.
Due to the fact that comitatenses are always of higher rank than limitanei, every centurio of the comitatenses was an ordinarius. So in this case ordinarius is not a rank but a rank-group. Like in modern armies lieutenants are a rank group of more than on rank (1st Lt., 2nd Lt. , ...).

Possible but not necessarily so. Ranks are an odd thing, and we are by no means always certain if we are dealing with actual ranks, or maybe with grades, posts or titles, based on tasks, seniority or simply pay differences. Centurions are found in (old-style) limitanei units, ordinarii are found in (new-style) comitatenses and auxilia palatini units. At some points limitanei units become pseudo-comitatenses, still lower in rank but I doubt this transition to the field army had any implication for the names of the NCOs.
Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR
FECTIO Late Romans
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
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#27
Quote:
Frank post=351206 Wrote:Is it possible, that the greeks never adopted the roman term pilus and insisted to use the term triarius?
A tombstone from Apamea may help here. It is that of Baebius Severus, an immunis in the century of the pilus posterior of the 5th cohort of legio II Parthica and is bilingual, Latin and Greek. The Greek version of the centurion's title is πίλου ύστέρου, so pilus could be transliterated into Greek.

If you look at the Strategicon most technical terms (especially the orders) are still in the original Latin even though some Greek authors in the past translated Latin ranks into Greek. Latin was the language of the army and I guess some Latin terminology was never translated into Greek equivalents?
Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR
FECTIO Late Romans
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
[Image: artgroepbutton.jpg]
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#28
Quote:Centurions are found in (old-style) limitanei units, ordinarii are found in (new-style) comitatenses and auxilia palatini units.

Did you say, that there was no ordinarius in the units of the limitanei? Magister Flavius wrote (see above), that the limitanei had both: normal centurions and ordinarii.

And I fully agree, that not every military term we know of, has to be a rank. Thats why I speculated, that the ordinarius like the primi ordinis were probably a rank-group like field-grade-officer in modern armies. Same with the famous ducenarius and other late roman "ranks".
Ut desint vires, tamen est laudanda voluntas
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#29
Quote: Did you say, that there was no ordinarius in the units of the limitanei? Magister Flavius wrote (see above), that the limitanei had both: normal centurions and ordinarii.

I'm not sure that's what Evan said? It's argued in this very good article by Philip Rance: Rance, Philip (2007b): Campidoctores Vicarii vel Tribuni: The Senior Regimental Officers of the Late Roman Army and the Rise of the Campidoctor, in: Ariel S. Lewin and Pietra Pellegrini (eds.) (2007): The Late Roman Army in the Near East from Diocletian to the Arab Conquest, pp. 395-409.

Quote: And I fully agree, that not every military term we know of, has to be a rank. Thats why I speculated, that the ordinarius like the primi ordinis were probably a rank-group like field-grade-officer in modern armies. Same with the famous ducenarius and other late roman "ranks".
Indeed!
Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR
FECTIO Late Romans
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
[Image: artgroepbutton.jpg]
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#30
Some inscriptions record Ordinarii in Limitanei units, but I didn't say all had them. In limitanei units where we do find Ordinarii, we also find Centenarii. But limitanei units also had only centenarii.
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