Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Could brothers or close kin join the same contuburnium?
#1
Hello everyone this is my first post on these message boards. I have a great interest in Roman history and am actually writing a novel about a soldier and his journey in the legion. 


I am very stressful when it comes to historical accuracy and i really want even the littlest deatails accurate.

So what if close friends or two brothers decide to join the legion at the same time? Will they be sent to different legions or could they be kept together in the same contubernium or at least the same legion?
Also to add further could a younger family member join into the same legion or contubernium as his older brother if he requests so?

I appreciate any help 
Thanks
Reply
#2
I would guess keeping them together would be normal? Legions were quite far apart geographically anyway.

Then again, there is that scene of father and son in opposing legions during a civil war situation in the first c. AD (the son killing the father).
Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR
FECTIO Late Romans
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
[Image: artgroepbutton.jpg]
Reply
#3
(01-04-2019, 02:18 PM)Robert Vermaat Wrote: there is that scene of father and son in opposing legions during a civil war situation in the first c. AD (the son killing the father).

Yep - Tacitus Histories 3.25. Although Tacitus adds a note to explain how this happened - the father Julius Mansuetus was from Spain, but had previously enlisted in XXI Rapax, based in Germania (which is interesting in relation to early principiate recruitment patterns!). His son, however, was enlisted by Galba in the new Spanish legion VII. Presumably the two had not seen each other for many years when they met on the battlefield.

The explanation at least implies that it would have been more normal for fathers and sons to end up in the same legion. Caesar's Gallic War (5.35) mentions that the primus pilus Quintus Lucanius was killed in battle trying to save his son, who was presumably serving in the same legion.

There are many inscriptions to soldiers described as brothers or even parents - these are not necessarily blood relations, but it seems common enough to suggest that it was quite usual for men of the same family to serve together.
Nathan Ross
Reply
#4
As recruitment varied through the Roman timeframe - it's worth asking 'when' your novel would be set?
Reply
#5
(01-07-2019, 06:06 PM)Mark Hygate Wrote: As recruitment varied through the Roman timeframe - it's worth asking 'when' your novel would be set?

6 ad so during the principate
Reply
#6
Roger - in which case, I would certainly find it reasonable that two brothers could turn up to the same legion recruitment fair/tent/'office' at the same time, be assessed and then join up together.

However, whilst it could certainly depend on circumstance and how new recruits are subsequently assigned to contubernia (where, personally I would expect it to meet the current need of vacancies, but also mix of experience); then I would suggest it's unlikely they would be assigned to the same century, let alone contubernium.

I am minded to note that separation by class in school is normally done for twins (whether or not being identical) and I am particularly thinking of the rigorous discipline needed - let alone what we are often given to understand about its particular harshness in the legions.  Posting two 'brothers', even 'friends' together could easily undermine that (given they are expected to band together and then resist).  A simple example of 'divide and conquer' really...
Reply


Forum Jump: