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Roman military presence in Judea
#1
Herod the great ruled judea till his death in 4bc. Then his kingdom was divided amongst his three sons with archelaus being ruler of Judea, Samaria and Idumea. During this time the land of Israel was a client state of Rome, meaning that the kings can administer the land as they will so long as they pay homage to Rome.


But once Archelaus is disposed in 6ad, the Romans seize his lands and finally gain direct control of Judea, Samaria and Idumea. 

Now my question relates to these early days of Roman government in Judea. I dont seem to recall any need for an entire Legion to be sent here at this time. Judea was just a satellite of Syria so if a threat did arise here, one of the Syrian legions wont be far to come down and suppress it. 
But obviously some military presence has to be made in the newly gained province. So maybe a detatchment from one of the syrian legions may have accompanied Coponoius and helped him administer the Census of Quirinus?
My thought too is that the Romans utilised Archelaus' soldiers and made them into their Auxillaries to be stationed here.

Also, in these early days of Roman government in Judea, where would the majority of soldiers have stayed at. Jerusalem in Antonia or at Caesarea Maritama the capital?
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#2
(01-09-2019, 10:51 AM)Jason Micallef Wrote: some military presence has to be made in the newly gained province. So maybe a detatchment from one of the syrian legions may have accompanied Coponoius and helped him administer the Census of Quirinus?
My thought too is that the Romans utilised Archelaus' soldiers and made them into their Auxillaries to be stationed here.

This is similar to a topic that has come up repeatedly on the board, concerning Roman troops in Judea in the Biblical period generally.

Coponius, like all the early Prefects, was of equestrian rank and therefore unable (it seems) to command legionary troops. Any soldiers he had with him would have been auxiliaries. It appears most likely from the limited evidence available that the early Roman administration 'inherited' the army of Herod, mostly Samarian troops, and reorganised them as several new cohorts perhaps under Roman officers. More details in this post, and supporting quotes a couple of posts down the thread.

A little later several more regular auxiliary cohorts were moved from Syria into the province. You can find more about them in these threads:

Garrison of Jerusalem AD30

Legion near Jerusalem at time of Jesus

Legions in Jerusalem under Pilate

The upshot of all this is that, aside from an expedition into Galilee in 5-4BC involving the legions from Syria, there were probably no legionary troops stationed in Judea prior to AD44-48 and/or the Jewish wars of the AD60s.
Nathan Ross
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#3
(01-10-2019, 02:56 PM)Nathan Ross Wrote: This is similar to a topic that has come up repeatedly on the board, concerning Roman troops in Judea in the Biblical period generally.

Coponius, like all the early Prefects, was of equestrian rank and therefore unable (it seems) to command legionary troops. Any soldiers he had with him would have been auxiliaries. It appears most likely from the limited evidence available that the early Roman administration 'inherited' the army of Herod, mostly Samarian troops, and reorganised them as several new cohorts perhaps under Roman officers. More details in this post, and supporting quotes a couple of posts down the thread.

A little later several more regular auxiliary cohorts were moved from Syria into the province. You can find more about them in these threads:

Garrison of Jerusalem AD30

Legion near Jerusalem at time of Jesus

Legions in Jerusalem under Pilate

The upshot of all this is that, aside from an expedition into Galilee in 5-4BC involving the legions from Syria, there were probably no legionary troops stationed in Judea prior to AD44-48 and/or the Jewish wars of the AD60s.

There is mention of the Italian Cohort, a citizen cohort apparently attached to the Tenth Legion, so that could count.   Huh
James Ajiduah
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#4
Photo 
Judea borders with Nabatea, so the legion had the dual purpose to keep the control of Judea and guard the border.
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#5
(02-11-2019, 05:40 PM)LonginusXXI Wrote: There is mention of the Italian Cohort, a citizen cohort apparently attached to the Tenth Legion, so that could count.   Huh

The original post asked about the early period of Roman government, shortly after AD6. At that time the Tenth Legion was based in Syria, and would remain there for another 60 years or more. The 'Italian cohort' was probably Cohors II Italica C.R., which was also based in Syria but may have spent time in Judea c.AD44-70.
Nathan Ross
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#6
PS the dynamics are slightly more complex and the complete acquisition of Judea ended only with Claudius (44AD). Previously several tetarchs maintained control of this or that piece of Judea, with Herod Agrippa who had come to have a reign comparable to that of Herod the great.

Herod Agrippa reign:
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#7
Basically, the Prefect would have had 5 cohorts of infantry at his command and 1 cavalry unit, so therefore, no legions. Although there were several citizen cohorts stationed in the province, there were no legions. Unless you want to postulate a vexillation of some cohorts from Syria from time to time, or even a lone legionary cohort, there would have been no legions in the province.
James Ajiduah
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#8
(02-11-2019, 07:37 PM)Nathan Ross Wrote:
(02-11-2019, 05:40 PM)LonginusXXI Wrote: There is mention of the Italian Cohort, a citizen cohort apparently attached to the Tenth Legion, so that could count.   Huh

The original post asked about the early period of Roman government, shortly after AD6. At that time the Tenth Legion was based in Syria, and would remain there for another 60 years or more. The 'Italian cohort' was probably Cohors II Italica C.R., which was also based in Syria but may have spent time in Judea c.AD44-70.

Was this Italian cohort an auxiliary unit? If so why would Italians join the auxiliaries and not a legion? Are they many examples of this?
Neil Ritchie
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#9
(02-12-2019, 11:37 AM)Legate Wrote: Was this Italian cohort an auxiliary unit? If so why would Italians join the auxiliaries and not a legion? Are they many examples of this?

Yes, at least 32 Cohortes of this type (cf Cheesman).

Probably raised in two levies by Augustus (first one) following the Varus disaster of 9AD.

There are then the rest of the Auxiliary units that had jointly been awarded the Civium Romanum, where, presumerably, citizens could join (and not be looked down upon) if they fancied the, perhaps less rigorous and possibly more settled, life than in a legion.
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#10
(02-12-2019, 11:37 AM)Legate Wrote: Was this Italian cohort an auxiliary unit?... Are they many examples of this?

As Mark says, there were quite a few volunteer 'citizen cohorts', and a few named Italica too. Both names and honorific titles refer to their original enlistment, though - after a couple of decades based in, say, Syria most, or all, of the men in the cohort would have been Syrians, not Italians or citizens, and it would have been the same as any other auxiliary unit. The 'Italic Cohort' is mentioned in the Bible in relation to the Apostolic period of the AD50s, and possibly entered Judea around AD44 or so.

The five cohorts (apparently) based in Judea after the initial Roman annexation were probably derived from Herod's Samarian troops (perhaps renamed Cohortes I-V Sebastenorum once under Roman control?), and quite possibly kept their 'eastern' equipment and general appearance as well; they certainly seem to have been considered different to regular Roman auxiliary units right through until the mid 1st century, and were not absorbed into the army of Syria until the Jewish revolt in the 60s.
Nathan Ross
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#11
(02-12-2019, 11:37 AM)I Legate Wrote: Was this Italian cohort an auxiliary unit? If so why would Italians join the auxiliaries and not a legion? Are they many examples of this?

No. It was a unit of citizen volunteers raised by Augustus.

According to this post:

“One should keep in mind that there's a difference between 'normal' auxiliary units that received the title CR as an award for extraordinary service and units raised from Roman citizens (i.e. the earliest cohortes Classicae, the cohortes civium romanorum voluntariorum, etc). 
As Caius said, the former kept that name as a reminder of the honor. They may have recruited citizens from then on, but I'm not sure there's sufficient evidence to prove that. On the other hand, throughout the second century, there would've been more and more citizens in auxiliary units (sons of former auxiliary soldiers), simply because the system produced such potential recruits.
Of the original cohorts of Roman citizens some date, I believe, from the later Augustan era, around the Pannonian revolt of 6 AD. It is indeed possible that Augustus did not want to raise another - permanent - legion for a crisis situation. That would not only require even more highly paid citizen troops (cost of soldiers was very much a factor in his politics!), but it was also another potential security risk for which a dependable senator needed to be found.”
James Ajiduah
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#12
Was it common that the sons went in their father's footsteps like that?
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#13
(02-14-2019, 11:40 AM)Flemings Wrote: Was it common that the sons went in their father's footsteps like that?

See this recent thread about family in the Roman army
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