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Late Roman Army Grade/Rank List under Anastasius
#46
Quote:
D B Campbell post=367844 Wrote:Augustales and Flaviales... appears to have 340 centurions

Might this suggest that Vegetius is wrong when he claims the Augustales and Flaviales were 'added to the ordinarii' (unless he just means 'added to the ordines'), and that they were a senior grade of soldier rather a type of centurion?
This seems a possible explanation but Vegetius need not necessarily be mistaken. Milner comments in a footnote to Veg. 2. 7 that the term ordinarii can be applied to ordinary soldiers in an ordo. 340 centurions in a unit of 1550-1600 works out at one centurion per approximately three or four men, which is absurd.
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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#47
Quote:This seems a possible explanation but Vegetius need not necessarily be mistaken. Milner comments in a footnote to Veg. 2. 7 that the term ordinarii can be applied to ordinary soldiers in an ordo. 340 centurions in a unit of 1550-1600 works out at one centurion per approximately three or four men, which is absurd.

[attachment=12404]vegII.7note6.jpg[/attachment]

I have no idea who Milner is quoting here but I'd like to know more. Given Vegetius' confusion with names and grades elsewhere (e.g. possibly confusing ducenarius and ducentenarius) I like to go with that explanation.


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#48
The reference to SHA Quadr. Tyr. 14.2 is Firmus, Saturninus, Proculus and Bonosus 14.2 in the Loeb edition. The passage reads:

Militavit primum inter ordinarios, deinde inter equites; duxit ordines, tribunatus egit, dux limitis Raetici fuit . . .

Leob translates this as: 'He served in the beginning as a legionary centurion, and next in the cavalry; he commanded in the ranks, he held tribuneships, he was general in charge of the Raetian frontier . . .'

Milner evidently considers that it is more logical to interpret this as indicating that he (Bonosus) served first in the ranks as an infantryman, then transferred to the cavalry and, finally, was promoted to various command positions.

Rea's article in ZPE alludes to Gilliam's article in TAPA 71 (1940) 127-48 (presumably reprinted in the Mavors volume cited by Milner) in which it is argued the centuriones ordinati or centuriones ordinarii commanded in ordines, as opposed to those who had other duties. Rea's article cites papyrological evidence (in Greek) for centuriones ordinati and centuriones supernumerarii in support of this argument.

SHA is not high authority for Milner's suggestion that ordinarii can mean common soldiers in the ordo but it could be evidence of general confusion in the terminology.
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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#49
The final paper re the Perge Fragments will be published in English in the next few months. I have been lucky enough to proof-read the article and return it. It runs to over 60 pages and has been very interesting to read. Alas for me there was little to do in terms of proofreading! I will update this thread once I get details of the publication date and the magazine it will be published in.
Francis Hagan

The Barcarii
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#50
Very keen to get my hands on this paper Francis, thank you very much for updating us.
Adrian Coombs-Hoar
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#51
me too! Wink
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Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR: Forum rules
FECTIO Late Roman Society
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
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#52
At the risk of jumping the gun a bit, I've been looking over the figures given on tablet C of the Perge inscription and trying to work out some possible numbers for the complete legion. (I know there's a translation of Prof Onur's book due out some time soonish, but it seems that we have all the raw data in the inscription that concerns this question already).

Here's the full list of ranks/grades and numbers, given on p.123 of Onur's recent monograph (the full text and Greek original is on pp61-63):

   

Annoyingly, of course, we don't have the complete figure for the ordinary soldiers or munifices ('servicemen' in Milner's helpful translation of Vegetius), nor the number of 'clerici ve deputati', so any estimates are going to be speculative!

However, if we assume that the ordinarii are basically old-style centurions, then we could try and calculate the legion size by multiplications of their number - at a 'Hyginian' 80 men per century, the 20 ordinarii will give us a legion of c.1600 men. We could perhaps imagine a 'Vegetian' century of 100 men, and assume the top plausible limit as c.2000 men.

The complete surviving roster minus officers (tribuni and ordinarii) is 1150 men (I'm assuming that most of the rest - Augustales, Flaviales, Veredarii etc were just different pay grades of soldier). The problem with this might be that no number ending with 50 is divisible by 20, so either the ordinarii commanded different sized bodies of men (unlikely, as they're all on the same pay grade!), or some of the men listed on the roster were not included within the commands of the ordinarii.

Ten of the men listed on the roster are what might be called 'legion staff' - the librarii, mensores, beneficiarii and the praeco. If we remove those ten men from the total of 'soldiers' we're left with 1140, which does actually divide by 20.

So, at the minimum number of munifices (159, I would guess) we have a total full-strength legion of 1272 men, of whom 1240 are soldiers in the ranks, with each of the 20 ordinarii commanding 62 men (I'm trying not to call these command 'centuries', but it seems needlessly picky!)

We could then increase the numbers of munifices by increments of 100, increasing both 'century' size and legion accordingly.

e.g. if we assume there are 559 munifices, we would have 1640 soldiers in 20 'centuries' of 82 men each, and a total legion size of 1672 men.

Of course, all this leaves out the poor 'clerici ve deputati', although if we're removing the 'office staff' from the 'century' then they should probably be left out too.

Then there's the problem of only having 10 optiones and 10 of each sort of standard bearer - how does that divide between 20 'centuries'?

Also the problem that the rather random numbers of veredarii, bracchiati and torquati do not divide equally between our 20 ordinarii... (I tried taking the veredarii out - thinking they might be some sort of 'cavalry component' - but the resulting figure didn't divide by 20! Tried the same with the various musicians too, but that didn't seem to work either...)

So I could have this all wrong!

Does anyone else have any better ideas? [Image: wink.png]
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#53
Nathan, I tried some hypothesizing using the various grades and ranks but gave up in the end, once the second bottle of wine was opened. Below are some of my thoughts in no particular rigorous order. Make of them what you will - remember alcohol figures large in some of the calculations so I have probably made some gross errors!

Commanding Officer - Tribune Maior
Second-in-Command - Tribune Minor (Vicarius/Primicerius)
 
Numbers of 20:
 
Ordinarii
Augustales
Armaturae Duplares
Armaturae Semissales
 
If the Legion in question comprises of 20 tactical units with each unit comprising a century of 80 men (10 tent-sections of 8 men), then the notional unit strength will be 1,600 men. Centuries were coupled into priores and posteriores. This allows a theoretical double-strength century to be brigaded together. For the sake of this paper, I will call this double-century a maniple while acknowledging this is possibly an archaic term.
 
The Contubernium:
 
At the lowest level of tactical organization - the tent-section of 8 men - we would find the: 1 x Flaviales grade ranker; 7 Munifices. The rankers get 1 annona each. The tent-section leader gets 1.5 annona plus 1.5 annona commuted into gold. Whilst his grade is that of a Flaviales, his rank is that of a Biarchus.
So we have a contubernium of pedes graded as Munifices led by a Biarchus graded as a Flaviales. Rank and grade are important distinctions; one indicates command ranking in the unit and the other indicates status and pay.
 A Biarchus has 2 possible grades: Flaviales and the lesser Flaviales alii. 7 of the 10 contubernia within a century are thus rated as commanded by the lesser graded Flaviales alii. The remaining 3 of those 10 contubernia contain 1 x Flaviales at the higher grade of 2.5 annona plus 1.5 annona commuted into gold. All the Munifices are paid the same regardless of which Biarchus they are assigned to grade-wise.
Where do the Augustales stand? There are 120 of 3 different grades. 20 + 30 + 70 in decreasing seniority. 30 + 70 makes 100. Or 5 per century.
 
 
A single Century comprises of:
 
1 x Ordinarius/Centurion  - 1 per Century
1 x Centurion of Augustales grade  - 1 per Century
1 x Armaturae Duplares  - 1 per Century
1 x Armaturae Semissales - 1 per Century
5 x Augustales (lesser grades) 1 per every 2 Contubernia
10 x Flaviales (all grades) - 1 per Contubernia
 
Numbers of 10:
 
Signiferi
Imaginiferi
Optiones
 
A double-century or maniple contains 1 Signiferi and 1 Imaginiferi and 1 Optiones each.
 
There are a total of 100 'lesser' Augustales which allows 5 per century.
 
There are a total of 200 Flaviales which allows 10 per century.
 
There are 20 full grade Augustales, one per century.
 
There are 10 Optiones, one per double century.
 
The total number of men minus the incomplete Clerici, Deputati and Munifices is 1,113.
 
A hypothetical legion strength of 1,600 men minus 1,113 equals 487. This last figure needs the Clerici and Deputati to be subtracted to arrive at the incomplete -59 figure. So, for example, if the incomplete figure was 359 then there would be 128 of these ranks. If it was 259, it would be 228.
 
 
OK - let's go through this again:
 
A Contubernium of 8 men consists of 7 pedes and 1 'biarchus' graded as either a Flaviales or a Flaviales aii.
 
10 Contubernia comprise a Century. That is 80 men.
                Of that 80, 7 will be Flaviales aii and 3 will be Flaviales.
                The Century will be commanded by 1 Ordinarius.
                There will be 1 Augustales.
                There will be 5 'lesser' Augustales.
                There will be 1 Armaturae Duplares.
                There will be 1 Armaturae Semissales.
 
Thus if we take into account the fact that the officers and higher grades above the Flaviales are supernumerary to the Contubernium, then the total for the Century is:  89.
 
A double Century, the combined priores and posteriores, also has allotted to it the Signifer (or Draconarius), the Imaginifer, the Vexillarius, and the Optio. Again, these are supernumerary and add an additional 4 men to the combined Centuries. Thus a double-Century has a paper-strength of 182.
 
10 double-Centuries produce a total of 1,820 men. Supernumerary to this combined number will be the following: 2 Librarii, 3 Mensores, 4 Tubicines, 8 Cornicines, 2 Bucinatores, 1 Praeco, 4 Beneficiarii, and 2 Tribuni. This will add a total of 26 additional men to the 20 Centuries.
 
Thus the combined total now stands at 1,846. To this, again, can be added the 275 mounted Veredarii for a total of 2121.
Francis Hagan

The Barcarii
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#54
You do realise that this is all feeding into my long-standing, and I might add printed, belief that the Late Roman legion size was 2000 men strong... ;-)
Adrian Coombs-Hoar
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#55
(08-17-2016, 06:12 AM)Longovicium Wrote: I tried some hypothesizing using the various grades and ranks

Ah, well done! You've clearly gone further into this than I have... It does become maddening, but oddly complusive. [Image: tongue.png]


(08-17-2016, 06:12 AM)Longovicium Wrote: This allows a theoretical double-strength century to be brigaded together. For the sake of this paper, I will call this double-century a maniple while acknowledging this is possibly an archaic term.

I started thinking along much the same lines with regard to the standard bearers (see below)...


(08-17-2016, 06:12 AM)Longovicium Wrote: Whilst his grade is that of a Flaviales, his rank is that of a Biarchus.

Not sure - biarchus, like centenarius and ducenarius, seems to be a rank used by guard units and cavalry (scholae and auxilia palatina), not legions. We no more need to start installing biarchi here than we need to start looking for Vegetius's decani!



(08-17-2016, 06:12 AM)Longovicium Wrote: 1 x Centurion of Augustales grade  - 1 per Century

Interesting idea - the Augustale is certainly a high ranking soldier, drawing 6 annonae to the ordinarius's 8. But could we call him a 'centurion'? (which does slightly accord with Vegetius... although I did wonder whether these men might have been the old 'campidoctors'). Clearly the prestige of the 'centurion' had fallen drastically by this point, but having a larger number of lower-grade Alii might suggest the Augustales weren't so clearly demarked from the rest of the troops.


(08-17-2016, 06:12 AM)Longovicium Wrote: A double-century or maniple contains 1 Signiferi and 1 Imaginiferi and 1 Optiones each.

Yep. The numbers of standard bearers would work with double centuries - one century (say) has a vexillarius and the other a signifer, with the linked pair having an imaginifer and an optio between them.

Trouble is, this would imply a hierarchy between the two centuries in the pair - priores and posteriores, as you put it. But all of our Ordinarii are on the same pay grade, and there doesn't seem to be any hierarchy between them. If we assume that the posterior century was commanded by a senior Augustale, we double the number of centuries.... Hmm.


(08-17-2016, 06:12 AM)Longovicium Wrote: This last figure needs the Clerici and Deputati to be subtracted 

Possibly. It did occur to me that, rather than subtracting the 'supernumeraries' from the century rolls, so to speak, we could make up the numbers with 'clerici and deputati' to arrive at a figure that could be divided by 20. Just adding 10 clerici to our overall figure would do this for a smaller legion, for example.

If we assume 459 munifices and 50 clerici and deputati, meanwhile, we arrive at a figure of exactly 1600 men in the ranks - of a total legion size of 1622 - giving 80 men to each century with every man below ordinarius grade carried on the rolls of the century.

Do your suggested figures still work with a smaller-sized century, or does it have to be 80 to fit all the different grades in?


(08-17-2016, 09:47 AM)ValentinianVictrix Wrote: You do realise that this is all feeding into my long-standing, and I might add printed, belief that the Late Roman legion size was 2000 men strong... ;-)


But what sort of legion are we talking about? [Image: wink.png]

Prof Onur is a lot more cautious now, I believe, about identifying this as a palatine legion; it could indeed be limitanei...
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#56
I seriously doubt that an official Sermio by an Emperor, erected in stone for all to see, would be dedicated to a legion of the limitanei, would such a low class legion warrant this sort of thing?
Adrian Coombs-Hoar
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#57
(08-17-2016, 11:04 AM)ValentinianVictrix Wrote: I seriously doubt that an official Sermio by an Emperor, erected in stone for all to see, would be dedicated to a legion of the limitanei, would such a low class legion warrant this sort of thing?

Possibly not, although the emperor's writ was required to be everywhere omnipresent! If such a ruling had been made about a limitanei legion, wouldn't they want to commemorate it?

A palatine legion, on the other hand, was a mobile force - why would they have erected this monument (which they would have wanted to refer to regularly) in such an out-of-the-way place as Perge?

So either option is possible, I'd say. Many of the rank/grade titles from the inscription also appear among later limitanei units in southern Egypt.
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#58
Perge was not a backwater city, between the 4th & 6th centuries AD it was one of the most important centres of Christianity in the Roman Empire. I would have expected any troops stationed there to be protected fairly well by troops of at least comitatensis status or higher. There may well have been a detachment of a Palatine legion there, and the Sermio could have related to the troops of the detachment, whilst the edict on the stone would reflect the pay rates of all the troops in that legion, not just the detachment. The edict would have been very important as it would have been a benchmark for the pay rates all the legions within at least the eastern half of the empire.
Adrian Coombs-Hoar
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#59
I'm glad I haven't been the only one obsessing over this. That was my attempt a few months ago :
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1...edit#gid=0
I was assuming that the Augustales, Flaviales and Veriderii were various sort of cavalry which gave me 10 "cavalry ordines" of slightly different sizes (but averaging 30-ish). Though, interpreting the Augustales and Flaviales as some sort of NCOs might be a better bet indeed.
Timothee.
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#60
(08-17-2016, 03:11 PM)Timus Wrote: I was assuming that the Augustales, Flaviales and Veriderii were various sort of cavalry

Veredarii might be horsemen (the name usually connotes mounted messengers, I think).

Vegetius (II.7) writes that the Augustales were 'added to the Ordinarii by Augustus', and Flaviales were 'second Augustales'. I suspect that 'added to the ordines' (ie the ranks) is what V means here - so they were probably higher-grade soldiers. His reference to Augustus (and then Vespasian for the Flaviales) is probably wrong too, as the names don't occur until the 5th century I believe.


(08-17-2016, 01:48 PM)ValentinianVictrix Wrote: Perge was not a backwater city, between the 4th & 6th centuries AD it was one of the most important centres of Christianity in the Roman Empire.

I didn't know that - thanks! But even so, I don't think we should assume that the limitanei were beneath imperial notice, or that they wouldn't erect a monument if the emperor deigned to direct a ruling at them. In any case, I suppose the sort of numbers we're talking about probably wouldn't be too wild for either sort of legion.
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