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Cohort commander?
A Tribune as Cohort commander?!

Plinius minor, Epistolae, 3, 9, 18; 30 (auctor c.61–c.113AD)

                Post paucos dies Claudium Fuscum, Classici generum, et Stilonium Priscum, qui tribunus cohortis sub Classico fuerat, accusavimus dispari eventu: Prisco in biennium Italia interdictum, absolutus est Fuscus.
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(10-17-2017, 12:57 PM)Julian de Vries Wrote: A Tribune as Cohort commander?

The reference is to a tribune of an auxiliary cohort, serving under Caecilius Classicus while he was governor of Baetica. Most auxiliary tribunes commanded cohors milliaria, but a few led other cohorts. From Baetica itself there's an inscription (CIL 2,2224) to a tribuno militum cohortis maritimae.
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publication: SupIt-04-T, 00031 = CBI 00867 = AE 1951, 00194          EDCS-ID: EDCS-10701176
province: Samnium / Regio IV         place: Ciciliano / Trebula Suffenas


D(is) M(anibus) s(acrum) / Mommius Cattianus / mil(es) leg(ionis) XX V(aleriae) V(ictricis) / benefic(iarius) leg(ati) / cornicularius leg(ati) / optio coh(ortis) I / h(ic) s(itus) e(st)


Does an optio of cohortis I as second in command, not imply a commander of a cohort as first in command?

(See for more information: M. Speidel ; Legionary cohorts in Mauretania The role of legionary cohorts in the structure of expeditionary armies ; ANRW II, 10,2 (1982) 850-860 ; in Roman Army Studies volume one by M.Speidel ; Amsterdam 1984)
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(10-23-2017, 12:58 PM)Julian de Vries Wrote: Does an optio of cohortis I as second in command, not imply a commander of a cohort as first in command?

It's an odd one, certainly. This paper suggests some solutions (p.251):

Legio XX Valeria Victrix

Cattianus could either have been an optio of the first cohort - and therefore set apart from the other legion optiones and exercising a special function in the tabularium principis - or (Speidel's suggestion) he could have been serving with a mobile vexillation. I would tend to think the first suggestion more plausible, although as this seems to be the only mention of an optio cohortis it's impossible to do more than guess!

Meanwhile, I found this interesting phd thesis, with some points (pp 150-151) about cohort command, or the lack of it:

Centurions - Graeme A Ward
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