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Cohort commander?
[quote][quote="Burzum" post=328591]How have I said that as a fact?[/quote]
How about this, just as an example?

[quote]The pilus prior was in command of each cohort and was an elected centurion right underneath primus pilus during battle.[/quote][/quote]

But you quoted this with that accusation :wink:

[quote][quote="Burzum" post=328587]I have long believed that centuries cooperated in command long before having read that litrature. But I have disregarded that belief because logical sense and the way an army is organized just tells me that pilus prior maintained a role of command in each cohort.[/quote]

But when I did assert that pilus prior was was in command is it now an accepted fact amongst historians that he was.

A credible definitive historical reference containing over 30 years of research and translations of various Roman prints, Stephen Dando-Collins in a way proved that in Caesar's time the pilus prior in a battle encounter was then issued authority of the remainder of cohorts because the primus pilus could not the same level of control in battle in order to execute commands and orchestrate the rest of the cohorts.

James Berkley Adams even accounts that pilus prior in some instances even commanded the 1st cohort. But is not as reputable as some other authors and archeologists and doesn't really deal with Roman military.

But general acceptance in most history curriculum's that teach that pilus prior ranked in command over cohorts.

Earlier guides and books said that claimed that each cohort had a cooperative subordination under the primus pilus. But what I was actually saying in my last comment is that things would of been in a serious disarray if you didn't have a cohort commander and chief to keep an element of order and to fill the gaps of communication in which to issue commands out from the primus pilus. Common sense in the understanding of any military hierarchy be that in antiquity, Medieval post Imperial right through to modern times. Rome's army layed that prerequisite and military foundation of structure, that primordial soup which every army in the turn of the century evolved from. But because the Roman army is less refined in hierarchy and rank structure than much later models in the industrial age, we have a great difficulty in trying to decipher the actual structure that was based inside the Roman war machine. That fog of war that shades actual evidence and recorded knowledge about it fundamentally causes the rise in opinionated assumptions and the manner they are said in resembles a tone with factual basis because it's just either accepted amongst general consensus or a product or impingement of peoples common sense or imagination.
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Quote:Jim Summerly, actually.

Ha, yes! Sorry about that - the name on the title page is James Robert Summerly, and I wasn't paying enough attention!


Quote:The only hint I know for the 1st cohort comes from Vegetius, who says, that the 1st cohort fights on the right wing of the first battleline which is the most important part of an ancient battleline.

Yes, he also mentions (Re Militaris II.6) that the double first cohort contains 'select men as regards birth and instruction in letters' (which might suggest an admin role for some of them?) and protects the eagle, and later (II.9) that these men were 'favoured by their wealth, birth, literacy and strength' (which is an odd combination of attributes, I think!). Nothing else about a bodyguard role.

However, back to our subject, that same section (II.9) contains the note that the cohorts were 'governed by Tribunes or praepositi', who would 'order the soldiers entrusted to them to train daily under their gaze (and) encourage them to imitate their own example, since they were themselves perfect in the art of bearing arms'

This is fourth-century practice, of course, and Vegetius gives the cohort as a tactical unit with its own ensign. Even here, though, the training/admin role is accentuated. But it does still suggest that commanding a cohort (if required) might fall to an officer of tribune level.
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Quote:
Burzum post=328587 Wrote:I have long believed that centuries cooperated in command long before having read that litrature. But I have disregarded that belief because logical sense and the way an army is organized just tells me that pilus prior maintained a role of command in each cohort.
Just because something is logical to us in the 21st century don't mean that it was logical to the Romans 2000 years ago.
For one thing, religion have a clear influence on what is logical.

We live in a time where the influence around us and the nature in which everything is structured in a military sense has and an effect which prohibits us from having a accurate idea, a demo-graphical entourage in our understanding of what Roman life was about. It distorts our thinking.

When we talk of Rome we speak of those roots that are berried deep within our society. They those pillars that have supported the weight of our advancement and plunged our ancient civility into an era of progression. We cannot revert back to simulate a Roman past with that deep underlining influence of modern thinking deep rooted in our heads. That would be like Noah of the day going to a scientist and asking him "you know what? fuck this idea of going to fetch a giant snapping turtle, and herding lions like sheep into the ark, I want a damn DNA bank please." You know it's completely off topic and does not correspond with our current debate.

Stick to the topic.
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Quote:Jim Summerly, actually. He was one of the late Brian Dobson's research students at Durham University. His thesis is available for free download on the British Library's EthOS website here:

http://ethos.bl.uk/SearchResults.do

Just type 'James Summerly' into the search box and click 'Go'.

Thank you very much for this link. This is exactly the type scientific book, I am looking for!

I did read a lot of german and english books lately about the structure of the roman army, especially Domaszewski, Dobson, Breeze, Speidel, Le Bohec, Stauner, Junkelmann by interlibrary-loan .... and several articles found in the internet libraries or google.books.

Is there any other author (english or german), you would like to strongly recommend, who published a book about the structure of the roman army (Legions, auxilia vexillationes) covering the early empire, or 3rd century or late empire on a detailed academic level? Or a book on specific topics like adminstration of a legion, promotion of pricipales, etc. ?
Not the tons of popular scientific stuff usually found on amazon with more pictures than footnotes.

I usually rather look for books published in the last 30 years, because there is a lot of new evidence lately. On the other side Domaszewski proofs, that even a book from 1905 can be very worthful. I thought about Eric Birley, but does that makes sense after I have read Breeze and Dobson, which are disciples of him afaik?

I lately read the new book of Le Bohec (2010) about the Late Empire Army. But i was a bit frustrated afterwards. Either we don't know more about this eras army, or Le Bohec is a bit superficial here.

Sorry for beeing a bit off-topic with this question, but I guess my question matches the topic about the cohort commander in a wider sense.
Ut desint vires, tamen est laudanda voluntas
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Quote:Perhaps this is the reasoning behind those strangely composed vexillations, with men drawn from different centuriae and different cohorts, all banded together? That way, they wouldn't officially be a cohort, so could be placed under the command of a mere centurion! This seems an incredibly fussy and legalistic distinction, but the Romans were rather given to fussy legalisms...

I've had the same thought as well, with regards to praefecti in command of Roman legionary troops in the Republic! In the end, I was worried that I was putting the cart before the horse: if you have an irregularly comprised unit, you can't simply drag tribunes away from their normal duties to command them, so you have to appoint a prefect.

I worry, too, about fussy and legalistic distinctions. Not because they didn't exist (hello there, imperium, I'm looking at you!), but because I think it's very tempting for us to apply them in order to fill in the gaps in an otherwise fairly chaotic collection of evidence. Sometimes it's even more tempting to invent them: I used to think that equestrians during the Republic never served as centurions, but I realise that I've spent a lot of time explaining away apparent 'exceptions', and now I'm not so sure.

I'd be tempted to split the question into two: 'is there any specific reason why a centurion could not be placed in command of a body of citizen troops?' and 'is there any reason why a centurion might be preferred above an equestrian-ranked man (and spare ones usually existed, in the commander's cohors) for such a command?'. I don't have any answers, mind you - not for the imperial period at least!
Tom Wrobel
email = [email protected]
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Quote:If we accept, following Fronto, that a centurion was equal to an (auxiliary) cohort prefect

Do you have that Fronto reference to hand, by the way?
Tom Wrobel
email = [email protected]
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Renatus wrote:
Does this mean that we may expect to see your theories fully expounded in an orderly and logical manner with illustrative material, rather than piecemeal, as they have emerged so far?


Oh Renatus, you really should switch to decaf! :dizzy: All these negative waves. Cry And not just with me, Burzum’s getting a dose as well. What the hell do you expect from me? I was not aware I was required to reveal all my research to make my point. Seeing you are miffed about something, I would like to apologise that my past postings have not conformed to your sensibilities. I thought when I did showcase my research it was relevant to the topic at hand. And what if I did post everything, what would be the point, past experiences has taught me no one acknowledges it…unless they believed they found a mistake. Take for example when when I mentioned 16 legions instead of 14 legions during the discussion on the Roman order of battle for Asculum. My my Renatus, you were swift of pen to highlight that little over sight on my behalf. Fear not Renatus, I will give you enough warning of when it will be released so you and others have adequate time to wrote a negative review.
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Quote:I worry, too, about fussy and legalistic distinctions.

Me too, and it seems, that tradition had a strong meaning for the romans. Thats why we see a clear difference in structure if it comes to the auxilia/alae and new cohorts in Rome on one hand and the old legions otherwise.
Augustus was very keen on not violating republican traditions, because his position as a quasi-monarch was not secured finally.

Some historians claim, that by roman republican tradition, it was not acceptable, that a centurion leaded more than a century of roman citiziens in combat. Some even say, that for larger vexillationes (e.g. half of a legion) a roman magistrate elected by the people of Rome was a must. So even not every tribune was qualified (ex-magistrate).

Also the role of the centurion as commander of auxilia cohors changed over time. The first sources I know of, were in the punic wars, when centurions became military advisors (not commanders) of the numidic forces which supported Scipios army. Later during republic we find centurions promoted to praepositi or prefects of auxilia even before they came to primipilate. With Augustus the equestrian career starting with the prefect of an auxilia was established, but the equestrian career was not fully working and established until Claudius. So we see still some centurions leading auxilia cohorts, but they diminish. As well as the local ethnic commanders of auxilia diminished. Latest with the batavian revolt mid of 1st century. So the first half of the 1st century is a phase of transition, which therefore looks a bit fuzzy.

It becomes even more fuzzy with vexillationes. I always ask, what was the purpose of a vexillatio led by a centurio, how big was it, were the soldiers roman citizens and what timeframe we are talking about? If the purpose was not combat and/or the soldiers non-citizens it fits perfectly to roman traditions, even if such a vexillatio had to fight suddenly. And again, later emperors could manage change easier than Augustus could, so we have an overall ongoing transition from Augustus to the late empire. Thats why things look a bit fuzzy, imho.

I am very convinced, that inside a legion regarding legionary cohorts things are not less fuzzy and changing over time gradually.
Ut desint vires, tamen est laudanda voluntas
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Quote:Oh Renatus, you really should switch to decaf! :dizzy: All these negative waves. Cry
You have been talking for a long time about writing a book. You imply (although perhaps I have misunderstood you) that you have finished it. Yet, when someone expresses an interest in your theories and asks when they may be published, so that he may fully understand them (which implies a willingness to expend money in the purchase of the book), you attack him. This, I might suggest, is not a good marketing strategy. I don't think that your publishers would approve.
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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Quote:
antiochus post=328606 Wrote:]Oh Renatus, you really should switch to decaf! :dizzy: All these negative waves. Cry

You have been talking for a long time about writing a book. You imply (although perhaps I have misunderstood you) that you have finished it. Yet, when someone expresses an interest in your theories and asks when they may be published, so that he may fully understand them (which implies a willingness to expend money in the purchase of the book), you attack him. This, I might suggest, is not a good marketing strategy. I don't think that your publishers would approve.

That statement is bordering on a personal attack and I recommend it cease.

Gentlemen we are on a Roman forum!!!! Show some civility please!
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Quote:
Nathan Ross Wrote:If we accept, following Fronto, that a centurion was equal to an (auxiliary) cohort prefect

Do you have that Fronto reference to hand, by the way?


He means by Marcus Cornelius

http://books.google.co.za/books?id=rctbk...on&f=false

Here

http://www.amazon.com/Marcus-Cornelius-F...B001JRWS4E

And here

http://www.bookfinder.com/author/marcus-...us-fronto/

The Roman historian.

Except I don't ever recall a statement like that.
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If we summarize, we seem to agree there is no clear mention of a cohort commander. The cohort, consisting of 6 centuries, two centuries made a manipel, was the logistical unit used to form the legion, which consisted of 10 cohorts.
A vexillatio is a detached unit assigned a specific task or tasks, it is also not of any given size, the size depending on the task it had.
However, the cohort is also used as a unit maning a castellum. In this case, the cohort would have been supervised by the castellum commander, which we believe to be a legate or prefect. The six centurion would be in charge of their assigned body of men and would make up the cohort staff, along with an administrator.

@Burzum Perhaps as a newcomer to this forum, it would be in order to leave the moderation of debates to the moderators. If a thread is in your view taking a wrong turn, report the offending post to the moderators using the button at the lower right of the post.
Salvete et Valete

Nil volentibus arduum


Robert P. Wimmers
Archeologie Beleven!
>http://www.ferrumantica.eu  (The NEW Fabrica of Vvlpivs!)
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Quote:
Nathan Ross Wrote:If we accept, following Fronto, that a centurion was equal to an (auxiliary) cohort prefect

Do you have that Fronto reference to hand, by the way?

Ah, turns out it's Florus, not Fronto - sorry!

However:

If the greatest emperor had granted me the rod, that is, the command over a hundred men, I would regard that as an honour of no small moment; and similarly if a prefecture or tribunate, for the honour is the same except that the pay is greater.

Florus. Vergilius Orator an Poeta, III.5


Florus goes on to say that he would rather remain a literature teacher than take up one of these military positions.

It's a tricky passage to interpret - does he mean that the pay is greater for a prefect and a tribune than a centurion, or that the prefect and centurion are paid the same but the tribune is paid more (as seems more likely, I think)?

Either way, it seems to imply that an ex eques centurion (who may indeed have been superior to a basic centurion from the ranks) was considered equal to a cohort prefect at least.
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Quote:If we summarize, we seem to agree there is no clear mention of a cohort commander. The cohort, consisting of 6 centuries, two centuries made a manipel, was the logistical unit used to form the legion, which consisted of 10 cohorts.
A vexillatio is a detached unit assigned a specific task or tasks, it is also not of any given size, the size depending on the task it had.
However, the cohort is also used as a unit maning a castellum. In this case, the cohort would have been supervised by the castellum commander, which we believe to be a legate or prefect. The six centurion would be in charge of their assigned body of men and would make up the cohort staff, along with an administrator.


If we are to summarize a topic that lacks substantial credible evidence in referring to the correct structure of the Roman military, I think it's only fair to lay a foundation of an acceptance in coalition with reputable authors and historians that are astute in any curriculum involving the glorious and unstoppable Roman war machine that civilized the world, who... share a general consensus with a opinion base that states in acceptance the hierarchical sub-structure. Because what this does it sort of nullifies the thirst for fact and in retrospect answers the questions.

As we see progression of time, we see a great shift, a evolution which is a dark elixir of time warp that diminishes history, actual recordings, and the fact we must all take into careful and significant consideration is that over 70% of Roman literature was destroyed in the early birth and decedents of the dark ages. A period where knowledge was the object of mockery and dark sourcery that was burned in the name of Christianity and by primitives who simply hated Rome. It's that hate that served as a dark catalyst which drove the engines of the barbaric knowledge destroyer as civilization was a thing perceived by the dark age primitives as something evil and perverted.



@Burzum Perhaps as a newcomer to this forum, it would be in order to leave the moderation of debates to the moderators. If a thread is in your view taking a wrong turn, report the offending post to the moderators using the button at the lower right of the post.


Being a newcomer that shows and expresses true vigilance on a civilized Roman forum is not a demarcation of membership. By having the capacity and freedom of speech in able to voice an opinion to infact moderate a certain increment of debate, is actually non complicit.

But thanks for a friendly gesture of good faith. :wink:
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Quote:
Magister Militum Flavius Aetius post=328573 Wrote:The Goths of Theodoric alone could field around 20,000 men (estimated), which is larger than the Gallic Field Army of that time.

A Gallic field army under Roman occupation? If you mean in Caesar's time? You looking at roughly over 50,000 and higher numbers that Vercingetorix deployed in a field at one time ranging roughly over 90,000.

And correction, Theodoric's army consisted of 30,000.

Franks maybe, but they also consisted of Burgundians and Alans and Saxons to the north of Roman Gaul.

Quote:That's enough money for 40,000 infantry or 18,000 Cavalry per Annum.

That's exactly the estimation of Flavius Aetius's army against Attila.


First of all, consider the fact the Romans weren't loosing. That mean's there a LOT LESS men that have to be replaced and trained.

The size of the Army Aetius brought against Attila is unknown. We can assume that Aetius replenished the Praesental army of Italy with the units Bonifacius brought from Africa after Rimini. With 10,000 men in Italy (or about 1/3 - 1/2 forcelimits based on the size of Stilicho's Army of Italy), plus the Gallic field Army (also about 10000 men) Aetius could have fielded around 20000 men to fight the Goths.
Vitus (although dead in 451) had a "sizeable force" in spain, so let's assume 5 legions for Spain (or about 5000 men)
*(Note that it would be 2 legions if we're referring to Limitanei who numbered estimated 3000 strong per Legion).
Add Marcellinus' army which was also "Sizable" if we assume his claim that he could overthrow Ricimer in the 460's is correct than that's another 5000-10000 men.

Illyria and Spain were tied up, Marcellinus was (theoretically) ravaging Hunnic Pannonia while Aetius brought together the 2 Praesental Armies of Gaul and Italy. With 20,000 men Aetius was facing an Army of around approximately 50 - 60 Thousand men. Aetius had Avitus get the Visigoths (who could field an estimated 20,000 men) (Heather, Fall of the Roman Empire/Hughes, Aetius: Attila's Nemesis) and he negotiated with this supposedly Adopted Son-in-Law in the Franks, which gave him the Salians and Ripurians described by Iordanes. Add that to the Armoiciani (Roman Rebels) who also saw common cause with him and the Burgundians who were bound by a Foedus after being quintessentially Wrecked by Huns and Aetius in the 430's. Also the Saxons probably refers to the Frisii who were settled in Mordern Day Kent and Flanders in the 4th Century, and were migrating there from Holland and the Netherlands due to Marine Transgression. They were replaced in that area by Saxons in the 6th and 7th centuries.

All in all Aetius probably fielded the Remnants of the 2 Praesental Armies, 20,000 Goths, and about 10,000 other Against Attila.

Attila fielded probably around 30,000 Huns based on the Size of the Hungarian plains and the number of horses each rider needed (Heather, Empires and Barbarians) plus about 15000 goths and 15000 Gepids, Franks, Alemanni, Thuringians, and any other tribe that had a bone to pick with the Romans.

Therefore you cannot explicately state that Aetius had an Army comparable to that of Caesar. Gallic Army does not necessarily refer to an Invasion Excercitus. The Roman Army of the Late Era was a different Organizational System that was inarguably more effective in dealing with the Threats presented to them.
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