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Late Roman Unit Sizes
Macedon wrote:
However, tagmata is a Greek term, I doubt it that it would be used in a Latin text.

Good point. This has me now believing the number of turmae (two) is wrong. I am starting to identify the Late Roman army as having two organisations that are coexisting, that is the old (Vegetius style) and the new.
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I've found late Roman units to be of 3 organizational systems:

1. Pre-Severan Legions: Generally these are organized into 3 detachments numbering (based on my estimates) 1500 men each (4500 men total) although some are divided into 2 detachments.

2. 3rd Century and Diocletianic Legions: These seem to usually be divided into Seniores and Juniores and number 3000 men. There also those like Sexta Parthica which probably number 3000 men even though they are not divided.

3. Post-Constantian units: These usually number 1500 men, or sometimes are Juniores and Seniores totalling 3000 men.

EDIT: As for Cavalry, I thoroughly agree they number 360 men. Although Turmae were units underneath the greater Cavalry unit: there were... I think 10 Turmae in an Ala? I can't recall.
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Evan wrote:
As for Cavalry, I thoroughly agree they number 360 men. Although Turmae were units underneath the greater Cavalry unit: there were... I think 10 Turmae in an Ala? I can't recall.

In between these postings I have just worked out what is going on. It concerns the Pythagorean saeculum and Diocletian’s reign. If you interest use my offline email address, as this Pythagorean stuff doesn’t go down to well here. By working with the new numbers papyrus - Columbia 7.188 - from AD320, giving a vexillatio of equites promoti of II Traiana 264 men, has without fudging just fallen into place. I’ve also gotten an insight into why there are seniores and iuniores. I think I am having an eureka moment.
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This again is showing that the answers to the Late Roman army is and has been looking back at us from the primary sources. Why are there divisions of iuniores and seniores? The answer to that question can be found in the Servian constitution, which divides the voting centuries into an equal number of iuniores and seniores.
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In the thread “The Roman Army of Dioceltain,” Renatus and I were discussing whether the dean/decanus was inclusive of the ten men or additional, thereby making it eleven men in total (Vegetius 2 8). In another passage Vegetius (2 13) implies the decanus was inclusive.

My present research shows in the Vegetius legion of 6000 men, the decanus was inclusive, but in the Late Roman legion organisation I am exploring, the decanus is additional. Also Vegetius (2 25) section on the ballista (11 men sections) fits the mathematics quite well because Roman maths for a legion ends in a round number. So if the legion works out to have 3254 men, I need an organisation that ends with a six, like 146 for example which increases the legion to 3400 men. Vegetius addition decanus and the ballista numbers result in the legion ending in a round number.
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Quote:This again is showing that the answers to the Late Roman army is and has been looking back at us from the primary sources. Why are there divisions of iuniores and seniores? The answer to that question can be found in the Servian constitution, which divides the voting centuries into an equal number of iuniores and seniores.

That actually makes perfect sense...
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Going back to Zosimus 6.8.2 and the 40,000/4000 issue, I have now obtained a copy of the relevant part of Paschoud’s edition and his commentary upon it. The text does indeed refer to four myriads but, in his commentary, he acknowledges that this is evidently incorrect. He goes on to say that he has not corrected the text because he believes that this is not an error by a copyist but a blunder on the part of Zosimus himself. In other words, he has reproduced what he believes Zosimus actually wrote, even though it is wrong. His commentary reads:

Ici, la donnée du manuscrit V, qui mentionne quarante mille hommes, est évidemment fausse, comme suffit à le prouver le texte parallèle de Sozomène 9, 8, 6, qui fait état de quatre mille hommes, soit de six unités fortes d’un peu moins de sept cents hommes; je n’ai cependant pas corrigé le texte, car je crois qu’une fois de plus, nous ne sommes pas ici en présence d’une erreur de copiste, mais d’une bévue de Zosime lui-même, révélant que le livre 6 n’a été ni achevé, ni révisé
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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That's what I think too: that was an error by Zozimus himself, not a medieval copyist.

As for the "Vegetian Legion." You make some interesting points Steven, but IMO direct evidence suggests otherwise.

Let's ignore my theory of Juniores and Seniores, and say that (using the Justinian Papyrus and Sozomen) a Numerus numbers only 600 men.

Well, in that case the 5 regiments in Macezel's force would number 3000 men, and the 2 Legions would number 1000 each; not an implausible number.

The Legions that marched down from Illyria though, would number 1350 men each. That is a significantly larger number: could they have also numbered 1000 men, but included Legionary cavalry of some sort?

And of course there is also the issue of John Lydus' Legions still. Are they 1500 each? 750 each? Is it a Numerus of Mattiarii numbering 600 and a Legion of Lanciarii numbering 900?
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Evan wrote:
As for the "Vegetian Legion." You make some interesting points Steven, but IMO direct evidence suggests otherwise.

I’m note sure what points I made that you are referring to you, so I can’t comment.

Evan wrote:
Let's ignore my theory of Juniores and Seniores, and say that (using the Justinian Papyrus and Sozomen) a Numerus numbers only 600 men. Well, in that case the 5 regiments in Macezel's force would number 3000 men, and the 2 Legions would number 1000 each; not an implausible number.

It’s plausible, but it is also just playing with numbers. 4800 men are plausible as is 5400 rounded down to 5000 men. In the end none of them are evidence. I have used Macezel’s force to show the reader that a legion was small in number, which is all I can milk from it.

Evan wrote:
The Legions that marched down from Illyria though, would number 1350 men each. That is a significantly larger number: could they have also numbered 1000 men, but included Legionary cavalry of some sort?

I once discussed on this forum that cavalry sizes are governed by the ratio of infantry in a legion. Well this bought some flack from members getting overly excited because it implied that where the legion went the cavalry followed, which is not the case. So I’ve been careful not to open old wounds. However, for the Late Roman army I am using the infantry to cavalry ratio. When Nathan posted about the “Columbia 7 188,” papyrus, which I never knew about, I had my confirmation. I owe Nathan a big debt of gratitude for that posting.

Evan wrote:
And of course there is also the issue of John Lydus' Legions still. Are they 1500 each?

First does Lydus say they are a legion? That would make it a legion of missile troops…..hmmm, somehow I don’t think so.

Evan wrote:
750 each? Is it a Numerus of Mattiarii numbering 600 and a Legion of Lanciarii numbering 900?

If you halve 750 you get 375, which cannot be halved again without creating a fraction. 900 halved equals 450, which again can be halved to 225 but that is the last time it can be halved. As an experiment look at how many time you can half 1200 – 600 – 300 – 150 – 75. That is true Roman military mathematics.
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Ammianus 31 12 2 he tried competently to frustrate this attempt by quickly sending an infantry troop of bowmen and a squadron of cavalry.

Renatus can you translate what the word Ammianus uses for "troop" and also "squadron."?
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Quote:Ammianus 31 12 2 he tried competently to frustrate this attempt by quickly sending an infantry troop of bowmen and a squadron of cavalry.

Renatus can you translate what the word Ammianus uses for "troop" and also "squadron."?
. . . peditibus sagittariis et equitum turma . . ., ' . . . with infantry archers and a turma of cavalry . . .' So, turma for 'squadron' but no specific word for 'troop'.
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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Renatus wrote:
So, turma for 'squadron' but no specific word for 'troop'.

Thank you for the translation. The original translation got my hopes up, but it was not to be.
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Quote:And of course there is also the issue of John Lydus' Legions still. Are they 1500 each? 750 each? Is it a Numerus of Mattiarii numbering 600 and a Legion of Lanciarii numbering 900?
I can't find these. Have you got a reference?
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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Malalas not Lydus.

To many Johns. Tongue
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Quote:Malalas not Lydus.
This is no good without a reference.
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)
Reply


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