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Later Roman Military Punishments
#16
Quote:Normally, I would agree with you. In the same passage, the word translated as 'armour for his legs' (tibiale) is defined by Lewis & Short as 'a warm wrappage about the shins, a kind of stockings or leggings'. However, the whole passage relates to the illicit disposal of arms (arma) and goes on to deal with punishment in the case of the sale of 'loricam scutum galeam gladium', so I think it logical to suppose that the jurist was referring throughout to various sorts of armour and weaponry, rather than clothing.


Are Umerale and Tibiale plural?
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#17
Not at all...
Kis György Márk (by western standards, György Márk Kis)

Legio Leonum Valentiniani

http://www.legioleonum.hu
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#18
Ammianus describes a number of punishments meted out to both whole units and individuals. The 'Batavi', presumably the 'Batavi Seniores', an Auxilia Palatina unit, was threatened with severe punishment for deserting the battlefield prior to Adrianople (although they appear to have had a habit of doing that because they also deserted at Adrianople itself!). There was also the incident in Africa when Theodosius, the father of Theodosius the Great, was tasked with dealing with the revolt of Firmus where a unit of Roman horse archers, the Equites Quartae Sagittariorum Cohortis, and part of an infantry unit, the Auxilia Palatina Constantiani, had not only fled to join Firmus, but one of the tribunes of the Constantiani had crowned Firmus with an impromptu diadem. Theodosius induced those units with ‘mild punishment’ to return back to Roman service and they surprisingly complied, going to the designated town of Tigaviae where Theodosius was waiting. When those units arrived before Theodosius the mild punishment he had promised proved anything but, he allowed the troops under his command to slay the infantry of the Constantiani ‘in the old-fashioned way’. The fate of the Quartae Sagittariorum was different in that Theodosius had the horse archers officers hands cut off and the rest of the troopers slain. In a similar way Theodosius had a chief and a ‘prefect of the Mazices tribe slain.
Adrian Coombs-Hoar
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#19
Quote:while soldiers are apparently immune from 'torture' (in a judicial sense), the jurists do not seem to consider that 'castigation' of a soldier counts as such, even if involves the same sort of treatment that would be thought of as torture if it was done to a decurion!
I'm getting you to do all the work here! Do we have a text that equates castigatio with torture in the case of decurions?


Quote:Are Umerale and Tibiale plural?
No, singular, third declension: umerale, is, n.; tibiale, is, n.
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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#20
Quote:I'm getting you to do all the work here!


Pushing me in the right direction, I like to think!



Quote:Do we have a text that equates castigatio with torture in the case of decurions?

Isn't it that castigatio (corporal punishment) in a military environment seems to be synonymous with fustibus (beating with sticks), which is specifically ruled out in the case of decurions and other honestiores... which in turn suggests a very contemporary-sounding debate on what does and does not consitute 'torture' - you can hit a soldier with a stick and it's 'castigation'. But if you do the same to a decurion it's 'cruel and unusual punishment'... even though both men are supposedly 'honorable'.

Actually this is perhaps nothing very new - I believe all citizens in the late republic and principiate were legally immune from torture and execution, but citizen soldiers were regularly beaten and executed for military offences.
Nathan Ross
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#21
Hmm.... interesting topic and I have to say that I do not have many quotes on that matter for that period. There is a certain gap there that has formed in my research of Greek sources as the bulk of relevant information stops in the 1st century AD and starts again in the mid 6th.

This is what I got :

After his victory against the Alamanni at the battle of Argentoratum (Strasburg), emperor Julian did not punish the men of a certain cavalry ile (squadron) that had fled according to the law but instead, he dressed them in women’s clothes and paraded them through the rest of the army, deeming such punishment worse than death for men. Zosimus, Historia nova, B.3, ch.3, s.5, l.4

When, during emperor Julian’s campaign against the Persians, a scouting contingent fled and lost its military standard to the enemy, the emperor removed the girdle of its commander for putting his safety before Roman honor, and the rest of the men who fled with him he held in contempt. Zosimus, Historia nova, B.3, ch.19, s.2, l.8

After his defeat by the Germans, emperor Valentinian I learned after meticulous inquiries that the Batavian legion was the first to flee and thus responsible for the general flight. Ordering the whole army to assemble in arms in order to hear things of common interest to all, he spoke of the shame of those who commenced the flight and commanded the Batavians to lay down their arms, condemning them to be sold as slaves. At that moment, the Batavians all fell to the ground and begged him to allow them to free the army of the dishonor they had brought upon it, promising to prove worthy of the Roman name. When he accepted their promises, they immediately leapt up, took up their arms, marched out of the camp and renewed the fight, showing in this war such willingness, that from an immense number of enemies, only a few were able to escape back to their homelands Zosimus, Historia nova, B.4, ch.9, s.3, l.2
Macedon
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#22
Quote:Isn't it that castigatio (corporal punishment) in a military environment seems to be synonymous with fustibus (beating with sticks), which is specifically ruled out in the case of decurions and other honestiores... which in turn suggests a very contemporary-sounding debate on what does and does not consitute 'torture' - you can hit a soldier with a stick and it's 'castigation'. But if you do the same to a decurion it's 'cruel and unusual punishment'... even though both men are supposedly 'honorable'.
I think that we do have to differentiate between torture and what today we might consider to be harsh and cruel punishment. After all, as has been observed, flogging was practised in the British forces until the mid-19th century and this would not have been considered then or even now to be torture in the common understanding of the term. We know that Roman soldiers could be punished more severely than civilians for certain offences and that some military offences were specifically punishable with flogging. We also know that some offences were considered common to both soldiers and civilians and others were peculiar to the military. It may be that, in the case of some offences that fell into the 'common' category, a soldier could claim the same exemption from beating with rods as could honestiores, whereas he could not do so in the case of a 'peculiar' offence.


Quote:When, during emperor Julian’s campaign against the Persians, a scouting contingent fled and lost its military standard to the enemy, the emperor removed the girdle of its commander for putting his safety before Roman honor, and the rest of the men who fled with him he held in contempt. Zosimus, Historia nova, B.3, ch.19, s.2, l.8
This seems to be the same instance described in slightly different terms by Ammianus (Amm. 24.3.1-2). In Ammianus' account, three turmae of scouts were attacked by the Persians and put to flight. One tribune was killed (Zosimus also states that one of the three leaders of the force was killed) and a standard was lost. Julian cashiered the two surviving tribunes for inefficiency and cowardice, and discharged and executed ten of those that had fled. In doing so, Ammianus says, he was following ancient laws (secutus veteres leges). This is often considered to demonstrate a misunderstanding of the requirements of decimation but, if the number of those who had fled was about a hundred, it could have been a true decimation.
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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#23
Julian also punished a unit for cowardice by removing their standards and demoting them to the lowest grade of infantry. A commander of another unit was replaced by the commander of the demoted unit.

AM XXV.1.7-9.
On that same day the legions made complaint of the cavalry troop of the Tertiaci, on the ground that just as they themselves were forcing their way into the opposing lines of the enemy, the Tertiaci had gradually given way and so had damped the ardour of almost the entire army. 8 At this the emperor was roused to righteous indignation, had their standards taken from them and their lances broken, and forced all those who were charged with running away to march with the packs, baggage, and prisoners; but their leader, who alone had fought bravely, was given the command of another troop, whose tribune was found guilty of having shamefully left the field. 9 Also four other tribunes of the cavalry were dismissed for similar disgraceful conduct; for in view of the impending difficulties the emperor contented himself with this mild form of punishment.
Robert Vermaat
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#24
Theodosius (the Elder) initially punished a rebelling (!) unit by demoting them - perhaps he did not have any choice? However, a while later the army votes to have them executed, although the (ring?)leaders are punished by mutilation. The tribunes are executed.
Interestingly, there seems to have been public criticism of this approach.

AM XXIX.5.20-23:
20 Therefore he turned from there and came to the municipal town of Sugabarritanum, on the slope of the Transcellian mountain, where he found the horsemen of the fourth cohort of archers, which had gone over to the rebel; and to show that he was content with a somewhat mild punishment, he degraded them all to the lowest class of the service; then he ordered them and a part of the Constantian infantry, with their tribunes, one of whom had placed his neck-chain, in place of a diadem, on Firmus' head, to come to Tigaviae.
21 While this was going on, Gildo and Maximus returned, bringing Belles, one of the chiefs of the Mazices, and Fericius, prefect of the tribe, who had aided the party of the disturber of the public peace . . .
22 When this had been done according to order, at daybreak he himself came out, and finding the rebels surrounded by his army, he said: "What think you, my devoted comrades, ought to be done with these abominable traitors?" And acceding to the acclamation of those who asked that they should pay for it with their blood, he turned over those who served among the Constantiani to the soldiers, seem to be slain in the old-fashioned way. But he had the hands of the leaders of the archers cut off and punished the rest with death, following the example of that strictest of leaders Curio, who put an end by a punishment of that kind to the wildness of the Dardani, when, like the Lernaean hydra, they constantly gained new life.
23 But malevolent detractors, while praising that act of the olden time, find fault with this one as cruel and inhuman, declaring that the Dardani were murderous enemies and justly suffered the punishment which befell them, while these, on the contrary, were soldiers under the flag who had allowed themselves to commit a single fault and deserved to have been punished more leniently. But such folk we remind of what they perhaps do not know, that this cohort was harmful, not only in its action, but also in the example which it set.
24 The aforesaid Belles and Fericius, whom Gildo had brought, and Curandius, tribune of the archers, he ordered to be put to death, the last named on the ground that he never wished either to engage with the enemy himself or to encourage his men to fight. Moreover, Theodorus did this bearing in mind the saying of Cicero: "Wholesome strength is better than a vain show of mercy."
Robert Vermaat
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FECTIO Late Romans
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
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#25
More Theodosian punishment of cowardly soldiers, mutilation and death by fire.

AM XXIX.5.49:
49 These unexpected words roused some to fight more fiercely but induced others to abandon the battle. Accordingly, when the first quiet of night came, and the landscape was wrapped in fear-inspiring darkness, the general returned to the stronghold of Duodia, and, reviewing his soldiers, rid himself by various forms of punishment of those whom panic and the words of Firmus had turned from their duty in the battle; some had their right hands cut off, others were burned alive.
Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR
FECTIO Late Romans
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
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#26
Similar punishments for soldiers who refused to revert from christianity. In the later Passion of Sergius and Bacchus we hear of two oficers, apparently during the time of Galrius, who refuse to enter a pagan temple with the rest of their unit. they then were publicly humiliated by being chained, dressed in female attire and paraded around town (sounds familiar). Bacchus was beaten to death, while over the next days, Sergius was also brutally tortured and finally executed.
Robert Vermaat
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FECTIO Late Romans
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
[Image: artgroepbutton.jpg]
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#27
Quote:I think that we do have to differentiate between torture and what today we might consider to be harsh and cruel punishment.

I think you're right. Ulpian (Digest 47.10.15.21) says "By torture we should understand torment and corporeal suffering and pain employed to extract the truth." So it was apparently a procedure in interrogation - the quaestio - and not punishment per se from which soldiers and other honestiores were immune.

This is despite the fact that Callistratus (48.19.7) specifically mentions 'castigation with rods' as a method of torture. Seems it's all about the context!

So when Diocletian and Maximian (Code 9.41.8) write "We do not permit soldiers to be subjected to torture", they are not referring to the kind of corporal punishment traditionally employed in the army for military offences.

But did the soldiers often think their immunities went further than this? In the AD220s there were military uprisings by the troops in Pannonia and the praetorians in Rome against their commanders - the historian Cassius Dio and the jurist Ulpian respectively. In both cases it seems the complaint was that these men were trying to reimpose old-style discipline of some sort ("I ruled them with a firm hand", as Dio put it) - perhaps in this case the post-Severan soldiery thought they should indeed be immune from certain types of physical punishment, and mutinied when their commanders thought otherwise?



Quote:such punishment worse than death for men... the shame of those who commenced the flight... promising to prove worthy of the Roman name.

Quote:...they then were publicly humiliated by being chained, dressed in female attire and paraded around town... beaten to death... brutally tortured and finally executed.

Honour and shame were certainly important to the Romans, but I wonder how much of the effectiveness of these kind of 'shaming' punishments was the threat of being reduced to a humilioris status, and being left vulnerable to any kind of torture or execution, or even being sold as a slave?



Quote:some had their right hands cut off, others were burned alive.

There does seem to have been a rapid escalation in the severity of punishments generally during the fourth century. I've noticed before that even senators were being burned alive for 'adultery and sorcery' in Rome by the end of the century!
Nathan Ross
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#28
Nathan is correct, Ammianus records that during the join reigns of Valentinian and Valens many nobles and others, including high born females, were subjected to all kinds of abuse which ran the full range from beheadings to exile.
Adrian Coombs-Hoar
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#29
Quote:This is despite the fact that Callistratus (48.19.7) specifically mentions 'castigation with rods' as a method of torture. Seems it's all about the context!
But he doesn't. This reference relates to various types of corporal punishment (coercitionem corporis) inserted for illustrative purposes between two excerpts from Ulpian on the duties of a proconsul regarding punishment.


Quote:Honour and shame were certainly important to the Romans, but I wonder how much of the effectiveness of these kind of 'shaming' punishments was the threat of being reduced to a humilioris status, and being left vulnerable to any kind of torture or execution, or even being sold as a slave?
Humiliation as a military punishment had a long history going back to Augustus (Suetonius, Div Aug, 24.2) and beyond, before the emergence of the honestiores/humiliores dichotomy. When the Hadrianic Society Bulletin for 2009 finally appears, it will be possible to read the write-up of my lecture to the Roman Army School the previous year in which I postulated that the celebrated incident of Caligula and the seashells was a humiliation punishment of those legions that had refused to embark for his proposed invasion of Britain.
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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#30
Quote:But he doesn't.

Ah, so he doesn't! Thanks - my fault for relying on a quote in a secondary source (this one), which could have been clearer...
Nathan Ross
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