Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Tacitus and the Maniple
#1
It seems previously most of this thread went missing. So I will post it again. Also am I the only one having problems posting on RAT? The threads get scrambled when I post.

By following the current theory of academia that the maniple was superseded by the cohort in 210 BC, then what is someone suppose to make of these references found in the writings of Tacitus?
 
ANNALS
1 20 Meanwhile the companies which previous to the mutiny had been sent to Nauportus to make roads and bridges and for other purposes, when they heard of the tumult in the camp, tore up the standards.
 
Interea manipuli ante coeptam seditionem Nauportum missi ob itinera et
 
1 21 As the men were dragged off, they struggled violently, clasped the knees of the bystanders, called to their comrades by name, or to the company, cohort, or legion to which they respectively belonged, exclaiming that all were threatened with the same fate.
 
Horum adventu redintegratur seditio et vagi circumiecta populabantur. Blaesus paucos, maxime praeda onustos, ad terrorem ceterorum adfici verberibus, claudi carcere iubet; nam etiam tum legato a centurionibus et optimo quoque manipularium parebatur. illi obniti trahentibus, prensare circumstantium genua, ciere modo nomina singulorum, modo centuriam quisque cuius manipularis erat, cohortem, legionem, eadem omnibus inminere clamitantes. simul probra in legatum cumulant, caelum ac deos obtestantur, nihil reliqui faciunt quo minus invidiam misericordiam metum et iras permoverent. adcurritur ab universis, et carcere effracto solvunt vincula desertoresque ac rerum capitalium damnatos sibi iam miscent
 
1 30 Search was then made for all the chief mutineers. Some as they roamed outside the camp were cut down by the centurions or by soldiers of the prætorian cohorts. Some even the companies gave up in proof of their loyalty.
 
a centurionibus aut praetoriarum cohortium militibus caesi: quosdam ipsi manipuli documentum fidei tradidere. auxerat militum curas praematura hiems imbribus
 
1 34 He ordered the throng which stood near him, as it seemed a promiscuous gathering, to separate itself into its military companies. They replied that they would hear better as they were. The standards were then to be advanced, so that thus at least the cohorts might be distinguished.
 
senio membra ostendebant. adsistentem contionem, quia permixta videbatur, discedere in manipulos iubet: sic melius audituros responsum; vexilla praeferri ut id
 
1 69 Generals had nothing left them when a woman went among the companies, attended the standards, ventured on bribery, as though it showed but slight ambition to parade her son in a common soldier's uniform, and wish him to be called Cæsar Caligula.
 
externos studia militum quaeri. nihil relictum imperatoribus, ubi femina manipulos intervisat, signa adeat, largitionem temptet, tamquam parum ambitiose
 
1 70 The companies were mingled in confusion, now with the breast, now with the head only above water, sometimes losing their footing and parted from their comrades or drowned.
 
iumenta, sarcinae, corpora exanima interfluunt, occursant. permiscentur inter se manipuli, modo pectore, modo ore tenus extantes, aliquando subtracto solo
 
2 78 He formed into regular companies the deserters who flocked to him, armed the camp-followers, crossed with his ships to the mainland, intercepted a detachment of new levies on their way to Syria, and wrote word to the petty kings of Cilicia that they were to help him with auxiliaries, the young Piso actively assisting in all the business of war, though he had advised against undertaking it.
 
insulas lato mari pergere in Syriam iubet. concurrentis desertores per manipulos componit, armat lixas traiectisque in continentem navibus vexillum tironum
 
2 80 He then deployed his companies before the lines of the fortress on a high and precipitous hill, with the sea surrounding him on every other side.
 
potiorem, si armis, non invalidum vidissent. tum pro munimentis castelli manipulos explicat colle arduo et derupto; nam cetera mari cinguntur
 
4 25 The word went through the companies that all were to aim at securing Tacfarinas, whom, after so many battles, they knew well, as there would be no rest from war except by the destruction of the enemy's leader. Tacfarinas, his guards slain round him, his son a prisoner, and the Romans bursting on him from every side, rushed on the darts, and by a death which was not unavenged, escaped captivity.
 
totiens pugnae se quisque ultione et sanguine explebant. differtur per manipulos, Tacfarinatem omnes notum tot proeliis consectentur: non nisi duce
 
12 56 On the raft stood companies of the prætorian cohorts and cavalry, with a breastwork in front of them, from which catapults and balistas might be worked.
 
artes, impetus navium et proelio solita. in ratibus praetoriarum cohortium manipuli turmaeque adstiterant, antepositis propugnaculis ex quis catapultae ballistaeque tenderentur.
 
14 27 For whole legions were no longer transplanted, as in former days, with tribunes and centurions and soldiers of every grade, so as to form a state by their unity and mutual attachment, but strangers to one another from different companies, without a head or any community of sentiment, were suddenly gathered together, as it might be out of any other class of human beings, and became a mere crowd rather than a colony.
 
et caritate rem publicam efficerent, sed ignoti inter se, diversis manipulis, sine rectore, sine adfectibus mutuis, quasi ex alio genere
 
14 59 In that state the centurion slew him in the presence of Pelago, an eunuch, whom Nero had set over the centurion and his company, like a despot's minister over his satellites.
 
eum centurio trucidavit coram Pelagone spadone quem Nero centurioni et manipulo, quasi satellitibus ministrum regium, praeposuerat. caput interfecti relatum; cuius
 
15 28 Nor did the disgrace of Pætus trouble him, as was clearly proved by the fact that he commanded Pætus' son, who was a tribune, to take some companies with him and cover up the relics of that ill-starred battle-field.
 
angebatur, quod eo maxime patuit quia filio eius tribuno ducere manipulos atque operire reliquias malae pugnae imperavit. die pacta Tiberius
 
15 33 All these, with some companies of soldiers, filled the theatre at Neapolis.
 
quique Caesarem per honorem aut varios usus sectantur, etiam militum manipuli, theatrum Neapolitanorum complent.
 
HISTORIES
1 46 A fourth part of every company might be scattered on furlough, or even loiter about the camp, provided that they paid the fees to the centurions...His means exhausted by this outlay, and his energies utterly relaxed by idleness, the once rich and vigorous soldier returned to his company a poor and spiritless man.
 
namque gregarius miles ut tributum annuum pendebat. quarta pars manipuli sparsa per commeatus aut in ipsis castris vaga, dum ... insuper elanguerat, inops pro locuplete et iners pro strenuo in manipulum redibat, ac rursus alius atque alius, eadem egestate ac
 
1 57 Nor was this done only by the leading men in the colonies or the camps, who had abundant means at hand, and might indulge great expectations in the event of victory, but whole companies down to the very ranks offered instead of money their rations, their belts, and the bosses, which, richly decorated with silver, adorned their arms; so strong were the promptings from without, their own enthusiasm, and even the suggestions of avarice.
 
quibus praesentia ex affluenti et parta victoria magnae spes, sed manipuli quoque et gregarius miles viatica sua et balteos phalerasque,
 
3 20 Antonius then made his way into the companies.
 
Tum Antonius inserens se manipulis, ubi aspectu et auctoritate silentium fecerat, non se decus
 
3 22 Men of the legions Rapax and Italica were mingled with all the companies. The cavalry and the auxiliaries chose their position themselves. Six centurions of the first rank were killed, and some of the standards taken; but the eagle was saved by Atilius Verus, the centurion of the first company, who, after making a great slaughter among the enemy, at last fell.
 
et primanos laevum cornu complesse. Rapaces atque Italici omnibus se manipulis miscuerant; eques auxiliaque sibi ipsi locum legere. proelium tota
 
3 81 One Musonius Rufus, a man of equestrian rank, strongly attached to the pursuit of philosophy and to the tenets of the Stoics, had joined the envoys. He mingled with the troops, and, enlarging on the blessings of peace and the perils of war, began to admonish the armed crowd.
 
ordinis, studium philosophiae et placita Stoicorum aemulatus; coeptabatque permixtus manipulis, bona pacis ac belli discrimina disserens, armatos monere. id
 
4 72 They were thus admitted into the same camp with the rest, and an order was read in every company, that no soldier was in any contention or altercation to reproach a comrade with mutiny or defeat
 
se meminisse. tunc recepti in eadem castra, et edictum per manipulos ne quis in certamine iurgiove seditionem aut cladem commilitoni
 
4 77. Then returning to the camp, he saw the broken companies of the legions, which had been captured at Bonna and Novesium, with but few soldiers round the standards, and the eagles all but surrounded by the foe.
 
mox in castra reversus palantis captarum apud Novaesium Bonnamque legionum manipulos et rarum apud signa militem ac prope circumventas aquilas
 
4 78 All this was true, and the tribunes and prefects heaped on their men the same reproaches. The troops drew up in cohorts and maniples, for indeed they could not form an extended line since their foes were everywhere, and as the battle was being fought within their ramparts they were also hindered by their tents and baggage.
 
et a tribunis praefectisque eadem ingerebantur. consistunt per cohortis et manipulos; neque enim poterat patescere acies effuso hoste et impedientibus
 
 
 
 
Reply
#2
(07-15-2016, 05:00 AM)Steven James Wrote: what is someone suppose to make of these references found in the writings of Tacitus?

Doubtless the word maniple continued in use, presumably to denote a pair of centuries - just as we see the century barracks grouped in pairs in the legion fortresses. Soldiers continued to call each other commanipulares, similiar to commilitones.

However, this doesn't mean that the maniple remained the principal tactical unit on the battlefield, as it had been. Almost all the Tacitus quotes above (like the Ammianus one) refer to the maniple as an organisational subdivision. Only a couple suggest a tactical use.

Interestingly, I think you'll find that Tacitus rarely (if ever?) uses the words centuria or centuriae. Instead he uses maniple indiscriminately to refer to the command of a centurion. This could suggest that the two terms were regarded as synonymous at the time.

In Annals 14. 58, for example, Tacitus describes sixty men (sexaginta milites) sent to execute Plautus. In the next passage he mentions that these men were a centurion and his maniple (centurioni et manipulo). I think it's clear here that Tacitus is using 'maniple' as a synonym for 'century'.
Nathan Ross
Reply
#3
Nathan wrote:
Doubtless the word maniple continued in use, presumably to denote a pair of centuries - just as we see the century barracks grouped in pairs in the legion fortresses. Soldiers continued to call each other commanipulares, similiar to commilitones. However, this doesn't mean that the maniple remained the principal tactical unit on the battlefield, as it had been.
 
And there is no proof to the contrary. Seems pointless to continue employing the term maniple but for it to have no significance as a military organisation on the battlefield.
 
Nathan wrote:
Almost all the Tacitus quotes above (like the Ammianus one) refer to the maniple as an organisational subdivision. Only a couple suggest a tactical use.
 
And those couple of references cannot be easily dismissed. And Amianus is correct in a maniple being a subdivision as it is a subdivision of a cohort as a century is a subdivision of a maniple, and a contubernium is a subdivision of a century, and a manus is a subdivision of a decanii.
 
Nathan wrote:
Interestingly, I think you'll find that Tacitus rarely (if ever?) uses the words centuria or centuriae. Instead he uses maniple indiscriminately to refer to the command of a centurion. This could suggest that the two terms were regarded as synonymous at the time.
 
Appearances can be deceiving Nathan, and this one of them. Let’s look at this from a completely different and somewhat longer angle. Polybius has a legion under the command of six military tribunes. Gellius states a legion had 30 maniples and 60 centuries. Therefore, each of the six military tribune commanded five maniples. At Cynoscephalae in 197 BC, a military tribune commanded 20 maniples. However, I have learnt a thing or two about how the text work, whether it be Polybius or Tacitus. With two centuries making a maniple, the 20 maniples amount to 40 centuries. Following tradition a military tribune commanded five maniples or 10 centuries, then at Cynoscephalae, 4 military tribunes commanded the 20 maniples. Polybius reference to a military tribune commanding 20 maniples is only relating to the most senior military tribune of those 4 military tribunes. One cannot ignore the fact that there has to be a ranking system of seniority among those six military tribunes.
 
So if one military tribune commanded 20 of the 30 maniples, then what would the remaining five military tribunes command? At this point the maths and the primary sources are with me. Where is this leading? See my next comment.
 
Nathan wrote:
In Annals 14. 58, for example, Tacitus describes sixty men (sexaginta milites) sent to execute Plautus. In the next passage he mentions that these men were a centurion and his maniple (centurioni et manipulo). I think it's clear here that Tacitus is using 'maniple' as a synonym for 'century'.
 
No it is not clear to me by a long shot. Hyginus claims a century numbered 80 men, so those 60 men do not represent a century. And in the same manner as Polybius’ one military tribune commanding 20 maniples, Tacitus is referring to the senior centurion of the maniple. It is that simple.
Reply
#4
(07-17-2016, 01:54 PM)Steven James Wrote: Seems pointless to continue employing the term maniple but for it to have no significance as a military organisation on the battlefield.

The term remained in use as an administrative and organisational subdivision, not a tactical one (the cohort had taken on that role). Occasionally, if two centuries were deployed together, they could be referred to as a maniple - and it seems that Tacitus for one referred to individual centuries using the same word. But as all the soldiers in the legion were armed and equipped in the same way and there were no age divisions (as we've discussed elsewhere), this was clearly not the same as the republican manipular organisation.


(07-17-2016, 01:54 PM)Steven James Wrote: a manus is a subdivision of a decanii.

A what?


(07-17-2016, 01:54 PM)Steven James Wrote: So if one military tribune commanded 20 of the 30 maniples, then what would the remaining five military tribunes command? At this point the maths and the primary sources are with me. Where is this leading? See my next comment.

Your references are all to republican military organisation. As far as we know, the five equestrian tribunes of the imperial legion did not have fixed commands, and nor did the laticlave (senior, senatorial) tribune. They were sometimes placed in command of detached vexillations (as in one of the Tacitus quotes above), but I am unaware of any references to them regularly commanding maniples, or anything else. Why would they?


(07-17-2016, 01:54 PM)Steven James Wrote: Hyginus claims a century numbered 80 men, so those 60 men do not represent a century.


Hyginus was writing at an unknown date between the 2nd and 3rd century (probably Antonine?). His is the only reference to an 80-man century. The republican century numbered 60 men. Josephus describes the army of the 60s AD marching six abreast - difficult for 80 men! - and deploying three deep. Arrian, seventy years later, describes a formation by fours; either one or other of them is wrong, or different legions had differing formations, or something had changed in the intervening period.

Tacitus, in the quote mentioned above, describes sixty men commanded by a centurion, in an incident of AD62. He calls this unit a maniple, which suggest that the term was inexact during this period. He is certainly referring to a century, and this reinforces the idea that the army of the 1st century AD still retained 60-man centuries.
Nathan Ross
Reply
#5
Nathan wrote:
The term remained in use as an administrative and organisational subdivision, not a tactical one (the cohort had taken on that role).
 
Which is your theory.
 
Nathan wrote:
Occasionally, if two centuries were deployed together, they could be referred to as a maniple - and it seems that Tacitus for one referred to individual centuries using the same word.
 
Seems rather convoluted to me.
 
Nathan wrote:
But as all the soldiers in the legion were armed and equipped in the same way and there were no age divisions (as we've discussed elsewhere), this was clearly not the same as the republican manipular organisation.
 
How is it “clearly not the same as the republican manipular organisation”? If it was clear, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Changing the age structure does not prove that the maniple organisation was made redundant.
 
Nathan wrote:
A what?
 
Well my Latin singular and plural is crap, but two manus of five men makes ten men.
 
Nathan wrote:
Your references are all to republican military organisation.
 
That is because nothing has changed. The fact other ancient writers and Ammianus mentioning cohorts, maniples and centuries supports my position. For academic to make their theory work, they invent reasons to disparage the reliability of every ancient historian who uses the word maniple. Also they rely on only selecting references that supposedly support their case and fail to seriously explore those that contradict their stand point.
 
Nathan wrote:
They were sometimes placed in command of detached vexillations (as in one of the Tacitus quotes above), but I am unaware of any references to them regularly commanding maniples, or anything else. Why would they?
 
And why wouldn’t they command maniples. It is a case of simple mathematics and the case of the Romans following tradition. I’m not the one employing the word maniple in the primary sources, the ancient historians are responsible. Seems to me they know what they are writing about. However, some academic in the early 19th century comes along and says that the cohort did not come into existence until 102 BC and the maniple disappeared, and bingo, everyone jumps on board and that is that, the disparaging of every ancient historian who writes otherwise begins. I believe it is healthier to question the modern academic and his theory before disparaging the ancient historians.
 
Nathan wrote:
Josephus describes the army of the 60s AD marching six abreast - difficult for 80 men! - and deploying three deep. Arrian, seventy years later, describes a formation by fours; either one or other of them is wrong, or different legions had differing formations, or something had changed in the intervening period.
 
Nothing has changed, but again you are going after the obvious. What you see is not always the case. I agree that Arrian does say the men marched four abreast, but Arrian also writes that the cavalry belonging to their infantry units should deploy in a single file on both flanks of the infantry. So the cavalry in two files and the infantry four abreast makes a combined frontage of six men. So can you prove that Josephus claim of six men abreast does not include two files of cavalry?
 
What interested me about this is the mention of the cavalry belonging to the infantry. This doctrine goes back to the beginning of the republic and is still in play. Knowing how this works means the number of cavalry allocated to the infantry units can be arrived at. In Arrian’s case this would work out to be eight legionary cavalry (one contubernium) to each legionary century. To make it work for the auxiliary infantry requires the auxiliary infantry to be organised into maniples. That is my finding.
 
Nathan wrote:
Tacitus, in the quote mentioned above, describes sixty men commanded by a centurion, in an incident of AD62. He calls this unit a maniple, which suggest that the term was inexact during this period. He is certainly referring to a century, and this reinforces the idea that the army of the 1st century AD still retained 60-man centuries.
 
Agree to disagree. Tacitus century = 80 men. I know you are going to hate this, but in the original Pythagorean system, the legion under the principate should consist of 80 centuries each of 60 men, so you would be right. But the number of centurions in a legion as given by Tacitus amounts to 60 centurions not 80 centurions, so the legion consisted of 60 centuries each of 80 men.
Reply
#6
(07-18-2016, 01:40 AM)Steven James Wrote: Well my Latin singular and plural is crap, but two manus of five men makes ten men.

It is tempting to think of manus ('hand') as a unit of five men, two of which make up a decanus, but as far as I am aware there is no authority for it. Likewise, Vegetius states that a decanus was an officer in charge of a contubernium but there seems to be no authority for it being a term for a unit of ten men. If you can cite any such authority, I would be interested to see it.
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
#7
(07-18-2016, 01:40 AM)Steven James Wrote: Which is your theory.

Nope! It's the theory of just about everyone who has studied the subject.


(07-18-2016, 01:40 AM)Steven James Wrote: some academic in the early 19th century comes along and says that the cohort did not come into existence until 102 BC and the maniple disappeared, and bingo, everyone jumps on board and that is that, the disparaging of every ancient historian who writes otherwise begins.


Nobody that I've read recently claims that the maniple 'disappeared'. There was a shift in tactical prominence from the maniple to the cohort, reflecting the shift in legion organisation and battlefield tactics.

And you've done a fair bit of 'disparaging of ancient historians' yourself over the years, when they don't fit your theories!


(07-18-2016, 01:40 AM)Steven James Wrote: So can you prove that Josephus claim of six men abreast does not include two files of cavalry?

No, of course not - it's very difficult to 'prove' anything that relies on literary evidence. But the idea is surely absurd. You only have to consider the amount of space taken up by a horse as opposed to a man on foot and the difficulties this would cause when marching 'abreast'.

Josephus writes that the legion cavalry rode separately from the infantry, and that there were 120 of them to a legion; this gives two horsemen per century, of course, not eight.


(07-18-2016, 01:40 AM)Steven James Wrote: To make it work for the auxiliary infantry requires the auxiliary infantry to be organised into maniples.

As we have no suggestion that the auxiliaries adopted the vestigal manipular arrangement of the legions (they were organised into cohorts from the beginning), and there is no actual evidence to support your number theory (we've discussed this before), there is no need to 'make it work'.


(07-18-2016, 01:40 AM)Steven James Wrote: Tacitus century = 80 men.

Nowhere does Tacitus say that the century numbers 80 men. This figure is found solely in Hyginus. He does give sixty men as the command of a centurion though.
Nathan Ross
Reply
#8
Nathan wrote:
Nope! It's the theory of just about everyone who has studied the subject.
 
Well that doesn’t mean they are all right. Millions of Germans thought Hitler was the right man to lead the country.
 
Nathan wrote:
Nobody that I've read recently claims that the maniple 'disappeared'.
 
So you haven’t read the one that claims Caesar’s use of the term maniple is a result of literary flair?
 
Nathan wrote:
There was a shift in tactical prominence from the maniple to the cohort, reflecting the shift in legion organisation and battlefield tactics.
 
So how does this work?
 
Nathan wrote:
And you've done a fair bit of 'disparaging of ancient historians' yourself over the years, when they don't fit your theories!
 
Care to elaborate? My main beef is with Polybius, who I have found has made too many mistakes for me to classify him as reliable.
 
Nathan wrote:
No, of course not - it's very difficult to 'prove' anything that relies on literary evidence. But the idea is surely absurd. You only have to consider the amount of space taken up by a horse as opposed to a man on foot and the difficulties this would cause when marching 'abreast'.
 
So Arrian is being absurd then? Polybius details an account of marching in open country with the hastati, principes and triarii marching in parallel columns. One would have to say the combined frontage of the hastati, principes and triarii would be greater than six men. So is Polybius being absurd?
 
Nathan wrote:
Josephus writes that the legion cavalry rode separately from the infantry, and that there were 120 of them to a legion; this gives two horsemen per century, of course, not eight.
 
I was not talking about the 120 legionary cavalry, which could have had a different function to perform. I used the 480 cavalrymen (minus the 32 officers) as an example of how it could work.
 
Nathan wrote:
there is no need to 'make it work'.
 
I have no need to make anything work. My research method involves investigating every road. It doesn’t take long to find the right road.
 
Nathan wrote:
Nowhere does Tacitus say that the century numbers 80 men. This figure is found solely in Hyginus. He does give sixty men as the command of a centurion though.
 
 
My research supports Hyginus that the century numbered 80 men. And the fact 60 men were accompanied by a centurion is not evidence of a century numbering 60 men. We have no way of confirming whether the 60 men have been rounded from 58 men 59 men, 61 men, 62 men, 63 men, 64 men or 65 men.
 
If a century for the principate did number 60 men, with the legion having 60 centurions, the legion amounts to 3,600 men, which would be rounded to 4,000 men. In support you have Marcus Trebellius subdued the Clitae tribe at Mount Taurus in Cappadocia with 4,000 legionaries and some picked auxiliaries. In 35 AD, the legate Marcus Trebillius, with 4,000 legionaries and a picked force of auxiliaries are reported to have suppressed a revolt in Cappadocia. However, do these references truly support a legion of 3,600 men, or a legion of 4,800 men with 800 men detained to guard the baggage camp, thereby reducing the legion to 4,000 men?
 
Found this in Tacitus Histories 1 84 "Will they not wish that soldier should not obey centurion or centurion tribune (centuriones tribunosque), so that we may all, foot and horse, in utter confusion rush to ruin?
 
This is the first time I have come across a centuriones tribunosque and it would seem he is connected with the senate. Am I right?

Reply
#9
(07-18-2016, 01:27 PM)Steven James Wrote: Hitler

Godwin's Law? [Image: wink.png]


(07-18-2016, 01:27 PM)Steven James Wrote: So you haven’t read the one that claims Caesar’s use of the term maniple is a result of literary flair?

I haven't, actually. But allowing for literary 'flair' in a literary work (Caesar was writing propaganda, essentially, not a military manual) is not disparaging the author, just exercising a necessary caution, I'd say. We should accept nothing in an ancient text at face value.


(07-18-2016, 01:27 PM)Steven James Wrote: So how does this work?

There are very many books that suggest how this might have happened, and I'm sure you've read most of them!


(07-18-2016, 01:27 PM)Steven James Wrote: Care to elaborate?


I was mainly thinking of your attacks on Polybius (e.g. 'Polybius has confused all four legions... Polybius often confuses the maniple organisation with the ordo organisation... It is mathematically impossible to do what Polybius states... Polybius is in error on so many occasions. The mathematical mistakes made by Polybius can also be found in the writings of Appian and Livy and others, due to them using Polybius as their source... Polybius has given us a distorted picture of the Roman legion and the Roman army.')

Since, as you say, Livy and Appian and others use Polybius as a source, you're effectively throwing doubt on most of our sources for republican military structure here. Which seems very close to what you're accusing 'academics' of doing.



(07-18-2016, 01:27 PM)Steven James Wrote: So Arrian is being absurd then? So is Polybius being absurd?

No, as I said, Arrian is describing a different organisation. So is Polybius - he describes three columns, but presumably doesn't give the width in men of each column. Could have been three men, four men, six men - we don't know.



(07-18-2016, 01:27 PM)Steven James Wrote: I was not talking about the 120 legionary cavalry... I used the 480 cavalrymen

Vegetius's 480 cavalry are usually assumed, I think, to be a massive expansion of Josephus's 120 legionary cavalry, part of a change in the legion apparently some time in the 3rd century (Severan?). This is all very cloudy, needless to say, and nobody knows for certain how, when or why (or even whether) it happened. But the two writers are not describing the same thing.


(07-18-2016, 01:27 PM)Steven James Wrote: do these references truly support a legion of 3,600 men, or a legion of 4,800 men with 800 men detained to guard the baggage camp, thereby reducing the legion to 4,000 men?

Could be either. Who can say? The 'official' size of the legion seems to have fluctuated greatly over the course of Roman history. I wouldn't see any of these figures as unlikely.


(07-18-2016, 01:27 PM)Steven James Wrote: This is the first time I have come across a centuriones tribunosque and it would seem he is connected with the senate. Am I right?

No. The meaning of the passage you've quoted (which is translated in Loeb into somewhat convoluted English!) should be that they (ie the Vitellians) would wish that Otho's army mutinies, so the soldiers do not obey the centurions and the centurions do not obey the tribunes. Read it again and you should see what I mean.
Nathan Ross
Reply
#10
Nathan has dealt with this to some extent but to clarify, there is no such rank as centuriones tribunosque, if that is what you are suggesting. The phrase means 'centurions and tribunes' and is in the accusative case, i.e., it is the object of the sentence. The phrase does not appear in the passage you have quoted anyway. The relevant part in the Latin reads, 'ne miles centurioni, ne centurio tribuno, obsequatur', which translates as, 'that the soldier should not obey the centurion, nor the centurion the tribune'.
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
#11
Nathan wrote:
There are very many books that suggest how this might have happened, and I'm sure you've read most of them!
 
None I’ve read tell me what the ordo organisation does, none tell me how cavalry or elephant lanes are created, none tell me the relationship between the frontage of a cavalry lane and the frontage of a cavalry squadron. To find the answers to so many unanswered questions I had to do my own original research.
 
Nathan wrote:
I was mainly thinking of your attacks on Polybius (e.g. 'Polybius has confused all four legions... Polybius often confuses the maniple organisation with the ordo organisation... It is mathematically impossible to do what Polybius states... Polybius is in error on so many occasions. The mathematical mistakes made by Polybius can also be found in the writings of Appian and Livy and others, due to them using Polybius as their source... Polybius has given us a distorted picture of the Roman legion and the Roman army.')
 
These are my findings and I stand by them, because I have a wealth of evidence to support them. Unfortunately, Polybius has turned out to be a bit of a red herring, or a fly in the ointment.
 
Nathan wrote:
Since, as you say, Livy and Appian and others use Polybius as a source, you're effectively throwing doubt on most of our sources for republican military structure here. Which seems very close to what you're accusing 'academics' of doing.
 
No I am not doing what academics are doing! For example, when discussing Livy’s 10 legions for the year 450 BC, Oakley comments the number of legions is either corrupted or exaggerated. Oakley does not provide any evidence to back his claim. Many academics make claims without prove it. The difference is when I make a claim I back it up, with not one example, but numerous examples. Detectives know when they are hunting a serial killer because of a distinct trademark the killer leaves behind. Polybius leaves behind a distinct mathematical signature, which on occasion has shown Appian and Livy have used Polybius as their source, because they have the same mathematical signature. However, for Ilipa Appian’ source is Polybius, whereas Livy has used a different source, therefore, Livy’s numbers do not include Polybius’ mathematical signature, whereas Appian does.
 
You have put some energy into searching for my quotes about Polybius, but you have not included my evidence defining Polybius’ mathematical signature, of which I have supplied ample evidence on this forum, which again reinforces to me that providing evidence on this forum is a pointless exercise.
 
Nathan wrote:
Vegetius's 480 cavalry are usually assumed, I think, to be a massive expansion of Josephus's 120 legionary cavalry, part of a change in the legion apparently some time in the 3rd century (Severan?). This is all very cloudy, needless to say, and nobody knows for certain how, when or why (or even whether) it happened. But the two writers are not describing the same thing.
 
Well Vegetius’ cavalry amounts to 726 men as is well attested by many. However, I have a system that shows how, when and why it happened, because the size of the cavalry as found in the primary sources for a particular time frame matches what the size of the cavalry should be for that same time frame, according to the system, and this has not deviated from the time of the republic to the writings of Vegetius. And there is more evidence in the primary sources concerning the cavalry that always gets overlooked. I have no problem with understanding the cavalry numbers in Hyginus, Josephus or any other writer relating to the principate. They are all on the same page. I contemplated detailing this in this posting, but again, history has told me this would be ignored, so it will remain in the book. When it is published, we will have this conversation again.
 
So as it stands, those 33 or so references to a maniple in the writings of Tacitus again show the maniple was still in existence and was still a tactical organisation, and a very important component of the cohort organisation. Unfortunately, those who are disciples of the latest fashion theory that the cohort came into existence in 210 BC by replacing the maniple, have only one option and that is to ignore Tacitus, which it seems they do. Why modern scholars believe their theories, which many are in contradiction to the primary sources, are superior is beyond my understanding.
 
You say that two centuries can make a maniple, but that the maniple was synonymous with the century. If a modern army followed this concept, and a platoon was synonymous with a company, would not confusion exist when a company commander requests the support of another company to take an objective and finds only a platoon turns up. From my understanding, the Romans were not that incompetent.
Reply
#12
(07-25-2016, 02:08 AM)Steven James Wrote: None I’ve read tell me what the ordo organisation does... how cavalry or elephant lanes are created... the relationship between the frontage of a cavalry lane and the frontage of a cavalry squadron. 

We were discussing the shift in tactical prominence from the maniple to the cohort. Not cavalry, certainly not elephants!


(07-25-2016, 02:08 AM)Steven James Wrote: Many academics make claims without prove it.


Some do, yes. But 'proof' is very hard to establish in ancient history, with the paucity of our sources and their frequent contradictions. The more scrupulous academics, I would say, make suggestions based on this incomplete evidence, rather than absolute claims. Very often these suggestions rest on assumption and hypothesis, as they must - ancient history is not an exact science.


(07-25-2016, 02:08 AM)Steven James Wrote: those 33 or so references to a maniple in the writings of Tacitus again show the maniple was still in existence and was still a tactical organisation, and a very important component of the cohort organisation.

I would estimate that four or five of your references might relate to a tactical situation; the others are organisational. However, this doesn't matter too much, since as I've said nobody (as far as I'm aware) claims that the maniple disappeared. Since it existed, commanders could have used it tactically if required - and contemporary writers could certainly have used the terminology even if they didn't. The point of all this is that the cohort replaced the maniple as the principal tactical unit.


(07-25-2016, 02:08 AM)Steven James Wrote: You say that two centuries can make a maniple, but that the maniple was synonymous with the century.

Two centuries could, apparently, make a maniple (or were at least conjoined in the barrack arrangement; the titles of the centurions suggests a vestigal manipular organisation of the centuries within the cohort).

Tacitus does appear to use the word maniple to refer to the command of a centurion (and gives the number of men as 60). This suggests that Tacitus, and perhaps only Tacitus, might have used maniple as a synonym for century (a term he does not use, I think).

We should remember that Tacitus was not a military man, although he had some excellent sources, and was writing in a tradition of Roman history going back to Polybius and Livy. This is not to claim that we should 'dismiss' Tacitus or ignore what he says, just that we should be aware of the context of his writing, the nature of his sources and the probable limits of his expertise (in contrast to, say, Caesar or Arrian).

Incidentally, I notice that Everett Wheeler discusses the 60-man century enduring until the Flavian era in his Legion as Phalanx essay (part 2).
Nathan Ross
Reply
#13
Warning: long rant
 
Nathan wrote:
We were discussing the shift in tactical prominence from the maniple to the cohort. Not cavalry, certainly not elephants!
 
I just expanded the conversation with other subjects (of which there are many) not covered by scholars. It is unfortunate no one has bothered to study such issues because it would expose the geometry of the Roman legion, which is very impressive, especially after 406 BC.
 
Nathan wrote:
Some do, yes. But 'proof' is very hard to establish in ancient history, with the paucity of our sources and their frequent contradictions.
 
This is where you and I differ. My philosophy is if you believe something to be hard, it will be hard. Besides you, many a scholar has written the same thing about the difficulty of the subject matter and the paucity of available information. Many years ago I decided to determine for myself if scholars have got it right. The conclusion I have reached without a reservation of a doubt is they have all got it wrong. It is only hard for them because they believe it is hard, so with that attitude how can you expect to make discoveries. You just end up confirming your own beliefs.
 
I had an interesting weekend this week. At a large dinner I attended on Saturday night, I met an academic (musicologist), and began discussing my findings on the harmony of the spheres (or the song of the celestial sirens) in relation to the three daughters of fate and the eight sirens. I explained that I believe the Pythagorean circle of fifths possibly belongs to or fits in with the first five tones of the Pythagorean system. Well before I could finish, he cut me off saying it was impossible as the circle of fifths has twelve notes and this could not fit or belong to the five tones. So then I had to explain to him the five tones could represent distance, not musical notes. My frustration with this academic and many like him is they are dismissive first without conducting a proper and thorough investigation. Then on Sunday afternoon, while in the garden, the new neighbours introduced themselves and one was a music teacher and opera singer. She also knew about the theories of the harmony of the spheres. When, over coffee I discussed my research, she was all positive, and it was fascinating to watch her think out aloud how it could work, and she immediately recognize the system was C based. Her attitude was of an open mind, willing to explore all avenues, whereas the sad academic had a closed mind. Unfortunately, my experiences with academics has taught me all too many have a closed mind.
 
I was once told that if you research is right, insights will follow. This week I add this to the book taken from Cassius Dio (37 18-19) explaining the order of seven day week:
 
“The custom, however, of referring the days to the seven stars called planets was instituted by the Egyptians...For if you apply the so‑called “principle of the tetrachord” (which is believed to constitute the basis of music) to these stars, by which the whole universe of heaven is divided into regular intervals, in the order in which each of them revolves, and beginning at the outer orbit assigned to Saturn, then omitting the next two name the lord of the fourth, and after this passing over two others reach the seventh, and you then go back and repeat the process with the orbits and their presiding divinities in this same manner, assigning them to the several days, you will find all the days to be in a kind of musical connection with the arrangement of the heavens.”
 
Let’s see, Pythagoras was taught in Egypt and the tetrachord is Pythagorean. Hmmm, like the Led Zeppelin song says “it makes me wonder.”
 
Nathan wrote:
The more scrupulous academics, I would say, make suggestions based on this incomplete evidence, rather than absolute claims. Very often these suggestions rest on assumption and hypothesis, as they must - ancient history is not an exact science.
 
Let’s not forget that overtime many a modern theory or assumption has become fact, which again distorts our understanding of ancient history. However, mathematics is an exact science, and mathematics can tell a story, and when that mathematics collaborates with the textual evidence, or goes hand in hand with it, that is evidence difficult to ignore.
 
The one study not undertaken by academics concerns the mathematical data as found in the primary sources. This I would call a major shortcoming of the greatest proportion, because in that data is the answer to a multitude of questions.
 
Nathan wrote:
I would estimate that four or five of your references might relate to a tactical situation; the others are organisational. However, this doesn't matter too much, since as I've said nobody (as far as I'm aware) claims that the maniple disappeared.
 
I can employ one book to dispel that notion. “The maniple had had its day, and by the 50s BC there is little trace of it in the Caesarian corpus, which describes Roman armies tactically almost entirely in terms of cohorts (rather even than of legions).” Boris Rankovi, The Cambridge History of Greek and Roman Warfare Volume 2, page 30
 
“The move from manipular to cohortal legions necessitated some shift, principally because of the phasing out of the velites (see vol. i, pp. 356–7), but even in the imperial period the cohortal legion could include differently equipped soldiers.” Catherine M. Gilliver: The Cambridge History of Greek and Roman Warfare Volume 2, page 127
 
Nathan wrote:
Since it existed, commanders could have used it tactically if required - and contemporary writers could certainly have used the terminology even if they didn't. The point of all this is that the cohort replaced the maniple as the principal tactical unit.
 
But how can a cohort replace the maniple, when the maniple is a subdivision of the cohort (six centuries make three maniples and three maniples make a cohort). Without the cohort you have no maniples and with no centuries you have no maniples. Therefore, the tactical unit is the maniple. Seriously, Nathan I would like you to explain in fine detail how the cohort is deployed and how it works in battle. So far all academics have written as a general comment that the cohort was the tactical unit but none have gone into the finer detail.
 
Nathan wrote:
Tacitus does appear to use the word maniple to refer to the command of a centurion (and gives the number of men as 60).
 
And appearances can be deceiving. Not all that glitters is gold etc. etc. More evidence is needed.
 
Nathan wrote:
This suggests that Tacitus, and perhaps only Tacitus, might have used maniple as a synonym for century (a term he does not use, I think).
 
I don’t think it suggests anything. More evidence is required to either confirm that for the period Tacitus is writing, a century was 60 men. Hell, I have been criticised offline for having legions of 3,600 men in my Pharsalus paper, even after I matched the numbers of most of the ancient historians concerning that battle. You claim a century had 60 men and you end up being bullet proof.
 
Nathan wrote:
We should remember that Tacitus was not a military man, although he had some excellent sources, and was writing in a tradition of Roman history going back to Polybius and Livy. This is not to claim that we should 'dismiss' Tacitus or ignore what he says, just that we should be aware of the context of his writing, the nature of his sources and the probable limits of his expertise (in contrast to, say, Caesar or Arrian).
 
Yes it is good to be cautious but not over cautious. I have no problem with Tacitus’ numbers throughout his works, because they are based on the correct numbers for that time period as is Hyginus. Both are using the same military organisation, and the correct century size as given by Hyginus is 80 men not 60 men. Saying that, I do not rule out the possibility of 20 being left out when that centurion went to do his thing leaving him with 60 men.
 
What helps me check all the boxes is the Pythagorean system. I’ve explained this before but I will again shove it down your throats. During the reign of Augustus, another Pythagorean age comes to an end and the new one begins in 17 BC, and funny enough in 17 BC, Augustus holds the Secular Games (must be a coincidence). In relation to the imaginary Pythagorean zodiac, which orbits the cosmos, in 17 BC, 16 zodiac signs have passed the apex (we are in the 54th Pythagorean zodiac today). So with a zodiac being 30 degrees, 16 zodiacs amount to 480 degrees, which in its military sense equates to a cohort of 480 men. From this we can determine the number of men in the 35 tribes by applying Strabo’s rules that a degree equals 700 stadia. So 480 multiplied by 700 equals 336,000 men. So by dividing the 336,000 men by 35 tribes, each tribe amounts to 9,600 men, and as the Pythagorean system is about divisions of two, 9,600 men equates to 4,800 men doubled. So the legion should be 4,800 men organised into 10 cohorts each of 480 men, 40 maniples each of 120 men, and 80 centuries each of 60 men. However, at this point they changed to organisation of the legion to 30 maniples each of 160 men and 60 centuries each of 80 men.
 
Now I don’t know why they did this as the number 60 is the most flexible number as opposed to 80 men per century. The number 60 is divisible by 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, and 12. The number 80 is divisible by 2, 4, 5, 8 and 10. So the number 60 gave the legion more deployment options that the number 80 does.
 
The next change in the size of the legion will occur when the 20th zodiac passes the apex, which amounts to 600 degrees. So the legion will number 6000 men, but if I leave 500 men to guard the camp, then I would have a legion of 5,500 men organised into 10 cohorts each of 550 men. Now let me see, which time frame of which emperor there is a reference to a cohort of 550 men?
 
What’s on my side Nathan, which you do not like, is the Pythagorean system, in which all military numbers as given in the primary sources conform to starting with the beginning of the republic to the fall of Rome in 410 AD. I like to see any other academic match that. The problem with many on this forum is they are only interested in a specific period. To better understand the Roman legion, you need to research all periods, otherwise you are trying to build a sand castle in the air.
 
Nathan wrote:
Incidentally, I notice that Everett Wheeler discusses the 60-man century enduring until the Flavian era in his Legion as Phalanx essay (part 2).
 
I converse from time to time with Everett. Unfortunately, Everett believes we will never know any more than we do today in relation to the Roman legion. Also most of my research is in conflict with the views of Everett.
Reply
#14
(07-26-2016, 07:12 AM)Steven James Wrote: mathematics is an exact science, and mathematics can tell a story

This is one of the reasons that I don't find mathematics a useful way to approach ancient history. But I accept that our views differ!



(07-26-2016, 07:12 AM)Steven James Wrote: “The maniple had had its day, and by the 50s BC there is little trace of it in the Caesarian corpus, which describes Roman armies tactically almost entirely in terms of cohorts (rather even than of legions).”
 
“The move from manipular to cohortal legions necessitated some shift, principally because of the phasing out of the velites...”

Neither Boris Rankov nor Kate Gilliver are saying here that the maniple 'disappeared'. If the 'Caesarian corpus' (ie the collected writings of Caesar and his continuators) does not mention the battlefield use of maniples, this is because Caesar, Hirtius etc were writing about strategy and tactics, not unit organisation*. The maniple seems to have remained - albeit perhaps increasingly vestigally - as a part of the organisational structure of the legion, but was superceded as (and I repeat myself here) the principal tactical unit by the cohort.

*The only one I can find is Gallic War 2.25, when Caesar himself enters the battle and calls on his soldiers to 'advance and extend the maniples, that they might ply [thier] swords more easily' - this is small-unit tactics, and he's basically just telling them to spread out. The same passage mentions the cohort four times. All the other mentions of maniples seem to relate to individual centurion's commands or sections of the cohort, rather as Tacitus uses the term, in fact.


(07-26-2016, 07:12 AM)Steven James Wrote: But how can a cohort replace the maniple, when the maniple is a subdivision of the cohort

We're talking about battlefield tactics, not organisational structure. The maniple remained as part of the cohort, but was no longer used in the same way. Military writers of the later Republic and Principiate talk about cohorts in contexts where earlier writers had used maniples. Principiate auxiliaries were mustered into cohorts, not maniples. Later (3rd-4th century) legion vexillations were often composed of two cohorts, not a number of maniples. And so on.



(07-26-2016, 07:12 AM)Steven James Wrote: I would like you to explain in fine detail how the cohort is deployed and how it works in battle.

As I've said before, there are plenty of recent books and papers that discuss the Roman army on the battlefield, from Ross Cowan to Everett Wheeler and Adrian Goldsworthy to Simon James, and I don't see a need, and nor do I have the time or expertise, to paraphrase the range of their interpretations here! I'm sure you're already well aware of most of the main points and arguments.

(Personally I tend to think that the serried ranks and exact spacings of writers like Vegetius may have been idealistic, and the Roman legion on the battlefield could just as easily have resembled a vast surging mob of men with little discernible order beyond the first couple of ranks!)



(07-26-2016, 07:12 AM)Steven James Wrote: More evidence is required to either confirm that for the period Tacitus is writing, a century was 60 men.

It certainly is. But as there's no actual evidence for the 80-man century during this period either, and there are at least hints in our sources that might support either figure, until any such further evidence appears we must admit the equal possibility of both, I think.



(07-26-2016, 07:12 AM)Steven James Wrote: the Pythagorean system, in which all military numbers as given in the primary sources conform

Except those given by the 'mathematically impossible' Polybius! Although Polybius is one of the few ancient writers to give any detailed account of legion structure...

Numbers in ancient literary sources are often contradictory and seldom entirely trustworthy, as you know. For example, do we believe Zosimus that 100,000 enemy soldiers died at the battle of Chrysopolis in AD324, or the Excerpta Valesiana's claim that 25,000 enemy soldiers died in that same battle? Both cannot be true, and in fact both could well be grossly exaggerated.

Meanwhile, as we've discussed before, there is no concrete suggestion in any ancient source that the Roman state deliberately and consistently structured its armed forces on a 'Pythagorean' (or any other) mathematical system at any point in its history. This would seem a strange omission, given the love of so many Roman writers for antiquarian and religious musings on all sorts of rarified topics; unless we have some reason to believe that they collectively kept it a secret for hundreds of years, I therefore see no need to admit the possibility.

However, I understand that you feel differently about this, and perhaps one day you will astound us all...!
Nathan Ross
Reply
#15
Nathan wrote:
Neither Boris Rankov nor Kate Gilliver are saying here that the maniple 'disappeared'.
 
Is that because they failed in your view to use the word “disappear.”? Goldsworthy, “The Roman Army at War 100 BC to 200 AD,” page 33 writes: “The legion of the late Republic and early Empire replaced the maniple (120-160 men) with the cohort (of 480 men) as the most important subdivision of the unit. It also did away with the velites and probably the equites. Each cohort consisted of three maniples, one from each of the three lines of the old legion.”
 
Following Goldsworthy, the maniple replaced the cohort as the most important subdivision of the unit (whatever that unit is supposed to be), but a cohort was made up of maniples. So when a cohort attacks, surely the fighting is conducted by the maniples within the cohort.
 
Nathan wrote:
The maniple seems to have remained - albeit perhaps increasingly vestigally - as a part of the organisational structure of the legion, but was superceded as (and I repeat myself here) the principal tactical unit by the cohort.
 
Well in that case, the company in today’s modern army should be superceded by the battalion. But as a battalion is composed on a number of companies, how does the battalion conduct an attack? But what is a battalion if it doesn’t have companies, and what is a cohort if the maniples have been superceded?
 
Nathan wrote:
The only one I can find is Gallic War 2.25, when Caesar himself enters the battle and calls on his soldiers to 'advance and extend the maniples, that they might ply [thier] swords more easily' - this is small-unit tactics, and he's basically just telling them to spread out.
 
But the fact is Caesar does mention maniples, of which M. Taylor believes he is just using an old term as artistic flair, to jolly up his narration.
 
Nathan wrote:
We're talking about battlefield tactics, not organisational structure. The maniple remained as part of the cohort, but was no longer used in the same way.
 
So how was the maniple used then? Please don’t refer me to modern scholars, who also just give vague definitions lacking detail.
 
Nathan wrote:
Military writers of the later Republic and Principiate talk about cohorts in contexts where earlier writers had used maniples. Principiate auxiliaries were mustered into cohorts, not maniples. Later (3rd-4th century) legion vexillations were often composed of two cohorts, not a number of maniples. And so on.
 
Goldsworthy writes that a cohort consisted of three maniples, so two cohorts would amount to six maniples.
 
Nathan wrote:
As I've said before, there are plenty of recent books and papers that discuss the Roman army on the battlefield, from Ross Cowan to Everett Wheeler and Adrian Goldsworthy to Simon James, and I don't see a need, and nor do I have the time or expertise, to paraphrase the range of their interpretations here! I'm sure you're already well aware of most of the main points and arguments.
 
Many of the above authors concentrate on specific time periods so for me they do not have an understanding of the larger picture relating to the legion. None have any idea of the workings of the Roman legion from the beginning of the republic to 406 BC...absolutely zip. They also have a tendency to pull bits of information from various periods of time, and to tip toe around certain issues. If you read Goldworthy’s “The Roman Army at War 100 BC to 200 AD,” his section on Formations (page 176 to 183) provides references to the depth of formations as found in the primary sources and the beliefs of a few other selective modern scholars. Most modern authors just opinion the views of other modern authors. You get the same old tripe served with a different sauce.
 
Nathan wrote:
Except those given by the 'mathematically impossible' Polybius! Although Polybius is one of the few ancient writers to give any detailed account of legion structure...
 
The mistakes Polybius makes are evidence in themselves and quite valuable to me. And Polybius does not give a detailed account of the legions structure, he fails to discuss the ordo organisation. But I can understand why. From what I have learnt, in the smaller sized legion of 40 centuries an ordo is equivalent in size to a maniple in the larger sized 60 century legion, so this I believe is what has confused Polybius. That is my conclusion.
 
Nathan wrote:
Numbers in ancient literary sources are often contradictory and seldom entirely trustworthy, as you know. For example, do we believe Zosimus that 100,000 enemy soldiers died at the battle of Chrysopolis in AD324, or the Excerpta Valesiana's claim that 25,000 enemy soldiers died in that same battle? Both cannot be true, and in fact both could well be grossly exaggerated.
 
Of course it is easy for anyone to pick out a few examples of exaggerated army claims and army losses. But let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater. There are many accurate numbers given of legions of 5,000 men accompanied by 300 cavalry etc. etc. Many army numbers such as Cannae and Bagradas conform to the Roman army organisation.
 
Nathan wrote:
Meanwhile, as we've discussed before, there is no concrete suggestion in any ancient source that the Roman state deliberately and consistently structured its armed forces on a 'Pythagorean' (or any other) mathematical system at any point in its history.
 
Plutarch tells us that Pythagoras did change the Roman systems of government. The rest of the evidence is sitting on the surface but has not been investigated or understood. The Romans have 35 tribes and each generation lasts 35 years etc. There has been no investigation into these two issues so no conclusion. Roman’s history is divided into Infancy, Youth, Manhood and Old Age. No one has bothered to understand the reasons for this. So as the relation to Pythagorean doctrine and Rome has never been investigated, it cannot be dismissed. Anyone doing so would have a closed mind.
 
Nathan wrote:
This would seem a strange omission, given the love of so many Roman writers for antiquarian and religious musings on all sorts of rarified topics; unless we have some reason to believe that they collectively kept it a secret for hundreds of years, I therefore see no need to admit the possibility.
 
My belief is they did keep it a secret and a state secret as that, but with the rise of Christianity, it started to become publicly knowledge. St. Augustine reveals a lot about the system as do other early Christian writers. What I wasn’t expecting was the very foundations of Christianity are based on Pythagorean philosophy.
 
Nathan wrote:
However, I understand that you feel differently about this, and perhaps one day you will astound us all...!
 
I never set out to prove Rome was based on Pythagorean doctrine that was the results of my investigation. Although it has helped answer many a question, I knew it would make things difficult for me in the long run. Regardless of the overwhelming evidence I will present, I doubt many on this forum will ignore it. Alas, I will not lose any sleep over it.
 
Reply


Forum Jump: