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Ile or ala? : the unit size of a Roman ile
#1
Arrian Tactica:

αἱ δὲ δύο ταραντιναρχίαι ἱππαρχία, δώδεκα καὶ πεντακοσίων ἱππέων, ἥντινα Ῥωμαῖοι εἴλην καλοῦσιν.

Two double ilai made a Tarantinarchia of 256 horsemen, and two Tarantinarchiai a hipparchia of 512 horsemen, which the Romans call an ile.

"The two Tarentinarchiai make a hipparchia, being 512 horsemen, which the Romans call an ala."’

So which is it: ala or ile?

Does the greek text not say: ‘eilen’? And is this translated as an ala?

It seems that the Perseus website equates eilen with ile:

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/morp...27#lexicon

It seems that an ile is also a troop of 64 cavalrymen, but it also seems that Macedonian Armies had ile of greater unit size.

So the question is, what is the unit size of a Roman ile?
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#2
(04-27-2017, 03:58 PM)Julian de Vries Wrote: Arrian Tactica ¶ 18.3: αἱ δὲ δύο ταραντιναρχίαι ἱππαρχία, δώδεκα καὶ πεντακοσίων ἱππέων, ἥντινα Ῥωμαῖοι εἴλην καλοῦσιν.
So which is it: ala or ile? Does the greek text not say: ‘eilen’? And is this translated as an ala? It seems that the Perseus website equates eilen with ile.
The internet is wonderful, but sometimes you just need a good book.
Your Perseus link is the online Liddell & Scott, but here's what Liddell & Scott (8th edn.) actually says:
   
So you can see that eilê is just the Ionian version of Doric Greek ilê. In fact, Karl Müller, one of the early editors of Arrian (1846), even emended all instances of eilê to read ilê, to avoid confusion; Herscher (1885) followed him, but I think De Voto used the Roos (1907) text, which doesn't.

(04-27-2017, 03:58 PM)Julian de Vries Wrote: It seems that an ile is also a troop of 64 cavalrymen, but it also seems that Macedonian Armies had ile of greater unit size. So the question is, what is the unit size of a Roman ile?
What Arrian says is that there are 64 cavalrymen in a (Hellenistic) ilê (as in Polyb. 6.25.1, where it is equated to the Latin turma), but the unit of 512 cavalrymen is what the Romans call an ilê (i.e. an ala). Köchly (1855) even emended the text to read ἥντινα Ῥωμαῖοι ἄλην καλοῦσιν. But I think ilê is close enough to ala for us to see what Arrian means here.
posted by Duncan B Campbell
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#3
Excellent etymological capabilities Duncan Campbell. (I, wonder, when will we see a translation from a work concerning siege warfare of for example Hero of Alexandria from you?) Now, let’s increase the complexity.

Evan Schultheis, you wrote in your book:

https://www.academia.edu/13124202/Chapte...Roman_Army

Ammianus’ mention of 700 men in two turmae, and Zosimus’ ile or ala of 600 would seem to coincide with possibly both qunigenary and milliary strength alae. But Julian, in his letter to the Athenians, and Zosimus both say he received a guard of 360 men from Constantius: this nearly matches Ammianus’ 350 man turma. It may, however, be safest to assume the ala continued to be its principate strength of 512 men.

May I perhaps ask you, what is your reasoning for this?

So Arrian for the 2nd century has an ile of 512 horsemen, and Zosimus for the 4th century has an ile numbering 600 horsemen. (Lydus has alai of 600 horsemen and turmae of 500 archer-horsemen.)

What happened here?

Let’s find out the interconnectivity of the ala, turma and ile.
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#4
Zonaras Book XIII

5
Hormisdas was very strong and expert with the javelin (άκοντιστής), so much that, while aiming a javelin at someone, he could predict where it would strike the enemy. So then, when he had been appointed to command a large detachment of cavalry (άρχειν ταχϑείς ίππέων ίλης πολλής), he campaigned with Constantius against his countrymen.

This is a very intriguing sentence. Why does Zonaras call the detachment of cavalry ippeon iles? Why not plain old regular iles? This statement implies the existence of infantry iles.

I have a hypothesis which is:

Just as a cuneus can be composed of infantry or cavalry and a globus/drungus can be composed of infantry or cavalry, so an ilê can be composed of infantry or cavalry.

Let’s see if someone can falsify this theory.
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