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Evolution of the manipular legion
#1
I have posted a draft paper on the evolution of the manipular legion on academia.edu, and would appreciate to tap into the knowledge and insight of this forum.

https://www.academia.edu/36750789/The_Ev...y_Republic
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#2
Interesting article.
I have tried to write an essay on the subject years ago.(altogether unpublished). In it I did base my arguments on Roman histories, but by trying to place the quote's in their time and not take them at face value. Little snippets of text can hide genuine information, if you read them carefully.
For instance: Livy AUC III, 69 says for 446 BC: 
Quote:Cohortes sibi quaeque centuriones legerunt; bini senatores singulis cohortibus praepositi.
 This is usually translated as: Each of the cohorts selected their own centurions, and two senators were placed in command of each cohort. However if Livy quoted an earlier historian he (or his source) would have used a Greek tekst, as all early Roman histories were written in Greek. In Greek "cohort" usually translates as "speira", but that same word is also used to translate "maniple". At that early time there were as yet no cohorts as even Polybius doesn't mention them in his description or the Roman Military system. So we can assume an error in translation and the text should have read:
Quote:Manipuli sibi quaeque centuriones legerunt; bini senatores singulis manipulis praepositi.

In other words, what we have here is a description of the organization of a maniple. The line serves no purpose in the text other than to liven it up. Originally the line was written for a reason and in my opinion that can only be that it contained some novelty or change. And that novelty almost certainly was the pairing of centuries in maniples itself.

The above is just an example, but in that way I believe it's possible to create a timeline of republican army development.
drsrob a.k.a. Rob Wolters
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#3
Rob wrote:
At that early time there were as yet no cohorts
 
The belief there was no cohorts in the early period is just an academic belief that is unfounded, but everyone runs with it. If academia cannot even determine the size and organisation of a legion for this period, then how can they dispute there was no cohort? This methodology does not make sense to me, and academia need to change its way of thinking.
 
Primary sources not the problem. Academia is the problem.
 
Livy (3 69) cohortibus veterum militum voluntate sequentibus manserit ad decimum. “A few cohorts of veterans (seniores).
 
Dionysius (9 63) “two cohorts did not exceed 1,000 men.
 
Livy (1 52) Latinis Romanisque ut ex binis singulos faceret binosque ex singulis ; ita geminatis manipulis centurions imposuit.
 
he therefore mingled Latins and Romans in the maniples, making one maniple of two and two of one, and over the maniples thus doubled he put centurions.”
 
Livy knows the difference between a maniple so has not confuse the Greek translation of cohort as meaning maniple.

My own research has the two cohorts did not exceed 1,000 men as being vexillations. It is the first evidence of such a system.
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#4
(06-09-2018, 06:20 AM)Steven James Wrote: Rob wrote:
At that early time there were as yet no cohorts
 
The belief there was no cohorts in the early period is just an academic belief that is unfounded, but everyone runs with it. If academia cannot even determine the size and organisation of a legion for this period, then how can they dispute there was no cohort? This methodology does not make sense to me, and academia need to change its way of thinking.

Primary sources not the problem. Academia is the problem.

"Academia"? Is that some secret organisation?

Primary sources are never the problem, lack of them is, however. Livy is not a primary source, it's a work of literature and at best only a secondary source. All the literary works we use as sources today were written centuries after the events of the early republic. It would therefore be a mistake to even assume they knew how the earliest military had been organised.

Quote:Livy knows the difference between a maniple [and a cohort] so has not confuse[d] the Greek translation of cohort as meaning maniple.

Even if Livy knew the difference, what he knew is the difference in his own time, which is irrelevant. 
He cannot have known what the original Latin text had said, because it came to him through histories written in Greek. He (or his source) chose one of the two possible translations of a Greek word and we do not know on what basis  the choice was made. If I were to speculate I'd say he chose 'cohort' because for a maniple the statement would be largely self-evident and if Livy made the choice I'd think it fitted his story better that something irregular had been done.
drsrob a.k.a. Rob Wolters
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