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Roman Legionary 109-58 BC text
#1
I've uploaded the draft text of Roman Legionary 109-58 BC: The Age of Marius, Sulla and Pompey the Great to my Medium page. A Word doc is also available here, but I think it reads better on Medium. No illustrations or artwork or plate comms, just the main text.

Cheers,




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#2
Ross Cowan: In 109 BC, as he advanced towards the river Muthul, Metellus detected an ambush prepared by Jugurtha. He strengthened the vulnerable right flank of his army with ‘three lines of reserves’. These reserves (subsidia) are described as being formed of manipuli (maniples) (Sall. Iug. 49.6). The usual interpretation of this is that Metellus’ legions were still organised in maniples, of which there were 30 per legion, and that he deployed them in the traditional triplex acies (triple battle line). This, it is asserted, is last instance of the maniple being deployed as a tactical unit, but as the battle develops, the legionaries fight not in maniples but in cohorts (ibid. 51.3).

The legion was now divided into ten cohorts, and there were six centuries in a cohort.

Here we see the theory of the manipular legion - cohortal legion transformation , but where is the proof? What about this random example:

Caesar C. IVLI CAESARIS COMMENTARIORVM DE BELLO GALLICO LIBER SEXTVS

(34) 6 si continere ad signa manipulos vellet, ut instituta ratio et consuetudo exercitus Romani postulabat, locus ipse erat praesidio barbaris, neque ex occulto insidiandi et dispersos circumveniendi singulis deerat audacia.


http://thelatinlibrary.com/caesar/gall6.shtml
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Ross Cowan: Each century was commanded by a centurio (centurion). He was assisted by the optio (deputy), signifer (standard-bearer), cornicen (hornist), and tesserarius (officer of the watchword).

Where is the evidence that each century had a signifer?


Maurus Servius Honoratus. In Vergilii carmina comentarii
11.463


maniplis signiferis, qui secundum antiquum morem in legione erant triginta


http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text...line%3D463

'the signiferi of the maniples, of which, according to the ancient custom, there were 30 in the legion' (Serv. Aen., XI, 463).

(Translation: Roman Standards & Standard-Bearers (1): 112 BC–AD 192 Raffaele D’Amato)

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Ross Cowan : Curiously, there was no cohort commander or overall cohort standard.


Valerius Maximus VALERI MAXIMI FACTORVM ET DICTORVM MEMORABILIVM
3.2.20


Ceterum ut humanae virtutis actum exequamur, cum Hannibal Capuam, in qua Romanus exercitus erat, obsideret, Vibius Accaus Paelignae cohortis praefectus vexillum trans Punicum vallum proiecit, se ipsum suosque conmilitones, si signo hostes potiti essent, execratus, et ad id petendum subsequente cohorte primus impetum fecit. quod ut Valerius Flaccus tribunus tertiae legionis aspexit, conversus ad suos 'spectatores' inquit, 'ut video, alienae virtutis huc venimus, sed absit istud dedecus a sanguine nostro, ut Romani gloria cedere Latinis velimus. ego certe aut speciosam optans mortem aut felicem audaciae exitum vel solus procurrere paratus sum'. his auditis Pedanius centurio convulsum signum dextra retinens 'iam hoc' inquit 'intra hostile vallum mecum erit: proinde sequantur qui id capi nolunt', et cum eo in castra Poenorum inrupit totamque secum traxit legionem. ita trium hominum fortis temeritas Hannibalem, paulo ante spe sua Capuae potitorem, ne castrorum quidem suorum potentem esse passa est.

http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/L/Ro...us/3*.html

Let us move on now to a deed of courage by a mere human being. Hannibal was besieging Capua, where the Roman army was stationed. Vibius Accaus was the prefect of a Paelignian cohort, and he threw their standard over the Carthaginian palisade. He pronounced a curse on himself and his fellow soldiers if they would allow the enemy to keep the standard. He was the first to run out to try to get it back, and his cohort followed behind.
                When Valerius Flaccus, the tribune of the third Legion, saw this, he turned to his men and said, “As far as I can see, we have just come here to look at other people’s courage, but I do not want our nation to have the shame of seeing Romans coming second to Latins in glory, I, at any rate, want to die with honor or succeed with courage, and I am ready to rush forward on my own.” When he heard this, the centurion Pedanius grabbed his standard, held it in his right hand and said, “This is going with me now inside the enemy palisade, so if you dont want to have it captured, you’ll have to follow me.” He burst into the Carthaginian camp with it, bringing the entire legion along with him. Shortly before this, Hannibal had high hopes that he would seize Capua, but the reckless courage of these three men did not even allow him to keep his own camp.

(Translation: Henry John Walker; Valerius Maximus Memorable Deeds and Sayings One Thousand Tales from Ancient Rome.)


*
Titus Livius (Livy), The History of Rome
25.14

[4] proxima forte hosti4 erat cohors Paeligna, cuius praefectus Vibius Accaus arreptum vexillum trans vallum hostium traiecit. [5] exsecratus inde seque et cohortem, si eius vexilli hostes potiti essent, princeps ipse per fossam vallumque in castra inrupit. [6] iamque intra vallum Paeligni pugnabant, cum altera parte, Valerio Flacco tribuno militum tertiae legionis exprobrante Romanis ignaviam, qui sociis captorum castrorum concederent decus, [7?] T. Pedanius princeps primus centurio, cum signifero signum ademisset, “iam hoc signum et hic centurio” inquit “intra vallum hostium erit: sequantur qui capi signum ab hoste prohibituri sunt.” manipulares sui primum transcendentem fossam, dein legio tota secuta est. [8] iam et consul, ad conspectum transgredientium vallum mutato consilio, ab revocando ad incitandos hortandosque versus [p. 394] milites, ostendere in quanto discrimine ac periculo5 fortissima cohors sociorum et civium legio esset.

[13] et donati quorum opera castra hostium capta erant, ante alios Accaus Paelignus et T. Pedanius, princeps tertiae legionis.

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text...apter%3D14

[4] Nearest to the enemy happened to be a Paelignian cohort, whose prefect Vibius Accaus seized the banner and threw it over the enemy's earthwork. [5] Then, with a curse upon himself and the cohort if the enemy should get possession of that banner, he was himself the first to dash over the trench and wall into the camp. [6] And already the Paelignians were fighting inside the wall, when from the other side of the camp, while Valerius Flaccus, tribune of the soldiers of the third legion, was reproaching the Romans for their cowardice in yielding to allies the honour of capturing the camp, Titus Pedanius, first centurion of the principes, took a standard away from the standard-bearer and said “This standard and this centurion will in a moment be inside the enemy's wall. [7] Let those follow who are to prevent the standard from being captured by the enemy.” [8] First the men of his own maniple followed him as he crossed the trench, then the whole legion. And now the consul at the sight of men crossing the wall changed his plan, turned from recalling his soldiers to arousing [p. 395]and encouraging them, and pointed out to them in2 what a critical and perilous situation were the bravest cohort of the allies and a legion of their fellow-citizens.

[13] And the men by whose efforts the camp of the enemy had been captured, were rewarded, first of all Accaus the Paelignian and Titus Pedanius, first centurion of the third legion.

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text...chapter=14
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#3
Wink 
(04-26-2018, 10:41 PM)Julian de Vries Wrote: but where is the proof? Where is the evidence... ?

Dunno. That's for others, like you, to determine. 

The book - within the constraints of the Osprey 'Warrior' series format - is about the character of the legionaries and the men who led (or attempted to lead) them. I'm interested in virtus, animus, leadership, motivation, heroics and cowardice, hence the blurb for the published version: 

"Between 109 and 58 BC, Roman legionaries battled German warriors, African cavalry, Spanish light troops, Pontic pikemen, Armenian cataphracts, and erstwhile Italian allies. They even met fellow citizens in brutal civil war encounters in Italy and Rome itself. When led by charismatic and ruthless commanders like Marius, Sulla, Pompey and Caesar, the legionary was usually victorious, but he was not the disciplined iron warrior of the modern popular imagination. Valiant and furious in combat, the typical legionary was also temperamental and rapacious, frequently disobedient and rebellious, sometimes mutinous and even murderous. He had to be handled with the utmost care; generals who could not inspire the legionary, or supply him sufficient booty, were deserted or killed. This highly illustrated new study traces the history of the legionary over five dramatic decades, from the Jugurthine and Cimbric Wars to the beginning of Caesar’s conquest of Gaul."

Those seeking analysis of the non-existent 'Marian reforms', or extended discussion of organisation and other dull stuff, will be disappointed. Wink




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#4
Ross Cowan wrote:

In 109 BC, as he advanced towards the river Muthul, Metellus detected an ambush prepared by Jugurtha. He strengthened the vulnerable right flank of his army with ‘three lines of reserves’. These reserves (subsidia) are described as being formed of manipuli (maniples) (Sall. Iug. 49.6). The usual interpretation of this is that Metellus’ legions were still organised in maniples, of which there were 30 per legion, and that he deployed them in the traditional triplex acies (triple battle line).
 
I believe the main problem here is the usual interpretation about Metellus’ formation being in the traditional triplex acies is wrong. Metellus can still be in march order, except this time the right flank is marching in three columns. Polybius discusses this, and Caesar (BG 4 14), also mentions his army marching in three parallel columns. In Metellus’ case, with the right flank reinforced, the right flank can also reinforce any part of the march column that is in distress when attacked.
 
Ross Cowan wrote:
This, it is asserted, is last instance of the maniple being deployed as a tactical unit, but as the battle develops, the legionaries fight not in maniples but in cohorts (ibid. 51.3).
 
Polybius tell us that maniples make cohorts, so why does this theory still persist that the cohort replaced the maniple? The term maniple and cohort together, can be found together, and the term maniple to the fifth century AD, and yet academics reject such terms because sadly, such terms do not conform to modern day theories. Well how about academia taking a progressive step and admit that could be wrong. Dear god, if they did so, they might find the brakes have finally been released and they are moving forward.
 
Ross Cowan wrote:
Dunno. That's for others, like you, to determine.
 
Why do you rely on others? Surely, as a historian writing on the Roman army as yourself, it should be your role to investigate and find the answer?
 
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