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Late Roman Army Grade/Rank List under Anastasius
Salvete,
 
First of all, thank you to all contributors for what must be one of the best argued discussions on RAT ever.
 
I have two further small observations on the topic of the veredarii. But I must admit that I have no qualification whatsoever in Latin or Greek epigraphy and have not had the chance to review Mr. Onur’s 2017 publication on this (only his earlier ones):
 
First, on the nature of veredarii as cavalry:
 
There is a citation in  Paulinus Nolensis (Ep. 28,1) referring to a messenger (on foot) as a „veredarius pedes, aut veredus bipes“. The joking nature of this remark („two-legged post horse“) would appear to imply that in general  usage veredarius always implies the use of a horse and not simply the function as a messenger.
 
Secondly, Hieronymus (In Abd. 17,18) refers to „eos enim, quos nunc agentes in rebus vel veredarios appellant, veteres frumentarios appellabant “. This citation could imply that in military usage veredarius could imply a function without necessarily impyling use of a horse.
 
Secondly on the „veredarii alii“:
 
Onur expands „all“ in the inscription as Greek „alloi“ = Latin „alii“. However, in view of the fact that the language here is Latin transcribed to Greek, couldn’t this rather be “allecti” = “adlecti”?

Adlectus is often used in military inscriptions to describe a transfer to a higher rank or higher ranking unit (adlectus in comitatu imperatoris). This could in fact support Onur’s argument that these are candidates who are waiting for a free space among the (few) troopers or maybe have received riding lessons to be able to replace them if  they become casualties. On the other hand, adlectus appears generally to used for a change which has already happened rather that for somebody waiting to be adlected.
 
I must admit that I am still struggling with the large cavalry complement and trying to explain it away.

After taking another look at the inscription, I have one further comment to add:

The "Vexillarii" are unlikely to be cavalry standard bears in view of the fact that they receive only 2 annona: 2 annona is the same as the imaginifer etc. but less than the "true" veredarii (who receive 3).

I would assume that both the vexillum and the imago were used only for church parades and the like and therefore these are infantrymen with a (limited) special function which puts them in the same annona group as the libarii, mensores etc.
Regards,


Jens Horstkotte
Munich, Germany
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Some interesting points are made here.
If a soldier retired - or if he died in battle - another soldier moved to his position. It's in the nature of things and was very likely a standard procedure in all contuberni. I'm not sure if there was a need to create a special group, where more than 220 soldiers were "waiting" to get one of the 50 jobs of the first group (just in the case of the veredarii). Not sure about this, but such a special pool is not known to me in roman history.
Fact is that ἄλλοι or ἄλλος (the "oi" is spoken as an "i" in german or "e" in english), means indeed "alii" (others). I cannot see a reference here for adlecti or a similar term.
But if so, then the term has been used contradictory at the slabs. The adlecti are soldiers which are "already chosen". Also confirmed in the example of adlectus in comitatu imperatoris (AE 1949, 38). At the slabs the "ἄλλ" are always named second after the main-group. So, the "flaviales" are named first, then the "ἄλλ.. flaviales" are listed.
If we would consider now the term "adlecti" instead of "others" then the sequence would be another one. The first group would be called "flaviales adlecti" (the chosen flaviales, also those who get higher pay), then the normal flavialis would be named second. But here it is exactly different.
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(07-06-2017, 06:42 AM)jho Wrote: This could in fact support Onur’s argument that these are candidates who are waiting for a free space among the (few) troopers or maybe have received riding lessons to be able to replace them if  they become casualties.

I'm afraid I would have to agree with Marcel on this one! It seems unlikely that 225 men would be paid extra as candidates to fill 50 places - unless there was an incredibly high attrition rate among the Veredarii - which in turn would seem unlikely as they surely would have served as scouts/couriers if there were only 50 of them, rather than fighting cavalry.


(07-06-2017, 06:42 AM)jho Wrote: The "Vexillarii" are unlikely to be cavalry standard bears in view of the fact that they receive only 2 annona... I would assume that both the vexillum and the imago were used only for church parades and the like

Yes, it is troubling that the Vexillarii are only paid the same as the Veredarii Alii - following the pattern of the other standard bearers they should receive at least double the pay of the men they're leading!

Is there any evidence from elsewhere of certain standards or images only being used for parades? It sounds feasible, but 'vexillum' seems too common a word in Roman military terminology to be referring only to a specialised item like that.

However, discounting the Vexillarius from our 'cavalry' doesn't greatly alter the structure of the entire unit, I think, as we still have our remaining standard bearers in sets of ten. If the twenty Ordinarii are all leading infantry units, we'd have to imagine some alternative arrangement of standards, or a doubling of ordines behind certain signa, perhaps. I did try, somewhere above, to imagine that half the infantry ordines had a 'cavalry complement' added, but it wasn't a very happy solution!
Nathan Ross
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(07-05-2017, 08:15 PM)Nathan Ross Wrote: It does seem peculiar that the Roman army of the 4th-5th century should apparently have maintained two almost entirely separate systems of military rank. As far as I know, nobody has explained why this might have happened


Have you read Philip Rance on the subject?

https://www.academia.edu/3677107/_Campid...07_395-409
Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR
FECTIO Late Romans
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
[Image: artgroepbutton.jpg]
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(07-07-2017, 03:53 PM)Robert Vermaat Wrote: Have you read Philip Rance on the subject?

I have, yes. It's certainly one of the best and most detailed discussions of late Roman military ranks - or some of them at least. But while Rance (and others) notes the existence of the 'new military hierarchy' and the apparent distinction in ranks between the old legions and the newer auxilia etc, he doesn't make any suggestion as to why this might be - surely because we have no idea!

But it does seem strange that the infantry-based auxilia palatina should not have adopted the rank system of the legions, as the old auxilia of the principiate did, but rather a different hierarchy previously used only by the cavalry. Although they did adopt campidoctores from the legion, but did not adopt the cavalry rank of exarchus, which is attested, along with centenarii and circitores, from cAD300.
Nathan Ross
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(04-16-2015, 04:38 PM)markusaurelius Wrote: Interesting stuff.  Is there a list of these 1200 soldiers names? Would make for an interesting insite into the more "common" names of the period

I was reminded of this question by another late Roman military inscription I came across recently. CIL III, 14214,24 appears to be a list of men in a cavalry unit (or units) based in Moesia, probably dating from the 4th-5th century. There's a page about it here in Romanian (number 272), with images of the original (click on the amphora icons).

The inscription lists five different ranks: eques, circitor, exarchus and exarchus bis, together with castricianus or castrianus. The page above appears to suggest (I can't read Romanian!) that these latter were men based at castra or castella. I did wonder whether castrianus might be a comparable sort of position in a cavalry unit to veredarius in an infantry one.

I would guess that most, or all, of these men would have had the imperial nomen Flavius. Interestingly, several in list C have eastern names - Abbas, Herodes, Barsames.

A. Titianus / Valentinus / Ursicinus / Ianuarius / circit(ores) / Ursinus / Concordius //
B. Maxi[mus] / castri[ciani] / Valen[s] / Iovin[us] / Iuliu[s] / Dard[anus] / equite[s] //
C. Abbas / Herodes / Abbas / Ad[a]viu[s] / Bersum[es] / Barsam[es] / Theote[cnus] / Anatoli[us] / Quart[us] / Mar[cianus] / Puti[us] / Bon[osus] / circit[ores] / Para[tus] //
D. ]ASIRI[ ] / [ ]OABENSI[ ] / [ ]SCUPS[ ] / [ ]ANI PP[ ] / [ ]MEOVIT[ ] / [ ]VISLECT[ //

E. Bis exarchi / Carinus / Barbatio / Diog<e>nianus / exarchi / Dicebalus / Faustinu[s] //
F. [M]aximi[anus] / [M]aximus / [Ia]nuarius / [ ]SCO[ ] / [ ] et [ ] / [ ]s [
Nathan Ross
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(07-07-2017, 05:38 PM)Nathan Ross Wrote: surely because we have no idea!

But it does seem strange that the infantry-based auxilia palatina should not have adopted the rank system of the legions, as the old auxilia of the principiate did, but rather a different hierarchy previously used only by the cavalry. 

Indeed we are left wondering as to why the army a) wanted a new rank system and b) why they never made it a uniform one.
Perhaps they saw it s a status thing?

Are you sure the auxilia palatina was infantry-based? My guess is that, although later they certainly seem infantry units, they may well have formed up as perhaps cavalry-based guard units?
Also, I don't see the later auxilia palatina as resembling the old auxilia units in anything but their non-Roman composition and the name.
Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR
FECTIO Late Romans
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
[Image: artgroepbutton.jpg]
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(07-09-2017, 06:46 PM)Robert Vermaat Wrote: Are you sure the auxilia palatina was infantry-based?... they may well have formed up as perhaps cavalry-based guard units?


Yes, I've wondered that myself - it would certainly explain why they seem to use cavalry ranks (or, more specifically, the same ranks as the Scholae - no exarchs etc).

We tend to think of the auxilia palatina as infantry because they usually appear like that in Ammianus. But it could be, as you suggest, that they were originally all mounted or part-mounted units, some of which, some time later, were reorganised as infantry.
Nathan Ross
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Another primary source on the Roman Army of Anastasius.

The keyword is “decuria”


http://www.academia.edu/1031481/Urbicius...commentary
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And this might also be of interest:

Rance, P.: ‘An unnoticed regimental diaconus in the correspondence of Theodoret of Cyrrhus’, Historia. Zeitschrift für Alte Geschichte 63.1 (2014) 117-128.
https://www.academia.edu/35777925/_An_un...14_117-128
Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR
FECTIO Late Romans
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
[Image: artgroepbutton.jpg]
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Perge inscription:

Bracchiati Semissales (256 men)

*

Maurice Strategicon (12.B.8.1-16):

The Ancients, at a time when the legions (λεγεῶνες) comprised large numbers of men, formed the heavy infantry units (τάγματα) from sixteen files, totalling 256 men, that is to say each file was sixteen men deep,…

*
‘Maurice’s Strategicon and “the Ancients”: the Late Antique Reception of Aelian and Arrian’ in P. RANCE and N.V. SEKUNDA (edd.), Greek Taktika. Ancient Military Writing and its Heritage (Gdańsk 2017) 217-255

http://www.academia.edu/35840787/_Mauric...17_217-255
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