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Numerus- who was counted?
Quote:Yes, so the Roman army of the first two centuries CE was "one of the best organized armies." But even then, I think that we know much less about what records were kept by a marching army then what records were kept by units in camp.

Well, I doubt that this daily morning report was not performed in a field-camp during a campaign. If an army had something like daily strength reports, there is no reason to assume, that they have'nt been really daily. There is at least one case I remember. Stauner describes this scene (Ios. bell. Iud. 3,87f and App. civ. 5,46). The centurions collected every morning the necessary information, forwarded it to the tribunes, and they went with the legates to the Legatus Augusti pro praeteore in the camp.
Ut desint vires, tamen est laudanda voluntas
The question is not really whether certain armies (of course a very rare occurrence) kept very detailed daily records. They did. The question is whether these records were kept safe and readily available to those who wanted to write a book. If these records were not kept in a format that could later be helpful, then they were only tools valuable for a certain amount of time -maybe years, maybe a decade-. We also know that Alexander the Great's army kept very detailed records called the "ephemeris" and that these (or most possibly a portion thereof) were somehow available to historians centuries later -recording every action of Alexander and even details of every visit to him as well. Lists of recruits were also kept for many reasons (salaries, retirement etc). However, those are mostly parts of a micromanagement mechanism that is not easy to find let alone use by a scholar. Let us say that these records were kept in the legionary archive for some years. Then it would be either discarded or transported to some storehouse in the local command center or even Rome. If these records were daily taken, then we would have 365 records for each cohort, every single year... Multiply by the number of legions, by the years of service, you arrive at a huge number of records that are impossible to thoroughly and comparatively study even if maintained, without the use of a computer... Btw, have we found such records for whole legions?

In all, I seriously doubt the usefulness of such records to even the most meticulous scholar as far as establishing the numbers of men in a single battle is concerned.

edit : Oh! And if you guys need any text of the Strategikon of Maurice in Greek, you can ask me.
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