Re: Re: Imperial Army ranks

From: Gianfranco Geroldi <giangero_at_...>
Date: Mon, 15 Mar 2004 08:52:04 -0800 (PST)

We can clear things here and now about Whitewall, I think, with a little more effort.
But even Roman terms and ranks were very different (say) in the second century AD and in the fourth century AD.
I mean: the ranks were the same (consul, tribune, centurion, decurion) by definition but the resulting forces commanded upon were very different. In IV century, Rome had 100 legions (according to Notitia Dignitatum, IIRC) whereas previously Imperial Rome had only 25-30 legions (from Augustus to Diocletianus).
So you have 25 Tribunii in year 150 and 100 Tribunii in year 350.
But the Roman Army (roughly and probably) always counted from 150.000 to 300.000 men at arms. A tribune in II century would command 5 thousand (a Legio), plus some auxiliary forces and socii (say another 5 thousand cannon fodder).
In IV century the correspondant seniro officer called Tribunus would command 1000 men (a Legio again, but with different meaning and structure), unless some legationes had been detached from his legio to fight elsewhere (maybe from the gauls to syria): in that case maybe he doesn't command effectively more than 100 able to war men.

I suspect that we have a fairly oversimplified view of ancient armies that makes us do mistakes (as Martin said).

We cannot avoid making distinctions between rank and location and period of reference and campaign of object when looking at an army like the Lunar one in heortland.
Else any rank and any name and any title is meaningless.



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