Re: R: Re: Off topic romans

From: donald_at_...
Date: Sat, 14 Mar 2009 18:20:47 GMT

In message <gpfr8e+okc0_at_...> "Stuart Cogger" writes:

>In very broad strokes, the Persian Empire was spread so wide through
>threat of arms, mitigated by their preparedness to accept peaceful
>submission followed by inclusion and conditional autonomy i.e
>Satrapies. By offering order they created a largely voluntary Empire.
>However they were fully intent on expansion as the invasion of Greece
>demonstrates. However the vast nature of the Empire created massive
>logistical problems for the military. The troops were ethnically
>diverse and Persian Generals had to know how to use troops who were
>massively diverse in tactics, language and loadout.

I don't think there were that many completely different troop types. Infantry were mostly armed with spears and/or bows trained to fight in close order. Then there were others trained to skirmish with either javlins or bows. Cavalry were usually armed with bows and some had spears as well.

>What I have always understood about the romans is that they tried as
>far as possible to Romanize everything and make it conform to a model.
>Citizenship was the prize and had its privileges. The Roman army,
>epitomized by the Legions were like the French Foreign Legion in
>mentality. You become a Legionaire, absorb and embrace its values and
>culture and tactics and are gifted with French citizenship at the end
>of your service. It's like extreme citizenship training.

Depends on which period you are talking about. Under the republic service in the legions was a duty of citizenship and no one else was allowed to join. So when people like Julius Caeser brought the legions that supported him to Rome each of them was a thousand votes.

When military duty became too onerous for many citizens you could opt out by paying a tax. That money was used to recruit auxillia - non-roman citizens who might fight in Roman style but might not. To save money on wages there was a promise that after completing their service they would get a land grant which would entitle them to citizenship. Their sons or grandsons would then be obliged to join a legion or pay the tax.

Sometime later as more and more citizens opted to pay the tax rather than serve it was decided to open the legions to non-citizens by granting immediate citizenship on recruitment. By this time legions were effectively recruiting locally although there was still a risk of being shipped off to another part of the empire. Most often Rome to support a local candidate for Emperor. The votes no longer mattered but a thousand armed men did.

> Maximus in Gladiator is a Spaniard but also a Roman and an
>important one at that, for example.

Remember nation states like Spain did not exist at that time. Nobody identified with them, Maximus was a Roman citizen who happened to have been born in the province of Hispania. He might also identify with the particular tribe his father came from.

>Rather than accept diversity like the Persians and deal with
>the consequences, the romans created a clear dividing line between
>roman and other. Whilst there was clearly a hierarchy in the Persian
>Empire, they didn't offer the chance to 'become Persian', as far as
>I understand.
>This to me seems to suggest that the Lunars have elements of both
>rome and persia in there, but surely the model for the Lunar army
>is the Roman army? Use of spear and scimitar doesn't make them
>un-roman, it makes them Lunar.

Certainly there are elements of both but the Roman army of standardized legions didn't survive in the real world very long. The lists that exist of units in Britain show a preponderance of auxillia including cataphracts and horse archers. By the time the Empire was established they probably had more different troop types within the army than the Persians.

Donald Oddy

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