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David R. Glier





Joined: 01 Mar 2004

Posts: 146

PostPosted: Sun 20 Feb, 2005 7:49 pm    Post subject: Help! Roman military structure question         Reply with quote

Ack!

There's nothing like writing about someting to teach you how much you *don't* know about it!
Happily, I already knew I didn't know all that much about Rome -I just thought I knew more. Razz


To the point, I need to know about the auxiliae. I know (at least, I think I do) that service in the Army proper -all twenty years of it- was a method of obtaining citizenship. Not much use to *you*, but it would be to your children, so it's a solid career move. Did this apply only to Italians, or was the option open to the more civilized barbarians? -Greeks and Macedonians, for instance. This has never quite been made clear.

I ask because, according to Goldsworthy in The Complete Roman Army, there was very little difference between the equpment and function of Regulars and Auxiluries. They never wore the segmentata that we know of, but they carried pila, gladii and scuta, wore the hamata or squamata and faught in close order as heavy infantry (with certain obvious exceptions, of course), so to me it sounds like these barbarians are very much walking and quacking like a duck.

So (the big question) were these men in the "regular auxiluries" -the ones commanded by Roman officers and not tribal leaders- serving their twenty years with citizenship as the eventual reward??? Because I take it that the auxiluries like Caesar's special german light cavalry/infantry unit were hired to fight for a campaign or a term of service and then left -and did NOT obtaining citizenship.

My specific interest is in the alae, the cavalry. My period of interest is aprocimately 50 AD, give or take twenty five years. Location, if necessary, is the balkans. Dalmatia, Pananonia, Moesia -prior to the conquest of Thrace, probably dealing with skirmishing with the Dacians.
I know at least most of the alae had Roman commanders -a Tribune, IIRC. They *were* still made up of local non-Romans, right? But they were equipped with Roman gear and faught with Roman tactics, so it would seem logical that they would serve the same terms of service that all the other solders did -I just can't find that spelled out anywhere. Worried


Thanks, fellows!
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Gordon Frye




Location: Kingston, Washington
Joined: 20 Apr 2004
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PostPosted: Sun 20 Feb, 2005 8:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

David;

I can't help you one whit on the Infantry aspects of your question, but as far as the Cavalry stuff goes, I at least have a source for you to check into. It's "Training the Roman Cavaly: From Arrain's Ars Tactica" byt Ann Hyland, Sutton Publishing, England, 1993. Within is a good discourse on the structure of Roman Cavalry from the era of the early Empire, with some about Britania, and some about the Balkans as well (as I recall). You should be able to find a copy through either Amazon or Alibris, I should think.

Good luck on this,

Gordon

"After God, we owe our victory to our Horses"
Gonsalo Jimenez de Quesada
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David Wilson




Location: In a van down by the river
Joined: 23 Aug 2003

Posts: 770

PostPosted: Mon 21 Feb, 2005 6:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Help! Roman military structure question         Reply with quote

David R. Glier wrote:

To the point, I need to know about the auxiliae. I know (at least, I think I do) that service in the Army proper -all twenty years of it- was a method of obtaining citizenship. Not much use to *you*, but it would be to your children, so it's a solid career move. Did this apply only to Italians, or was the option open to the more civilized barbarians? -Greeks and Macedonians, for instance. This has never quite been made clear.

I ask because, according to Goldsworthy in The Complete Roman Army, there was very little difference between the equpment and function of Regulars and Auxiluries. They never wore the segmentata that we know of, but they carried pila, gladii and scuta, wore the hamata or squamata and faught in close order as heavy infantry (with certain obvious exceptions, of course), so to me it sounds like these barbarians are very much walking and quacking like a duck.

So (the big question) were these men in the "regular auxiluries" -the ones commanded by Roman officers and not tribal leaders- serving their twenty years with citizenship as the eventual reward??? Because I take it that the auxiluries like Caesar's special german light cavalry/infantry unit were hired to fight for a campaign or a term of service and then left -and did NOT obtaining citizenship.



Auxilia were recruited from all over the empire -- Gallic Celtic Cavalry, Syrian Archers, Numidian light cavalry, Spanish slingers, and Germanics. The Cheruscian warlord Arminius had himself been granted command status and Roman citizenship well before he destroyed Varus' Legions in the Teutoberger forest in 9 AD.
As mentioned above, the auxiliaries not only provided infantry, but specialized troops as well -- cavalry, archers, and slingers (BTW auxiliary infantry is usually protrayed as using the hasta (a "plain ol'" spear), not the pila of the regular infantry).
Yes, most of these auxiliaries were recruited for the full term (which about the 1st century would have been 20 to 25 years) and did recieve citizenship upon completion of their career.

Anyway, here are some neat websites for further research:
http://www.larp.com/legioxx/
http://www.redrampant.com/
http://members.tripod.com/%7ES_van_Dorst/legio.html
http://museums.ncl.ac.uk/archive/arma/
http://www.romanhideout.com/

David K. Wilson, Jr.
Laird of Glencoe

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