Talk:Auxilia

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Added a portion of this to another article[edit]

Added an auxillary section to the lorica segmenta article. Intranetusa (talk) 15:39, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Class A article?[edit]

This article seems well structured, referenced and written in a clear fashion. I am surprised it is still a grade B article. Could it be put up as a class A?The Nouv (talk) 14:35, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

Issue[edit]

In the third para. in Auxiliaries (Roman military)#Religion, is the data on Covnetia really necessary in this article?Abeer.ag (talk) 05:54, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

Coventina is given as an example of the sort of local cults that auxiliary troops might follow. EraNavigator (talk) 12:11, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
no,no. What I mean is is Coventina was a British nymph associated with springs. Several dedications to her have been found e.g. offered by the garrison of the auxiliary fort at Carrawburgh (on Hadrian's Wall) necessary for this article, considering that users can access Coventina? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Abeer.ag (talkcontribs) 19:30, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

MoS Survey[edit]

Yesterday I looked over the first 2 major sections. Here are my notes on MoS issues only (no grammar, usage, or style). Remember, this is the MoS, not me. Don't shoot the messenger. :-)

  • My add-on that puts the rating of the article on the article page under the title says that this article is B-class. The template has "A-class=pass", but it still has "class=B".
  • "See also" section should be the first section after the main article text.
  • The Table of Contents & article are very long. "Sections of long articles should be spun off into their own articles leaving a summary in its place."
  • "Avoid sandwiching text between two images facing each other." On my equipment, there is a small "text sandwich" in Historical development, Later Principate.
  • "c." is used for circa, not century. (Later Principate, 5th par.)
  • For dates of reign, its: John Smith (reigned year–year)
  • "Avoid joining two words by a slash"; for conjunction, reword; for disjunction use an unspaced ndash. (Later Principate, last par., Strategic role)
  • Article could use a close proofreading. A casual read turned up: Fourth century, 1st par.; Flavian era text ("after a almost a century"); Flavian era image caption; closing punctuation on Illyrian Revolt section, Later Principate 4th par., and Strategic role.
  • Appearance of footnotes in text: some form of punctuation, superscripted footnote, then a space (or end of par.)
    • Fourth century, 3rd par.: no space afterward
    • Revolt of the Batavi, last par.: Why not move footnote to the end of the sentence?
  • Measurements should have conversions.
    • Quality and combat capability (image), use {{mm to in|460|abbr=yes}}
    • Strategic role, use {{km to mi|100|spell=Commonwealth}}
  • "Shortened notes" are in a section called Notes or Footnotes (not Citations), and are formatted:
    • Author (year), p.##. or Author Title, p.##.
    • At the very least, punctuation must be consistent.
    • In the associated References section, publisher is optional "but generally required for featured articles".
  • Single digit whole numbers 0–9 are rendered as words. (This presumably does not apply to years.)
  • In non-scientific articles, "percent" or "per cent" is preferred (not %).
  • Between the year and the BCE/BC/CE/AD designator there needs to be 1 non-breaking space.
  • Headings shouldn't repeat title. Might consider Everyday life of auxiliaries --> Everyday life; Auxilia deployment in the 2nd century --> Deployment in the 2nd century.
  • These are italicized (but not surrounding punctuation): i.e., e.g., ca., et al.
  • Hyphens are not used for sentence interruption or parenthetical phrases. Use unspaced mdashes or spaced (on both sides) ndashes.
  • If a caption has at least one full sentence requiring end punction, any sentence fragments in that caption also get end punctuation.
  • Wherever you refer to other sections of the article, consider using an internal, anchored wikilink (Pipe to the #Anchor only, not Title#Anchor). It's a nice touch.
  • Many links point to inappropriate places, such as disambiguation pages. They need to be redirected to the appropriate article. The worst example is slingers. I think slingers is what you want.

--AnnaFrance (talk) 18:02, 12 July 2008 (UTC)

original research[edit]

I was planning to expand a section (or perhaps write a new article) about Dacian auxiliaries in the Roman Army, so I had to read carefully this article. I was a bit disappointed (mostly about the absence of relevant scholarship), but here are some of my concerns about how the current article reflects its bibliography:

1. Image captions: long digressions lacking footnotes, abusing the verb "note", and including dubious factoids and/or what look like personal opinions. Few examples:
  • Their chief town was Noviomagus (Nijmegen, Neth.), a strategic prominence in an otherwise flat and waterlogged land that became the site of a Roman legionary fortress (housing the legion X Gemina) after the Batavi revolt ended in 70 AD. The name is of Celtic origin, meaning "new market", suggesting that the Germanic Batavi either displaced or subjugated an indigenous Gallic tribe.
  • The arrangement of the scene, a rider spearing a man (the motif of the Thracian Hero), indicates that Bassus was a Thracian.
  • It was apparently in the period following this conflict (perhaps as a result of the lessons learnt from it) that the Romans first established their own regular units of cataphracts, and deployed them in the Danubian region. They were most likely equipped as the Sarmatians.
  • Note (top corners) the Alpine edelweiss flowers, called stella Alpina ("Alpine star") in Latin. These were either a regimental symbol, or a national symbol of the Montani. The crescent moon-and-star motif between the flowers may be either a regimental emblem or a religious symbol.
  • He then switched to a legion (presumably after gaining Roman citizenship after 25 of his 34 years of service) and became a centurion in Legio XV Apollinaris (it appears that legion cavalrymen used infantry ranks). He died at age 58, probably shortly after his discharge. Note the portrayal of his chain-mail armour, decurion's crested helmet and horse, led by his equerry, probably a slave. This soldier's long career shows that many auxiliaries served longer than the minimum 25 years, and sometimes joined legions.
2. WP:PSTS. A large number of footnotes (about a third) refer to Tacitus, Dio, Livy. Not only that, the references do not really (or entirely) support the article's text. Examples:
  • Civilis now led his people in open revolt. Initially, he claimed he was supporting the bid for power of Vespasian, the general in command of the legions in Syria, whom Civilis had probably befriended when both were involved in the Roman invasion 25 years before (Vespasian was then commander of the legion II Augusta) ( Tacitus Historiae IV.13 )
  • Most importantly, the eight Batavi cohorts stationed at Mainz with XIV Gemina mutinied and joined him, defeating at Bonn a Roman force that attempted to block their return to their homeland. ( Tacitus Historiae IV.20 )
3. Thus it occurred to me that there might be other serious problems. I checked some of the citations from the CAH series:
  • An equivalent number of auxilia (i.e. 50–60 new regiments) were probably added, perhaps reaching a peak of ca. 440 regiments and over 250,000 effectives by the end of Septimius Severus's rule (211 AD).
Halsall 2000, p. 320: As will be shown below, the theoretical strength of each legion was, including officers, something over 5,300 men, so the total number of soldiers at the beginning of the second century serving in this branch of the Roman army was about 160,000 men. [...] The size of these [auxiliary] regiments differed from that of the legions, for they consisted at most of a theoretical 1,000, more often only half that number. In terms of total manpower, however, they outnumbered the legions by a figure that lay somewhere between a third and half as much again, so that, all told, the Roman army may have consisted of some 380,000 men. [the source says nothing about the number or regiments, it gives a figure of 220,000 auxiliaries and no chronological anchor around AD 211].
  • [In a table on the "likely growth of the Roman auxilia", the total army "ca 130 AD"]: 383,000
Halsall 2000, p. 320 (see also above): at the beginning of the second century [...] the Roman army may have consisted of some 380,000 men
  • It has been argued that the lorica segmentata was used by auxiliaries also. But there is no firm evidence for this. Traces of this type of armour have been found in forts in Raetia from a time when no legions were stationed in the province.
Halsall 2000, p. 339 (p. 337 is about marriage and family): [Some scholar] shows that this type of armour occurs on fort sites in Raetia at a time when no legions were stationed there and hence will have been used by auxiliaries. [the exact opposite conclusion!, however the editor regarded it as "no firm evidence"]
  • Their [i.e. of the units with the new names numerus ("group") and vexillatio ("detachment")] size is uncertain, but was likely smaller than the regular alae and cohortes, as originally they were probably detachments from the latter, acquiring independent status after long-term separation. As these units are mentioned in diplomas, they were presumably part of the regular auxiliary organisation.
Campbell 2005, p. 112 (there's no Campbell at p. 212 in that CAH volume): In this context, the word numerus is often regarded as a technical term designating a small unit of perhaps 200–300 men formed from un-Romanized tribes, who had looser organizations of a more barbarous character, and retained their national ways of fighting and war cries. But it seems more in keeping with the evidence to suppose that the word numerus was used by the Romans in a non-specific way to refer to a ‘unit’, and that it should not be attached exclusively to a particular type of unit.
  • It is unclear what proportion of the Numidian cavalry were regular auxilia units as opposed to irregular foederati units.
Campbell 2005, p. 112: same as above, there's nothing on that page about Numidian cavalry or considerations on the numbers of nationes or numeri.

No doubt, this article lacks proper citations. But also primary sources are carelessly used, and there's a significant amount of original research by synthesis, in presenting personal opinions as academic interpretations and also in altering the scholarly arguments to fit a certain narrative. Often enough this article reads like a personal essay. I think it needs serious reconsideration. Daizus (talk) 14:57, 13 September 2011 (UTC)

Also, not sure if related, there are some inappropriate assessments of scholarship. Examples:

  • There is some discrepancy about the precise size of the auxilia during the rule of Trajan's successor, Hadrian (117-138) between the two most up-to-date global analyses of the Roman auxilia, by Spaul (2000) and Holder (2003)
  • In addition, Holder believes that a further 14 cohortes, which are attested under Trajan, immediately before Hadrian's rule, but not during or after it, were probably in existence at this time, giving a total of 381 units and 225,000 effectives. The discrepancy between the two scholars is due to: (i) Interpretation of units with the same name and number, but attested in different provinces in the same period. Spaul tends to take a more cautious approach and to assume such are the same unit moving base frequently, while Holder tends to regard them as separate units which acquired the same number due to double (or triple) seriation. (ii) Assumptions about how many cohortes were equitatae. Spaul accepts only those cohortes specifically attested as equitatae i.e., about 40% of recorded units. Holder estimates that at least 70% of cohortes contained cavalry contingents by the early 2nd century. [with a single footnote to Holder 2003] Daizus (talk) 15:15, 13 September 2011 (UTC)
I would encourage you to act on your observations here. Cynwolfe (talk) 21:12, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for your kind words. I will attempt to correct some of the above. Daizus (talk) 13:16, 8 October 2011 (UTC).
Editor Daizus is clearly knowledgeable on this subject and his criticisms are not those of the all too common ill-informed Wiki "drive-by" commentator. Once his improvements are incorporated in the main text this should become a very good article indeed Buistr (talk) 05:29, 4 November 2011 (UTC).