Talk:Structural history of the Roman military
|Structural history of the Roman military is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.|
|This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on May 3, 2009.|
|WikiProject Classical Greece and Rome||(Rated FA-class, Mid-importance)|
||It is requested that an image or photograph of relief/sculpture of a Roman soldier from the Marian period be included in this article to improve its quality.
The Free Image Search Tool may be able to locate suitable images on Flickr and other web sites.
|The following editors are available to help with questions about verification and sources in relation to this article: page ownership; all editors are encouraged to contribute.|
|Threads older than 30 days are automatically archived to Talk:Structural history of the Roman military/Archives|
- Before ca. 1000 BC, nothing is known of Rome's military arrangements. The site of ancient Rome had been inhabited in some form from as early as 30,000 BC.<:ref name="grantP9">Grant, The History of Rome, p. 9</ref> Until around 1800 BC, stone tools and weapons are evident in the area's archaeology,<:ref name="caryP8">Cary & Scullard, A History of Rome, p. 8</ref> and it is doubtful that the inhabitants of the site maintained an organised military force. Instead, individuals armed themselves when necessary with "flint daggers and stone battle-axes".<:ref>Vogt, The Decline of Rome, p. 8</ref> Post-1800 BC, bronze age culture began to spread to the region, as it did throughout much of Western Europe, replacing stone (and possibly copper) weapons with bronze ones.<:ref name="caryP8"/>
This is off-topic here; it may be a start on Archaeology of Rome; although such an article should really include Grant's assertions that the discoveries before the settlement of Rome are human and Neanderthal remains, quite possibly not from the site of Rome itself; end in 1400 BC; and are not from the [Villanovan and Italic] cultures of the settlers of Rome.
A reasonable passage would be something like Archaeological evidence suggests that Rome was first settled about 950 BC; it was first urbanized about 650 BC. There is no archaeological evidence for their military structure. But even this would only be germane in debunking the Varronian dating from 753 BC, as Grant does; and I'm not sure this article needs to do that.. Septentrionalis PMAnderson
What Livy says about the celeres is that they were Romulus' bodyguard. He discusses the cavalry, the equites, in a different chapter. What is your authority for combining the two? Septentrionalis PMAnderson 23:42, 24 July 2007 (UTC)
- I don't have my copy of Livy in front of me at the moment but that is not my recollection - I'm sure Livy specifically mentions the celeres were cavalry. i could be wrong but I will check this evening. Whether or not this is stated by Livy, however, it is clearly the consensus view in the secondary sources, several of which are cited in this regard for that section of the article. The arguments presented seem to be (from recollection) twofold: firstly that there is evidence of prior use of chariots and a cavalry element is unlikely to have completed disappeared for a period after the abandonment of chariots since cavalry is known to have existed after this time also; and secondly that the very name "the swift" would likely indicate a mounted contingent. The closest any of my sources come to stating otherwise is (I believe, again from memory) Boak, who argues that they were not cavalry but mounted infantry. None of my sources state otherwise than that they were mounted troops of some sort, and all but one state they were cavalry. Do you have a cite for the opposite? Many thanks - PocklingtonDan (talk) 12:02, 25 July 2007 (UTC)
- Let me go check Boak. I am quite certain of Livy; I was just reading him for something else, and was reminded of this article; the equites (three centuries) are in I, 13; the Celeres (three hundred, who stayed with Romulus night and day) are in I, 15. It may be that Livy has gotten it wrong again; but his intention seems clear. A Latin Livy is here; there's an English one at Perseus Project. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 15:51, 25 July 2007 (UTC)
- The first paper at Scholar.google.com describes the celeres, fron Dionysus Hal. ii.13, as "fighting as cavalry or infantry at need." It also suggests that there has been a rousing fight whether celeres and equites are the same thing; our author denies it. (Also a citation that the early equites were mounted infantry.) H.Hill, "Equites and Celeres" Classical Philology, Vol. 33, No. 3. (Jul., 1938), pp. 283-290. Quote from 284. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 16:03, 25 July 2007 (UTC)
- I've had a chance to look at the sources now and refresh my memory. You are correct that Livy apparently states that the celeres were formed later after cavalry already existed in the army, but doesn't seem to mention explicitly whether they were infantry or cavalry. As you say, Dionysus seems to suggest mounted infantry, which is clearly the account favoured by Boak. Keppie and Grant both mention 300 cavalry, but do not term them celeres. The argument over whether they were probably cavalry seems to depend on whether you accept they were named literally "the swift" or named for their leader (in one account) Celer. It does seem though that I have overstated the position that the celeres were definitely equivalent to the cavalry, certainly that they were definitely equivalent to the entirety of the cavalry. I'm not sure to what extent it is original research to suggest that, given that the celeres were an elite and that only the elite traditionally could afford mounts at almost all historical timepoints, it would make sense for the celeres to have been mounted. It seems very probable to me the celeres were mounted infantry at least, if not cavalry, both bases on the sources and through common sense and parallel examples. How we word this succintly and accurately is another thing! Many thanks - PocklingtonDan (talk) 17:29, 25 July 2007 (UTC)
Should this stop at 476 AD?
While 476 AD is certainly a significant year for the Roman Empire, why should such an article end there? I propose that it should end about 1000 years later with the fall of Constantinople.
- Traditionally the empire based in Constantinople post-476 is titled "Byzantine" rather than Roman, and there are separate pages on Wikipedia dealing with this history —Preceding unsigned comment added by 220.127.116.11 (talk) 20:11, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
- Indeed, the link in the footnotes sections fails to work 18.104.22.168 (talk) 18:11, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
- Alpha was used as a note for "The numbers are a little too exact and Livy's historical remove of 500 years too great for these figures to be taken literally." in the Tribal forces (c. 800 BC – c. 578 BC) section. That sentence was rewritten in November by this edit. Maybe an expert might wish to either remove, or re-apply the footnote to the numbers 3,000 and 300, as appropriate? 84user (talk) 21:19, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
I'm working fairly intensively on that article and have read the hidden note regarding links to this one. The miraculous birth and sordid death aren't too bad now but military things are the further shores of my reading; would anyone who knows the subject care to contribute a more historically based and analytical approach to whatever sections might be relevant? It all seems to be Livy, really; but I'm sure there's plenty of meat to be added in a summary of reasonable proportions. Haploidavey (talk) 00:51, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
"Additionally, the Emperor Gallienus took the revolutionary step of forming dedicated cavalry regiments, separating them from the mixed cavalry and infantry regiments of the past."
This is wrong. Earlier, in the army of the Principate, all-cavalry regiments called "alae" existed, as well as the semi-mounted cohortes equitatae regiments. Gallienus did innovate, but this was in setting up an entirely cavalry field army based in northern Italy at Milan. Urselius (talk) 09:28, 4 April 2013 (UTC)