Talk:Structural history of the Roman military

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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

Servius Tullius[edit]

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)


I quote:

"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)

Its easy to make statements that such and such is wrong, but find a quote from a published work that refutes Southern and Dixon's assertion, and add that. We have to stick to rule of "no original research". It is not sufficient to state that you, personally, disagree with something -PocklingtonDan (talk) 07:25, 27 September 2013 (UTC)

Almost every sentence of "Comitatenses and limitanei" is controversial.[edit]

I don't know how to respond. It is full of discredited or at least outdated claims, and sometimes contradictory claims, but adding new sources will only mean adding new contradictions. Also, the limitanei were the provincial troops, so I'm not sure what it means to say that "while the limitanei were supposed to deal with policing actions and low-intensity incursions, the duty of responding to more serious incidents fell upon the provincial troops." Ananiujitha (talk) 23:37, 5 September 2013 (UTC)

Not at all. If you can find a published authority that disagrees with cited opinion on the page, it is easy to word it as "X and Y believe Z, but this is refuted by more recent authorities such as A and B" and then give refs. In a lot of areas, contradictory claims are all you get, thats part of looking back across 2000 years of history, and sometimes we just don't know who is right. The important thing is just to add refs for statements you want to add to the article, so we are sticking with the rule of "no original research" -PocklingtonDan (talk) 07:25, 27 September 2013 (UTC)
In that case, the claim seems to contradict itself. In other cases, comparing different views might make sense, but doing it everywhere could get to be a bit much. Ananiujitha (talk) 14:26, 27 September 2013 (UTC)

Who is this referring to: "Created and expanded from the core troops of the Emperor's personal bodyguards, the central field armies by 295 AD seem to have been too large to be accounted for as simple bodyguard forces, but were still too small to be able to campaign independently of legionary or vexillation support." If it is referring to the bodyguards, such as the Praetorian Guard and the Scholae, they are not usually interpreted as "central field armies" although they can be part of these armies. If it is referring to the central/praesental field armies, they were not formed fro bodyguards, and they included their own legions and vexillationes. Ananiujitha (talk) 18:22, 27 September 2013 (UTC)

If this is referring to the military part of the sacer comitatus, that's another issue, which I'm not able to address. Ananiujitha (talk) 18:24, 27 September 2013 (UTC)

"the late Republic's hypothesized use of "provincial" and "emergency" legions."[edit]

This seems to refer to R.E. Smith's ideas in Service in the Post-Marian Roman Army. However, Smith was concerned with Roman recruiting, how long soldiers were supposed to remain with their units, and how long units were supposed to stay together. His ideas are unproven for that period, and are really quite unrelated to reserves in later periods. I have removed the short passage in "Comitatenses and Limitanei." Ananiujitha (talk) 14:32, 27 September 2013 (UTC)

Hi Ananiujitha, I have some concern over you removing cited information such as this from the article (although I will not begin an edit war by reverting it). We do not decide whether a given authors ideas are unfounded and remove them, we go by what sources say. If you can find a preponderance of sources that state the opposite, and establish that Smith's ideas are discredited by a majority of later authors, then that is fine, but that in itself needs cites and it would be more appropriate to update the article with the *correct* information, with cites, showing that preponderance. Just removing the cited statement because you believe his ideas are unproven, is not the correct form of action to take -PocklingtonDan (talk) 22:49, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
I am not an expert on the subject, but am inclined to agree with Smith's theories. There are three issues. The first, which should at least require caution with the references, is that it is speculative, and not entirely accepted. Keppie, for example, challenges Smith's theories, in p. 77 of The Making of the Roman Army. The second, which would require removal, is that the two are completely unrelated. Smith was talking about raising new armies for emergencies, not maintaining central field armies for such things. The third is that I did not remove referenced material. It was citation needed. I just had an inkling where the theory could have come from; I could have added a citation, and it would be improper synthesis instead. Ananiujitha (talk) 02:11, 16 November 2013 (UTC)