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Thread: Where are the roman legions?

  1. #1
    TheSilverBranch's Avatar Ikko-Ikki
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    Default Where are the roman legions?

    I'm recently playing the 463 AD WRE campaign and have a few questions and remarks concerning the gameplay with this interesting and challenging faction:

    1. Aren't the Pedites Romani, Pedites Bucelarii and Equites Bucelarii a bit to cheap for the high-unit-cost- concept of this particular mod?

    2. Where are the "real" comitatenses? I thought, the pseudocomitatenses were some sort of "upgraded" limitanei; or didn't the comitatenses exist anymore in 463 AD?

    3. last but not least: Where are the roman legions in the former roman territories? First thing I did when I conquered for example Tarraco was to check the building browser and I discovered that this city isn't able to build any roman units except limitanei (same thing in Augusta Vindelicorum)! I am trying to play as historical correctly as possible (using Pompeius Magnus' amazing guide as an orientation), so I only field one legio Italica (consisting of 6 units of heavy roman infantry), one legio Sardinica etc. and thus need every single city which offers another legion name.
    Is there any way to change this manually, do I have to build some specific buildings, or is it impossible?

    Apart from that minor issues, it's really a great and challenging thing to rebuild the WRE and restore its former glory!
    Last edited by TheSilverBranch; November 09, 2011 at 03:48 PM. Reason: pretty bad english

  2. #2
    Yari-hei
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    Default Re: Where are the roman legions?

    I think that the idea is that those areas had been under control of Germanic tribes for so long that the Roman culture was damaged such that those units can no longer be trained there.

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    Riothamus's Avatar Rio
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    Default Re: Where are the roman legions?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheSilverBranch View Post
    I'm recently playing the 463 AD WRE campaign and have a few questions and remarks concerning the gameplay with this interesting and challenging faction:

    1. Aren't the Pedites Romani, Pedites Bucelarii and Equites Bucelarii a bit to cheap for the high-unit-cost- concept of this particular mod?

    2. Where are the "real" comitatenses? I thought, the pseudocomitatenses were some sort of "upgraded" limitanei; or didn't the comitatenses exist anymore in 463 AD?

    3. last but not least: Where are the roman legions in the former roman territories? First thing I did when I conquered for example Tarraco was to check the building browser and I discovered that this city isn't able to build any roman units except limitanei (same thing in Augusta Vindelicorum)! I am trying to play as historical correctly as possible (using Pompeius Magnus' amazing guide as an orientation), so I only field one legio Italica (consisting of 6 units of heavy roman infantry), one legio Sardinica etc. and thus need every single city which offers another legion name.
    Is there any way to change this manually, do I have to build some specific buildings, or is it impossible?

    Apart from that minor issues, it's really a great and challenging thing to rebuild the WRE and restore its former glory!
    Thanks TheSilverBranch.
    -Your finding those units as cheap?
    -The Comitatenses First Cohort becomes the replacement of the reg Comitatenses.. Comitatenses Armatus is the ERE Version. Its the finest of their infanry but no longer so readily available

    -Its to show the erosion of the Empire to easily reproduce those units but I'm revisiting this. Ill allow their availably in the capitals of reconquered lands.
    Last edited by Riothamus; November 09, 2011 at 08:37 PM.

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    TheSilverBranch's Avatar Ikko-Ikki
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    Default Re: Where are the roman legions?

    Thanks for your quick replies.
    Yes, I'm finding those units as cheap. Their low upkeep, decent quality and availability in almost every province makes the limitanei, cohortes vexilum (?) and most of the foederati units superfluous. First thing I did in my campaign was to replace every garrison with a unit of pedites romani; hadn't any money problems so far...

    And there is really no way to change the availability of roman heavy infantry in former roman provinces manually? It's to complicated, isn't it?

  5. #5
    Riothamus's Avatar Rio
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    Default Re: Where are the roman legions?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheSilverBranch View Post
    Thanks for your quick replies.
    Yes, I'm finding those units as cheap. Their low upkeep, decent quality and availability in almost every province makes the limitanei, cohortes vexilum (?) and most of the foederati units superfluous. First thing I did in my campaign was to replace every garrison with a unit of pedites romani; hadn't any money problems so far...

    And there is really no way to change the availability of roman heavy infantry in former roman provinces manually? It's to complicated, isn't it?
    Put this in you rio/data folder but first make a copy of your export_descr_buildings just in case I modified a few things already(not sure)
    Not saved compatible though

    Pseudocomitatenses, First Cohort and ERE Comitatenses are available at all capitals
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by Riothamus; November 10, 2011 at 01:31 PM.

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  6. #6
    Pompeius Magnus's Avatar primus inter pares
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    Default Re: Where are the roman legions?

    The concept of reducing the availability of Legions concerning the West Roman Empire by Rio is in my opinion absolutely correct.
    Even the powerful East Roman Empire has probably not deployed any kind of new Legions during the mid 5th and 6th century anymore.
    In the East the old Legions were called Legionos or Katalogos.

    So, if you play historically the WRE you will recruit more small and flexible units.
    I have prepared a small and very simplified schematic which shows the evolution of the army. Missing are troops which were classified as Milites - since I'm still researching what kind of role they played during the late 4th and 5th century.

    You see that basically all old names were still existing - but their role differed.
    The "New-Legion" (new deployed pure Roman troops) was called Numerus - round about 520 strong. But we also know that around 500AD a Numerus could also be just 200 strong as indicated in the edictum anastasii +/-491AD (p.139 section 7 and p. 151). The edictum speaks about this unit and suggests indirectly that it is existing for many years. You don't get the feeling that it was a new development. Therefore we can guess or speculate that it was a common unit name - at least in the last third of the 5th century (~460/470). Procopius for example is just speaking about Arithmoi. Agathias is more precise and differs between old Legions (katalogoi) and new Arithmoi (Numeri).

    Last edited by Pompeius Magnus; November 11, 2011 at 12:37 PM.

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    TheSilverBranch's Avatar Ikko-Ikki
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    Default Re: Where are the roman legions?

    Thank you very much for your quick replies!
    And I can absolutely see your point, that it would be historically incorrect to enroll dozens of new legions. But as I'm not willing to reconquer the roman empire just with foederati and some small comitatenses units, I thought it would be interesting to play with the legions of about 1,000 comitatenses. And I don't want them to be named "legio I-XXXV Italica", so I have to build up "new" legions just to get a little bit variety...

    P.S.: Are you a professional, or are all these researches you do just mere interest?

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    Pompeius Magnus's Avatar primus inter pares
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    Default Re: Where are the roman legions?

    Hi SilverBranch

    I understand your point. But I can only answer your question from the technical side.
    The terms Comitatenses and Limitanei (the latter one first time mentioned round about 365AD) were just a kind of a categorization - where those troops belonged to. They are no tactical units. The Comitatenses were known in the east as Stratiotai. But even here it was not a tactical unit.
    Strictly speaking, there was also no difference between Comitatenses and Palatinae - simply because the Palatinae belonged to the Comitatenes too - but both groups consisted of Legions. If there was "per se" a difference in quality is highly disputed.

    The empire was built upon the Legions. But it's usage changed during the centuries. And even if they were still the backbone or the flower of the army (during the 4th and 5th - partially during the 6th century also) one must recognize that there were now also other "typically" Roman units. In this case the Numeri.
    The old Legion continued to exist (at least until the 7th century) - but she has left its peak behind. It was so to speak outflanked or outperformed by the Auxilium and later (or even simultaneously) by the regular Numerus.

    The mental mistake you're making is that you look at the Roman Legion as the only true Roman unit.
    But as described above - meanwhile (~450/460AD) there were also many Romans serving in the few remaining West Roman Cohors, the Auxilium of the field armies was probably equipped in the same way like the Legions and filled with Romans (at least partically), the Numerus was actually the "New-Legion" of the empire.
    The lesser military service was performed by a) Milites (which were according my researches a sub-group of the Auxiliae) and b) irregular auxillaries (e.g. the huns of Aetius).

    Finally we can also play the "what-if" game.
    We cannot say what the WRE did after a successful re-conquering of former provinces. Deploying Legions 1200 or even 2000 strong? Milites? New Auxillaries? We don't know because they didn't.
    But let's check what the ERE did after they re-conquered many former Roman provinces.
    When Africa was taken - Justinian gave immediately the order to built up Limitanei - organized in Numeri (when performed by Romans) or the task to guard the border was given to local Berbers.
    When they took Italy they deployed many Numeri - no Legions. The Numeri were named after the city where they were deployed: e.g. Numerus Mediolanum, Numerus Veronensis etc.
    The world in those regions (also the coastal area in Spain) was still very Roman until the 7th or even 8th century - but Legions were not deployed there.
    Last edited by Pompeius Magnus; November 11, 2011 at 07:39 PM.

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    TheSilverBranch's Avatar Ikko-Ikki
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    Default Re: Where are the roman legions?

    Ok, no I'm getting it: Small flexible forces (numeri), mixed units, no legions...
    A bit complicated though.
    Thanks a lot for your quick and detailed informations, but allow me two last questions:
    -how much numeri per region/diocese?
    -was the cavalry still organised in vexilationes?

  10. #10
    Riothamus's Avatar Rio
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    Default Re: Where are the roman legions?

    Thank you Pompieius for that very well defined explanation of the WRE Legion during the 5th century

    -Part of the Beyond Roman Glory mods theme and enjoyment is not only halting the decaying WRE, but also trying to restore it to its former glory and even possibly something greater than it ever was. I think this is achievable within a realistic historical framework of the time but very difficult. I had hoped to create this by means of a re-Romanization of the economy and technology not only in newly reconquered lands but first this must be done within the starting Roman provinces themselves. Defending and expanding the empire would go along with this but can only be achieved with legions filled by foederati, Auxilium or by the regular Numerus, not the legions of old. If successful, I would like to have the economic and technical Romanization of the reconquered empire in some way bring back the flower of the Roman legions once more. To what capacity I'll have to further think this out..
    Last edited by Riothamus; November 12, 2011 at 10:23 PM.

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    Yari-hei
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    Default Re: Where are the roman legions?

    The eastern empire might be a good model, they constantly lost and than retook Anatolia through out the middle ages. The type of tropes they raised in that area might be a good model to follow.

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    The Colonel's Avatar Hastatas Prior
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    Default Re: Where are the roman legions?

    This partially answers my question I had in the discussion thread about the DOS and the loss of their "legion" units. I think the statement's the same.

    "Riothamus, give me back my legions!"

    Just kidding here, but in reality, with the units I have in my disposal, are my field armies basically going to be just foederati, buclearii, and pedites romanum? If I am understanding this correctly the Romans lost their mainstay heavy infantry unit core? How am I to represent this new army with the units at my disposal?

    I guess with this game Rome has always been defined by its armies. As players, is it our goal to restore Roman glory and recreate the legions, or to go beyond and create something new? And am I going to do all that with just foederati, mercenaries, and roman imitation units?

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    Riothamus's Avatar Rio
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    Default Re: Where are the roman legions?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Colonel View Post
    .

    "Riothamus, give me back my legions!"



    I guess with this game Rome has always been defined by its armies. As players, is it our goal to restore Roman glory and recreate the legions, or to go beyond and create something new? And am I going to do all that with just foederati, mercenaries, and roman imitation units?

    "Riothamus, give me back my legions!"
    lol great line Colonel

    Whats wrong with these DoS Roman types?



    -Certain Roman Political, technological and economical buildings may be required(Romanization)
    AOR Infantry
    legio lanciarii-Italian or ERE Lands
    light palatina-Italian or ERE Lands
    comitatenses- Italian or ERE Lands-ans all capitals
    comitatenses first cohort-only Ravenna or Constantinople
    british legionarie-Britian held lands
    palatina-ERE Lands

    All provinces Infantry
    limitanei- weapons trading buildings
    auxilia palatini- merc/foederati forts


    All provinces cavalry
    equites sagittarii
    equites auxilia
    equites catafractarii

    AOR cavalry
    equites clibinarii- (AOR-only capitals)
    gaul royal cavalry- Buccellrri type
    marchomawr(AOR-Britain)
    Equites Bucellarii: Kings Castle:movement toward professional trained Bucelarii (AOR-Econ settlements)

    All provinces seige
    roman onagers
    ballistae
    roman heavy onager
    roman repeating ballistae
    carriage ballistae
    roman scorpion

    Infantry
    Powerful morphed units movement toward professional Bucelarii
    thermopolia-Inn/Fort
    Pedites Bucelarii
    Numerii Bucellarii
    Last edited by Riothamus; November 14, 2011 at 11:44 PM.

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  14. #14
    Pompeius Magnus's Avatar primus inter pares
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    Default Re: Where are the roman legions?

    first of all: thanx for the rep, Rio

    Quote Originally Posted by TheSilverBranch View Post
    Ok, no I'm getting it: Small flexible forces (numeri), mixed units, no legions...
    A bit complicated though.
    Thanks a lot for your quick and detailed informations, but allow me two last questions:
    -how much numeri per region/diocese?
    -was the cavalry still organised in vexilationes?
    Let me try to answer your question with a quote of Sidonius Apollinaris ,a contemporary witness of that era and a high official - even Praefectus of Rome in 468AD.

    He describes the troops of emperor Maiorian of 458AD - during his march over the Alps to Gaul.
    Apoll. Sidon. carmina VII pages 328-330
    Bastarna, Suebus,
    Pannonius, Neurus, Chunus, Geta, Dacus, Halanus,
    Bellonotos, Rugus, Burgundio, Vesus, Alites,
    Bisalta, Ostrogothus, Procrustes, Sarmata, Moschus,
    post aquilas venere tuas; tibi militat omnis [a]
    Caucasus et Scythiae potor Tanaiticus undae.
    [a] After the Eagles came thy (or "to your people") , to serve for all of you....
    So, the author knows very well about the troops which had an "eagle" - in this case the Legions.

    Contemporary and antique names are mixed together - and we shouldn't forget that the text has a lyric or Panegyric Agenda. But if the Legions were still operating I think we should read and hear "accidentially" of them - which is not the case.
    I have read the chapter V - but beside the terms barbaribus auxiliaribus foederatisque I cannot read anything about regular troops anymore.

    That they were classified as foederatii (I have no reason to doubt) shows that we are not speaking about Auxilia Palatinae or any kind of regular Auxillaries. During the last days I have checked the complete part again - but I fear that I have just disappointing news.
    Actually there is really no reason to blieve that the empire had access to a noteworthy group of mobile roman forces.
    I personally think that the service in the Legions (even those of the 5th century/ in the east even during the 6th century) was more or less still performed by Romans only.
    The barbarization of West Roman military units has been a fact. But I'm sure that this occured more or less within the units of Auxiliae and Cohors as well as Milites or cavalry in general. The service in the few remaining mobile (!) legions was probably always a special feature - following his own rules. As said - you have to differ between Limitanei and Comitatenses. But the reasons why the Mobile-Legions were partially free of barbarians has different reasons. Later more about this.

    My researches, supported by the notes and statements of Tiemo Stickler, brought me to the result that the civil war between Bonifatius and Aetius has shaken and finally destroyed the rest of the last 2 main mobile field armies - namely that of Gaul and Africa.

    That some units survived is in my opinion possible - even if not provable!
    We shouldn't forget that Aetius has lost the battle against Bonifatius. That would suggest that the gallic field army was defeated - an army which was of course still composed by Legions.

    That the WRE had trouble to fill the rows with fresh roman recruits is a known fact. The service within a Legion was partially more hard compared to the Auxillaries. That's the reason why the empire had so many trouble to fill them - and on the other hand the empire had basically no noteworthy problems to deploy more and more barbarian Auxiliae during the 4th and beginning of the 5th century. But even this recruitment-sources seems ending since the middle of the 5th century.
    What we see now is a shift of complete barbarian contingents or military warbands into the field army - not following the old roman system of military units. Those units were at best part-time-field-units. Their reliability was always a matter of money.

    The last time we hear anything about a regular Numerus of the Limitanei is a story of the Holy Severinus and describes an event of the year 470AD. (Eugipp. Vita Severini IV 2 ; XX 1)
    A small group of the Numerus Batavinus (stationed at the Danube), probably 100 strong, was fighting and winning against a group of marauding bandits. But even this group was waiting for needed pay from Italy. Then the force was disbanded. The commander, a tribune named Mamertinus became bishop.

    In my opinion it is indeed possible that a certain group of Palatinae troups survived, always garrisoned near the emperor. If they numbered more than 2000-4000 is debatable. I say that's the maximum of available troops. Probably some of those units were still organized as "Legio".

    A typically "roman" field army was according my researches not existing anymore. That "here and there" an old unit formation had survived is likely - but not provable. In the case that a small group of them survived in Italy - one can suggest that it was reduced to static duties - e.g. as a garrison.
    To think about cavalry Vexillations would suggest that regular roman cavalry forces had survived to any degree within the mobile field armies (the vexillatio was part of the mobile armies).
    But then we come to the question why we read only about auxiliaribus foederatisque - serving under the Magistri.


    [1] The Bucellarii served just as mounted units - and performed the bodyguard service. To what degree the old formation of Candidati survived is irrelevant since they were just available to the emperor in a limited number.
    A dual system of Doryphoroi and Hypaspistai in the WRE is acc. my knowledge not available (compared to the ERE)

    [2] Numerus limitaneorum should be the name for the Limitanei. Probably 200 strong.
    [3] Numerus Legionis is my suggestion concerning remaining elements of the legionary field army.
    [4] Numerus XYZ should be the name for local deployed city garrisons (e.g. Numerus Mediolanum; Numerus Ravennatum; Numerus Veronensium etc etc)
    [5] Auxiliae (probably survived - but even those troops were meanwhile categorized under the term Numerus)
    [6] Milites - troops which were not matching one of the existing roman formations - also known in the Notitia. De facto they were a kind of barbarian auxillaries - serving under roman standards.

    The cavalry system is somewhat more difficult. But since I'm sure that all older institutions were gone the player should be forced to recruit barbarian mounted groups.
    Last edited by Pompeius Magnus; November 19, 2011 at 03:36 PM.

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    TheSilverBranch's Avatar Ikko-Ikki
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    Default Re: Where are the roman legions?

    Wow...
    Pompeius Magnus, your knowledge of roman military organization is simply astonishing, if I dare say that!
    Seems as I have to start a completely new game with the WRE, for my recent game now turned out to be completely unhistoric.

    I'll give you and Riothamus +Rep as soon as I've made the 50th post!
    Last edited by TheSilverBranch; November 19, 2011 at 02:15 PM.

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    Primative1's Avatar Hastatas Prior
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    Default Re: Where are the roman legions?

    I know it's a dumb question, but how do I give reputation for you and Riothamus?

    Click on the green '+' button but I think you have to have 25 posts.
    "I should like to see...the last king strangled with the guts of the last priest"

  17. #17
    Pompeius Magnus's Avatar primus inter pares
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    Default Re: Where are the roman legions?

    Thank you for the kind words mate

    to rep sombody just push at the plus-sign of the post you like and write some words
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 




    edit: Primative is right. Perhaps you cannot rep others because you need some more posts. :-(

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    legio_XX's Avatar Hastatas Prior
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    Default Re: Where are the roman legions?

    wow PM thanks for the post!

    One question how would this unit be used in RIOs time frame and beyond? I mostly use the same organization as the field and moble armys. so three heavy units and two light. for one unit but I want to now if it should change?

    P.S RIO I love how you balanced the Prima unit. they are very strong and yet not over powered. I have six of them in and I use them as well as the Palaintine units for the emporers Field Army (still slowly building one)
    "ANY person,country or race who use's religion as a pretext to kill or conquer deserves neither Religion nore Name"

  19. #19
    Riothamus's Avatar Rio
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    Default Re: Where are the roman legions?

    Quote Originally Posted by legio_XX View Post
    P.S RIO I love how you balanced the Prima unit. they are very strong and yet not over powered. I have six of them in and I use them as well as the Palaintine units for the emporers Field Army (still slowly building one)
    Thanks legio_XX..Trial and error in comparison to other Roman and barbarian unit types. The Prima unit should be well disciplined and trained with very high morale level


    Quote Originally Posted by Pompeius Magnus View Post

    [1] The Bucellarii served just as mounted units - and performed the bodyguard service. To what degree the old formation of Candidati survived is irrelevant since they were just available to the emperor in a limited number.
    A dual system of Doryphoroi and Hypaspistai in the WRE is acc. my knowledge not available (compared to the ERE)

    [2] Numerus limitaneorum should be the name for the Limitanei. Probably 200 strong.
    [3] Numerus Legionis is my suggestion concerning remaining elements of the legionary field army.
    [4] Numerus XYZ should be the name for local deployed city garrisons (e.g. Numerus Mediolanum; Numerus Ravennatum; Numerus Veronensium etc etc)
    [5] Auxiliae (probably survived - but even those troops were meanwhile categorized under the term Numerus)
    [6] Milites - troops which were not matching one of the existing roman formations - also known in the Notitia. De facto they were a kind of barbarian auxillaries - serving under roman standards.
    .
    Would like to integrate this Pompeius Magnus with due credit to you
    Last edited by Riothamus; November 20, 2011 at 12:00 PM.

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  20. #20
    Pompeius Magnus's Avatar primus inter pares
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    Default Re: Where are the roman legions?

    sounds great.
    Take whatever you need. This supports also a seamless connection between Vltra Gloriam and AoD2.

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