Post by [GG]Lord von Döbeln on Nov 29, 2004 7:00:09 GMT -5
I am certainly not an expert and anyone out there correct me if I'm wrong but The Marius (don't know if Marius was a politician or generla or both) reforms changed the organization, recruitment practices and general make up of the Roman army. That is why you get different units after Marius in RTW. Please correct me and/or explain in more details those of you who know more.
"Let no bastard pass the bridge!"
- General Johan August Sandels in The Tales of Ensign Stål by Johan Ludvig Runeberg
Marius came face to face with a problem that would eventually result in his greatest contribution to Roman legionary organization. From the very beginning of its history, Rome had accepted only soldiers of means, capable of purchasing their own armor and supplies and, as owners of land and property, having a financial stake in the success of Roman arms. Any Roman male who did not meet the property and land qualifications was not permitted to serve. The armies of the Republic had been almost continuously at war for the entire second century, from the Second Punic War to the wars against Jugurtha. Rome and her Italian allies had been systematically denuded of suitable manpower to fight for Rome's new, imperial, obligations. Marius, who probably had little real understanding of the earthshaking implications of his idea, decided to go for manpower to the despised capite censi, the "head count"; in other words, the illiterate, landless, volatile Roman mob. For generations, small farmers had been displaced in Italy as wealthy senators and knights bought up their land and put slaves to work it. Since the Gracchi, thousands of displaced former landholders had swelled the city of Rome. The landless had fought before in Rome's armies in minor, supportive positions. Marius proposed to give them all full-time employment.
Historians of Rome agree that this single action, which took poor men and put them under a great general who promised them booty, land upon retirement, and forged an emotional relationship with them, created a whole new type of soldier, loyal not to Rome's institutions, but to the status and wealth his general could provide. In addition, having no homes or land to go back to, the new soldiers tended to become career professionals, in the legions for 20-25 years before retirement. Marius' new legions prefigured Caesar's troops crossing the Rubicon, the later Praetorian Guard who made and broke Emperors, and the eventual empowerment of the Roman legions to choose and control the autocrats of state. All this, however, was buried in the future. At the moment, in 107 BC, Marius simply ignored the law requiring that Roman soldiers own anywhere from 3,000 to 11,000 sestertii in property, and filled his armies from the milling Roman mob.
Post by [GG]ThinRedLine on Nov 29, 2004 12:57:59 GMT -5
Yes this is all true.
Marius was also responsible for sweeping reform in command structure. Around this time (also refered to as Caeserian Rome) the Roman army's structure, size and equipment evolved from that of the Old Republic period to that of the Marian Roman period.
The basis, indeed the heart of the Roman Army was still the Legionarie, they were now just better equipped and trained then their predecessors.
So, Mac, for the Romans it was sort of like BC and AD.