Johann Joachim Eschenburg.

Manual of classical literature : from the German of J.J. Eschenburg, with additions online

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269



270 ROMAN ANTIQUITIES.

10 deduce the value of the Roman libra, as tlie congius is said to have held ten pounds of wine
or water. 5. The actual measurement of ancient buildings now standing at Rome is a method
which is thouglit to be most satisfactory. By these various methods the Roman foot is made
nearly equal to 12 inches.

Gassendi-s experiment to ascertain the Libra from the Congius is related in Diss. I. appended to vol. iii. of GogutVa Origin of

laws. &c. Anion? the authorities on the Roman money, weights, and measures, the following may be named in addition to those

cited § 210.— Kdslna: Matthix, and IVurm, as cited § 174.— G. Budxus, De Asse et partibus ejus, libri v. Lugd. 1551. 8.—/. F,
Oronou. De Sesiertiis. L. B. 1691.— R. Scofrini, Syntagma de ponderibus et meusuris Rom. Leipz. 1714. 8.— The treatises of Pastu*
and others in the I llh vol. of Grievius, cited § 197.— O. Hooper, Slate of the Ancient Measures, the Attic, Roman, and Jewish, with
an Appendix concerning the old English Money, &c. (published 1721). Also in his works. Oxf. 1757. fol.— /. Greaves, Description
of the Roman Fool and Denarius. — /. .Srbuthnot, Tables of Ancient Coins, &c. Lond. 1727. 4. — B. Langwilh, Otiservations on
Dr. Arbuthnofs Disserlation on Coins, Weights, &c. Lond. 1754. 4.— Of later authors in Metrology, Letromie and H'urm (cf.
§ 174) are most eminent. Cf. EoutiUVs Diclioiinaire Classique ; in which (as also in Cong-cr'i Essay) are good tables of the Greek
and Roman weights and measures.— Cf. also Freret, Les mesures tongues des anciens, in the Mem. Jlcad. Inscr. vol. xxiv. p, 432.—
Gosseti7i. Systemes metriques lineares d'antiquite, in the Mem. de Vlmtitut, C 1 a s s e d'Hist. et Lit. .inc. vol. vi. 44 —A Hutsey,
Essay on the ancient Weights and Money, with an Appendix on the Roman and Greek Foot Oxf. 1837. 8.



III. AFFAIRS OF WAR.

§ 275. The Romans were of all the nations of antiquity pre-eminently war-
like; and by an uninterrupted series of great military enterprises made a rapid
and remarkable advancement in power and dominion. Hence an acquaintance
with what pertains to their military antiquities must aid in forming a just idea
of their character and the original sources of their greatness.

1 u. This knowledge is to be drawn from their chief historians as the primary source;
particularly from the commentaries of Julius Ccssar, and the historical works of Livy
and Tacitus ; to which we may add the Greek writers on Roman history, Polybius and
Appian, on account of their constant reference to miUtary affairs. Besides these sources,
there are the Roman writers who have made it their chief object to describe the Roman
art of war, in its various particulars; viz. Hyginus, Frontinus, and Vegetius.

2 u. It is from these sources that those who have formed treatises and manuals of
Roman antiquities have derived their materials on this branch of the subject.

/. Lijisius, de Militia Romana (a comment, on Polybius). Antv. 1606. 4.—C. de Aquino, Lexicon Militare. Romje, 1724. 2 voh.
fol.— A^ast und Rosch, Romische KriegsalterthUmer, aus echten Quellen geschopft. Halle, 1782. S. A good manual on this branch
of antiquities — The lOth vol. of Grxvius (cited § 19") consists of treatises by R. H. Schelius and others, on the military affairs of the
Romans. — Cf also Rollin, on the Art military, in The Hisfciry of the Arts and Scieitces of the Ancients ; found in his .indent His-
tory. N. York, IS35. 2 vols. S.—Duncan^s Disc, on the Rom. Art of War, in his Transl. of Cssar, cited P. V. § 528. 7.— C. Guif
card, Memoires crit. et hist, sur plus, points d'antiquites militaires. Berlin, 1773. 4 vols. 8. Cf. § 42.-^^6 Beau, Memoirs on Roman
Legion. &c. in the Mem. de VAcad. des Inscr. in difl'erent vols, from 25th to 42d.— De Maizeroi, to compleie the design of Le Beau,
in same Mem. SfC vol. xlii —Heyne, on the Roman Legion, &c. Cf. Class. Jotim. xi. 169.— Gibbon, in his Rom. Emp. ch. i.

§ 276. On account of the frequent changes in the military system of the Ro.
mans in the successive periods and revolutions of their history, the antiquary
must, in treating of this subject, pay constant attention to the order of time.
Of the Roman art of war in its earliest state,we have but imperfect accounts ;
but we know that the warlike spirit of the nation showed itself under the kings,
and gave no dubious intimations of their future career. — In the division of the
people into three tribes, made by Romulus, a thousand men for foot soldiers and
a hundred for horsemen were taken from each tribe, and thus originated the
Jirst Roman legion [containing therefore 3,000 foot soldiers, besides the 300
horsemen]. The 300 horsemen, called celeres, and constituting in time of
peace a bodyguard of the king, were disbanded by Numa, but reorganized by
Tullus Hostilius, and increased by the addition of 300 noble Albani; the whole
number of GOO was doubled by Tarquinius Priscus; and the body of horsemen
at last comprised 2,400 men.

There is not a perfect agreement in the accounts given respecting the number of men in the
cavalry at difft^rent periods (cf. Livy, i. 30, 36; Plutarch, Romul. 13, 20; Cicero, De Republ. ii.
20) ; and thsre is room for some doubt, whether the whole number at the close of the regal power
and in the flourishing times of the republic should be stated as 21,00, or as 36,00, or as 54,00.— See
Zumpt and Marquardt, as cited $ 256. 2.

§ 277. No one could be a soldier under 17, and all between 17 and 45 were
enrolled among the class of younger men, and liable to service ; while those over
45 were ranked among the elder men, excused from military duty. They were
always received to service under a formal oath {sacr amentum). The regular
time of service was 16 years for foot soldiers, and 10 for horsemen; it was not
customary, however, to serve this number of years in succession, and whoever,
Ht the age of 50, had no^ served the prescribed number of campaigns was still



p. in. MILITARY AFFAIRS. DIVISION OF THE ARMY. 27'

excused from the rest. Persons of no property (capiie censi) were not included
in the rule of requisition as to service, because havinor nothing to lose, they
were not supposed to possess sufficient bravery and patriotism. In protracted
wars the time of service was sometimes extended four years long'er, and under
the emperors 20 years became the regular period, except for the imperial guard,
who were required to serve but 16. As all the soldiers were Roman citizens
and free-born, the rank of soldier was in high estimation ; and their peculiar
rights and privileges were termed jus mililicB. Freedmen could be admitted
only into naval service. — In the earliest times the Roman order of battle re-
sembled the Grecian phalanx. Subsequently it was a custom to form several
platoons or divisions. At a later period the method of three lines was adopted,
which will be described below (§ 28G).

§ 278. During the freedom of Rome, as has been mentioned, the army was
usually commanded by one of the consuls. A consular army commonly con-
sisted of two legions of foot, and six hundred horse, all native Romans. For
two consuls a double number was requisite, 4 legions and 1,200 horse. The
legion contained originally 3,000 fool-soldiers, but gradually increased to 6,000
and higher. In the second Punic war it consisted of 6,200 foot with 300 horse ;
and each legion had at that time six tribunes, of whom there were of course as
many as 24 in all. These tribunes were chosen by the people, partly from the
equites, partly from the plebeians.

1. The number of foot-soldiers in a leeion appears to have varied much at different times.
Cf. Livy, vii. 25; xxix. 24; xliv. 21 ; Poh/bius, iii. 12.

2 u. In cases of great urgency, those who had served their time and were over six-
and-forty years of age, were yet bound to defend their country, and to fill vacancies in
the city legions ; in such emergencies, freedmen and slaves were sometimes enlisted.
Soldiers received at such times of sudden alarm {tnmultus) were called' tumultarii or
suhitarii; those of them enlisting voluntarily were called volones.

3 u. Entire freedom from military duty was enjoyed only by the senators, augurs,
and others holding a priestly office, and persons suffering some bodily weakness or
defect. Remission of some part of the legal term of service was, however, often granted
as a revvard of bravery ; this was called vacatio lionorata.

§ 279. In the levying of the soldiers {delectus), the following were the usages
most worthy of notice. The consuls announced by a herald the time of a levy
{diem edicehant) ; then every citizen, liable to service, must appear, on peril of
his property and liberty, at the Campus IMartius ; each consul elected for him-
self two legions, assisted by the military tribunes. The common soldiers were
taken from all the tribes, which were called successively and separately in an
order decided by lot. Four men were selected at a time, of which the tribunes
of each legion, in rotation, took {legerunf) one. Afterwards the oath of fidelity
{sacramenium) was taken, first by the Consuls and Tribunes, then by the Cen-
turions and the Decuriones, and lastly by the common soldiers. Then the names
of the latter class were placed in the roll of the legion, and under the emperors
a mark was branded on the right hand, that they might be recognized, if they
attempted desertion. Compulsory levying, resorted to in necessities, was called
conquisilio ; the same thing among the allies was termed conscripiin.

§ 280. After the levy was made, the legions were directed to another place
of assembling, in which they were formed into divisions and furnished with
arms. The younger and feebler were placed among the light troops, velites ,•
the older and richer among the heavy-armed ; to which class belonged the hasiali,
pruicipes, and triarii.

1 u. The hasiali were young men in the flower of life, named from the long spear
used by them at first, and occupying the foremost line in battle; the principes vvero
the men in full vigor of middle age, standing in the second line in battle ; the triarii
the more advanced in age, veterans, constituting the third line in battle and taking thence
their name. A legion, when it consisted of 3,000, had 1,200 hastati, 1,200 p7hicipes,
and 600 triarii. The last number always remained the same ; the two former were
variously increased, and light-armed troops {velites or milites leves) were added ac-
cording to pleasure.

On the three ranks, hastati, &c., Le Beau, as cited § 275. Mem, ^ vol. xiii. p. 325.

2 u On this occasion when the troops were formed into divisions, the colors or stand-



272 ROMAN ANTIQUITIES.

ards were brought forth from the Capitol and treasury, and committed to the proper

officers (cf. § 282).

§ 281. The subdivisions were originally manipuli or centurias, containing each
a hundred men; and the leader and captain of this mimber was called Centurio,
—When the legion was divided into the three ranks of the hastati,princ{pes, and
iriarii, each rank had at first fifteen maniples ; and the whole legion, of course,
forty-five maniples. These maniples were all equal, consisting of 60 regular
privates, two centurions, and a standard-bearer. The maniples of the hastati
had 300 men of the velites, distributed equally among them; to the triarii also
were allowed thirty companies of the same ; the principes had none.

1 u. At another period the legion was divided into 30 maniples, and each of the three
ranks into 10. The maniples of the triarii contained still the same number, 60 men in
each, 600 in all ; those of the hastati and principes contained double ihe number, 120
men in each, 2,400 in all of both ranks ; among these were divided 1,200 light-armed
soldiers ; thus making a legion of 4,200. Each maniple was now divided into two ceti'
turies, sometimes called ordines. The tenth part of a legion, three maniples of each
rank, and therefore including 300 men, was called a cohors, and from the number of
men contained, tricennaria ; when the legion contained 4,200, the cohort had 420, and
was termed quadrigenaria ; so also when larger, quingejiaria and sexcenaria.

On the cohort, Le Stau, as cited § 275. Mem, !fC vol. xxxii. p. 279.

2 u. Each maniple had now two centurions, distinguished as prior and posterior ; and
every centurion had his assistant, called uragus, suhcenturio, and optio. — The 300 horse-
men belonging to a legion were divided into 10 turmcE, and each turma into 3 decuricB,
consisting of 10 horsemen, whose head or chief was called decurio.

§ 282. Each maniple had its standard, placed in its midst when in battle.
The chief standard was always in the first maniple of the triarii, which was
styled primus pilus. The images and figures upon the Roman standards were
various; but the principal standard, common to the whole legion, was a silver
eagle on a staff or pole, sometimes holding a thunderbolt in his claws, an em-
blem of the Roman power or success. Those of the infantry were usually
termed signa,- those of the cavalry, vexilla; the bearers, signiftri, or vexillarii.

1. The vexillum, a flag or banner, was a square piece of cloth, hung from a bar fixed
across a spear near its upper end. It was used sometimes for foot-soldiers, especially
for veterans, who were retained after their term of service ; these were by distinction
called vexillarii, as they fought under this peculiar standard (sub vexillo) ; they were also
called siibsigiiani. On the flag were commonly seen the abbreviations for S(7iatus popu-
lusque Romanus, or the name of the emperor, in golden or purple letters. — The signum
was originally a handful of hay, expressed by the word 7nanipuliis, and it was from this
circumstance that a division of soldiers came to be so called. Afterwards it was a spear
or staff with a crosspiece of wood, sometimes with the figure of a hand above it, in
allusion perhaps to the word vianipulux ; having below the crosspiece a small shield,
round or oval, sometimes two, bearing images of the gods or emperors. Augustus in-
troduced an ensign formed by fixing a globe on the head of a spear or staff, denoting
the dominion of the world. When Constantine embraced Christianity, he adopted a
new imperial standard which was termed the Laharum ; it is described as a long pike
with a transverse yard at the top, in the form of a cross; from this yard was hung a
silken veil or banner, of purple color, richly embroidered and ornamented ; the portion
of the standard above the cross-yard was wrought into a monogram for the word
XpicTTog. — The standards and colors were regarded with superstitious veneration by all
classes of the army.

In our Plate XXXIII. eleven different forms of Roman standards are given, in the figures
marked by the letter C— Fig. D is the ha-nd nf Mohammed, a son of sacred standard or sign of the
prophet's power among his followers ; it is taken from Morier (cited P. V. $ 243. 3), who repre-
sents it as carried in religious processions in Persia. Two forms of ancient Persian standards
are also given, in the figures marked B.— The eight marked A are Egyptian. — Several Roman
standards are seen also m Plate XXIX ; cf. $ 224.

Respecting Ihe Labarum, see L. Coleman, Antiquities of Chr. Church, Note prefixed to Explanation of Plates,— Cf. Clasi. Joum.
vol. iv. p. 222.

2. Near the standard was usually the station of the musicians. — " The Romans used
only wind-music in their army ; the instruments which served for that purpose may be
distinguished into the tiibcB, the cornua, the buccincB, and the litui. — The tubo is supposed
to have been exactly like our trumpet, running on wider and wider in a direct line to
the orifice. — The cornua were bent almost round ; they owe their name and original
to the horns of beasts, put to the same use in the ruder ages. — The buccince seem to
have had the same rise, and may derive their name from bos and cano. It is hard to
distinguish these from the cornua, unless they were something less and not quite so



PLATE XXXIII.







274 ROMAN ANTIQUITIES.

crooked. — The Ikui were a middle kind between the cornua and tubcB, being almost
straight, only a httle turning in at the top, hke the lituus or sacred rod of the augurs ;
whence they borrowed their name. — These instruments being all made of brass, the
players on them went under the name of ceneatores, besides the particular terms of
tuhicines, cornicines, luccinatores, &c. ; and there seems to have been a set number
assigned to every manipulus and turma ; besides several of higher order, and common
to the whole legion. In a battle, the former took their station by the ensign and
colors of their particular company or troop ; the others stood near the chief eagle in a
ring, hard by the general and prime officers; and when the alarm was to be given, at
the word of the general, these latter began it, and were followed by the common
sound of the rest, dispersed through the several parts of the army. — Besides this clas
sicum, or alarm, the soldiers gave a general shout at the first encounter, which in later
ages they called barritus, from a German original." {Kennet.)

A form of the Roman comu is seen in Plate XXVI. fig. B ; of the Ztluiu, probably, in fig. n. See Galand, La Trompette chet

les anciens, in the Mem. Acad. Inscr. vol. i. p. \0i.—Gala7id, De Tubse origine et usu apud Veteres, in U^oUnus, vol. xxxii. as cited

§^283. The weapons of the soldiers differed accordino^ to the class to which
they belonged. The velites had a round shield (parma), about three feet in
diameter, a spear for hurling {hasta velitaris), a helmet of ox-hide (^cudo), or of
the skin of a wild beast (galerus), and in later times a sword. — The hastati bore
a large shield {scutum), three and a half and four feet long and over, of thin
boards covered with leather and iron plate ; a short but stiff and pointed sword
(gladius), on the right hip; two javelins of wood with iron points {pita), one
longer and the other shorter; an iron or brazen helmet {galea), w\\h a crest
adorned with plumes {crista) ; greaves for the legs, plated with iron {ncreae)^
used in later times only for the right leg; a coat of mail {lorica), formed of
metal or hide, worked over with little hooks of iron, and reaching from the
breast to the loins, or a breastplate {thorax') merely. — The principes and triarii
used weapons of the same kind ; excepting that the triarii had longer spears,
called hasisE longx, in later times lancex, and long swords, called spathas, or
when of smaller size, semi-spaihse. — The shield was marked by the name of the
soldier and the number of the legion and maniple to which he belonged. Who-
ever returned from battle without his shield, forfeited his life. — The weapons
of the cavalry were similar to the Grecian (cf. § 138) : a war cap {cassis), a
coat of mail, an oblong shield, greaves or boots, a lance or javelin, and sword
and dagger, which last was used only in close fight.

The horsemen in fig. 1, of Plate XXX. have a small round shield. Cf. $235.3. A sort of shield
is also seen in fig. 2 of the same Plate ; which represents a Roman knight attacking a barbarian
soldier ; from an antique gem. Both these figures show the horseman's spear. — The scutum and
fladtus of the soldier are seen in Plate XXXIll. fig. 1, which is a Roman legionary, taken from
Trajan's Pillar (cf. P. IV. $ 188. 2).— The shield is likewise seen in fig. 2, which represents a
legionary with the accouterments and baggage, which he was obliged always to carry in march-
ing (cf. $ 298. 2).— The lorica or coat of mail may be seen in Plate XXII. fig. 5, in which the legs
as well as the body are defended by mail ; this is the figure given in Calmet to illustrate the
armor of Goliath, the Philistine ; it presents also his shield-bearing attendant. Cf. 1 Sam. xvii.
4-7. — In fig. 8, a coal of mail covers the arms; the helmet here seen e.xtends down behind to
defend the neck as well as head ; the figure is drawn from Trajan's Column. In Plate XXX.
fie. n, is a Dacian horseman completely c<ivered with scale armor; as is his horse also. — For
other articles of armor, see Plates XVII. and XXII. Cf. $$ 45 and 139.

On tne Roman armor, see Meyrtck, as cited § IS9.— Also, Le Beau (as cited § 275) in the Mem. de V.icad. SfC vol. xxxix. p 437.

§ 284. According to the common accounts, the Roman soldiery received no
pay during the first three hundred years of the city, and wages {stipendium)
were first given to foot-soldiers B. C. 405, and to horsemen three years after. p]ach
soldier had a monthly allowance {demensum) of about two bushels of wheat,
and a stipend of three asses per day. The stipend was afterwards greater;
Julius Caesar doubled it, and under the emperors it sometimes rose still higher.
The wages were sometimes doubled to particular soldiers or bodies of them as
a reward ; such were called duplicarii. Certain days were fixed for the distri-
bution of the allowance of corn. Whatever any one saved of his pay was called
peculium castrense ; half of which was always deposited with the standards,
until the term of service expired.

1 u. Various extraordinary rewards were given to those who distinguished them-
selves in war, called dotia militaria. Donatives, donativa, on the other hand, were
gifts or largesses distributed to the whole army on particular occasions, as e. g. in ca.ses
of success, when also sacrifices and games were celebrated. Among the rewards,
olden and gilded crowns were particularly common ; as, the corona castrensis or val-



p. III. MILITARY AFFAIRS. REWARDS. PUNISHMENTS. 275

Zari's to him who first entered the enemy's entrenchments; corona muralis, to hin;
who first scaled the enemy's walls; and corona navalis, for seizing a vessel of the
enemy in a sea-fight ; also wreaths and crowns formed of leaves and blossoms; as
the corona civica, of oak leaves, conferred for freeing a citizen from death or captivity
at the hands of the enemy ; the coro7ia ohsidionalis, of grass, for delivering a besieged
city; and the corona triumphalis, of laurel, worn by a triumphing general.

The various crowns above named are exhibited in Plate XVI. Fig. 1 is the civica ; fig. 2, the
ea.'!trej>sis ; 3, the obsidiovalis ; 4, the muralis ; 5, the navaiis ; 7, the triumphalis.— Fig. 6 is the
radiata, such as appears to have been worn by the emperors.

2. " There were smaller rewards iprcEmia minora) of various kinds; as a spear with-
out any iron on it {hasja pura) ; a flag or banner, i. e. a streamer on the end of a lance
or spear (vexillum). of different colors, with or without embroidery ; trappings iphalercB).
ornaments for horses, and for men ; golden chains {aurece torques), which°went round
the neck, whereas the phalercB hung down on the breast; bracelets [armillcB), orna-
ments for the arms ; cornicula, ornaments for the helmet in the form of horns ; caiellce
or catem/lcB, chains composed of rings; whereas the torques were twisted (tortcp) like a
rope; fbuIcB, clasps or buckles for fastening a belt or garment." {Adam). Another
form of reward was an exemption from service (vacatio) by release before the legal
terni was .finished (cf. § 278. 3). At the expiration of the term of service, the soldiers
received a bounty or donation in land or money, which was sometimes called emerilum ;
those who had served their time out being also called emeriti.

The torques is seen on the Dying Gladiator (cf. P. IV. § 186. 9).—See Archxologia (as cited P. IV. § 32. 5), vol. xxii. p. 2S3, on
an ancieut bronze bracelet.

§ 285. The punishments inflicted for misdemeanors and crimes were very
severe, both in garrison and in camp. Theft, false testimony, neglect of watch,
leaving a post assigned, or cowardly flight, was visited with the punishment
called /its7«ormm, in which, on a signal from a tribune, the whole legion fell to
beating the offender with sticks, usually until his death ; if he escaped, his dis-
grace was scarcely preferable to death. When a whole maniple had fled, this
punishment was inflicted on every tenth man, being taken by lot, and the rest
were chased from the camp, and received only barley instead of wheat for their
allowance. Often disgrace was inflicted in other ways, as by loss of pay



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