Raising legions

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Raising legions

Postby Marcus Pomponius Lupus on Sun Feb 02, 2003 10:40 pm


When reading Caesar, one can't help but noticing the amount of times Caesar raises another legion, but how did this work ? Take Gallia Cisalpina for example, at about 60 BC, how does one "raise a legion" in that area ?

Are simply all males between 7 and 77 ordered to join the army ? Who could be excused from duty ? Did they use pamflets of Caesar in a strange hat pointing at the reader, saying "I want YOU" ? How did they get their training so fast ? (for example, in book two of de Bello Gallico, Caesar raises two legions in Gallia Cisalpina that are immediately taken into enemy territory, did they not need training ?) What does such an action mean for an area that will suddenly lose a large number of young men ? etc...

Hmm, after writing all this I must conclude that I actually know nothing about it....enlighten me ! ;-)

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Postby Publius Dionysius Mus on Sat Mar 29, 2003 1:17 pm


A little late maybe, but anyway:

I found some literature on this subject:

Birley, Eric, "The Origins of Legionary Centurions," Roman Britain and the Roman Army (Kendal 1953).

Brunt, P. A., "Conscription and Volunteering in the Roman Imperial Army," Scripta Classica Israelica 1 (1974) 90-115 [a copy at UCLA: PA 1 .S434 v.1].

Forni, Giovanni, Il reclutamento delle legioni da Augusto a Diocleziano (Milano/Roma 1953).

Forni, Giovanni, "Estrazione etnica e sociale dei soldati delle legioni nei primi tre secoli dell' Impero," Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt II.1 (Berlin/NY 1974) 339-391.

Grenier, A., "Le recruitment des legionnaires romaines en Narbonnaise," Bulletin de la Société des Antiquaires de France (1956), 35 ff.

Kraft, Konrad, Zur Rekruitierung der ALen und Kohorten an Rhein und Donau (berne 1951) [Dissertationes Bernenses, I,3.].

Mann, J.C., "The Raising of New Legions during the Principate," Hermes 91 (1963) 483-489.

Mann, J.C, Legionary Recruitment and Veteran Settlement during the Principate (1983).

Parker, H.M.D., The Roman Legions (Oxford 1928) 169-186.

Sasel, J., "Zur Rekruitierung der Prätorianer," Historia 21 (1972) 474 ff.

Speidel, Michael, "A Thousand Thracian Recruits for Mauretania Tingitana," Ant Afr 11 (1977) 167-173.

Speidel, Michael P., "Stablesiani. The Raising of New Cavalry Units during the Crisis of the Roman Empire," Chiron 4 (1974) 341-346.

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