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Old November 12th, 2015, 07:54 AM   #41

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Cohors I Tungrorum with 6 centurions is notionally a cohors quingenaria of 480, it has 752.

It is in the process of being increased to cohors milliaria.

Vindolanda Tablet 154 * Leaf No. 1 (front)
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Old November 12th, 2015, 09:03 AM   #42

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Not much imho. the English and the Norse had similar battle tactics/military philosophies, largely since they had the same ultimate Germanic roots. Offa was fighting in shield walls, and he was King of Mercia long before the Viking Age or a united England existed.
Correction, the Saxon, and Norse had not much difference. In fact the Normans would not have been much different either for that fact.

The only real lynch pin, is the fact that Harald had to fight the Norse and then force march to face the Normans. Time was not his ally.
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Old November 12th, 2015, 10:22 AM   #43

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Well there is always the funny side!




The story goes they used 4 legions to conquer the place. Then there was the auxiliaries. But units seldom remain at full strength. In the longer run 20,000 was the garrison strength of Britain. Full time soldiers cost money.

I'm 55 years old, I've spent 35 years reviewing these questions. There is the "ideal" and there is the "reality". Reality is always an accident waiting to happen! If things always fitted the ideal, then no nation could ever fall!


Can you explain why the Romans are still building legionary fortresses of 25 hectares in the early third century?
We know from Vindolanda that a cohors quingenaria fort was 1.4 hectares, all three legionary fortresses are over 20 hectares.
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Old November 12th, 2015, 10:30 PM   #44
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Can you explain why the Romans are still building legionary fortresses of 25 hectares in the early third century?
We know from Vindolanda that a cohors quingenaria fort was 1.4 hectares, all three legionary fortresses are over 20 hectares.
It's a complex question Haesten. Of course refined argument on the strength of the Roman army is outside the scope of this thread. Early third century the Empire was still at the height of it powers. But as the third century progressed a crisis ensued. IMO the Empire was a victim of its own success. More recent opinion concludes that the Empire was much a larger entity than previous imaginings in both terms of population and industrial production. Older opinion has it that the Empire reached a population height of 50 million. But now the more likely figure is 100 million. Quite a success story considering the present day population of the former Empire area is around 600 million.
I suspect primarily the problem was the Empire is it stripped itself clean of commodities that could be reached with contemporary technology. We see for example that iron torso armor for Roman infantry disappeared in the third century and was reserved for cavalry. Essentially the Empire was a victim of its own success. We must remember that the majority of of its inhabitants lived on the margin. Us poor Germanics of course are inheritors of the Latin spiritual culture. Along with the latter day Latins. They call that Western Europe. But as the Latins said, those Germanic's are a funny people and very inquisitive and defended themselves.. Hence Germany not stripped clean of ore, it was they who developed the oxygen controlled furnace. Hence the Knight's iron bodice and hence iron casings for machinery such as steam pumps.
Primarily because the Germanic's resisted Roman advance. And hence kept productivity that advanced to a core of commodities that put into production that could be advanced to new technology. The Latin's owe us a lot, for we succeeded were they failed. but nothing is assured!
We too are more inclined to become victims of our own success!

But I still tell you that numbers cost money! Don't tell me the Romans didn't do cost cutting! However we owe them something, they laid the intellectual basis of our culture!
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Old November 12th, 2015, 11:30 PM   #45

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more threads on this, most interesting...
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Old November 12th, 2015, 11:45 PM   #46

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It's a complex question Haesten. Of course refined argument on the strength of the Roman army is outside the scope of this thread. Early third century the Empire was still at the height of it powers. But as the third century progressed a crisis ensued. IMO the Empire was a victim of its own success. More recent opinion concludes that the Empire was much a larger entity than previous imaginings in both terms of population and industrial production. Older opinion has it that the Empire reached a population height of 50 million. But now the more likely figure is 100 million. Quite a success story considering the present day population of the former Empire area is around 600 million.
I suspect primarily the problem was the Empire is it stripped itself clean of commodities that could be reached with contemporary technology. We see for example that iron torso armor for Roman infantry disappeared in the third century and was reserved for cavalry. Essentially the Empire was a victim of its own success. We must remember that the majority of of its inhabitants lived on the margin. Us poor Germanics of course are inheritors of the Latin spiritual culture. Along with the latter day Latins. They call that Western Europe. But as the Latins said, those Germanic's are a funny people and very inquisitive and defended themselves.. Hence Germany not stripped clean of ore, it was they who developed the oxygen controlled furnace. Hence the Knight's iron bodice and hence iron casings for machinery such as steam pumps.
Primarily because the Germanic's resisted Roman advance. And hence kept productivity that advanced to a core of commodities that put into production that could be advanced to new technology. The Latin's owe us a lot, for we succeeded were they failed. but nothing is assured!
We too are more inclined to become victims of our own success!

But I still tell you that numbers cost money! Don't tell me the Romans didn't do cost cutting! However we owe them something, they laid the intellectual basis of our culture!
If the Romans did cost cutting as you say and Legio XX Valeria Victrix had been reduced to 1,000 men by the time of Septimius Severus, why is Septimius spending shed loads of money rebuilding their fortress to house 9,000 men?

As I said, a 4 million population supporting a Roman garrison of 50,000 is very sound and a good base for a Domesday army of half that.

The fyrd system meant a full time army of 8,000 could be turned into an army of 50,000 for two months service, plus about 17,000 huscarls.

This is a bit of a problem for Harold in 1066 when the fyrd service is long spent and he is left with just his and his brothers' share of the huscarls, plus any mercenaries he could afford and the troops sent from Denmark by his cousin Sweyn.

What we can say for certain is, "an army marches on its stomach".
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Old November 13th, 2015, 06:11 AM   #47
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As I said, a 4 million population supporting a Roman garrison of 50,000 is very sound and a good base for a Domesday army of half that.
A population of 4 million for Roman Britain is a difficult question. We best remember that this population doesn't have the same meaning as today. In this era in our modern Western countries everybody is counted. (continuing with the spirit of this thread) No matter how little they have to offer.In the this ancient world, most of the population lived on the margin. These ancient people breed-ed fast and died fast as soon as things turned bad. If there was 4 million then 2 million was living on the most extreme margin and died in the first starvation without the Roman hierarchy batting an eyelid.
What is 4 million if half of that don't reach their 21st birthday?

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As I said, a 4 million population supporting a Roman garrison of 50,000 is very sound and a good base for a Domesday army of half that.
Yep, you really need to revisit that question. Today we have machine technology that supports a person from the day they are born. At least in our modern Western nations. A few hundred years hence and it will all run out. I guess for Australia "Mad Max" will be the once and future king.
Nuclear technology has failed. The fast breeder reactor creates temperatures too high for any material technology to support. So endless energy is not at hand......the future is Mad Max, or the good old ways! Trying to brain your opponent with a rock for a scrap of bread.
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If the Romans did cost cutting as you say and Legio XX Valeria Victrix had been reduced to 1,000 men by the time of Septimius Severus, why is Septimius spending shed loads of money rebuilding their fortress to house 9,000 men?
My god man! Septimius Severus was the last great effort to preserve the Empire. His last effort to was to enslave the Picts. And what matter what numbers he sent against them, the Empire was dead! For he he ultimately failed! So much for fortune, for it speaks a truth that men must not utter!

My real Surname is Higson, which is old western norse in origin and originates not 10 miles from Chester. Oh, I know old Gum's strategy or old Ingimumnd's fight. Sneak in, convince those poor Anglo-Danish that I'm some harmless puppy?With a resolute force aimed at Chester, the city that pins Watling street. At first I thought him a fool. (He built his castle in a swamp ) but no, the man was a genius! To capture the most fortified city of dark age Britain. If he had done so AS Mercia would have been lost. But at the time the Viking cause was lost.....but not entirely! We still live! With our enhanced logic chip!
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Old November 13th, 2015, 07:40 AM   #48
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In the this ancient world, most of the population lived on the margin. These ancient people breed-ed fast and died fast as soon as things turned bad. If there was 4 million then 2 million was living on the most extreme margin and died in the first starvation without the Roman hierarchy batting an eyelid
This is wrong.

'Most of the population' (i.e., nearly all of it) lived in scattered rural communities. That might be 'marginal' to modern standards, but to them it was the overwhelming norm. And if half of them died in some once-in-a-millennium super-famine, the Roman hierarchy would certainly notice, as that leaves half the food table empty. They might've been only dimly-aware of their existence (Roman Britain was a very wild province), but they'd know if they were gone.

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or the good old ways! Trying to brain your opponent with a rock for a scrap of bread
The existence of bread is ample proof such 'ways' never existed.

Last edited by Domhnall Balloch; November 13th, 2015 at 07:49 AM.
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Old November 13th, 2015, 11:20 AM   #49

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What is 4 million if half of that don't reach their 21st birthday?
In Domesday England if a male you made it to 18 (military age) life expectancy was another 46 years, about 2 years longer than Roman Britain.
Average life expectancy for a female was 35 years, dangers of child birth, in that time they could have knocked out 20 children.
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Old November 13th, 2015, 04:45 PM   #50
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This is wrong.

'Most of the population' (i.e., nearly all of it) lived in scattered rural communities. That might be 'marginal' to modern standards, but to them it was the overwhelming norm. And if half of them died in some once-in-a-millennium super-famine, the Roman hierarchy would certainly notice, as that leaves half the food table empty. They might've been only dimly-aware of their existence (Roman Britain was a very wild province), but they'd know if they were gone.

The existence of bread is ample proof such 'ways' never existed.
Believe me, what we know in our current Western nations is an aberration. It will not last! But in older times most died of malnutrition. Too little food and a disease would take hold or a plague and then one would die. Survival was good for the upper classes while it lasted. That is why so many landless Vikings made their way to England. They wanted that slot of the Thing-man, that square mile of land to own, That would ensure their survival.

It is only with modern technology that the illusion of never ending supply is created. 80 years ago the population of the world was 2 billion they say. Today it is above 7 billion. And millions of 'refugees' are trying to make their way to the Western nations. It will not last for before long they call out the helicopter gunships to strafe them.

In 1945 the world oil production was 5 million barrels per day. In 1950 it was 10 billion barrels per day. I 1960 it was 20 billion barrels per day. In 1970 it was 40 billion barrels per day. In the 1970's that exponential growth slowed and they thought it a crisis. During the GFC they struggled with 80 million barrels per day. By technological means they might increase the world's oil supply. But in longer terms it will not last. The day will come when there are too many people and too little to supply them. Nuclear technology as they first imagined it has failed.

My paternal line came from Lancashire to Australia in the 19th century. The Lancastrians were the very people that created the modern machine age.

It will not last, for too many will always be the number that seeks to consume the world.

The history of the world is written in blood. And it will not abate. For the day will come when there will be too little for the budding population of the world. And they will fight again for that last scrap of bread.

Quote:
The population of Norway increased from 150,000 in 1500 to 900,000 in 1800.[
This is from the Wikipedia. And it may be a guess, but it shows what you are headed for.

The machine technology will fail, for the the oil and coal will run out. And the fast breeder nuclear reactor has failed already.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superph%C3%A9nix

From Australian imagination, this is your future unless perfect reason should prevail......enjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZfL4xKQeSfo

It could have been old Gum, Ingimund before Chester. Your future is horror, it is the wasteland. Unless perfect reason should prevail. But look around you, look at Syria. I don't see perfect reason prevailing. You live in the twighlight of your world. In a few centuries it will all run out. And then Ragnarok will be upon us.

Think well, think carefully. For if perfect reason doesn't prevail, then our fate is already written.

Human civilization. 3000 BC to 3000 AD....RIP. With only Lord Jesus in the midst of it, warning us to mend our ways.

In a Hundred men, there may be one Saintly man who will always be good, and one Psychopath who will always be evil. With the other 98 it depends just which the way wind blows!

“History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”

― Mark Twain

Let 55 year old Mr Higson warn you! Think carefully! Ponder on all things!

Norway wasn't constrained at a population of 200,000 or so a millennium ago by perfect reason. Many left and chanced their life upon the dark grey Irish sea. England was good, it offered 50,000 slots for Thegn's. But first you have disappear the Thegn's that were already there.

Don't think because the great tree seemingly drops such material goods today, that it will last. For the hands that feed upon it will become many, and then they will become fists of rage!

Oh well a Huscarle....there's a job for a needy man. Unfortunately to keep it he must do things that stains his conscience. There's little number counter of murders that mounts up doing duty for his king. Unless of course he be the rare Psychopath and that little chip is not present in brain at all.

As Pappagallo said to Max in Mad Max 2.....

Quote:
Pappagallo: What is it with you, huh? What are you looking for? C'mon, Max, everybody's looking for something. You're happy out there, are you? Eh? Wandering? One day blurring into another? You're a scavenger, Max. You're a maggot. Did you know that? You're living off the corpse of the old world. Tell me your story, Max. C'mon. Tell me your story. What burned you out, huh? Kill one man too many? See too many people die? Lose some family?
Such was the fate of the poor Norsemen at the hands of Harald the Shaggy. A true Psychopath, the Icelanders remember him for what he was.

The average man when he has killed too many, will clasp his hands together and beseech Jesus that he should be forgiven, wish to live the life of a Saint. Be he a Norseman or some other. Such is the power of conversion. It was an offer too good to pass up.

Mr Higson is a poet is he not? I drank too much cheap red wine and vomited at the thought of all this. Poor Mr. Higson must be one of those sad buggers with a conscience. One of those fools as Nietzsche would say, lives in vain hope the experiment of Jesus will hold true.

Last edited by Mr Higson; November 13th, 2015 at 05:10 PM.
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