- Nov 2010
In the central lands of Iberia - very few. You couldn't. No farmers, not much grass, not much water, a few fortified towns you couldn't get in. Bye bye.What is the typical and/or maximum size of an army that can live off the land, that is, does not rely on supply lines? If memory serves me right, Roman legions of Principate might have been sized based on that concern, but I am not 100% certain of that one. I do know that an army 100 000 strong would require sophisticated logistical system in place; IIRC, Byzantines set up such systems for field armies 20 000 or so strong.
I sort of worry you are playing war games in your head and don't really conceive what 100,000 people in the same place looks like, what it needs, what it does. How many latrines they need, how much food, how much grass horses eat (they can't stand still). If any large figures are reliable you can bet your boots they were well spread out. Charlemagne's unsuccesful invasion of Spain was split into 2 columns for this reason. Napoleon's ultimately unsuccessful logistical operation in Russia was split into XII (?) corps. If you followed the line of a different Corps you wouldn't eat.
Just look at a 100,000 crowd in a football stadium and imagine them sat in your village. How long would your eggs last?