- Oct 2011
That is definitely a possibility. I do know that at least palatinate legions were reduced in number significantly, but yes, that may be the case for legions in general. However, later Byzantine meroi - the legion-equivalent - are 5 000 strong again. I wonder when exactly that particular reorganization happened.But Diocletian was 100 years before 400 CE. My readings suggest the divided legions eventually became permanent. Two cohorts here, two more over there, two more in a third place stopped being in the same legion and became three separate legions each of two cohorts. Probably long after Diocletian, but by the time of Adrianople, for example. At least one modern history of Adrianople refused to describe the Roman units as legions and instead called them regiments to reflect that none of these units had anywhere near ten cohorts. Admittedly it was a popular history. I don't claim it as authoritative, but I don't think we can compare the legions of Diocletian with the legions of Adrianople or the Notitia.