How many legions and equivalents at Zama?

Nov 2011
1,146
The Bluff
Livy predates Appian.

On Academia, I've no recollection of joining via either of those, simply creating a user account with the site. You're missing out on much free scholarship.
 
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Jan 2018
20
England
Thanks for the reply but you need to log in using google or facebook and I'm on neither one.

Likewise concerning Polybius, he's the man most likely to be right. It does appear from numbers of troops stated sailing from Sicily, that Livy may have seen Appians work, but still prefers Polybius's account of the battle.
Nick,
email me at: contact@grandmanoeuvre.co.uk and I will send a copy of the paper to you

Livy and Appian`s figures
Livy was writing in the late C1st BC to early C1st AD... Appian lived in the C2nd AD - The army size of 16,000 and 1,600 comes before Livy.
Both Appian and Livy were aware then of an earlier source that referred to 16,000+1,600.

And about the big old nonsense of Polybius` battle of Zama...
Take a look at Appian, the big battle he describes varies in its details with Polybius` version. After you`ve read Appian, you`ll realise that there were perhaps several accounts of the battle from other "witnesses" before Polybius.
As the sources change so do the viewpoints in the histories and the people represented... note the way that other characters in the campaign seem to reappear in Appian`s history (such as Gnaeus Octavius and Q. Minucius Thermus) and how the commanders` roles change also; especially the role of Gaius Laelius - Laelius` role is most notable in Polybius history of the African campaign.
Polybius claimed that Gaius Laelius was his principal source for much of Scipio`s campaigns, but it was his son, Gaius Laelius Sapiens (Scipio Aemilianus` second in command), serving with him in the Third Punic War and at the destruction of Carthage, who would have known Polybius better.
 
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Nov 2018
211
Wales
Livy predates Appian.

On Academia, I've no recollection of joining via either of those, simply creating a user account with the site. You're missing out on much free scholarship.
You are correct and I should have checked more thoroughly.

Thanks concerning Academia. I tried again finding an almost hidden means of signing up. Turns out my wife (a school teacher) is already signed up.
 
Nov 2018
211
Wales
Nick,
email me at: contact@grandmanoeuvre.co.uk and I will send a copy of the paper to you

Livy and Appian`s figures
Livy was writing in the late C1st BC to early C1st AD... Appian lived in the C2nd AD - The army size of 16,000 and 1,600 comes before Livy.
Both Appian and Livy were aware then of an earlier source that referred to 16,000+1,600.

And about the big old nonsense of Polybius` battle of Zama...
Take a look at Appian, the big battle he describes varies in its details with Polybius` version. After you`ve read Appian, you`ll realise that there were perhaps several accounts of the battle from other "witnesses" before Polybius.
As the sources change so do the viewpoints in the histories and the people represented... note the way that other characters in the campaign seem to reappear in Appian`s history (such as Gnaeus Octavius and Q. Minucius Thermus) and how the commanders` roles change also; especially the role of Gaius Laelius - Laelius` role is most notable in Polybius history of the African campaign.
Polybius claimed that Gaius Laelius was his principal source for much of Scipio`s campaigns, but it was his son, Gaius Laelius Sapiens (Scipio Aemilianus` second in command), serving with him in the Third Punic War and at the destruction of Carthage, who would have known Polybius better.
Thanks for the offer. Very much appreciated, but it turns out that my wife is on Academia.

Zama is interesting in how the story evolves over time.
Initially we have Scipio almost beaten, but for the returning cavalry, and without the Numidians he would have lost.
Punica, book 17 has the Gods themselves create a phantasm of Scipio to draw Hannibal away from the fight, to guarantee Romes victory.
Appian has Hannibal's veterans cowardly standing back, ensuring the rest of the army fights in their stead. The returning cavarly destroys the first part, the vets only taking part in an infantry battle that follows.
Cassius Dio has Hannibal beaten before he starts.

Over time, Zama goes from a close shave to a certain victory.

I will try to download the paper though.
 
Nov 2018
211
Wales
Nick,
email me at: contact@grandmanoeuvre.co.uk and I will send a copy of the paper to you

Livy and Appian`s figures
Livy was writing in the late C1st BC to early C1st AD... Appian lived in the C2nd AD - The army size of 16,000 and 1,600 comes before Livy.
Both Appian and Livy were aware then of an earlier source that referred to 16,000+1,600.

And about the big old nonsense of Polybius` battle of Zama...
Take a look at Appian, the big battle he describes varies in its details with Polybius` version. After you`ve read Appian, you`ll realise that there were perhaps several accounts of the battle from other "witnesses" before Polybius.
As the sources change so do the viewpoints in the histories and the people represented... note the way that other characters in the campaign seem to reappear in Appian`s history (such as Gnaeus Octavius and Q. Minucius Thermus) and how the commanders` roles change also; especially the role of Gaius Laelius - Laelius` role is most notable in Polybius history of the African campaign.
Polybius claimed that Gaius Laelius was his principal source for much of Scipio`s campaigns, but it was his son, Gaius Laelius Sapiens (Scipio Aemilianus` second in command), serving with him in the Third Punic War and at the destruction of Carthage, who would have known Polybius better.
I've read the article, thanks for that, and the bottom line appears to be that there is an extra 600 Hastati per legion, ie 1200 Velites, 1800 Hastati, 1200 Principes and 600 Triari in total. I'm not totally convinced he's right, but it would mean 8, not 10 legions, under my hypothesis. I do like that number, as it would mean 4 Roman and 4 Ala, double a typical Consular army. That feels like Roman logic imo.
 
Jan 2018
20
England
I've read the article, thanks for that, and the bottom line appears to be that there is an extra 600 Hastati per legion, ie 1200 Velites, 1800 Hastati, 1200 Principes and 600 Triari in total. I'm not totally convinced he's right, but it would mean 8, not 10 legions, under my hypothesis. I do like that number, as it would mean 4 Roman and 4 Ala, double a typical Consular army. That feels like Roman logic imo.
Nick, just to clarify, you seem to be referring to Cannae whereas the legions at Zama is the subject of the thread?
 
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Nov 2018
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Nick, just to clarify, you seem to be referring to Cannae whereas the legions at Zama is the subject of the thread?
The paper concerned the size of the legions during the Polybian period, essentially including an extra 600 Hastati that Polybius did not include in Book 6.

While I do like the idea of 8 legions rather than 10, as very Roman, a double sized consular army, I still cannot imagine why Polybius would not include numbers at Zama, when it appears received wisdom would suit Roman propaganda.

Polybius was part of the Scipio family's entourage. If Scipio had been outnumbered at Zama, you can be sure the Scipio family would have demanded it said.

This is not to demean Scipio. Does anyone complain about Eisenhower turning up on D-Day with more men, better trained men and better equipped men overall?

What I don't accept is that Scipio is so stupid to arrive on Carthage's doorstep with an army that is basically the same size as the previous Roman failure. Scipio is not that stupid.
 
Jan 2018
20
England
The paper concerned the size of the legions during the Polybian period, essentially including an extra 600 Hastati that Polybius did not include in Book 6.

While I do like the idea of 8 legions rather than 10, as very Roman, a double sized consular army, I still cannot imagine why Polybius would not include numbers at Zama, when it appears received wisdom would suit Roman propaganda.

Polybius was part of the Scipio family's entourage. If Scipio had been outnumbered at Zama, you can be sure the Scipio family would have demanded it said.

This is not to demean Scipio. Does anyone complain about Eisenhower turning up on D-Day with more men, better trained men and better equipped men overall?

What I don't accept is that Scipio is so stupid to arrive on Carthage's doorstep with an army that is basically the same size as the previous Roman failure. Scipio is not that stupid.
Scipio was an intelligent and shrewd general and strategist; clever enough to realise that an African campaign could not be won without Numidian support.

I realise you like the idea of a large Roman army being able to defeat Hannibal, but 8 legions would require another consul to be present. Although Nero was sent to assist Scipio in the Spring of 202 (perhaps with a small force), we know that there was not another commander present of the same rank and army size.

I believe that it would be implicit in Polybius` descripition of battle arrays that Scipio was out-numbered at Zama. Livy may have followed Polybius with the figure of 6,200 per legion and so a consular army (which Scipio`s was) would have 24,800. But Polybius tells us that Hannibal in one of his lines had 12,000 mercenaries alone - multiplied by three gives us at least 36,000. If propaganda is the aim, and it`s quite subtly done too, it` is better to have the enemy out-number the Romans by 50%.