Furthermore, to a large extent the arma- ment of horsemen determined their tactics. Cavalry exer- cises, described by Arrian in his Ars tactica , incorporating elements of the tactics of foreign peoples, including Armenians and Parthians, allowed Roman units to retain their battle potential against different opponents Kiechle I have treated the question of the organisation and tactics of the Roman army in the period more broadly, underlining transitions that took place from the time of the Flavians to the reign of Hadrian. This gave him, together with other historical narratives, a guidebook for a rational use of these materials and techniques, in effect a way to shape the substance of war. This way of thinking was very much oriented towards the past: The main part of the infantry was made up of legions, and amongst the auxiliary units the cavalry predominated, rather than infantry. The same text states that, in order to augment knowledge gained from personal experience, Arrian read widely in earlier sources, such as Xenophon.

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This gave him, together with other historical narratives, a guidebook for a rational use of these materials and techniques, in effect a way to shape the substance of war. C and the first century A. It is important to emphasise, however, that the characterisation of the Cappadocian garrison as a non-typical or unique formation mainly stems from a tacit conviction in the uniformity of the Roman army in the second century Henderson Recruitment and transfer were carried out more systematically excellenc in previous periods, employ- ing a pattern which Knight The similarities indicate that the organisation and equip- ment of the Roman army in the first half of the second century AD could have been more flexible than is usually supposed.

Isaac, The Limits of Empire: Roman Military Theory and Practice… In taking action against the Alans, Arrian, as an aspiring ideal general, was faced excellencf solving a real and current problem, in a specific geographical and his- torical context.

If we agree that the composition of the expeditionary exellence was the choice of the commander and not the necessity of the moment, we need to think about what dictated his criteria B. Rome had political and trading relations with all of these peoples, though violent conflicts occurred nevertheless.


This was probably the main reason why the newly formed provinces were abandoned by Hadrian, who con- centrated on securing the borders of the Empire Galimberti Agricola used more mobile auxilia in the first line as they fared better in combat with tribal foot soldiers than did heavily-armed legionaries.

The scene is set on rocky terrain, with trees in the background, at the approaches to a Dacian fortress, which could have been protected by traps; it is therefore not an area suited to cavalry operations.

In this period the methods of organising auxiliary troops were also mod- ified. Additionally, unlike Alan aies, the Dacian infantry did not pose such linee threat to the Roman flanks, or the threat was sufficiently small that it could be countered by exellence Germanic units.

The main part of the infantry was made up of legions, and amongst the auxiliary units the cavalry predominated, rather than infantry. Also important to an understanding of the Acies is its manner of presenting events, which I should like to discuss briefly, as far as the limitations of space allow. It was understood not as a theoretical generalisation of observed phenomena, but as a knowledge of principles and the constraints of materials and techniques, which was used to attain a particular target or to create an object.

The range of requirements defining a good general, as shown by B.

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Again we can see Danubian experience as the main factor in the preparation of troops for the eastern theatre of war. In the time of Trajan the realities were quite different, as Fronto confirms in his correspondence with Lu- cius Verus Princ. Arrian could have learned about the fighting-techniques and armament of his enemies from his previous experiences, even though, as Bosworth It should be underlined that the tombstones also confirm that archers and artillerymen served in the II Parthica Balty Roman Military Theory and Practice… be easily explained.


What is significant is the preponderance of archers in both types of unit Pelham There are, however, three basic, interconnected differ- ences: Roman Military Theory and Practice… effective range and penetrative power Medinger The modernisation and balancing of the Ro- man army in this campaign proved its supremacy, even if its supply lines, partially broken by the Jewish rebellion, caused its retreat.

For this reason Trajan, in planning his expedition against Decebalus — the first large-scale Roman war of conquest since the time of Augustus — tried to form a universal army that would be capable of opposing organised Dacian infantry, as well as the different tactics and weaponry of their German and Sarmatian allies Speidel We cannot find any visualisation of horses there, while the accoutrements of the warriors do not differ in any way from the equipment of the auxiliares placed at the front of the formation.

In the case of artists, conservatism was built up through training in workshops and the low social status of art.

Coulston, Roman Military Equipment: Was it the specific design of the com- mander or rather a traditional method of combating a mobile enemy who relied on cavalry charges? We should not assume, however, that the contingent of Alans that was supposed to confront the Cappadocian army was uniformly armed in a similar manner. Arrian was well aware of the importance of these factors in the organisation of marching columns and battle formations.

Roman Military Theory and Practice… One result of these alterations in the Roman army was a transformation of the tac- tics used against eastern-type cavalry. Cultural, technological and functional signature Oxford Bosworth, From Arrian to Alexander: