Fink, RMR 63, papyrus, Egypt, 105 or 106 CE:


16 September

[According to ?] the pridianum of the first cohort of Spaniards Veterana, at Stobi
[ _ _ _] Arruntianus, prefect
[Total of soldiers], 31 December
including 6 centurions, 4 decurions, cavalry
including [ _ _ _] men on double pay, 3 men on pay and a half, one infantry man on double pay, and [ _ _ _] men on pay and a half...

Additions after 1 January
col. ii. including 6 centurions, 4 decurions, cavalry [ _ _ _] including 2 men on double pay, 3 on pay and a half, [ _ _ _] infantrymen on pay and a half.

given to the Fleet Flavia Moesica [ _ _ _] on the orders of Faustinus the legate
[ _ _ _] on the orders of Justus the legate, including one cavalryman
[ _ _ _]
sent back to Herennius Saturninus
transferred to the army of Pannonia
died by drowning
killed by bandits, one cavalryman
killed in battle (?)
Total lost including [ _ _ _]
restored from the stragglers
the remainder, net total [ _ _ _ ]
including 6 centurions, 4 decurions, cavalry 110 (or more) including 2 men on double pay and 3 on pay and a half;
infantrymen on double pay [ _ _ _ ], 6 men on pay and a half.

in Gaul to obtain clothing
similarly to obtain [grain?]
across the river Erar (?) to obtain horses, including [ _ _ _ ] cavalrymen
at Castra in the garrison, including 2 cavalrymen
in Dardania at the mines
total absent outside the province including [ _ _ _ ] cavalrymen

guards of Fabius Justus the legate, including Carus, decurion [ _ _ _]
in the office of Latinianus, procurator of the Emperor
at Piroboridava in the garrison
at Buridava in the detachment
across the Danube on an expedition, including [ _ _ _] men on pay and a half
23 cavalrymen, 2 infantrymen on pay and a half
similarly across (the river) to protect the corn supply
similarly on a scouting mission with the centurion A[ _ _ _ ]vinus
[ _ _ _] cavalrymen
in (?) at the grain ships, including one (?) decurion
at headquarters with the clerks
to the Haemus (mountains) to bring in cattle
to guard beasts of burden, including [ _ _ _] men on pay and a half
similarly on guard duty [ _ _ _]
Total absent of both types
including one centurion, 3 decurions; cavalry including [ _ _ _] 2 infantrymen on pay and a half.
The remainder present
including 5 centurions, one decurion; cavalry including [ _ _ _] men on double pay, one infantryman on double pay, [ _ _ _] men on pay and a half
from these sick, among them [ _ _ _]

Campbell, Brian. The Roman Army: A Sourcebook (Routledge 1994).

Ben, you need to add your questions here. --AKS

Who is the pridianum of the cohort?
How high of an authority is the legate?
To whom is this pridianum reporting?
Can we trace this particular military campaign in the larger context of Roman history?
Why are certain soldiers on pay and a half / double pay?
How regular are such reports, or what prompts them?
Did the Romans ever have trouble feeding their armies?
How effective is Roman logistical infrastructure for administering one / several cohorts?
How often to men rotate in and out of one cohort?

This document is one of the few preserved pridiana of the Roman military, an annual “strength report” that each unit in the army would have submitted to the bureaucracy, detailing losses, allocations and reinforcements of personnel. It provides valuable insight into organization of the Roman army during the period of the high empire.

Let’s first establish the document’s geography. Though found in Egypt, this particular report concerns an auxiliary cohort stationed in a town called Stobi in northern Macedon. An auxiliary cohort would typically be 500 men strong; this number is supported by the presence of six centurions in the unit (at approximately 80 men per century). Several men have been sent on various expeditions to neighboring provinces of Pannonia and Moesia, and some even as far as Gaul to obtain clothing. This diversity of geographical locations suggests a very high plasticity within roman cohorts: at any given time a handful of men are travelling for logistical purposes to sustain the cohort, sometimes to distant lands (Gaul is halfway across the empire at this point). Others are transferred to different sectors of the military (the army of the neighboring region of Pannonia, or the Lower Danube Fleet), suggesting that auxiliary infantry reallocated frequently to reinforce other units.

It is significant that a military report from the region of Moesia dates to the beginning of the second century CE. This time coincides with Trajan’s Dacian Wars (101-102 CE, 105-106 CE), the events depicted on his famous column and for which he took the surname Dacicus. It is likely then that the regions surrounding Dacia (including northern Macedon) would have been reinforced around this time, and thus that this cohort had travelled to the region from somewhere else (Egypt perhaps, which could explain why this is where the document was recovered).
The document also offers valuable insight into the Roman chain of command. Men are dynamically allocated around several figures of authority: the prefect, at least two legates, the procurator of the emperor, and a figure identified as Herennius Saturninus, who was consul in 100 CE. It seems that men from the provincial garrison would have been sent to guard the entourage of any prominent figure in the region.

In times of relative peace the presence of such units must have had a profound effect on the provincial economy. From the large stores of grain it seems clear that the presence of armed forces in the region must have stimulated heavy agrarian production. The location of a military campaign must also have affected trade patterns, as soldiers stationed around Dacia clearly require the import of clothing from Gaul.

It is well known that after a given conquest many soldiers ended up marrying women from the conquered province. In this case, soldiers stationed on the lower Danube during Trajan’s conquest are known to have married Dacian women, and thus would have been the ancestors of modern-day Romanian people.


Rowdy soldiers: It would be interesting to study the linked document in parallel with my document because the two offer essentially the same situation from different perspectives. My document is an official military document detailing the activities of garrisons in a province and the routine operations performed by soldiers to maintain the garrison. The linked document on the other hand is a complaint on the behalf of the inhabitants of a village who find their lifestyle threatened by the presence of army encampments. Studying these documents side by side would offer interesting insights into the disruptive nature of the Roman military networks regarding the lives of locals in heavily garrisoned areas. As a bonus, the cohort referenced in my document is stationed in Macedonia, which neighbors Thrace, the location of the linked document. Thus these documents could serve in a study of the influence of Roman garrisons on Greek peoples in particular.

Veterans' Monument: The linked document has many overlapping elements with mine that would favor a parallel study. Firstly, it concerns a monument erected in honor of a soldier who served in the Dacian Wars under Trajan. It follows then not only that this soldier is a contemporary of the men from the Cohors I Hispana Veterana referenced in my document, but that he may have served alongside those men in battle. While my document offers a dry narrative of procedures affecting anonymous soldiers, the linked document offers insight into the same procedures from an individual soldier's perspective. For instance, Tiberius Claudius Maximus was promoted to decurion and made duplicarius by Trajan - this suggests that the numerous duplicarii and sesquiplicarii referenced in my document may have received raises because of particular deeds of valor. Comparing these documents shows what military career was idealized in the Roman Empire, and what kind of career the soldiers from my document could aspire to.

Soldiers' families: The linked document offers insights into the the laws implemented by Augustus limiting the marital privileges of army members. Throughout my research for my own document I saw that, at least in later conquests, it became common for soldiers to marry women in conquered provinces and even settle there, causing substantial demographic shifts that can be traced to this day (In the case of my document, Roman soldiers marrying Dacian women gave birth to the Romanian people, scholars posit). Studying the two documents side by side could provide an interesting outlook on the evolving policy of soldier marriage throughout the course of the Republic and Empire.

I think you did a good job in your document draft. I found your analysis to be pretty thorough and insightful. I would suggest including in your analysis a bit about how each soldier was payed and how the document kept referring back to soldier's wages. To me it seemed like an important part in the document, and I think elaborating on this aspect would improve your analysis
-Daniel Espinel

I like the sources and provided information. I think it would be a little easier for the reader to place the links with your document questions, instead of having to search for the information at the bottom of the page. On a similar note to the comment above, I think it would be real interesting to not only discuss the individual wages of the soldiers, but the economics behind sending reinforcements (like transportation, new equipment, etc.).
-Eric Smith

The links you incorporated into the document analysis are extremely helpful. I found the second paragraph very interesting as you discussed the cohorts of the soldiers and answered many of your questions. One thing I would add onto the analysis is to raise the discussion of corruption and accuracy of these reports, and how it may play a role in battles.
-Dennis Chan


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