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SYSTEM–(P. 176 sqq.)

Mommsen has brought light and order into the subject of the new military organization which was introduced in the epoch of Diocletian and Constantine, by his article entitled Das römische Militärwesen seit Diocletian, which apred in Hermes in 1889 (vol. xxiv. p. 195 sqq.). The following brief account is based on this important study. Under Diocletian the regular army seems to have fallen into two main divisions: the troops who followed the emperor as he moved throughout his dominion, and the troops stationed on the frontier. The latter were called limitanei, the former were possibly distinguished as in sacro comitatu (cp. C. I. L. 3,6194). But early in Constantine's reign the troops in sacro comitatu were broken up into two classes, the comitatenses and the Palatini (before 310, for the comitatenses existed then, cp. C. I. L. 5565; palatini occurs first in a law of 365 A.D., Cod. Theod. vii. 4, 22). Thus there were three great divisions of the army: 1, (a) palatini, (b) comitatenses, and 2, limitanei. Thus Gibbon's use of palatines to include the comitatenses is erroneous. The other most important changes introduced by Constantine were: the increase of the comitatenses §: were under the command of the magister militum) at the expense of the limitanei, who had been increased by Diocletian; and the separation of the cavalry from the infantry. 1. Limitanei (commanded by duces). The statement that Diocletianstrengthened the frontier troops (Zos. ii. 34) is borne out by the fact that if we compare the list of the legions in the time of Marcus (C.I.L. 6, 3492) with the Notitia Dignitatum, we find in the former twenty-three legions, in the latter the same twentythree and seventeen new legions (leaving out of account Britain, Germany, Africa, for which we have not materials for comparison). And if we remember that Constantine drafted away regiments (the pseudo-comitatenses) to increase his comitatenses, we may conclude that Diocletian doubled the numbers of the frontier armies. The limitanei consisted of both infantry and cavalry. (1) The infantry consisted of legiones, awa-ilia and cohortes. (a) The legions are of two kinds. The old legions of the Principate retain their old strength of 6000 men; while the new legions correspond to the old legionary detachments, and are probably 1000 strong. But the larger legions are usually broken into detachments which are distributed in different*:::: and the praefectus legionis consequently disappears. (b) The awa-ilia are of barbarian formation, and as such are thought more highly of than therest of thefrontier infantry; they are found only in the Illyric provinces. The size of the awarilium is probably 500, (c) The cohortes, 500 strong as under the Principate, are found everywhere except in the duchies on the Lower Danube. (2) The (a) cunei equitum probably differ from (b) equites, by being of barbarian formation and of higher rank. The (c) ala is generally 600 (not as before 500) strong. Constantine's new organization reduced the limitanei to second class troops, as compared with the Imperial troops of both kinds. 2. Imperial Troops. (a) Comitatenses (under Masters of Soldiers) consist of infantry and cavalry: (a) The legion is of the smaller size, about 1000 strong; (8) the reacillatio of horse is about 500 strong. Connected with the comitatenses but of lower rank are the pseudo-comitatenses, drawn from the frontiers (eighteen legions in the west, twenty in the east). (b) Palatini (under Masters of Soldiers in praesenti) consist of infantry and cavalry: (a) the legion of 1000; (8) the reacillatio of 500. In connexion with the Palatiri, the awarilia palatina demand notice. These are troops of light infantry, higher in rank than the legion of the comitatenses, lower than the palatine legion. They chiefly consist of Gauls and include Germans from beyond the Rhine (but virtually no orientals). Mommsen makes it probable that their formation was mainly the work of Maximian (p. 233). They were perhaps the most important troops in the army.

The scholae, which seem to nave been instituted by Constantine, must also be mentioned here (cp. Cod. Theol. 14, 17, 9). They were probably so called from having a hall in i. o to await orders. At first they were composed of Germans (but in fifth century under Leo I., of Armenians; under Zeno, of Isaurians; afterwards of the best men who could be got, Procop., Hist. Arc. c. 24). There were at first five divisions of 500 men; then seven; finally under Justinian eleven. The division was cominanded by a tribune, who was a person of much importance (e.g., Valentinian I.). They ultimately lost their military character, and the excubitores (first introduced by Leo I.) took their place.

Gibbon considers the question of the size of the army under the New Monarchy. On one side, we have the fact that under Severus at the beginning of the third century there were thirty-three legions, which, reckoned, along with their adjuncts, at the usual strength, give as the total strength of the army about 300,000. On the other side we have the statement of Agathias quoted by Gibbon, which puts the nominal strength of the army in the miudle of the 6t century at o: Taking into account the great increase of the troops under Diocletian, the record that the army was further strengthened by Valentinian (cp. Amm. Marc., 30, 7, 6, Zos. 4, 12), and a statement of Themistius (Or. 18, p. 270) as to the strength of the frontier forces under Theodosius the Great, we might guess that at the beginning of the fifth century, when the Notitia was drawn up, the army numbered five, if not six, hundred thousand. These a priori considerations correspond satisfactorily with the rough calculation which Mommsen has ventured to make from the data of the Notitia. His figures deserve to be noted, though he cautions us that we must not build on them.

Limitanei . . Foot, 249,500; Horse, 110,500 . . Total 360,000
Comitatenses -
Palatini (with aux.) } Foot, 148,000; Horse, 46,500 . . Total 194,500

Total 554,500

A word must be said about the gentes, who, outside the Roman provinces and formally independent, but within the Roman ''. of influence and virtually dependent on the Empire, helped to protect the frontiers and sometimes supplied auxiliary troops to the Roman army. |Thus in Amm. xxiii. 2, 1 we read of legationes gentium plurimarum aurilia pollicentium ; Julian refuses such adventucia adiumenta.) The most important of these gentes are the Saracens on the borders of Syria, and the Goths on the right bank of the Danube. They are federati; and their relation to the Empire depends on a fedus which determines the services they are bound to perform. Under the Principate the theory was that such foederati were tributaries, but in return for their military services the tribute was either remitted or diminished. But under the new system, they are considered rather in the light of a frontier force and, like the regular riparienses, are paid for their work. , Consequently the amount of the annonse federaticae is the chief question to be arranged in a foedus. The Lazi of Colchis were an exception to this rule; though federates they received no annone (Procop., B. P 2, 15). The inclusion of the federates in the Empire is illustrated by the treaty with Persia in 532 A.D., in which the Saracens are included as a matter of course, without special mention (Procop., B. P. 1, 17 ; 2, 1}. See Mommsen, op. cit. p. 215 sqq.


The origin and organization of the imperial guards, named Protectores and Domestici, who so often meet us is our historical authorities from the time of Constantine forward, have been elucidated, so far as the scanty material allows, by Mommsen in a paper entitled Protectores Augusti, in the Ephemeris Epigraphica, v. p. 121 sqq. n the second half of the third century there existed protectores of two kinds: protectores Augusti, and protectores of the pretorian prefect. The latter (whose existence is proved by epigraphic evidence, cp. C. I. L. vi. 3238) naturally ceased when, under Constantine's new régime, the praetorian prefect ceased to have military functions. The earliest instance of a protector Augusti whose date we can control is that of Taurus, who was consul in 261 A.D., and held the office of praetorian prefect. An inscription (whose date must fall between .261 and 267 A.D., Orelli, 3100) mentions that he had been a protector Augusti. Mommsen calculates that he must have held that post before 253 A.D., and infers that protectors were instituted about the middle of the century, by Decius or possibly Philip. The full title of the protector was protector divini lateris Augusti nostri, preserved in one inscription found at 6. (Orelli, 1869); for this form cp. Cod. Theod. vi. 24, 9. The abbreviation protector Augusti is the regular formula up to Diocletian ; after Diocletian it is simply protector. The protectors were soldiers who had shown special competence in their service, and were rewarded by a post in which they received higher pay (they were called ducenarii from the amount of their salary) and j the expectation of being advanced to higher military commands. Gallienus hindered Senators from serving as officers in the army, and from that time the service of the protectors became a sort of military training school (Mommsen, l.c. p. 137) to supply commanders (ad regendos milites, Ammianus). From Aurelian's time (ib. 131) the protectors seem to have been organized as a bodyguard of the Emperor, with a captain of their own. (The earliest mention of the service in legislation is in a law of 325 A.D., Cod. Th. vii. 20, 4.) Constantine completely abolished the praetorian and the military functions of the praef. pract. With this change we must connect his reorganization of the protectores (ib. 135). The nature of this reorganization was determined by his abrogation of the measure of Gallienus which excluded senators from military command. A body of guards was instituted, called Domestici or Houseguards, which was designed to admit nobles and sons of senators to a career in the army. Thus there were now two corps of palace guards, that of the Protectors who were enrolled for distinguished service, and were consequently veterans, and that of the Domestics who were admitted mobilitate et gratia, through birth and interest. But the two were closely connected and jointly commanded by captains called Counts of the Domestics; and the two names came to be interchangeable and used indifferently of one or the other. It cannot indeed be strictly demonstrated that Constantine organized the Domestics, who are first mentioned in a law of 346 A.D. (Cod. Th. xii. 1, 38); but this hypothesis is far more likely than any other. At the same time the pay of the guards was probably increased—a necessary result of the new monetary system of Constantine.” The epithet ducenarii was given up, and became attached to the schola of agentes in rebus. The rank of a guardsman was perfectissimus, but the first ten in standing (decem primi) were clarissimi. By a law of Valentinian (Cod. Th. vi. 24, 2) veterans were enrolled in the guards gratis, while all others had to pay. The ultimate result was that veterans ceased to be enrolled altogether, and the post of domesticus or protector was regularly purchased. The traffic in these offices in Justinian's time is noticed by Procopius, Hist. Arc. c. 24.



The attempt of Gibbon to show that Fausta was not put to death by Constantime was unsuccessful; for the text on which he chiefly relied has nothing to do with Constantine the Great, but refers to an Emperor of the fifteenth century (see above, App. 1, p. 534); and from the subsidiary passage in Julian (p. 211, n. 25) no inference can be drawn. On the other hand, as Seeck has pointed out, the sign

..] We may guess that under Diocletian they were still ducenarii, and so profited by his raising the weight of the aureus from 1-79th to 1-60th. Constantine would not have reduced their pay; so that they would no longer be ducenarii.

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