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Re: Are 1000 Scribes too Many?

Steven.Bowman@UC.Edu writes:

> I suspect the older the warrior, the heavier and stronger he would be,
>  necessary prerequisites for hacking and slashing which was the mode of
>  fighting. Check sources on Roman veterans for comparison of heavy infantry
>  tactics.

Prior to the reforms of Marius ca. 100 BCE, the Roman legions were organized
by age category (like the War Scroll legions).  The youngest troops served as
skirmishers, based on their natural agility.  They had little armor, and
harassed the enemy legions in the earliest phase of battle.  The older
troops, in heavy armor, served in the major (largely stationary) battalions,
the younger of these in the first two lines (their major weapon being the
sword) and the oldest veterans in the third line, used only as a last resort.
 The ratio of these four lines in a standard legion were:  1200 skirmishers,
1200 next two lines, 600 last line (with oldest veterans).  (See generally
Polybius Book 6.)

In the War Scroll, the same organization is used, but with 1000 in each of
the four above categories.  The age of the 1000 War Scroll skirmishers was
30-45, the 3000 heavy-armed infantry 40-50, with some overlap in the age
40-45 range as skirmishers were retired to the ranks of the main battalions
(presumably as their physical fitness diminished).  

Additionally there were 4600 light cavalry (age 30-40) and 1400 heavy cavalry
(age 40-50) divided among the seven legions.  If my math is right, there were
about 11,600 troops total in their 30s and 22,400 in their forties.  One
obviously expects more younger troops than older, and these figures are the
opposite.  So the age categories could not have been rigidly adhered to.  But
there seemed to be a significant number of troops in their forties, for what
it's worth.

Russell Gmirkin