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Re: orion-list 1Chr 27 and 1QM on militia

Dierk van den Berg and Christophe Batsch both write keeping open the 
possibility that the War Scroll numbers reflect Hellenistic military 
organization.  My reading of Hellenistic phalanxes is that its various 
divisions were at least theoretically built up in multiples of two, for 
maneuvering purposes.  Consulting Asclepiodotus 2.2-10 (Loeb edition) the 
following officers are given over the following sized units:

	file-commander (logarchos) over a file of 16
	double-file leader (dilochites) over 32
	platoon commander (tetrarches) over 64
	company commander (taxiarchos, hekatontarches) over 128
	battalion commander (syntagmatarches) over 256
	colonel (pentakososiarches) over 512
	brigade commander (chiliarches) over 1024
	division commander (merarches, telarches) over 2056
	corps commander (phalangarches) over 4112
	wing commander (kerarches) over 8224
	general (strategos) over a full phalanx of 16448

None of this command structure appears in the War Scroll.  Each of the seven 
War Scroll legions consists of four lines of 1000 troops each, subdivided 
into centuries of 100 and maniples of 50 as in the Roman army.  Dierk equates 
the War Scroll line of 1000 with the chiliarchia (or thousand), but the 
Macedonian "thousand" appears to have actually consisted of 1024 troops, much 
as their unit of a "hundred" consisted of 128.  

(Granted, in practice these Macedonian units rarely corresponded to their 
exact theoretical size, especially in the larger units.  But chiliarches, 
"commander-of-a-thousand", was used as a convenient shorthand term because 
"commander-of-a-thousand-and-twenty-four" is a mouthful in any language.)

It is only by adjusting the numbers in the War Scroll (6 instead of 7 
legions, consequently 1200 instead of 1400 heavy cavalry, 4800 instead of 
4600 light cavalry) that Dierk arrives at his reorganized army of 6000 
cavalry and 24,000 infantry, the latter adjusted figure comparing to the 
24,000 troops from each tribe in David's army at 1 Chr. 27.  Yet with all 12 
tribes, David's army totalled 288,000 altogether, while the War Scroll totals 
only 28,000.  It would have been helpful if 1 Chr. 27 listed cavalry 
strengths, but cavalry from each tribe, if present at all, must have been 
part of the figure of 12,000/tribe.  So while I give Dierk points for 
creativity, I find the comparison to 1 Chr. 27 unconvincing on several 

(A more convincing reading of Hellenistic military science in the HB is the 
story of David and Goliath, where the armor and weaponry of Goliath is that 
of a typical Greek hoplite, while David is a typical youthful sling-wielding 
Greek skirmisher operating between the opposing armies.  See e.g. 
Asclepiodotus 1.2.)

Best regards to all,
Russ Gmirkin
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