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Re: orion-list 1Chr 27, 1QM and 11QT on militia
It may be of interest to some to clarify how the War Scroll figures of
28,000 infantry and 6000 cavalry originated.
It seems certain that the starting point was the Roman Legion of the
second century BCE, in four lines (of 1200 skirmishers, 1200 hastati, 1200
principes and 600 triarii) for a total of 4200 infantry in 40 centuries or 80
maniples. The War Scroll keeps the four lines, with 1000 in each for a total
of 4000 infantry, still in 40 centuries or 80 maniples, in keeping with the
Biblical system of 1000s, 100s, 50s and 10s. The only major effect was
reducing overall infantry strength by a ratio of 20/21.
The remaining difficulty was assigning cavalry strength. The Roman
Legions had 300 cavalry/legion, the Italian allies 900/legion. The War
Scroll strategist favored the higher number. But 900 is not a Biblical
figure. Worse yet is reducing the 900 cavalry strength by a factor of 20/21,
resulting in the unworkable fraction 18,000/21 = 6000/7. The authors of the
War Scroll solved this problem by having the total military strength of the
Sons of Light consist of seven legions = 28,000 infantry (roughly consistent
with Jewish troop strength fielded at various times in the 2nd century BCE).
By having seven legions, the cavalry strength became 6000, an even multiple
of 1000, and the figure in the War Scroll. The figure 6000 itself was
suggestive, being divisible by 12, so the authors of the War Scroll decided
on a (theoretical) conscription level of 600 per tribe.
A turmae or squadron of 25 heavy cavalry was assigned to defend the flank
of each of the 4 lines of the legion in formation, for a total of 200/legion,
or 1400 heavy cavalry. The remaining 4600 light cavalry was reserved for
offensive maneuvers (such light cavalry from multiple legions being pooled
together anyway in Roman warfare).
This accounts for all the figures seen in the War Scroll.
Another interesting case is the 12,000 elite troops of the Royal Guard in
the Temple Scroll. This is clearly modeled on the 12,000 elite troops of the
Royal Guard of the Seleucid army in the Maccabean period.
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