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Re: orion-list 1Chr 27, 1QM and 11QT on militia
Dierk van der Berg writes:
> [The following is extracted from B. bar Kochva_ The Seleucid Army_
> Classical Studies, NY 1976, esp. pp. 55ff.]
> The Royal Guard of the argyraspides ('silver shields') numbered 10,000 foot
> between the battle at Raphia 217 BC and the parade at Daphne 165 BC,
> whereas the 'crack force' of the hypaspists was a picked part of the
> argyraspides and numbered 2,000 foot. Therefore the ordinary argyraspides
> formed two of the largest Seleucid units called strategoi of 4,000 foot
> each, thus leaving two chiliarchies of 1,000 foot for the storm troops of
> the hypaspists.
Yes, according to Bar-Kochva, _The Seleucid Army_ 54-67, the infantry
portion of the Royal Guard, i.e. the silver shields or argyraspides, numbered
10,000 throughout at least the period 217-165 BCE. This is still his
position, and the evidence appears to support it IMO. What your reading
failed to take into account was that the Royal Guard also had a cavalry
component consisting of two units of 1000 each, i.e. the *agema* and the
'royal *ala* of the Companions', discussed at pp. 67-75. 10,000 infantry +
2000 cavalry makes a total force of 12,000 for the Royal Guard (the same
figure as the Royal Guard of the Temple Scroll).
> Now I don't know exactly why bar Kochva had changed his above opinion in a
> later book (which is not a hand here!)
> Bar Kochva's *new* thesis seemingly not only undermines his earlier one
> from the late 70s but it seems to be completely aside the beaten tracks of
> classical scholarship and everything we have learned of the selection
> schemata of the argyraspides.
Bar-Kochva did not in fact change his basic opinion, though his former
discussion in _The Seleucid Army_ is superceded in some respects by the
improved and additional arguments in his appendix on "The infantry Royal
Guard in the Seleucid Army" (pp. 413-431) in _Judas Maccabaeus_, as he notes
at 413 n. 3.
Dierk comments on the "misleading reference in Polybius 30.25.1-11":
> "... [The festival at Daphne] was led by 5,000 men in the prime of their
> life (i.e., picked force, former part of the genuinely 10,000 argyraspides)
> equipped in Roman fashion ... Next came 20,000 Macedonians of whom 5,000
> chalkaspides carried bronze shields (see the "Romans" above) and the
> remainder (15,000) argyraspides silver shields..."
> Here we realize that the elite troops numbered 15,000 argyraspides (plus
> 5,000 'Romans'). No doubt an error according to the strength of the
> chalkaspides or standard phalangites, for now they would form an
> minority within the phalanx! However, the 15,000 argyraspides (!) - if seen
> as the *complete* Guard...
This is the relevant passage for the infantry strength of the Seleucid
army in the military parade at Daphne in 165 BCE. Bar-Kochva has an
important analysis of this passage in _Judas Maccabeus_ 416-417, especially
First, it is important to realize that the text is defective. A literal
rendering of the Greek reads "Next came 20,000 Macedonians [lacuna] and 5000
chalkaspides [i.e. bearing bronze shields] and the remainder argyraspides
[i.e. bearing silver shields]." The silver shields cannot have totalled
15,000, i.e. more than the 5000 bronze shields, else they would not be
described as a "remainder". They must have totalled 5000 or less. There is
clearly a lacuna between the 20,000 Macedonians and the phrase "and 5000
bronze shields" filled by a third class of shield-bearers. Kaibel (and
Bar-Kochva) reconstruct the text as "Next came 20,000 Macedonians, of these
10,000 khrysaspides [bearing gold shields] and 5000 chalkaspides [bearing
bronze shields] and the remainder argyraspides [bearing silver shields]."
The silver shields thus total 5000. The 5000 picked troops bearing Roman
arms are also Royal Guard, alongside the 5000 silver shields, for a total of
10,000 Royal Guard infantry at Daphne (as in earlier times). These infantry,
plus the 2000 cavalry of the Royal Guard at Daphne in 165, give us 12,000
grand total. And the comparison with the 12,000 elite troops in 11QT 57.5-11
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