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Title: The development of army administration in the Roman Republic
Author: Pearson, Elizabeth Hazel
ISNI:       0000 0004 5922 5618
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2016
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The study of Roman military administration has largely been limited to the Prinicipate following the discovery of documents at Vindolanda and Dura-Europos. The origin of this administration is either attributed to Augustus’ military reforms or considered older but irrecoverable based on a perceived lack of evidence. This thesis aims to demonstrate that, far from irrecoverable, it is possible to reconstruct the development of a relatively complex and well-structured bureaucratic system supporting the army during the Middle Republic. This bureaucracy developed in parallel with the military as the scale and scope of Rome’s wars increased during the period, and is reflected in the evolution of an administrative complex on the south-eastern slope of the Capitol. It is argued that in Rome and within the legion detailed records were kept and, within reason, every effort was made to keep them as accurate as possible. The Capitol functioned as the administrative hub, where census declarations and the census list, stored in the atrium Libertatis, served as the central authority for military records. Other military documents kept in the aerarium Saturni provided support. Lists such as the tabulae iuniorum were created from the census records, with exemptions and served terms noted. From these, legion lists with the same details could be created by military tribunes or scribae at the dilectus, the military recruitment levy, in the area Capitolina. One copy of this list was taken with the legion, and from 204 BC another was left in Rome. These parallel documents enabled a degree of cooperation between the administrative authorities within the legions and at Rome. The legion lists allowed commanders (or their subordinates) to act as devolved satellite bureaucracies, with more exact information from being on the spot. Frequent letters and embassies from the legions to the senate meant that these satellites could communicate not only their tactical position but also administrative information. In the field, legion lists provided commanders with a record of their men. Additional information on rank was added once the legion was organised. Using this list the quaestor calculated the pay for each individual, marking the separate deductions to be made from each soldier. Commanders took care to keep the record of their numbers accurate, noting casualties in as much detail as time and injuries allowed. This information was transmitted to the senate in order to keep the legions up to strength, not only by replacing casualties but also those who had served the ideal maximum term of six years. Overly long service was for the most part thus avoided. It appears that every effort was made to keep the records as up-to-date as possible, but it was recognised that errors could occur. The lustra conducted by new generals provided the opportunity to correct any omissions or mistakes as well as ritually purifying the army under a new commander. The emergency levy circumvented any errors in the census so that Rome could mobilise effectively in a crisis. It was not Augustan invention but these Mid-Republican developments which presaged the bureaucratic system known under the Principate.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: AHRC ; President's Doctoral Scholarship
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Middle Republic ; army ; administration ; Polybius