QuoteReplyTopic: % of population in ancient/classical-time military Posted: 06-Dec-2004 at 08:15
Roman army's composition during the 4th century when Roman had 50~60 million population is roughly.
And the number of lightly armed shock cavalry in Eastern Roman army was 61 percent, heavily armoured shock cavalry was 15 percent and light cavarly(horse archers) was 15 percent of Eastern Roman cavarly. On the Western Roman empire, 47 percent of cavalry were light cavalry, 51 percent of cavalry were lightly armed cavalry, and 2 percent was heavily armoured shock cavalry of the Western Roman cavalries.
Roman army during the Trajan's times(2nd century A.D.) could be divided as follow. And population during this time was 60~70 million.
Legionary(Heavy Infantry): 168,000
Auxilaries(archers, slingers, cavalry, heavy and light infantry): 140,000 infantry + 70~80,000 cavalry(estimate)
Mr. Chankung finally came to his senses, so let's address the last point.
The exhaustion of the fighting-able male population during the punic wars (the second, actually) was such, that every familiae had 2 or 3 dead males at least. It was so thorough, that the 3 legions raised to aid in a - quite possible after Cannae - siege of Rome by Hannibal and his ragtag army, consisted of 17 and 18 year olds, of freed slaves and of gladiators. They run out of men, that is.
Yes, Rome had all men from 18 to 60 years under arms - that was the case with the classical world. And with that number, and a population of ~300K, they lost more than 60 thousand men in Cannea, Trebia and Trasimene. Yet, they had the resources to draft almost 30.000 more men in 5 legions.
Still, even if we include the 5.500 to 6.5000 ex slaves and gladiators, that leaves us with 22 to 24.000 Roman citizen (most of them youngsters). Do the math, once more: I'll take the lowest estimation: 22.000 + 60.000 = 82.000. So, yes, it wasn't 1/3 it was more like 25 to 30% of the total population. You say 20 to 25%? Fine. btw the 20-25% you admit is rather distant from the 10% you claimed on your first post... nice to see you coming around reality.
I wouldn't call that a huge disrepancy, so any further disagreement on that would be splitting hairs.
Theoratically, all male between age of 18 to 60 had obiligation to servce in military in Roman republic. However, people who is over age of 47 did not serve in the field army(i.e. legionary). You said that 25~30 percent of all Roman population served in legionary(field army). If proportion of male between age of 18 to 60 were about 25 percent of whole population, certainly male eligible to serve in legionary(field army) is people from 18 to 47. (People who is 47 to 60 served only served as garrison) In that case, even if you select whole man into field army, proportion comes to less than 20 percent at maximum could be mobilized for field army or legions.
In the case of the punic wars, they mobilized the seniors as well. Even before Cannae the triarii ranks were mostly comprised of 40+ aged citizen. Afte Cannae, they used the garisson of Rome as the basis to form around them the three new legions (actually, they spread the fairly experienced men of the two remaining legions and the garisson of Rome in all five legions, to creat a decent core to gather around the youngsters and the gladiators-ex slaves).
In case of dire need, remember? That is what I wrote...
For a nation of 32.15 million people, 25% of that population would
be roughly 8 million people. Including reserves and what not,
a military who can fight on the field, would 6 million troops
No. Supplying six million troops on the field would be
impossible. Additionally, large armies prove unwieldy and highly
unreliable in combat. The Roman Empire at its height had 25
million residents and it was barely able to supply and control a total
army of 400,000 men, split up between all the frontiers of the
For offensive armies it would probably be smarter to merely forge an
army of some fifty thousand men, one hundred thousand at the most, and
coax your enemy in a pitched battle. This would be decisive, and
if he is defeated would open a gateway into his kingdom.
Well those figures altogether are possible - however, in a single
battle you many not want to exceed over fifty thousand men - just
because realistically it's much easier to handle small amounts of
men. The others can be used as city guards, border guards, etc.
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