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Thread: Army strenghts

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    Member Member anubis88's Avatar
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    Default Army strenghts

    Hi...
    I've been wondering.... What where the total strenghts of EB factions in a numerical sense during the EB time frame? I know that it's very difficult to talk about numbers, but i would like to know, what do experts think.
    We all know how strong the romans were, but what about the others?
    Carthage? How many full time soldiers did they have in the second punic war?
    I know that The Seleucids raised army's close to 100.000 and that so did the ptolomys. Macedonia couldn't raise more then 50.000 could it?

    What i'm really wondering is what where the strenghts of other major powers in EB's timeframe, also the ones that aren't as factions in EB...
    With these i mean Pergamon, the galatians, Parthia, Armenia, Epirus (after the death of Pyrhus), Baktria, Aetolian and Achaean leagues, Rhodes?

    Any help would be great
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    Not Just A Name; A Way Of Life Member Sarcasm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Army strenghts

    Lusitani mustered a maximum of 15.000 troops on their own in a single army, though they could and did have another 10.000 man army operating in another theatre of war. Generally their numbers would have been around 10.000-8.000 though, with a constant number of 1000-2000 horsemen in every army.

    Other powers...the combined forces of the Arevaci, the Belli and the Titi mustered around 20.500 soldiers (seems to be the absolute maximum numbers the Celtiberians could muster if they all banded together), while the Arevaci by themselves could muster around 10.000, but would have 8000-5000 men in a regular army.

    The Callaeci assembled 60.000 men *once* apparently, but that's probably an overstatement of their numbers by the Romans, even if the area was very populated.

    The Ilergetes mustered their confederates to a number around 22.500 troops (2.500 horsemen) in one occasion, and 34.000 on another instance (4000 horsemen).

    The Iberian peninsula isn't a particularly large area, so these are impressive numbers especially considering this is solely an introduction and mentioning essentially single tribes.
    Last edited by Sarcasm; 03-15-2008 at 23:46.



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  3. #3

    Default Re: Army strenghts

    Ptolemies at some point in early reign claimed to be able to field some 200-300.000 men, but this is most probably maximum mobilisation number including garnisons (that were mostly immobile).

    Makedonia never had more than 30-40.000 - about 20.000 national troops and up to 15.000 mercenaries.

    Achaean League sometimes 50-60.000, but this highly depended on the number of members at any given point
    Last edited by O'ETAIPOS; 03-15-2008 at 23:45.

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    Member Member anubis88's Avatar
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    Default Re: Army strenghts

    Wow.... Those numbers really amazed me... i never knew the Iberian tribes were so strong, not to mention the Achaen league
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    Senior Member Senior Member Ibn-Khaldun's Avatar
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    Default Re: Army strenghts

    Well ... numbers only doesn't matter ... the skills and moral of the men is more important .. this is how alexander conquered the world

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    Default Re: Army strenghts

    Corintian League formed by Philip II was entitled to field 200.000 foot and 15.000 horse for the planned war with Persia (and this forces excluded Macedon)

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    Not Just A Name; A Way Of Life Member Sarcasm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Army strenghts

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibn-Khaldun
    Well ... numbers only doesn't matter ... the skills and moral of the men is more important .. this is how alexander conquered the world
    Logistics, Logistics, Logistics.



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  8. #8

    Default Re: Army strenghts

    after 9 A.D. Arminius and Marbod (Marabodus) had 150000 Germanics under arms - they fought eachother instead of going for Rome

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    Member Member Woreczko's Avatar
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    Default Re: Army strenghts

    Logistics, Logistics, Logistics.
    Yeah, imagine that 100 000 soldiers need as much supplies as city with 100 000 inhabitants (i.e.: sizeable). That`s why one should always look with suspicion if sources tell of armies hundreds of thousands strong. You simply can`t put a city of 100 000 in the middle of nowhere (i.e in the field) and expect it to survive for long with ancient era logistics (and budgets).

  10. #10

    Default Re: Army strenghts

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarcasm
    Lusitani mustered a maximum of ...
    @ Sarcasm: Fascinating. As you can tell by my sig, the Lusotani are my fav faction. Can you refer me to any (English please) books re: the Lusotani in the EB time frame? Are there any old threads in the EB forum where this has been covered?


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    Not Just A Name; A Way Of Life Member Sarcasm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Army strenghts

    Quote Originally Posted by Disciple of Tacitus
    @ Sarcasm: Fascinating. As you can tell by my sig, the Lusotani are my fav faction. Can you refer me to any (English please) books re: the Lusotani in the EB time frame? Are there any old threads in the EB forum where this has been covered?


    Thanks!
    You're kinda screwed if you can't speak either Portuguese or Spanish. There's a few good books by German and French authors, but only rarely is anything published in English.

    In fact I think I've only read two books that are entirely in English, both from Oxford presses:

    • Cunliffe, Barry Keay, Simon. Social complexity and the development of towns in Iberia from the copper age to the second century AD. Oxford : Oxford University Press, 1995

    • Queiroga, Francisco Manuel Veleda Reimão. War and castros : new approaches to the northwestern portuguese Iron Age. Oxford : Archaeopress, 2003
    Last edited by Sarcasm; 03-16-2008 at 21:39.



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    Not Just A Name; A Way Of Life Member Sarcasm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Army strenghts

    Quote Originally Posted by Woreczko
    Yeah, imagine that 100 000 soldiers need as much supplies as city with 100 000 inhabitants (i.e.: sizeable). That`s why one should always look with suspicion if sources tell of armies hundreds of thousands strong. You simply can`t put a city of 100 000 in the middle of nowhere (i.e in the field) and expect it to survive for long with ancient era logistics (and budgets).
    Actually 100.000 soldiers consume plenty more supplies than 100.000 inhabitants of a city. Not only must a soldier eat more than a regular person, he has to be equipped with everything that he needs to fight, he has to be supplied with some services to remain in his occupation (leather working, iron working, shaving, haircuts, medicine, etc...).All this must be done while on campaign, so it's that much more difficult and hence more expensive to get it to him.

    It explains why a certain area can only support so many warriors in the field, until your culture gets away from a simple agrarian economy into one that has more emphasis on long-range trade.



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    Ming the Merciless is my idol Senior Member Watchman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Army strenghts

    ...and ultimately transporting bulk consumables overland was economically impossible anyway, and armies simply resorted to "living off the land" ("a polite euphemism for some very rude activities," notes one historian).
    Last edited by Watchman; 03-16-2008 at 23:11.
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    Not Just A Name; A Way Of Life Member Sarcasm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Army strenghts

    Depends on the size of the army. Which is what we're talking here



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    Ming the Merciless is my idol Senior Member Watchman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Army strenghts

    Not as the transportation goes, though. The problem there is that it simply doesn't take very long for whatever beast of burden is used to eat more foodstuffs than it can carry...
    Last edited by Watchman; 03-17-2008 at 00:16.
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    Not Just A Name; A Way Of Life Member Sarcasm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Army strenghts

    Indeed, but that's why you prepare supply depots before a campaign. Pretty common stuff even in Roman times.



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    Default Re: Army strenghts

    Quote Originally Posted by Teutobod II
    after 9 A.D. Arminius and Marbod (Marabodus) had 150000 Germanics under arms - they fought eachother instead of going for Rome

    Considering the social structure in Germania and the size of the tribes I'd more than doubt this. The big Germanic foederations at teh end of the Roman empire could field between 30.000 and 70.000 men at maximum and they were considered big. The lack of infrastructure and agriculture in Germania during the 1st century would make it impossible to feed such armies and Arminius didn't even have full support of his own tribe. I guess 15.000 for each of them would be much closer to reality than 150.000...or a strenght of 150.000 for both groups combined including women, children and old people.
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    Ming the Merciless is my idol Senior Member Watchman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Army strenghts

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarcasm
    Indeed, but that's why you prepare supply depots before a campaign. Pretty common stuff even in Roman times.
    Well yeah, but doing that kind of advance preparation gets kind of tricky once you leave friendly territory.

    Most just took the easy way out and pillaged the peasants there.
    "Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. --- Proof of the existence of the FSM, if needed, can be found in the recent uptick of global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters. Apparently His Pastaness is to be worshipped in full pirate regalia. The decline in worldwide pirate population over the past 200 years directly corresponds with the increase in global temperature. Here is a graph to illustrate the point."

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    Member Member Irishmafia2020's Avatar
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    Default Re: Army strenghts

    At Alesia, which occurs during the historical period of this game, there are purported to have been 100,000 Gauls fighting Ceasar. Contemporary accounts suggest that there were 250,000 gauls in that fight, but modern historians seem to accept the 100 K estimate instead.

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    Not Just A Name; A Way Of Life Member Sarcasm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Army strenghts

    Speaking of the whole figures, I think they're pure bullshit on Caesar's part. There are numerous inconsistencies - speaking of one, either we've got the wrong place for Alesia (80.000 warriors plus population is way too high for such a small location), or the numbers of Gauls inside the oppida are wrong.



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    Member Member anubis88's Avatar
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    Default Re: Army strenghts

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarcasm
    Speaking of the whole figures, I think they're pure bullshit on Caesar's part. There are numerous inconsistencies - speaking of one, either we've got the wrong place for Alesia (80.000 warriors plus population is way too high for such a small location), or the numbers of Gauls inside the oppida are wrong.
    Yeah, Caesar was probably one of the first science-fiction writers. His accounts must be taken as a political propaganda (not only in Romes favor, but in his personal as well) .
    Does anybody know aproximatly how strong were the nomad invasions of Iran an d India?
    How about Baktria? My history professor told me that Baktria had a huge amount of soldier settled lands in the Seleucid Empire, that's why they became so strong once they got indipendent
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    Whatever Member konny's Avatar
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    Default Re: Army strenghts

    Napoleon said that according to the movements, operations and combats described by Caesar the forces at Alesia must have been of about equal size. He was of course no historian but one of the most reliable authorities in military questions. Since the Romans had some 70,000 men in the field the Gauls can be estimated of something between 50,000 and 100,000 men.

    All other figures in Caesar seem to be pure fantasy too; as long as we take the events reported for granted and do not assume that all his opponents (professional militairs themselves) were idiots on the tactical field. As long as we assume that Caesar and the Romans usually fought their battles with numerical superiority we also do no longer need to search for explanations what made the Legionars supermen, worth ten battleharded Gauls or Germanics each.

    On the logistical topic: 19th Century militairs calculated 1 meter of space per every man on the march. That would make 10,000 men a column of 10 kms. An amry of 100,000 men on the march would stretch for 100 kms and would by this need 3 days to gather on a spot. This effect can be reduced by marching them on parrallel roads. But as long as you cannot assume a decent system of good roads (and for most of ancient Europe you can't) some armies that are reported in the sources simply can't have existed in that size because there was not enough room to line them up on the existing roads and move them forward a single step.
    Last edited by konny; 03-19-2008 at 01:38.

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    Βασιλευς και Αυτοκρατωρ Αρχης Member Centurio Nixalsverdrus's Avatar
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    Default AW: Army strenghts

    The column would normally have a bredth of 4 or 6 men. But then we wouldn't care about supply, mules, carts and such. How long was the Romans' column in Teutoburg Forest?

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    Whatever Member konny's Avatar
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    Default Re: AW: Army strenghts

    Quote Originally Posted by Centurio Nixalsverdrus
    The column would normally have a bredth of 4 or 6 men. But then we wouldn't care about supply, mules, carts and such.
    Excactly. This is a calculation for marches of larger bodies of troops, taking into account carts, horses, intervals between units, wider spread formations like rear- and advanced guard. Also, usually not the entire width of the road is used, as if on parade, but only about 1/2 to 2/3 to leave room to move supply and special troops fore and back along the column. So 100 soldiers marching on a road do not need 100 metres in length to do so, but an army of 100,000 would stretch for about 100 kms on the same road.

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    Member Member anubis88's Avatar
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    Default Re: Army strenghts

    Does anyone know how strong was Pontus? not just at mithridates VI time, but even before
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    master of the wierd people Member Ibrahim's Avatar
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    Default Re: Army strenghts

    not too strong; I imagine it was weaker than mithridates' army, which was strong enough to hold out against rome-interesting Q though.
    for asking (and thus getting my curiosity started
    Last edited by Ibrahim; 03-21-2008 at 05:41.
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    Default Re: Army strenghts

    Quote Originally Posted by konny
    Napoleon said that according to the movements, operations and combats described by Caesar the forces at Alesia must have been of about equal size. He was of course no historian but one of the most reliable authorities in military questions. Since the Romans had some 70,000 men in the field the Gauls can be estimated of something between 50,000 and 100,000 men.

    All other figures in Caesar seem to be pure fantasy too; as long as we take the events reported for granted and do not assume that all his opponents (professional militairs themselves) were idiots on the tactical field. As long as we assume that Caesar and the Romans usually fought their battles with numerical superiority we also do no longer need to search for explanations what made the Legionars supermen, worth ten battleharded Gauls or Germanics each.

    On the logistical topic: 19th Century militairs calculated 1 meter of space per every man on the march. That would make 10,000 men a column of 10 kms. An amry of 100,000 men on the march would stretch for 100 kms and would by this need 3 days to gather on a spot. This effect can be reduced by marching them on parrallel roads. But as long as you cannot assume a decent system of good roads (and for most of ancient Europe you can't) some armies that are reported in the sources simply can't have existed in that size because there was not enough room to line them up on the existing roads and move them forward a single step.

    Surely Caesar was outnumbered at The Battle of Alesia by quite a margin. The tactics he used would make no sense otherwise.
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  28. #28
    Peerless Senior Member johnhughthom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Army strenghts

    The tactics he claimed to use, do we have any accounts of Alesia other than Caesar's?

  29. #29
    master of the wierd people Member Ibrahim's Avatar
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    Default Re: Army strenghts

    they found the site, and excavated the fieldworks Caesar made.
    but no-no other contemporary source.
    and was he citing Napoleon I or III?
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    Member Member Woreczko's Avatar
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    Default Re: Army strenghts

    Quote Originally Posted by Xtiaan72
    Surely Caesar was outnumbered at The Battle of Alesia by quite a margin. The tactics he used would make no sense otherwise.
    He might have thought, that he is outnumebered, while this wasn`t the case. Getting knowledge of your opponent`s numbers isn`t as easy, as most people think. Thus there is a natural tendency to inflate numbers of opposing army.

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