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Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

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Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Helios88 » Wed Sep 14, 2016 12:05 am

I am working on an alternate-history universe where the Roman Empire survived to this day, its military force structured along modern lines but with the obvious uninterrupted military tradition flowing from good old times.
The most interesting aspect is about the flow NCOs-company level officers.
As I understood the Roman military hierarchy, Centurions were the most significant part of the officers corps, carrying out duties ranging from company (Centuria) command to battalion command (Cohors), including staff offices and brigade-level positions.
The majority of the Centurions arose from the ranks, promoted from the rank of Optio, which was a sort of very senior NCO carrying out also duties and functions which nowadays are carried out by Lieutenants.
Here comes the rain: in a modern Roman army, would centurions be promoted from the ranks, without any particular officers training, up to the rank of Major/Lieutenant Colonel? And would their rank insignia reflect this continuity?
Would the senior ranks (Military Tribunes, Legati and Comes and Duces) be appointed after a specific course?
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby SFMRAS » Wed Sep 14, 2016 1:39 pm

I think the answer is both.
You'd likely also have Greek and other influenes as well. Roman existed, in one form or another, for nearly a thousand years, IIRC. If it were to exist today, I believe that would add an additional thousand years to draw on.
IIRC, in antiquity, Centurions were also directly appointed, without prior experience.
I think there would be some form of Continuity of ranks, for instant, by rotating the insignia, as the Centurions dud in Rome.
Optios could have no insignia to several, say |, ||, |||, ||||.
Centurions would have - or =. Senior appointments/ranks would add feathers, as the early Romans did. So something like |-| or |=|.
I read somewhere that'generals' wore knotted belts, so that would likely survive.
I'd actually created a set of Romanesque helmet ranks. I'll see if I can find them.
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby marcpasquin » Wed Sep 14, 2016 11:44 pm

I think you might need to decided whether you are basically doing an integral roman empire with modern guns or a roman empire that has evolved over the past 2 millenias.

If the former, getting equivalency will be a bit hard. Centurions rose from the troops to have responsabilities and an autonomy of command far beyond what non commision officers would have OTL. It would roughly be like haveing all ranks up to major or so being enlisted ranks and having colonel and above be political apointee.

what's worse is that in this HQ staff, the tribunes were there mostly to observe and only in a few cases command anyone with only the legates actually taking decisions. So 2 ways to see this in term of insignias is that either all ranks up tribunes are treated as a single progression stream (like the chevron and rocker system of US army but extended) or else treat the centurion and those below as having 2 different sets of rank insignias.

As to what they might look like, centurion could wear a fan like design that's a stylized representation of his ceremonial uniform crest with below a number of pips depending on which cohort he comands (and thus his level of seniority). It could also be something incorporating a vine stick which was historically a symbol of his authority.
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby SFMRAS » Thu Sep 15, 2016 1:52 am

marcpasquin wrote:I think you might need to decided whether you are basically doing an integral roman empire with modern guns or a roman empire that has evolved over the past 2 millenias.

If the former, getting equivalency will be a bit hard. Centurions rose from the troops to have responsabilities and an autonomy of command far beyond what non commision officers would have OTL. It would roughly be like haveing all ranks up to major or so being enlisted ranks and having colonel and above be political apointee.

what's worse is that in this HQ staff, the tribunes were there mostly to observe and only in a few cases command anyone with only the legates actually taking decisions. So 2 ways to see this in term of insignias is that either all ranks up tribunes are treated as a single progression stream (like the chevron and rocker system of US army but extended) or else treat the centurion and those below as having 2 different sets of rank insignias.

As to what they might look like, centurion could wear a fan like design that's a stylized representation of his ceremonial uniform crest with below a number of pips depending on which cohort he comands (and thus his level of seniority). It could also be something incorporating a vine stick which was historically a symbol of his authority.

Perhaps the vine staff could function as the number of the cohort? A vine staff for the 1st, two in a 'V' for the 5th, a pair crossed for the 10th, etc.
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Helios88 » Thu Sep 15, 2016 3:51 pm

Well, my wondering took the assumption that the basic structure would remain unchanged, so ranks up to major being a sole stream from Miles Gregarius to Primus Pilus or even Praefectus Castrorum.
Tribunes, as staff officers, would be distinguished from both Legates and above ranks and from Centurions.
SFMRAS wrote:
Perhaps the vine staff could function as the number of the cohort? A vine staff for the 1st, two in a 'V' for the 5th, a pair crossed for the 10th, etc.

Or a vine staff with a roman numeral. And, for non-commanding Centurions, a sort of equivalent.


P.S. After only 4 years I gained my first star on the first shoulder board! I'm very proud. :D
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Miklós Lovász » Sat Sep 17, 2016 3:55 pm

Helios88 wrote:

P.S. After only 4 years I gained my first star on the first shoulder board! I'm very proud. :D


Complimenti, signore sottotenente:)
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Mon Oct 03, 2016 8:49 pm

This is a great one....!

I could have SO much fun with this!! smilies-15
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Helios88 » Tue Oct 04, 2016 12:56 pm

I'm very curious about possible developments.:D
Miklós Lovász wrote:
Helios88 wrote:

P.S. After only 4 years I gained my first star on the first shoulder board! I'm very proud. :D


Complimenti, signore sottotenente:)

Thanks a lot. :D


P.S. In Italian the final "E" of "Signore" is omitted when followed by a name or a title. :D

Mille scusi, signoR sottotenente :P
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Miklós Lovász » Tue Oct 04, 2016 5:22 pm

Medic_in_Uniform wrote:This is a great one....!

I could have SO much fun with this!! smilies-15


So? Why don't you? Pretty pleeease with a loooot of uische'beagha in it? :D

Come on, it IS fun ... why don't you do it?
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:02 pm

Oh, believe me, when I'm not on-call for a big ICU, I will totally have a go at this...!!
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Miklós Lovász » Wed Oct 05, 2016 6:21 pm

Medic_in_Uniform wrote:Oh, believe me, when I'm not on-call for a big ICU, I will totally have a go at this...!!
smilies-29

Just tell them that there are lots of terminally ill patients, fighting with their last breath the symptoms of that horrible - and most lethal - disease called medic-designs-whitdrawal (nullus designus medicus uniformatus lethalissimus morbidabilis), so you would need to be released to care for them smilies-23
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Miklós Lovász » Mon Oct 31, 2016 3:03 am

.... still waiting ... just reminding you ... no hurry .... none whatsoever ... at all, at all ....
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Helios88 » Tue Nov 01, 2016 4:31 pm

If we accept the idea of an evolved Roman Empire, towards modern methods of warfare, find an interesting situation: the officers corps directly derives from the chivalry and, often ostensibly, officers perform the same duties knights once performed.
On the other hand, the Roman military DID NOT have an officer corps in the modern sense: Optiones and Centuriones came from the ranks, and their careers ended (if not promoted in the Equites class) to the position of Praefectus Castrorum.
It may be interesting speculate how modern esigencies (of our timeline) may be interpreted on these basis, i.e. on the lacking of an officers corps in modern/western sense.
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Miklós Lovász » Mon Dec 19, 2016 6:18 pm

Medic_in_Uniform wrote:Oh, believe me, when I'm not on-call for a big ICU, I will totally have a go at this...!!
smilies-29


not that I'm impacient or something ... not at all, at all ... just mentioning passingly that the year is coming to it's end ... that's all ...
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Tue Dec 20, 2016 2:01 am

You do make me laugh...!! smilies-15

Sorry, my friend -- it's going to be a while before I get to this in any meaningful way.

Just because I don't have time to sit down in front of a computer and do detailed drawings, it doesn't mean I'm not thinking about it! I'm very interested in the discussions in the first few posts regarding the progression from ancient Roman "ranks," and the distinctions of political and social class, and how those might have evolved into a more contemporary structure.

A few main points spring to mind:
1. No system is static; ALL systems continuously evolve to take account of external pressures that require the system to meet different operational needs.
2. The Roman rank structure (and the sub-groups within it) was closely linked to, and highly dependent upon, the Roman social structure and the classes within that.
3. I'm sure we've touched on this before in discussions here but there's an interesting debate to be had regarding the relative equivalencies between Roman and contemporary military ranks. I think we all agree that regarding the various Centurion grades as "NCOs" is over-simplistic and relies too heavily on the distinctions of social class. What is more interesting is how we think they might equate to company and field grade ranks, potentially right up to something approaching the equivalent of a full Colonel staff officer for the Praefectus castrorum.
4. While these were undoubtedly professional officers, there are aspects to the structure that make me think more of the Warrant Officers of the Royal Navy in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries. Now, true scholars of both the Royal Navy and of classical Rome and the Roman military of antiquity may well tell me I'm well wide of the mark here but the parallel is that the ship's standing officers, appointed by Warrant, not Commission, were the originally the professionals in their fields (sailing master, carpenter, sailmaker and so on) and stayed with the ship while the "gentleman" commissioned officers came and went. It's a bit of a simplification in order to make a point but the evolution of this was, eventually, that the gentleman officers of the Royal Navy became more and more professional in their training and warrant officers began to be appointed to commissioned ranks, and by the mid-Twentieth Century the role (in its original form) had disappeared as it was merged into the commissioned ranks, admittedly as "second class citizens" initially (with limited rank progression) but eventually they simply became part of the greater whole and promotion from the Rates to commission is an accepted pathway. Subsequently the warrant rank is re-created along Army lines as a true "Senior NCO" in a way that the original Warrant Officers weren't.

The reason for going through all that is to think about how some sort of similar evolution would have occurred over the best part of two thousand years, had a functioning and stable Roman Empire lasted to this day.

The other great driver for change in any military organisation is technology -- and battlefield technology re-shapes the roles that individual soldiers play and the way in which they are led. The basic sub-units might not change much, especially at field infantry level, but the number of individuals and the relative ranks of those in first-level leadership roles will adapt and change; there's also the need to acknowledge specialists in technical roles alongside pure fighting roles — although the Romans were actually pretty good at that...!!

I'm posing questions to stimulate debate rather than providing answers or even suggestions at this point and I'm certainly not doing drawings yet (sorry buddy!) although I do have a few ideas. I'm more interested in seeing what you guys come up with and then seeing what that stimulates in terms of concepts for a rank structure and the insignia to go with it.

I'm also a sucker for the "back-story" so taking the time to chart the history and evolution helps me to think through the "how" and the "why" that lead to the designs.

If you didn't understand the history of gold and silver bullion epaulettes and the selection of opposite colours for contrast and visibility then you'd never understand why gold is Junior to silver in US officer rank markings. I like to work with the same sort of hypothetical ideas in my head when I'm playing with designs.

The Aquila eagle emblem, the lightning bolts, the vine staff and the transverse helmet crest (or perhaps some modernised, stylised representation of it) are all likely items to appear somewhere in the components that makeup a scheme of insignia of latter-day Romans but I'm also sure there are loads of things I haven't even thought of yet!

Would the uniforms look like contemporary military clothing or could they be completely different? What about formal dress, service dress, working dress (or their broad equivalents)...?

Where would insignia appear?
On the chest? On the helmet or soft barracks cover? On the sleeve, cuff or shoulder...?

Would the insignia be the same (or embellished versions of the same) across all types of uniform or would, say, formal dress be completely different to working dress?

This could be fun -- let's hear your ideas guys!!
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Miklós Lovász » Tue Dec 20, 2016 3:04 pm

The Roman Empire (and European society) changed because of the migrant peoples. So, let's assume they were defeated and assimilated, or they didn't migrate, at all.
In this case, I would assume a Roman Empire changed by the times (invention of the steam engine - Heron of Alexandria did it -, gunpowder, etc) and still clinging to the cursus honorum. Therefore, I can imagine a system with separate insignia for those of - potentially - senatorial rank and the plebe, as well as one adapted for the necessities of war (cam's and all) and one simply beeing beautiful and antient.
So, dress would be something acutely reminiscent of Imperial Rome (w/o the skirt ... or perhaps with it? ... hmmm .... food for thought ... ), while the service/BDU would be somehing more appropriate and developed through the ages ...

What do you think?
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Tue Dec 20, 2016 3:54 pm

The all-conquering armies of mighty Rome wearing short leather skirts with studs and feathers on their heads. Could be an interesting look...

smilies-10 smilies-26 smilies-15
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Miklós Lovász » Tue Dec 20, 2016 7:22 pm

Medic_in_Uniform wrote:The all-conquering armies of mighty Rome wearing short leather skirts with studs and feathers on their heads. Could be an interesting look...

smilies-10 smilies-26 smilies-15


LOLOLOLOLOL

that's pretty much my onnly reaction .....


on the other hand ... Highlanders&Co ... hmmm ....
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Tue Dec 20, 2016 8:23 pm

Allegedly it was haute couture for triumphal parades in about 100 BC...!!





(OK, maybe not for now though...)
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Miklós Lovász » Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:07 pm

Well, it's still haute couture for the Royal Regiment of Scotland, isn't it?
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Miklós Lovász » Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:13 pm

On the other hand, if the Roman Empire didn't cease existing, today most (if not all) of Europe would be guarded by the legions, after they fought and won myriad battles against pretty much everybody, Vikings included. Therefore, I wouldn't be surprised if a reverse "Red Sea rig" would appear, with the leather skirt rpelaced by trouers or omething ...
Also, let me mention here the Lowland and Irish regiments, wearing tartan trouser ... perhaps something like this would have appeared in our case, too.

As for the backstory ... there are plenty of moments in Roman history that may have led to such a situation, if things happened differently ... there was an emperor who wished to restore the Republic, I seem to recall ... he may have been the engine of change ...
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby marcpasquin » Wed Dec 21, 2016 5:20 pm

In regard to the backstory, I had worked on one for an Alt-history setting and the way I saw it maybe the best way would be for an alternance of civil wars, successor states and then reunifications.

In this sense, it would be similar to Chinese history. China is usually considered a country that has existed for over 2 millenias despite the fact that at various point it was split between various warlords.

What would form the continuity of the Roman Empire is the notion of "Imperium", the worth to rule, an equivalent to the Chinese mandate of heaven. This would mean that any ruler would see himself as the true leader of the Empire and not someone creating a new country as ethnicity and location would be disconnected from the notion of civic governance. Any split would thus be considered by all to be temporary even if it lasted for a few generations with reunification being the ultimate goal.

In that way, the modern alt-Roman empire would have gone through many period of conflict, seen many changes but ultimately still look to Julius Caesar as the founder of their country.
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Wed Dec 21, 2016 8:58 pm

Hi Mark -- yes, that's pretty good!

I like the parallels with China and the idea that there would a sense of a general cultural identity that would be separate from allegiance to whichever actual political entity (or entities) happen to be the nation state (or states) at any given time.

Depending on how long separation into a number of different countries might last for any given time period, I guess that could also give rise to some of the cultural drivers that would explain why different regions would retain particular aspects of traditions and lose or change others.

I suppose some of that might have be seen in the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Holy Roman Empire.

I hope Helios88 gets to chip into this discussion too!
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Helios88 » Thu Dec 29, 2016 5:09 pm

Here I am. :D I was on vacation these days.
First of all, I'd make my compliments to Medic due to the extensive reflection he/she has provided to the discussion. :)

Second, I'll try to answer to some questions Medic made in the post about the evolution or to better say I'll try to offer a possible analysis.

As premise, I have to say that I appreciate the parallel drawn between real-history China and this alt-hist Roman Empire. It is to say that several traditionalist scholars see the similarity between the Mandate of Heaven and the Imperium, both being of divine origin and entrusted to the individual ruler rather than the concept of the class, dinasty or other social group.
Due to the lenght of the Medic's post, I'll quote only the parts which I can comment or about I have thoughts to express. :-)




2. The Roman rank structure (and the sub-groups within it) was closely linked to, and highly dependent upon, the Roman social structure and the classes within that.

Up to a certain point: in the late Empire the senatorial class was progressively excluded from the military command. At least from the Gallienus' rule the Legatus legions was replaced by the Praefectus legionis (possibly merging the Legatus with the Praefectus castrorum). So it's feasible to stage the hypotesis that, the more the Empire lasted, the less the social class counted (relatively speaking of course).

3. I'm sure we've touched on this before in discussions here but there's an interesting debate to be had regarding the relative equivalencies between Roman and contemporary military ranks. I think we all agree that regarding the various Centurion grades as "NCOs" is over-simplistic and relies too heavily on the distinctions of social class. What is more interesting is how we think they might equate to company and field grade ranks, potentially right up to something approaching the equivalent of a full Colonel staff officer for the Praefectus castrorum.

In my views the Centurions were primarily company/field grade officers (up to Battalion commander, to indicate a contemporary position); their work was to make tactical and, in small engagements, strategic decisions about their Centuria and, in case of Cohors commanders, their Cohors.

4. While these were undoubtedly professional officers, there are aspects to the structure that make me think more of the Warrant Officers of the Royal Navy in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries. Now, true scholars of both the Royal Navy and of classical Rome and the Roman military of antiquity may well tell me I'm well wide of the mark here but the parallel is that the ship's standing officers, appointed by Warrant, not Commission, were the originally the professionals in their fields (sailing master, carpenter, sailmaker and so on) and stayed with the ship while the "gentleman" commissioned officers came and went. It's a bit of a simplification in order to make a point but the evolution of this was, eventually, that the gentleman officers of the Royal Navy became more and more professional in their training and warrant officers began to be appointed to commissioned ranks, and by the mid-Twentieth Century the role (in its original form) had disappeared as it was merged into the commissioned ranks, admittedly as "second class citizens" initially (with limited rank progression) but eventually they simply became part of the greater whole and promotion from the Rates to commission is an accepted pathway. Subsequently the warrant rank is re-created along Army lines as a true "Senior NCO" in a way that the original Warrant Officers weren't.
This fits my view perfectly. Transposed in a ground context, gentlemen should be a sort of "decorations", viable for further study and training, in order to fill the higher posts; maybe senior officers tasked with making strategic decisions.

Would the uniforms look like contemporary military clothing or could they be completely different? What about formal dress, service dress, working dress (or their broad equivalents)...?
Here we go into pure speculation. Therefore I can only describe what I imagined for this Roman Empire, obviously explaining why.
Given the contemporary military technology which is the base of our reasoning, and given clothing tendencies shown in the historical Roman civilization, I'd stage the hypotesis of the presence of trousers (in the historical Rome there were the "braccae", not-so-loose ankle-closed trousers). Also closed shoes were used, although I think that, given the absence of major Germanic invasions and related cultural shifts, the presence of this type of garment depended heavily by the actual climate. Given both the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age, maybe they may be a fixed presence only for certain climates, i.e. only for certain combat dress uniforms.
For the upper body, I admit that I have no clear ideas. We could hypotize that shirts and jackets are the same of today, or we may imagine that the tunic model is the curent form.

Where would insignia appear?
On the chest? On the helmet or soft barracks cover? On the sleeve, cuff or shoulder...?
It is an interesting but hard-to-answer-to question. Therefore I pass the answer, at least for now.

Would the insignia be the same (or embellished versions of the same) across all types of uniform or would, say, formal dress be completely different to working dress?
In this, perhaps paradoxically, I have more ideas than for the previous point. Romans were a pragmatic culture, and my hypotesis is that the formal insignia would be an embellished version of the combat dress ones. But these are only my two cent. :)
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Helios88 » Wed Feb 08, 2017 12:30 am

Thanks to Medic-in-Uniform's post, this thread is too interesting to be let to drown :D
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Wed Feb 08, 2017 2:17 am

I'm thinking about it...

I have ideas jostling for position inside my head but it'll be a while yet before I have the time to sit down and lose a few hours drawing them -- and the first attempt always ends up being refined and updated. I can't think of anything I got totally how I wanted it first time around!

Keep the discussion going though; it all adds to the creativity and, best of all, this sort of thing always makes me go away and look stuff up and learn new levels of detail about subjects which already fascinate me!
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Helios88 » Wed Feb 15, 2017 11:47 am

Well, I may imagine that, around 25th Century A.U.C. (i.e. 18th Century A.D.) technological devices such as relatively widespread and relatively reliable firearms and "fire" artillery may be influence even an Army already accustomed to manage large formations.
Therefore, on the lower ranks, we may see an evolution or a growth of the "Immunes", specialists and artillerymen; this may have led to a creation of the third branch, the Artillery, alongside the Infantry and the Cavalry.
With regard to the latter one, we see that, if we assume that the surviving Roman Empire maintains its geographical focus on Rome and the Mediterranean Sea, we can see that there are not so many vast plains suitable for deployment of the cavalry "en masse". I would imagine, therefore, that the Infantry may remain the "Regina Pugnarum".
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Wed Feb 15, 2017 12:06 pm

Yeah, that seems reasonable -- and if you think of the way that successive European conflicts like the Wars of Austrian Succession and the Napoleonic Wars played out, that's pretty much what happened.

As a side question, your mentioning of the Mediterranean made me wonder:
how would a Roman navy fit into this? Just another branch of a generic Roman military, or evolution into an entirely separate service from the army...?
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Helios88 » Wed Feb 15, 2017 12:31 pm

Medic_in_Uniform wrote:Yeah, that seems reasonable -- and if you think of the way that successive European conflicts like the Wars of Austrian Succession and the Napoleonic Wars played out, that's pretty much what happened.

As a side question, your mentioning of the Mediterranean made me wonder:
how would a Roman navy fit into this? Just another branch of a generic Roman military, or evolution into an entirely separate service from the army...?

For this topic, I'd see the real history: in the Eastern Roman Empire the Arab/Islamic threat pressed Costantinople to develop a strong navy; in a similar way, if we assume that the Arab world would develop, the Navy would be an extremely important branch. Compare the modern-day real world: even a nation with financial difficulties like Italy is building a fleet of 16 new frigates and a new LHD (mentioning only already approved and financed programmes) in addition to the existing fleet in order to keep secure its own interests.
Even a Mediterranean Sea completely dominated by the Roman power, a sort of Mare Nostrum, would constitute the strategic depth for the Empire; not to mention the geographical discoveries (the Atlantic Ocean would be a frontier between Roman Gaul and Iberia and whatever may lie beyond the western horizon or may become the vector for a Roman-specific colonization) and the contact with other already established empires and civilizations (Chinese presence, Middle eastern powers, Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Black Sea, etc.).
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Helios88 » Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:32 am

Ater some further study, I'd propose the following organization. I decided to loosely inspire the modern Roman Empire to the McCallum saga "Romanitas".

I assumed that, as of 28th Century A.U.C. (21st Century AD), there is a substantial social homogeneity, which allows to avoid the distinction between Roman and non-Roman units. Operational theatres where the Roman Army is expected to operate include the Mediterranean world, France, Great Britain and Ireland Germany, Central-Eastern Europe (Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Ukraine), Middle East (Euphrates-Tigri region). A complex mixture of theatres and of ground configurations, where the Cavalry has not an overall dominance (especially in the "core regions").

First of all, the elementary unit is still the infantry Legion (latin: Legio), assimilated to a multipurpose formation (4,000 to 6,000 soldiers); the Legion has several Battalion-sized Infantry Cohortes, some artillery units, cavalry units (for exploration tasks) and tank units (if it is a mechanized infantry legion).

There are also several independent smaller units, called Numbers (latin: Numeri) and Wings (latin: Alae); these are usually specialized units and are framed within large formations, providing combat support and support to the central pieces of troops, i.e. Legions (i.e. at divisional level there are some cavalry Wings or army aviation Wings or Military Police/Statores Numeri, and so on) or may be attached to higher echelons.

Hierarchy: it is to note that, over all the Roman history, the military had the very same importance of the civil government. Therefore the supreme commander is still the Emperor, but there is not an intermediate level between the Emperor himself and the military: no Prime Minister, no Ministry of Defence.

General ranks are drawn from the Late Empire titles. All general officers are patricians: in order to preserve military efficiency, when a career soldier is promoted to the general rank, he is firstly ennobled and consequently given the rank he should hold.

    Magister Utriusque Militiae (Master of Both Militias): 5-Star rank.

    Comes: Commander of army corps and field armies: according to the individual position held, 3 or 4 star rank.

    Dux: title for formations comprising at least 2 Legions and the attached support units (i.e. major general)

Senior officers: this category is, in my opinion, the most difficult to deal with. As I mentioned at the start of the topic, one has to decide who commands what.

The Praefectus Legionis is the career Legion commander; if a patrician is appointed as Legion commander he is styled Legatus Legionis, who according Wikipedia could be distinguished in the field by his elaborate helmet and body armour, as well as his scarlet paludamentum and cincticulus. The latter was a scarlet waist-band tied around his waist in a bow). The corresponding rank would be Brigadier/Brigadier General.

For the other units, which could vary in actual strength from 500 to 1000, the commander would be the Praefectus Alae/Numeri; a corresponding rank may be Lieutenant Colonel/Colonel.

Tribunes Militares (i.e. Military Tribunes) have a staff officers role, and may be young officers freshly trained and still lacking command experience. The corresponding rank I would give them may be Senior Lieutenant/Staff Captain/Major, according to the seniority.

The Centurion (latin: Centurio) would be the ordinary company commander, as well as the chief of staff of small support units commanded by a Praefectus. Differently from the early Empire, when he was a jack-of-all-trades, he would be limited to the small units command. It is to note that in this system, there is a sort of alternation: career soldiers reach the rank of Centurion, and then they may attain the rank of Praefectus; Tribunes come from the Military Academy and are destined to higher echelons.

The Optio would be a mix between a senior NCO and a Lieutenant, i.e. a Platoon Commander.
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby RaduLaur66 » Mon Jun 25, 2018 12:10 am

For this I will propose two models. One could be that of the Principate, which, I admit, is the less feasible for the following reasons:
1. If the Romans abandoned it, it was for the fact that it was no longer working. It evolved in the short period from the 2nd to the 4th century and supposing the Empire had had lasted until today, it would have change even further.
2. The Principate military hierarchy was built on the social background existing in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD and changed gradually, especially after 211 when all the free inhabitants of the Roman Empire received citizenship and the increasing number of senators drawn from the equestrian order.
3. The increasing need of professional soldiers and especially, of professional high ranking officers made that by the end of the 3rd century - although this decision was attributed by the ancient historian to Gallienus (253-268) - had come to the total replacement of the senatorial class officers by equestrians or even by those coming from the ranks, as they were more experienced.
4. In fact, the senatorial officers have never been professional officers; the military service was seen from the ancient times as a "gentleman's duty", a civic obligation, not as a profession. Senior officers were magistrates and the magistrate was not a paid clerk, an idea which sound very repulsive to them; the magistracy was an honos i.e. an honor. The succesion of the different steps in the senatorial career has been established by Lex Villia Annalis in 180 BC. and was called smilies-33 cursus honorum (the succession of honors).
1. Quaestorship: around 30 years of age after a few years of military service, usually as a legionary senior officer, called tribunus militum. Established in the 1st century BC around 30 years.
2. Aedlis or tribunus plebis, which were civilian jobs, around 33
3. Praetor - senior judge and attorney general, around 36
4. Consul - commander in chief Army (they were 2) and co-president of the Republic, first at 38, then incresed to 42.

During the Empire, the minimum age requirement was lowered and the magistracties lost their importance.

Quaestorship was settles at about 23-24 years.
Before this, a young senatorial officer would fill the position of tribunus militum laticlavius (that is wearing the broad purple stripe as a mark of his senatorial rank) for at least 1 year. The senatorial tribune was the second-in-command of the newly createde post of legionary commander, the legatus legionis.

Praetorship at about 29-30 years. After that, the former praetor would take the command of a legion as legatus legionis, for 2-3 years, in a province where more legions were grarrisoned.

Then, he could became a governor of a imperial province holding a legion and an equal number of auxiliaries. By this time he would be put directly under the orders of the emperor. But this was not a rule; instead of this, he could be sent in a province without troops or could receive civil positions. As a former praetor, he could not, theoretically, command more than a legion.

After the consulate he could be sent as governor of a larger province where were stationed more legions. In the first century 4 legions provinces still existed. By the 2nd century the largest would not have more than 3, while by the end of the 2nd century - beginning of the 3rd, there will be no more provinces with more than 2 legions.

It results that the senators were not military professionals in the real acceptance of the world. There were not any prescribed rule of advancement and a military career with a well established pattern. All relied on a favor, connections, loyalty to the emperor and aristocratic background basis, and merit had most of the times little to do with career and promotion.

A senator would be commissioned directly as a legion second-in-command at about 20 years old and would not serve more than 2-3 yesrs. He will leave the military and return at about 30 as a legionary commander. He could command again troops as a governor of praetorian rank (1 legion plus auxiliaries) and after the age of 40 a province or more with more than 2 legions.

The increasing number of barbarian invasions and Persian Empire military resurrection made much needed the professional officers. The equestrian military career was more solid and the meritocracy became increasingly a criteria for advancement. It's by this time that people coming from the ranks reached to the highest positions (Claudius II Gothicus, Aurelianus, Probus, Carus, Diocletian, Galerius).

Now, let's return to the hierarachy based on the I-II century military system. let's suppose that differences between laticlavii (sentorial tribunes) and angusticlavii (from angustus clavus -the narrow strip of purple for the equestrian officers) did not exist, since in the 21st century the society would be more democratic.

Company Officer:
- Optio (Second Lieutenant)
- Centurio (First Lieutenant)
- Centurio primi ordinis (Captain)

Field/Regimental Officer:
-Primus pilus (Major)
-Praefectus cohortis/alae (Lieutenant Colonel)
-Tribunus militum (Colonel)

General Officer
- Dux (Brigadier/ Brigadier General)
- Legatus Legionis (Major General)
- Legatus pro praetore consularis (Lieutentant General)
- Proconsul (General)
- Imperator (Field-marshal)

The optio would command a manipulus (a handful of men). Although manipulus was during the Republic the size of 2 centuries, now it can be considered a platoon and a third of a century as today platoons.A manipulus could number 30-40 soldiers.

The centurio would be a second-in-command of the century commander, the first rank centurion. A century of the Principate has a complement of 80 men. In the 21st century a company (century) would have 120-160 men.

The commmander would be a centurio primi ordinis, as all the centurions from the first cohort of every legion were called. They commanded double strength centuries (160 men).

The former first centurion of a legion - the primus pilus which is correctly translated by "first file" not by "first spear" as the pilus should not be confused with pilum - could take the role of a Major. The primus pilus was a respecred member of the legion's staff and this rank represented the highest advancement hope for most centurions. He will fill the position of a battalion/regiment 2iC or could command a specialised company such as Special Forces companies.

I would prefer a system on the lines of the British Army.
The next level is the Battalion (infantry)/Regiment (Cavalry. Artillery etc). The battalion will be named cohors, the regiment as ala. The commander - a praefectus cohortis/alae, as lieutenant colonel. A cohors was something ranging from 500 (quingenaria) to 1000 (milliaria) so it works well for the battalion/regiment role.

I'd rather prefer tribuni in a staff role, as is the case in the British Army. During the Principate the senatorial tribunus laticlavius and the 5 equestrian tribuni angusticlavi (as they were 6 tribunes in every legion) were not playing in a commanding role; they had staff and disciplinary matters in their hands and served as order conveyors from the legionary legate to the centurions (the cohorts had no commanders in the legions, it was made on an ad hoc basis if necessary). Tribunes served as commanders only in the auxiliary units, but we've convened to eliminate the citizen-non citizen dichotomy. So the tribunes can play the role the colonels play today in the British Army, as brigades 2iC.

Now it's time for a little improvisation. When the need to accomplish a mission at higher speed arised, the romans could assembly operational task forces named vexillationes. A vexillatio was a mixed force of heavy infantry, light infantry, cavalry, taken from both legionary and auxilliary units. It fits very well the British Army brigade, the US Army Brigade Combat Team, or the US Marine Corps regimental combat teams and Marine Expeditionary Units. Such expeditionary units raised for a specific mission were put under the command of a primipilaris (former primus pilus). Primipilares had no permanent appointment and were keep in reserve by the emperors as they were the most experienced professional officers and battle-hardened veterans for different missions which required good command skills and determination.
They were offered the title of dux which simply means "commanders" and doesn't signify a certain rank (praepositus is a term often employed for such commanders). Many experienced primi pili or former equestrian officers later promoted to senatorial rank) spent some time as commanders (duces, praepositi) of such expeditionary forces. This explains the later higher status of the rank of dux, which, in the 3rd century and in the 4-6th centuries was a general grade.
So I would call the brigade combat teams vexillationes, on a par with current brigades. A vexillatio would be in the range of 2.000-4.000 men. For the leadership, I would adopt the British system where the brigade CO is a Brigadier/Brigadier General before 1920 and the DCO a Colonel rather than the american one where the Brigade CO is a Colonel.

The next step is the legion. The legion would be the division of today. Now, as brigades are combined arms units, a division is modular with a number of brigades which can be modified upon need. The old legion was also a modular structure, as being made up of more almost identical units, the cohorts II-X, while the first was organized on the same lines but of double strength. (By the way, the firs cohort DID NOT have only 5 double centuries as often stated, it had 6 double centuries, so it had a complement of 960 soldiers, unlike cohorts II-IX with 480). It results that the division should be called legion.But, unlike ancient legions who were about 5.600 men, the actual legio would be division size, i.e. 10.000-16.000 men. The legatus legionis would normaly correspond to our Major General rank.

The legatus of consular rank (consularis) had the right to command at least 2 legions. No consular legate ever commanded more than 4 legions. It results that he can be associated with the rank of Lieutenant General. In fact, the very name Legatus means "lieutenant" in latin. The force he commands fits the dimensions of a Army Corps. Then it was called exercitus (army). Now we can call it by a lexical innovation - subexercitus.

Finally, coming from the late republican times, the position of proconsul could be equated to that of a full ("4 star") General. The proconsul was a former magistrate, consul (or even praetor) who, while serving as an army commander, reached the end of his annual magistracy. In order not to change the army commander and to give him enough authority to command while no more a magistrate, the Senate decided to prorogue (to lengthen) on an annual basis his prerogatives as a army commander. He no longer held other prerogatives associated with the consular status, but kept it as military command was concerned. He would automatically lapse his authority by the time he stepped back in Rome.
Proconsuls did not hold as often stated the proconsulare imperium, but consulare imperium.The imperium (powers) of a proconsul was of the same category as the consul's imperium (genus imperii). As a promagistrate he had no higher authority upon him, so he had an autonomous army command. That's why we call him a full General. We may call an army (2 or more corps) exercitus.

The title of imperator was a honorary one and granted to any victorious autonomous army commander. By Augustus time, this title was reserved only for the emperor. That's why we may call the title of imperator field marshal. I hope it has been useful.
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby RaduLaur66 » Mon Jun 25, 2018 1:02 am

A more plausible version would be, OMHO, the military hierarchy of the Later Roman Empire (4th-6r centuries) when all the ranks of the Roman Army were professionals.

Again, I will approach only the commissioned officer ranks.

1. Company Officer
- Protector (Second Lieutenant)
-Centenarius (First Lieutenant)
- Ducenarius (Captain)

2. Regimental Officer
- Adiutor/Senator (Major)
- Primicerius (Lieutenant Colonel)
- Tribunus (Colonel)

3. General Officer
- Praefectus legionis or Taxiarchos/Chiliarchos/Drungarius(Brigadier General)
- Dux (Major General)
- Comes rei militaris (Lieutenant General)
- Magister utriusque militum (General)
- Magister militum praesentalis (Field-Marshal)

The protector was in fact a young staff officer who had hopes for advancement to the first rank of commissioned officer, that was tribunus militum. This was a privilege for those of high social extraction. The others had to wait much longer and got through all the noncommissioned officer ranks before attaining such a position. First they had to enlist. The "enlisted" ranks were:
-Tiro (recruit)
-Miles/Eques (infantryman/cavalry trooper)
-Semissalis (one and a half pay rank) Lance corporal/Private First Class
-Circitor (Corporal)
-Biarchus (Sergeant)

However, we'll suppose now that protector is the lower step of the officer career, an officer still in branch training. He would lead a platoon (let's call it hetairia since from the 6th century greek names are increasingly frequent) of 30-40 men.

The centenarius (Lieutenant) will be the 2iC/XO of the company Commander.

The ducenarius will be a captain, and will command a centuria/company of 120-160 men.

The adiutor (infantry) or senator (cavalry) corresponds to a major and would serve as battalion/regiment operations officer

The primicerius would serve as battalion/regiment XO and would be a Lieutenant Colonel

The tribunus is the colonel and would command a unit (battalion/regiment). In the 6th century it looked like all units, no matter their name (numerus/arithmos, auxilia, legio, bandon etc.) was not greater than 4-500 men. Our 21 century roman battalions/regiments would have 600-700 men.

The praefectus legionis, still attested in Notitia Dignitatum in the late 4th-early 5th century no longer appears in the the 6th century sources. That's maybe because the legion as unit one level above others (auxilia etc.) disappeared by then. The unit larger than regimental size of this period is the drungus. This subject is still a matter of controversy between Later Roman Army experts. The brigade would be something between 2000-4000 men. He could be also called moirachos (commander of a moira -brigade).

The dux would command a division (turma, meros) of 10.000-16.000 men. He vould be called also merarchos (commander of a division - meros).

The comes rei militaris would command a corps (2-4 divisions). He can be called also topotoretes (place holder, that is "Lieutenant")

Magister militum or magister utriusque militum (that is also peditum - infantry and equitum -cavalry) is the 4 star/full general commanding all the military forces in a certain area.

The magistri militum praesentales/in praesente, that is the commanders of the forces in the presence of the emperor (the forces situated in the vicinity of the capital) can be considered a step higher than the other magistri militum.

It's a little similar to the old imperial german and imperial russian system:

Magister militum- General
Magister militum in praesente- General feldmarschal
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Helios88 » Mon Jun 25, 2018 8:01 am

I am literally speechless :O

You've done a splendid study, now it is time to elaborate a coherent rank hierarchy and figure out insignia, but I am very admired!
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Helios88 » Mon Jun 25, 2018 1:29 pm

Ok, now I submit you an outline of the Roman Army as of 2771 A.U.C. (i.e. 2018 AD). I will follow RaduLaur66's suggestions with some my own interpolations. Once we'll reach a coherent structure, the time of actual insignia will come.

First of all, units and formations:
A Platoon equivalent: Manipulus (Infantry), Turma (Cavalry)
A Company equivalent: Centuria(Infantry, Artillery), Numerus (Cavalry)
A Battalion equivalent: Cohors (Infantry), Corpus (Artillery), Ala (Cavalry)
A Brigade equivalent: Vexillatio (Combined Arms)
A Division equivalent: Legio (Combined Arms)
An Army Corps equivalent: Comitatus (Combined Arms)
A Field Army equivalent: Exercitus (Combined Arms)


Troops and Enlisted
Tiro: Recruit
Miles/Eques: Private
Immunis: Private First Class/Specialist
Semissalis: Lance corporal

NCOs
Decanus
Decurio (in charge of a Manipulus/Turma)
Optio (in charge of a Manipulus/Turma): cadets of patrician/noble birth, after the training as Tiro, start here

Officers
Centurio: Lieutenant (in charge of a Manipulus or of a Turma or deputy commander of a Centuria/Numerus)
Ducenarius: Captain (in charge of a Centuria or of a Numerus)
Adiutor: Major (Infantry, Artillery)
Senator: Major (Cavalry)
Primicerius: Lieutenant Colonel (Infantry, Artillery) chief of staff of a Cohors/Corpus
Praefectus Alae: Lieutenant Colonel (Cavalry) chief of staff of an Ala
Tribunus: Colonel (under the British Army system) in charge of a Cohors, Corpus or Ala.
Vexillifer: Brigadier General in charge of a Vexillatio
Praefectus Legionis: Major General in charge of a Legio
Legatus Legionis: Major General in charge of a Legio (of noble birth)
Comes Rei Militaris: Lieutenant General in charge of a Comitatus

Magister Peditum: Colonel General in charge of an Exercitus (coming from Infantry)
Magister Equitum: Colonel General in charge of an Exercitus (coming from Cavalry)

Magister Acies Praesentalis: General Field Marshal
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby RaduLaur66 » Mon Jun 25, 2018 6:16 pm

If I may, I would not mix Principate era (1st to 3rd century era ranks) with those from the later period (4th-6th). If we stick to the late era, then there is no place for:
1. Immunis. This was a ranks of the 1st and 2nd century era. He is no longer attested in the later era.
2. Decanus immediately after semissalis. The rank corresponding to corporal in the late era is clearly attested: CIRCITOR. He could fill the role of a team leader, that is five soldiers. The leader of 4 soldiers (tetrarhes) or 5 men (pentarhes) mentioned by Mauricius' Strategikon (late 6th century military manual) are the equivalent of the circitor. The Strategikon also attests the laeder of 10 men (dekarhes) who is the BIARCHUS or DECANUS. This would be the squad leader (sergeant)
3. Optio. In the late roman era, there was the PROTECTOR. However, in order to have the rank of second lieutenant, I would name the officer cadet by the title of CANDIDATUS; so, the PROTECTOR would be the first rank commissioned officer rank.
4. Centurio. It also belongs to the earlier era, so there is no place for it here. Instead of it, CENTENARIUS (First Lieutenant)
5. Praefectus alae. It’s also anachronistic. We’ll stick to PRIMICERIUS. He would be a lieutenant colonel and deputy commander of a unit. Since the ducenarius commands a company/Squadron/Battery and at the next level (battalion or regiment) there is a tribunus, there’s nothing in between, so the primicerius/lieutenant colonel cannot play a command role, but only that of a second in command.
6. Vexillifer. It’s not correct, since he designated a non-commissioned rank from the earlier period. The vexillifer was a vexillum carrier. The vexillum was the little cloth flag of a cavalry detachment (turma). Vexillatio is a very different thing. As I’ve said earlier, it’s a large combined arms operational task force. The correct title could be DRUNGARIUS (also attested for some cavalry units in the Strategikon), or, more ‘traditional’, PRAEFECTUS LEGIONIS. In the later era of the Roman Empire, the legion was downsized dramatically. Historians appreciate its strength to no more than 1.200 soldiers. It better fits the brigade rather than a division for the late era. In 2018, a legion of late era model might have around 2000-4000 soldiers.
7. Legatus legionis. It belongs to the early era, so it doesn’t fit here. Let’s stick to the DUX. He would command a MEROS (division)
8. Magister peditum and Magister equitum. These two positions were merged in the 6th century into a single one: MAGISTER UTRIUSQUE MILITUM or, simply, MAGISTER MILITUM. They wore the names of their area command: MAGISTER MILITUM PER THRACIAS (Thrace), MAGISTER MILITUM PER ILLYRICUM (Illyricum/Dalmatia), MAGISTER MILITUM PER ARMENIAM (Armenia and Cappadocia), MAGISTER MILITUM PER ORIENTEM (East).

There it is my latest proposal for the roman hierarchy:
1.Enlisted
-Tiro (recruit)
-Miles/Eques ( private - infantryman/cavalryman)
-Semissalis (lance-corporal)

2.NCOs
-Circitor/Tetrarhes&Pentarhes (corporal): team leader
-Biarchus/Decanus (Sergeant): Squad Leader
-Signophorus (Staff/Colour Sergeant): company/squadron/battery standard bearer and company/squadron/battery sergeant major
-Draconarius/Bandophorus (Sergeant Major): regimental/battalion standard bearer and battalion/regimental sergeant major

3.Company Officers
-Candidatus (Officer Cadet) starting position for officers
-Protector (Second Lieutenant): commander of a manipulus (infantry platoon) or vexillum (cavalry troop)
- Centenarius (First Lieutenant): Company/Squadron/Battery Second in command (2iC)
- Ducenarius (Captain): infantry Company or artillery battery commanders (centuria); cavalry squadron (turma) commander

4. Regimental Officers
-Adiutor (infantry/artillery Major) – Battalion Adjutant
-Senator (cavalry Major) – Regimental Adjutant
-Primicerius (Lieutenant Colonel)- Battalion/Regiment 2iC
-Tribunus (Colonel)- Commander of a cohors, bandon, auxilia, numerus (infantry and artillery Battalion)/Commander of an ala (cavalry regiment)

5. General Officers
-Praefectus Legionis (Brigadier General): Commander of a Legio/Moira (brigade)
-Dux (Major General): Commander of a Meros (Division)
-Comes rei militaris (Lieutenant General): Commander of a Comitatus (Amy Corps) (GREAT IDEA, HELIOS88)
-Magister militum (General): Commander of an Exercitus (Field Army)
-Magister militum praesentalis/in praesenti (General field marshal): Chief of the Imperial General Staff

I’ve took as a model the British army sytem were
Infantry platoon = cavalry troop
Infantry Company = Cavalry Squadron
Infantry Battalion = Cavalry Regiment
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Helios88 » Mon Jun 25, 2018 9:47 pm

Everyone's contributions, including those critical, are more than welcome!
I am deeply honoured by critiques and comments.



RaduLaur66 wrote:If I may, I would not mix Principate era (1st to 3rd century era ranks) with those from the later period (4th-6th). If we stick to the late era, then there is no place for:
1. Immunis. This was a ranks of the 1st and 2nd century era. He is no longer attested in the later era.

If we have the goal to make a modern-day Roman Army, with up-to-date equipment and warfare techniques, asenior private rank, denoting specialist training, is needed. There is no need to mix different eras, but IMHO there is the need to identify a specialist.

RaduLaur66 wrote:2. Decanus immediately after semissalis. The rank corresponding to corporal in the late era is clearly attested: CIRCITOR. He could fill the role of a team leader, that is five soldiers. The leader of 4 soldiers (tetrarhes) or 5 men (pentarhes) mentioned by Mauricius' Strategikon (late 6th century military manual) are the equivalent of the circitor. The Strategikon also attests the laeder of 10 men (dekarhes) who is the BIARCHUS or DECANUS. This would be the squad leader (sergeant)
As a tendential rule, I would refrain to use greek-sounding rank titles. After all, it shuld be the ROMAN Empire, not the Justinian-era Byzantine Empire somewhat romanized.
IMHO, clearly, if you have reasons to stick with greek-sounding ranks I am here. :)

RaduLaur66 wrote:3. Optio. In the late roman era, there was the PROTECTOR. However, in order to have the rank of second lieutenant, I would name the officer cadet by the title of CANDIDATUS; so, the PROTECTOR would be the first rank commissioned officer rank.
4. Centurio. It also belongs to the earlier era, so there is no place for it here. Instead of it, CENTENARIUS (First Lieutenant)
5. Praefectus alae. It’s also anachronistic. We’ll stick to PRIMICERIUS. He would be a lieutenant colonel and deputy commander of a unit. Since the ducenarius commands a company/Squadron/Battery and at the next level (battalion or regiment) there is a tribunus, there’s nothing in between, so the primicerius/lieutenant colonel cannot play a command role, but only that of a second in command.
No question, I see your point.
RaduLaur66 wrote:6. Vexillifer. It’s not correct, since he designated a non-commissioned rank from the earlier period. The vexillifer was a vexillum carrier. The vexillum was the little cloth flag of a cavalry detachment (turma). Vexillatio is a very different thing. As I’ve said earlier, it’s a large combined arms operational task force. The correct title could be DRUNGARIUS (also attested for some cavalry units in the Strategikon), or, more ‘traditional’, PRAEFECTUS LEGIONIS. In the later era of the Roman Empire, the legion was downsized dramatically. Historians appreciate its strength to no more than 1.200 soldiers. It better fits the brigade rather than a division for the late era. In 2018, a legion of late era model might have around 2000-4000 soldiers.
I consciously departed from liguistic correctness (Vexillifer was a veteran trooper) favouring instead an hypotetical deviation: Vexillation was named this way because they were granted a Vexillum, therefore I decided that the commander of the Vexillatio was named after the Vexillum.
As I said before, I do not like too much greek-sounding rank titles, mainly because I assumed that the Roman Empire is still in force, albeit very changed.


There it is my latest proposal for the roman hierarchy:
1.Enlisted
-Tiro (recruit)
-Miles/Eques ( private - infantryman/cavalryman)
-Semissalis (lance-corporal)
We miss the specialist. Immunis is too old fashioned. I wonder if there is any title fit.

2.NCOs
-Circitor/Tetrarhes&Pentarhes (corporal): team leader
-Biarchus/Decanus (Sergeant): Squad Leader
-Signophorus (Staff/Colour Sergeant): company/squadron/battery standard bearer and company/squadron/battery sergeant major
-Draconarius/Bandophorus (Sergeant Major): regimental/battalion standard bearer and battalion/regimental sergeant major
I would avoid Tetrarhes&Pentarhes, Biarchus, Signophorus (instead Signifer?) and Bandophorus. Just because they are greek sounding. Damnit, I am a Roman! :D

3.Company Officers
-Candidatus (Officer Cadet) starting position for officers
-Protector (Second Lieutenant): commander of a manipulus (infantry platoon) or vexillum (cavalry troop)
- Centenarius (First Lieutenant): Company/Squadron/Battery Second in command (2iC)
- Ducenarius (Captain): infantry Company or artillery battery commanders (centuria); cavalry squadron (turma) commander
Okay. Ordinarius instead of Ducenarius?

4. Regimental Officers
-Adiutor (infantry/artillery Major) – Battalion Adjutant
-Senator (cavalry Major) – Regimental Adjutant
-Primicerius (Lieutenant Colonel)- Battalion/Regiment 2iC
-Tribunus (Colonel)- Commander of a cohors, bandon, auxilia, numerus (infantry and artillery Battalion)/Commander of an Ala (cavalry regiment)
Okay. I'll never understand why British call "Regiment" a cavalry Battalion-sized unit :D

5. General Officers
-Praefectus Legionis (Brigadier General): Commander of a Legio/Moira (brigade)
-Dux (Major General): Commander of a Meros (Division)
-Comes rei militaris (Lieutenant General): Commander of a Comitatus (Amy Corps) (GREAT IDEA, HELIOS88)
-Magister militum (General): Commander of an Exercitus (Field Army)
-Magister militum praesentalis/in praesenti (General field marshal): Chief of the Imperial General Staff
Moira? Are these "Moira" edibles? :P
Instead of Meros, if we do not use the "Corpus" for the Artillery Group, we could name "Corpus" the Field Division. :)

I’ve took as a model the British army sytem were
Infantry platoon = cavalry troop
Infantry Company = Cavalry Squadron
Infantry Battalion = Cavalry Regiment
Thank you for the reference. :)

I would underline that I appreciate so much the RaduLaur66's contributions, just as those of everyone else.
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby RaduLaur66 » Tue Jun 26, 2018 1:14 am

I understand the apprehension towards the greek language. However, in the 5th and especially 6th century the surviving part of the Roman Empire, which was situated in the East, veered towards greek, since it was the language spoken by most of the population, while the latin was spoken by a thin elite. That's why even in the military terminology greek terms (which were very well known by romans even before since most military treaties were written in greek or by greek speaking romans as a mark of distinction) were used.

Ok, we can avoid dekarches and use instead biarchus or decanus.
For the tetrarches and pentarches we can use circitor.
Both are very latin, very roman.More, they belong to this era. Let’s keep as close as possible to the facts when there is no need to improvise.
I have an idea for the private first class (E-3): miles senior or miles princeps
It results for the enlisted:
Tiro
Miles/Eques
Miles/Eques Princeps or Senior
Semissalis

For the NCOs:
Yes, signifier might work well for company/squadron standard bearer and sergeant major. Instead of bandophorus, let’s call it simply draconarius, as the regimental standard bearer and sergeant major. So:

Circitor (corporal)
Biarchus/Decanus (Sergeant)
Signifer (Colour/Staff Sergeant)
Draconarius (Sergeant Major)
Domesticus (Warrant Officer)

For the squad (8-10 soldiers) the latin name contubernium would go well, I believe; for the team (4-5 men) I think of vigilia or excubiae

For Company Officers:
Ordinarius it sounds good. I’ve recently read an article about them. In looks like the ordinarii were senior centurions in the late roman army. It results:
Candidatus (cadet officer)
Protector (Second Lieutenant)
Centurio (Lieutenant)
Ordinarius (Captain)

Now we go back to the general ranks.
Moira is a greek term for military formation, meaning a division. It derives from the verb mer- and mor- which means “to part”. Instead of it, we can use legio, the old legion. As I’ve told you, from the 4th century, the legions were downsized and reached to barely 1.200 men. By this time, its commander was called praefectus. The legatus legionis and his deputy, the senatorial tribune disappeared from the end of the 3rd century. As for the praefectus as commander of a legion is still attested in the Notitia Dignitatum, from the end of the 4th century-beginning of the 5th century. He can play the role of a brigadier general.

The word DUX is very latin, a term which designates “commander”. They represented the lowest rank of the general pile and is the term is attested for all the roman history. The Italian “duce”, the French “duc”, the English “duke” derive from it. Legatus legionis doesn’t work well at all among the ranks of the later roman empire. The dux is more appropriate and it was in use. IMHO we should avoid as much as possible to mix rank titles from different eras. It’s awkward and it sounds incoherent.

Now that we reduced the rank of the legion from division to brigade left us with the need to find a name for the roman division. You proposed corpus and it’s not bad at all. I can’t think of another latin name and it sounds good to me.It results:

Praefectus legionis = Brigadier General; he commands a Legio = Brigade
Dux = Major General; he commands a Corpus = Division
Comes rei militaris = Lieutenant General; he commands a Comitatus = Army Corps
Magister militum = General; he commands an Exercitus = Field Army
Magister militum praesentalis = Field Marshal
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Helios88 » Tue Jun 26, 2018 10:24 am

I think it is a good arrangement. Now, we have to devise clothing evolution, i.e. uniformology.

Here we go into pure speculation. Therefore I can only describe what I imagined for this Roman Empire, obviously explaining why.

Given the contemporary military technology, which is the base of our reasoning, and given clothing tendencies shown in the historical Roman civilization, I would stage the hypotesis of the presence of trousers (in the historical Rome there were the "braccae", not-so-loose ankle-closed trousers). Also closed shoes were used, although I think that, given the absence of major Germanic invasions and related cultural shifts, the presence of this type of garment depended heavily by the actual climate.

Given both the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age, maybe they may be a fixed presence only for certain climates, i.e. only for certain combat dress uniforms.

For the upper body, I admit that I have no clear ideas. We could hypotize that shirts and jackets are the same of today, or we may imagine that the tunic model is the curent form.
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Helios88 » Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:08 am

I was forced to quit the reasoning, now I'll try to resume it.

We have two ways in order to deal with modern Roman uniformology.

On one hand, we may adopt the conservative/Roman with guns way: togae, tunics, a sidelined use of bracae, and all, with minor variations.

On the other hand, we may proceed as with 2011 movie Coriolanus
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coriolanus_(film)
i.e. assuming the evolution of Roman clothing with the Roman Empire still alive has gone towards ours identical results, with more variations (for example the toga still in use).
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby RaduLaur66 » Thu Jun 28, 2018 3:38 pm

I'm thinking about a grayish green uniform, something like the feldgrau the germans used to have during WWII. A gray uniform and cut the way the uniforms from “Coriolanus” are is also a good idea. So, I would go for a uniform which evolved on the same lines with our. Yes, I’m for a modern uniform for both esthetical and practical reasons. The “uniforms” the Romans used in the past were adapted to the cut and thrust weapons. The firearms changed for good both ways of making wars and military clothing. So, we may expect it have happened the same had the Roman Empire survived the ages.
As for rank insignia, I'm thinking about something inspired from the complicated models sewn on the late empire roman soldiers's cloth. Have no fear, I’m not going to propose the extravagant rich embroidery and colors of the late roman empire complicated costume. I just want to extract from it the essence and adopt it for a modern uniform. As I don't have any drawing soft (photoshop or anything else) installed, I shall put some pictures and make some suggestions upon them.
For the generals, we have some images from the mosaics of Ravenna. It was supposed by many that the guy standing to the right of emperor Justinian is the famous general Belisarius.
mosaico-antigo-povos.jpg

Here is a restoration based on a dyptich representing another famous general, Flavius Stilicho. We can see on his tunic the same squares which can be seen on Belisarius’ garb.
638f2836aa1593e2c706d3c092f4029e.jpg

As it can be seen, the defining element for their position seems to be their paludamentum (cloak) with this specific square or trapezoidal element named tabula (in greek tablion):
Paludamentum.png

There are other elements sewn on the tunica, such as roundels (orbiculi) and straight stripes (clavi) or in angles (gammadia) and also armbands, as they can be seen in the figure below:
20180227_173753.jpg

Look at some pictures of the officers and soldiers of the era:
84d5d104b7a2902c3ed3f9b9c4a5db30.jpg

95761b4b3c3fa7beb9482e9551b93c67.jpg

5cc771c29bf3d6f841fb21f21b2b48fb.jpg

1240cd8b047f0c4a20771083a94d010e.jpg

A last element which could help us are the pictures attached to the magister militum position in the Notitita Dignitatum:
BMMIl1-1.jpg

My proposal is to take this roundels, squares and stripes and put them on the modern soldiers shoulder boards in order to make it look modern.

The dress uniforms of the Later Roman Empire was white. We shall make them gray, as I think it best serves our purpose.

Enlisted and NCOs should have their rank insignia placed on the shoulder sleeves of their vest, do you agree?
I make the following proposals:
Enlisted
- Tiro (recruit): no insignia
- Miles/Eques (private): 1 thin stripe
- Miles/Eques Princeps (Private first class): 1 broad stripe
- Semisallis: 1 broad and 1 narow stripe

NCOs:
- Circitor (Corporal): 2 broad stripes
- Biarchus/Decanus (Sergeant): 3 broad stripes
- Signifer (Colour Sergeant): 3 broad stripes and 1 imperial eagle above
- Draconarius (Battalion/Regimental Sergeant Major): 4 broad stripes and 1 imperial eagle above
- Domesticus (Warrant Officer): 1 Imperial Eagle

Company Officers:
- Candidatus (officer cadet): shoulder board with one lengthway branch of arm colour stripe on the middle of the shoulder board
- Protector (Second Lieutenant): shoulder board with one lengthway branch of arm colour stripe on the middle of the shoulder board and an orbiculus "star" on the stripe.
- Centenarius (First Lieutenant): shoulder board with one lengthway branch of arm colour stripe on the middle of the shoulder board and 2 orbiculion a line on the stripe.
- Ordinarius (Captain): shoulder board with one lengthway branch of arm colour stripe on the middle of the shoulder board and 3 orbiculion a line on the stripe.

Field Officers
Adiutor/Senator (Major): shoulder board with two lenghtway branch of arm colour stripe and 1 orbiculus in the space between the stripes.
Primicerius (Lieutenant Colonel): shoulder board with two lenghtway branch of arm colour stripe and 2 orbiculi on a line in the space between the stripes.
Tribunus (Colonel): shoulder board with two lenghtway branch of arm colour stripe and 3 orbiculi on a line in the space between the stripes.

For the praefectus legionis I have two versions:
A. The British&Commonwealth pattern. We consider him as a 4th field grade (Brigadier) in order not to put too many stars on the generals' shoulder boards. Thus, he will have a shoulder board with two lenghtway branch of arm colour stripe and 4 orbiculi on a line (or in a diamond pattern) in the space between the stripes.
B. The US pattern. We consider him as the lowest rank of general (Brigadier General) and give him a golden shoulder board with red piping and 1 imperial eagle.

General Officers;
Dux (Major General): Golden shoulder board with red piping and 1 imperial eagle (British pattern/2 imperial eagles (US pattern)
Comes rei militaris (Lieutenant General): Golden shoulder board with red piping and 2 imperial eagles (British pattern/3 imperial eagles (US pattern)
Magister militum (General): Golden shoulder board with red piping and 3 imperial eagles (British pattern/4 imperial eagles (US pattern)
Magister militum praesentalis/in praesenti (General Field Marshal): Golden shoulder board with red piping and 3 imperial eagles (British pattern/4 imperial eagles (US pattern) and 2 crossed battons.
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby RaduLaur66 » Thu Jun 28, 2018 4:14 pm

Sorry for my late answer. I had to figure out first the way this site works with attachments (it took me a while to discover where the "attachment button is situated)), than I've made some research to take photos to attach them here.
Look at my proposal it's just a suggestion as how the rank insignia would look like.
Ordinarius (Captain)

PLAGF-0713-CPT.png
PLAGF-0713-CPT.png (5.8 KiB) Viewed 6735 times



Tribunus (Colonel)
PLAGF-0716-COL.png




Praefectus legionis (Brigadier) in British pattern
PLAGF-0717-SNC.png


or:
Praefectus legionis (Brigadier General) in US pattern
Одиночный погон контр-адмирала флота.jpg


Comes rei militaris (Lieutenant General) in British pattern
Dux (Major General) in US Pattern
погон вице-адмирала.jpg


Magister militum (General) in British pattern, ceremonial uniform:
i-353.jpg


Magister militum praesentalis (General Field Marshal) in British pattern:
Погон_Генерал-адмирала_Российского_императорского_флота.jpg
Погон_Генерал-адмирала_Российского_императорского_флота.jpg (24.32 KiB) Viewed 6735 times



As it may be seen, I've chosen a pattern inspired from Imperial Russian and modern chinese rank insignia system for the following reasons:
1. Their look is more "imperial" and serves better our purpose.
2. The British rank insignia are too peculiar and would work better with the early roman imperial era rather than with the later roman empire era.
3. The US rank insignia are too "republican" as a look and not appropriate for an imperial uniform, INMHO.

It doesn't mean that I propose stars; instead of them, we should use orbiculi (disks)and different color for stripes on the shoulder boards according to the arm of service.
The imperial eagles of the generals should be simplified in line with a more appropriate design for the 21st century.
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Helios88 » Thu Jun 28, 2018 8:10 pm

I am extremely impressed by your work. I will try to figure it out and I'll post the results.

If anyone else desires to intervene, it would be an honour for me.
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Helios88 » Mon Jul 02, 2018 1:08 pm

Prova 2.png
- Protector (Second Lieutenant): shoulder board with one lengthway branch of arm colour stripe on the middle of the shoulder board and an orbiculus "star" on the stripe. Protector of the regular infantry

Prova 1.png
- Protector (Second Lieutenant): shoulder board with one lengthway branch of arm colour stripe on the middle of the shoulder board and an orbiculus "star" on the stripe.
Protector of the Praetoriani/Protectores Domestici



Two drafts, differing for the orbiculus format.
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby RaduLaur66 » Mon Jul 02, 2018 1:20 pm

I'm sorry but I cannot see the pictures. It says they contain errors and can't be displayed.
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Helios88 » Mon Jul 02, 2018 5:13 pm

Image

Image
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby RaduLaur66 » Mon Jul 02, 2018 5:45 pm

Wow, I like the orbiculi and the color of the shoulder straps! As for the stripe, I would not use only yellow, but different colors, upon the arms branch. Let's say red for infantry, yellow for armored, black for engineers, purple for army aviation, light blue for special forces and so on.

Great work you did! You know, I've thought a little more about the praefectus legionis shoulder board, I would not make him a general rank, but rather a senior field officer, something like the british Brigadier or chinese senior colonel. That would be with 2 lengthwise stripes and 4 orbiculi in a line between the stripes.

Then the dux (major general), the comes rei militaris (lieutenant general) and magister militum (general) would have respectfully, 1, 2 and 3 eagles on the shoulder boards and the magister militum praesentalis (field marshal) 3 eagles along 2 crossed battons. What do you think about that?
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Helios88 » Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:57 pm

RaduLaur66 wrote:Wow, I like the orbiculi and the color of the shoulder straps! As for the stripe, I would not use only yellow, but different colors, upon the arms branch. Let's say red for infantry, yellow for armored, black for engineers, purple for army aviation, light blue for special forces and so on.

There are two colours for each branch, one colour and one metal (heraldically speaking).
Each branch should have a different colour/metal combination:
Azure and Or: Praetoriani/Protectores Domestici Augusti
Gules and Or: Regular infantry
Sable and Or: Artillery
Vert and Or: Cavalry
Azure and Argent: Cohortes Urbanae (riot police/public security)
Gules and Argent: Classiarii
Sable and Argent: Tank troops
Vert and Argent: Military police
Purpure and Argent: Military engineering

Other, open to suggestions. :D

Great work you did! You know, I've thought a little more about the praefectus legionis shoulder board, I would not make him a general rank, but rather a senior field officer, something like the british Brigadier or chinese senior colonel. That would be with 2 lengthwise stripes and 4 orbiculi in a line between the stripes.

Then the dux (major general), the comes rei militaris (lieutenant general) and magister militum (general) would have respectfully, 1, 2 and 3 eagles on the shoulder boards and the magister militum praesentalis (field marshal) 3 eagles along 2 crossed battons. What do you think about that?
I agree, after all the legion would be the basic unit.


Fortunately Wikimedia Commons has the basic template XD
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby RaduLaur66 » Sat Jul 07, 2018 9:11 pm

Again, great job you did. I presume we can proceed further.
Now, some suggestions regarding the uniforms. It's very tempting, but I would not use rows of oak leaves for the service cap's visor. I've seen this in many fantasy rank pictures and, IMHO, they make the look of the uniform too cumbersome (chinstraps, cap badges and all the rest made of gold bullion) are too "heavy".
In the end, it looks like an operatic uniform and too richly decorated, like the ones of the african dictators.
Some simplicity would be welcome. In our speculation we convened to use russian/chinese/japanese model for shoulder straps as they look more imperial and fit better with the late roman empire heraldry.
Russian and japanese imperial service uniforms were simple and elegant and I suggest we might continue on this pattern.

As for the caps I propose a plain visor for al the ranks, the cloth of the cap band would be of branch of service piping (red for generals). The cap badge should represent an imperial eagle within a laurel wreath (gold for all the officers, including the generals, silver for NCOs, a simple silver eagle for the enlisted).
Generals would have a red collar patch with gold bullion laurel leaves crown embroidered on it. They would sport on their trousers wide double row of red stripes separated by a thin red stripe.
For the other officers and NCOs, a small collar patch of branch of service piping with metal branch insignia on it. The enlisted would wear a smaller collar patch, but similar in design to the officers' and NCOs ones.

As for the service coat, a classical one: a single-breasted, 4 buttons in a row, with two chest pockets with pleated flaps and small button down flaps. Then two lower pockets with button down flaps. Black Oxford shoes.
I should add a belt of the same fabric as the coat with a simple metal buckle to make it look more sharp.
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby Helios88 » Mon Jul 09, 2018 6:13 pm

First of all, here my shoulder board rank insignia.

Image

From left to right:
Protector of the Protectores Domestici
Centenarius of the Artillery
Ordinarius of the Frumentarii
Adiutor of the Classiarii
Primicerius of the Tank units
Tribunus of the Equites
Praefectus Legionis

RaduLaur66 wrote:Again, great job you did. I presume we can proceed further.
Now, some suggestions regarding the uniforms. It's very tempting, but I would not use rows of oak leaves for the service cap's visor.
I've seen this in many fantasy rank pictures and, IMHO, they make the look of the uniform too cumbersome (chinstraps, cap badges and all the rest made of gold bullion) are too "heavy".
In the end, it looks like an operatic uniform and too richly decorated, like the ones of the african dictators.
I personally abhor scrambled eggs on the visor cap. :)
I agree on the semplicity issue.


As for the caps I propose a plain visor for al the ranks, the cloth of the cap band would be of branch of service piping (red for generals). The cap badge should represent an imperial eagle within a laurel wreath (gold for all the officers, including the generals, silver for NCOs, a simple silver eagle for the enlisted).
I suggest following the Italian model instead, with some modifications.
A gold eagle with red trim for generals (including the Praefectus Legionis), a gold eagle for other officers, silver for NCOs, silver and simplified for enlisted, or burnished.

Generals would have a red collar patch with gold bullion laurel leaves crown embroidered on it. They would sport on their trousers wide double row of red stripes separated by a thin red stripe.
Just for figuring it out: is this patch inspired to the German or to the British patch?

For the other officers and NCOs, a small collar patch of branch of service piping with metal branch insignia on it. The enlisted would wear a smaller collar patch, but similar in design to the officers' and NCOs ones.
Historically, Legional identities were strong. What about devising a Legional collar patch? On the collar patch it would be pinned the metal pin displaying the branch of service.

As for the service coat, a classical one: a single-breasted, 4 buttons in a row, with two chest pockets with pleated flaps and small button down flaps. Then two lower pockets with button down flaps. Black Oxford shoes.
Let's use Italian shoes for evereyone's sake. :P Jokes aside, I agree, I'd only add a button to the button row.

I should add a belt of the same fabric as the coat with a simple metal buckle to make it look more sharp.
What about a Sam Browne belt?
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Re: Modernized Roman ranks - officers corps: speculation

Unread postby RaduLaur66 » Sun Jul 15, 2018 6:04 pm

Sorry, Helios, sorry for my belated answer, as I've been caught in other business.

As usually, you've done a great work. I would still have some suggestions, if I may. Hope I'll not drive you crazy smilies-23 .

The shoulder boards are good. The combination of 2 colors in order to define arm of service is also good. My main objection is with regard to the full color shoulder board. It's my fault here that I've didn't get from the beginning the whole idea.

I've erroneously understood that shoulder boards will have the color of the uniform, i.e. green. In the meantime you did the work. I would rather keep the shoulder board plain green and use the color combinations only for stripes, orbiculi and buttons.

Suggestions:
For protectores domestici: green shoulder board with light blue stripe, golden orbiculus and golden button.
For Artillery Centenarius: green shoulder board with black stripe, golden orbiculi and golden button.
For Frumentarii Ordinarius: Green shoulder boards, dark blue/purple stripe, silver orbiculi and silver button.
For Adiutor of the Classiarii: green shoulder board, red stripes, silver button and silver orbiculus
For Primicerius of the tank units: green shoulder board, black stripes, silver buttons and silver orbiculi
For tribunus of the equites: green shoulder boards, yellow stripe, golden buttons and golden orbiculi
For praefectus legionis: green shoulder board, red stripes, golden orbiculi and golden buttons.

In my view, full colour shoulder boards look to heavy and too "ornamental". The uniform has to be a little more austere and let only a few rank and branch insignia to identify the soldiers.

As for the generals, I thins a shoulder board with a large golden braid and red trimming would be enough, with imperial eagles as rank insignias (1 for Dux/Maj.Gen, 2 for Comes rei militaris/Lt. Gen., 3 for Magister militum/ full General, 3 and 2 crossed battons for Magister militum praesentalis/general field marshal.

I'm glad that you abhor the scrambled eggs on the visor cap.

I also agree with the italian model for the chinstrap, but I would rather use cap badges as for the other field officers for praefectus legionis. Praefecti legionis don't wear general rank insignia, their rank insignia is of a field officer, so the cap badge insignia should be in line with it. Field rank insignia and general cap badge would make a oxymoron. General cap badge for generals, field officer cap badge for field officers. As for the colors - golden with red trimming for generals, gold for officers, silver for NCOs and burnished for enlisted - would certainly do!

I should make the cap band for generals red, like the shoulder board trimming, collar patches and trousers double braid, and for officers, NCOs and enlisted, the color of the shoulder board stripes should coincide with those of the collar patches and cap band.

For the general collar patch, I would rather follow the german model, but not of the Heeres, but of the Luftwaffe. Of course, without the swastika and with a red background. I think it would be more appropriate for they would keep the idea of crown alive.


The legion, being a brigade, it should be identified by a arm patch, on my opinion. A legionary collar patch would be a little strange, since the collar patch identifies the branch of service rather than the greater unit. It would work if we would choose regimental units, which are one branch-units. But a brigade is a combined arms unit, so a collar barge for it would look a little strange. Plus, it would generate too many colors: color of branch on stripes and cap band, color of brigade on collar patch. Too many colors. I think that the cap band, shoulder board stripes and collar patch should be one color. The brigade/legions individual patches can be put on the sleeves of the jacket (american and british way).

I've seen 5 buttons jackets in the danish army...I don't know what to say. As I think that a Sam Brown belt would be a great idea smilies-33 , 4 button would look better.
A suggestion for the general patch. I remind you: of course, no swastika, red background:
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RaduLaur66
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