Tullian Roman 578 BC - 380 BC

Warm. Ag 2. WW, Rv, H(S), H(G), O, V, E, RGo, M, Rd, BUA.
Nominal list scale: 1 element equals 125 men (half normal scale).

2nd and 3rd classes - Irr Sp (I) @ 3 AP 16-64
1st class - Irr Sp (O) @ 4 AP 1-2 per 2 Sp (I)
4th class - all Irr Ax (O) @ 3 AP or all Irr Ax (X) @ 3 AP or all Irr Ps (I) @ 1 AP 1-2 per 2 Sp (I)
5th class - all Irr Ps (O) @ 2 AP or half Irr Ps (O) @ 2 AP, half Irr Ps (I) @ 1 AP 1-3 per 2 Sp (I)
Equites - Reg Cv (O) @ 8 AP 1 per 4-8 Sp (I)
Ditch and palisade for camp(s) - TF @ 1 AP 0-24

Only before 508 BC:
C-in-C - Reg Cv (O) @ 28 AP 1
Sub-generals - Reg Cv (O) @ 28 AP 1-2
Regrade generals to Irr Cv (O) @ 17 AP AP All/0

Only before 404 BC:
Regrade Equites to Irr Cv (O) @ 7 AP All/0

Only after 509 BC:
C-in-C - Reg Cv (O) @ 28 AP or Reg Sp (O) @ 25 AP 1
Sub-general - Reg Cv (O) @ 28 AP 0-1
Ally-general - Reg Sp (O) @ 15 AP 0-2
Sub-general - Reg Sp (O) @ 25 AP or Reg Cv (O) @ 28 AP 0-1 per 30 Sp (I)
Regrade Sp (I) as Irr Sp (O) @ 4 AP All
Separate veteran cohorts - Reg Sp (O) @ 5 AP 0-12
River boats - Irr Bts (I) @ 1 AP [Ps, Ax, Sp] 0-1
Independent Latin allies - List: Latin, Early Roman, Early Etruscan and Umbrian (Bk 1) Up to 2 contingents
Hernici allies - List: Italian Hill Tribes (Bk 1)

Only after 405 BC:
Regrade Irr Sp (O) as Reg Sp (O) @ 5 AP, Irr Ax (O) as Reg Ax (O) @ 4 AP, Irr Ax (X) as Reg Ax (X) @ 4 AP, Irr Ps (O) as Reg Ps (O) @ 2 AP and Irr Ps (I) as Reg Ps (I) @ 1 AP All/0

Special rules:

One Latin allied contingent may regrade all of its Irr Sp (I) to Irr Sp (O).
Equites, including generals, can always dismount as Ax (S).

This list covers Roman armies from the social reforms of the king Servius Tullius, until the reorganisation of the army, traditionally ascribed to Camillus in response to defeat by the Gauls. In the period of the kings (before 509 BC) Latins were said to be fully integrated into the army, with each maniple comprising a Latin and a Roman century, from which it can be concluded they fought in an similar fashion. Under the republic, they were increasingly unwilling to serve, and did so, if at all, in separate contingents under their own generals. If external allies are used, internal ally generals cannot be. Internal ally generals may not command cavalry. At this stage, the army was a militia force, not even receiving pay when serving until 404 BC by the traditional dating, although the state provided the cavalry with their mounts and was responsible for their upkeep even under the kings. The infantry were frequently aggressive, but also frequently disobeyed orders. They are therefore graded as irregular. However, under the republic, veterans who were re-enlisted were occasionally formed into separate cohorts rather than distributed throughout the ranks, and these are graded as regular as having been more accustomed to regular service. Cavalry were sometimes positioned in the centre of the army to spearhead a charge, sometimes on the wings, and at other times held in reserve; they sometimes dismounted to fight. Sources differ in how the 4th and 5th class were armed: if any 5th class Ps (I) are used, the 4th class may not be graded as Ps (I) or Ax (X).


List dates: I have retained the current list start date, even though it is probably too early for Servius Tullius' accension, let alone his reforms, but there is nothing concrete better to replace it with. The end date is moved back by 20 years. The current list seems to have conflated "Camillus'" reforms, involving the reequipment of the infantry etc., with the introduction of military pay just prior to the siege of Veii - in other words, prior to Camillus' rise to prominence. Plutarch describes Camillus reforming the army prior to the battle of Anio in which he defeated another Gallic invasion 13 years after the sack of Rome, which would put it in either 380 BC, 377 BC or 374 BC depending upon which chronology is preferred. Given the requipment of the army is most unlikely to have happened in the very same season as the invasion, an earlier date for any reform seems preferable even if the battle of Anio happened somewhat later. Admittedly, Livy at one point (8.8.3) does say that the introduction of the scutum for the old clipeus (round hoplite shield) occured after the introduction of pay, but this may not mean directly afterwards, in any case, this date would be too early for Camillus. Some other sources claim that the Romans did not in fact take up the scutum until the Samnite wars (despite the reported use of scuta under Sevius Tullius), probably 341 BC, and it is likely that a lot of piecemael reforms throughout this period were later lumped togther and attributed to Camillus as the period's most famous general. I would accordingly provide the option for clipeus-armed troops in the early part of the Camillan list, at least for one line of the battle array, rather than further extend the end date of this list.

Aggression: The current list is rated 3, but the Romans fought as many battles on their own soil as on that of their enemies, many quite literally on the door step of Rome itself. Accordingly I think a rating of 2 is more suitable. It seems strange that most Italian lists from this period are currently rated aggression 3, when the Italians made no overseas initiatives, but were not infrequently invaded by the likes of the Gauls and Greeks.

Terrain: While woods are mentioned in the odd battle account, but these are possibly best represented as Orchards, thickly-wooded groves not seemingly being a prominent feature of the area.

List scale: The usual army size was apparently of two legions, each of which according to Livy was 4000 strong, at least around 400 BC (6.22). As two legions are mentioned as being accompanied by 600 cavalry, it seems that there were 300-odd cavalry per legion at this time just as in later periods (3.63). However, field armies comprised of one, three and four legions are also mentioned, and at a scale of 1:125, this gives a quite "normal" AP range. To fight battles at true scale however, all minima and maxima must be halved. Plutarch says some 40000 men were involved at the battle of Alia which would require an army scaled at at least 1:250, but Livy says that no special provisions were taken in enrolling men, etc. so this figure is likely grossly exaggerated to emphasize the scale of the defeat. Even at this late date, the entire citizen body was only just over 100000 strong even according to recorded census figures. An army of 40000 would essentially require almost every eligible male to serve (since those under 17 did not serve, a significant portion of the population, while those over 47 were only used to defend the city walls); as we are told the speed of the Gallic advance caused surprise, catching the Romans unawares, the considerable number of citizens who were not in the city itself but in the surrounding districts are unlikely to have been able to have been mustered in time. The population at the start of this period was significantly smaller than at the end; however early period armies include Latins as an integral part of the army list (Livy 1.52 records a century of Latins and a century of Romans forming each maniple) so that their numbers are not compromised; republican Rome did not allow its own Latins to be armed, while allied Latins had their own generals (eg. Livy 3.18, 3.22), contra the current list's comments.

It will be noted that my interpretation of the evidence for this period of the Roman army differs markedly from that of Sekunda and Northwood in their Osprey book. I cannot agree that is is 'obvious' that the Servian class system implies a 5-line battle line, which therefore must be incorrect: there is absolutely nothing to stop troops with a scutum and shield fighting in a phalanx, and therefore a single line, even if some men in the same line used a round shield. In particular, to claim the 2nd and 3rd classes are imaginary is illogical in light of their using the Certosa Situla to claim that such troops did exist outside of Rome. To further claim 'the assignment of light equipment to classes IV and V is bogus because we have no genuine evidence for the light armed ever being organized into centuries' is simply to ignore the fact that Livy and Dionysios explicitly do claim this, unless one wants to say none of their evidence is 'genuine' in which case essentially every conclusion they draw can likewise be considered bogus as based on non-genuine evidence...

Similarly, to claim that Italian equites were not cavalry, but served on foot because Spartan hippeis did so is in my opinion rediculous. Why look to far-off (and decidely non-Italian) Sparta for evidence as opposed to neigbouring and influential Etruria? To dismiss them being organized into 18 centuries because 1800 men is far too many cavalry is not to say that 12 of the 18 centuries could therefore not have existed, but merely to say that a cavalry 'century' did not have 100 men in it. For instance, if we take a cavalry 'century' to be the strength of a later turma, then 18 such units together will give the same 600-odd men, and all without discarding any of the abundant historical testimony for 6 plus 12 units save a name change for the unit concerned. While this list could well be said to take too much of the literaray accounts on faith as evidence, even on such matters as dating, it seems to me preferrable to wholesale invention.

2nd and 3rd classes: These were both armed with spear, helmet, scutum; the 2nd class also had greaves. Lacking proper armour, I accordingly grade them as Sp (I), at least in the early period for which this description allegedly applies. Under the republic, there seems to be little difference in the various sorts of troops, if any; the increasing aggressiveness of the infantry, coupled with their more frequent calling out for service, and therefore experience, means that a grading of (O) is more appropriate (at Alia they admittedly did not perform well, but Irr Sp (O) are never likely to perform well against Wb (O) in DBM...). In any case, the increasing wealth of the state may have meant a greater proportion of such men may have had body armour. It is entirely possible that the class divisions were not represented on the battlefield, and that the first 3 classes fought in a single phalanx, or alternatively that they all fought intermixed, but in three lines. Although the current list talks about the infantry 'performing manoeuvres on the battlefield', complex manoeuvres are not much in evidence - keeping ranks is about it, and even Irr Sp (I) can do this according to the rules. Certainly contemporary Athenian hoplites graded as Irr Sp show the same attributes, save that they do not follow standards - but as "wild" Gauls also follow such standards, this hardly seems relevant! Aggressive spearmen are Irr Sp (O) by the rules, not Reg Sp (S) or (O), and in any case, it seems that most of the mentions of "disciplined infantry" are anachronistic descriptions of later periods - Livy himself admitting that virtually all records had been destroyed in the Gallic sack of Rome, so that descriptions of events beyond the names of those involved (and sometimes not even that) were often little more than tales rather than historical facts.

1st classes: while there were twice as many 1st class centuries in the Tullian army as the 2nd and 3rd classes combined, this does not, as is commonly thought, directly reflect the number of men in them, but rather the political power they wielded (indeed, to my knowledge, no Roman century is ever recorded as comprising 100 men). As the wealth categories were organised in divisions of equal (monetary) size, the poorer centuries were individually larger. The picture is complicated however by the practice of not selecting men by lot, but by name, so that the best men were selected more frequently. As each man provided his arms, it possible that the richest, with the best equipment, were selected more often than the poorer men (though there is evidence that those who had been enrolled previously were able to be excused further service more readily than others). A variable ratio of 1st class men is therefore allowed (the list would have been even more cumbersomely worded if the ratios were expreseed to terms of the 1st class).

4th class: Livy says they were without shield, and armed with spear and javelins, in which case classification as Ps (I) is probably appropriate if the javelin was emphasized, but possibly Ax (X) if the spear was the primary weapon, and that the spear was (as seems likely) long. Dionysios says a shield was carried, in which case Ax (O) seems more appropriate than Ax (S), since the Romans were reckoned inferior in their ability to fight in a dispersed manner compared to the likes of the Volsci, who are graded as Ax (O).

5th class: These not only had individually larger centuries than the 4th class, but there were 50% more of them of them, so more elements are allowed - the minimum remains the same however on the theory that they would less likely to be selected for service. Livy says they were slingers, Dionyssios slingers and javelinmen.

Other centuries: 2 centuries of carpenters (for constructing siege equipment) and 3 of extranumeries such as musicians are recorded, but need not be represented as fighting elements. Although rams and the like are mentioned, artillery is only mentioned once - as being not used - hardly surprising given it hadn't been invented yet, but nicely illustrating the anachronistic problems with the sources for this period! The entire 6th class, the proletariat, formed one enormmous century. They were not required or allowed to take part in military service.

Equites: 18 centuries of cavalry were formed (cf. 80 for the first class of infantry), and were thus very much a minority. Nonetheless, they were a very important component at this stage, indeed winning one battle on their own when the infantry refused to fight for political reasons, and frequently charging vigorously into the enemy. This doesn't qualify them as Kn however, they might throw javelins at an enemy rather than charge straight in (Livy 6.13), and frequently held back from the fray; the charges into the midst of the enemy invariably involved troops classified as Ax in DBM and therefore already lacking in cohesion - exactly what troops classified as Cv are expected to charge. They frequently dismounted en masse to fight, and as they were armed with smaller shields (parma) than the infantry, are classified as Ax rather than Sp when they do so. Although they were not paid for their service until approximately 403 BC, following the example of the infantry (and at triple rate, Livy 5.7), the state was said to have been responsible for their horses even as far back as Servius Tullius' time (Livy 1.52); this, combined with their record of obedience to their aristocratic commanders in comparison to the infantry, means they could well be graded as regulars throught the list's period.

Camp defences: These were almost universally used according to Livy's accounts, but this may be anachronistic given Plutarch saying that it was Pyhrrus who taught the Romans how to properly encamp an army in the 3rd century BC. In any case, a camp was reportedly not used at the battle of Alia, so they are treated as optional. Two separate camps are once mentioned.

Early generals: The C-in-C was typically the King, with his sons serving as sub-generals. I limit these to 2 rather than allow 3, since when the kingship was abolished, two such royal princes are recorded as being important commanders, but not the others. Royal guards are mentioned, but these can be assumed to be included amongst the cavalry - the nobility fought mounted.

Later generals: The republic employed a number of different constitutions over this period, including a short-lived Greek style oligarchic "council of ten" at one point. A C-in-C is either a dictator, one of two consuls, or in years without consuls, a tribune with consular power. The first Cv sub-general represents a dictator's Master of Horse or the second consul (consuls in this period being cooperative with one another). Ally generals represent tribunes with consular powers other than the C-in-C, or if a consul is the C-in-C, plebeian tribunes commanding politically antagonistic infantry. Other sub-generals represent legates, such as those of Mamercus Aemilius (Livy, 4.18). Consuls and dictators could lead the infantry or fight at the head of cavalry, when leading foot they were usually horsed themselves, but it is not clear that their escorts were, hence for option for classification as Sp. Even if the bulk of the army is classified as Irregular, I feel that regular generals better reflect Roman generals' abilities - their tactics, if we are to believe Livy or Plutarch, would appear to be quite sophisticated compared to contemporary Greece. An example is the use of a cavalry reserve under direct control of the C-in-C that could intervene in more than one part of the battlefield. In any case, as the 5th century moved on, the Romans were increasingly involved in almost continuous warfare, and nobody more so than the men generals were selected from.

Pila: The pilum is routinely mentioned, and indeed, in such a way that it would appear that it is normal equipment for the infantry, being mentioned much more frequently than the hasta (thrusting spear), but this is probably an anachronism. Archaeological evidence for the pilum would appear to be slim before the 4th century BC in areas occupied by Rome, and its use in connection with "Camillus'" reforms would indicate a departure from previous practices. Since "pila" are once described as being abandoned in order to charge up a hill with swords only (Livy, 2.65), and on another occasion as fixed in the ground in order to fight with swords only (Livy, 2.30), it would seem that pila are being confused with hasta (or else that pila were at this stage used as spears, not javelins). The use of missile weapons in general, "tela" (although the word can mean just weapon, not missile weapon), is frequently talked about, but these could as easily be references to the 4th or 5th classes as to the 1st, 2nd or 3rd. There would seem to be little point in fixing a pilum in the ground to fight with a sword when you can as easily throw it and then fight with a sword, and even if some men threw their weapons, that is not to say that entire bodies did so.

Veterans: veterans were occasionally re-enlisted, and towards the end of the period, picked cohorts are mentioned (eg. Livy 4.20), as are separate cohorts of veterans (3.69, a 'few' cohorts) - these no doubt amounting to one and the same thing. On the assumption that a cohort is a tenth of a legion, and "few" is no more than 3, this could still amount to 10 or so elements at 1:125 scale. I grade these as regular. Although triarii are mentioned by Livy in this period (eg. 2.47, 5.26), it is unclear how they would fit into the Tullian class system, and they may be an anachronism. Those at 2.47 were a camp guard, and despite guarding fortifications, failed to resist an enemy attack, so would not appear to be a picked reserve as in later periods, and might plausibly be equated with the 4th class; those at 5.26 dug fortifications while the rest of the army stood by under arms to protect them. Another anachronism would appear to be the mention of a double-pay man at 2.59, long before pay had been introduced.

River boats: Livy mentions in passing a naval battle (4.34), and is rightly somewhat credulous, thinking this refers to a riverine operation, probably involving a troop crossing, and this is how I interpret it. The lack of a Roman navy is evidenced by the fact that when the Romans send a large gold cup to Deplhi, amounting to a tenth of the spoils of Veii, it was reputedly escorted by just a single warship.

Latin allies: Latins no longer served the republic as they had under the Kings; they were either so much under the thumb as to render no miltary service whatsoever (and in any case, increasingly granted Roman citizenship), or independent enough to decide whether they would answer a summons to war or not, or even to defy Rome with armed resistance. Some contingents were both unwilling and hastily raised (eg. 3.4), others were keen and well motivated (eg. 3.18), and could thus be graded as (O) rather than (I). Latins in Livy, like Hernicians and Etruscans, were formed into legions, but this does not necessarily mean a disciplined body of troops as it later did - the word originally simply meant a 'levy'. Latins however are also described as being accustomed to Roman tactics, having fought alongside them for so long (Livy, 6.32, cf. 1.52) - indeed, perhaps the only serious reason not to use this list for Latins is that they almost certainly had a higher proportion of cavalry than the Romans did.

Hernici allies: The Hernici were very frequent allies of the Romans, though occasionally rebellious, just like the Latins.

Regulars: The introduction of military pay would seem to be a good point to mark the formal transition of the Roman army from a simple militia, albeit one accustomed to fighting every year, to a regular (DBM-style) conscript army.

This page last modified 18 August 2003

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