Roman Army Paper Work

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Roman Army Paper Work

Postby Marcus Minucius Audens » Mon Jan 16, 2017 12:49 am

>>>> Roman Army Paper Work <<<<

>>>Fw: [Scriveners Mess] <<<

This discussion centers on the various reports and other documents that the Roman Army engaged in during its operations in the field and in garrison. The following material is very interesting in regard to the above mentioned reports and documentation for any who may have an interest in the Roman Empire's Military activities.

Al Nofi, [on James Dunnigan's strategy page], has some information on the paperwork of the Roman army. Some of this sounds familiar, so please forgive me if I posted it before, but it may not hurt to be reminded of how far back this stuff goes:
(http://www.strategy cic/docs/ cic276b.asp)

According to Nofi, "Enough material has survived to give us a good idea of the volume of paperwork that had to be managed in the era of the "Five Good Emperors” (A.D. 96-180).
• Morning Reports & Orders of the Day: Include unit designation, date, number and classes of personnel, commanding officer, password of the day, personnel movements and special notices and orders, such as oaths, religious observances, personnel assigned to guard the standards, etc.
• Monthly Reports: Unit rosters summarizing the status of personnel.
• Daily Activity Report: Prepared by the unit clerk for the praepositus provost from written or oral reports by subordinates, possibly termed renuntia, and probably used in the preparation of after-action-reports and similar documents.
• Pridiana: An annual personnel summary, filed on December 31st, giving accessions, losses, with cause (death, discharge, execution, promotion, etc.), and absenteeism through the year.
• Acta: Compiled headquarters paperwork, including orders, directives, intelligence reports, and more.
• Commentarii: What we would call After Action Reports, outline accounts of operations, of which edited versions of Caesar have survived, because he took pains to circulate them. They were presumably compiled from the commander diaries, reports from subordinates, daily activity records, and other documents, including the commanders acta.
• Pay Records: Although in this period the troops were paid quarterly, records would have had to be maintained on an almost daily basis, due to deductions, bonuses, bank deposits, discharges, enlistments, and so forth.
• Receipt Books: A number of these have been found, indicating that units maintained an official register of purchases and outlays, apparently with special account books for particular commodities, such as fodder.
• Staff Reports: Personnel responsible for managing particular types of supplies and equipment, such as tentage, horses, or artillery, or performing special functions, such as the medical staff or the engineers, quartermasters, paymasters, and so forth, had to file reports from time to time, to permit the more efficient management of resources, and, of course, personnel attached to the intelligence service would have been responsible for maintaining a steady stream of information to commanders..

"Although none have survived, there were presumably also some sort of personnel files. Certainly there had to be some way to keep track of a soldiers career, particularly as he began to move up the promotion ladder, into the centurionate, and perhaps even higher, since changes in rank usually seem to have involved transfers from one unit to another, often in distant theaters.

"In addition, a Roman headquarters would have had a fairly substantial shelf of reference materials. This included Army regulations, of course, as well as standard manuals for engineering, fortification, construction and siege works, and itineraria, essentially hand books for troop movements, which provided information on routes, local resources, and so forth, including what we would call strip maps.

"Finally, every commander, or at least every serious commander, would have had a personal library of military literature, including generals memoirs, of which there were a surprising number, though only Caesar have come down to us, treatises on strategy, tactics, and deception, and so forth."

A large number of strategy ideas can be found in the four books of "Stratagems" writen by Frontinus [Loeb Classical Library]. In looking into Peter Connolly's "Greece and Rome at War" it has other examples, including ceramic leave chits and bronze retirement diplomas.

Respectfully Submitted;
Marcus Audens
Marcus Minucius Audens

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