Thursday, 26 May 2016

Roman Military Kaibos (i.e. loos)

One of the biggest surprises of my tour of select Roman military sites on the British frontier/s has been coming across the "prominently" placed, and often signposted, Roman military loos (in Britain, so loos).  Of course, there had to be a place where people did numbers ones and number twos, but in normal conversation or discussion - at least in my experiences in class and in the course of my research - it's not something that's entered my stream (pun intended) of consciousness.  Toilets have come occasionally, or rarely even, in my preparation in years past for the UofW's Roman Society course.  It's always fun too to bring up the famed bleaching of Roman togas, for which we have such great evidence from Pompeii.  Indeed, I remember learning all about it in my 4th year honours seminar class on Pompeii at Mac.  

Anyway, point is it's come up on occasion, I know it had to be there (in the back of my mind), but I hadn't given much thought beyond that.  I've come across five Roman military loos on this comparably short and condensed tour:  one at Caerleon in Wales, one at Chesters in England, one at Housesteads in England, and one at Arbeia in England.  Evidently too, though I haven't seen it myself, they've found a wooden "posh" toilet seat at Vindolanda.  What's familiar about seeing what few "seats" we've found is that the shape is basically the same that you find in most toilets, at least in the west, today.  What's less familiar, again in the west, save for those troughs you find in so many UK mens' toilets, is the public aspect of the urination and defecation.  Some of us don't have any trouble doing the duty in the presence of others; others of us, myself included, like to keep our number ones and numbers twos on the down-loo.  In the Roman forts, however, at least those that I've seen, the common soldiers are more often than not going to be doing the business - how many euphemisms can I use? - in the presence of their comrades.  Sure, we can't prove that those long-dead Roman soldiers who shared my views didn't go off into the middle of the woods to do their thing, but I'm guessing given various rules and regulations surrounding movement into and out of a fort on duty, this might have been more difficult to do.  

Ultimately, this public pooing raises all sorts of interesting questions.  For one thing, from the perspective of the sensory experience of Roman life, it's not hard to imagine what it might have been like.  If you've ever had some experience of port-o-johns, as they called them in my youth, put up for construction workers or at outdoor concerts and the like, or even the kaibos and outhouses of the Canadian cottage-country world, then you know how bad those things can smell when you're inside.  Many of those, at least the former, would be emptied on some sort of rotation; of the latter, I've never really known.  In the case of Roman military bases, however, would anyone every empty those things?  Presumably something would have to give, though beyond my experience with dog poo in the cities and wilds of Canada, I know little-to-nothing about how long it takes for it decompose.  Still, if it was allowed to pile up, and if the all the men (to say nothing of the women and children) in a base were regular (no fibre needed), it wouldn't be long before you might have something approaching "Aegean Stable" proportions with no Herakles in sight.  Even so, even if the emptying of the loos wasn't regular, the smell, possibly even the taste, of those environments would have been remarkable unless they made some attempt to mask the smell or keep things in check.  And, these loos were also found within the confines of what where enclosed settlements – Roman military forts were without fail surrounded by walls, often stone ones that would, I’m guessing, trap the smell inside.  For, as bad as it might be for those who went in to do a number one or number two, there’s also the issue of the smell wafting over to those who lived beside the loos.  If I recall, at Caerleon the loos were positioned right beside one part of the barracks.  Perhaps if you’d been a bad soldier you’d have to live at that end for a time?

As many forts as possible, it seems, from what I can gather, tried their utmost to be self-sustaining.  Should the loos be seen as part of this practice?  When it comes to urine I would think so, if we assume that there was some sort of piping that led the urine to some sort of fulling centre.  On the other hand, I don’t recall ever coming across some sort of place in a fort.  Maybe they’re there and I missed them, but maybe not.  Of course, Roman soldiers, the odd officer aside, would likely have little concern with getting their togas gleaming white.  If we get back to the poo, might it have been used as part of wider fertilization practices in and around the fort?  I have no idea how useful human poo is when it comes to fertilization, though I imagine it would have some benefit.  At the same time, their diets wouldn’t have been comprised of the same sorts chemicals and processed foods that ours are today, so their poo might have been more valuable from a re-use perspective, though I’m speculating.

Another issue is the standing or sitting for number ones – and one can’t hope to resolve (I think?).  We thinking of men standing to pee and, well, obviously sitting to poo.  From a practical point of view – and bear in mind you would get a whole row of these toilets – would those who had to pee be standing, hypothetically, between those who had to poo?  What happened if the spray got out of control?  On the other hand, did you just sit in these environments?  Standing while peeing, at least among males, seems like a biological characteristic, at least when toilets aren’t involved.  But if you were in this environment would you change your habits?

One last thing to note:  unit cohesion.  What better way to bond with your fellow soldiers than in the loos?  Those who shit together, fight better together.  Might these public military loos have had some sort of advantage from that perspective?  I guess the only catch with this angle is that I believe that public loos were a common thing in the Roman Empire in general.  In that instance it might have been less the case that it provided soldiers an opportunity to bond and more the case that it was just part of regular Roman urban life.  Indeed, many see Roman forts as mini-outposts of Roman urban life, which I think is a reasonable enough assumption.  

All in all, much food for thought – or in this case digest.  And I leave you with a photo of the Roman military kaibos at Arbeia.


Wednesday, 25 May 2016

England, Hadrian's Wall, and the Romans Part 2 (images)









In the previous I blabbed a bit about the trip and included a few observations. Above are a few of the highlights.  I'd have done more but the internet connection here is slow.  Suffice to say, there are shots from Roman Cardiff (the wall at the start), a helmet, the amphitheatre, and part of the barracks at Caerleon (Wales), some shots from a milefort and the wall at Cawfields on Hadrian's Wall, and a couple of shots from Vindolanda, one with the spaces underneath the floor (I believe) and the other, a gravely block, which is where they found the remains of a child (evidence for children in the fort).

More next time, possibly in a few days.

England, Hadrian's Wall, and the Romans Part 1 (text)


I’m currently in the tail end of my whirlwind tour of British libraries and military sites.  After making the trek, by car, from Winnipeg to Brantford with the dog, I flew off to London to head to the Institute for Classical Studies library.  Had four productive days, then, after a brief layover just outside of Worcester, it was off to Wales – with another family layover at the start, this time in Cardiff.  I spend two nights taking photos of the area around Caerleon, site of some well-preserved legionary ruins.  Next I charged off for two nights in Aberystwyth, for a lecture on cohesion and combat motivation.  Went down well, and got some excellent feedback.

A brief sojourn to Devon (Sidmouth and family) was followed by a trip to Oxford for some more library work – and some typing.  I also squeezed in two nights in Birmingham to catch up with some friends and colleagues, including my former PhD supervisor.  Then a night back in Oxford (family) and a night in Devon (Sidmouth, family again).  This week, however, I’ve been in the north, along Hadrian’s Wall.  The purpose of this portion of the trip has been to visit as many Roman military sites along the wall as is feasible and to take as many photos as possible.  These photos, or the best of them, will appear in an introduction to the Roman military, in the works.  I think in a follow-up post I’ll attach a couple of the pictures.  Perhaps, too, I’ll consider joining Instagram.  Although I’ll be posting this written entry from Newcastle, I’m writing it on the train from Carlisle, a train trip I’ve done twice before. 

Anyway, there’s probably any number of things I could say at this point, from how I’m feeling about the news about Gord Downie (hits close to home in a number of ways) to the remarkable beauty of this landscape, but I should say a thing or two about military stuff, since I’ve devoted this blog to work matters.

What I’d like to draw attention to here is how well-sited most of the bases are along the wall.  The wall, one of the most glorious archaeological sites in the world, in my humble opinion, runs for about 73 miles (British? – never understood the difference, if there is one, between US and UK miles) from coast to coast, or sea to sea.  That’s from just west of Carlisle to Newcastle.  Now, at many points the isle of Britain tends to be much wider, so that they’ve chosen one of narrowest points, though not necessarily the easiest in terms of landscape, to build the wall reflects, I think, Roman practicality.  Sure, their geographical knowledge differs from ours, but after brief consideration it’s a remarkable coincidence that they built it at this point.  I’m sure there were geographical and tribal considerations in part, but practicality and cost must have been a major consideration.

The other matter, or the principal matter, that I wanted to touch on was also how well-placed the sites are.  In nearly all those sites that survive that I saw – and the forts and fortlets in particular – you are afforded excellent views of the surrounding countryside.  This, too, could be chance:  it’s not the case that the landscape has changed enough that my modern perspective is defective, as you can see when you notice how the wall hugs the landscape.  No, some thinking went into choosing the locations, and again, in an albeit small sample size, and without making any mathematical calculations using, say, Google Earth, it’s clear they wanted their forts in spots where they could observe approaching visitors with comparable ease.  In some cases too they went to such remarkable lengths to do this that certain forts were built into the side of hills.  Housesteads, for instance, is one the side of the hill, and the slope is not inconsiderable.  I don’t doubt that there might have been some levelling in the past, but the surviving foundations suggest that this was limited.

 Now, there are obviously lower points – the wall goes in as straight a line as possible, but the landscape is anything but flat and straightforward.  This means it snakes its way up and down up and over hills and then down into valleys.  That also means that certain spots would have been easy to get across for a determined group.  Even there, however, it should be stressed that there were towers or forts or something every mile (or is it Roman mile? – can’t remember off the top of my head).  And given you could see that sort of distance fairly easily, unless the conditions were dreadful, I don’t think they need have been too concerned, and they probably weren’t. 

All in all, as I’m sure commentators have noted time and again, even when they have disagreed over the precise function of the wall, it’s clear that a great deal of care, consideration, and planning when into its construction.  This was no mean feat for any number of reasons, and it is a testament to Roman ingenuity and practicality – and in some instances their efficiency.  Plus, while I don’t doubt that the wall had all sorts of functions ranging from the control of peoples to the movement of goods, when you’re here and you see it on the ground it’s hard to get past its defensive function too.

From the train south of the wall, until next time.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Catafractarius: officer rank, type of soldier, or both?

I'm frantically trying to make some notes and do some reading so that I can do some typing. I have three draft chapters due June 1st (thought they were do July 1st, then double-checked and saw the mistake). I'm also giving a paper in 2 weeks (the ideas, and nearly an outline, are ready to go -and I've been told the rougher the better). I also have a paper that was due May 31, but which has been pushed to July 1st. Anyway, frantically working away.

One of those pieces is a chapter in my intro to the Roman military book-project, and a chapter on combat at that. I've been struggling, a bit, with how much to include, especially since you can only say so much about combat in 8,500 words (my target) - and given it's meant, really, as in introduction, I'm cognizant of the need to keep the material manageable (not overwhelming with titles, for instance). Anyway, nearly ready to start typing the chapter and gather some last minute research. In particular, I'm going back over Speidel's (the elder, so to speak) 2000 paper, "Who Fought in the Front?". It's a bit fuzzy, because I read it ages ago. Essentially it takes the evidence of Maurice and uses it to look at who was at the front of the ranks in combat fighting in the years between 300 and 600.

It's not an unreasonable idea - using Maurice for an earlier period. After all, Vegetius is regularly used in that way, though he does regularly refer to this antiqua legio (though scholars use other information too). Now, all well and good in this chapter until I get to Speidel's claim that catafractarius could refer to a rank in the military, like decurio (a cavalry rank, usually), and that it under-officers of this new rank were those who fought in the front. That they were heavily-armoured would, on the surface, seem to support his claim. Indeed, if you're at the front doing most of the fighting, then you really do or probably would need more armour, though there's a lot we don't know about what actually happened when opposing sides came to blows, so to speak.

As suggested, what stood out to me was Speidel's claim that catafractarius could refer to rank, and not just a type of soldier. On the surface the suggestion struck me as just plain wrong - I did an encyclopaedia article on them, and I didn't come across any indication it could be an officer. So, I decided to do some digging and find out if I'd been mistaken (wouldn't be the first or the last time I've gotten things wrong). It turns out, however, that the evidence for this is comprised of two lone papyri: CHLA 18 660, and CHLA 43 1248. You can look up all the papyri at papyri.info, and the inscriptions I'll allude to at http://www.manfredclauss.de/. The two papyri, however, need not be interpreted as Speidel (and actually Rea in ZPE 56 and Zuckerman in ZPE 100) suggest.

CHLA 18 660, a list of sorts (of supplies) seems to be contrasting soldier catafractarius with actuarius, and an actuarius in this case isn't a rank in the military, but effectively an accountant (albeit one doing paperwork for the military). So, to my mind a type of civilian in the military, and unintentionally contrasted, with a type of soldier in the military. CHLA 43 1248 might point to catafractarius as a rank – for we have a Sarapio promoted (provectus) to decurio at line 1.13: sarapio catafracta(rius), prou(ectus) decur(io), and an Apion promoted to catafractarius at line 1.14: Apion eq(ues) prou(ectus) catafra(ctarius). But in the case of Sarapio, why must it be evidence he’s going from catafractarius to decurio, and why can’t it be that he’s a catafractarius who’s promoted to decurio?  In the case of Apion, might it not be evidence for a regular cavalryman (eques) who’s just been upgraded to catafract? Indeed, in the other two instances, in the same papyrus (CHLA 43 1248), catafractarius is clearly being used to refer to soldier-type. It would seem to me to be needlessly complicated to use both (potential) senses of term, rank and soldier-type, in this document (Contra see Speidel 2000: 477, n. 22).  The two other uses are at 2.8, where we find scholam catafractariorum, and at 3.15, where we find catafractarii. The latter, admittedly, is a bit more ambiguous.



In any case, in these instances it's best to bring in comparative evidence, and for that I turned to the Notitia Dignitatum, and the aforementioned epigraphic and papyrological databases.  In the ND, it should come as no surprise that all mentions of catafract denote a type of soldier (or type of unit). There are at least three units of catafractarii in the eastern praesental armies (Not. Dign. or. 5.34, 6.35, 6.36), one in Thrace, (Not. Dign. or. 8.29), another in the Thebaid (Not. Dign. or. 31.52), and a third in Scythia (Not. Dign. or. 39.16), to say nothing of those we find in Britain   (Not. Dign. oc. 7.200, Not. Dign. oc. 40.21).  

In the epigraphic database there are 16 inscriptions (Latin) that come up that list a form of "cataf", the term I used in my search.  They are AE 1912, 192; AE 1919, 18; CIL 3.99; CIL 3.10307; CIL 3.14406a (here specifies that he’s a heavily armoured cavalryman – equites catafractarios); CIL 5.6784; CIL 11.5632; CIL 13.1848; CIL 13.3493; CIL 13.7323; CIL 16.110; IBulgarien 52; IIFDR 110; IK 31.40 (this one lists both catafractariorum and clibaniariorum); ILCV 504; and AE 1931, 68.  In all 16 of those inscriptions, a form of catafract is used to refer to describe or denote a type of unit, and without question. 

Next I turned back to the papyrological database and decided to try the Greek form, kataphraktos/oi.  In this instance I got 9 hits, but of those only 7 of 9 dated to the common era, and those 7 generally dated between the early third and middle fourth centuries. The first, BGU 1.316, uses the term to refer to a heavily-armoured horse. The second,  P. Abinn. 77, is a lot like CHLA 18 660, and so makes distinctions between civil-military persons and strictly military ones, again actuarius vs. catafractarius (though Hellenized forms, of course). Yes, it could be for officials, but I think catafractarius as heavily-armed cavalry soldier conveys the sense just as well.  The next one, P. Abinn. 78, another this food or supply list, like the previous one makes a distinction between a soldier, and in this case a citizen (or something like a citizen - completely civil then). The next case, P. Oxy 41.2951, uses catafractrius in the exact manner we find it in the epigraphy, namely as a kind of soldier or unit (line 19, ἀριθμοῦ καταφράκτων). P. Panop. Beatty 2 makes the sort of contrast we have in P. Abinn. 77 and 78 and CHLA 18 600.  The penultimate case, SB 18.13852, is the only really ambiguous one, where it could refer to a type of officer. It could also, however, refer to a type of solider. Finally we come to Stud. Pal. 5.97. This, like the occasional other example, could refer to officers, for they are listed as ἐπιμελητῶν καταφράκτων, so armoured men in charge,  or those in charge of the catafracts, who are sent off (ἀποστελλομένων) to Alexandria (lines 5-7). On the other hand, if the term katafractarius refers to officer, why bother specifying that they are in charge? Makes no sense.

The balance of evidence, then, such as I've found, points to catafractius meaning heavily-armoured cavalryman only, and not officer. Of course, if anyone has any evidence or thoughts they'd like to share to contradict or modify this suggestion, please do get in touch! Come to think of it, I think I should draw this up and send it in to a journal. Maybe this summer - and with more detail. Anyway, I believe I've sorted this out.  Now, to get back to the other pages of Speidel's chapter.

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Agathias on War

It may seem all too predictable, especially given the trajectories of Cameron and Kaldellis, but for a long time I've considered dabbling much deeper into the world of Agathias. As little as there has been written on Procopius, even less has been written on Agathias, and a good part of that, for obvious reasons, has been devoted to his poetic proclivities. What is more, though this is, to some degree, par for the course, opinions of his capabilities vary widely, and there have been no sustained and extensive treatments of his value as an historian.  Kaldellis did write a handful of papers that focused on Agathias the historian, and Cameron wrote her monograph on Agathias more generally, but there's nothing substantial (in terms of size at least - not quality) out there on Agathias as an historian, and certainly nothing focused on his military credentials.

And yet, despite his legal background and poetic leanings, Agathias devoted a lengthy, or at least significant, and detailed history to military matters, a fact which he himself professed early in his text.  He self-consciously followed in the footsteps of Procopius, at times seeking to distance himself from Procopius' perceived failings, at others subtly agreeing and/or engaging with Procopius' military leanings.  Some see Agathias' discussion of military matters as excellent (Syvanne); others as sub-par (Wheeler).  And yet, if no one has undertaken a sustained analysis, how can we know, and how should we use him, if at all?

It's hard to underscore his importance, whether real or potential.  Like Xenophon in his Hellenica to Thucydides in his History, Agathias picks up exactly where Procopius left off in book 8.  And yet, unlike Procopius, his narrative is concentrated on only a few years, though important ones for Justinian's empire.  Agathias' History is undoubtedly shorter than Procopius' Wars - and the fact that current editions and translations don't exist in comparable texts makes my attempts to eyeball the differences between them questionable at best, there's no getting round the potential benefits of that level of detail. 

As I go through the History for other reasons, and start thinking I should devote more energy to the military character of his writing than I have (my interest in Procopius waxes and wanes several times over the course of a day), there have been a number of things that have jumped out at me.  For instance, he seems to engage with Procopius regularly, often indirectly, at least when one focuses on the military angle.  This is, I think, worth drawing attention too, especially since he's less overt in these instances than he is when it comes to the Persians, for instance. 

In addition, we know that Agathias lacked Procopius' experience with war, and so his sources for military matters would inevitably have differed in significant ways.  This would seem to cast doubt on his usefulness on military matters, though so many people who write about war these days who consider themselves experts, at least of a sort, have had no such experiences themselves, myself included.  Thus, it's not out of the realm of possibility for an educated and intelligent writer like Agathias to track down all the necessary materials to craft a believable work of military historiography.  Indeed, with this in mind, another topic that I'd have to explore would be Agathias' engagement with wider military thinking, both that evinced in the surviving military manuals, but also in the wider world.  It has struck me that Agathias' accounts have seemed far more sensible and satisfactory than I had expected and been led to believe - or even remember.  Admittedly, the last time I read him in this much detail my interest was focused almost squarely on combat. 

Anyway, much to consider.  While a thorough analysis may reveal that he doesn't deserve to be classed with Procopius, it might well be that he deserves more credit than he often gets, at least, again, in the realm of military matters.  Indeed, as I've noted before, if nothing else he seems to be one of the best writers of the experience of combat, a not unimportant subject in the wider category of military history.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Unit Cohesion - Part 2

In the previous rambling post I babbled on about some of the terms and discussions that have surfaced about unit cohesion and related matters, and I highlighted two of the key concepts (for my purposes, but in general too) from Marshall's famous book.  Here I plan to outline my course of action for the paper, and I'll draw on some of the other stuff I've read (not hitherto mentioned) - and some of the past stuff I've written, both in the earlier Warwick blog, and in the Procopius book.  I don't think the copy I submit will say too much on the background that I mentioned in the previous post, as it seems there's a lot to say, and I want to cover as much as I can in my 7000 words (and that's all in).

So, let's start with the definition:  " the bonding together of soldiers in such a way as to sustain their will and commitment to each other, the unit, and mission accomplishment, despite combat or mission stress".  From what I can gather, there are a number of ways that I might look for evidence of how, or even if, soldiers bonded together in combat, despite the limitations of the evidence.  Those that seem most profitable include:  the institution of the army/military and its mission; unit sizes within the army/military in all their variety, and in what contexts we expect to find them; the objectives of particular wars, and whether they were achieved or not (success or failure); brotherhood, and in particular whether there is evidence for men forming these sorts of bonds; ideology, whether there was any particular ideology that might have motivated soldiers; and the leadership, especially at the highest levels.

In terms of the army as institution, it seems it would be useful to set out how men were recruited and why, and even what the purpose of the military was.  For unit sizes, it would be good to set these out - from the largest to the smallest.  Here the evidence of Maurice is likely to help the most, even if the divisions he describes are a combination of the factual and the fictional, or so it seems.  If I can establish the presence of smallish units, like the contubernia of old, then I'll have the size of unit most relevant to discussions of primary group cohesion.  Whether I'll be able to tell if the men in these units spent a lot of time together is another matter, both when it came to combat and times of rest (at home - bases, etc.).  Did each little unit fight as a whole as part of a larger whole?  Would they always be mixed in with the others in larger formations, and how did this effect any perceived sense of brotherhood?  Vaguely related to units sizes is the standard and/or battle flag.  Do they serve as symbols of units still, and what impact do they have on cohesion?

When it comes to objectives, I'll focus on some Justinianic-era wars, and the three big ones that fill the pages of Procopius' Wars.  Can we deduce Roman objectives in those wars?  Were they successful?  Did they fail?  Can we find evidence of the performance of particular units?  Do we have evidence for particular units within particular battles or conflicts?  Related to this, were any soldiers ideologically motivated, and what sort of ideologies might they be?  In the case of Persia we could imagine them fighting for freedom, or better security.  But what about those western invasions?  Perhaps some were compelled, while others when voluntarily.  Why?

Finally (at least at this stage in the planning), there's leadership. What role did Rome's generals play in ensuring the cohesiveness of the participating units, if any?  This pops up in a small portion of the material I've read - in an interesting paper by Eckstein, for instance, who highlights the stress that Polybius places in the role of leadership.  Incidentally, and not surprisingly (for all sorts of reasons), so does Procopius.

Anyway, that's where I am.  These two posts have taken me quite a lot longer to do than I'd expected.  They also seem to be inspiring to undertake a larger study of combat motivation in Roman antiquity.  That's another matter, however - and I seem to be getting ahead of myself.  If nothing else, I think too much Procopius is probably a bad thing, so I should try to limit my exposure.

Unit Cohesion - Part 1

One of my current little projects is a paper on unit cohesion in the sixth century (AD/CE) for a book on that topic.  Fortunately, it is something that I've thought about before, particularly when I was doing the PhD thesis.  So far, besides some mental mapping of the shape of the paper, I've been reading and re-reading some of the literature on the subject, both that dealing with the ancient world and the modern.  As I say, some of it I've read before, and some I haven't.  This post, then, pretty much like all the others, will serve as a research diary entry.  In this case, I need to take stock of my progress so far, and write down some of the things I've been thinking about.

First, I've occupied myself with looking at some of the standard literature - again, it's extensive so it can only be a selective reading, and some of it's new (to me), some of it's not.  One of the classics is Marshall's Men Against Fire, a book that pops up in a number of discussions.  I confess that I've found it a difficult book to read, and not because of the complexity of the content, but rather because of the style and, to some degree, its content.  Marshall writes like someone who knows a great deal about their subject, and then exaggerates how much they know all while on occasion fudging the content to suits one's ends, and without going to the trouble of supporting these sorts of claims.  Granted, I'd read about the book in the past, and this might have coloured my reading (first time), and I also expected to enjoy it much more than I did.  I'm also writing this post decades after it was written, so much of what Marshall writes seems pretty obvious to me now, and in a way that it probably wasn't to his initial readers. 

Now, one of the key highlights include Marshall's suggestion that the majority of WWII US soldiers didn't actually use their weapons (20% or less).  The former point has inspired the work of later writers, including those who've tackled the ancient world, like Goldsworthy and Sabin (both to some degree or other).  It has been jumped on by a number of people, however, and in the copy I have there's a preface (by Russell W Glenn) that basically shows how those figures are a load of crap.  Another book on my to-read list is Grossman's On Killing, and I have this sneaking suspicion that he too uses similar figures - I wonder if I'll discover that he gets it from Marshall.  If so that will cast doubt (in my eyes) on the applicability of at least some of material.  Indeed, although my paper's on cohesion, it's clear that combat motivation is connected, and it's worth considering.  If few men really were able to make an effort to kill in combat, how would an ancient army work around this?  It's worth stressing too that ancient peoples, and even those from different places and times (Greece, even Athens vs. Sparta, Imperial Rome, Republican Rome, Late Antique Rome, etc .), would approach war in a different way from us, even if we're all humans.  We also don't have ancient people to interview, or ancient diaries to read, to figure out how often weapons were discharged and the like - harder to do with swords, easier with arrows and javelins.  Even if we did, of course, interviews aren't always the best means of deducing this sort of information.  People forget things, or confuse things, or even fabricate things, intentionally to suit their own ends, or unintentionally to give the interviewer what he or she might want.  So, in some ways were better off without it.  In sum, Marshall's numbers are suspect, and even if they aren't it's extremely difficult to do this for the ancient (impossible?).  Worth noting too, that Marshall's views were heeded by the US military, and later research evidently showed that proportion of soldiers who fired their weapons in subsequent wars (Korea, Vietnam) improved significantly as a result of the changes they made.

The second key suggestion was Marshall's abundant claims that one of (or the) main reasons men fought was for the men in their unit (social cohesion, bonding, band of brothers stuff, etc.).  This key point has, in some circles, achieved far more in the way of acceptance.  The "band of brothers" perspective certainly has been adopted by the public, but many scholars too see this as the best means of explaining unit cohesion.  A recently published book on the 2003 Iraq war, for instance, argues for the continued importance of social cohesion in explaining performance, though the authors also stress ideological motives (which they contrast with motivations of past American soldiers).  It shouldn't be a surprise to learn that many have questioned this too:  this brotherly bonding is not what motivates men and leads to cohesion.  For the ancient world, Crowley has questioned its application to Athenian hoplites, while Lendon has questioned its applicability to Roman soldiers.  Then there are a number of sociologists and political scientists, amongst others, who have questioned how effectively social cohesion explains performance (in combat in particular).

If we move beyond Marshall, we discover that there are two different kinds of cohesion that have been the focus of much of this research, social (the bonding of Marshall), and task (unifying to achieve a goal).  You can have one without the other, and social cohesion doesn't necessarily lead to task cohesion.  Even within the topic of social cohesion (or is it separate?) - or group cohesion (the unit cohesion that's the focus of my paper) - there are a host of variations, from peer bonding, to leader bonding, to organizational bonding, to institutional bonding.  We also find primary cohesion, and secondary cohesion.  For the purposes of the volume, they've (editors) make unit cohesion the umbrella term, with some of the variables worth pursuing including:  horizontal unit cohesion, vertical unit cohesion, task cohesion, and social cohesion.  Their definition of unit cohesion is:  " the bonding together of soldiers in such a way as to sustain their will and commitment to each other, the unit, and mission accomplishment, despite combat or mission stress".  There is, then, a baffling array of potential terms and topics of discussion.

The question, then, is how I narrow down what is already a large collection of material, even if I've only presented some of it.  Part 2, then, will focus on how I plan to address this in the paper.