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DBMM 100 Armies

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on January 6, 2008 at 8:57:16 am

The army of Synesius. Late Imperial Roman. The Pentapolis. 400AD-412AD

Scale. 1 base = 125


Proposer Jim Webster


Warm, Ag 0, WW (the sea) H(S), H(G), O, V, E, RGo, Rd, BUA


General Reg Cv(O), Reg Ax(O) 1

Subgenerals Cv(O), Reg Ax(O) 0-2

Laeti, drilled peasants, estate guards or city militia Irr Ax(I) 8-24

Newly raised levies Irr Hd(O) 0-6

Border/Pseudocomitatensis Infantry Reg Ax(O) 0-6

Archers Reg Bw(O) 2-4

Upgrade archers to Reg Cav(O) or Reg LH(F) all or none

Equites Reg Cv(O) 1-4

Equites Illyricani Reg LH(O) 0-4


Asusamas and Dioestae Allies

Allied General Irr Cv(O), Irr LH(O), Irr Ax(O) 0-1 *

Libyan Horse Irr LH(O) 0-2

Libyan Infantry Irr Ax(I) 12-24

Upgrade Libyan infantry to Irr Ps(I) 0-12


After 405

Replace one subgeneral with Deacon, the valiant Faustus Irr Hd(S) 0-1 ***


After 410

Unnigardae Reg LH(S) 1

Upgrade Unnigardae to Subgeneral 0-1


  • Compulsory if more than 12 elements of Libyans are used


    • Compulsory only if any Libyans are used.


      • Faustus can only command Laeti, drilled peasants, estate guards or city militia or the Newly raised levies



Synesius of Cyrene (c.370-c.413)

He was a Neo-Platonic philosopher who became bishop of Ptolemais in the Cyrenaica. In his capacity firstly as a major landowner, but later as Bishop he was responsible for attempting the defence of Cyrenaica or ‘The Pentapolis’ against serious raids by the Ausurians, a Moorish tribe.


We do not know for certain what regular forces there were within Cyrenaica, but the following are mentioned.

The Marcomanni. Probably an Auxilia, but may have been mounted.


The Dalmatians. They are described in passing as a cohort that should make them Auxilia, but virtually all other Dalmatians were light horse. This unit was now recruited in the Pentapolis


The Balagritae, these were probably mounted archers in 401 but by 405 might

be entirely dismounted as Cerialis, the officer commanding the regulars in Cyrenaica had sold the horses off for his own profit.


Thracian cavalry. Undoubtedly the standard equites as the Ausurians are recorded by Synesius as wearing captured armour.


Arab cavalrymen are also mentioned but they might have been serving in the Balagritae or one of the other units.


The Unnigardae. This was a small unit of Huns, initially 40 strong, which had effects out of all proportion to its strength. Certainly Synesius and others asked for it to be reinforced, but we don’t know if it was. Hence there is only one element of them.




Added to this would be “the companies and officers" with the resources he

had as his disposal. By 407 Synesius had acquired three hundred lances and

as many scimitars, (which may actually have gone to make up the equipment of the regulars) and was always asking his friends for horses, arms and equipment.


Finally the peasants were mustered to defend the rural areas, as Synesius said “At a pinch we can have clubs, for our wild-olive trees are excellent. Some of our men carry also hatchets, ground on one side, in their belts. By battering the shields of our enemies with hatchets, we force them to fight on an equal footing with us, as we have no defensive armour”


The historical enemy for this army would be drawn from II/57 Later Moorish.

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