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"Testing Ancient's Withdrawal Rule" Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP20 Jan 2023 3:49 p.m. PST

"Apparently Republican Roman Legion Maniples could withdraw from melee to be replaced by Maniples from behind. No one knows exactly how this was accomplished…"







Personal logo KimRYoung Supporting Member of TMP21 Jan 2023 2:11 p.m. PST

I don't know how the Romans performed withdrawing from melee.

I also don't know how they time traveled to the 19th century to fight an army of Dervish Fuzzy Wuzzy warriors as the photos show??!

My guess is based on that the Romans can do what ever they want!


Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP21 Jan 2023 2:15 p.m. PST



Erzherzog Johann21 Jan 2023 9:04 p.m. PST

Easy KimRYoung. This was a campaign in Germania.


Bolingar24 Jan 2023 6:00 a.m. PST

I published a book that dealt with this topic (Ancient Battle Formations at Pen & Sword). A misreading of Livy's Latin translates 'inter' as 'between' the maniples rather than 'within' them, i.e. there were small spaces between the files of a maniple, not big gaps between one maniple and the next. 'Inter' in Latin generally means 'within' or 'in the midst of'. It's the root of the word 'internal'.

This means the maniples were deployed in open order a standard military disposition described by the tactical writers of that era (Livy doesn't say open order because he lacked the military terminology of the theoreticians). In open order the files were spaced apart with about four feet between the shoulders of the men in adjacent files. This permitted the troops of the maniple in front to filter back through the maniple behind it by passing between the files. Once they were withdrawn, the maniple behind immediately doubled files. This would be done by every even-numbered man of each file stepping to his right to instantly form a new file in the gap. This gave the enemy no time to exploit those gaps. Doubling was a simple manoeuvre and even relatively untrained troops could master it fairly quickly.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP24 Jan 2023 2:42 p.m. PST



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