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Although the tribune Servius Placidus keeps wittering on in my head about how important he is really, and how it is daft to have a book that is mostly about a mere Centurion, when it could be all about HIM, I am a bit woolly about what his actual job entails.  

I'm guessing he's a Tribunus laticlavius - ie, number 1 tribune destined for a political future, given the period (around 130AD). And I know that legionary staff do a lot of detailed accounts and logistics stuff.... Is he a sort of legionary accountant or management trainee?

Any thoughts?


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
29th Apr, 2012 13:14 (UTC)
Have you tried romanarmytalk.com? People there know more about the Roman army than the Romans did :-)
29th Apr, 2012 18:55 (UTC)
The impression I've always had is that it was a combination of an out-of-the-box secondment for the fast-track graduate training scheme, "service guarantees citizenship", and gap year "yeah, I like went to Gaul, and it was full of like barbarians and stuff, and it was so cool but you know if you haven't like been there you just don't like know, you know?" one-upmanship.

So the legate is the professional general who decides what the soldiers should do, and the centurions are the professional soldiers who make sure they do it, and the tribunes are the work experience placements who hang around getting in the way and being given non-jobs to keep them busy, apart from the occasional one who actually is paying attention and might end up as a legate - but of course the other Nathan Barleii don't really talk to him.
29th Apr, 2012 22:18 (UTC)
That's roughly my impression as well, although I've also come across the suggestion that the more junior tribunes might also be older or more experienced, and it's really only the Tribunus laticlavius who is really guaranteed to be a suitably upperclass twit in training...

I suspect that it may be that nobody really knows exactly what tribunes *did* day to day, which for my purposes would be ideal. :-D But I thought I'd at least see if anyone on here had found something I'd missed!
29th Apr, 2012 22:08 (UTC)
I've rummaged through the old questions, but I don't quite have the nerve to post a question... :-D
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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