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Punishment In The Roman Legion

Kirkhill

Puggled and Wabbit Scot.
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I think what he Booked _Spice needs to know is that "decimation" was a Roman collective punishment.  When a unit screwed up it was lined up and counted off in tens.  Every tenth man got topped to encourage better performance on the part of the rest.  Decimation comes from the same root as decimal - divided in tenths.

A decimated unit lost 10% of its strength.  The CF lost considerably more than that.  That is why the Sun is saying that the Post is underestimating the impact on the CF.

Edit: My apologies Ma'am.
 
Kirkhill said:
I think what he  Every tenth man got topped to encourage better performance on the part of the rest. 

Ohhh...that's a brutal motivator!!
 
OMG.......

Wow... Umm... Yes that is incredibly strong motivation I would agree.... WOW... I'm completely taken back by that!!!

Scary really!...

Thanks... For the explanation yeah... I think....

 
Another little tidbit about the Roman "punishment" of decimation.....in most cases it was the other nine guys who had to kill the tenth....and usually by beating  I believe....brutal but apparently worked "pour encourager les autres"
Cheers
Gene
 
Genetk44 said:
Another little tidbit about the Roman "punishment" of decimation.....in most cases it was the other nine guys who had to kill the tenth....and usually by beating  I believe....brutal but apparently worked "pour encourager les autres"
Cheers
Gene

Stoning.  It wasn't used that often.  Pre and Early republican for the most part I believe.  But the fact that the rule remained on the books was motivation enough in most cases.  Ceasar used it once on a legion that mutinied.  And even then he only applied it to one tenth of the instigators.

 
R031 Pte Joe said:
OMG.......

Wow... Umm... Yes that is incredibly strong motivation I would agree.... WOW... I'm completely taken back by that!!!

Scary really!...

Thanks... For the explanation yeah... I think....

Joe don't worry we took this out of QR &Os as a punishment a couple of years back ;D
 
Never be first, never be last, never volunteer, never be tenth.
 
I will say  am sorry up front because there is probably a thread about this already.

This is very interesting to me, I would like to read more about this stoning, beating or lack of a better word procedure during these times.

I was never much of a History Buff but during the past 7 months I have been trying to Read about our History more. Is there a Book anyone of you would recommend on this topic.

Thank you in advance.
 
Try The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (Volumes 1-6) by Edward Gibbon. This tome is not for the faint of heart and may take you a considerable amount of time to digest.
 
R031 Pte Joe said:
Wow... Umm... Yes that is incredibly strong motivation I would agree.... WOW... I'm completely taken back by that!!!

GAP said:
Ohhh...that's a brutal motivator!!


Unless you're the tenth guy....  :-\

:)
 
Booked_Spice said:
I will say  am sorry up front because there is probably a thread about this already.

This is very interesting to me, I would like to read more about this stoning, beating or lack of a better word procedure during these times.

I was never much of a History Buff but during the past 7 months I have been trying to Read about our History more. Is there a Book anyone of you would recommend on this topic.

Thank you in advance.

Caesar's Legion by Stephen Dando-Collins is a great read.  Covers a lot about the Roman army from late republican to the end of the Empire.  Some great stuff about punishment, discipline and leadership.  I learned the more things change the more they stay the same.
 
Crantor said:
Caesar's Legion by Stephen Dando-Collins is a great read.  Covers a lot about the Roman army from late republican to the end of the Empire.  Some great stuff about punishment, discipline and leadership.  I learned the more things change the more they stay the same.

+1  I enjoyed this read. I think Collins also has another book that was recently released. It's about Caesar in Egypt.... Cleopatra...WoW....

If you liked Dando Collins' work, I think you'll like the "Emperor" series by Conn Iggulden. He has 4 books (if I'm not mistaken) out now. It is historical fiction just like Collins' literature, yet I found it to be more in detail - hence 4 books in the Emperor series. The series begins with Caesar and Marcus Brutus as childhood friends......and I think the series ends with Caesar in Egypt. Anyway...check it out.  Trust me .....go get a copy of  (Emperor) The Gates of Rome. It's the first part in the seires. You won't be disappointed.
 
I agree with Octavianus about the "Emperor" series, its a great read full of information. But one must keep in mind that it is historical FICTION and not a detailed scholarly work, nor does it purport to be...it is however full of interesting information.
Well worth the read.
Cheers
Gene
 
Yes, I've read Emperor as well.  Quite good.  Fiction yes but the author does explain some of the changes he made to make the book more entertaining.  Caesar's Legion is a regimental history of the tenth legion.  Not historical fiction but written in popular style.

Both a reads that are worth while.  :)
 
This sounds very much like what Sun Tzu is said to have done. The story was that after telling the Emperor that He could train anyone to be a effective fighting force using the methods from The Art of War. The next day he was presented with a army of women (At this period in history women would have had nothing to do with the Military) Sun Tzu started issuing commands ,several women started giggling he immediately beheaded them. No more giggling HIGHLY motivated to succeed.
 
A good story was when Corbulo took over the Tenth Legion.  This guy was your "lead by example" type guy.  Do some research on this guy and he'll probbably remind you of some hard ass RSMs you might have had.

Story goes that when he arrived, he found that the tenth had slipped in discipline and were pretty lazy (read fat).  Troops were first ordered to have their gladius with them at all times.  So one smart ass decided that that would be all that he would wear.  Corbulo had the man killed for his "humour"
 
If my memory serves me correctly, I believe decimation was typically more of an ancient , or earlyer form of punishment for deserters, mutineers, or cowerdice in the heat of battle. It was most often performed in the earlier days of the republic, as well as throughout the ancient Greek world as well. I don't think it was performed that often, because rule by fear isn't necessarily an effective way of maintaining loyalty amongst the troops.  Crassus may have been the earlyest recorded consul (if he was consul at the time, not sure?) to revive the practise of decimation, probably around the mid - first century BCE during the slave revolt lead by Spartacus. Crassus was incensed that his mighty Roman legions could not defeat an army of slaves and brigands.

Please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.
 
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