Tuesday, December 11, 2012


This is coolbert:

As extracted from a previous blog entry:

"2. Romans - - The steady, regular step was a marked feature of Roman legions. [according to Vegetius] . . . They [Roman Legions] should march with the common military step twenty miles in five summer-hours, and with the full step, which is quicker, twenty-four miles in the same number of hours. If they exceed this pace, they no longer march but run, and no certain rate can be assigned."

[what exactly by summer-hours is not exactly understood? I am correct that we are speaking here of the ability to march during the cool early hours of the day when the sun has risen very early during mid-summer? This is correct?]

And this comment to the blog that explains summer hours in a manner that surprises:

"Summer hours: in ancient and medieval times, an hour was not an invariable unit of time as it is now. Instead, the time of daylight and the time of darkness was divided into twelve equal intervals apiece. During summertime the daylight lasts a long time, and a twelfth of that time (a summer hour) is much longer than a twelfth of the time the sun is up in the winter (a winter hour). At the latitude of Rome (42 degrees N)the day is 15.1 modern hours long on June 21, the longest day of the year. A twelfth of that time is 75.5 minutes, which would be one summer hour. The normal Roman march speed therefore would be about 3.2 mph, and the full-step march speed would be 3.8 mph."

Thank you anonymous and your comment most gratifying and illuminating. And it IS important to understand when we speak of events as occurred in ancient times we must not ALWAYS use the modern perspective, context and appreciations to arrive at a full and more complete understanding

Those Romans when marching too laden with a full amount of gear but also troops trained to a high degree of perfection and able to keep up the march and should be understood as NOT raw recruits or inexperienced men thrown into the breach without preparation.

Also, that British Light Brigade marching into combat at Talavera only arriving on that morning of the day following an end to the three day battle with all flags and drums and bugles displayed and being heard!! Maybe NOT having covered 150 miles [240 kilometers] in a single twenty-four day!

I might assume a soldier of that period or any other for that matter properly trained and equipped with only rifle and ammo sans all other gear might be able to cross that distance of 150 miles using speed marching? That could be the case as a possible?

Again, thank you anonymous and WOW!


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