The Thardic Republican Army

Overview and Structure

Jonathan M Davidson

Alternative Army: [Overview-Structure][Equipment][Cohorts in Peace][Legions at War][Accounts][Cohort Composition][Draft][Troop Table][Glossary]

1.0 Composition

Contents of Section: Structure | Recruitment, Levy, Gross Revenue and Expenditure | Length of Service

It is a common misconception that all of Tharda's Legionaries, are heavy infantry, in fact the majority are not. These are levies drawn from landowners who must supply troops, arms and armour. As with most armies, lighter specialised units such as the archers and irregular skirmishers supplement the troops of the line. The legions also contain a significant proportion of horsemen who act as officers and specialist cavalry units. The Senate and Provincial Marshals control the republican army; private armies are not permitted (although patriarchal families often bend the rules, by hiring body guards or night watchmen the equivalent of a baron's military power base does not exist in Tharda).

1.1 Structure

The republic divides its army in to a basic building block known as a Cohort (plural Cohors) that is about sixty men strong. The Cohort's officers are drawn from the equestrian class [cf Glossary], whilst the common soldiers are citizens and freedmen. There are one hundred and sixteen cohorts in the republic. Together these form the six provincial legions [cf Glossary]and the Red Guard [cf Glossary]. The Cohort is the basic building block of the Republican Army.

The structure of the cohorts is of ancient and largely forgotten origin, dating back to Tharda's tribal ancestors the Corani (and was that used by the Corani Empire). The size of the cohort and its composition reflect the resources of the Corani great clans (or tribes) of the time.

The basic unit of the foot troops is a Tenacus (plural Tenaci) who share accommodation (a barracks room or tent). A Tenacus is five men (developed from the number of fingers in a hand). One man of the Tenacus is their leader who holds the rank of Milites Primus the rest are Milites Linari. Just as every man has Two hands the Tenaci are grouped together in pairs to form a Maniple. The Maniple is lead by a junior equestrian, the Manus (plural Mani) who is equipped as a mounted man-at-arms. There are three maniples within a cohort.

The first maniple is formed from full-time permanent troops. This "Regular Maniple" is led by the Manus Primus the most senior Manus on the Cohort. The second and third maniples are formed from troops drawn from a land-based levy who only serve part time. They are called "Reservists Maniples". In the Regular Maniples, some of the Milites have specialist craft skills, they are known as Milites Fabrica (the fabricators), and they are paid more on average they their fellow Milites Linari.

The light infantry of the Cohort is organised in to Compari (singular Comparus) of eight men, the Milites Auxiliari. Each Comparus is lead by the Compartes. The Compari are considered subordinate to the maniples. Each cohort has two Compari, one is always formed from archers, and the other is normally of irregular skirmishers. The Compari are drawn from the poorer of the levied landowners.

A relatively recent innovation is each of the Compari to be paired with one of the reserve maniples. This pair of units serve together at the same time and are nominally in the charge of the Manus of the Maniple element. Such a grouped unit is twenty men strong and is known from the practice in Rethem as a "Company".

As well as foot soldiers, these Cohorts have a squadron of cavalry, called a Tala. It is formed of five lightly armoured horsemen, the Milites Tala, and their commanding officers, the Sexton (the sixth man), who is more heavily equipped. There are two forms of Tala both equally represented within the legions. The first, the Tala Sagitorium, consists of lightly armoured bow wielding troops who are trained in harassing the enemy with bow fire before qyuckly retreating. The Tala Sagitorium are more frequent in rural areas where the equestrians can practice their mounted hunting skills. The other, the Tala Gravis, are better-armoured cavalry primarily armed with two javelins and a spear. They are trained to throw their javelins into the mass of the enemy and then charge with their spears. Both types of Tala are armed with swords for close quarter work.

The Cohort is commanded by a regular equestrian, the Tribertes Linari. The Tribertes has overall responsibility for the cohort. He organises the patrols and liases with the civil magistrates during peacetime, and he commands the cohort in times of war. The Manus Primus is the second in command of the cohort. He is primarily responsible for the welfare and discipline of the troops within the cohort. He also has the duty of carrying the cohort's standard, on the march and in to battle. The Mani are assigned administrative duties as well as their command ones. Typical duties include administrating the cohort's wages, death fund, and mess club, organising the reports and returns that the legion bureaucracy demands and acting as the units quartermaster. The Sexton is charged with the security of the Cohort's base and especially its strong room. He is also responsible for the collection of taxes and tithes from surrounding estates and the relationship between the Cohort and its civil neighbours (the local estates and towns, and the local equestrians, especially the patriarchal clans).

The full strength of a cohort is thus forty-eight foot soldiers (including eight "NCOs") commanded by three mounted officers (the Mani), six Calvary men and an overall commanding officer, totalling fifty-eight men (ten of which are mounted). The basic units and the structure of the cohorts, along with total pay figures for a cohort, are given in table form [gif | html].

A number of baggage animals accompanies the Cohort [cf Baggage Train]. There are twelve mules to carry the cohorts baggage (mainly bulky things like tents, caldrons and the like), one for each for the Tenaci (6), Tala (1) Mani & Sexton (1) and two for each Compari (4), that comprise a Cohort. The Cohort's headquarter's tent and equipment is carried on a cart drawn by a draft horse. The legion also provides one light horse at every cohort base, mainly to provide a fresh mount for messengers on official business. When the cohort marches to war, this horse is brought as a spare mount for the equestrians.

Ten special Compari units, the Compari Urban are part of the army's reserve list drawn from the citizens of the two largest cities, Coranan and Shiran.

The cohorts are group together into legions based round the Republic's administrative provinces. The most senior Tribertes within the Legion will be Tribertes Primus. In battle, the Tribertes Primus will command the main battle line of the legion. Even in peace, the Tribertes Primus has great power, often controlling the day-to-day running of the legion's troops. The Provincial Marshal who commands the legion is also known by his traditional title of Legatus. The Legatus has a staff of four equestrians the Mani Legati. These men are hand picked by the Legatus, often "retired" Milites Primi, Manus Primi or Sextons, they are selected for their authority and knowledge rather than social / political prestige. A Manus Legatus is granted full equestrian powers on appointment, and it is not unknown for them to quickly advance up the civilian administrative career path on the completion of their term. The Mani Legati act as the clerks, quartermasters, and administrators for the entire legion in peacetime. In battle they act as staff officers and are often given command of the Tala wings (cavalry) or the reserve line. Their stability and advice that prevent the often untried, Legatus from making stupid mistakes on the field of battle.

The republic is organised into both provinces and districts. There is no military structure at the district level, though sometimes all the troops within a district are referred to (confusingly) as a "Cohort". However, each district does have a central fortification, normally a keep, where more than one cohort is based. This keep is located at, or near, the district capital. The most senior Tribertes within the district will be assigned to the first cohort based in the district's keep. He is responsible with liasing with the district Legar, a role he is assisted with by the other Tribertes within the district and the support of the Manus Legati.

Contents of Section: Structure | Recruitment, Levy, Gross Revenue and Expenditure | Length of Service

1.2 Recruitment and the Levy

Contents of Section: Recruit Regular | Recruit Reserve | Recruit Urbani | Taxation and Expediture | Main Section

The regular troops and all officers above the rank of Manus are a full time standing army paid for by taxes. The reserve forces, with the exception of the Compari Urbani, are all supplied by a levy on every landholder, the number and types of troops which are owed is dependent on the size of the estate. The Compari Urbani are drafted from the population of the cities of Coranan and Shiran. These various routes by which men enter the army are detailed below.

1.2.1 The regular troops.

The regular troops are drawn from two sources, a compulsory military service and volunteers (volunteers could infact serve in the reserves, but those who volunteer generally wish to make the "army life" their permanent one, especially since it pays).

Every free citizen of the republic must, in theory, serve four years military service between the ages of sixteen and twenty. The army has a requirement for two hundred and 232 such draftees each year, and just under 21,000 households to draw upon. Consequently, only about 1 person in every 90 households per year is required. The legion thus has the pick of the most physically fit and the brightest of the youth of the nation. Certain of the guilds have arranged for their journeymen and apprentices to be except from this draft. This involves payment of Scutage at a reduced rate directly to the Senate [cd Scutage]. The maritime and metal workers guilds are foremost in this respect. Any native-born Thardian cleric who can prove his devotion to his god(s) is greater than that to the state is exempt from the land draft.

All eligible persons must report to their nearest cohort base on their sixteenth birthday. There they will be seen by the Manus Primus who will release the obviously useless from their obligation. The remainder will be transported to the Legion's HQ where the best will be selected for service. The remainder will be rejected and allowed to return home. Those that fail to be selected must represent themselves to their nearest Cohort base on their seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth birthday, where they may be then selected in to the service of the legion. Such people will however serve a shortened term, since they are freed of their obligations on their twentieth birthday. Those who are selected for the legions will undergo a six month training period, two of which will be at the Legion's HQ and four of which will be with the cohort they are assigned to. After this cadet period is completed they will be enrolled into the army as Milites Linari, and will serve the remainder of their four-year term.

Once a soldier reaches the age of twenty they may retire from the legions. Most do, though they my then become part of the reserve forces. However, some of the soldier will choose to re-enlist and the majority that do will be promoted to the rank of Milites Primus. Re-enlistment is for a term of four years. Thereafter the soldier can sign-up for more four-year terms until they have served a maximum of six in total (and reached the age of forty). Those who retire having served six terms are normally rewarded by the Senate for their long service. These senior regulars form the core of the army and all senior officers (Mani of the regular maniples. Sextons, Tribertes etc) are drawn from their ranks. Even political appointees and those who buy their rank in the army have to serve as regular troops.

Contents of Section: Recruit Regular | Recruit Reserve | Recruit Urbani | Taxation and Expediture | Main Section

1.2.2 The Reserve troops

The senate considers that, in principle, it owns the rights to all land within the Thardic republic. In return for letting the clans and others hold the land from the Senate, the Senate imposes an estate draft. This take the form of a number of troops that must serve for nine tendays a year, these are the republic's reservists. The sorts of troops and their number are determined by the size of the estate. This draft is applied to the land on an estate by estate basis, but in practice it is the landholders that are responsible for ensuring that the correct draft is returned. The penalties for failing to provide the draft are severe and, amongst other things, will lead to the land being confiscated.

Before detailing the size of this draft and how each much each estate must contribute, we need to look a bit more closely and how the estate sizes are recorded in the republic. The basic unit of land measurement is the Carucate (known as a "Hide" elsewhere on Harn) which is roughly one hundred and twenty acres. However, the size of a Carucate is dependent on land quality so it varies around the republic. The main subdivisions of a Carucate are the Provate, or half a Carucate and the Bovate, which is one eighth of a Carucate, or approximately fifteen acres. Some estates also measure land down to a third of a Bovate. Major tenants on an estate tend to have land parcels measured in whole numbers of these units, whilst the poorer tenants tend to be granted land parcels measured in acres.

The Senate decides the exact draft for the following year, though in practice it rarely changes. The draft is based on the "Estate Roll" the official listing of all the sizes of the estates in the republic and their holders. The Estate Roll is updated infrequently, the last complete survey being in 713TR. Often landholders bribe the assessors to underestimate the size of the estate, so by reducing their obligations. A special problem with estates just larger than Ten Carucates is that many are on the rolls as being exactly ten Carucates in order to avoid supplying an equestrian. About three-quarters of a million acres are recorded on the roll, of which about ninety thousand acres is directly held by the republican army.

The draft assessment for the year 720TR is as follows:

The troops must be fully equipped for war (see below). The exact troop types to be returned are reported to the landholder by the local Tribertes.

The draft for the year 720 TR is expected to be as follows: Equestrians 273, Milites Tala 649, Milites Linari/Primi 2456, and Auxiliaries 2343. The total number who will actually serve will be less since certain estates pay Scutage instead of sending men to serve in the army [cd Scutage]. The largest draft is in the Coranan province where 1669 men are returned (though the largest excess is in Shiran with 655 more men than required for the province alone). The smallest return is from Ramala where only 167 men are returned, less than half the requirement. This information on a troop type and legion by legion basis, with accompanying statistics, is available as a table [gif | html].

It should be noted that most landholders grant proportions of their estate to tenants who provide the military service that the estate is required to produce. This is roughly equivalent to the Yeoman of the feudal estates. Typically a tenant who acts as a Milites Tala will be granted a plot of land one Carucate in size, a Milites Linari will have one Provate and two Bovates, whilst a Milites Auxiliari will have but a single Provate. A Milites Primus and a Compartes will expect to have about one Bovate more than the troops they command. These figures are variable from estate to estate but they will serve as a rough guide.

Though the draft provides about 1/10th more troops than that are required for the republic as a whole some provinces have a shortage in reservists. Consequently Coranan province transfers troops to Eidel and Ramala, whilst Shiran Province transfers troops to Kom and Ramala. The army tries to arrange for those troops on the borders of Coranan and Shiran to serve in the Cohorts based in the borders of Eidel, Kom, or Ramala. However, on occasion the distances involved are too long and the landholder must pay Scutage instead. This Scutage is then transferred to the undermanned legion and used to hire a replacement trooper, a form of mercenary. The overall excess of troops also generate more income for the army, since those not required for service must also pay Scutage, which is offset against the support costs of those that do serve [cd Scutage].

The Red Guard [cf Glossary]is considered part of the Coranan Province for the purposes of the draft and the estates nearest to Coranan provide the reservists for its cohorts. Unlike the provincial legions, the Red Guard has no problems in drafting its reservists. For example, serving in the Milites Tala is a privilege that young equestrians throughout the republic compete to be selected for, regardless of whether or not their clan owes service in that form.

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1.2.3 Compari Urbani

The two cities of Coranan and Shiran raise local militia on a firm enough footing for them to be considered part of the reserve forces.

In Coranan journeymen are drafted to form seven Compari Urbani (63 men) of archers. The numbers of journeymen required to server for each guild is laid down in the city's charter. They serve for one tenday a year, participating in the Red Guard manoeuvres, other than that they do not serve for any prolonged period. However, they are required to practice the arts of the bow for one day out of each tenday. On their practice day some of the workshops and stalls in the city shut for a half day. The spectacle to be observed at the cities archery butts sometime draws large crowds; especially during the frequent inter-Compari target shooting competitions.

In Shiran the masters of a certain registered barges and ships must provide one member of the crew to serve in the Compari Urbani of Shiran. These Compari are thus expert boatmen. They form three Compari (27 men). They serve for one tenday a year during the period of the Shiran Legion manoeuvres. Other than this, no service is expected from them. However, once per year there is a boat race between each of the Compari. The competition is fierce and there is a lot of betting on the outcome; the race is a popular spectator sport in Shiran. The race over five miles, upstream on the Thard, in a Pinta.

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1.2.4 Taxation, Income & Expenditure

In theory, each province raises sufficient taxes to pay for the legions stationed within them. In practice only the three wealthiest provinces, Coranan, Gerium, and Shiran do, but the surplus cash from these provinces is used to support their poorer neighbours.

The republic has many different forms of taxation, but two taxes apply to the army in particular. There is a household "Legions' hearth tax" which every household in the republic must pay irrespective of landholding or wealth. This tax is normally set at a very low value, though where massive reinvestment is required the tax is raised considerably. The second tax is an estate base tax - it is disguised as a land registration tithe, but since the army maintains the Estate Roll they recover all the (large) income raised in this way. It is levied on ever acre of an estate regardless of whether the land is in cultivation or is waste.  The form that the land tithe takes varies from estate to estate and is largely traditional. An particular estate might tithe a suckling pig and a bale of wool in spring, a bushel of greens on mid-summers day and three boar, four bushels of corn and a two sesters of honey on the first day of winter and one hundred pennies in coin at the end of summer. The Legions' Hearth Tax may also on occasion be paid in kind; for example, a rural wood turner may provide two stools and a bucket in lieu of payment.

For the year 720 TR the Senate has set the taxation rates at 9d per house for the Legions' hearth tax, and 2d 2f (tu'penny ha'penny) per acre for the land registration tax. Like most large governments, the Republic calculates its taxation and gross expenditures in pounds ("£", there being 240d to the pound). The total income from taxation is approximately £9,100 (2.2 million pennies), made up of £785 in Legions' hearth tax, £550 in Scutage and nearly £7,800 in land registration tithe.

The legions have many secondary sources of income. The principle secondary income is that generated from the farming land that they own, which is worked by state owed slaves. The income varies from 30 to 60 pennies per acre for cultivated land, so the army aims to make around 19 pennies, in kind, per acre from it gross acreage. The income from legion owned land generates around £7,300 (1.75 million pennies) per year (a large proportion is in the form of horses and mules and their fodder). Other sources of income include their share of tolls on the roads and bridges the legions construct, monies raised through auctioning the chattels seized from smugglers and other those that cross the borders illegally and lands confiscated from landholders who fail to fill their draft responsibilities. Though few of these incomes add up to much in themselves, overall they raised £330 in 719 TR.

The total income for the army is in the order of £16,750 (4 million pennies). The richest provinces are Coranan and Shiran; with the poorest being Ramala. The income from the Legions' Hearth Tax and the tolls are especially useful to the legions since they are mainly in the form of coin, whereas the much larger land tithe and the produce from their own estates is mainly in kind.  The majority of its income in kind is used directly by the legions, but some of it is sold in the market.

The expenditure of the legions is even more complex than its income. However the expenditure within five broad categories is as follows: Wages, £7,500; food and consumables, £3,100; equipment and maintenance, £1,300; fodder and stabling for horses £1050; baggage animals £2,200 (there are nearly 1,700 baggage animals and remounts maintained at the army's expense). A grand total of just over £15,000 (3.6 million pennies).

As is to be expected the expenditure figures of the various legions are quite similar. Coranan Legion has the highest expenditure at £2,500 and the Red Guard the lowest at just over £700. Much of the expenditure is in the form of consumption of produce received from the legions' estates and through the Land Registration Tithe, rather than actual purchasing of goods with coin.

The legion has a positive balance of around £1,400 after mundane expenses have been paid. This is ear marked for extraordinary expenditures and new building works to forts and keeps.

These taxes, incomes, and expenditure figures broken down on a legion by legion basis for the year 720 TR are available as a table [gif | html]. Additional info is available in the wages and support columns from both the Cohort [gif | html] and Legion [gif] tables.

NB: The Red Guard has no land allocated to it and hence does not recieve any income other than the taxes on the people of Coranan. It is likely that some of the land in the province of Coranan is counted for tax and tithe purposes as being part of a Coranan "special urban administrative district" and the militray taxes raised in this district would go to the Red Guard. Approximately 16% of the province's land would need to be allocated to the city of Coranan to "balance the books" of the Red Guard. Alternatively the Red Guard could be seen as a Republican force above the normal province finances, with the Senate skimming off the 5% of all military reciepts in the Republic to pay for their Guard.

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1.3 Length of Service

As already noted those persons subscripted in to the army through compulsory military service must serve until the age of twenty, that is normally four years service. Thereafter they may reenlist in the legion for four-year terms, up until the age of forty when they must retire. The regular troops serve full time.

The reserve troops have totally different lengths of service in comparision with the regular troops. The levy drawn against the landholders is permanent. As long as the landholder holds the Estate, they must provide the levy. The soldiers provided must be between the ages of eighteen and forty. Once a non-equestrian has been assigned as a reservist he must continue to serve for his estate until the age of forty, or else the estate must pay a special fee to the cohort in which the reservist served. This fee is meant to compensate the legion for having to train a replacement. Equestrians, however, may be substituted at will (though they must serve for a year minimum). The Senate sees this as a good way of training the ruling class in the ways of war. An initial military career is a pre-requisite to a successful civil administrative career, but no one wants to have a magistrate who is way from their duties serving in the army.

The reservist from the levy is expected to serve for three months in every year: with differing Cohorts in any particular legion serving for different periods to even out the troop availability during the year. The about half of the troops serve in the summer, but smaller numbers serve in the spring and winter as well. The army is at its weakest in the autumn during the main harvest period. The troops that form a Maniple, Tala, or Compari are all called up together and serve for a period of eight tendays. More recently, this practice has extended to calling up the companies as one unit. All reservists serve for one tenday in the middle of summer when the whole legion, together or in parts, takes part in manoeuvres and combat training.

The Coranan Compari Urbani serve for a number of years at the discretion of their Guildmaster, but only whilst they are journeymen. As already noted they take part in the annual summer manoeuvres and they must also spend one day in every ten practising their bows. The Shiran Compari Urbani serve for as long as the ship's captain desires. They must take part in the summer manoeuvres but other than that, they have no commitments so long as the republic is at peace.

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2.0 Service Conditions

Contents of Section: Accommodation & Food | Pay | Promotion | Top of Document

2.1 Accommodation and food

Generally, rule accommodation is quite Spartan. The general model is for each Tenaci, Compari and Tala to have a chamber of their own, for a chamber to be provided for the Mani and Sexton to share, and for separate chambers to be provided for the Tribertes and the Cohorts communal equipment. This concept derives from ancient practices from the Corani Empire and before, where the units each had a tent apiece. This allocation of large tents is still made for when the Cohort on the march - each Tenaci and Tala having a mule, and the Compari two, and officers one between them, to carry their communal tent. The tent of the Tribertes is considered part of the headquarters baggage. When camp is pitched the tent of the Tribertes is pitched first next along with the Cohort's stores and the Tenaci, Compari, Tala and Mani's tents are pitched in a circle surrounding the temporary headquarters. The whole is surrounded by temporary fortifications in the form of a ditch and stake wall [cf Marching Camps].

Ideally, in their permanent base, each Cohort would have a separate wing or barrack block laid out in this fashion [cf Fort Helar], however this is very rare. In reality, the majority of the military accommodation is in old buildings such as keeps and castles, built after the fall of the Corani Empire. Chamber sizes rarely fit in with the theoretical sizes but the concept of allocating chambers by Tenaci / Tala / Officers is kept to as much as possible, though often a Tenacus' "chamber" is no more than part of a larger hall, screened from their fellows by a crude partition or curtain. However the army has rebuilt some of the Corani Empire forts which have fallen into disuse and are building new forts in manors which previously where not occupied by troops. These forts follow the older accommodation model with each troop gaining a separate chamber. Nearly all Cohort bases are masonry built, but some, especially the smaller forts, are in part stone and part wood. Normally, in this case, the foundations and first three feet of the walls are stone, with the upper superstructure in wood. This is also the type of huts that are constructed by the Cohorts if their camp is to be semi-permanent.

All soldiers regardless of rank, or cohort they belong to have the same standard rations [cf Food Supply]:

This is provided out of state or provincial resources. It is customary, on campaign, for the entire ration to be thrown in to the Tenacus or Comparus's cauldron at the end of the day's march, making an inedible porridge. Most of the soldiers choose to supplement these meagre rations with privately sourced food that they have to pay for out of their own funds or wages.

Most cohorts have a mess club, which everyone contributes to, which provides for additional, more appetising, food. Some mess clubs are very well founded, with their own wine cellars, servants, and cooks. The senior officers within a legion, who often are members of patriarchal families or financially well off in their own right, dine lavishly on massive banquets each night.

In some ways, the army treats it men's horses better than it treats its men.

Contents of Section: Accommodation & Food | Pay | Promotion | Top of Document

2.2 Pay

The republic has complex system for paying their troops. The regular soldiers are paid for their service; the reservists are given a smaller allowance during the period when they are called up for duty. The Compari Urbani are receive no pay but their service period is very short and doesn't interfere with their normal ability to make a living for themselves.

The troops are paid once every tenday. Any stoppages for arms and equipment, burial funds, disciplinary fines etc., are deducted before the pay is issued. Many of the regular troops choose to save a large portion of their remaining income. This is held in the strong room, part of the Cohort's HQ area within its base.

The following tables give the rate of pay of the various troop types:

Regular Troops
Rank Pay (d per
in Army
Wage Bill
(d per annum)
Milites Linari 12 d 696 300,672
Milites Fabrica 15 d 232 125,280
Milites Primus 21 d 232 175,392
Sexton 36 d 116 150,336
Manus Primus 42 d 116 175,392
Manus Legatus 72 d 25 64,800
Tribertes Linari 60 d 109 235,440
Tribertes Primus 108 d 7 27,216
Legatus 144 d 7 36,288


Reserve Troops
Rank Pay (d per
in Army
Wage Bill
(d per annum)
Milites Urbani N/A 80  
Compartes Urbani N/A 10  
Milites Auxiliari 6 d 1936 104,544
Milites Linari 9 d 1856 150,336
Milites Primus 15 d 464 62,640
Compartes 18 d 242 39,204
Milites Tala 18 d 580 93,960
Manus 24 d 232 50,112
Manus Legatus 72 d 8 5,184

It should be noted that the regular troops make up the largest proportion of the total wages bill (72%), and the equestrian despite their small number, account for nearly half the total bill (47%).

Contents of Section: Accommodation & Food | Pay | Promotion | Top of Document

2.3 Promotion

The Republic is very socially stratified with several "estates of man" these are often quoted as "the equestrians, the citizen landholder, the landless citizens, freedmen, the slaves and foreigners". The equestrians are those rich enough to be able to own a horse, and who are entitled to ride one to war. They are the ruling elite and they are the equivalent of the knights of the surrounding lands. They form the cavalry and officers of the legions. All foot soldiers are by definition not equestrians and are not part of the ruling class. It is very hard for a common citizen to become an equestrian whether in military service or civilian pursuits. To be accepted as an equestrian people must gain an estate large enough to support themselves, a horse and to provide the armaments of war. The only way of achieving this is to be granted such an estate from another equestrian. The major clans of Tharda control these large estates and hence social and military advancement.

A citizen foot soldier will be recruited as a Milites Linari and will serve his first term at that rank. There after a regular soldier can rise expect to be promoted to Milites Primus on a subsequent enlistment. Alternatively, if he has skills with a craft he may become a Milites Fabrica. The reserve auxiliaries will be recruited as a Milites Auxiliari and after many years service, they may reach the rank of Compartes. As can be seen advancement for a common soldier is quite restricted.

Very occasionally Milites Primus can catch the eye of the commanding officer and be promoted to the rank of Manus. The only regular occasion when this happens is on the retirement of a Tribertes Primus (the most senior Tribertes in a legion) an event that happens only once in every four years. On retirement, he may promote one Milites Primus to Manus and one Manus Primus to Tribertes Linari. Even more irregularly, a Milites Primus can be promoted directly to the rank of Manus Legatus the pinnacle of the career for a non-equestrian. Competition for these promotions are fierce, in the Shiran Legion for example there are fifty-four Milites Primi all of which are jockeying for position with the Tribertes Primus in the hopes of a coveted elevation in social rank for them selves and their family.

All equestrians will serve the army as a reserve Milites Tala for their first term. Once the four-year term is completed, most Mani will not rejoin the regular army though some may serve as reserve Milites Tala through the Estate Draft.

Equestrian who wish to have a military career have a much better promotion prospects than the common citizens and freedmen. The first stage in progressing their command career is to be promoted to Manus in the reserves and be given command of a Maniple. Since the equestrians are "natural leaders of men" and "rulers by right" within the republic, it is assumed that a equestrian recruit will have already have obtained all the skills required of the rank. Mostly they do thanks to the good tuition an equestrian can expect to get as a young child, along with training in arms as a youth. The Manus will obviously be less experienced than the Milites Primi they command, so they will rely on guidance from their seniors, and sensible Mani will learn from their troops.

Once a term has been served as a Manus, the equestrian will look to further promotion to a regular officer's rank. As well as normal military skills the equestrian will need a command of maths and writing skills. A Mani with skills in cavalry tactics or who wishes to gain skills useful in civil adminstration will look to being promoted to Sexton and given command of a Tala. However, those equestrians who have the backing of the patriarchal clans will attempt to be promoted to a command position. The promotion sequence is to the rank of Manus Primus, then Tribertes Linari, and for the rare few with powerful backing, the rank of Tribertes Primus. On first being promoted to one of these ranks the equestrian will be expected to attend military academy in Coranan where he will learn the skills of a command officer (see below).

A few of the equestrian will fail to achieve promotion, mainly due to lack of patronage. Those Mani Primi and Sextons that have exemplary military skills can still hope to be promoted to the rank of Manus Legatus for their last term of service. Here they will be given charge of a wing of Tala or perhaps of one of the battle lines. In each legion there is one Mani Legatus who has been directly promoted from the ranks. Often he will be a very experienced Milites Tala, but under exceptional circumstances Milites Primi have been choosen. In this role the Manus Legatus is meant to be representing all of the reserve troops within the legionaries head quarters.

A promotion is performed in front of the promotee's new peers and all the troops that they command. A promotion to Manus will take place in the presence of the two Mani who command the other two maniples in the cohort, and the troops of all six Tenaci that they jointly command (it is normal for the Tala to attend to in this case). The appointment of Tribertes takes place in front of the whole legion, whilst a Milites Primus promotion will be conducted in front of the Tenacus he commands, and the other Milites Primi and Tenaci in the Maniple. The promotion to Tribertes Primus takes place in front of the whole legion. It is expected by tradition that the newly appointed person gives everyone present a gift equal to five days pay for that person. A Tribertes Linari can expect to distribute gifts to the value of three hundred pennies, whilst a Tribertes Primus will expect to pay a few thousand. The promotion is followed by a lavish celebration, a banquet followed by an all night drinking session, with the promoted man's new peers. Of course, it is his duty to pay the bill. The combination of bribes, gifts, and celebrations mean that is normally only the independently rich or those with sponsors that most eagerly seek promotion.

Though promotions for ability and experience do occur, it is not considered unusual to buy a promotion. There are, obviously, no fixed fees, but usually between half and full years pay at the promoted level is offered to the commanding Tribertes (a portion of which is passed on up the chain of command). If the Tribertes and Legatus (provincial Marshal) favour the applicant above all others, then he can look forward to his promotion in the future.

There are however a few rules which limit the buying of promotion. The two most important are that one can not purchase a promotion within two years of a previous one and that you may not be promoted to a rank more than one level higher than you currently are. As will all rules in the bureaucratic Republic, exceptions do occur, but the value of the 'gifts' must be correspondingly high. Powerful senatorial families often buy their leading sons straight in at Manus Primus rank. Only very powerful patronage could purchase the rank of Tribertes Linari without the candidate serving at a more junior command level first.

All equestrians promoted to the rank of Manus Primus or above are expected to attend the Republic's fledgling military academy. Here they will study two ancient texts "Ars Aedificare" and "Ars Res Militaris et Imperatoria", the 'Arts of Construction' and the 'Arts of Tactics and Strategy' respectively, which have recently been translated in to Harnic from their original Corani. These two volumes, along with the supplementary instruction of their tutors, train the commanding officers in their duties, standard combat manoeuvers, siege mechanics, and civil engineering. It is expected that all officers will do it "by the book".

Contents of Section: Accommodation & Food | Pay | Promotion | Top of Document

3.0 The Red Guard

The Red Guard is stationed in Caer Coranan. The keep is a huge at 120 by 110 feet and seven stories tall. The Red Guard is formed from six Cohorts and seven Compari Urbani. A Legatus who is assisted by no less than nine Mani Legati commands them. The Mani are all appointed by the most important senators to protect their interests. The Red Guard is charged with maintaining law and order within the city, and the defence of the city in times of trouble. In fact, they mainly concern themselves with the security of the senate and the senatorial families.

Originally, the Red Guard was formed from those soldiers that lived in Coranan alone. The reserve cohorts that are members of the Red Guard are still raised from the estates around Coranan. However, the regular troops are from all parts of the Republic. The Red Guard is seen to be the elite of the Republican army, guarding the capital and government. Its duties are confined to the city, especially the Chamber of the Red Domes, which means that the units are excused most patrol duties. It does not normally see active field service, nor are its units required to drill and train as much as is normal within the legions. Since the formation of the republic the Red Guard has not had an opportunity to demonstrate whether or not they are effective combat troops, or purely ceremonial. The first cohort, which is known as the Cohort Augusta (the "Great Regiment"), is charged with defending the senate chamber itself and principal senators. They have shown their capabilities as bodyguards in various assassinations and minor coup attempts.

The cohorts of the Guard do not enlist raw-recruits but accepts transfers of seasoned troops from the legions. In practice transfers require political patronage or large bribes and do not reflect on ability. The important senatorial families all serve in the Red Guard. Though they enlist in other units, they do not have time to travel to them before they are transferred to the Red Guard. Since the Red Guard is seen to be the refuge of the rich or important men who do not wish to risk combat, the Red Guard is considered soft by the other legions. Because of the political patronage, the cohorts are not as politically neutral as they should be. The Cohort Augusta has until recently been much involved in politics, disposing as many senators as the political processes do. The Legatus (Provincial Marshals), aided by one fraction within the Senate, have been covertly moving the experienced troops into the first and fifth Cohorts, to provide a hardened core of neutral troops.

The Red Guard is not a legion as such, though it is formed of structurally similar troops. The Red Guard are equipped the same as ordinary legionary troops though they have no need for any of the equipment used by the other cohorts in the field (such as tents, baggage animals, or entrenching gear). All the Milites Tala are equipped with javelin and spears there are no mounted bowmen in the Red Guard.

The Red Guard in part takes its name from the armour worn by the second to sixth cohorts when on duty within the city. This armour consists of a tunic of scalemail, where the scales have been hollowed out at the back and plated with a blood red alloy of copper. This armour is largely ceremonial and is not as strong as regular scalemail, but it is still more protective than leather alone (treat as ringmail). The regular troops and the Milites Tala within the Cohort August wear byrnies of proper scalemail, which are silver plated for rankers, and gold plated for officers. In fact, all their equipment is similarly glorified at the Senate's expense. The reserve infantry (including the auxiliaries) are equipped in chainmail.

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4.0 The Provincial Legions

Contents of Section: Coranan | Eidel | Gerium | Kom | Ramala | Shiran | Top of Document

Within the Thardic Republic there are six legions, one for each province, and the Red Guard who are stationed in Coranan. Each provincial legion consists of a number of cohorts commanded by a Legatus assisted by four Mani Legati. Each legion has a number of keeps and castles and a larger number of forts based in the estates that they own. Nominally each legion is headquartered in a castle near (or in) the provincial capital, each district capital is protected by a keep and the rest of the legion is based in small forts distributed about the province. Each cohort is named after the fort, keep, or castle that it is based in. Where there are more than one cohort based in a particular place they are distinguished by an applied number.

The Legions have variable numbers of units within them, and consequently different numbers of each rank as shown in the Legion Composition tables [gif | html].

The sections below detail each of the Provincial Legions. Listed under the subtitle "District and Cohorts" are each of the districts, with the fort the district is based around. The senior Tribertes within the district (who is also 'constable' of the keep) is listed in parenthesis. After the colon, each cohort is listed. Those marked with an asterisk have a Tala Gravis; the remainder have Tala Sagitorium. The statistics under the subtitle of that name are given for the year 720 TR. They are the total number of infantry and cavalry which serve in the legion and the size of the total muster raised through the Estate draft; the legion's gross income and expenditure before exceptional items; and the total acreage incorporated into estates within the province, the number of households that this supports and the number of acres held by the legion.

4.1 Coranan Legion

The Coranan Legion is the second largest within the republic and it defends the most populous part of the republic including the capital. Also raised within the province is the Red Guard that confines its duties to the capital. The wealth and manpower of the province is greater than that required to support the legion and the Red Guard, some of the excess is transferred to the Eidel legion.

The Coranan Legion consists of twenty-three cohorts in six districts. It is based in Caer Telen the castle attached to the provincial capital, and is commanded by Cobart of Nordaka.

Districts and Cohorts

Coranan district based at Verus (Hordal Cosele): Cohort Dess, Cohort Hunil* and Cohors Verus I* & II

Chenad district based at Chenad keep (Toliam Herthel): Cohort Chenad*, Cohort Eberd* and Cohort Pinnbrook*

Esuron district based as Esuron keep (Astur Exenion): Cohort Aldale*, Cohort Esuron and Cohort Tamih*

Hibut district based a Hibut keep (Poris Karden): Cohort Firge, Cohort Henemda and Cohort Hibut*

Ostenor district based at Ostenor keep (Harmon Kainel): Cohort Helost, Cohors Ostenor I & II*, and Cohort Telliran*

Telen district based at Telen Castle (Tribertes Primus Markus of Nordaka): Cohort Bovett, Cohort Pelek, Cohort Purough, Cohort Remmel and Cohors Telen I* & II*


Legion Manpower: Infantry 1,104, Cavalry 235, Total muster 1669 (663 over requirement)

Legion Finance: Income £4,719 10s 10d, Expenditure £2,964 2s 4d.

Province: 216,880 acres, 5,312 households, 27,300 acres held by the Legion

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4.2 Eidel Legion

The Eidel Legion consists of twenty cohorts in two districts. It is based in Caer Kuseme which is on the opposite back of the Tharda to Coranan, and is commanded by Kronas of Clan Elernin. This province was annex in 712TR following the Kuseme Wars. The province is under populated and the legion is still consolidating its hold on the land and rebuilding the fort from the Coranan Republic and Thardic League. Though the legion is young the cohorts that form it, and them men that form them are veterans. They where transferred to Kronas' command when he under took the conquest of the province. Currently the legion is boosted by the resources of the Coranan province but as the province becomes more settled and the population grows it should become self sufficient.

Districts and Cohorts

Eidru district based a Eidru keep (Tobrin Levrel): Cohort Caenne, Cohort Cennbrook*, Cohort Dedna, Cohors Eidru I & II*, Cohort Kahl, Cohort Keu* and Cohort Tinehn*

Kuseme district based at Kuseme (Tribertes Primus Joubar Holsine): Cohort Giln*, Cohort Helar, Cohors Kuseme I, II, III*, IV & V*, Cohort Lolml, Cohort Putal, Cohort Tuirnelm and Cohors Wab I & II*


Legion Manpower: Infantry 960, Cavalry 205, Total muster 666 (235 under requirement)

Legion Finance: Income £1,800 1s 3d, Expenditure £2,590 16s 10d.

Province: 85,290 acres, 1,985 households, 10,100 acres held by the Legion

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4.3 Gerium Legion

The Gerium Legion is the largest within the republic, consisting of twenty five cohorts in four districts. It is based in Fobin keep, and is commanded by Legatus Jithias Mariam (who is based in Caer Geshtei)

Districts and Cohorts

Geminost district based at Geminost keep (Joubar Holsine): Cohors Geminost I & II and Cohort Hammut*

Geshtei district based at Geshetei castle (Legatus Jithis Mariam) with the district capital at Fobin keep (Tribertes Primus Horik Baral): Cohors Fobin I, II, III & IV, Cohort Gemelot*, Cohors Geshetei I, II* & III, Cohort Sitarny*, Cohort Then* and Cohort Wellen*

Imrium district based at Imrium keep (Parlyn Musbern): Cohors Imrium I, II* & III, Cohort Pinar*, Cohort Ritzen and Cohort Simnel

Noru district based at Noru keep (Sinazaer Cosele): Cohort Conner*, Cohors Noru I* & II, Cohort Vil and Cohort Zulor


Legion Manpower: Infantry 1200, Cavalry 255, Total muster 1139 (13 over requirement)

Legion Finance: Income £3,270, Expenditure £3,212 19s 4d.

Province: 148,960 acres, 3,507 households, 18,930 acres held by the Legion

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4.4 Kom Legion

The Kom Legion is the second smallest within the republic, consisting of fourteen cohorts in three districts. It is based in Caer Parnan, and is commanded by Legatus and Senator Xeldon Pesed . The province is very much a border district and militarily it is dependant on neighbouring Shiran province for support.

Districts and Cohorts

Dumon district based at Dumon keep (Duraena Pesed): Cohort Deilzik, Cohors Dumon I* & II and Cohort Paleinar

Parnan district based in Caer Parnan (Tribertes Primus Baroger Turistas): Cohort Fegiz*, Cohort Gelie and Cohors Parnan I & II*

Stimoz district based at Stimoz keep (Maldain Pesed): Cohort Hinar, Cohors Koam I* & II*, Cohort Menep and Cohors Stimoz I & II*


Legion Manpower: Infantry 672, Cavalry 145, Total muster 524 (107 under requirement)

Legion Finance: Income £1,558 2s 3d, Expenditure £1,844 5s 10d.

Province: 71,190 acres, 1,848 households, 9,040 acres held by the Legion

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4.5 Ramala

The Kom Legion is the smallest within the republic, consisting of only eight cohorts. It is based in Caer Moleryn, and is commanded by Legatus Parga Ostardes. The province is very much a border district and militarily it is dependant on neighbouring Coranan and to a lesser extent Shiran provinces for support. It is said that the posting to Fort Taztos is the worst in the army.

Districts and Cohorts

The Ramala province is not divided in to districts as well as Caer Moleryn the legion holds a large fort in the Ramala Gap, Taztos, and a single manor Tegn. The Cohorts are: Cohors Moleryn I & II*, Cohors Taztos I*, II, III*, IV & V and Cohort Tegn


Legion Manpower: Infantry 384, Cavalry 85, Total muster 167 (194 under requirement)

Legion Finance: Income £511 3s, Expenditure £1097 14s 10d.

Province: 22,090 acres, 624 households, 3,130 acres held by the Legion

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4.6 Shiran

The Shiran Legion is the equal third largest within the republic, consisting of twenty cohorts and three Compari Urbani, divided in to five districts. It is based in Caer Shiran, and is commanded by Legatus Quarlid Jeredosta. The province is the second of the wealthiest and populous within the republic. It excess resources are used to support the border legions based in Kom and Ramala.

Districts and Cohorts

Bythe District based at Bythe keep (Marvaen Sudela): Cohort Bythe, Cohort Bythi* and Cohort Tunarel*

Firis district based at Firis keep (awaiting appointment): Cohort Billinar*, Cohors Firis I & II* and Cohort Estane

Hediro district based at Cestor keep (Kalarn Horla): Cohort Hediro, Cohort Cestor I* and Cestor II* (newly renamed, was Hediro II) and Cohort Zost

Peden district based at Pendan keep (Grandel Khonary): Cohort Bout, Cohors Pendan I* & II* and Cohort Pekimeinar

Shiran district based Shiran (Tribertes Primus Nolarn Seris): Cohors Shiran I*, II* & III, Cohors Urbani I, II and III (based at Shiran), Cohort Shirah and Cohort Sumnau.


Legion Manpower: Infantry 987, Cavalry 235, Total muster 1556 (655 over requirement)

Legion Finance: Income £4,773 18s, Expenditure £2,284 16s 10d.

Province: 200,890 acres, 5,179 households, 23,810 acres held by the Legion

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