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II. There were considerable differences in the ranks and salaries of the stratêgoi. In the first place, it is to be noticed that the governors of the Asiatic provinces, the admirals of the naval Themes, and the stratêgoi of Thrace and Macedonia were paid by the treasury, while the governors of the European Themes paid themselves a fixed amount from the custom dues levied in their own provinces.1 Hence for administrative purposes Thrace and Macedonia are generally included among the Asiatic Themes. The rank of patrician was bestowed as a rule upon the Anatolic, Armeniac, and Thrakesian stratêgoi, and these three received a salary of 40 lbs. of gold (£1728). The pay of the other stratêgoi and kleisurarchs ranged from 36 to 12 lbs, but their stipends were somewhat reduced in the course of the ninth century. We can easily calculate that the total cost of paying the governors of the eastern provinces (including Macedonia and Thrace) did not fall short of £15,000.
1 Constantine, Cer. 697, referring to the reign of Leo VI. There is every reason to suppose that the system was older.
2 Ibn Khurdadhbah, 85. "The pay of the officers is at the maximum 40 lbs; it descends to 36, 24, 12, 6 and even to 1 lb." The salaries which obtained under Leo VI. (Cer., ib.) enable us to apply this information. There we have 5 classes :-(1) 40 lbs. : Anatol., Arm., Thrakes. (2) 30 lbs. : Opsik., Bukell., Maced. (3) 20 lbs. : Capp., Chars., Paphl., Thrace, Kol. (4) 10 lbs. Kib., Samos, Aig. Pel. (5) 5 lbs. 4 kleisurarchies. It is clear that in the interval between Theophilus and Leo VI. the salaries, with the exception of the highest, had
been lowered (Cer., ib.). If we apply the figures given by Ibn Khurdadhbah to the corresponding categories in the table of Themes under Michael III. (36 lbs. =£1555: 4s. ; 24 lbs. = £1036: 16s. ; 12 lbs. = £518: 8s. ; 6 lbs. £259: 4s.), we get for the total amount paid to the military commanders £16,558 : 16s. But it must be remembered that the reduction of salaries may have been made under Michael III., or even before the death of Theophilus, and may have been connected with the increase in the number of the Themes. It seems, for instance, probable that when Koloneia became a stratêgia the salary may have been fixed at 20 lbs. But the data are sufficient for a rough estimate.
In these provinces there is reason to suppose that the number of troops, who were chiefly cavalry, was about 80,000.1 They were largely settled on military lands, and their pay was small. The recruit, who began service at a very early age, received one nomisma (12s.) in his first year, two in his second, and so on, till the maximum of twelve (£7: 4s.), or in some cases of eighteen (£10: 16s.), was reached.2
The army of the Theme was divided generally into two, sometimes three, turms or brigades; the turm into drungoi or battalions; and the battalion into banda or companies. The corresponding commanders were entitled turmarchs, drungaries, and counts. The number of men in the company, the sizes of the battalion and the brigade, varied widely in the different Themes. The original norm seems to have been a bandon of 200 men and a drungos of 5 banda. It is very doubtful whether this uniform scheme still prevailed in the reign of Theophilus. It is certain that at a somewhat later period the bandon varied in size up to the maximum of 400, and the drungos oscillated between the limits of 1000 and 3000 men. Originally the turm was composed of 5 drungoi (5000 men), but this rule was also changed.
1 Ibn Kudama, 197 sqq., gives the total for the Asiatic provinces as 70,000, but the sum of his items does not correspond. The number of troops in Paphlagonia is omitted, and Gelzer is probably right in supplying 4000 (op. cit. 98). He is also right in observing that the figure 4000 assigned to the Armeniacs must be wrong, but I cannot agree with his emendation, 10,000. For the number of the Thrakesians 6000 must also be incorrect; they cannot have been less numerous than the Bukellarians, who were 8000. I would therefore write 8000 for the Thrakesians, and 8000 for the Armeniacs (not too few for this Theme reduced by the separation of Chaldia and Charsianon). With these corrections we get the required sum 70,000. The same author gives 5000 for Thrace, to which we must add another 5000 for Macedonia (but these numbers may be under the mark). Ibn Khurdadhbah (84) asserts that the whole army numbered 120,000 men, and a patrician (i.e. a stratêgos) commanded 10,000. The actual organ
The number of drungoi in
ization never corresponded to this scheme, and it has no historical value. The figures 120,000 may indeed roughly correspond to the actual total, if we include the Tagmata and all the forces in Hellas and the Western provinces.
2 Ibn Khurdadhbah makes two contradictory statements about the pay (1) it varies between 18 and 12 dinars a year (84), and (2) beardless youths are recruited, they receive 1 dinar the first year, 2 the second, and so on till their twelfth year of service, when they earn the full pay of 12 dinars. Perhaps the explanation is that the first passage only takes account of the "full pay." This may have varied in different Themes; or higher pay than 12 dinars may have been that of the Tagmatic troops, or of the dekarchs (corporals). In any case Gelzer is wrong in his estimate of the pay (120). He commits the error of taking the dinar to be equivalent to a franc (or rather 91 pfennige). But the dinar represents the Greek nomisma. The dirham (drachma) corresponds to a franc.
the turm was reduced to three, so that the brigade which the turmarch commanded ranged from 3000 upwards.
The pay of the officers, according to one account, ranged from 3 lbs. to 1 lb., and perhaps the subalterns in the company (the kentarchs and pentekontarchs) are included; but the turmarchs in the larger themes probably received a higher salary than 3 lbs. If we assume that the average bandon was composed of 300 men and the average drungos of 1500, and further that the pay of the drungary was 3 lbs., that of the count 2 lbs. and that of the kentarch 1 lb., the total sum expended on these officers would have amounted to about £64,000. But these assumptions are highly uncertain. Our data for the pay of the common soldiers form a still vaguer basis for calculation; but we may conjecture, with every reserve, that the salaries of the armies of the Eastern Themes, including generals and officers, amounted to not less than £500,000.1
The armies of the Themes formed only one branch of the military establishment. There were four other privileged and differently organized cavalry regiments known as the Tagmata: 2 (1) the Schools, (2) the Excubitors, (3) the Arithmos or Vigla, and (4) the Hikanatoi. The first three were of ancient foundation; the fourth was a new institution of Nicephorus I., who created a child, his grandson Nicetas (afterwards the Patriarch Ignatius), its first commander.3 The commanders of these troops were entitled Domestics, except that of the Arithmos, who was known as the Drungary of the Vigla or Watch. Some companies of these Tagmatic troops may have been stationed at Constantinople, where the Domestics usually resided, but the greater part of them were quartered in Thrace,
1 We cannot, I think, use evidence in the documents concerning the Cretan expeditions of A.D. 902 and 949 (in Constantine, Cer. ii. chaps. 44 and 45) for controlling the Arabic statements as to the pay of soldiers and officers. For instance, we find the detachment of 3000 Thrakesians receiving 2 nomismata each (p. 655) in A.D. 902; and men of the Sebastean Theme receiving 4 n. each (p. 656), while the officers of the same Theme are paid-turmarchs 12 n., drungaries 10 n., counts 5 n. It seems probable
that these sums represent extra pay given for special expeditions oversea, and are outside the regular military budget. See below. We cannot draw conclusions from the sum of 1100 pounds = £475,222 which was sent in A.D. 809 to pay the army on the Strymon, as we do not know the number of the troops or whether the sum included arrears.
2 See Bury, Imp. Admin. System, 47 sqq.
3 Nicet. Vita Ign. 213.
Macedonia, and Bithynia. The question of their numbers is perplexing. We are variously told that in the ninth century they were each 6000 or 4000 strong, but in the tenth the numbers seem to have been considerably less, the strength of the principal Tagma, the Scholarians, amounting to no more than 1500 men. If we accept one of the larger figures for the reign of Theophilus, we must suppose that under one of his successors these troops were reduced in number.1
The Domestic of the Schools preceded in rank all other military commanders except the stratêgos of the Anatolic Theme, and the importance of the post is shown by the circumstance that it was filled by such men as Manuel and Bardas. In later times it became still more important; in the tenth century, when a military expedition against the Saracens was not led by the Emperor in person, the Domestic of the Schools was ex officio the Commander-in-Chief.2 The Drungary of the Watch and his troops were distinguished from the other Tagmata by the duties they performed as sentinels in campaigns which were led by the Emperor in person. The Drungary was responsible for the safety of the camp, and carried the orders of the Emperor to the generals.
Besides the Thematic and the Tagmatic troops, there were the Numeri, a regiment of infantry commanded by a Domestic ; and the forces which were under the charge of the Count or Domestic of the Walls, whose duty seems to have been the defence of the Long Wall of Anastasius. These troops played little part in history. More important was the Imperial Guard or Hetaireia, which, recruited from barbarians, formed the garrison of the Palace, and attended the Emperor on campaigns.
1 See Constantine, Cer. 666. Cp. Bury, op. cit. 54, where, however, the reduction of the Excubitors and Hikanatoi is probably exaggerated, as the numbers given in Cer. seem to refer to the contingents stationed in Asia, and not to include those in Thrace and Macedonia.
2 Hence the Domestic of the Schools developed into the Domestic of the East.
3 They numbered 4000, according to Kudama. Cp. Bury, op. cit. 65.
4 See above, p. 224.
5 Probably organized in the course of the ninth century, cp. Bury, op. cit. 107. They were under the command of Hetaeriarchs, and associated with them were small corps of Khazars and Pharganoi. These guards were so well remunerated that they had to purchase their posts for considerable sums, on which their salaries represented an annuity varying from about 2 to 4 per cent (Constantine, Cer. 692-693). For example, a Khazar who received £7:4s. had paid for enrolment £302: 8s. This system applied to most of the Palace offices.
The care which was spent on providing for the health and comfort of the soldiers is illustrated by the baths at Dorylaion, the first of the great military stations in Asia Minor. bathing establishment impressed the imagination of oriental visitors, and it is thus described by an Arabic writer:1
Dorylaion possesses warm springs of fresh water, over which the Emperors have constructed vaulted buildings for bathing. seven basins, each of which can accommodate a thousand men. reaches the breast of a man of average height, and the discharged into a small lake.
In military campaigns, careful provision was made for the wounded. There was a special corps of officers called deputatoi,2 whose duty was to rescue wounded soldiers and take them to the rear, to be tended by the medical staff. They carried flasks of water, and had two ladders attached to the saddles of their horses on the left side, so that, having mounted a fallen soldier with the help of one ladder, the deputatos could himself mount instantly by the other and ride off.
It is interesting to observe that not only did the generals and superior officers make speeches to the soldiers, in old Hellenic fashion, before a battle, but there was a band of professional orators, called cantatores, whose duty was to stimulate the men by their eloquence during the action. Some of the combatants themselves, if they had the capacity, might be chosen for this purpose. A writer on the art of war suggests the appropriate chords which the cantatores might touch, and if we may infer their actual practice, the leading note was religious. "We are fighting in God's cause; the issue lies with him, and he will not favour the enemy because of their unbelief."
III. Naval necessities imposed an increase of expenditure for the defence of the Empire in the ninth century. The navy, which had been efficiently organized under the Heraclian dynasty and had performed memorable services against the attacks of the Omayyad Caliphs, had been degraded in importance and suffered to decline by the policy of the Isaurian monarchs. We may criticize their neglect of the naval arm,
1 Ibn Khurdadhbah, 81.
2 Deputati. The word sometimes appears as δεσποτάτοι. This is not a
scribe's error but a popular corruption. Leo, Tact. 12, § 51, 53.
3 See Bury, Naval Policy.