April 20, 2006

The Bandon Continued…

Follow-up to Semeia, Vexilla, and Roman/Byzantine Military Standards from Conor's blog

I've done some more checking this evening about the mysterious bandon and standards. They existed, and are mentioned, in the 6th century (at least at the very end when the treatise of Maurice is supposed to have been writing). In Maurice's treatise a bandon is both a standard, and a unit from 200 – 400 men. It continued in use well into the 10th century and beyond, though by that time it had shrunk to about 50 men. Now, even though after some cursory reading I did come across some more information about the bandon (particularly in the works of Haldon, Syvanne, and Treadgold), none of them really discuss its creation: it's just basically there and from Maurice to Leo it changed. So, the question still remains, how did it come into being? There are lots of questions that still need answering about the organization of the Late Roman army; whether or they can be answered is another problem altogether. Regardless, I'll see what I can uncover about this latest mystery…

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