The more I study the Charr culture as it appears in the time of Guild Wars 2, the more similarities to Republican Rome become evident. The Charr nation is essentially governed by a Triumvirate (the Imperators - and we will note here that the word is apparently used in the old, Republican sense of…
This is a really interesting read, and I’m reblogging it for others to have a look at, too. I really recommend clicking the link there and having a goosey at it. It’s quite enlightening. It also shows, I think, that someone at ArenaNet is a real ancient Rome buff. (I suspect that the person responsible might be Ree Soesbee.)
I wonder what the Charr equivalent of “Civis Romanus sum” or “Senatus Populusque Roma” would be…
I guess ‘Civis Romanus sum’ would be covered by graduation from the fahrar, without being named explicitly. And then partially revoked if a charr becomes an honourless gladium. Though ‘Senatus Populusque Roma’ explicitly is much harder to pin down. I’ll have to give that some thought!
Remember that the acronym was the sigil borne on the standards of the Roman legions, which reminds me; have we ever actually seen a Charr standard? I wouldn’t be surprised if the standard-bearers wore direwolf (or some other suitable beast’s) skins in the manner of the Roman signifier (the aquilifier, the actual bearer of the eagle, probably didn’t wear an animal skin).
On that note, I’ve been thinking more about the organization of the Charr military. The Charr Legion, of course, is defined differently than the Roman legion, being actually one of the four main divisions (clans? tribes? subsidiary nations?) of the overall Charr nation. There would probably be many, many units that we would recognize as being closer to our concept of the legion (i.e., modern army division) but which would be called something different by the Charr because the name “legion” is already taken. We really only know the structure of the lower formations of the army, the warband (usually 15 soldiers, led by a legionary) and what I would call the century (generally 10 warbands, or 150 soldiers, led by a centurion). If Charr “divisions” (for lack of a better name) are organized parallel to the original model of the Roman legion, then we might have a typical structure like this:
15 soldiers per warband, led by a legionary (equivalent to a sergeant)
10 warbands per century (150 soldiers) (equivalent to a company), led by a centurion (equivalent to a captain, but see further remarks below)
6 centuries per cohort (900 soldiers) (equivalent to a battalion or regiment) each cohort led by the centurion of the senior century of that cohort (equivalent to a major or colonel)
10 cohorts per “division” (9,000 soldiers), led by a general
Attached auxiliary units (in the classic Roman legion, these were often troops from allied nations and provided specialist troops such as cavalry and ranged-weapon troops; in the Charr army, these would probably be engineers, motorized vehicle units - drivers, mechanics and the like - heavy artillery, and so on. Units of plebeian soldiers might also be attached.)
As in the classic Roman legion, the Charr rank of centurion apparently comprises a great many grades, probably with titles denoting the centurion’s specific assignment. The senior centurion of the legion, which the Romans called the primus pilus (first spear - same name as one of the Sunspear ranks, BTW) would command the senior cohort of the legion as well as his or her own century in the senior cohort. Each cohort, in turn, would be commanded by the centurion of that cohort’s senior century (called by the Romans the pilus prior).
We know from Ghosts of Ascalon that the Charr use the rank of general, so I will speculate that that would be the appropriate rank for the commander of a “division” (in Rome, this officer would be called the legate). We know that in Charr society, Tribunes are very high-ranking officials directly responsible to the Imperator of the respective Legion. This poses a bit of a problem in designating the subordinate officers of a Charr “division” commanding general, because there were two types of tribunes generally assigned to a legion; the “Broad Band Tribune”, the second-in-command, and the “Narrow Band Tribunes”, young officers who would probably be most analogous to staff lieutenants. The “Camp Prefect”, usually a former primus pilus, came directly in the table of organization under the Broad Band Tribune and was the officer responsible for legion training.
I don’t know if the Charr Army has formal organizations above the division level. As with the Romans, field armies are probably organized on an ad hoc basis using whatever number of divisions are required to fulfill the task at hand, and commanded by the senior general present.
Another really interesting read. Thank you for these. I’m reblogging so that others can benefit from these, too.
I think the general might be an informal name for either a primus centurion (a centurion that’s put in place to command other centurions) or a brevet. The latter is a temporary field commander which is put in place to fulfil the role of a general on the field of battle when one isn’t present. I’m leaning towards it perhaps being informal for primus centurion, though, since that’s more permanent.
Here’s the piece I wrote up on the charr rank and hierarchy system based upon the information that ArenaNet has given us.
As for the rest of it though, I have no input, but it is a very interesting read. I really like the idea of the charr having a standard. Perhaps that could be signified by a warband’s first feat - their first collective invention or endeavour, for example, in whatever field the warband considers to be important to them.
It’s things like this I’d love to be able to poke ArenaNet themselves about.
Anyway, thanks for sharing! Once again a really, really interesting read.