A military unit, roughly equivalent to a brigade (nominal strength: 62 officers, 2,500 other ranks, 12 elephants). A tagma is the largest unit with a permanent existence, the basis of recruitment and training. A tagma nominally consists of five taxeis, a tagmarkh as commander, and a hypotagmarkh as deputy commander, plus commissariat, medical support, general staff, etc. In peacetime, especially in the Decadent Period, brigades are often maintained considerably under strength. The payroll for a battalion is 6236 obols per day, plus 5122 obols for panoply, plus pay for the commissariat and medical staff, plus bed and board for 5134+ men and twelve elephants.

In the Classical Period and the Decadent Period one tagma is posted in each episkopy. In addition to these ‘county’ tagmai there are two tagmai of Imperial Guards, a tagma of archers in the garrison of Thekla (the Toxeuma), and the Melankreuthes. Each tagma has its own uniform, insigniae, nickname, and traditions. Soldiers rarely transfer between tagmai, unless their tagma is being dissolved as having become shameful or unlucky.

Copyright © 1991 by Brett Evill. All rights reserved.