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[–]Intranetusa 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Caesar and Pompey were able to raise troops so quickly because they were still using a conscription system to supplement the volunteers in the army. Full professionalization or majority professionalization of the Roman army wouldn't happen until the early principate/early empire under Augustus. The Roman army during the late Republic under the time of Caesar was partially professionalized and relied on volunteers, but still heavily used conscription to raise temporary forces that would disband after the crisis or need had passed.

A significant portion of Caesar's troops in his wars were levies/conscripts, so his army would have been a mix of volunteers and conscripts. He talks about it in his writings.

Here is one example where he disbanded his legions and then levied them again: "...would lift again the disbanded legions which he formerly levied in Lombardy." https://books.google.com/books?id=8RAEAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA107&lpg=PA107&dq=%22formerly+levied+in+Lombardy%22&source=bl&ots=0X0bW7OVu4&sig=ACfU3U1bQMw4gG1s1NkZIciZpBXskxFJIQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi3v_7V5tTpAhXldd8KHUG3D6kQ6AEwAHoECAQQAQ#v=onepage&q=%22formerly%20levied%20in%20Lombardy%22&f=false

Pompey also levied legions regularly during the Republican civil wars. In the later era of the Principate/early Empire, the [mostly] professionalized army would mainly rely on volunteers to fill its ranks, and wouldn't disband its armies after a war was over as it became a permanent standing army. Conscription was still kept around, but was overtaken by volunteers.

"But conscription became more and more of a local affair. Augustus had envisaged the precise opposite of this, that the place of conscription should not coincide where a soldier was stationed." ... "Up to the time of Marcus the extent of conscription carrie out among the Illyrians had been light. It had generally only involved levying troops into alae and cohortes for deployment...conscription was much lighter than, for example. among the Rhine Germans or in Belgica. If, however, by the third century the army had become Illyrian and could rightly be so described, then it was the exigencies of the Marcommanic Wars that were to blame." -p. 277-279 of A history of Rome Under the Emperors

As for supplying lots of troops with equipment and gear, the state had begun to partially and then fully subsidize troops for these items. IIRC, troops were either paid a sum of money that they used to buy the equipment themselves from local producers, or were given equipment from more centralized state supported producers. So equipment was handed down from earlier troops, and/or created [relatively] cheaply in mass. This need for cheap, mass produced equipment degraded the quality of equipment during the transition from the late Republic to the early Principate:

"The production of these kings of helmets of Italic tradition decreased in quality because of the demands of equipping huge armies, especially during civil wars....The bad quality of these helmets is recorded by the sources describing how sometimes they were covered by wicker protections (viminea tegimenta), like those of Pompeius' soldiers during the siege of Dyrrachium in 48 BC, which were seriously damaged by the missles of Caesar's slingers and archers."
-"Arms and Armour of the Imperial Roman Soldier From Marius to Commodus, 112 BC–AD 192" By Raffaele D’Amato, Graham Sumner · 2009

[–]markthelast 1 point2 points  (3 children)

By the late Roman Republic, the Roman legions consisted of professionalized troops. Julius Caesar would be able to raise troops on his own through his own fortunes/loans. There were plenty of idle people around to hire. Caesar also hired Germanic cavalry mercenaries, which he favored for their amazing performance on the field. I would think Julius Caesar would mix and match veteran troops with fresh recruits in new legions, which would be the most pragmatic choice. For example, in World War II, the Germans mixed experienced and inexperienced troops to fight against the Americans in western Europe.

In terms of equipment, I would imagine his legions would have stockpiles of equipment. Every legion had their own engineers, medics, and etc. to be relatively self-sufficient. A lot of equipment can be reused if it's not damaged beyond usefulness. The dead allies and enemies have weapons and etc. to retrieve. The Romans are known for their efficiency. The pila is their main opening attack against the opposition. Their main battle weapon is the gladius, which the legions used to chop down the opposition. With the exception of their auxiliaries and cavalry, the equipment is standardized, so the training can be standardized. Training can only give one the tools. On the battlefield, one will ultimately find out whether one is good at killing compared to another. For food, troops throughout history were known to forage and to hunt. In general, I imagine Caesar and other generals would have supply lines readied and functional, so they would not starve on campaign.

[–]Intranetusa 1 point2 points  (0 children)

By the late Roman Republic, the Roman legions consisted of professionalized troops. Julius Caesar would be able to raise troops on his own through his own fortunes/loans.

Full professionalization of the Roman army wouldn't happen until the early principate under Augustus. The Roman army during the late Republic under the time of Caesar was partially professionalized and relied on volunteers, but still heavily used conscription to raise forces. While Caesar did use his own money to entice volunteer troops, he also used conscription to supplement his army. So his army would have been a mix of volunteers and conscripts.

This use of conscription is likely what allowed Pompey to raise new troops so quickly to challenge Caesar during the Republican Civil War.

[–]MilkToastWhiteBoy[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

So one key consideration is that you can fold green troops into an existing unit. Very good point. I hadn't considered that they would recover all the gear of the fallen, either. I bet that was very common at any point in history, right up to today. Thanks for the thoughts!