Posted 29 November 2012 - 11:45 AM
Roman legionaries between Augustus and Domitianus were hired for a nominal salary of 900 sesterces per year - a sesterce was about 1,1 grams of silver. But there were some deductions for provisions, so the legionaries did not get all of the cash. The remuneration package of a legionary also included a retirement bonus of 12 000 sesterces after completion of 25 to 26 years of service - only to the survivors.
Since Augustus, Roman officers had remarkably high pay. A centurion, in command of 80 soldiers, received salary of 15 000 sesterces per year - which is over 16 times that of ordinary soldiers, and more than 1/5 of their combined nominal pay (and even bigger fraction of their actual pay).
Roman army had other units besides legionary infantry. The auxiliary infantry, of noncitizens, had nominal pay of 750 sesterces per year. Roman cavalry had nominal pay of 1125 sesterces per year.
The Praetorian Guard, about 9000 men of infantry, had higher salary, of 1500 sesterces per year. They received a discharge bonus of 20 000 sesterces - and in the shorter time of 16 years. (And since they stayed in Rome, they were more likely to survive to earn it).
And the Praetorian Guards also received donatives, for political disturbances.
Augustus bequeathed to the Guard 1000 sesterces to each in his will (remember, about 8 months salary). Tiberius gave 4000 sesterces for letting him remove their commander Seianus. Caligula, on his accession, gave 15 000 sesterces (10 years salary, and 3/4 of the discharge bonus). Nero followed suit with the same sum on his accession. Nymphidius Sabinus promised the Guard 30 000 sesterces each to depose Nero, which they did - but Galba refused to keep the promise and was deposed by Guard. Otho and Galba both promised smaller donatives of 5000 sesterces, but neither paid.
Petyr´s donativum, to recall, was 1 dragon for each ordinary guardsman. And 1 dragon is worth 210 stars of about 2,3 grams each - so about 480 grams, or around 450 sesterces.
The Gold Cloaks were cheap, relative to Pretorians.
Now, Roman emperor had Equites singularii Augusti in addition to the infantry Praetorians. These horse guards were originally 720, increased to 1000 by Hadrianus.
The Golden Company also is about 1000 cavalry (500 knights plus 500 squires) and 9000 infantry - much like Pretorians.
When Aegon wins, how much of the Company disperses to their hard won lands and castles? And how much would stay as a standing army of Aegon?