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This is a very unPC thought, but I have wondered if decimation might do some good with Iraqi National Guard units.

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Guest Scanderbeg

How about instead of killing possibly good guards we can just work through it and train them? Decimation seemed like more of a taboo even within Roman society. It was pretty damn rare.

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On 3/7/2005 at 5:25 PM, Primus Pilus said:

The references I've seen have indicated a drawing of lots, though I wouldn't be surprised if officers may not have bothered with such a formality. In practice I'm sure there may have been some displays of favoritism.


As there aren't a great deal of records dealing with the subject, its alot of conjecture, but the numbers make me wonder. I would suspect that the division of men would've been based on the pre-existing contubernium. In theory, this was a unit of 10 men, but in practice was made up of 8 men. Rather than dividing into new groups of '10' wouldn't it make more sense for each contubernium to draw lots. If that were the case, decimation actually would've meant the death of 1 out of every 8 men. Of course, this totally assumes full compliment of men which was rarely the case, especially if the army had done something to deserve decimation. I suppose there wouldn't be any choice but to 'count' using another method.

Probably, there’s much more of a psychological effect if you are kind your own roomates, and even though deci means ten, cent means 100 yet there were only 80 men in a century. Also, you’d be losing ten mean of the century - 1 in every 8, so hence the deci part.

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