And these were my replies to some comments about my estimates.
I'm not too sure, I think it could be just the opposite. It would not do to leave your city nearly empty and come back victorious only to find out that it was taken over by a roving band of brigands. It'd be anti-climatic In that case, it could have literally been only a tithe they sent.
Of course, which is why, for example, the Ringlo Vale sent only 30% of their force, which although not quite a tithe, is still an extremely small fraction, considering the fate of Gondor is in question. A constant 10% figure is a bit too
arbitrary and idealistic for us analysis guys, and you'd expect the people who are in direct threat to send fewer.
This is more or less exactly in line with your estimates for Rohan - the military figures you give in particular go well with Theoden's 10 000 spears line. I'd like to give Rohan a few more for widespread farmers that aren't accounted for in the muster, but this would only add a few more thousand to total population, nothing worth going into depth over.
Well, Rohan's 12,000 is one of the few solid figures we're given. As I said, there is a reasonable chance there are men of fighting age who are only conscripted in times of need who may be farmers and the like, however as I said, if there are farmers who can be conscripted, I decided to account for them in men not of fighting age.
The problem I have is with Gondor - though your numbers are mathematically correct based on your military estimates,
I think you fail to take into account the numbers of men that would not be serving militarily. Rohan does seem to have mobilized itself fully with nearly every man riding for battle, but I would not say the same is true of Gondor.
This is something I have also taken into consideration - but we simply don't know. There was never any mention of a man of correct age who was not a soldier. There is little, if any, evidence to support the notion that Gondor's military structure and conscription (or lack thereof) is any different to Rohan's.
For instance, when the Army of the West crosses at Osgiliath on the way to the Black Gate, there is a multitude of craftsmen already working to repair the bridges the forces of Mordor destroyed in the retreat (I trust I don't need a quote.) Although it doesn't specify the origin of these craftsmen, I think one could wager they were not serving in the military, and perhaps were part of the contingent that repaired the Rammas. There were likely other such groups, such as armourers, cooks, doctors, farmers in safe areas of the land, etc. I won't try to put any specific numbers, cause there's simply no way of guessing. Perhaps I'm just grasping for straws, but Gondor being only twice the size of Rohan simply doesn't gel with my perception of Gondor, despite her decrepit state.
Personally I think it's more than fair - Rohan was the saviour of Gondor in that day. While cavalry (on the whole) is better than infantry - particularly in the open ground - it is almost unfeasible that Rohan could make such
a difference if Gondor were considerably better. Do you think that the New Zealand army would be able to save the US from a joint attack from the rest of the world? 6000 was considered a vanguard of Numenor of old - and Numenor was exponentionally greater than Gondor of the end of the 3rd age, though I think it more likely refers particularly to the Numenoreans of Gondor and Arnor under Elendil. If these were 100,000 strong, I don't think that Gondor's later military of 22,000 is so outrageous. The men who repaired the Rammas, for example, while undoubtedly craftsman and builders, I would personally have thought also be part of the fighting force. While they may be a chance of being conscripts, I don't think that the number of conscripts would really be increadibly large.
I personally feel Minas Tirith and the Pelennor also had a much greater military garrison than you give them credit for - Minas Tirith could hardly be called the chief city of Gondor if it was little larger than Dol Amroth, and the densely populated Pelennor must also be taken into account. I also presume the rich farmlands throughout Gondor must have had a large population, some of it clustered into villages in this largely agrarian and market society, that would not be accounted for in any specific areas mentioned in the books.
When I say Dol Amroth, I rather mean Belfalas. Remember that beside the normal ~5000 garrison of Minas Tirith, there will be some other 20,000 men and women living in the Pelennor. The thing that is in my mind limiting such a huge population of Gondor is the fact that it simply can't
be vastly larger than Rohan. We know Rohan to have a population of ~60,000, assuming every man of fighting age is part of the professional army. Again, the farmlands, or places just 'elsewhere' are accounted for, as I said, in the numbers of places like Ringlo Vale and Lamedon.
A population of 5 million is utterly laughable, and I'd be surprised if that person had any credibility at life.
I think this is the bottom line; the question of whether the professional army is made up of all
the men of the right age, or only some. While I still maintain that 12,000 (which is factual) and 22,000 for Rohan and Gondor respectively are good guidelines for the professional army, there is of course some room for maneouvre. I think we do agree that these figures are 'reasonably' accurate (as in sensible), for the professional army. The question is that of conscripts (or men of fighting age not in the fighting force). Personally, I'd stay with my 60,000 figure, as there is no indication that there are men who are of the age and yet don't fight. Clearly, there must be special cases of smiths, cooks (Targon?
), but I'd have thought these already to be part of the fighting force and a part of their duty of being in their respective fighting forces are to supply the weapons or food to the troops. The farms I'd have thought to be tended to by the men too young or old.
Although just my estimates, I think the professional
forces are sensibly accurate. And unless it can be found that there is a suggestion of a reasonably significant amount of men who are of fighting age not in the army (which would have to be for both
Rohan, as Gondor's muster simply must be proportional to Rohan; it can't be vastly larger), then there is little, except for Horde's gut feeling, to encourage me to change my mind
EDIT: And I just remembered about the Silmarillion. Turgon came out of Gondolin - undoubtedly a greater city in every aspect - with 10,000 men, and that is the presumed full
strength of Gondolin given that the fate of the world rested on it. Perhaps 1000 or so were left behind, but nothing significant. I think if Gondolin had a full army of 10,000; then Minas Tirith's of 5000 (add/minus a few counting Osgiliath etc) is pretty reasonable. I think at least, then, there is little doubt in my ballpark figure of 22,000 of a professional army. But again with Gondolin we don't know how many Elves were fighting that could potentially fight that day. You'd expect the entire lot (given that every elf is pretty much a maestro) who could fight, would fight, and every Elf would be a part of the professional army.
Unless there is some evidence of conscription (which IMO there isn't for all sorts of reasons), or even men of fighting age who don't fight, then Gondor's population is pretty much between 100,000 and 150,000.
If Gondor had a population of 360,000; it'd have a conscripted potential army of 45,000 (aswell
as the 22,000 professionals). They should be laughing at Mordor and Harad with a force like that - considering Men of Gondor have far better training, armour, weapons, tactics, and are inherantly stronger/faster/larger than Orcs. And they shouldn't expect Rohan to save them with a relatively puny 6,000 when they've got (minus the 10,000 in Minas tirith/Osgil/Cair/fiefdoms) 55,000 ontop not doing too much!