Roman Soldier

A. Joining the Army – Qualifications if any – Pay or benefits received – Initialtraining no boot camp in those days – Soldiers oath (page 6 Legionary book) B.Life at the Fort – Accommodations – Food – Showers bathrooms -Free time – Noweekends off but had all religious holidays off – Religion – Temple of Mithras,he was most of the soldiers god, You had to pass 7 tests of skill to become offull Mithras brotherhood C. Duties – Sentry duty – Cooking / Cleaning – Working(pg. 16 Legionary book) – Built roadsridges – Made tiles for public buildings- Built aqueducts – Drained marshes to build new forts on – Quarry, stones forbuildings etc.

– Polished iron armor and weaponry – Sweeping – Only a select fewgot out of bad jobs and they were clerks, cobblers, smiths D. The Centurion -Was the boss of all the soldiers who worked – Dress was much more elaborate -Carried a vine wood stick – was a badge of honor also used as a whip fordisobedient soldiers – ProfessionalOfficers -Were harsh taskmasters -Punishments – petty such as being late would be to make the soldier look like afool and make them stand outside w/o weapons or armor to show he is not worthyto be a soldier – serious crime such as sleeping on guard or deserting resultedin flogging, rank lowered. At the time of war the penalty was death – If a unitdisgraced itself in battle it might be “decimated” – 1 in 10 selectedto be clubbed or stoned to death by the rest of the army – Decimation wasstopped after Emperor Trajan ruled E. Family Life – Forbidden to marry – Thatwas not strictly enforced – Was not unusual to keep wife and children in nearbyhomes F. Pay – Pay was low – Deductions were taken out for worn out gear,bedding food, boots, clothes etc. – Often got a bonus in pay to celebrate animportant event (annual) I wanted to join the Roman Army ever since I was ayoung boy playing in the fields of my home in (NAME A TOWN OR CITY RELATED TOROME HERE). My father was a legionaire in the Roman Army for 25 years.

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It was mygoal in life to follow in his footsteps. The hard part of being a Legionaire inthe Roman Army was not becoming a soldier. To become a soldier you jsut had tobe somewhat physically fit and be at least 5 feet 8 inches tall. The pay forbeing a legionaire was also not all that attractive to me. I got paid250(DOLLARS, PESOS, FRANCS???) per month.

There were many deductions taken outof that 250 that I did not like. Roughly 10 for my bedding, 80 for food and 60for clothes. So after all those deductions I was not left with all that much.The signifer kept track of all my money and savings I had.

When I first became alegionary there was no inital training or boot camp to become an officialsoldier. I just showed up and was given my equipment and instructed on where togo and what to do. I was given a few questions to make sure I was a genuinecitizen before I could take the Soldiers Oath.

After the oath I was given 4motnhs bonus pay which was very nice and then instructed on which century I wasto report to. A century is an 80 man company. Six centuries made a cohort andten cohorts made up a legion. Living inside the fort was not all that bad. I wasfed very well and my living quarters were quite fitting to me. The food I atevaried quite often. It all depended on what the men in teh auxillary killedwhile hunting. Most often it was buffalo which I have liked since I was a child.

We all showered in a big open area made of concrete. We showered about once perweek on average. The bathrooms were a large room with two long rows of bencheson each side.

It was a punishment if you were assigned to clean the bathroom.One of the things I did not like about living at the fort was that I got verylittle free time to myself. I worked from sunrise to sunset each day with noweekends to myself. Although I did get all of the religious holidays which wasvery enjoyable. I prayed at the Temple of Mithras. Mithras was most of thesoldiers god.

To become a full Mithras brother I had to pass 7 various tests ofskill. There were many jobs that had to be done around the fort on a dailybasis. On any given day I could be building new roads or bridges which was verylabor intensive. Making tile for all of the new various buildings that wereconstantly being built. Building aqueducts for the new areas under renovation.

As land filled up with forts we would have to drain marshes to build new fortson. I would end up in the quarry busting up stone quite often which was one ofthe worst jobs. A very boring job which involved just sitting down was theconstant polishing of armor and weaponry. If it was a slow day and I thoughtthere was nothing else to be done I would always end up sweeping out thebuildings just to keep busy. Only a select few people were ever able to get outof all that labor. Those were the people who were the clerks, cobblers orsmiths. I would do anything to have one of there jobs.

Although they do not gettreated with as much respect by all of the other soldiers because they arethought to have it easy. About once a month I would get sentry duty. Sentry dutywas guarding the building which was the shrine of the standards. In order tomaintain discipline throughout all of us soldiers there was a centurion. I neverliked any centurion who was assingned to my cohort. Many of the centurionsseemed to be on a power trip. The centurions dress was much more elaborate thanthe regular soldiers.

He had shiny armor all decorated with various medals. Thecenturion carried a vinewood stick. His stick was not only a badge of honor todistinguish him from other soldiers but it was also used for disobedientsoldiers. The centurions were harsh taskmasters. They gave out the worstpunishments. If the soldier did a small petty fault such as having dirty armoror being late on parade then the centurion would make him look like a fool. Iarrived one time with dirty armor and teh centurion made me stand outside thefort with no armor or weapons and tell all who passed by me that I was notworthy of being a Roman soldier. The centurions took pride in making people lookfoolish.

For a more serious crime such as sleeping while on guard or not showingup for guard duty at all would result in being beaten, flogged or being loweredin rank. If a soldier was caught sleeping at a time of war the penalty wasdeath. If a whole group of soldiers were disobedient they would often be put ona ration of food, just enough to survive. My centurion was not happy with mycenturies work so he made all 80 of us sleep outside the fort walls. We had tomake our own shelters for the nite and leave extra men on guard. That was anight that will not be soon forgotten. If a unit had disgraced itself in battlethe worst of all punishments that I hated to see was decimstion. Decimation waswhen one out of every ten of the disgraceful soldiers soldiers were selected tobe clubbed or stoned to death by the rest of the army.

A Roman Soldier wasforbidden to marry. Although that rule was not strictly enforced. It was notunusual for a soldier to keep a wife and children in nearby homes outside thefort.European History