Roman Soldier


Roman Soldier Essay, Research Paper

A. Joining the Army – Qualifications if any – Pay or benefits received – Initial

training no boot camp in those days – Soldiers oath (page 6 Legionary book) B.

Life at the Fort – Accommodations – Food – Showers bathrooms -Free time – No

weekends 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 of

full Mithras brotherhood C. Duties – Sentry duty – Cooking / Cleaning – Working

(pg. 16 Legionary book) – Built roads\bridges – Made tiles for public buildings

- Built aqueducts – Drained marshes to build new forts on – Quarry, stones for

buildings etc. – Polished iron armor and weaponry – Sweeping – Only a select few

got 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 for

disobedient soldiers – Professional\Officers -Were harsh taskmasters -

Punishments – petty such as being late would be to make the soldier look like a

fool and make them stand outside w/o weapons or armor to show he is not worthy

to be a soldier – serious crime such as sleeping on guard or deserting resulted

in flogging, rank lowered. At the time of war the penalty was death – If a unit

disgraced itself in battle it might be "decimated" – 1 in 10 selected

to be clubbed or stoned to death by the rest of the army – Decimation was

stopped after Emperor Trajan ruled E. Family Life – Forbidden to marry – That

was not strictly enforced – Was not unusual to keep wife and children in nearby

homes 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 an

important event (annual) I wanted to join the Roman Army ever since I was a

young boy playing in the fields of my home in (NAME A TOWN OR CITY RELATED TO

ROME HERE). My father was a legionaire in the Roman Army for 25 years. It was my

goal in life to follow in his footsteps. The hard part of being a Legionaire in

the Roman Army was not becoming a soldier. To become a soldier you jsut had to

be somewhat physically fit and be at least 5 feet 8 inches tall. The pay for

being a legionaire was also not all that attractive to me. I got paid

250(DOLLARS, PESOS, FRANCS???) per month. There were many deductions taken out

of that 250 that I did not like. Roughly 10 for my bedding, 80 for food and 60

for 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 a

legionary there was no inital training or boot camp to become an official

soldier. I just showed up and was given my equipment and instructed on where to

go and what to do. I was given a few questions to make sure I was a genuine

citizen before I could take the Soldiers Oath. After the oath I was given 4

motnhs bonus pay which was very nice and then instructed on which century I was

to report to. A century is an 80 man company. Six centuries made a cohort and

ten cohorts made up a legion. Living inside the fort was not all that bad. I was

fed very well and my living quarters were quite fitting to me. The food I ate

varied quite often. It all depended on what the men in teh auxillary killed

while 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 per

week on average. The bathrooms were a large room with two long rows of benches

on 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 very

little free time to myself. I worked from sunrise to sunset each day with no

weekends to myself. Although I did get all of the religious holidays which was

very enjoyable. I prayed at the Temple of Mithras. Mithras was most of the

soldiers god. To become a full Mithras brother I had to pass 7 various tests of

skill. There were many jobs that had to be done around the fort on a daily

basis. On any given day I could be building new roads or bridges which was very

labor intensive. Making tile for all of the new various buildings that were

constantly 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 forts

on. I would end up in the quarry busting up stone quite often which was one of

the worst jobs. A very boring job which involved just sitting down was the

constant polishing of armor and weaponry. If it was a slow day and I thought

there was nothing else to be done I would always end up sweeping out the

buildings just to keep busy. Only a select few people were ever able to get out

of all that labor. Those were the people who were the clerks, cobblers or

smiths. I would do anything to have one of there jobs. Although they do not get

treated with as much respect by all of the other soldiers because they are

thought to have it easy. About once a month I would get sentry duty. Sentry duty

was guarding the building which was the shrine of the standards. In order to

maintain discipline throughout all of us soldiers there was a centurion. I never

liked any centurion who was assingned to my cohort. Many of the centurions

seemed to be on a power trip. The centurions dress was much more elaborate than

the regular soldiers. He had shiny armor all decorated with various medals. The

centurion carried a vinewood stick. His stick was not only a badge of honor to

distinguish him from other soldiers but it was also used for disobedient

soldiers. The centurions were harsh taskmasters. They gave out the worst

punishments. If the soldier did a small petty fault such as having dirty armor

or being late on parade then the centurion would make him look like a fool. I

arrived one time with dirty armor and teh centurion made me stand outside the

fort with no armor or weapons and tell all who passed by me that I was not

worthy of being a Roman soldier. The centurions took pride in making people look

foolish. For a more serious crime such as sleeping while on guard or not showing

up for guard duty at all would result in being beaten, flogged or being lowered

in rank. If a soldier was caught sleeping at a time of war the penalty was

death. If a whole group of soldiers were disobedient they would often be put on

a ration of food, just enough to survive. My centurion was not happy with my

centuries work so he made all 80 of us sleep outside the fort walls. We had to

make our own shelters for the nite and leave extra men on guard. That was a

night that will not be soon forgotten. If a unit had disgraced itself in battle

the worst of all punishments that I hated to see was decimstion. Decimation was

when one out of every ten of the disgraceful soldiers soldiers were selected to

be clubbed or stoned to death by the rest of the army. A Roman Soldier was

forbidden to marry. Although that rule was not strictly enforced. It was not

unusual for a soldier to keep a wife and children in nearby homes outside the


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