Ancient Roman Soldiers Life: The Roman army was the generic term for the terrestrial armed forces deployed by the kingdom of Rome somewhere around 500 BC, the Roman Republic between 500 and 31 BC), the Roman Empire from 31 BC to AD 476 and its successor, the Byzantine empire from 476 to1453 respectively.
Roman Soldiers Life
It was thus a term that spanned approximately 2,000 years, during which the Roman armed forces underwent numerous permutations in composition, organization, equipment, and tactics while conserving a core of lasting traditions.
The Roman Empire grew to such a great extend mostly because of the skills and strength of the soldiers. At first, men were asked to leave their farms for short periods of time to fight. Later men stayed in the army full time.
The Roman army was well organized. Each main section of the army was called a legend. A group of eight soldiers shared a tent and ate together. This group of eight was called a Contubernium.
Eight Contubernia made a century. Centuries were grouped into cohorts and ten cohorts made a legion.
Roman Soldiers activities
The Roman Soldiers Life was very difficult. The men were disciplined by whipping. The general could even have a soldier beheaded for not following orders. Deserters got their right hands cut off.
What did Roman soldiers eat
A soldier’s life consisted of a basic repetition of everyday activities. Every 15 days each soldier received their rations. They each received 1/2 a bushel of Frumenti or grain. With this Frumenti, they could prepare many types of food including bread, porridge, wheat, and barley.
When the meat was available, it was eaten. Most of the meat was purchased from the traveling merchants. The soldiers were recommended to eat cheese, olive oil, and honey whenever available. Each soldier only received 45 dollars a year. This was not a lot, even by Ancient Rome’s standards. But the soldiers all received a portion of the “spoils of war”.
Daily life of a Roman soldier
These gifts of land and valuables made the soldier’s life a very profitable one. In addition, with normal generals in charge, the higher ranks would receive more land than the lower ranks. Caesar was the first to distribute all the spoils of war evenly among all the officers and soldiers.
While traveling which was common for any soldier, the diet of a soldier consisted mostly of unleavened bread. Unleavened bread was made without yeast so it was flat. The soldiers also ate porridge and what vegetables they could find.
They got a little wine. The meat was so rare that many of the soldiers didn’t even like to eat it. At times soldiers were paid, but often they were given no money except for their share of the booty. At times months would go by without any booty to share.