The life of a roman soldier

What was life like in the Roman army? Part of What was life like in the Roman army? The Roman army was the largest and meanest fighting force in the ancient world. One of the main reasons Rome became so powerful was because of the strength of its army.

The life of a roman soldier

Recreation of a Roman soldier wearing plate armour lorica segmentataNational Military Museum, Romania. Roman relief fragment depicting the Praetorian Guardc.

The auxilia were organised in c. Around 80 AD, a minority of auxiliary regiments were doubled in size. Until about 68 AD, the auxilia were recruited by a mix of conscription and voluntary enlistment. After that time, the auxilia became largely a volunteer corps, with conscription resorted to only in emergencies.

Auxiliaries were required to serve a minimum of 25 years, although many served for longer periods. On completion of their minimum term, auxiliaries were awarded Roman citizenship, which carried important legal, fiscal and social advantages.

Alongside the regular forces, the army of the Principate employed allied native units called numeri from outside the empire on a mercenary basis.

These were led by their own aristocrats and equipped in traditional fashion. Numbers fluctuated according to circumstances and are largely unknown. As all-citizen formations, and symbolic garantors of the dominance of the Italian "master-nation", legions enjoyed greater social prestige than the auxilia.

The Training of Roman Soldiers

This was reflected in better pay and benefits. In addition, legionaries were equipped with more expensive and protective armour than auxiliaries.

At this point, the distinction between legions and auxilia became moot, the latter becoming all-citizen units also. The numbers grew to a peak of aboutby 33 legions and c.

By then, auxiliaries outnumbered legionaries substantially. From the peak, numbers probably underwent a steep decline by due to plague and losses during multiple major barbarian invasions. Numbers were restored to their early 2nd-century level of c. The military chain of command was relatively uniform across the Empire.


The governor in turn reported direct to the emperor in Rome. Legionary rankers were relatively well-paid, compared to contemporary common labourers.

Compared with their subsistence-level peasant families, they enjoyed considerable disposable income, enhanced by periodic cash bonuses on special occasions such as the accession of a new emperor.

Auxiliaries were paid much less in the early 1st century, but by AD, the differential had virtually disappeared. Similarly, in the earlier period, auxiliaries appear not to have received cash and discharge bonuses, but probably did so from Hadrian onwards. Junior officers principalesthe equivalent of non-commissioned officers in modern armies, could expect to earn up to twice basic pay.

The life of a roman soldier

Legionary centurionsthe equivalent of mid-level commissioned officers, were organised in an elaborate hierarchy. They were paid several multiples of basic pay.

The most senior centurion, the primus pilus, was elevated to equestrian rank upon completion of his single-year term of office. The senior officers of the army, the legati legionis legion commanderstribuni militum legion staff officers and the praefecti commanders of auxiliary regiments were all of at least equestrian rank.

In the 1st and early 2nd centuries, they were mainly Italian aristocrats performing the military component of their cursus honorum conventional career-path.

Later, provincial career officers became predominant.The service record of a Roman soldier is hundreds of years long.

Downloading prezi...

With variables, such as technology, wars, geopolitical events and disasters all playing a part. It's like asking the life expectancy of an American soldier but not specifying a war o. Life in the Roman Army. During the time of the kings, the Roman army was developed by each tribe providing infantry and cavalry.

Roman Soldier Facts - Primary Facts

During the Republic, the army was called up during times of trouble. Roman legionaries were among the most ruthlessly efficient soldiers in the ancient world. But even for these highly disciplined and well-equipped men, the armies that conquered half of Europe, daily life was far from glamorous.

Watch video · The year is 15 CE, and the Roman Empire is prospering. Most of the credit will go to the emperor, but this success wouldn’t have been possible without loyal soldiers like Servius Felix.

Robert Garland illuminates what life . In modern times, many view the Roman soldier as an elite killing machine, a well-drilled and trained warrior, a picture of power and strength. Those assumptions are accurate, according to Professor Jonathan Zarecki, a professor of Classis at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and an expert on Roman times.

But the soldiers, who [ ].

The life of a roman soldier

The Roman army was the largest and meanest fighting force in the ancient world. One of the main reasons Rome became so powerful was because of the strength of its army. It .

Short Animation Presents A Day In The Life Of A Roman Soldier