Daily Life in the Legions

Disclaimer: this is a fictional character I have made up to talk about daily life in roman Legion.

It has been a month since I’ve joined the Roman army. It has been hard. I am to be awake and dressed by the time the cock crows at dawn. After a quick breakfast of cold meat, we gather for parade where roll call is taken and the other soldiers are reprimanded for falling back asleep while standing. My duties include cleaning the stables and latrines. I hate it. The smells are foul and I get dirty again very quickly. I can’t wait until it’s my turn to guard the gates. After I finish my cleaning I go for training. It’s very difficult but I enjoy the exercise and escape from the stench of the stables. I’m not very good with a sword yet but I’m quickly improving. I can never wait for dinner and I devour the delicious meal of meat, bread and beer. Tonight is my turn for the night watch. I dread this more than cleaning the stables. Last time I dozed off while on watch for a moment and was fined a week’s pay.

It has been 3 months since I’ve been on campaign. I miss mother and my sisters. Today my Contubernium was allowed to go on leave for a day to the local town where we went to the bathhouses which weren’t as fancy as the ones back home but they were a welcome distraction for my pains. Because of all my training I have many aches and the warm water and cheap oils of the Unctorium (massage room) soothed my many aches. The only thing that wasn’t different from home was the games. I played a couple games of Tali and I haven’t yet lost my luck! Afterwards we went to the taverns to explore the local food and drink. The freshness and succulence of the food was a welcome change to the cooking of the other soldiers back at the camp. The best part was we were finally able to drink wine. Although the wine was not of similar quality as in the city, but it would suffice as we could not have wine in camp. A lovely lady caught my attention but we had to return to camp before the camp closed for the night.

Works Cited

Cavazzi, F. The Roman Army. 2012. Web. February 2012.

Davies, Roy. Service in the Roman Army. Ed. D.J. Breeze, V. Mansfield and V. Maxfield. New York: Columbia University Press, 1989.

Elton, Hugh. “Off the Battlefield: The Civilians View of Late Roman Soldiers.” Expedition 39 (1997): 42.

MacMullen, Ramsay. “The Legion as a Society.” Historia: Zeitschrift Für Alte Geschichte (1984): 440-456. <http://www.jstor.org/stable/4435901&gt;.

Matyszak, Philip. Legionary: The Roman Soldiers Unofficial Manual. London: Thames and Hudson Ltd., 2009.

Stout, S.E. “Training Soldiers for the Roman Legion.” The Classical Journal 16.7 (1921): 423-431. <http://www.jstor.org/stable/3288082&gt;.

The Roman Army. n.d. 

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