22.214.171.124 Before c100BC, centuries contained 100 men
but after Marius' reforms, the number was
reduced to 80 to make it easier ot handle the
126.96.36.199.1 Each cohort had around 5 or 6 centuries
containing 80-160 men. Each century was
commanded by a centurion (centurio) and his
second-in-command was and optio.
188.8.131.52.1.1 A centurion had to do many things: he was in charge
of training his men and leading them to battle; he
had to look after all the equipment that was brought
back to their century and count it (helped by
clerks);they had to carry out daily duties such as
posting guards, making inspections, dealing with
disciplinary problems and checking that other work
was done properly.
184.108.40.206.1.1.1 When on a march, 8 men would share a
contubernium (dormitory) in each
century. In a contubernium, there would
be a tent and mule.
1.1.2 There would have been 10
cohorts in each legion.
220.127.116.11 The 1st cohort had around
800 men in it and the
other 9 each had around
500 men in them.
1.2 There would have benn around 25-35
legions in the Roman Army. The
soldiers who served in legions were
the elite of the Roman Army.
1.2.1 There were around 125,000-175,000
legionaries(Roman soldiers) in the Roman
Army. In each legion, there would have been
approximately 5,000 soldiers.
18.104.22.168 Roman legionaries were all Roman
citizens most of whom signed up for
20-25 years when they were between the
ages of 18 and 22.
22.214.171.124.1 Legionaries had to swear an oath when they
joined the army, promising to faithful and loyal
to the emperor, never to leave the line except to
save another comrade's life, and to obey orders.
126.96.36.199.1.1 Legionaries did not just have to
fight; they had various other jobs
like building camps and forts,
building roads, and making weapons
188.8.131.52.1.1.1 A legion also consisted of other skilled roles:
engineers, carpenters, smiths, doctors,
medical orderlies, clerks and accountants.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11 As well as legionaries, legions contained auxiliary troops
such as cavalry (horse), slingers (catapults), and archers
(bow and arrow) and these troops were used at the very
start of the battle because they were supposed to be
"helping" troops and it wasn't too important if many of
the auxiliary soldiers came from armies that had been
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.1 Archers usually came from the East, especially from Syria
and Arabia , whereas slingers are known to have come
from the Balearic Islands off Spain. At the time of Emperor
Trajan, there were around of 250,000 auxiliary men in the
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.1.1 The commander of the legion was called a legatus.
The legate would have been about 30 years old and
was chosen by the emperor. He was helped with his
tasks by tribunes and officers who were climbing up
the social ladder but had no definite duties.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.1.1.1 The praefectus castorum had the job of looking
after the buildings of the camps and he would
command the legion when his seniors were
absent. He would also help the legatus with his
1.3 Other roles in a Legion
1.3.1 The senior centurion (primus
pilus) was at least 50 years old
and he would have been expected
to give an opinion about the
battle and battle tactics before
the battle began.
1.3.2 An aquilifer was a man
who would carry the eagle
(the badge of Rome) into
battle. The eagle
symbolised the power of
Jupiter and it showed
protection from the King of
1.3.3 A signifier would wear a
lion-skin or bear-skin
head-dress and led the
men into battle with a
1.3.4 A tesserarius organised the
guards and kept watch on the
camp like a security guard. He
gave a password to each soldier
and they could not come in unless
they gave him the right password.
1.3.5 A cornicen was a horn
player who used to signal
orders during a battle.
They would also salute the
2 In the early days, Rome was defended by
part time soldiers. By about 100 BC, a
stronger army was needed and the
structure was reorganised by the Roman
general, Marius who made a professional
2.1 Pay for a soldier was the same whether the soldier was at
war or not. Up until the reign of Emperor Domitian, the
standard pay for a soldier was 225 denarii per annum
(£12,000) but Domitian raised the pay to 300 denarii. A
soldier had to pay for his food, clothing and equipment as
well as other funds including saving funds and burial
funds. Considering this, soldiers may have only taken
home 60 denarii per annum.
2.1.1 If a soldier retired from his job, he would
have gotten 3,000 denarii or some land on
which he could farm or build. If a soldier
rose in the ranks, his pay changed
according to the number of extra
responsibilities he had. For example, a
centurion would get paid 1500 denarii per