An average day in the life of an ancient Roman soldier

WATM: Today, the modern soldier wakes up, eats chow, goes through a day of training with his or her squad before resting up. They follow this schedule every day from Monday to Friday. If the troop is on a deployment, they could work anywhere from 12 to 18 hours (if not more) per day, seven days a week, for nearly a year.

It’s a tough lifestyle.

Once a troop fulfills their service commitment, they can be honorably discharged or reenlist — the choice is theirs.

Now, let’s rewind time to around 15 C.E. The Roman Empire is thriving and you’re an infantryman serving in the Imperial Roman army under Emperor Tiberius. In many ways, life was quite different for the average sword-wielding soldier when compared to today’s modern troop. In other ways, however, things were very much the same.

Many young Romans joined the army at the age of 18. Of them, most were poor men with little-to-no life prospects due to being born into a family of low standing. Once they became soldiers, Roman troops had to overcome 36 kilometer (22 miles) marches in full battle rattle.  read more

15 Comments on An average day in the life of an ancient Roman soldier

  1. March 22 miles in full gear?
    Over the course of days perhaps.
    Why would you deplete your troops like that?
    They didn’t have Gatorade or the knowledge of proper diet back then.
    You get diminishing returns for marches that long.

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  2. Common Era which is the exact same as AD, just trying to hide the common era started after Christ. But I Viet has the right idea for those that use CE

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  3. In Afghanistan I went 3 days with no sleep and 15 days without a shower. We ran out of baby wipes 4 days in. Waaa!

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  4. I didn’t make the twenty-two miles. C.E. Instead of A.D., their instead of his, they instead of he that’s as far as I could go.

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  5. They left out the digging!!! Romans fought with a shovel as much as a sword. They would dig encampments that could be defended on one side only. Deep ditches and then mounds or walls.

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  6. 22 mi. Force March is kiddie stuff. 40 or 50 miles, the last 5 at a doubletime…well, now you got something there.

  7. I was in a Northern Warefare Unit trained to cross mountains in waist deep snow. It was a badass outfit. RANGERS Lead The Way.

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  8. I LIVE IN THE UK MANY OF OUR MAIN A ROADS ARE BUILT ON OLD ROMAN ROADS , HADRIANS WALL BUILT AD 122 FROM WEST SHORE TO THE EAST SHORE ENGLAND 80 MILES LONG CUTTING OF THE SCOTTISH PICTS , CHESTER CITY NOT FAR FROM STILL HAS IT`S ROMAN CITY WALL ANYONE CAN STILL WALK AROUND IT WHERE ONCE ROMAN SOLDIERS WALKED ,

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  9. 51 -50 years ago I chased Mao’s boys – in open country . not hills- 50 clicks a day ; day after day til we either got ’em or they were far enough into Cambodia or Laos the the ROE said we could go no more. In civilian talk that is 25 mi. With 200# of gear on my bod. Praetorians had next to nothin on me and mine. We were as skilled with blades as I think they were. I am old; but not enough to have met a Praetorian.

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