The ancient Romans loved the ornate and glittery, but their armor -
in spite of what you might have seen in the movies - most probably did not
Some armor was made of leather, with metal on the
inside, probably against a backing of linen, to make three layers. Some
was made of cloth sewn in circular links.
Still, the army was quite a sight! The
army was organized into legions. Each legion has 5000 men. Each legion has
its own leader, its own banner, and its own number. Each also had its own
The legion moved camp every night. Men would wander the new campsite,
visiting and drilling. The men could always find their way back to their
own legion. They simply looked for their legion banner. Once they found
that, they looked for their fighting group banner. Each legion was broken
into several fighting groups. Camp was very colorful.
A legionary's uniform included a rectangular shield,
a short sword, a dagger, a metal jacket, a belt, a helmet, a kilt, a
shirt, and hobnailed sandals. The legion wore special hob-nailed sandals.
Unless they wanted to sneak in quietly, a legion on the move was
Their hobnailed sandals were designed to make a loud
noise as they marched. They were also accompanied by trumpets and other
noise makers. Add the many colorful banners waving above their heads, and
you can probably understand why an approaching legion was an impressive
sight and sound.
The legion was very organized, and very successful.
When the legion marched into a new region, some people gave up with a
fight. The legion's fighting power was that famous!
Each legionary served for 25 years. If they lived
through their service, they could retire. They were given land and a
pension so that they live comfortably. The land they were given was
located in the provinces. This was very clever of Rome. It gave their
retired military men a place to call home that they would defend. This
system placed loyal military men all over the provinces.
Army - Where did they live?
What did Roman soldiers
the Roman Centurion
a Roman Soldier
The Roman Army