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amphitheatre The Life of a Legionary
Recruitment
A legionary had to be recommended by someone connected with the army in order to be recruited. He would receive a small amount of money if accepted by the army and this sum would cover his travelling expenses to the camp.


Training
All new recruitments had to be trained properly before they could fight; he would be taught in everything that a working legionary would need to know in battle and survival.


He was taught to march. He was taught how to build camp and basic survival skills. He was also given a general training in stone slinging, swimming and riding. However his main lesson was in the art of physical combat!


Weapons Training
The legionary would practise his weapons skills on a large wooden stake about the size of a man. He would attack the stake with his sword and he would learn how to throw a spear (or pilum), using the stake as his target. There would be mock battles set up between the men as well so they could practise in more realistic conditions.


The Pay and the Rules
A legionary would serve for around 25 years and they were paid far more than auxiliaries. Large rewards were paid after victories or when a new emperor came into power. It was a rule that soldiers were not allowed to marry however they disobeyed this rule and the rule was soon forgotten. On retirement a legionary would have the choice in receive land or a sum of money.


Religion
A roman soldier would often worship many gods including the local god of the area where the camp was. Some religions were more popular than others. There is no evidence of Christianity before the 1st century A.D possibly because of the Christians being strict pacifists (anti-war).


Leisure
The legionary was often recruited from the urban population and the men tried to bring the leisure with them. For example the roman bath buildings are found on or near most camps. There were also exercise and massage rooms and all camps also seemed to have had an amphitheatre within or just outside their walls.


The Roman Army
The Legion
The legion was the basic unit of the Roman army. It was divided into the following

 
1 legion (6000 men) = 10 cohorts


1 cohort (600)          = 3 maniples


1 maniple (200)       = 2 centuries


1 century (100 men)





Six thousand was the normal strength of a legion, however because of the killed, wounded, sick, etc., it was usually a bit smaller.

The Officers
The imperator (general) had a number of legions under his command. A legaius was the commanding officer of one legion. And the tribuni militum were junior officer who were in the army to gain experience and they had little military responsibility. The officers were always men from noble Roman families. The general would usually be an important and well-known man who had been given his position after holding high political office in Rome.


The Men
The soldiers were mainly Roman citizens who had dedicated their lives to their country and the army. Their career lasted for over twenty years. They were paid reasonably well at 230 denariis a year.


The highest rank an ordinary soldier could rise to be was a centurion. There were sixty centurions to a legion (one for each century). A man could rise up ranks until he became centurion of the first century. He would then become primus pilus, the equivalent of a sergeant major today.


The discipline of the Roman army depended greatly on the centurions who could enforce obedience with the stick they carried. In a battle the centurion led his own men around and would have to retain his mens respect by his own actions and braveness as well.


Uniform
A woollen tunic reaching almost to the knees.


A leather doublet, sometimes with metal plates for additional protection, worn over the tunic


A heavy cloak, which could also be used as a blanket.


A Heavy hob-nailed sandals, but no covering for the legs unless he was fighting in a very cold country.


Armour and Weapons
A shield made of leather 4 foot tall and 2.5 foot wide with a metal rim and a central metal guard for added protection.


A crested helmet made of metal.


A ... more

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The ancient Roman architects were very good.  They could dig a straight tunnel through solid rock,
measure rivers with out any tape measure or machines and they learned how to make arches very strong
and stable.

With the arches they were able to build very large buildings.  Some of these buildings are still standing part
ways. The Colosseum in Rome, also known as the Flativan Amphitheatre held 50,000 spectators and the
people and animals that would be fighting.   The plumbing was so good that they would fill the bottom with
water and have pretend sea battles.  The Porta Nigra was the first Roman building on German soil.  It was
made of stone blocks with iron clasps sealed together with melted lead.  It had a courtyard that the enemy
would be trapped in if they got past the first gate.  The Porta Nigra was the city gate to Treveres which, for
a while, was the home of the Emperor Constantine.  It has never been taken by an enemy.  They had to find
other ways in.  It is mostly still standing in Trier Germany.

The roads were built in 4 layers.  They were very long and have lasted a very long time. They were shaped
like a V upside down so that the rain would drain and not eat the road.   But, probably the two most
important things that arches were used for were aquaducts and bridges.

The aquaducts were very important because they brought water to citys from far away.  Without them the
cities could not have been lived in or even built. The aquaducts were made of rows of arches built above
the ground and going downhill covered with a roof.  The roof was there for two reasons.  1. To keep the
water from evaporating.  2. To keep the enemies from poisoning the cities water.
They built them underground when they could but, they were very hard to take care of.  

To build bridges they used a thing called a cofferdam to start the bridge in the water.  A cofferdam is a boat
thing that sealed the water away from the area that they were building in.  They could build the pier up to
above the water level and then move the cofferdam to the next spot.  These bridges helped the Romans in
trading, travel and making the Roman Empire bigger.  Some are still standing and used throughout Europe.

The public baths had very modern plumbing and heating.  The towns had sewage systems that went under
the streets and kept people from getting sick.
... more

amphitheatre

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