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A legionary's Basic Equipment

Grateful acknowledgement is given to Robert Gabisch, the Roman legionary reenactor and civic building modeler who is wearing the uniform shown at left, for the contribution of his time and expertise to this project

The well equipped Roman legionary on the left is a Roman infantryman from about the time of Emperor Trajan's reign This is indeed an accurate portrayal of the late Republican and early Imperial legionary, but is by no means what all Roman soldiers looked like. Like any modern army, the Romans had their main body of infantry troops and also their auxiliary troops, their cavalry and mounted infantry, their bush fighters, and their desert warriors.

Regular deductions were made from the legionary's pay to cover normal wear and replacement of his equipment, similar to the deductions made for his burial expenses and the annual camp dinner. Curiously, in the case of "nail money" the situation was reversed and the soldier was given an allowance for worn boots.

In this article, we will try to discuss some of the equipment used by the basic infantryman of the Second Century A. D. as well as some of the variations encountered. Beginning with the soldier's basic equipment, we have: