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Greedy Roman legionaries

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Roman legionnaires
Roman legionnaires

Many of us think the Roman legions were brave, disciplined, tough and well-trained soldiers It is true. However, the Romans were like us and they had their own weaknesses. For example greed.

So, during the civil war which was fought in 83-81 BCE between Sulla and Marius. Sulla’s ally Pompey had to transport his troops from Sicily to Africa in order to destroy the survivors of the popular Marius army. To arrive at the African shores soldiers had to come alongside the terrain in which Cartage used to be placed. The sojourn had to be short, but a certain group of Pompey’s legionaries managed to dig a treasure. The abundance of this treasure was so astonishing that the founders brag about their findings in front of the army. That was the moment the gold rush started. The legionaries had taken their shovels and begin to dig in search of enormous treasures which was, supposedly, buried in the ruins of Cartage. Pompey tried to persuade them not to dig, but it was no use. He could not stop them. Therefore, undisturbed soldiers were burrowing surroundings to find unimaginable wealth. Meanwhile, Pompey accepted the fact he do not control anymore his army and decided to “have fun”. During the next few days, he walks from one group of diggers to another and laughs at them for not having found anything. A few days later Pompey’s legionaries had come to him and started to beg him for leading them to a battle because their disappointment and their lack of finding anything is sufficient lessons for their disobedience.

Author: Miłosz Pelczar
  • Filaxim Historia, Funny Stories from the Roman Army
  • Pluarch, Pompey, 21.11

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