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Meals of Roman legionaries

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Romans in Germania 1st century CE
Romans in Germania in the 1st century CE. Author: Bronti

Roman legionaries’ meals were mainly based on wheat from which mush or mash was created – it was called pulse or flat bread (pane). Barley was considered a grain suitable only for animals and Greeks. Various legumes, onions, cabbage and other vegetables were added to the dishes. Meat, however, was eaten little, but that does not mean that the soldiers were vegetarian.

An important element of the diet was oil, as well as wine. What is worth noting, the officers’ staff ate far better, what was reflected even in the vocabulary: soldiers i.e. “took food” (cibum capere), once officers “ate lunch” (epulare). Even known for his savings and moderation, Cato the Elder had his own baker and cook during the war.

  • McKeown J. C., A Cabinet of Roman Curiosities: Strange Tales and Surprising Facts from the World's Greatest Empire, 2010

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