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What did 1st century CE legionary carry with him?

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Marius' mules
Marius' mules

Josephus Flavius wrote in the 1st century CE that all legionaries carried in addition to weapons: saw, basket, bucket, axe, leather belt, sickle, chain and a food ration that was supposed to last for three days.

Legionnaires were additionally equipped with hoes (dolabra), shovel-pickaxes, and a crescent-shaped turf picking shovel placed on the shaft. The Romans also had a device for marking out a grid of rectangles. It was called groma. Thanks to this device, they were able to precisely layout the plan of the camp, on the basis of which they built it very quickly. Such an instrument was found during excavation work in Pompeii.

To make the legions as flexible as possible, as a result of Marius’ reform soldiers were ordered to wear bags (sarcinae) with cooking utensils (vasa), a sapper spatula and a few days’ supply of food (cibaria). The whole was complemented by parts of dismantled war machines.

  • Carey Brian Todd, B. Allfree Joshua, Cairns John, Wojny starożytnego świata: Techniki walki, Warszawa 2008

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