Legion: Life in the Roman Army (Paperback)

Legion: Life in the Roman Army By Richard Abdy Cover Image
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Follow the life of an ordinary Roman soldier—from enlistment to the battlefield—in this intimate look at everyday life in the Roman army.

The scale and organization of the Roman army was unprecedented in the ancient Western world, leading to it becoming the West’s first permanent, pensionable military profession. Through the advent of the “career soldier,” the Roman army created an avenue for noncitizens to gain enfranchisement, build wealth, and advance their social standing upon the conclusion of their designated term of service. This story focuses on the soldiers, their families, and the many other people who belonged to the military communities scattered throughout the empire to illuminate what life was like for these individuals. Through scholarship and the letters left behind from common soldiers—such as two ordinary provincial recruits, Claudius Terentianus and Apion—we’re afforded a deeply personal and micro-level view of military life.

This volume dispels preconceived notions about the Roman army—for example, that forts were exclusively the domain of male soldiers—while addressing the violence committed by soldiers toward women, conquered subjects, and enslaved peoples. Furthermore, alongside the vivid picture of army life, this book examines the social evolution of the army and how it gradually transformed the state it was established to protect.

About the Author

Richard Abdy is curator of Roman coins in the department of coins and medals at the British Museum.

Praise For…

“Everything the best history books can be: erudite, entertaining and eloquent.”
—Terry Deary, author and creator of Horrible Histories

Product Details
ISBN: 9781606069189
ISBN-10: 1606069187
Publisher: J. Paul Getty Museum
Publication Date: March 26th, 2024
Pages: 320
Language: English