Roman Soldier Facts

Here are some facts about Roman soldiers:

  • Only men over the age of twenty could become a soldier and join one of the legions of the Roman Army.
  • All regular Roman soldiers (legionaries) were Roman citizens, but this didn’t mean that they had to live in Rome. Soldiers came from all over the Roman Empire, from places such as: Africa, Spain, Germany, Britain and France.

  • Non-Roman citizens were still able to fight for Rome as auxiliaries. However, auxiliary troops did not earn as much as the legionaries and they didn’t have such high-quality armour, weapons and equipment.
  • Roman soldiers had to serve in the army for twenty-five years before they were permitted to retire. They received a pension or a gift of land when they left the army.
  • Roman legionaries were not allowed to get married.

Roman Soldier Facts

The Training of Roman Soldiers

The Roman Army was incredibly well-organised and well-drilled. Individual soldiers had to be incredibly fit and strong, and willing to follow orders without questioning them.

  • Roman soldiers were able to march more then twenty miles a day wearing full armour and carrying weapons and equipment.
  • They were trained to swim, build bridges, set up camp and fight as a unit.
  • Roman soldiers were famous for their discipline in battle. They always followed orders and knew that if an army of soldiers worked together they would often be successful. In battle, the Romans fought in lines and formations.
  • Some soldiers were specifically trained to fulfill certain roles. Some were expert archers, some were trained to use giant catapults (onagers) or large crossbows called ballistas, and some were trained to fight on horseback.

This video clip gives a good summary of the life of a Roman soldier, and includes details about their equipment, weapons and army discipline.


Roman Weapons, Armour and Equipment

  • Roman legionaries wore armour made from iron and leather strips.
  • They wore a metal helmet called a galea.
  • Roman shields were curved so that they would fit round the soldier’s body and wide enough so that it could be butted-up to the shields of other soldiers when they were fighting in formation.
  • The gladius sword was used by Roman soldiers when they were fighting in close combat. It was particularly good for stabbing.
  • Soldiers also carried a javelin (a throwing spear).
  • When marching, the soldiers carried food rations and camping equipment (including a cooking pot and a spade).

This video goes into lots of detail about the clothing, equipment, armour and weapons which would have been worn and used by a Roman soldier.


What next? Discover some Roman Army facts or visit our Romans reources page.

48 thoughts to “Roman Soldier Facts”

  1. Wow this was really really helpful Thanks creators I needed a website with some facts and this gave it to me

  2. Thanks for the website I needed a Roman website that actually makes sence for once and I got an a+

  3. Thx This was very helpful needed it for school xx

  4. I have a retake on a part of my test on the Roman Army tomorrow and i need 10 facts. This really helped me a lot. Thx. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

    Social studies teacher have us homework
    Due the next day and it asked for 20 facts
    About the roman army!! I got at excellence
    Thanks to you! In New Zealand that is like
    An A or A+!!

  6. thx, this really hlped me for my school project plus i got 100% on it yay!!

  7. Thank you I really need this information for my roman

  8. Thanks this site really helped me with my homework

  9. Thanks for making this site it has legit information and comes in handy on school projects THANKS A LOT

  10. OMG! Thank you so much for making this site! I was researching
    The roman army for a SS test, and this sight has
    The best information I could ask for!!
    Thanks you guys!!!
    Xoxoxoxo, Shelby (:

  11. WOW!! this really helped me for my Roman project…. u guys r the best!! thnx =]

  12. I found this sit is really useful and helpful with helping my 8year old daughter with her school home work.

    1. i need this for my project lucky for me i found this 😀 thnx

  13. interesting thanks i needed this information for a rome packet at school

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.