Yo-Ho, Yo-Ho, A Legionary’s Life For Me

You, kid! Yeah, you… you wanna join the Roman Legion? What’s a legion?! You been living under a petram, Bro-ticus? Sit down and lemme tell you all about the fighting man’s chance of a lifetime.

Back in the day, when Rome was a kingdom… you listening to me, kid? Don’t let me see you doze off. In the early days, when Rome was a kingdom, a “legion” was basically the entire Roman army. This was no standing army – it was simply assembled during times of need and then disbanded afterwards. After the census was introduced, all Roman citizens who were 1) men, 2) able-bodied, and 3) property-owning were enlisted. You look able-bodied enough to me. Kinda scruffy, so maybe not a property owner. And I guess you’re a man, though you’d be best trim those fluttery eyelashes if you don’t wanna get called “pretty boy” by everyone in the legion…

Legion Officer Complete Set: 

Legion Officer Complete Set

Anyhow, these legionaries were divided into different military classes depending on their wealth. This system stuck around until the days of the Roman Republic. In that time, the legions were divided into “equites,” “velites,” and heavy infantry. Equites sounds like “equestrian,” right? Yeah, you’re smarter than you look, kid. These were the wealthy cavalrymen looking to show their stuff and get some military cred for future political careers. Equites bought their own round shields, helmets, Roman body armor, swords, and a couple of lances to mix things up.

Now, the velites were infantry, but these were the poor chaps who could only afford javelins, which they threw just to get the enemy going before the real battle started. Then you bring in the heavy infantry with their iron helmets, shields, armor, and heavy javelins. Later on, this heavy infantry by itself came to be known as the “Roman legion.” Numbers ranged for how many men made up a legion – it could be anywhere from 3,000 to 6,000!

Lorica Segmentata:

Lorica Segmentata

The Roman legion has been so successful throughout the ages of the Roman Republic and Roman Empire that it’s considered a model for ancient military efficiency. The legion had great political significance and could help leaders secure the Empire or have them overthrown. But the key is hard work, kid. A legionary who delivers outstanding service is given the ultimate honor: An arrow without a head, the highest mark of prestige.

What do you mean, “What good is an arrow with no head?” Don’t you got your brain on straight? Take my advice: Strap on some Lorica Segmentata armor, grab a pilum spear, and get to marching. Hail Caesar!

For Roman armor, weapons, and much more, march on through our wide selection of goods: www.armorvenue.com

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