As Halloween is only days away, you may be rummaging through your wardrobe and thrifts store racks in hope of finding the perfect garb to impress at those weekend parties. While this search can be daunting, history is always a good place to find a bit of inspiration. Historical periods provide a plethora of cool fashions and perhaps, one of the most notable is ancient Rome. As one of the most powerful forces of all time, the Roman army enjoyed many victories. This was a result of their masterful warfare and fighting techniques, but let’s be honest, they also came dressed for the part. With this in mind, why not follow suite and sport a Roman soldier costume this season? However, this decision begs the question “Which Roman soldier costume should I wear?”After all, there were a few different types of Roman soldiers and ranks within the Roman army.
When in doubt, you could go with the most popular of the Roman soldiers and dress like a Roman legionnaire. These guys could be considered the Roman “all stars”, as they had the utmost respect and were the highest paid. However, if you are looking for a less conventional Roman soldier costume, you could be an auxiliary. These guys could be seen as the underdogs. Since they weren’t Roman citizens, they were regarded with less value and thus, they only received a third of the pay that Roman legionaries earned. Most of their time was spent keeping watch over frontiers and fortresses and at times, they were sacrificed as casualties of war because they fought on the front lines in direct line of fire. One could argue that this made them more courageous, but then again, they didn’t have much of a say in whether or not they wanted to stay out of the danger zone.
If the legionary and auxiliary don’t satisfy your Roman soldier costume craving, fear not. There are a few other soldier types to consider. There were infantry, or foot soldiers, who marched from place to place fighting battles as they went. In contrast, cavalry were soldiers on horseback who were used to chase fleeting adversaries. The ones who really got to do the fun stuff, though, were the artillery soldiers. They used catapults and wind-up crossbows to harpoon big balls of tar and rocks at enemies. In the same vein, some soldiers got to have even more fun, playing with slingshots and bow and arrows, as well as swimming rivers to sneak up on opposing sides. These guys were basically like modern-day Olympians.
Still haven’t found what you’re looking for? Well, you could always up your status with a more elite Roman soldier costume. As the Roman army had a hierarchy in rank, the top officer was the general followed by the lieutenant as second in command. Going down the line was the questor, who was in charge of military chest and supplies, followed by the bodyguards, who protected the senior officers. Rounding out the high ranking positions were the military tribune, who made decisions for the greater good of the army, and the centurion, who was in charge of a large group of men. It was an honor and privilege to be in one of these offices and as a result, the Roman army operated with superior organization and efficiency.
Whether you desire to be more of a common man or a person of prestige, you can see that there is a Roman soldier costume suitable for all.