Diary of a Roman Soldier in Britannia
As I march down from Hadrian's Wall to Kent, you can follow my diary below. (The newest entries will be at the top). You can also follow my journey on a map.
I would be happy to answer any questions you may have about my life as a Roman soldier.
|My boots are not like army boots you see today. My boots look more like sandals to you. They are made from animal skins and have hobnails on the sole to help prevent the leather from wearing away. (see photo below)|
|The Roman army was divided into two groups - legionaries and auxiliaries. Only Roman citizens could be Legionaries, other soldiers were known as auxiliaries. The auxiliaries out numbered legionaries 2:1.
|It is 5am and we are all ready and packed to carry on our journey. We need to get a move on if we are go to reach Richborough by Wednesday. I hear there are some young people there who want to join our army as auxiliaries.|
|It feels so great to have a rest from carrying the equipment. My equipment weighs about 30kg. (That’s the weight of an average 8 year old!!!! – imagine giving one a piggy-back all the way from Hadrian's Wall to Richborough!!!)
|It is my turn to do the first guard duty this evening. Even though we are all tired from the march we still have our duties to perform. We also need to clean our armour and make more bread. We eat bread with all our meals.|
|We have been marching all day and now it is time to erect our tent. A pony carried the tent for us. The tent weighs over forty kilograms and is made from seventy seven large goatskins. You can see our tent at the bottom of this page.
|We have packed our kit. We will carry it on a wodden cross pole. I have packed spare clothes, food rations, a cooking pot, a short spade and a hand mill for grinding corn I am also taking two wooden stakes to help build a protective fence (palisade) around our camp.|
|Tonight we are having a hearty meal before we set off tomorrow. It is a long march down to Kent and we need to make sure we have the energy to walk it. I will also take some figs with me to eat on the way.|
My legion is trained to march 20 miles* in five hours at the military pace. Can you work how long it will take us to walk to Kent from Hadrian's Wall?
|I am starting my journey down to Kent from HOUSESTEADS ROMAN FORT (VERCOVICIUM) in Northumberland. A fort we built in stone around AD 124. It has been my home for many years. I can still remember when I first arrived here. It was so cold and it seemed to rain a lot, much more than it did back home in Italy.|
* 1 miles = 1.6 kilometres
How many kilometres is 20 miles?
How far is Hadrian's Wall from Kent?
How long will it take the Romans to marched down to Kent?