Life for the Roman soldiers was never easy. As a young man you could enter the army at the age of eighteen and serve Rome for a span of twenty five years. When retiring you would of course get pension and some land grants. People from other kingdoms could also join the Roman army and he would be provided a citizenship after twenty five years of service. But spending twenty five years in the Roman army was not easy.
As a Roman army you would have to travel as far as your feet could go. Any soldier was expected to march 20 miles within five hours. All the soldiers had to march eighteen miles thrice a month. During their travel they would be carrying about sixty pounds of armour, gear and foods. Soldiers had to perform various fighting drills twice a day to keep them battle ready. As a soldier you had to be at the apex of physical fitness at all times.
There was a strict discipline followed in the Roman army. Some may term this discipline as quite harsh. Centurions were the commanders of ten groups of eight men. They carried vine sticks made of very hard wood. Flogging was a standard punishment for the soldiers failing to perform any task satisfactorily. There were various types of fines for any smaller crimes. If a soldier deserted the troops and was later caught he would be stoned to death. After a battle, even if the Romans had won an entire legion could be punished for not fighting well.
If you were a Roman soldier then marriage was definitely not on your cards. Soldiers had to wait until they retired to get married. Usually the soldiers had girlfriends or mistresses near their encampments. But their counterparts had to wait long before the holy union. Many soldiers would marry many times after they retired.
The wages for the soldiers was not great. They were paid 2 ½ pence a day and about 225 denarii for a year’s work. The expense of food and clothing was deducted from this salary. Upon retiring a soldier got 14 years of salary in the form of lands or cash. But a promotion could dramatically increase a soldier’s salary.
Roman soldiers were involved in intense battles. Any soldier would have training in hand-to-hand combat. Mental warfare was both genius and brutal. If any soldier turned to retreat he would be killed immediately. So the only option open for any soldier was to fight the fear and fight opposition armies.