Some were detailed to the trench and wall, some to erect the tents, some to prepare food for the various messes. When a long time was spent in camp, even then each hour brought its allotted task. There were the regular tours of guard duty, the ordinary work of keeping the camp clean, and of making ready the meals, and regular drills, including gymnastic exercises, which kept each muscle at its best.
§ 51. Cæsar fixed the pay of his legionaries at 225 denarii a year (about $45.00). A day laborer in Rome at that time earned three-fourths of a denarius a day ; or, in a year of 300 working days, just as much as a legionary. Thus the soldier was better off than the laborer by merely one thing; to wit, his shelter.
For food and equipments, so far as they were provided by the state, a deduction from his pay was made. As provision, each man was allowed per month four measures (8.67 litres, or a little less than a peck) of wheat. The measure may be estimated to be worth at the highest three-fourths of a denarius. Thus the amount deducted for food cannot have exceeded 36 denaríi per year. However, in the provinces, the food, if not given outright, was reckoned at a very low price ; and the same must have been true of clothing and equipments. Moreover, the soldier in active service always expected an increase to his income from booty, and from the gifts of his general.
§ 52. We have no certain account of the relation borne by the pay of the soldier to that of the officer. But we read, on occasion of a present to the troops, that the centurion received twice as much as the private, the tribune and the cavalry prefect, four times as much. On another occasion, we know that the centurion received ten times as much as
Di App. 2, 491 Suet. 38. Plut. Cæs. 55.
G. 8, 4.