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Author Topic: Post Military Service  (Read 1921 times)

Offline Lucius Sallustius Plautus

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Post Military Service
« on: June 09, 2015, 10:43:22 AM »
I was wondering if it was common for Roman soldiers to get jobs after their years of service. I know they received pensions but was it enough to provide for their families or just kind of a bonus?
A teenager with a love for Rome.

Offline Gaius Vorenus

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Re: Post Military Service
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2015, 08:25:10 AM »
Lucius,

Good question. The Roman Army began providing pensions to retiring soldiers during the fall of the Roman Republic in the late first century B.C. Competing Roman leaders such as Julius Caesar, his great rival Pompey Magnus, Caesar’s nephew Octavian, later known as Augustus Caesar, and his famous opponent Marc Antony all offered grand incentives to retain the loyalty of their soldiers. These promises often included financial rewards, exemption from taxes and grants of land from captured enemy territory.

In some cases, it was not unusual for an entire legion to be "pensioned off". Legio IX was retired by Julius Caesar as a reward for their loyalty to him in Gaul and his subsequent campaign to rule Rome. Augustus Caesar called the legion back to service when he was challenged by Marc Antony and needed fresh legions to wage a campaign against Marc Antony and Cleopatra in Egypt.

Augustus continued this practice when he consolidated power in the first century A.D. and became virtual dictator of the Empire under the title of Princeps (first citizen).  He reduced the Roman Army to a voluntary, professional force of approximately 150,000 active duty soldiers and a similar number of auxiliary troops. 

A soldier who served 20-25  years of active military service (accounts vary) would be eligible for the honesto missio, or honorable discharge from military service. A soldier was provided an exemption from Roman taxes, a plot of land and appropriate work animals, and often a job in the imperial administration of the territory in which they settled.

Roman veterans could be recalled to active duty in case of emergency and often provided a reliable, loyal citizenry in newly conquered territories. Similar benefits were provided for soldiers disabled in the line of duty and unable to return to service.

Like today, whether or not the pensions were "enough", depended on the spending habits of the legionaries. The land grants were intended to provide a way for the veteran to sustain income by planting, growing and selling crops or cattle.

I hope this information helps you.

Gaius

Offline Lucius Sallustius Plautus

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Re: Post Military Service
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2015, 09:55:17 AM »
Thank you, this does help a lot with my question. This also will help me figure out my persona better.
A teenager with a love for Rome.

 

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