Roman Soldiers Ate (and Perhaps Drank) Mostly Grain R.W. Davies is not saying the Roman soldiers were primarily meat -eaters. Their diet was mostly grain: wheat , barley , and oats, mainly, but also spelt and rye.
Those who had a formal dessert – basically, the secunda mensa in a formal meal – most often had dried fruits – figs, raisins, dates – as well as fresh fruit and nuts, and cakes. The classic summary of a formal Roman meal was “from eggs to apples”, showing the part fruit played in finishing the meal.
Roman Army Daily Life A new recruit would have to train twice a day and march eighteen miles in full armor, three times a month. Each person had to be able to march twenty miles in five hours. The Roman commanders kept the troops busy in practicing battle formations and techniques, building roads, and building forts.
As the empire expanded new fruits and vegetables were added to the menu. The Romans had no aubergines, peppers, courgettes, green beans , or tomatoes , staples of modern Italian cooking. Fruit was also grown or harvested from wild trees and often preserved for out-of-season eating.
Although ancient Romans did not eat what we would call today “ pizza ”, it was a lot like modern focaccia. These early pizzas were eaten in Babylonia, Egypt, and Rome. The modern pizza was first made in 1889. And as tomatoes are a “New World” plant they couldn’t have been used before the 16th century.
Legumes were limited to dried peas, fava beans (broad beans), chickpeas, lentils, and Lupines. The Romans knew several varieties of chickpea, such as venus, ram, and punic. They were either cooked down into a broth or roasted as a snack . The Roman cookbook Apicius gives several recipes for chickpeas.
The Romans had ice and snow mixed with their juices and wines for cooling effects, with Emperor Nero often being attributed (historically unverified and likely false) stories about having snow and ice transported by runners from the mountains to Rome for these purposes.
Their dinner usually consisted of shellfish, hard boiled eggs, olives, or smoked fish . They had slaves to clean their dishes and to make their food. All of the Patricians were usually healthy because of all their well balanced meals.
Most scholars agree that the height of a soldier would range from about 165cm to about 175cm, making the average height at around 170 cm or 5’7″. The roman empire was “global” already.
|Mass||0.7–1 kg (1.5–2.2 lb)|
|Length||60–85 cm (24–33 in)|
|Blade length||45–68 cm (18–27 in)|
|Width||5–7 cm (2.0–2.8 in)|
The average salary of a legionary, the official title of a Roman soldier , was approximately only 112 denarii per year. This amount was doubled during the reign of Julius Caesar to 225 denarii annually.
The main drink of the Romans was wine . It was often watered down for daily consumption. The government of Rome provided free or cheap grain for the poor called a “grain dole.” This was used by politicians to gain popularity with the lower class. The Romans dressed up their meals with various sauces.
The fruit first got to Europe in the 1st century b.C., taken by the Romans . However, it continued to be rare in the continent for centuries and only became popular in the 20th century.
Roman soldiers did , of course, drink water. But historical records suggest that it wasn’t their beverage of choice. Water was what he drank on his campaigns, except that once in a while, in a raging thirst, he would call for vinegar , or when his strength was failing, would add a little wine.