Supply ReformsSoldiers have strong backs to carry more than just their armour.
Of all the reforms that the later Republican Roman army introduced, the one that probably caused the most grumbling in the ranks was getting the men to carry their supplies and equipment. The semi-joking name of 'Marius’ mules' given to legionaries was not a reflection on their stubbornness, but on the large amount of gear they were expected to shoulder and carry while on the march. The result was the Legions didn’t have a huge baggage train of slaves, servants and carts; the soldiers were largely their own baggage train. Legionaries also ate like pigs before a campaign. Fat legionaries were not unfit; they were ready for a long hard march into enemy lands, and were looked on favourably by their centurions. It was far easier to carry extra rations as body-fat inside the men. They would still eat on campaign, but they would have reserves to carry them through any days of short rations or poor foraging. This might make all the difference to victory or defeat if the enemy were clever enough to be burning everything in their path. After a few weeks of marching and conquest the legionaries would have burned through their fat and be back to fighting weight. They would also be hungry, and unforgiving to the enemy!
Node SetTier 1
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