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Full Version: Cooks in the Legions
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I was wondering about what the legions ate.

Rations, seperate prepared meals by cooks in the legions, or did they cook themselves?
There is a whole section on food under the Ancient Civ. Category. Or try this:

http://www.romanarmy.com/rat/viewforum.php?f=40

I have a few books at home on Roman Cooking, I can dig up the titles for you too.
We have no evidence for any functionary or specialist cook in the Roman military, though we can not exclude that they had specialised millers and bakers at a late date (equipment for large-scale processing is occasionally excavated). Other than that - see above.
Salve,
From the info I have looked at it would seem that rather than eating as a large group, the "contubernium" looked after its own cooking and rations,
we can only surmise that one or two individuals within that group took responsibility for cooking, particularly when the LEGION was on the move.
Quote:Salve,
From the info I have looked at it would seem that rather than eating as a large group, the "contubernium" looked after its own cooking and rations,
we can only surmise that one or two individuals within that group took responsibility for cooking, particularly when the LEGION was on the move.

As long as the contubernium stayed together, that is a reasonable assumption, but especially in camp or home base it is entirely possible individual soldiers fended for themselves. The descriptions of emperors being 'one of the boys' speak of them grinding their own grain and baking their own bread.
At arbaia fort, the barracks have a small fireplace in each area, perhaps for cooking....one per conteburium? (forgive the spelling)
Quote:At arbaia fort, the barracks have a small fireplace in each area, perhaps for cooking....one per conteburium? (forgive the spelling)

It's the usual reconstruction. In low-status housing it's often impossible to decide whether a fireplace was used for cooking or just for heating. Your typical 'Roman' hearth is only common in relatively wealthy homes, and in most barracks contexts we could well miss even the remnants of fairly complex coarseware pottery constructions for cooking we know from pictures. But I'm inclined to think the 'standard' contubernium room holds a fireplace for cooking.
Sorry, but cooks were not allowed into the army. They were considered as not fit for actual duty and not having the right character to be a soldier. All soldiers cooked in their food in the small contubernium unit. This way the chance of getting food poisoning was minimized.

Maarten