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Hi there,
I have been searching for a reference to how Roman armies were payed but haven't found anything. Can anyone help?
On foreign campaigns would they have carried the money with them?
If so, how?
Did Marius change this?
Thanks
Noah
I believe they had a paychest. Would have to read up on it myself I'm afraid!
They had a paychest. The signifer was responsible for it, and had to pay the soldiers their amount of money. He had also the job to take the deductions for his food, kit, retirement pension, burial fund contributions, etc..
There we go. I knew this was old hat...... :oops:
Not exactly. There still are numerous issues, first of all whether pay always arriverd. We know that pay parades were sometimes held even on campaign (Josephus describes one before Jerusalem), but equally we know that the administration of the Empire wasmn't always as good as it should have been. This could well have been a factor in the revolts early in the Principate, and possibly in the third century, too. Another question is with what soldiers would actually have been paid. I read the theory that military pay was always divisible into aurei, which eased transportz but was hard on the troops who had to make change (some areas were short of cash to circulate, especially the Western borders). Of course, the deductions militate against the idea because afterwards, it's impossible to see how a round aureus would come out. It is quite possible that the accounts were kept to keep track of how much a soldier was owed (or overpaid? Nah, we're talking government here) because of unavailable small denomination coinage. POssibly soldiers were paid 'to the nearest aureus' and the difference balanced over the long term. There really is a lot more about pay we don't know.
Well, I don't think I am the one to go into the details, but yes I have read of the pay parade to dismay the inhabitants of Jeruselem, and also the problems of pay, or not, causing unrest in the troops. Just seems to be something you would accept as fait acomplis, it is fairly well documented the problems that arose, say with caesars troop during the civil wars, when pay and bonuses did not arrive as promised. Also the fate of several emperors, who failed to pay the bonuses they promised to the likes of the praetorians, for example......All good reading. But not being a scholar, don't ask me to quote sources. I just have a picture and a story in my head, which doesn't count.
A friend of mine who's a Roman coin dealer mentioned to me just the other day that he's obtained a few examples of 'official counterfeit' denarii- struck on site in Britannia by the invasion forces to pay their soldiers; 'official counterfeit' because they weren't struck at an actual mint but weren't illegally-made. Unfortunately, I can't provide the exact references to prove he's correct, but doubtless it's some numismatics book or other. I could get the reference if anyone would like to check it, however I don't know just how much referencing these catalog type books actually do themselves, so a primary source might be difficult to find...
Quote:Also the fate of several emperors, who failed to pay the bonuses they promised to the likes of the praetorians, for example......All good reading. But not being a scholar, don't ask me to quote sources. I just have a picture and a story in my head, which doesn't count.

i think thats Pertinax your talking about. Pertinax only payed half the amount of money he promised to the guard.
Yes, and another who didn't bother at all! Galba? Surely not Otho....damed, why do I have to jump from one book to the next....
Well, once i reorganise my hovel, I will get all my books together and start again.......but first....
one thing I do recall was that Vespasian was a bit of a cheapskate....but seemed to have thrived anyway.
Byron, have you changed your name :?:
Noah,
G.R. Watson's Roman Soldier goes into some good detail on how Roman Soldiers were paid, pay scales, etc.

v/r
Mike
Quote:Byron, have you changed your name :?:

Why :oops: :oops: , you noticed!! :oops: :oops:

What do you think....goes with my hat size I reckon...... :lol:

Was tired of that phoney name anyway......but thought no one would recognize me now Sad

:lol: :lol: :lol:
Cheers guys

Would the paychest have been carried at the back of the column when marching?
Probably in the entourage of the Commander, who was near the front or middle.........not 100% on that one! I just read something on that too :? ? roll:
For information on pay scales, see the articles by M. Speidel, mentioned in this thread:

http://www.romanarmy.com/rat/viewtopic. ... 1adac57ff3

Those articles might have references to other information you're looking for. :wink:
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