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What were the lowest paying ranks in the army of the Republic?
That's a bit of a broad ranging question. The Republic lasted over 400 years and the army changed several times in that period. Strictly speaking, the army wasn't paid at all. Serving in the army was the civic duty of all Roman males with the ability to outfit themselves for battle. This was technically true up to the "Marian Reforms," when the state began outfitting and paying poorer citizens to serve in the army. Of course, all that is an over simplification of a complex subject, but I wont go into that here.

Now what was considered the lowest ranking troop type, there are several options, again depending on the era. In your Maniple legion, you had the Hastati, Principes and Triarii, of which the Hastati would have been classified as the "lower ranking" unit. But by the time you get to the Macedonian Wars, the difference between Hastati and Principes had blurred considerably. The Velites were the youngest, least experienced men who acted as skirmishers and were lower ranking than the Hastati. Then you have the very early army with the Rorarii and Accensi, who may or may not have been combat troops of lower level then the Velite, but that is a whole other can of worms to open!
Daniel DeVargas
The Romans began paying their troops the Stipendium during the Siege of Veii around 400 BC as compensation for longer services and continued it throughout the Republic, long before Marius. The lowest rank was the Miles Gregarius, literally the common soldier, which included all soldiers of the Hastati, Principes, Triarii, Velites who were not centurions or principales ranks, or citizen cavalry, all of whom received higher pay.

Besides the stipendium the soldiers also received a small percentage of all plunder taken based on rank, and portions of slave auctions if the general was feeling generous, as well as "donatives" or bonuses that were commonly given out in the Late Republic during the Civil Wars to win loyalty by bribing the troops.

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