The walk begins tomorrow, so I’m packing. Here’s a description of what a Roman soldier might have typically carried with him when marching. It comes from the notes to a copy of Julius Caesar’s Commentarii de Bello Gallico – or Commentaries on the Gallic Wars, translated by H.J. Edwards in 1917. Ray Laurence from the University of Kent’s School of European Culture and Languages provided me with this beautiful little book, which I’ll take with me on the walk. It includes descriptions of Britain and the South East, which I’ll share at some point.
By way of comparison to the above description, to the left is what I’ll be taking with me. I’m glad I don’t have to carry as much as a Roman soldier. Fortunately, I also don’t have to walk quite as far, quite as fast. According to Vegetius in De Re Militari – or Concerning Military Matters – troops would march 24 Roman miles (about 22 UK miles) in 5 hours with this load (line 57 here).
I am also not quite regulation on the ‘close-cropped and clean shaven’ front, as my Twitter profile pic shows. Do follow @dansimpsonpoet and #romanresidency from tomorrow as I start my Roman Road walk!