Dear Mum and Dad, Life as a soldier is not what I thought it would be.

I am writing this letter from my deathbed near the front lines of the army. I am not sure how much time I have left before I perish or worse, they find me. Some of the information contained in this letter is of utmost importance and must not fall into enemy hands.

Lets start off with how our army is organized. Our entire army consists of 30 legions, each one boasting 4000 to 6000 legionaries (soldiers). Each legion had 10 cohorts, each cohort (480 legionaires) has 6 centuries apart from one which has 5 double-sized centuries. And finally one century is equivalent to 80 legionaires. Centuries are led by Centurions while legions are commanded by legates. Over here in Britannia we have 3 legions based in Chester, Caerleon and York.

My job as a infantry soldier is not that interesting once you get to know what job Marcus has. He is an artillery soldier so that means that he gets to fire rocks at the Britons through gigantic onagers (catapults) all while enjoying the comfort of knowing that the Britons have to get through us first. (Can you imagine Marcus being able to handle it? I never knew he had it in him.) Meanwhile, all I get to do is lugging a hefty pack full of my emergency supplies and a gigantic rectangular shield around a bare wasteland with rain surging down from the clouds and stabbing anything I see within my minimal range of view. To make it worse, we also have to bear the weight of our lorica segmentata (armor) ‘conveniently’ made of thick strips of iron and leather, plus an iron helmet. Our weapons are: 1. A gladius (short sword) for stabbing people, such civility.

2. A pilum (javelin) for throwing. A pilum has a sharp metal point so that it can embed itself in a shield to make it difficult to pull out while the shaft is thin and bendy so it will bend when it hits a shield, making for an overall annoying experience and forcing the enemy has to throw away the shield

Life as a Roman is not nearly as nice as fighting out there. We get to eat soup, stew or bread and if we’re lucky . We live in palisaded camps which take quite a long time (a few hours) to dig surrounding trenches, install stakes and set up tents to achieve the end result. We spend most of the day doing standard drills such as practicing long jumping, climbing walls, long-distance running, javelin throwing, and sword fighting. Life here is also very harsh did I forget to mention. Once someone was beaten to death in front of the entire legion just because he disobeyed orders. Even though I earn a decent wage I am already yearning for freedom even though I just got here. Only another 25 years before I receive my pension and am free, free to marry someone, settle down and have kids although I don’t think that matters anymore because I am lying on my deathbed. I love you mum. I love you dad. Hopefully I ca - wait, I think I hear someone coming up the stairways. He’s coming closer. Ok, I’m getti

By Zinzan 7A