The 12 months is 15 CE and the Roman Empire is prospering.
maximum of the credit score will go to the emperor,
however this achievement wouldn’t have been possible
with out loyal squaddies like Servius Felix.
Servius enlisted as a legionary 8 years ago at age 18,
the son of a poor farmer with few prospects.
not like the majority of legionaries, he doesn’t gamble,
so he’s been capable of store most of his wages.
He’s even kept his viaticum,
the 3 gold coins he obtained while he enlisted.
If he survives till retirement, he’ll get hold of numerous acres of land.
And he’s grown as a substitute fond of a lady again home
whom he intends to marry.
however he’ll ought to wait until he completes his 25 years of provider
earlier than which could appear.
And the existence of a legionary is dangerous and grueling.
today, Servius’s legion, at the side of 3 others,
has undertaken a “exceptional march” of 30,000 Roman paces,
the equivalent of almost 36 kilometers.
Servius’s armor and guns,
such as his gladius,
and two pila,
weigh over 20 kilograms.
And that’s no longer counting his backpack, or sarcina,
which includes food and all the tools he wishes to assist build the camp –
although Servius is exhausted, he received’t sleep a good deal this night.
He’s been assigned the first watch,
which means that looking after the luggage animals
and keeping alert against a likely ambush.
After he’s finished, he lies wide awake, dreading the day ahead,
so one can pressure him to bear in mind his worst nightmare.
At sunrise, Servius eats breakfast along with his seven tent companions.
They’re like a own family, all bearing scars from the battles they’ve fought collectively.
Servius is from Italia,
but his fellow infantrymen hail from all around the empire,
which stretches from Syria to Spain.
so they’re all far from domestic within the northern land of Germania.
Servius’s legion and 3 others with him nowadays
are underneath the command of Emperor Tiberius’s nephew Germanicus,
named for his father’s navy successes towards the Germanic tribes.
each legion has close to 5,000 guys,
divided into cohorts of about 500,
similarly subdivided into centuries of round eighty-a hundred guys.
every century is commanded by means of a centurion.
An aquilifer, or eagle-bearer, marches at the top of every legion
wearing its eagle standard.
The centurions march beside the legionaries belting out orders,
“Dex, sin, dex, sin,"
“right, left, right, left,"
beginning with the proper foot because the left is taken into consideration unfortunate or sinister.
despite the stern field, there’s anxiety in the air.
closing yr, a few legions inside the place revolted,
disturbing higher pay and a reduce in the period of service.
most effective their widespread’s aura and negotiating abilties
avoided wholesale mutiny.
nowadays is a “just march,” only 30 kilometers.
as the marshes and forests of Germania lie beyond the empire’s avenue machine
the guys need to construct causeways and bridges to make headway—
some thing they’ve lately spent more time doing than preventing.
in the end, they come at their destination, an area Servius knows too properly.
It’s a clearing at the outskirts of the Teutoburg forest,
where six years ago, in the course of the reign of the Emperor Augustus,
Germanic tribes under their chieftain Arminius
ambushed and destroyed 3 legions.
intending alongside a narrow direction,
the legions had been attacked from wooded area cover beneath torrential rain
with their get away blocked.
It changed into one of the worst defeats the Romans ever suffered
and Augustus by no means lived it down.
Servius was one of the few survivors.
Servius nonetheless has nightmares of his comrades lying wherein they fell.
however now the navy is returned to bury the useless with complete army honors.
As he helps inside the venture,
he can’t assist wondering whether or not the bones he handles belonged to a person he knew.
numerous times he wants to weep aloud, but he pushes on with the challenge.
the consideration of the Empire can visit the crows.
All he craves is to retire on a small farm together with his wife-to-be,
if the gods should spare his existence for 17 greater years.