mercoledì 29 ottobre 2008


Here are some examples of how legionaries were punished.

Minor punishments consisted in a fine, or in eating barley bread (that caused stomach-ache), or also in staying standing for a whole day outside the sleeping quarters, holding an object in hands.
Decimation was an extreme instrument of military discipline, imposed to entire divisions of the ancient Roman army to punish mutinies or acts of cowardice, killing a soldier every ten.
The word derives from the Latin “decimatio”, which meant “eliminating one every ten”.
The cohort which must be punished by decimation was divided in groups of ten legionaries; every one of these groups chose by chance one of its components, who was lapidated or beat by his companions.
As the castigation was completely casual, every soldier in the punished cohort risked death, regardless of military rank or tasks. Consequently, the thread of decimation, apart from scaring, obliged the legionaries to keep a determined behaviour in battles.
However, as the application of decimation reduced the strength of the division of ten percent, probably it was inflicted very rarely.

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