Glory & Honor:
The rewards of the Roman soldiers were small as he was mostly paid in glory. However, no profession brought so much honor as the military. A Roman soldier learned that his destiny was to die in battle because death was his duty and his glory. A soldier would enlist with little hope of revisiting his home; he believed he would spend his life in the service of his country. The Roman soldier was both the servant and the master of the State. In terms of promotions, a Decanus was the first rank that a legionary could be promoted to. A Decanus was responsible for the training and discipline of between 8-10 who shared the same tent, issuing instructions regarding raising stockades and establishing forts.
Roman Soldiers were given various decorations for loyal and courageous deeds in battle. These decorations were worn with great pride when marching in parades of triumphs. The most common rewards to rank and file Roman soldiers were the following:
- Armillae: minor decorations worn as an armband
- Torques: decorations worn around the neck
- Phalerae: an embossed disc which was worn on the uniform
- The mural crown was presented to the soldier who in the assault first scaled the rampart of a town
- The castral, to soldiers who were foremost in storming the enemy's entrenchments
- The civic chaplet of oak leaves, to the soldier who saved his comrade's life in battle
- The triumphal laurel wreath to the general who commanded in a successful engagement
Penalties for Cowardice:
Military discipline was always severe. It was not possible to escape the penalty of cowardice or treachery or disobedience. Roman soldiers could be whipped by his centurion and his general could sentence him to death. Decimation was a form of military discipline used by officers in the Roman Army to punish cowardly soldiers. The punishment of Decimation was performed before the eyes of the whole army who were commanded to assemble as spectators. Each cohort selected for punishment by Decimation was divided into groups of ten. Each of the Roman soldiers cast lots (called Sortition) and the soldier on whom the lot fell was executed by his nine comrades by stoning or clubbing.