During the Imperial Period, the Romans constructed hundreds of thousands of miles of paved and unpaved roads to connect provinces, towns and ports and enable widespread military mobilization within and outside the Empire’s borders.
Full use was made of each soldier’s carrying capability – a 60lb – 100lb backpack was the norm for a legionary to take on the march. They could be expected to march for multiple hours, often along rough, dirty roads in hostile territory without sufficient breaks. Additionally, they had to protect the marching columns and oppose any threats from enemies.
The backbone of the legion – the troops – followed behind a skilled set of engineers specifically chosen for the role of creating makeshift bridges, clearing the road and devising ways to work around obstacles.
Mules were the animal of choice for transporting weapons, food and dragging wagons. They were crucial as the broken-down parts of all siege machinery were to heavy or cumbersome to be carried by a human. Also, a select quantity of these beasts were made to carry the fodder for themselves and the other mules. Horses were quicker but more fragile.
Each unit of the army was spaced out so that there would sufficient room to manoeuvre different sections, eg. carts or cavalry.
After travelling around ten miles in a day, the process of setting up camp comprised scouting, fortifying and laying out. A well protected area and one large enough to allow for the entire legion was necessary. Every time the Roman Army set up camp, the organization of the settlement would be exactly the same. This meant that there would be little to no confusion as to where certain elements of the base where, and where each tent was.
Around the camp you would find travelling merchants selling food, drinks and other products to the soldiers, as well as mobile armouries for new weapons, armour and gear.