Pre-Marian Roman legion questions- 1) Did legionaries get any form of regular salary? 2) Who looked after their lands & families while they were serving in the legions? 3) Did they complete their entire tour of duty of x years at a stretch, or was it spread out ? 4) Rome usually had only 4 legions in the field every year, so does this mean that a large number of Roman citizens were never called up for active duty ?

  1. Nope. Which was a big problem, because it limited the percent of Romans who could afford to serve in the army.
  2. No one. This was not so much of a problem when the Romans were fighting close to home, but became a social crisis during/following the first and second Punic Wars, where Romans were fighting in Spain and North Africa and all over Italy for long periods of time. The result was that large numbers of Roman and Italian soldiers saw their livelihoods ruined by their absence and the rapaciousness of the moneylenders their families had been forced to turn to, and those homeless veterans and their families became the followers of the Gracchi Brothers. 
  3. Usually it was more spread out, in no small part because normally there was only fighting during the “campaigning season” (after planting and before harvest, when the weather was warm and the soil wasn’t muddy). But as with above, this became more of an issue as Rome engaged in drawn-out imperial wars abroad, where conflicts stretched out for years if not decades at a time.
  4. Again, see #1. There were large numbers of Roman citizens who were deemed too poor to serve in the Roman army, including the class of Romans whose only contribution to the state was the production of offspring. Hence their name, the proletarii.

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