• Imagining History

Roman Soldiers: Legionaries VS Auxiliaries - A Quick Guide for Kids

Updated: May 4, 2021

The Roman Army was made up of two types of soldiers; Legionaries and Auxiliaries. What was the difference between these soldiers?


Had to be a Roman Citizen and over 17 years old (though some were as young as 14 years old).

Would sign up for 25 years of service in the Roman Army.

Weren’t allowed to marry until they finished their 25 year service.

Were allowed to ‘retire’ after their service – they were given some land or a pension big enough to buy some land.


Were men from countries that the Romans had conquered. They were not Roman Citizens.

The Romans offered them a chance to join their army to stop them from rebelling.

They were paid a lot less than the Legionaries but were given the right to be a Roman Citizen when they retired.

They were often put on the front lines where the fighting was the most dangerous.

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