Hello, my name is Julius Sagum. It is the year 103 A.D. I am living in my home in Rome, with most of my family. My grandchildren have asked me to write down an account of my younger days and my adventures in the conquest of the Caledonians in Gaul. When we were there, I was a legionnaire in an army made up of thousands of men, led by none other than Julius Caesar. He was a great politician, and I was sad to see him go when he was murdered by the Senate. But that’s Roman politics for you. Anyway, I’ll talk more about the Roman army and its conquest of the Caledonians.
In our conquest, our army marched all the way to Gaul. The people that told Caesar to bring this army here thought we were goners, but boy, did we show them. We dominated in almost every battle we had. But they were not what I expected. They fought very differently than us, with long spears with spiral points to gouge a deeper wound, and a long wood and leather shield. They used a long sword for slashing, but it was no match for our short gladius sword, which we could use up close for slashing and cutting. They also had a peculiar habit: they wore jewelry into battle. They had a torc around their necks, and some of their helmets featured elaborate pictures of animals on the tops, so as to intimidate us. But it obviously didn’t work, because we took over that territory and controlled it. We set up forts, where we slept in barracks of twenty rooms with four people to a room, each with our own bunk. We cooked and gambled in two common rooms. We actually had a bath house, with a cold, warm, and hot bath, with a furnace. The Caledonians didn’t take bathing seriously, which I think is unusual. But they are unusual people. Anyway, when we were controlling them, different groups acted differently. Some rebelled or fled, whereas most others gave themselves under our rule. Things were going nicely until during one battle a Caledonian threw a spear and it hit me in the thigh. I lived, but could not walk correctly anymore and thus could not serve in the army, and was dispatched. Since then, I didn’t pay as much attention to what was happening there. Besides, the news was mostly the same, with the new cities being built and the rich people with their townhouses and luxury estates. I’m much happier here in Rome anyway.
Hopefully this is interesting for my grandchildren to read, and will give them a better picture of what it was like to be a Roman legionnaire. I am interested to hear what they have to say about my account. I have made it as accurate as is possible from my point of view, and hope that it serves its purpose to inform my grandchildren. Maybe later it will help their children learn about the Caledonians, and the next generation as well. Until then, I am glad to know that you have learned about my adventures in the Roman army.