One of the most important of the many reforms introduced by Consul/General Gaius Marius when he reorganized the Roman Army in 107 BC was the concept of soldier self-reliance.
No longer would the vulnerable-to-attack baggage trains carry legionnaire personal equipment; each soldier would carry his own. Troops would now be responsible for carrying their shield, helmets, weapons, cooking pots, some rations, and the tools necessary to set up a camp on the march. The weight of all the gear was 80 pounds, which led the legionnaires to wryly refer to themselves as “Marius Mules.”
The reforms Marius effected transformed the legions into the greatest heavy infantry in the world.
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