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Thread: Ancient Military Rations

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    Default Ancient Military Rations

    I've been reading a bunch of stuff about ancient Greek food (specifically military rations) and what soldiers would eat out on campaign and whatnot, but there's a few things I don't really understand. Engels states in his book Alexander and the Logistics of the Macedonian Army that the main grain ration would've often been taken in the form of bread. I'm not familiar with the different types of bread production but I presume you need ovens to make it? If so, did the Macedonian army carry around a bunch of mini-ovens or something? Or is there another method to making bread that doesn't require an oven?

    Also, the Osprey book about the Macedonian Infantrymen explains that usually the troops would have to purchase their own food in friendly markets or from the traders that accompanied the army. How can this be if they carried their own rations? I've also read that the Macedonian infantryman would not receive a monthly wage or so, instead being awarded prizes from loot or some such. If that's the case, how would he have been able to purchase food in the early days of the expedition into Asia, where there was no loot to be taken? A lot of it just seems to contradict each other. Could someone perhaps explain how this all fits together? It would be much appreciated.

    Feel free to discuss rations of other ancient armies/countries, these are just a few questions I was wondering about. Thanks.

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    hellheaven1987's Avatar Praefectus Cohortis
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    Default Re: Ancient Military Rations

    The "bread" here can mean pancake like bread such Indian flatbread or Mexican tortilla; it does not necessary have to be the bread we commonly know in Europe today.

    I don't believe Macedonian force under Alexander did not receive wage, as Alexander was always troubled about his financial problem until he captured Persian royal treasury. Similarly, he also needed to find enough supplies for his force.
    Last edited by hellheaven1987; September 14, 2010 at 04:20 AM.
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    Default Re: Ancient Military Rations

    You might want to read Xenophon's Anabasis. He frequently mentions how they got provisions. Usually they try to buy it at markets, if the area is hostile they just plunder.

    hellheaven1987 is right about the bread. It is usually some hard flat bread which doesn't get spoiled quickly. You can make an oven to make such bread yourself on the march with stones and mud...I learned how to make it when I was in the army but it's such a long time ago, I don't really remember how we did it.
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    Default Re: Ancient Military Rations

    Quote Originally Posted by Flavius Nevitta View Post
    You might want to read Xenophon's Anabasis. He frequently mentions how they got provisions. Usually they try to buy it at markets, if the area is hostile they just plunder.

    hellheaven1987 is right about the bread. It is usually some hard flat bread which doesn't get spoiled quickly. You can make an oven to make such bread yourself on the march with stones and mud...I learned how to make it when I was in the army but it's such a long time ago, I don't really remember how we did it.
    Dwarf bread. Makes hunger go away just by looking at it. Also doubles up as a lethal weapon.

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    Default Re: Ancient Military Rations

    Ah right, thanks Flavius. I didn't know you could just use stones and whatnot, that's pretty clever.

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    Default Re: Ancient Military Rations

    Quote Originally Posted by Katsumoto View Post
    Ah right, thanks Flavius. I didn't know you could just use stones and whatnot, that's pretty clever.
    Well, hot stone can use to BBQ meat... There were also stories about using steel helmets as cooking pots.

    Quote Originally Posted by Flavius Nevitta View Post
    hellheaven1987 is right about the bread. It is usually some hard flat bread which doesn't get spoiled quickly. You can make an oven to make such bread yourself on the march with stones and mud...I learned how to make it when I was in the army but it's such a long time ago, I don't really remember how we did it.
    It is like making pancake; you simply pour the stuff on hot stone and cook it until it is eatable. If you have seen how Indian made their flatbreads you would realize the trouble is not the cooking itself, but how to prepare the ingredients.
    Quote Originally Posted by Markas View Post
    Hellheaven, sometimes you remind me of King Canute trying to hold back the tide, except without the winning parable.
    Quote Originally Posted by O'Hea View Post
    The only reason why Charlemagne came into this at all is because Hellheaven thought it'd be a fun way to troll some byzantophiles.

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    Default Re: Ancient Military Rations

    Quote Originally Posted by Katsumoto View Post
    I've been reading a bunch of stuff about ancient Greek food (specifically military rations) and what soldiers would eat out on campaign and whatnot, but there's a few things I don't really understand. Engels states in his book Alexander and the Logistics of the Macedonian Army that the main grain ration would've often been taken in the form of bread. I'm not familiar with the different types of bread production but I presume you need ovens to make it? If so, did the Macedonian army carry around a bunch of mini-ovens or something? Or is there another method to making bread that doesn't require an oven?

    Also, the Osprey book about the Macedonian Infantrymen explains that usually the troops would have to purchase their own food in friendly markets or from the traders that accompanied the army. How can this be if they carried their own rations? I've also read that the Macedonian infantryman would not receive a monthly wage or so, instead being awarded prizes from loot or some such. If that's the case, how would he have been able to purchase food in the early days of the expedition into Asia, where there was no loot to be taken? A lot of it just seems to contradict each other. Could someone perhaps explain how this all fits together? It would be much appreciated.

    Feel free to discuss rations of other ancient armies/countries, these are just a few questions I was wondering about. Thanks.
    Loaf comes from old english hlaof, "kneaded dough". Just in case your intrested.

    Anyways, grain was issued and from that it was turned into something to eat, if you also have Logistics from wallenstein to patton Van Crevald, iirc it goes into the calorific content of greul made from grains compared to bread, a lot of calories get lost in the cooking of bread.http://www.digressus.org/reviews/200...rev-thorne.pdf is also usfull as an aid.

    Dough, on your bayonet over a slow fire was often how it was done, as late as the WBTS, has many such refernces.
    To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

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    Default Re: Ancient Military Rations

    They could've just made a fire in a small pit, put some stones or something else that can get hot without melting itself, like shields, on it, and cooked the dough on it untill it became like a tortilla or naan bread. Or made a makeshift tandoor. Hell, they could've just eaten the dough raw if they were hungry enough.
    Last edited by Dr. Croccer; September 14, 2010 at 10:16 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by A.J.P. Taylor
    Peaceful agreement and government by consent are possible only on the basis of ideas common to all parties; and these ideas must spring from habit and from history. Once reason is introduced, every man, every class, every nation becomes a law unto itself; and the only right which reason understands is the right of the stronger. Reason formulates universal principles and is therefore intolerant: there can be only one rational society, one rational nation, ultimately one rational man. Decisions between rival reasons can be made only by force.





    Quote Originally Posted by H.L Spieghel
    Is het niet hogelijk te verwonderen, en een recht beklaaglijke zaak, Heren, dat alhoewel onze algemene Dietse taal een onvermengde, sierlijke en verstandelijke spraak is, die zich ook zo wijd als enige talen des werelds verspreidt, en die in haar bevang veel rijken, vorstendommen en landen bevat, welke dagelijks zeer veel kloeke en hooggeleerde verstanden uitleveren, dat ze nochtans zo zwakkelijk opgeholpen en zo weinig met geleerdheid verrijkt en versiert wordt, tot een jammerlijk hinder en nadeel des volks?
    Quote Originally Posted by Miel Cools
    Als ik oud ben wil ik zingen,
    Oud ben maar nog niet verrot.
    Zoals oude bomen zingen,
    Voor Jan Lul of voor hun god.
    Ook een oude boom wil reizen,
    Bij een bries of bij een storm.
    Zelfs al zit zijn kruin vol luizen,
    Zelfs al zit zijn voet vol worm.
    Als ik oud ben wil ik zingen.

    C am Fear am measg ant-sluaigh,
    A mhaireas buan gu brth?
    Chan eil sinn uileadh ach air chuart,
    Mar dhthein buaile fs,
    Bheir siantannan na bliadhna sos,
    'S nach tog a' ghrian an ird.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jrg Friedrich
    When do I stop being a justified warrior? When I've killed a million bad civilians? When I've killed three million bad civilians? According to a warsimulation by the Pentagon in 1953 the entire area of Russia would've been reduced to ruins with 60 million casualties. All bad Russians. 60 million bad guys. By how many million ''bad'' casualties do I stop being a knight of justice? Isn't that the question those knights must ask themselves? If there's no-one left, and I remain as the only just one,

    Then I'm God.
    Quote Originally Posted by Louis Napoleon III, Des Idees Napoleoniennes
    Governments have been established to aid society to overcome the obstacles which impede its march. Their forms have been varied according to the problems they have been called to cure, and according to character of the people they have ruled over. Their task never has been, and never will be easy, because the two contrary elements, of which our existence and the nature of society is composed, demand the employment of different means. In view of our divine essence, we need only liberty and work; in view of our mortal nature, we need for our direction a guide and a support. A government is not then, as a distinguished economist has said, a necessary ulcer; it is rather the beneficent motive power of all social organisation.


    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfgang Held
    I walked into those baracks [of Buchenwald concentrationcamp], in which there were people on the three-layered bunkbeds. But only their eyes were alive. Emaciated, skinny figures, nothing more but skin and bones. One thinks that they are dead, because they did not move. Only the eyes. I started to cry. And then one of the prisoners came, stood by me for a while, put a hand on my shoulder and said to me, something that I will never forget: ''Trnen sind denn nicht genug, mein Junge,
    Trnen sind denn nicht genug.''

    Jajem ssoref is m'n korew
    E goochem mit e wenk, e nar mit e shtomp
    Wer niks is, hot kawsones

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    Default Re: Ancient Military Rations

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Croccer View Post
    They could've just made a fire in a small pit, put some stones or something else that can get hot without melting itself, like shields, on it, and cooked the dough on it untill it became like a tortilla or naan bread. Or made a makeshift tandoor. Hell, they could've just eaten the dough raw if they were hungry enough.
    Ray Mears's programmes are fantastic for their detailed depiction of living rough and techniques that could be used on the march in any era.

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    Default Re: Ancient Military Rations

    Quote Originally Posted by pannonian View Post
    Ray Mears's programmes are fantastic for their detailed depiction of living rough and techniques that could be used on the march in any era.
    Ray Mears still is brilliant. I watched him all the time when I was a kid. Him, and that bearded Australian guy who kisses fishes.
    Quote Originally Posted by A.J.P. Taylor
    Peaceful agreement and government by consent are possible only on the basis of ideas common to all parties; and these ideas must spring from habit and from history. Once reason is introduced, every man, every class, every nation becomes a law unto itself; and the only right which reason understands is the right of the stronger. Reason formulates universal principles and is therefore intolerant: there can be only one rational society, one rational nation, ultimately one rational man. Decisions between rival reasons can be made only by force.





    Quote Originally Posted by H.L Spieghel
    Is het niet hogelijk te verwonderen, en een recht beklaaglijke zaak, Heren, dat alhoewel onze algemene Dietse taal een onvermengde, sierlijke en verstandelijke spraak is, die zich ook zo wijd als enige talen des werelds verspreidt, en die in haar bevang veel rijken, vorstendommen en landen bevat, welke dagelijks zeer veel kloeke en hooggeleerde verstanden uitleveren, dat ze nochtans zo zwakkelijk opgeholpen en zo weinig met geleerdheid verrijkt en versiert wordt, tot een jammerlijk hinder en nadeel des volks?
    Quote Originally Posted by Miel Cools
    Als ik oud ben wil ik zingen,
    Oud ben maar nog niet verrot.
    Zoals oude bomen zingen,
    Voor Jan Lul of voor hun god.
    Ook een oude boom wil reizen,
    Bij een bries of bij een storm.
    Zelfs al zit zijn kruin vol luizen,
    Zelfs al zit zijn voet vol worm.
    Als ik oud ben wil ik zingen.

    C am Fear am measg ant-sluaigh,
    A mhaireas buan gu brth?
    Chan eil sinn uileadh ach air chuart,
    Mar dhthein buaile fs,
    Bheir siantannan na bliadhna sos,
    'S nach tog a' ghrian an ird.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jrg Friedrich
    When do I stop being a justified warrior? When I've killed a million bad civilians? When I've killed three million bad civilians? According to a warsimulation by the Pentagon in 1953 the entire area of Russia would've been reduced to ruins with 60 million casualties. All bad Russians. 60 million bad guys. By how many million ''bad'' casualties do I stop being a knight of justice? Isn't that the question those knights must ask themselves? If there's no-one left, and I remain as the only just one,

    Then I'm God.
    Quote Originally Posted by Louis Napoleon III, Des Idees Napoleoniennes
    Governments have been established to aid society to overcome the obstacles which impede its march. Their forms have been varied according to the problems they have been called to cure, and according to character of the people they have ruled over. Their task never has been, and never will be easy, because the two contrary elements, of which our existence and the nature of society is composed, demand the employment of different means. In view of our divine essence, we need only liberty and work; in view of our mortal nature, we need for our direction a guide and a support. A government is not then, as a distinguished economist has said, a necessary ulcer; it is rather the beneficent motive power of all social organisation.


    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfgang Held
    I walked into those baracks [of Buchenwald concentrationcamp], in which there were people on the three-layered bunkbeds. But only their eyes were alive. Emaciated, skinny figures, nothing more but skin and bones. One thinks that they are dead, because they did not move. Only the eyes. I started to cry. And then one of the prisoners came, stood by me for a while, put a hand on my shoulder and said to me, something that I will never forget: ''Trnen sind denn nicht genug, mein Junge,
    Trnen sind denn nicht genug.''

    Jajem ssoref is m'n korew
    E goochem mit e wenk, e nar mit e shtomp
    Wer niks is, hot kawsones

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    conon394's Avatar hoi polloi
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    Default Re: Ancient Military Rations

    I've been reading a bunch of stuff about ancient Greek food (specifically military rations) and what soldiers would eat out on campaign and whatnot, but there's a few things I don't really understand. Engels states in his book Alexander and the Logistics of the Macedonian Army that the main grain ration would've often been taken in the form of bread. I'm not familiar with the different types of bread production but I presume you need ovens to make it? If so, did the Macedonian army carry around a bunch of mini-ovens or something? Or is there another method to making bread that doesn't require an oven?

    Also, the Osprey book about the Macedonian Infantrymen explains that usually the troops would have to purchase their own food in friendly markets or from the traders that accompanied the army. How can this be if they carried their own rations? I've also read that the Macedonian infantryman would not receive a monthly wage or so, instead being awarded prizes from loot or some such. If that's the case, how would he have been able to purchase food in the early days of the expedition into Asia, where there was no loot to be taken? A lot of it just seems to contradict each other. Could someone perhaps explain how this all fits together? It would be much appreciated.

    Feel free to discuss rations of other ancient armies/countries, these are just a few questions I was wondering about. Thanks.
    I think the basic issue and source of your confusion is two-fold.

    First logistics is rarely covered in detail in the Classical and Hellenistic sources that survive but rather as an after thought. Second there was little consistency in policy – even take say Macedonia or Athens what they did for a short local campaign while well funded is not necessarily what might happen on a far away venture with limited funding and in enemy territory.

    You should look up Pritchett's ‘The Greek State at War Part 1’ chapters 1-3 (Military Pay, Provisioning and Booty) for a comprehensive discussion of all of the evidence for the Hellenic and Hellenistic era/armies. Also Loomis 'Wages,Welfare Costs and Inflation in Classical Athens" chapter 2 Soldiers and Sailors. I don't have the work but I understand JK Anderson also deals with provisions in 'Military Theory and Practice in the Age of Xenophon' - Personally I'd be wary of Engles he has failed to update his work to recognize some the assumptions he used are/were erroneous and some of the stuff he says about horses is just flat incorrect (given that I am for example not very persuaded by his reading of almost all animals as pack animals even though that runs counter to standard interpretations of yoked pairs as implying a wagon team -- edit like Hammond I personally attest I have no ideal why Engels thinks horses don't eat at night)

    but there's a few things I don't really understand. Engels states in his book Alexander and the Logistics of the Macedonian Army that the main grain ration would've often been taken in the form of bread. I'm not familiar with the different types of bread production but I presume you need ovens to make it? If so, did the Macedonian army carry around a bunch of mini-ovens or something? Or is there another method to making bread that doesn't require an oven?
    Bread or maybe as some have mentioned flat bread or even just gruel or porridge. The inclusion bakers are noted on several occasions however for example the Athenians when they attacked Syracuse.

    Aside from grain/bread the Athenian sources suggest cheese, leeks and onions figured as a major part of the soldiers ration.

    Also, the Osprey book about the Macedonian Infantrymen explains that usually the troops would have to purchase their own food in friendly markets or from the traders that accompanied the army. How can this be if they carried their own rations?
    Because its one of the norms of the way the Greeks viewed supply really. At Athens for example hoplites were typically expected to report for duty with a standard kit of 3 days rations. On campaign they received ‘pay’ that was both part pay (not usually given till the term of service was over) and a ration stipend. The ration stipend was used to buy food from whatever source the General(s)/State organized – be it friendly markets or from the supply send along with the army.

    Obviously army campaigning in foreign hostile areas could pillage but even that might likely be fed through the preexisting ‘market’ system were the individual soldier had to buy from the central supply.

    The difficulty of in generalizing is that even at Athens say the situation for the Navy was different – the ship commander and supply officer/purser was responsible for supply and the sub hoplite crew drew from the ships stores and was required to bring no initial allotment of rations. More problematically that is what Athens did when it was well funded and had the financial reserves to support such regular processes – when more economically desperate those systems looked a lot more piratical/mercenary (i.e. you might get a ration allowance but all the rest was IOU until we win and than you get loot). The same really goes for other Greek states and Macedonian Kingdoms as well.

    I've also read that the Macedonian infantryman would not receive a monthly wage or so, instead being awarded prizes from loot or some such
    The issue here is differentiating food stipend from wages. Wages were typically not paid until the end of a campaign or not at all for some mercenaries – i.e. only a share of the spoils. The food allowance however was by definition necessity

    There were in effect 4 categories of pay a Hellenic/Hellenistic soldier could potentially expect:

    Effectively a per diem for rations (sitonion or siteresion or sitos etc)
    For cavalry an additional ration allowance for one’s horse(s)
    Pay for service (misthos or opsonion)
    Share of the spoils

    The last two depending on your states situation might well turn on a successful campaign or good economic times. It also clear that in the 5th and early 4th centuries terminology was not so distinct – Athenians were paid one payment (see also the payments of the Athenian/Argive/Elis/Mantineanan alliance) which included covered all of 1-3. In the Hellenistic era the terminology was more pronounced and a contract would indicate only say a food allowance and loot etc.

    If that's the case, how would he have been able to purchase food in the early days of the expedition into Asia, where there was no loot to be taken? A lot of it just seems to contradict each other. Could someone perhaps explain how this all fits together? It would be much appreciated.
    Again a soldier might receive no pay ever but still receive his ration allowance in order to buy food from the supply/markets etc.
    Last edited by conon394; September 14, 2010 at 05:21 PM.
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    Default Re: Ancient Military Rations

    Quote Originally Posted by Katsumoto View Post
    I've been reading a bunch of stuff about ancient Greek food (specifically military rations) and what soldiers would eat out on campaign and whatnot, but there's a few things I don't really understand. Engels states in his book Alexander and the Logistics of the Macedonian Army that the main grain ration would've often been taken in the form of bread. I'm not familiar with the different types of bread production but I presume you need ovens to make it? If so, did the Macedonian army carry around a bunch of mini-ovens or something? Or is there another method to making bread that doesn't require an oven?

    Also, the Osprey book about the Macedonian Infantrymen explains that usually the troops would have to purchase their own food in friendly markets or from the traders that accompanied the army. How can this be if they carried their own rations? I've also read that the Macedonian infantryman would not receive a monthly wage or so, instead being awarded prizes from loot or some such. If that's the case, how would he have been able to purchase food in the early days of the expedition into Asia, where there was no loot to be taken? A lot of it just seems to contradict each other. Could someone perhaps explain how this all fits together? It would be much appreciated.

    Feel free to discuss rations of other ancient armies/countries, these are just a few questions I was wondering about. Thanks.
    there is manny ways of doing bread with out a oven pers. I did myself in acampments and big hikes on the mountains of sort. you just need a fireplace. Also there is possible to make a improvised oven with a fireplace and mud, and rocks, i did myself a long time ago.

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    Default Re: Ancient Military Rations

    As people have stated making an oven out of available resources isn't hard. Flatbreads can be made almost anywhere you have a hot surface. Twice baked hardbreads keep well. Salted meat will keep well. Lots of options.

    Roman soldiers regularly carried quantities of sesame seed and ate it on the march. It can also be cooked down into a porridge like substance.

    Your horse nomads regularly rode mares so as to have access to milk while on the move. They also could consume the mounts blood in small quantities.

    As other folks have said making an oven from clay/mud and stones is easy enough. Also, wild game like a rabbit can be dressed, coated in a layer(I usually try for about 1/8 inch) of clay and tossed directly in the fire. Once the clay is hardened all the way the rabbit is done and you can just crack the clay in half and use the halves as a serving dish.

    Dumplings are easy to make as long as you can boil water(in fact in desperate circumstances you could make a shallow pan from a good sized strip of tree bark and boil water in it, as long as the water level stays above the cooking flames it shouldn't burn).

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    conon394's Avatar hoi polloi
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    Default Re: Ancient Military Rations

    Your horse nomads regularly rode mares so as to have access to milk while on the move. They also could consume the mounts blood in small quantities.
    I don't find find either of these ideals particularity likely as a normal thing if you will...

    A mare is not going to lactate unless she has a foal and that milk does not come from nowhere she gotta eat more to sustain the cost in calories or she is not going to make any milk [to be at all effective dairy animals are not also working animals - a hard ridden sting of ponies is not going to be producing much in the way of milk], same with blood you are going to weaken your horses and force them to eat and drink more [not to mention the risk to the animal in terms of infection]. Sure you can do both but not without cost - the reality is your horse nomad traveled with a pile load sheep and lived off those. On some one off venture - iron march (or I guess ride) sure fine; but your infantry can do the same live off what they carry and eat grass and shoe leather.
    Last edited by conon394; September 14, 2010 at 06:36 PM.
    IN PATROCINIVM SVB Dromikaites

    'One day when I fly with my hands - up down the sky, like a bird'

    But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all 'We died at such a place; some swearing, some crying for surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left.

    Hyperides of Athens: We know, replied he, that Antipater is good, but we (the Demos of Athens) have no need of a master at present, even a good one.

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    Default Re: Ancient Military Rations

    Quote Originally Posted by conon394 View Post
    I don't find find either of these ideals particularity likely as a normal thing if you will...

    A mare is not going to lactate unless she has a foal and that milk does not come from nowhere she gotta eat more to sustain the cost in calories or she is not going to make any milk [to be at all effective dairy animals are not also working animals - a hard ridden sting of ponies is not going to be producing much in the way of milk], same with blood you are going to weaken your horses and force them to eat and drink more [not to mention the risk to the animal in terms of infection]. Sure you can do both but not without cost - the reality is your horse nomad traveled with a pile load sheep and lived off those. On some one off venture - iron march (or I guess ride) sure fine; but your infantry can do the same live off what they carry and eat grass and shoe leather.

    I didn't say it was THE source of sustenance. It was instead a case where they planned ahead when picking mounts in case food ran out during the journey. I also recall it being postulated that Mongol post-riders would use mare's milk and small amounts of blood as an extra source of sustenance when delivering messages over long distances.

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    The Noble Lord's Avatar Ba'ath Party Knight
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    Default Re: Ancient Military Rations

    I read somewhere that in ancient times olives were such a hot commodity that they were used to pay soldiers at one stage.
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    Dr. Croccer's Avatar Tribunus Laticlavius
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    Default Re: Ancient Military Rations

    Roman soldiers were paid in salt, IIRC. Dunno about olives. The Greek trade was very much based on olive products, so it's plausible.
    Quote Originally Posted by A.J.P. Taylor
    Peaceful agreement and government by consent are possible only on the basis of ideas common to all parties; and these ideas must spring from habit and from history. Once reason is introduced, every man, every class, every nation becomes a law unto itself; and the only right which reason understands is the right of the stronger. Reason formulates universal principles and is therefore intolerant: there can be only one rational society, one rational nation, ultimately one rational man. Decisions between rival reasons can be made only by force.





    Quote Originally Posted by H.L Spieghel
    Is het niet hogelijk te verwonderen, en een recht beklaaglijke zaak, Heren, dat alhoewel onze algemene Dietse taal een onvermengde, sierlijke en verstandelijke spraak is, die zich ook zo wijd als enige talen des werelds verspreidt, en die in haar bevang veel rijken, vorstendommen en landen bevat, welke dagelijks zeer veel kloeke en hooggeleerde verstanden uitleveren, dat ze nochtans zo zwakkelijk opgeholpen en zo weinig met geleerdheid verrijkt en versiert wordt, tot een jammerlijk hinder en nadeel des volks?
    Quote Originally Posted by Miel Cools
    Als ik oud ben wil ik zingen,
    Oud ben maar nog niet verrot.
    Zoals oude bomen zingen,
    Voor Jan Lul of voor hun god.
    Ook een oude boom wil reizen,
    Bij een bries of bij een storm.
    Zelfs al zit zijn kruin vol luizen,
    Zelfs al zit zijn voet vol worm.
    Als ik oud ben wil ik zingen.

    C am Fear am measg ant-sluaigh,
    A mhaireas buan gu brth?
    Chan eil sinn uileadh ach air chuart,
    Mar dhthein buaile fs,
    Bheir siantannan na bliadhna sos,
    'S nach tog a' ghrian an ird.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jrg Friedrich
    When do I stop being a justified warrior? When I've killed a million bad civilians? When I've killed three million bad civilians? According to a warsimulation by the Pentagon in 1953 the entire area of Russia would've been reduced to ruins with 60 million casualties. All bad Russians. 60 million bad guys. By how many million ''bad'' casualties do I stop being a knight of justice? Isn't that the question those knights must ask themselves? If there's no-one left, and I remain as the only just one,

    Then I'm God.
    Quote Originally Posted by Louis Napoleon III, Des Idees Napoleoniennes
    Governments have been established to aid society to overcome the obstacles which impede its march. Their forms have been varied according to the problems they have been called to cure, and according to character of the people they have ruled over. Their task never has been, and never will be easy, because the two contrary elements, of which our existence and the nature of society is composed, demand the employment of different means. In view of our divine essence, we need only liberty and work; in view of our mortal nature, we need for our direction a guide and a support. A government is not then, as a distinguished economist has said, a necessary ulcer; it is rather the beneficent motive power of all social organisation.


    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfgang Held
    I walked into those baracks [of Buchenwald concentrationcamp], in which there were people on the three-layered bunkbeds. But only their eyes were alive. Emaciated, skinny figures, nothing more but skin and bones. One thinks that they are dead, because they did not move. Only the eyes. I started to cry. And then one of the prisoners came, stood by me for a while, put a hand on my shoulder and said to me, something that I will never forget: ''Trnen sind denn nicht genug, mein Junge,
    Trnen sind denn nicht genug.''

    Jajem ssoref is m'n korew
    E goochem mit e wenk, e nar mit e shtomp
    Wer niks is, hot kawsones

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    conon394's Avatar hoi polloi
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    Default Re: Ancient Military Rations

    I read somewhere that in ancient times olives were such a hot commodity that they were used to pay soldiers at one stage.
    I would doubt olives would serve as pay - perhaps a ration portion in kind. Very high quality Olive oil was not uncommon as a competition prize. Seeing how important oil could be - cooking, cleaning, maintenance etc I could have been pay but I still lean toward it as part of a living allowance.

    It worth while to remember as pay for mercenaries in kind payment would not be very useful - hauling around owls are a lot more useful and portable...

    Roman soldiers were paid in salt, IIRC
    Its unlikely they were ever directly paid in salt as with the Greeks - the Roman soldier paid in cash and bought his ration even within his own army or rather the Roman do seem to have moved to issue rations directly but that was still withing the context of the ration allowance/pay contrast. The ration allowance was not pay. Assuming you were not getting crap coins I suspect most soldiers proffered cash and would balk at in kind payment. The General/Army/State was expected provided rations at more or less fixed reasonable prices and cash allows the individual flexibility where local markets were available and no issues with having to barter.
    Last edited by conon394; September 15, 2010 at 11:31 AM.
    IN PATROCINIVM SVB Dromikaites

    'One day when I fly with my hands - up down the sky, like a bird'

    But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all 'We died at such a place; some swearing, some crying for surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left.

    Hyperides of Athens: We know, replied he, that Antipater is good, but we (the Demos of Athens) have no need of a master at present, even a good one.

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    The Noble Lord's Avatar Ba'ath Party Knight
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    Default Re: Ancient Military Rations

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Croccer View Post
    Roman soldiers were paid in salt, IIRC. Dunno about olives. The Greek trade was very much based on olive products, so it's plausible.
    Were they really paid in salt, that's interesting. But considering in that age without refrigeration and many spices the salt was really worth its weight in gold!
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    Dr. Croccer's Avatar Tribunus Laticlavius
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    Default Re: Ancient Military Rations

    Quote Originally Posted by The Noble Lord View Post
    Were they really paid in salt, that's interesting. But considering in that age without refrigeration and many spices the salt was really worth its weight in gold!
    Hence the term ''Salary''.
    Quote Originally Posted by A.J.P. Taylor
    Peaceful agreement and government by consent are possible only on the basis of ideas common to all parties; and these ideas must spring from habit and from history. Once reason is introduced, every man, every class, every nation becomes a law unto itself; and the only right which reason understands is the right of the stronger. Reason formulates universal principles and is therefore intolerant: there can be only one rational society, one rational nation, ultimately one rational man. Decisions between rival reasons can be made only by force.





    Quote Originally Posted by H.L Spieghel
    Is het niet hogelijk te verwonderen, en een recht beklaaglijke zaak, Heren, dat alhoewel onze algemene Dietse taal een onvermengde, sierlijke en verstandelijke spraak is, die zich ook zo wijd als enige talen des werelds verspreidt, en die in haar bevang veel rijken, vorstendommen en landen bevat, welke dagelijks zeer veel kloeke en hooggeleerde verstanden uitleveren, dat ze nochtans zo zwakkelijk opgeholpen en zo weinig met geleerdheid verrijkt en versiert wordt, tot een jammerlijk hinder en nadeel des volks?
    Quote Originally Posted by Miel Cools
    Als ik oud ben wil ik zingen,
    Oud ben maar nog niet verrot.
    Zoals oude bomen zingen,
    Voor Jan Lul of voor hun god.
    Ook een oude boom wil reizen,
    Bij een bries of bij een storm.
    Zelfs al zit zijn kruin vol luizen,
    Zelfs al zit zijn voet vol worm.
    Als ik oud ben wil ik zingen.

    C am Fear am measg ant-sluaigh,
    A mhaireas buan gu brth?
    Chan eil sinn uileadh ach air chuart,
    Mar dhthein buaile fs,
    Bheir siantannan na bliadhna sos,
    'S nach tog a' ghrian an ird.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jrg Friedrich
    When do I stop being a justified warrior? When I've killed a million bad civilians? When I've killed three million bad civilians? According to a warsimulation by the Pentagon in 1953 the entire area of Russia would've been reduced to ruins with 60 million casualties. All bad Russians. 60 million bad guys. By how many million ''bad'' casualties do I stop being a knight of justice? Isn't that the question those knights must ask themselves? If there's no-one left, and I remain as the only just one,

    Then I'm God.
    Quote Originally Posted by Louis Napoleon III, Des Idees Napoleoniennes
    Governments have been established to aid society to overcome the obstacles which impede its march. Their forms have been varied according to the problems they have been called to cure, and according to character of the people they have ruled over. Their task never has been, and never will be easy, because the two contrary elements, of which our existence and the nature of society is composed, demand the employment of different means. In view of our divine essence, we need only liberty and work; in view of our mortal nature, we need for our direction a guide and a support. A government is not then, as a distinguished economist has said, a necessary ulcer; it is rather the beneficent motive power of all social organisation.


    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfgang Held
    I walked into those baracks [of Buchenwald concentrationcamp], in which there were people on the three-layered bunkbeds. But only their eyes were alive. Emaciated, skinny figures, nothing more but skin and bones. One thinks that they are dead, because they did not move. Only the eyes. I started to cry. And then one of the prisoners came, stood by me for a while, put a hand on my shoulder and said to me, something that I will never forget: ''Trnen sind denn nicht genug, mein Junge,
    Trnen sind denn nicht genug.''

    Jajem ssoref is m'n korew
    E goochem mit e wenk, e nar mit e shtomp
    Wer niks is, hot kawsones

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