Legionnaires in the Roman army wore marching boots, called caligae (singular caliga). These may appear to be merely an open sandal. However, they were sturdy enough to wear all day, every day, even on long marches.
A thick lower sole would be attached to a mid sole with hobnails. This added strength to the boot and increased its durability. (I don’t know enough about shoe construction but that is the comment made by several sources.)
For a conception of what hobnailed Roman caligae might look like, consider this photo of a hobnailed boot of the U.S. Union Army. The boot is thus circa 1861 to 1865.
Roman soldiers would wear a belt around their waist.
I have not seen much discussion on the purpose of the belt. It would be the base for carrying some items. For example, a dagger, called a puglio, would be on the left side. A money pouch could be carried on the belt, I suppose.
Previous post listed the cash transactions in the estate of my paternal grandfather from the day he passed away until a probate filing was prepared for the court.
The probate filing provides a glimpse into farm life in the mid-1940s.
As you read the summarized income statement and cash transactions below, keep in mind this is the cash activity to feed and cloth a family consisting of one mom and four children still living at home. Notice was one purchase of groceries for $9.60 and only two purchases of clothing. There is no indication of any purchases in November or December which could be considered Christmas presents.
To say finances were tight would be an understatement.
The cash transactions can be summarized into a cash-based income statement as follows:
The estate of my paternal grandfather went through probate in 1946 after he died in 1945. The probate filing listed the cash received and paid from the time of his death until the document was filed with the court.
The filing provides a view of farm life in the mid-1940s. This series of posts uses the filing to take a glimpse into life back then.
Here are the cash transactions listed in the court filing:
The probate filing for the estate of my grandfather, Daniel Ulvog, provides a lot of information about the farm. Let’s look at indicators of the price of farm animals. The filling provides a number of data points.
Here is the listed information sorted by animal with a mean (weighted average), mode (price with largest number of animals), and my point estimate of the price of different animals.
My paternal grandfather passed away on June 1, 1945, near the end of World War 2.
Disposition of his estate was officially approved by a court, which provides us a glimpse into the economics of farm life in the 1940s.
He died intestate, meaning he did not have a will, so the estate was distributed in accordance with South Dakota state law. His estate went through probate, which means a court had to approve the distribution.
Mary Chase Walker had challenges finding a good position in Massachusetts, so she sailed to San Francisco. When the anticipated job there did not materialize, she took a teaching position in San Diego.
Her salary was a quite impressive $65 a month at a time when the average laborer was paid somewhere around $30 a month.
The gladius is a short sword, about 2 feet long, used by soldiers in the Roman army. In the hands of trained legionnaires, the gladius was a potent offensive weapon.
Roman soldiers would advance side-by-side with their shield, called a scutum, held in their left hand and a gladius in their right hand. In this position, the sharp tip of the gladius was best used as a thrusting weapon to stab the enemy, aiming for the torso. In ancient times, an abdomen wound was usually fatal.
With a two foot length and sharp double edges, the gladius could also be used as for slashing or cutting. From comments I’ve read, the main use was for thrusting.
The northern economy was quite strong during the Civil War, with demand for skilled and unskilled workers in industry creating more lucrative job opportunities in the civilian world than being in the army.
While the pay for a soldier was $13 a month, the author says a man could make four times that much money merely by working as “a sign maker or a clerk in a dry goods store” (location 26210). That stat is credited to American Annual Cyclopedia, 1863, p. 413. A 30 second search on the ol’ internet suggests the book can be had for between $60 and $100.
The ratio of 4x suggests a dry good store clerk could make somewhere around $50 a month.