During the Roman Empire its army was considered almost unconquerable. They became a feared force known to be well disciplined and well trained. The soldiers had to be strong and fit. These soldiers would have to carry their weapons and provisions for approximately two weeks. They had to win their battles not only through their power but also with their courage and intelligence.
The recruitment of the soldiers were based on citizenship and wealth. The reasoning was that if a man had property that he was to risk in battle, he would fight for it until the end. He would also arm himself at his expense. The citizens were classified by their wealth into 5 classes. The wealthiest class formed the Legion. The rest of the 4 classes were made up of the rest of the army. Officers were taken from leading citizens and they joined the Order of Knights, or Equities.
This was all done at their own expense. They were provided with a horse, which was paid for by the public purse. Since the troops were to provide their own weapons and armor, they needed to be very wealthy. The wealthiest were in the first class. They were heavily armed and equipped like a warrior with a helmet, round shield, greaves and breastplate made of bronze. They carried a spear and a sword. The lesser classes wore less armament and weaponry while the fifth class did not carry armor and only carried a sling.(Watson 77)
The Roman army carried standards. Standards were tall poles topped with various symbols; these symbols could be many types of animals or symbols. During the Empire, the image of the emperor was added to the standard. The standard served as an important practical function. Each century, cohort and legion had its own standard.