Probatio, recruitment of roman soldiers


The dilectus was the act of recruiting new soldiers in ancient Rome. During the Empire, almost only volunteers were recruited. Rome only wanted the best of them, and the rules to become a soldier were difficult for the majority. Only citizens could apply. They had to know latin (for understanding the orders), how to write and how to read, and to be in good physical condition.


The “Probatio” was a series of tests that citizens volunteers to the army had to pass. We can see on my new digital painting a young roman citizen, just before the measurement of his height. Legionaries couldn’t be shorter than 1,65 m.



Under the veil, a noble roman, in charge of the recruitment in the province, and next to him, his assistant is taking notes about each volunteer. They are supervising this recruitment. It is something very important, we are talking of the recruitment of an elite! People that wanted to fight but couldn’t respond to the criteria (like roman citizenship for instance) were engaged in auxiliary army.

The painting

This work was made for the LEG VIII AUG, as a pedagogical support of our reenactment association. As always, I used Photoshop for those curious to know, and it took many hours to paint. Thanks Jupiter, I do have an Intuos :)
More paintings will come, as this is just the first of a series.

Click on the picture to have a full view of it, I guarantee you that it is worth the click!

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