In one of his essays Joel Spolsky (co-founder of Stack Exchange) wrote:

[...] the Roman army had a ratio of four servants for every soldier.

Is this true?

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    (bmcr.brynmawr.edu/1999/1999-11-01.html): The other main group, the calones, were slave servants, possibly state owned, and by the late Republic usually armed and sometimes organised under the command of galearii, leaders whose name seems to have derived from the wearing of a helmet. R. suggests a soldier to servant ratio of 4:1, but this is conjectural and in reality the ratio may have varied considerably – Dr. belisarius May 28 '15 at 16:32
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    @belisarius Sounds like an answer to me. – DJClayworth May 28 '15 at 16:53
  • Are random blog posts "notable"? – user5341 May 28 '15 at 16:58
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    (also, this definitely would get a more expert answer on History.SE) – user5341 May 28 '15 at 16:59
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    @DVK :) Don't worry. Anyway, although me being far from an expert in Roman history I don't believe the composition ratios of the "Roman army" were kept the same along its history. – Dr. belisarius May 28 '15 at 17:21

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