It is not coincidental that Daniel first bends his "neck to the Roman yoke" when he is with Thacia for Daniel's growing interest in and acceptance of the teachings of Jesus correspond to his ability to understand and make a place in his life for women. When the story opens, he has moved away from his grandmother and sister, leaving them vulnerable. Even when he begins caring for Leah, he cannot understand anything about her as a feminine being and feels shackled by having to care for her. She limits his freedom. Similarly, while his early attitudes toward Thacia show some admiration, they are also full of resentment. He tells her when she wants to join him and Josh in their vow, "This is a man's vow! It's not for a pretty child," demonstrating how he would prefer to compartmentalize her in a space far from his feelings(85). As begins to feel brotherly love and grows in ability to nurture Leah, so he grows in real affection and something approaching love for Thacia. He shoulders the burden, bends his "neck to the Roman yoke" because of that soft spot of love that Rosh so despises in him.
Good for you! This line is indeed more meaningful than Daniel's acceptance of the physical burden. Outwardly, and in deference to Thacia, Daniel accepts the orders of the Roman solider, whom he despises. However, Daniel's acquiesence of the rule of the oppressor signifies that he is beginning to understand how to bide his time, to learn tolerance, and to comprehend that the time to act is not always immediate. On the surface, he seems to be acting simply to make things easier for Thacia, (who is disguised as a male) but deep down he is beginning to reject the harsh line of Rosh and to accept the pacifism of Jesus.
I believe that this line, other than refering to the soldier\'s pack refers to the way Daniel is learning to disipline himself, and not spit when in the presance of Romans. Also, this shows how Daniel nudges over to Jesus\' side of repent, rarter than Rosh\'s ideas of needing an army to overthrow the Romans. I think Daniel likes Thacia, so he wants to help her too, so he follows her lead and listens to the Roman. (sorry for the spelling/grammar errors.)