Vol. X, no. i, January 2000
OMISSIONS AND FABRICA
I completely neglected to mention the party last month! Saturnalia was a
great success, and the Legion and I would like to thank the Moskeys very
much for hosting it. Roger has suggested holding regular drill practice at
his place, since he has plenty of space in his yard.
He has also volunteered to host a workshop session on January 29, from 10
AM to 5 PM. Contact Roger at 703- .
The place is 304 Terrie Drive, Sterling, VA 20165, directions: From
I-495 Capital Beltway, take Exit 12 B Route 267 Toll Road West towards
Dulles Airport. After paying toll (50 cents), take the first exit--Exit 16
Route 7 Leesburg Pike West for about 11 miles. Take a right at Palisades
Parkway, then an immediate left onto "Triple 7" (Route 777), past Calvary
Temple on right. Take the next right onto Regina Drive, follow it to the
end and take a right onto Markwood Drive. At stop sign take a left onto
Terrie Drive (culdesac). #304 is in the middle.
The Legion's website is finally being rebuilt!
(http://legioxx.webjump.com) Many pictures have been added, plus patterns
for caligae and the lorica segmentata, and back issues of this famous
newsletter. Word of warning: construction is not quite complete, so not
everything is working perfectly yet. If something doesn't come up after a
couple tries, go to a different page with access to the one that you want
and try from there. Some of it is slow to load, but we might be able to
improve that in the future . If you have even bigger problems, let us know,
please! Special thanks to Mark Graef for his work in getting the new
material up and running, and for showing me how to make the pictures
By the way, I have built my own little website on the Greek Hoplite, at
http://www.larp.com/hoplite/index.html. Check it out!
From Richard Saulpaugh comes a tip on a website dedicated to ancient
David Mitchell alerted me to a site with a somewhat lighter theme,
http://www.wiseacre-gardens.com/buttons/roman/roman.html. Note the white
Kevin MacGregor of Legio V Macedonica found some wonderful coin photos at
If you want to see a teaser for the upcoming movie "Gladiator", go to
http://www.gladiator-themovie.com . I will very generously withhold
judgement on the movie until it hits the theaters, but let's just say that
I'm not hopeful...
More helmets! The first of the long-awaited Imperial Gallic G's and Italic
D's have arrived, and they are Good. Oh, there are still some of the usual
errors: neckguard too wide on the Gallic G, some brasswork on the Italic D
brazed instead of soldered, but pretty much anything that can't be fixed can
be overlooked. And as usual, future batches of these helmets should be
better. Check out Albion's website for all the new stuff,
http://www.albionarmorers.com/home.htm. Be sure to click on the helmet
photos for more views.
ITER by M.S.
As promised here is a report of two museums that I have visited. The
first was the history museum in Nurnburg. It took me some time to locate
the collection since it was quite small. The collection contained three
helmets. One was a legionary helmet, one was a cavalry helmet and the third
was a parade/officer helmet. The legionary helmet was the one in Arms and
Armour of Imperial Rome. [Editor's note: probably Gallic type I.] It is
very out of shape at the top and looks as if it was crushed and reshaped.
It also had one of the brass ear guards intact as well as a very well
preserved handle. It has a very curious brass rivet on the rear left of the
tail. The cavalry helmet has a intricate facial design. The officer helm
had an eagle that was very out of shape as well. There were also some
daggers that showed the layers in the handles very well. The one that had a
solid handle and pomel was much smaller. There were also small fibulae, to
include simple rings and pins to larger crossbow types. They had some Roman
type fibulae in with the Germanic tribe section. All in all the collection
is good to see if you are in the area but not worth a trip from stateside.
Unless you're loaded with cash! Also there was an artist that was selling
remakes of some of the fibulas and other artifacts, made out of silver or
brass but kinda pricey and small.
Next on to Heildelburg. This museum is well worth seeing. The
collection includes 2 full mail armored Romans, one horse one medium
infantry. Both were in mail. There are two models in different rooms of
the bridge and port that the Romans built. There are also timbers along a
wall from the actual bridge. Lots of pottery and roof tiles that have dog
and human prints as well as a legion number. (Sorry, I don't remember the
number.) There were also weapons and other smaller personal items. There
was a room that you could sit in that was neat. Also a display on Roman
sewer pipes. There were also some models of the roman camps and a stone
Now to the best part. I guess the Germans found a Minerva temple in
town. They not only have the original altar, they recreated in life size,
the Minerva temple. It is very neat and the description of the diffrent
parts is very helpful even in German. There are about 10-12 good size rooms
in all not to mention the rest of the museum that has other exhibits on
German history and art. Even a room with local animals. Anyhow not bad for
5 DM or about $2.50. Expect to be in it for about 3-4 hours and still
wanting to go back. (PS: The Irish Pub Sean' Og is a great place to stay.)
--Marcus Servius Germanicus
ITER II by Derek Forrest, Ermine Street Guard
A carefully arranged court case and a late return train left the writer
with a spare two hours in London.
The London Museum was closed on Monday so the second choice took me to the
British Museum, which is in the course of extensive renovations.
Once inside after paying a £2 voluntary contribution it was not the virgin
white Elgin marbles or the Rosetta stone, which provided the attraction but
the room devoted to Roman Britain.
Passing by the vast arrays of 4th century silver hoards, which, if they
belonged to a legionary, would only be loot, I came upon humbler bronze pots
and pans. There were two familiar Patera cast in bronze. The remarkable
fact about them was their thin walls bearing in mind the difficulty our
local founder has in keeping the metal hot enough to fill the moulds when
the walls are left thin. (Editor's note: I believe paterae were spun to
shape on a lathe after a flat blank was cast, but I don't have enough
information!) There was also a fragment of an iron frying pan with a
folding handle. I have seen several replicas of this filled with sausages
cooking in a display.
On to tools and there are some quite good axes and picks but the surprise
is the dolabra. This was very small, more reminiscent of an entrenching
tool than the axe which could be used to hang equipment from. There were
also some good spades made in one piece from ash with very corroded metal
A great deal of imagination was necessary to visualise the legionaries in
plate and mail. They had opted to hang finds on cutout figures rather than
reconstructions. This was fine for such as me but not very exciting for the
children. The segmentata (Type A) had much smaller hinges than I am used to
and the brass loops on the girdle plates were of very slight construction.
Maybe they were putting weight before strength. The belts on the mailed
figures were the familiar neillo covered ones but interestingly the
terminals were made of bone/ivory. The Coolus helmet had the extra interest
of bearing the names of 4 of its owners punched on the neckguard. The
weapons were very corroded and whilst the familiar shapes were apparent to
me the general public deserved a reconstruction or two. Some nice beaten
brass scabbard plates showing Romulus and Remus were worthy of reproduction
but the Pugios would take a lot of imagination.
Coins next with quite a useful display showing one gold aureus = 25 silver
denarii=100 bronze sestertii. Hadrianic legionaries would earn 300 denarii
There was very little in the way of organic finds on display; a bit of shoe
and some nice wax tablets but the most interesting were amulets with a
pudenda at one end and outstretched fingers at the other. These should
spark some interesting questions to off duty milites.
Time was pressing by this time and there was just time to confirm that the
Celtic displays would be worth another visit and of course the obligatory
visit to the shop. This produced a rather nice silver snake ring which
would just be the job to replace my anachronistic gold wedding ring without
giving the wife wrong ideas of my fidelity!
SITE-SEEING from Bob Garbisch
By the way, if ever your travels take you up around the Boston, Mass. area,
please provide yourself some spare time to visit Brandeis University, in
Waltham, for a unique view of a detailed model of the Forum Romanum, circa
179 A.D./931 AUC, on display in the Goldfarb Library. You won't be
disappointed. And if possible, try to contact Prof. Ann Koloski-Ostrow, of
the Latin Department. If her schedule permits, she can provide you with a
personal tour of the Forum.
It will truly be worthwhile. I know, because I constructed the 8' x 12'
model, in 4mm to 1 ft. scale, with 722 Roman citizens running around doing
their normal business (it even includes myself overlooking the Forum). I
donated the model to Brandeis.
The Third New England Conference on Mithraic Studies in New Haven,
familiarly known as "MithrCon III"
> Dates: Friday, May 5 - Sunday, May 7, 2000.
***DATE CHANGE*** It's now the weekend before!!! All other details good.
Please make a special note that there are many *interesting* Roman artifacts in the
Museum, and the Yale Library presents a research opportunity that should
make you drool!
LOST IN SPACE
It seems I have misplaced a couple of my references, and I'm getting
frantic to have them back. One is Volume 3 of the Journal of Roman Military
Equipment Studies; the other is a photocopied excerpt from Manning's Catalog
of the Romano-British Iron Tools, Implements and Weapons in the British
Museum, in a brown folder. Help! Has anyone borrowed one or both of these?
Could I have left them at your home inadvertently? Please double-check
your shelves. Thank you!
Feb 12? --Lupercalia. If someone wants to host a party, I'll spread the
April 15-16 --Marching Through Time, Marietta Mansion, MD.
April 29-30 --"Universal Soldier" encampment, Fort Washington, MD.
May 13-14 --Tentative. Armor display at Jamestown Settlement. The Park
wants us to camp by the museum with a couple other "armored" groups as part
of this exhibit. Feedback, please?
June --Roman Days, Marietta Mansion, MD.
Out of time! ADLOCVTIO is the official newsletter of the Twentieth Legion,
and those of you who have not faithfully preserved your copies can now read
a couple years' worth on the website. As always, the Editor and Commander
is Matthew R. Amt, aka Quintus. Valete!