Vol. VIII, no. x, October 1998
AFTER-ACTION REPORT: MARIETTA
It didn't rain!! Oh, it was a small event, just 4 guys plus Jane and Olivia on Sunday, and it was hot, but it didn't rain! I guess the Rain Gods finally decided that watering us wouldn't make us grow. Public attendance over the weekend was low, only about 130 people, and we were pretty inactive on Sunday, but there were some interesting and interested people and I think we all had fun. Kevin and Shari MacGregor of Legio V Macedonica came from Chicago to visit and see us in action. La Belle Compagnie was present in more force than I had expected, with 3 tents and ten or twelve people. They did some archery practice, and we did some pilum chucking. Mark and Mike cooked a sumptuous repast on Saturday evening, with stew and little birds.
Most of us fled to the shady lawn near the house on Sunday because of the heat, and next time we'll pitch the tent up there. (We just can't dig a fire pit there.) Also, next fall we'll pick our own weekend and open it up to other Roman-era groups, which I was hesitant to do this time because I didn't want to overwhelm La Belle, the actual host group. A couple teachers had been asking me for a schedule of activities, and I tried to convince them that this was supposed to be our CASUAL weekend, not another Roman Days! I wouldn't mind if it got a little bigger, though.
Best of all, it didn't rain!
Dean Cunningham of Legio II Augusta in Portland sent this to me over a month ago, but I neglected to include it last time.
"I just came back from Holland and Naples. I will never stay in Naples
again. The city is filthy and has little to redeem it. Pompeii, Herculaneum, and the Villa Applontis were unreal! I BS'ed my way into the library and the Museo National in Naples. Got to see Fiorelli's report on military equipment found at Pompeii and Herculaneum. There was quite a bit of military and gladiator equipment found (most now lost or turned to dust).
"The high point of my trip was meeting Henk-Jan an Maarten of the Gemina Project [Legio X Gemina, Holland]. Maarten is a city archaeoligist of Leiden. He took me into the depo and I got to paw artifacts and see military equiptment not on display. Really really nice guys. I bought exact reproductions of Samian pottery (made from pressings done of the original molds).
"We Americans have a long way to go! The Gemina Project have access to so much information I was sick and excited all at the same time. There are so many types of everything that every soldier in the USA could have different sword scabbards, belt plates and helmets. I saw helmets that are not in Robinson or fit the typologies. It was eye opening! The sizes of the helmets varied greatly, most were very form fitting looking. Even some of the Montefortinos were very small. I saw some repro helmets from the UK. They were amazing. Looked just as rough as the originals, unlike the shiny perfect Simkins style stuff. He has single handedly given most US reenactors a false sense of what the stuff REALLY looks like. By the way
the Montifortino that Jeff Williams [Stallari the armorer] made for Tom Kolb looks almost exactly like one in the museum at Leiden! He should be happy about that, I know it gave me a tingle."
In other news, Joe Piela of Lonely Mountain Forge has new goodies to show on his website, http://members.aol.com/gijchar/forge.html , under "New Items". The more I see of his stuff, the more I like it! (Good thing, cuz he's making Bill Bennett's armor and helmet, and my Greek Corinthian!)
--Remember how we decided that the implement commonly known as a turf cutter was more likely a bark stripper? Well, someone (ack! who?!) turned up some more lore on the subject, and pointed out that this tool is quite good for cutting UNDER a block of turf after the vertical cuts have been made with a dolabra or other tool. In that capacity it doesn't matter that you can't step on it like a spade. And you can still use it for stripping bark, too.
MORE ON TENTS
To last month's article on cheap Roman tents, Dan Peterson adds:
"On the subject of cloth tents, you might mention painting them to "look" like leather. Acrylic paints are flexible, and would make a cheap cloth waterproof as well. A couple of coats would remove all traces of the tent being made of a woven material, and if some of the panels were slightly off color it would make it that much more convincing. Attachment points, etc, could still be made of leather." With this method you'd be sewing together rectangles of canvas (c. 14"x20") so that they would look like panels of goatskin. This would be particularly useful for someone making a film or photos for publication. With my original cheap method the whole roof would be one piece of fabric, since it's not trying to resemble leather.
Two places to get excellent reproduction oil lamps have come to my attention. First is Gaukler Medieval Wares, 1052 Amphion St., Victoria, British Columbia, Canada V8S 4G3, phone 250-595-1104, www.medievalwares.com/ They offer a 2nd century style lamp about 4 inches long, with hanging lugs and choice of glazes, for $10.
Even nicer are the lamps from Moonstone Pottery (Barbara Flynn), 1439 6th St., Los Osos, CA, 805-528-6890, firstname.lastname@example.org , www.thegrid.net/moonstonepottery They look like more of a first century design and are decorated in at least two different motifs, for $23 apiece.
Take a look at the revisions on the Models of the Roman Legion website, http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Oracle/6622/ You will find your Glorious Leader's name and wisdom all over it, since I am now a World Authority on the Roman Army (or at least willing to shoot my mouth off about most anything!). You, too, can become a World Authority (or shooting mouth) by sending your comments in to Mr. Brueggeman.
An artist named Mike Sly has a webpage showing some of his work, where you will find a portrait of our own Titus Cornelius Flavius. The URL is http://www.livinghistoryportraits.com Check it out!
CATAPULT FOR SALE, $650--by Mike Kasner, Legio II
If you have ever had the urge to hurl, this is the machine for you. It is a full sized, Roman style, torsion catapult known as an onager. And, while it is a lot of fun, it is not a toy. This is a real war machine capable of throwing a five pound projectile the length of a football field, and it won first place in the SCA 30 year anniversary War Machine Competition in 1996. It fits into the bed of a full size pickup for ease of transportation and is ready to go into action with a few turns of the crank. Comes with a spare throwing arm and a lot of expert advice from the builder. $650.00. For more information contact:
As usual, CONTACT QUINTUS WITH YOUR PLANS for these events!!
December ?--Bethlehem Market Place, Silver Spring, MD. No official word on this yet, but it's usually the first Friday evening and Saturday afternoon in December.
March 20-21 (probably)--Military Through the Ages, Jamestown, VA
April 10-11--Marching Through Time, Marietta Mansion, Glenn Dale, MD
Memorial Day weekend--The SCA Barony of Settmour Swamp, which was represented at Roman Days by the 3 ladies who cooked great stuff all weekend, has invited us to their Quest for Wit or Wisdom in mid-New Jersey. Details as they become available. Wanna go?
May? June?--Roman Days. It was suggested that we move this up a couple weeks so that teachers could bring their students. The date should be settled soon.
Still waiting for my jury duty notice, so don't be surprised if the November issue is small/late/absent. And I probably won't be answering much email for a month sometime between now and New Years. I have been practicing for my participation in this nation's venerable judicial process by jumping up and down and screaming, "GUILTY! GUILTY! GUILTY!" Mistrial city, oh yeah.
ADLOCVTIO has been convicted of being the official monthly newsletter of the Twentieth Legion, and the Editor had better not use any more of the legal system jokes that have been popping into his head... In a normal world, you might find the Editor, Matthew "Quintus" Amt, at ... . The Twentieth Legion web site is at http://www.geocities.com/Yosemite/3761/index.htm