Vol. XI, no. xi, November 2001
The annual Walk Through Bethlehem at the Seventh Day Adventist World Headquarters is on for this Christmas season. The dates are December 1-2, 5, 8-9 (that's two weekends and a Wednesday). Presumably the times and general arrangements will be the same as last year, being open to the public from 6 PM to 10 or 10:30 PM, and participants definitely need to be there at least a half-hour early to get changed and armored. The public is paying a couple bucks for tickets (sorry, I need to find a number to call for ticket info!), but family members of participants can get in free if you let me know they are coming. Dick Stenbakken is the contact at the Headquarters, 301---.
Pick whatever days you'd like to attend and let me know. We only need 3 to 5 Romans for each show, so if we each do one or two that should be enough. But come every night if you like! There is space to change clothes and secure areas for valuables (Dick's office). We generally leave our armor there for the duration of the show, to avoid schlepping it back and forth each day. Basic battle gear, with shields, but NO PILA. No packs or other gear will be needed, either. You may wear your crest if you like. If you want to lean towards earlier gear such as hamata and Mainz swords, that's fine, but the regular mid-1st century gear is fine since we aren't very strict for this show. It's all indoors and carpeted (except the bathroom!). There will be a bucket of water and some food, but we really won't need much. (DO try the lentil stew!) There is none of the usual living history that we do at other events, rather a constant flow of visitors being pulled into the spirit of the first Christmas. We will be posted at our little headquarters booth and circulating through the crowd, trying to recruit the kids, warning old ladies not to start riots, extorting protection money from the locals, etc. Don't worry if you use the same lines over and over again, the public will only hear it once. For instance, when the wedding procession goes by for the second or third or twentieth time, pretend it's the first time! The crowds come through almost non-stop as soon as the doors open, nearly 2000 people per night, so BE EARLY to be ready at showtime.
The Seventh-Day Adventist Headquarters is located in Silver Spring, MD (north of White Oak) at the intersection of Rt. 29 Columbia Pike/Colesville Rd. and Randolph Rd./Cherry Hill Rd. From I-495 the Capital Beltway take Exit 30 onto Rt. 29 North towards White Oak and Columbia. Go about 4 miles and turn left at the light onto Randolph Road, then left at the next light onto Old Columbia Pike, and the next left into the parking lot.
(Because of this event there will be no Workshop in December.)
The ArtBeat festival at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore was a different kind of event for us. Just getting there was an experience, since half the major roads into the city were closed for a marathon. Then came the often-futile search for the appointed parking lots in the maze of one-way streets. We barely made it into our armor in time for the ArtMarch, a short parade around the park, along with a troupe of Elvis impersonators, people in crocodile suits, 15-foot-tall pink poodles, etc.
We were encamped in one arm of a cross-shaped park across from the Museum, and next to the 14th century group Wolfe's Company. The weather was a bit nippy in the morning, but quickly became quite glorious. Around the corner, downhill, was a stage with huge loudspeakers for speakers and occasional music, and uphill (past the very convenient food vendors!) was another stage for the rock bands. Not exactly the peaceful ambience of Marietta or Fort Washington, shall we say! Anyway, many people came by to see what we were doing, but we were never overrun by crowds as I had feared.
It was a good opportunity to see the new parts of the Walters. The Greek section was great, with a number of vases, some Bronze Age and Archaic jewelry, and four lovely helmets (Illyrian, and Chalcidian, and two Corinthians). The Roman section was mostly sculpture and a room with several marble sarcophagi, no armor or weaponry at all! It turns out that their former armor gallery is gone, maybe to be reinstated in a few years after the next round of renovations. Rats.
But we talked to a lot of good people, handed out a few hundred flyers, and, hopefully, earned ourselves a good reputation at a major Museum. Thanks to all who turned out--Gallio, Gaius, Messala, Fabius, and Tiberius. (Did I remember everyone?)
Associate Member Scott Arbuckle recently got one of the new Deepeeka Imperial Italic type H helmets, the brass one from Niedermormter, and was very disappointed with it. He says, "In fact, it's the worst thing since the infamous trooper helmet. The shape is 97% correct comparing it to the photos in H.R. Robinson [The Armour of Imperial Rome]. However they pieced this thing together like a jig-saw puzzle without blending the overlaps of brass sheet. Also, what should be pearled strips are little hammered indentions. I could go on, but won't!" Again we are frustrated, since that is a rather wild helmet and would be very popular with anyone doing a later impression.
I've been told that I should tell the troops when I've added stuff to the website, so check out these sections: Links and Suppliers (as usual), Songs, Advice on Starting a Roman Group (now has tips on building a website), Helmets (new link to British Museum), Lorica Segmentata, Newstead Lorica, Lorica Hamata (fixed links, no pun intended!), Gladius (hilt-making tips), Crests (details on dyeing and gluing hair), and Armoring Hints (new hints on armor care in the "Procedures" section). Those are just the pages updated in the last month, so if you haven't visited for a while, surf on in and see what's new!
Our favorite author and archeologist Dr. Mike Bishop has a new website on the Lorica Segmentata, appropriately at http://www.loricasegmentata.org. The neatest part is that it repeatedly links back to the Twentieth Legion site! More to come.
Speaking of Mike Bishop, I recently got Volume 10 of the Journal of Roman Military Equipment Studies, and he has an article on the Newstead lorica in it. It has some fascinating tidbits, not surprisingly, though unfortunately it went to press just before the big finds at Carlisle could be added to it. Plus a very tantalizing article on a private collection of antiquities in Germany which includes over FORTY Roman helmets!! Talk about envy... It includes a Gallic G, a bronze Gallic A, over a dozen Montefortinos, a fabulous iron Italic type H with two little mice on it (Richard Campbell has been very excited about this one!), and some very bizarre bronze Gallic/Italic thing which defies typology.
David Brown Book Company was having a sale, and I scored Yigael Yadin's Masada, the truly amazing story of the excavation of that famous little rock. Also picked up a great book called Bronze Age Warfare (though it could use a few more details on hardware).
Iain McNeil of Slitherine Software writes: "We're currently developing a PC strategy game set in ancient Rome. The game focuses around the formation of Rome, giving the player control of the Legions and the economy that supported them. We are making the initial setting as accurate as possible, but the players actions will allow them to alter what actually happens and to rewrite history. Who knows, maybe the Etruscans will rise to rule Italy instead of the Romans! Later scenarios follow Rome's expansion through Gaul and into Britannia.
"For more information about our game - Legion - visit our website at www.slitherine.co.uk."
Dec. 1-2, 5, 8-9 -- Walk Through Bethlehem, Seventh Day Adventist Headquarters, Silver Spring, MD
January 5, 2002 -- Monthly Workshop session at the Moskey's, 10 AM to 5 PM
Directions to the monthly workshops/musters at Roger Moskey's house:
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. Go past Cascades Parkway, and at the next light take a right onto PALISADES Parkway, then an immediate left onto "Triple 7" (Route 777). Pass 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 just to the right of the middle.
ADLOCVTIO is the Official Newsletter of the Twentieth Legion, published on the Ides of each month. The usual drill: Matthew Amt... The Legio XX website is http://www.larp.com/legioxx/