Remember how much fun the Bethlehem Market Place is every other Christmas? Well, here's an even bigger show: "A Walk Through Bethlehem", held at the headquarters of the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Silver Spring. This is just north of White Oak, at the intersection of Colesville Rd./Columbia Pike (Rt. 29) and Randolph Rd./Cherry Hill Rd. The show runs for 6 nights, Dec. 1-2, 4-5, and 7-8, from 6 PM to about 9:15 each night. Public admission is $1 plus a non-perishable food item. Dick Stenbakken, the contact for this, says that 2000 people come through each night! Presumably we'll be doing much the same sort of things that we have done at St. Luke's, and an added bonus is that the floor is carpeted--no slipping on hobnails! No pila or packs will be needed, unless you want to sling your satchel. If you can only come out one or two nights or all six, just let me know, but call me soon, please!
The Twentieth Legion Saturnalia party will be held at the home of Roger and JJ Moskey on December 11, from 4 PM until everyone goes home. All Members and Associates are invited, but no children or pets may attend. Bring something edible to share, and feel free but not compelled to wear Classical attire. Roger has a selection of libational liquids, and you may bring your own favorite amphora if you like. Please contact the hosts at 703--- to let them know what you are bringing, or if you need suggestions. The party place is at 304 Terrie Drive, Sterling, VA, 20165. Directions:
From the I-495 Beltway, take exit 12B VA-267 Toll West to Dulles Airport. After paying toll ($0.50), take the first exit, Exit 16 Leesburg Pike Route 7 West for approximately 11 miles. Take a right at Palisades Parkway, then take an immediate left onto Triple 7 (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). The Moskey house is in the middle, #304.
Most of you have already heard that Albion Armorers has started to receive their Roman helmets from their suppliers. So far just brass ones have come in: Coolus C and E, Italic C, and 2 varieties of Gallic I (Mainz and Aquincum). Basically, they are great! The first pictures we had seen back in July showed a number of mistakes, but happily most of those have already been eliminated. There are other little details which are not exactly accurate, but Albion will be working with the manufacturers (and with myself and Dan Peterson) to "fine tune" them. Also, they just got their Greek Corinthian and Attic helmets, like those shown in Dan Peterson's book (pages 8 and 12), and they are pretty nice, too. The first steel helmets, Gallic G and H and Italic D, should arrive in a couple weeks. Albion is working on getting pictures of all these on their website (www.albionarmorers.com/home.htm).
Over the next several months, more equipment will become available, including weapons, armor, belt parts, mess pans, shields--eventually, almost everything a Roman soldier needs, vastly cheaper and quicker than commissioning pieces "one-off" from our usual armorers. For those worried that most of this stuff is made in India, fear not! Albion wants it to be authentic just as much as we do, and the Indians have always had the technical skill necessary to make good reproductions. The problem was that Museum Replicas and other importers didn't know or care enough to give their manufacturers better guidance, so they flooded the market with junk. What we're getting now might never be perfect (heck, nothing is!), but it's certainly as accurate as most armorers have done so far, and better than many. Even the best craftsmen make mistakes! The Coolus, Gallic I, and Italic C helmets have the "Legio XX Stamp of Approval", and I can give you more details about them if you need. I expect that the next ones to arrive will also be "approved", but I'll give a full report when I see them.
Roger Moskey discovered a place to get leather and leather supplies, called Tricks of the Trade: Village Centre, PO Box 342, Great Falls, VA 22066, 703---. It's a small place with a decent but limited supply of leather, but it also carries dyes, which eliminates the need to pay outrageous "hazardous materials fees" if ordering dyes by mail.
John Dittamo has been book shopping, and recommends Oxbow Books and Heritage Books in the UK, and says that Bookfinders.com is a lot of help, too. Oxbow's American counterpart is the David Brown Book Co. in Connecticut, 800-791-9354.
I recently made contact with William Marshall-Hall of New Brunswick, Canada, who is planning to open an archeologically correct Celtic fort museum in 2001. Its purpose is to be not only educational but also a venue for Celtic-style feasts, though of course it may need to be stormed ocassionally by some good Romans. For more details contact him.
The registration materials for Military Through the Ages (MTA) just arrived. I'm not going, but if someone else wants to lead the Legion into the cold mud I'll give you the paperwork. The deadline for registration is January 7, so if no one volunteers by Christmas I'll tell Jamestown we're not participating. Yes, this used to be one of our most important events, but now with three events at Marietta and two at Fort Washington each year, I for one can do without the hassle of MTA.
I finished my Greek hoplon, greaves, and scabbard, and have started on my linen cuirass. You're gonna be jealous!
Ed Safford passed this along to me:
"CAMINREAL, Spain (AP) -- Archaeologists sifting through ruins that yielded a Roman catapult 15 years ago have seen their patience rewarded again, this time unearthing the wheels of a chariot. A team from the Provincial Museum in the Teruel region of northeast Spain made the find last month at the site of a first century B.C. Roman settlement where they have been digging every summer since 1984. The iron wheels, a pair of them, are heavily corroded but intact enough for researchers to cart them off for restoration and exhibition, Pilar Punter, a member of the team, said Tuesday. The wheels are about 3 feet in diameter and have four spokes each. Punter said she believed the chariot was a two-wheel model but it was not clear if it was used for military or transport purposes. ``We have to keep looking for other remains to see if they give us clues,'' Punter said. Back in 1984 the same team found the base structure of a special kind of catapult known as a ``scorpion,'' Punter said. Rather than lob rocks, it fired off giant darts."
Like many momentous archeological finds, this one raises more questions than it answers. There is no evidence that I know of for the Romans using chariots for anything other than races or parades, so the first question is whether these wheels are from some other sort of vehicle. If they are indeed made completely of iron, that definitely suggests something special, but this is a pretty vague description. If anyone else comes up with more info on this, do pass it along to us!
ONE MORE THING
A fellow named Steve Hick is attempting to arrange an appearance somewhere in the DC area by Keith Ducklin, Senior Interpreter of the Royal Armouries Museum, England. It may be in early March, or later in the year. The program will include demonstration and maybe instruction in various ancient and medieval fighting techniques and would probably cost about $20 to $30 per participant. For more info, contact Steve.
Dec. 1-8 --Walk Through Bethlehem, Seventh Day Adventist Headquarters, Silver Spring. See above for details.
Dec. 11 --Saturnalia Party at Roger Moskey's house, starting 4 PM. See above.
April 15-16 --Marching Through Time, Marietta Mansion, MD.
April 29-30 --"Universal Soldier" encampment, Fort Washington, MD.
June --Roman Days, Marietta Mansion, MD.
ADLOCVTIO is the official newsletter of the Twentieth Legion, published approximately on the Ides of each month. The Editor, also the Commander of the Legion, is Matthew Amt. The Legion website is at http://legioxx.webjump.com. Astronomical note: Leonid Meteor Shower, November 18 (and maybe 17?), low in the east, peaking at 9 PM. Valete!