Vol. XI, no. ii, February 2001
NEWS FLASH! LUPERCALIA PARTY CHANGE!
The Legion's Lupercalia bash has been moved from the Moskey residence to Richard and Allison Campbell's house in Alexandria, VA. Hopefully everyone who was planning to come has already gotten the directions, but if you need them or need more information, contact Richard or Matthew.
The Legion has been invited to perform at the Maryland Junior Classical League's annual convention on Sunday, March 25. It will be held at the College of Notre Dame in Baltimore, MD, and runs from 9 AM to 4 PM (though I'm not sure we have to be there that early). The Legion will be paid $100 for this, so let's give them a good show. Contact Quintus as usual.
Marching Through Time (MTT) will be on
21-22 at Marietta Mansion in Glenn Dale, Maryland. This is our
weekend with a couple dozen other groups from various historical
from us Romans up through World War II. A couple of us will
be there on Friday the 20th, setting up the camp as groups of school
come through, roughly 10 AM to 2 PM. You are welcome to come that
day if you can, but we don't need the whole Legion so there's no
The main event kicks off on Saturday, please be there by 10 AM if you
I believe cars have to be off the site by then, and you can park either
along the road (Rt. 193) or at the Recreation Center lot (shuttle vans
will be running continuously). The event is open to the public
11 AM to 5 PM both days, and we will have at least one drill
each day, probably soon after opening. Our civilians may be set
in a different area from the military camp, depending on how many we
and with what displays (the caupona might not be ready by
Admission for the public is probably $5 for adults and $2 for students.
April 28-29 is the Universal Soldier encampment at Fort Washington, Maryland. This is another multi-period event, smaller than MTT and more laid-back. It runs 10 AM to 5 PM on Saturday, and 10 AM to 3 PM on Sunday (please arrive an hour or so before opening). There is a registration form which you need to fill out if you plan to attend, so let me know, please. The park really emphasizes the military end of things (well, it IS a fort), but if civilians would like to attend I'm sure we can wedge you in, there's lots of space.
A couple weeks ago I stumbled across a wonderful book at an antiques mall, Yigael Yadin's "Bar Kochba". It details his excavations at the Cave of Letters near the Dead Sea back in the 1960s, and the fabulous finds of documents, clothing, and other artifacts from that cave and others in the area. The finds date to the Bar Kochba revolt against the Romans in 132 AD, in which a number of rebels took refuge in these caves. They were put under siege by Romans who encamped at the tops of the cliffs, and eventually were starved or smoked out. Naturally the documents and letters are fascinating, but I went straight for the part about the clothing. These are the same garments illustrated in Peter Connolly's book variously titled "Living in the Time of Jesus of Nazareth", "The Holy Land", etc., but with more detailed photos and drawings. Balls of wool and yarn were found, and things like purple ritual tassels which were worn on some Jewish garments of the time. A collection of Roman bronze jugs and pans was found, on which every human or animal face had been filed off to comply with Commandment against "graven images".
It's a great book, and I only paid twenty bucks for it! Yadin also did excavations at Masada, detailed in a book by that name--THAT would be good to have! Needless to say I'm going to be paying a little more attention to bookshelves at antique and flea markets from now on.
I have ordered Volume 8, 1997, of the Journal of Roman Military Equipment Studies, and am impatiently awaiting its arrival. It has a number of articles on Republican era equipment. And I just heard that Volume 9 is out now, so I'll have to order that as well.
The Waddells and Albion up and moved to New Glarus, Wisconsin a couple weeks ago. They bought a former sausage factory with (as I recall) about 45,000 square feet of space for WORKSHOPS, retail area, forge, storage, loading docks, office, and cat heaven. They plan to import craftsmen from several countries and expand their capabilities in all directions. BUT it's gonna take a little time for them to get moved in and back up to speed, so if you've been trying to call them or email, just relax and wait a bit longer.
Yes, there is a lorica segmentata on Albion's website, and yes, I've seen it, right before they moved. It's good! It's from International Steelcrafts in India, and is based on one that I rebuilt for them to use as a model a few months ago. The only problem is that the Indians used the original bad lobed hinges instead of the good one that I had made as a model, but they've been told to fix that. With that and a couple minor adjustments, it'll be a great lorica. (Heck, even the old hinges could have been worse, a little off in shape and a single layer of heavy brass like a modern hinge, rather than the correct folded construction.) (But you know how picky I am about hinges!)
On Albion's page of Celtic armor are two new pieces, one a bronze Coolus which I have not seen (looks a little shallow but that might just be the angle of the photo), and a bronze Montefortino. The latter is based on drawings of a Roman one in Robinson dating to the 3rd or 4th century BC, and it has a nice cabled rim. My only concern is the crest knob, which doesn't look like anything Roman, but it apparently resembles a Celtic type. This is the prototype, so there might be some differences on the production models. Oh, and have you seen the bronze Urnfield Celtic sword?? Drool, drool!
Dan Peterson was over in India a couple months back, working with Deepeeka on new Roman stuff. The fruits of his labors (and a few other things, I think) are visible on the Deepeeka website, www.deepeeka.com, though you can not order directly from that site and there are no prices listed. Patience, Albion will probably add the best pieces to their line; Nix Imperial Creations already shows everything and Blacksword likely will, too, though both will have the bad items as well as the good. I can only give a quick review here, since I have not seen any of these items in person and can only judge by the photographs.
There is an Imperial Gallic A helmet and a type C, and an Auxiliary Infantry type B, all of which look perfect, and the gaudy Italic H from Niedermormter in both brass and steel versions, also excellent. Five new cavalry helmets, second to third centuries, look pretty good, though I'm not sure about the up-angled browguards on two of them (have to check that). The Montefortino B has the wrong crest knob and shouldn't have the brow reinforce, and the "3-disc helmet" is supposed to be something early Republican but... On the other hand the two new Celtic helmets look really cool! There is a new Pugio which is visibly better than their old one though I can't make out the details of the scabbard, and a gorgeous "Late Late Roman sword" (third century spatha). The lorica was supposed to have been improved, can't make out the details. There is a Patera which I also can't quite see enough of, though the canteen looks just like the reconstructions in Simkins or Peterson. Two different belts are listed, can't see a thing about them, plus caligae and a red woolen tunic--have to hold judgement till I see them. TWO scuta, both with good brass bosses and rims and very nice paint jobs, though I believe there is no fabric or leather covering over the wood--not good. (Hey, Dan, can they make them plain red?)
The new Greek muscled and bell cuirasses may need some adjustments before they are actually wearable (too long and too wide across the front), and the gladiator helmets are apparently being revised.
If you need more details, let me know, but remember, I can only go by the little pictures.
I made a new scutum for MYSELF! I got tired of the brass and steel emblem on my old one needing to be cleaned all the time, so the new one is all painted. I did make a slight redesign of the wing to make it a little fancier and closer to what's shown on Trajan's Column. And having had my fill of making brass rims, this shield is "rimless", the leather on the front being folded over the edge and stitched down. It's a HECK of a lot less work, and definitely a good option if you don't have the capability to do a good brass rim.
Roger recently got a lorica and an Imperial Gallic type G helmet from Joe Piela, both of which are wonderful, of course. The helmet bowl is raised in one piece! Apparently it was a lot more work than Joe had expected, so if you want one-piece steel from now on, you'll be paying big denarii for it. Joe also did a Pompeii gladius for Roger, very nice work as usual though I'm wondering if the hilt and scabbard are larger than they should be. (I'll have to dig up some solid dimensions on that.)
ROMAN TOUR by Bob Garbisch, Legio X Fretensis
You and your friends are invited to be a participant in a very special Roman tour. This special tour of Roman sites and museums will perhaps be a once in a lifetime adventure. Through special arrangements and friendly connections here is what is being offered. This adventure will be a two week tour. The first week will be travelling through France, Germany, and Switzerland. The second week will be in England.
Our guide for the tour in Europe will be the leading Roman Historian, Peter Connolly. He is extremely keen on conducting this part of the tour. His tour schedule would include visits to the Roman museums at St. Germain, Alesia, Hezvetii Battlefield, Saalburg Fort & Museum, Teutoburger Forest, Ariovistus Battlefield, plus various other museums and sites that he has visited frequently.
In England, we would have the guide services of another noted Roman Historian, Charles Wesencraft, for our personal tour of Hadrian's Wall. A visit to the Roman city of Bath would be included, if so desired.
From our own personal experiences of having travelled with the tour services offered by Peter and Angela Smith, I can truly guarantee you that it will be a very rewarding experience. The current estimated cost for this journey, departing from Dulles Airport, Washington D.C. area, is figured to be in the region of $2,250 per person. The ground distances we will need to travel are approximately 2,400 miles. Travelling in Europe is more costly than England.
This estimate is based upon a minimum reservation of 30 people travelling. We can go up to about 48 people maximum. This is for one bus load. In the past, their tours have included breakfast as part of the cost. This trip would be scheduled for sometime in August, 2002.
Please respond to this invitation by Feb. 10th of at least expressing your interest and intentions for going on this great Roman adventure. I will be personally discussing this trip with Peter on the morning of Feb. 11th.
[Editor's Note: Sorry, this deadline is already past, but it seems to have been just for initial planning, so contact Bob for more info]
From Associate Member Andy Buse: "I work at a door hardware factory and being in customer service, I know a lot of people, and in the course of this project I have learned that my company, like many others, actually pays to have their brass scraps to be hauled away. At least three fifty gallon drums a week! I have been able to get my hands on all the thick brass I need, but you might want to suggest to anyone who asks, to call big door hardware places and ask for tech services, who are closer to their factories than most employees, and inquire about scrap brass. Most of the pieces are small, but at the beginning of all stamping (usually the beginning of the week), they shear off a large section of intact brass to make a straight edge for stamping."
February 17 --Feast of Lupercalia at Domus Campbell. Details above.
March 3 --Monthly Muster--Double-check before you come, to make sure this has not been cancelled or moved.
March 25 --Legion demo for the Maryland Junior Classical League, Baltimore
April 7 --Monthly Muster
April 21-22 --Marching Through Time, Marietta Mansion
April 28-29 --Universal Soldier, Fort Washington
June 9-10 --ROMAN DAYS, Marietta Mansion
September 2001--Large timeline event in Paris, France. Contact Bruno Dienot. (This isn't an official Twentieth Legion event, but
a number of people have expressed interest.)
October 4-6, 2001--ROMEC XIII at Vindonissa, Switzerland. For more info, see http://www.unibas.ch/arch/ROMEC/index.html
Happy Valentine's Day--Have you sent your Beloved Leader a nice big box of chocolates? ADLOCVTIO is the official monthly newsletter of the Twentieth Legion. The Editor is Matthew Amt, http://www.larp.com/legioxx/index.html. Valete!