Vol. XI, no. iii, March 2001
The Legion has been invited to perform at the Maryland Junior Classical League's annual convention on Sunday, March 25, at the College of Notre Dame in Baltimore, MD. We are supposed to get there about 10:30, and we'll give a presentation from 1:30 to 2:30 (the convention runs from 9 AM to 4 PM). The Legion will be paid $100 for this, so let's give them a good show. Contact Quintus as usual.
Directions to the College of Notre Dame of Maryland.
From the DC area or points farther west, get on I-695 Baltimore beltway heading towards Towson (north/west/clockwise/inner loop). From Philadelphia, etc., come down I-95 and get on 695 heading west towards Towson.
Take Exit 25 onto North Charles Street, heading south. Go 4.6 miles and the entrance to the College is on the left, just past Homeland Ave. (but before Coldspring Lane).
Last year the Classical League activities were in or near Knott Science Center, at the rear right corner of the campus as you come in from the gate, but we were on a lawn a little closer to the entrance (with a dorm between us and Knott). Just stay to the right as you drive through campus and don't turn left, and you should find our area.
Marching Through Time
will be on April 21-22 at Marietta Mansion in Glenn Dale,
This is our annual weekend with a couple dozen other groups from
historical periods, from us Romans up through World War II. A
of us will actually be there on Friday the 20th, setting up the camp as
groups of school kids come through, roughly 10 AM to 2 PM. You
welcome to come that day if you can, but we don't need the whole Legion
so there's no obligation. The main event kicks off on Saturday,
you must be there before 9 AM if you want to bring your car into camp
order to unload. No cars will be allowed in after 9 AM. All
cars have to be out of the camp before 10 AM, and will not be permitted
back until after closing on Sunday. You can park either along the
road (Rt. 193) or at the Recreation Center lot (shuttle vans will be
continuously). The event is open to the public from 11 AM to 5 PM
both days, and we will have at least one drill demonstration each day,
probably soon after opening. Our civilians will be setting up
across from the Legion's camp, in the "circle" at our end of the
field. Admission for the public is probably $5 for adults
$2 for students.
There is renewed concern about safety at MTT, since the paranoiacs at the Park and Planning Commission have finally noticed the event. We must not allow visitors to handle weapons, and we will need to have someone specifically on duty in our camp at all times, to make sure nothing gets carried off. Camp fires must have a water bucket, that sort of thing. We might be asked to volunteer a couple people to help with crowd control on the demonstration field, probably just for the demo after ours. There may be more details next month. Nothing really new or arduous, we just have to be careful not to relax on safety.
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.
This month's reading is Volume 8, 1997, of the Journal of Roman Military Equipment Studies. If you are interested in the Republican era, GET THIS BOOK. That's what it's all about! It has articles on helmets, pila, and swords, the latter being the most interesting and informative.
It turns out that the standard theory of gladius development, from Spanish waisted sword to Roman "gladius Hispaniensis" to Mainz type to Fulham type to Pompeii type is probably not correct! The problem is that a number of Roman swords from the 2nd and 1st centuries BC have now turned up, and they are all long and skinny. The blades run about 24" to almost 27" in length (60 to 67.5 cm), not counting the tang, and 1-3/4" to 2-1/4" in width (4.5 to 5.5 cm). The points are longer than on a Pompeii sword, but not always as long as on a Mainz blade. Some of the blades are very subtly waisted (narrowing below the hilt and widening out before the point), but some seem to have parallel edges. A few have been preserved inside their scabbard frames, which can obscure the exact blade shape. The waisted Spanish sword as shown in Connolly, with the double-lobed pommel ("atrophied antenna hilt"), was generally much shorter and wider, the waisting was much more pronounced, and the blade was often grooved. There is no way that the Republican gladius could have been copied from that! (And the Mainz pattern does not seem to have shown up until a century or more after the similar Spanish type disappeared.)
To make a long story short, it appears that the Spanish adopted the northern Celtic La Tene type I sword and modified it into their own local style, which the Romans in turn copied and called "gladius Hispaniensis". Even the scabbard evolution points to this, the actual Celtic examples having sheet metal scabbards with a flat loop on the back for the sword belt. Some Spanish examples have been modified by the addition of bands or strips to hold two rings on one side, the next step being wood and leather scabbards with just two horizontal metal bands and and two rings. The Roman examples also have two bands and two rings, though they usually have a metal guttering all the way around the edge, and sometimes more horizontal bands at the throat and chape. At some point the Romans went to four rings.
The article does not explain how we get from there to the Mainz, Fulham, and Pompeii types. Well, some gladii identified as Mainz blades are pretty long and not very wide, so it's not a great leap to see some of them simply getting wider in the Augustan period or later. The Fulham type isn't really much different from the gladius Hispaniensis, just shorter. The Pompeii pattern may be a completely new design, though it may simply be a divergent development, getting shorter in the blade and point.
Unfortunately there is nothing about the hilts! The shoulders of the blades are all sloped or rounded, not flat and straight like later pieces, and the tangs are all empty. Only the Delos sword, previously published in Bishop and Coulston, has a number of iron nails stuck to the tip of the tang by their points, so apparently that pommel was studded in some way. Guess we'll have to dig though the artwork for suggestions, until something else turns up.
Anyway, buy this book! It is also entitled L'Equipement Militaire et l'Armament de la Republique, and the editor is M. Feugere. It is available from David Brown Book Company, www.oxbowbooks.com/ . Order Volume 9 as well, it's out, too!
The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Philadelphia will be opening new galleries on Rome and the ancient world in October of 2002, and the Legion has been invited to put on a display for the opening celebrations. The Coordinator tells me, "There will be lots of activities in the Museum on that day, a fashion show of ancient costume, demonstrations of Roman glass blowing, Roman style feasting, a theatre performance set in ancient Rome, films, tours, lectures and much more." Not to mention that fact that the Museum is well worth seeing in any case. It would be a one-day display on a Saturday, though there might be a "members only" activity on Friday. Naturally I responded that we'd love to do it, and I'll pass along more details as I get them.
LUDI CALEDONIANI by Martin Hickey
"Do you think anyone from the 20th or other groups closer might enjoy comming down to an encampment that the SCA is sponsoring at the International Highland Games in Glasgow KY this summer? We have large earth work wall that we set up all the "unperiod" tents behind every year and put the period tents in the front. We joked about setting up pickets and having the Romans on one side and the barbarian Scotts on the other side. Well it looks as if the idea of going bronze age Scott is catching on, particularly since so many of the guests at the game will be 18th - 19th century in dress. All we really do need is a group of Romans... Just a thought, what do you think? It's going to be a blast of a party, 20k worth of participants and spectators..."
ROMAN BRITAIN TOUR
Mike Bishop recently posted this to the Roman Army list: "Bearing in mind discussions on trips to Britain, and earlier interest in Peter Connolly's venture into battlefield tours, those who would like a whirlwind tour of Roman military sites in Britain may care to have a look at the following. It is *not* cheap (the UK is not cheap!) and you would have to put up with my sense of humour for 12 days." There is a website for details, http://www.andantetravels.co.uk/Tours/RomansBrit/romansbrit.html
ROMAN EUROPE TOUR
Bob Garbisch of Legio X Fretensis in California is coordinating a tour of Roman sites in Europe, the guides for which include Peter Connolly. It will take place on July 27 through August 10, 2002, and is limited to 48 persons. The itinerary includes Cologne, Kalkriese, Alesia, Paris, and Hadrian's Wall. The tour costs $2,250 per person, including air fare from Dulles International Airport to England and the return from Glasgow to Dulles, all overnight accommodations, and possibly breakfasts, too. To reserve a place, send a deposit of $250 to Robert W. Garbisch by July 1, 2001, 707---. And contact Bob for more details!
Two new additions to the Links page, Legio VI Victrix in Plymouth, Massachusetts, and a new Legio XX Valeria Victrix in Louisville, Kentucky. Also, a few updated URLs for existing units, and new contact info for Legio XXII Primigenia in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Additions to the Legio XX website include some new text on the Gladius page about the gladius Hispaniensis, and pictures of my new reconstruction of the Kalkriese lorica breastplate on the Kalkriese Lorica page (http://www.larp.com/legioxx/kalklor.html). I also made half a collar section of a Newstead/Carlisle lorica, and a manica (armguard) nearly done, but don't have photos of those yet. (I've been having great fun making all these completely unnecessary hypothetical armor bits, rather than boring myself with all the vital gear that other people need me to make for them! Hey, it's a hobby!)
Money, money! Numismatists will like the Virtual Catalog of Roman Coins, http://artemis.austinc.edu/acad/cml/rcape/vcrc/.
Clips from the new French movie Vercingetorix can be seen at http://premiere.fr/ns_projection/ba2/vercingetorix.html, and more details of the production at http://vercingetorix-lefilm.com/index2.html (Warning! Over 800 K!). The first site has a number of video clips (mpegs), and darn if it doesn't look better than Gladiator! Shiny armor (wrong period, but we expect that), Romans throwing volleys of pila, great fortifications. Some hokey horned Gaulic helmets, that kind of thing (I didn't say it looked GREAT, only BETTER!). So, is there a dubbed or subtitled English version? Thanks to Bill Van Dyne for the URLs.
Yup, I've been puttering with parts of other types of loricae, though there isn't enough information yet for complete reconstructions. The "new" Newstead (or Newstead/Carlisle) collar section has big hinges copied from the Carlisle breastplate, and spiffy brass edging around the neck opening. I think I made the mid-collar plate too short, though, cuz the breastplate tends to press at the throat. Eh, no big deal. I'm still not convinced that there was a hole and brass strip on the breastplate (like the two on the back) for a hook on the girdle section, so I simply didn't put anything there. Photos will go online when I get some.
The manica is just about done, needing only some straps and buckles to secure it. It looks very promising, and flexes like a living thing!
We are starting to get peeks at some of the new Deepeeka equipment. The scutum is on the small side, 36" by 21", and the wood is about a half-inch thick without any leather or fabric covering. So unfortunately it doesn't meet Legio XX's requirements, though the boss and rim are nice. Mike Cope got one of the new daggers, and reports that it is pretty nice. Blade about 9" long with a good midrib, steel scabbard with leather lining and decorated brass plates on the outside, and good suspension loops. Ooo, looks like Deepeeka has been tweaking their gladiator helmets, too--most look pretty good, but hey, there is also a bad copy of Russell Crowe's "Samurai Cat" atrocity from my favorite movie, Gladiator! Gag, choke...
STEVE HUGHES, "WOLF OF ALBION"--BOOK SIGNINGS
"Once again I will be conducting a series of book signings and readings on my novel, The Wolf of Albion. I will be at the following stores on the below dates, and I hope to see you at one of them:
March 17th, Saturday, 2 - 5 PM , Hastings - Valley - E. (E/B I-90 From Spokane to Sullivan off ramp, S/B Sullivan to Sprague Ave, turn right, behind KFC).
March 24th, Saturday, 2 - 5 PM, Hastings - Couer d'Alene, ID (E/B I-90, 30 miles east of Spokane to 4th Ave off ramp, N/B 4th Ave. one bloc, turn right on Best/Appleway and one block east).
March 31, Saturday, 2 - 5 PM, Hastings - Kennewick (new date and location), Highland Center, Kennewick, WA (Tri-Cities - Columbia River Basin area - Take I-90 W/B 60 miles to Ritzville, S/B Highway 395 to Tri-Cities, follow Highway 395 across the Columbia River Bridge into Kenewick until you reach the Highland Center area).
April 14th, Saturday, 2 - 5 PM, Hastings - Northside -Spokane, WA (North end of city)
April 28th, Saturday, 2 - 5 PM, Barnes &Noble Booksellers - Issaquah, WA (13 miles from downtown Seattle, just off I-90).
"For those of you who still have not purchased my novel, barnes & noble.com (www.bn.com) has my book on sale at $18.68, down from the list price of $23.35. However, you can still buy it at even a lower price from 1stBooks Library (www.1stbooks.com) for $14.95. Otherwise, you can purchase it from me at the signings at the listed store prices, but at least you will get an autographed copy."
It turns out that Associate Member Sylvia Shults is also an author, and two of her novels are available through the usual sources. "Golden Horus" is a time-travel story, of a writer thrown back through history to meet King Tut. "Games of Venus" is set in the Roman Empire, and although as the title suggests the story is a romance, I'm told that Legio XX figures prominently.
Just a reminder that all exposed stitching on clothing is to be done by hand. One unforseen detail that just became apparent is that some of the inside seams on women's clothing might be visible when the garment is worn--please double-check that, especially if you have zig-zagged the edges of your linen, etc. These parts will need to be hand-stitched.
March 25 --Legion demo for the Maryland Junior Classical League, Baltimore
April 7 --Monthly Muster, at Roger and JJ Moskey's house, 10 to 5
April 21-22 --Marching Through Time, Marietta Mansion
April 28-29 --Universal Soldier, Fort Washington
May 5 --Monthly Muster
June 2 --Monthly Muster
June 9-10 --ROMAN DAYS, Marietta Mansion
October 4-6, 2001--ROMEC XIII at Vindonissa, Switzerland. For more info, see http://www.unibas.ch/arch/ROMEC/index.html
Happy Ides of March! Got a nice beefy issue for you this time, and not late! Such a deal.
ADLOCVTIO is the official monthly newsletter of the Twentieth Legion. It is partly written and partly cobbled together from spare parts by Matthew R. Amt, aka Quintus, the Legion's Commander. All inquiries regarding membership, subscriptions, submissions, and how to run the planet more efficiently should be addressed thither. The Legion's truly incredible website is at http://www.larp.com/legioxx/index.html. Until next month, Valete!