NEWSLETTER OF THE TWENTIETH LEGION
Vol. X, no. iv, April 2000
Ecce! The campaign season is upon us! No less than three events coming up:
MARCHING THROUGH TIME (MTT) is this weekend, April 15-16, at Marietta Mansion. Public hours are from 11 AM to 5 PM both days, and admission for non-participants is $5 for adults, $2 for students. Participants should try to get there about 9 AM if possible, so that we can have our cars out of the way and before 10 and maybe have time for some drill practice. Ron Kenat is graciously supplying some of his home-made bread, and I'll have the other usual edible delights. There will be a free barbecue dinner Saturday night for all participants (bring your own cup, bowl, and utensils, Roman or not!), and the tent will be available for anyone who wants to camp out. No idea what the schedule of demonstrations will be, though it's quite possible we'll be first in line. There will be a notebook with registration forms tucked away somewhere--be sure to track it down and fill out your form as soon as you can.
Marietta Mansion is at 5626 Bell Station Rd., Glenn Dale, MD 20769. From I-95/495, the Capital Beltway, take Exit 20 onto Rt. 450 East, go 4 miles, turn left on Rt. 193, then left onto Bell Station Rd. and immediately left into Marietta. For MTT, parking will be available at the rec center on 450 beyond Bell Station Rd. (just follow the signs and take the shuttle vans), or you can park along 193.
UNIVERSAL SOLDIER, April 29-30
at Fort Washington National Park in Maryland. It's another
event, probably a little bigger than last year and hopefully with a
more actually going on. It runs 10 AM to 5 PM on Saturday, and 10
to 3 on Sunday. The tent will be there for camping Saturday
though if you plan to arrive on Friday you'd better let me know.
Fort Washington Park is on Fort Washington Road in Fort Washington, MD (does that make sense?). From I-95/495 the Capital Beltway, take Rt. 210 Indian Head Highway South; go about 4 miles and turn right at the light onto Fort Washington Road, which ends about 3.5 miles later at the park entrance. I believe there is an entrance fee at the front gate, but I never have to pay so how would I know?
For more information on either of these, contact either Quintus or the site contacts: Susan Wolfe for Marietta, 301---; and Fort Washington, 301---.
JAMESTOWN--On May 13-14 the
will be encamped at Jamestown Settlement Park in Williamsburg, VA, as
of a display of the evolution of armor. The Park's museum will
a display of armor found in Virginia compared with similar pieces on
from Europe. We will be camped outside the museum with 5 medieval
and Renaissance groups, all sporting their own sorts of armor. As
a departure from our usual gig, those of us who have equipment from
or later Roman periods are going to be bringing that, to give an
of the evolution of Roman armor. May 13 is Landing Day, the
anniversary of the first landing at Jamestown. Apparently that
be the big day, with Sunday being more relaxed (we won't have to stay
closing). There will be an area for javelin-chucking and
as well as for drill and combat. The Park will feed us on
night, and I expect most of us will opt to camp out rather than try to
find a hotel room at the height of tourist season in Williamsburg.
I have a pack of rules and forms for this, so please let me know if you plan to attend. Let me know if you need directions or other info as well.
SECOND TRUMPET--ROMAN DAYS
June 10-11 is the date for the third annual Roman Days, also at Marietta Mansion. All the Romans (and other ancient types) in the world are hereby invited to participate! Military and civilian living history displays/camps will be lined up on the upper lawn near the house, with merchants and educational static displays down on the field ("Forum") as before. A large area will be roped off for tactical displays, weapon demonstrations, and other activities. My energetic sister Emilie ("Dr. E") is planning some new activities aimed mostly at children, such as mosaic-making, Bean the Barbarian, and the "Kiddy Cohort" (teaching them to drill with cardboard shields).
The schedule so far:
Arrival and set-up, general hobnobbing
10 AM, OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
11 AM, Full muster and opening remarks
12 Noon, Lunch--cooking and eating demos
1 PM, Massed tactical and drill demo
2 PM, Fashion Show
3 PM, Evolution of the Roman Soldier
4 PM, Close to the public
10 AM, OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
11 AM, Olympic competition--Armor Race, Pilum Throw, Hamata Toss, Wrestling, various ball games, etc.
12 Noon, Lunch and rehabilitation
1 PM, Massed tactical and drill demo
2 PM, Fashion Show
3 PM, Closing parade
4 PM, Close to the public
Admission for the public will
a buck or two, and there should be plenty of space on the grounds for
Participants may camp in period or modern tents--the latter should
be set up out of sight on the lower field or simply taken down during
hours. We'll have a large pavilion canopy and a number of smaller
pop-up flies for sun and/or rain protection. (Modern canopies and
flies are permitted because for some reason there just aren't enough
ones to go around...)
If you have any other ideas or need more info, just yell.
AN EVENING WITH DAN PETERSON
A couple weeks ago we finally got to meet Dan Peterson, commander of Legio XIIII Gemina Martia Victrix in Germany. He was in town for an Army museum curators' conference, and came over to my house to visit with me, Tom Kolb, Mike Cope, Roger and JJ Moskey, and Howard Waddell of Albion Armorers. Steve Greeley, one of Dan's veterans who now lives nearby, also dropped by. We chatted about many things, and picked a few tidbits from Dan's brain.
The most fascinating was that many of the narrow-style belt plates that we have always assumed to be cast were apparently cut from heavy sheet brass (18 or 16 gauge) and the design punched into their surface. Dan has seen craftsmen in India doing this sort of work very rapidly, so it would be a lot quicker than lost-wax casting each plate. This would also be much simpler to reconstruct, using masonry nails ground or filed into punches or chisels of the necessary shapes for the design you want. He also said that many of the rivets on these plates were "countersunk", with their heads filed flat and smoothed flush with the surface of the plate, making them nearly invisible (especially when tinned or silvered). Now, it's pretty clear that at least some belt plates were cast, so ours aren't necessarily wrong. But this gives us a whole new option.
Dan also had more information on "canteens" or flasks. He says that most of ceramic flasks that I had thought might be canteens are pretty thin, and could be for bath oil, or some domestic use. His theory is that water was carried in an animal bladder, which in turn was carried in the well-known net bag because you can't stitch a strap to it without causing leaks. Heck, that sounds good to me! So, where do we get animal bladders? Remember, there's probably more than one "right answer" to the canteen question, so we don't have to rule out iron or ceramic flasks completely.
There were other neat revelations, such as one or two surviving shield bosses that are curved in both directions to fit a shield which was DISHED instead of just curved. We all got him to autograph our copies of his book, and stayed up too late. Thanks again for coming over, Dan!
Brian Crawford kindly plucked this from www.happycookers.com and sent it in:
"Pan Browned Polenta
"One of the many dishes dating back to antiquity, polenta was the staple food of the Roman army. The original version was made with wheat and millet, but today the dish is based on coarsely ground cornmeal. These thick slices of vegetable-flecked polenta, browned quickly in a little oil, make a good accompaniment for steak or skewered beef.
"1 small onion, finely chopped 3 tablespoons each minced green bell pepper and drained, minced, oil-packed dried tomatoes 3 cloves garlic, minced About 1/4 cup oil from dried tomatoes, or 1/4 cup olive oil 4-1/2 cups chicken broth, or vegetable broth 1-1/2 cups La Polenta Baretta
"In a 4 or 5 quart pan over medium heat, combine onion, bell pepper, tomatoes, garlic, and 2 tablespoons oil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add 3 cups of the broth; bring to a boil, uncovered, over high heat.
"Meanwhile, mix polenta with remaining 1-1/2 cups broth. Using a long-handled spoon, gradually stir polenta mixture into boiling broth; it will thicken and spatter. Reduce heat to low and continue stirring for 5 more minutes. Remove from heat and at once spoon polenta into a 4x8" loaf pan. Let stand for 30 minutes to firm (or let cool, then cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days).
"Run a knife around edges of pan and turn polenta out onto a board. Carefully cut crosswise into 8" slices. Cut slices diagonally in half.
"Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 10 to 12 inch nonstick fry pan over medium heat. Add as many polenta slices as will fit without crowding. Cook, uncovered, turning as needed, until golden on each side, about 5 minutes; remove from griddle and keep warm. Repeat to cook remaining polenta, adding more oil as needed."
Editor's Note: Instead of corn meal, a New World product, see what you can find for whole wheat flour, or maybe even millet, at Amish markets, health food stores, etc.
April 15-16 --Marching Through Time, Marietta Mansion, MD.
April 29-30 --"Universal Soldier" encampment, Fort Washington, MD.
May 6-7 --Legio III Gallica event at Destrehan Plantation, New Orleans. Can some of us attend? Contact Darren Nunez, 504---
May 6 --Monthly Muster at Roger Moskey's (for anyone not in New Orleans)
May 13-14 --Armor display at Jamestown Settlement. We will camp by the museum with a couple other "armored" groups as part of this exhibit.
May 26-29 --Settmour Swamp Quest (SCA). Not an official Legio XX event, but a fun time if you want to attend. Contact Fred Henninger Jr., at 609---
June 3 --Monthly Moskey Muster
June 10-11 --ROMAN DAYS, Marietta Mansion, MD.
Sept 30-Oct 1 --Timeline encampment at Fort Washington, MD
Sept 29-Oct 1 --Large timeline event, including over a hundred Romans, in Paris, France. Contact Eric-Alexandre Poher
Whew! Looks like this one will actually go out on the Ides! Those of you who are still getting it on paper probably won't see it before MTT, but you've had plenty of warning so there's no excuse.
ADLOCVTIO is the monthly newsletter of the Twentieth Legion, written, directed, produced by, and starring Matthew Amt, aka Quintus, Editor and Commander. For more information on anything about the Legion or its world-famous publications, contact him. The Legion's website is at http://www.larp.com/legioxx/index.html. Valete!