Vol. VIII, no. iv, April 1998
A couple things got left out of the March issue. Legio X Gemina (Holland) has honored us with their own award for our web site, the first time they've granted this award to a reenactment group. Thank you, comilitiones, and we promise to keep up the good work! Our web site is also now listed on the RomanSites page, at http://www.ukans.edu/history/index/europe/ancient_rome/E/Roman/RomanSites*/home.html
One of our favorite books, Bishop and Coulston's Roman Military Equipment, is no longer in print, but a revised edition is in the works and reportedly due out in about two years. Watch this space.
Shortly after last month's announcement that Moore Push-Pin Co. no longer carried our favorite hobnails, Darren Nunez found a new source: Tremont Steelcut Nails, PO Box 111, Wareham, MA 02571, phone 800-842-0560. Their "Decorative Wroughthead Steelcut Nails" black oxide version, 5/8" (item #CW-58M) are essentially the same as the Moore nails, and cost c. $7.55 per pound (about 295 nails). The world is safe for caligae once again.
MARCHING THROUGH TIME--LAST CALL
This weekend, April 18-19, is Marching Through Time at Marietta Mansion, Maryland. Be there!
SECOND TRUMPET--ROMAN DAYS
The first annual gargantuan east coast gathering of all Romans and other ancient history afficionados will be on June 13-14 at Marietta Mansion in Glenn Dale, MD. So far, positive responses have come from Legio XIV GMV (Ohio), Nova Roma (New England), Imperium Ancient Arts (coins, etc.), and a few scattered individuals. I've also gotten some "maybe's", and I'm hoping to hear from a couple other groups. With any luck, Legio XX will be able to field 8 men and 2 women.
The event will be open to the public from 10 AM to 4 PM, with an admission cost of $1 (One Dollar). There is no formal participant registration, but it will help me to know if you plan to come (hey, I'll take a "maybe"!)(Actually, I don't need to know if you just want to pay your dollar and be a visitor). There is also no fee for merchants. Facilities include water, Porta-Johns, firewood, and straw. There is plenty of space for participant parking and modern camping (in the lower field); visitors will be parking in the gravel lot and on the grass along the access road to the lower field. Most of the event will be set up in the upper field, although there is some space on the lawn by house as well. There will be large canopies for general shade and rain cover, but sunscreen is a good idea anyway! If you need info on local hotels, just give me your mailing address.
Remember, this event is for anyone with an interest in ancient history in general, not just Romans and not just re-enactors. Spread the word!
Marietta Mansion is located at 5626 Bell Station Rd., Glenn Dale, MD. From the Capital Beltway (I-95/495) take Exit 20 A onto Rt. 450 East; go 4 miles, turn left on Rt. 193 East. Take the first left onto Bell Station Rd., and turn left into Marietta.
AFTER-ACTION REPORT--MILITARY THROUGH THE AGES
Well, this year's classic MTA weather had me swearing I'd never go back again. There was rain off and on while we drove down on Friday, and a raging thunderstorm that night. Mike and I were basically dry in the tent during that, as long as we stayed on thick straw, but anything touching the ground got wet. There were forecasts of clearing skies on Saturday, so every time the drizzle stopped our hopes climbed briefly out of the mud. But by the time dinner was served the drizzle had given up and gone back to being a steady rain. I decided that if it was still raining in the morning we would pack up and leave, so naturally it stopped, at last. We actually saw the sun a few times on Sunday, but otherwise it was gray and too chilly to go without pants.
We did have a few new additions to our usual MTA show. Jane was there with her herb-seller's booth, and in my unbiased opinion she was the best part of the camp. Tom Kolb wore the bearskin as signifer for the first time, and looked great. Mike Cope, George Metz, Mark Graef, and Pat Keating (who crossed the continent just to be there!) also braved the weather. Somehow we managed to do almost no marching or drilling, just a brief arms and armor demo for our tactical demo on Sunday morning.
This year the five earliest-period groups were camped between the fort and the waterfront. We were Camp #1 but since the camps were (sort of) in reverse order we were as far from the park entrance as possible. On the plus side, our site had a slight slope (i.e., good drainage), fronted on the paved walkway, was very close to WARM restrooms, and gave us a chance to see all the other tactical demos, for once.
We talked to all sorts of people, and got our picture taken with a wild little digital camera that had a tiny flip-up screen to view the photo just taken. We were all suitably impressed.
Whether or not we go back to MTA or not is up to you folks. If I go, I'll have to sleep in a hotel. That may sound wimpy, but I'm not a soldier under orders and getting paid--I'm a reenactor who has fun dressing as a Roman and talking to the public, and that's very difficult in the cold rain. This year the event's good points were not worth the misery for me, but the chance to dry out and get some decent sleep in a hotel might make the days more tolerable. (It would also spare me from hauling a ton of bedding.) I feel that MTA is an important event because we are seen there by more people than anywhere else. We are also well-appreciated by the other reenactors, and some of the staffers seem to think of us as "MTA's Camp #1". And yes, we only have one other major event each year (unless Roman Days grows into something big). So think about it, and let me know if you want to keep doing MTA or would rather focus on some other activity.
---Needless to say, the weekend after MTA was hot and sunny! Mike and I drove three hours out to the Harrisonburg High School "Certamen", did a one-hour demo, then drove three hours home. The Legion made $150, but don't expect this to become a regular event.
Most of us were sporting new bone sword grips at MTA, and some had pommels and guards by Mike Cope as well. Tom Kolb's new "Wonder Blade", a Mainz type blade by Jeff Hedgecock, made its debut, as did his two new belts with plates cast by Mark Graef, and his gorgeous little parma shield. We put Mike's dolabra (head by Dave Stone, believe it or not!) to the test, and does that little baby split wood! Mike and I each made a couple palisade stakes, and you should, too--or buy one from me or Mike. George Metz was sporting his new helmet, made from a spun brass bowl by Yours Truly. It's copied from the Coolus/Italic thing shown in Warriors of Rome (a legionary helmet in spite of what Michael Simkins thinks), and is similar to Coolus type I.
THE EMPIRE GROWS
Over the last few months I've been in contact with Romans all over the world. Individuals are popping up in Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi, and other states. There are new groups starting (or at least emerging) in New England, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Spain, and Austria. The Internet and email have been vital in allowing us all to contact each other and exchange information, resources, and ideas. In order to share the enormous fun of talking with all these fellow Romans, or just of seeing their web sites, the latest edition of my list of Roman groups and favorite Internet sites is enclosed. (It's been too long since I put a nice tidbit in this newsletter!) Enjoy, and Be Roman!
ADLOCVTIO is the official monthly newsletter of the Twentieth Legion, a not-for-profit educational organization. The Editor and Legion Commander are one and the same: Matthew Amt (Quintus).