Vol. XIV, no. vi, June 2004
ROMAN DAYS SUCCESS
The usual Great Big Thank You goes out to everyone who made this year's Roman Days another great big success! We had representatives from more groups than ever: Legiones XXIV, I Italica, III Cyrenaica, XI Claudia, and XXX Ulpia, and of course Academia Gladiatoria, Nova Roma, and a few stray (but appreciated!) Celts. Special thanks of course to Susan Wolfe and the other folks at Marietta Mansion for all the logistics and other help they give.
While it did seem that there were fewer troops in our drill demonstrations than usual, the encampment and market areas were always busy and there was the added thrill of an artillery and missile display. We missed La Wren's Nest this time, but Merchant Adventurers, Usborne Books, and Walker's Historiographic Cards were there to take peoples' money. Merlinia was not able to come and serve her usual Roman feast, but Allison Campbell heroically stepped in to feed us all very well. A gentleman from New York brought a CHARIOT. Bean the Barbarian barely bore up to a blistering beanbag barrage.
The Sunday morning Olympics were also a bit small--the threat of rain may have scared off a few legionaries, perhaps? But this meant that Quintus was actually able to WIN the armor race! It was close--I had to use my Beltway Commuter skills to run Tim Rich off the course in the turn. Steve Peffley, unsurprisingly, was the winner of the Pilum Throwing competition.
I am constantly amazed at the number of people who drive eight, ten, or twelve hours or more each way to attend this event. And then they tell me what an incredible time they had, and how it was worth every minute of the drive. Words fail me (and that's saying something!).
Many of you have already heard me whine about not running Roman Days next year, but fear not! Deb Fuller has stepped up to take charge, and has ALREADY started organizing things--see below. I'm amazed again. The date may change, so stay tuned. There may also be changes in how we parents and pet owners have to control our children and animals--see belower.
For some photos of Roman Days, see Dan Diffendale's page, http://www.sas.upenn.edu/~dpd/romandays2004.html, and Lee Holeva's at http://188.8.131.52/roman/romandays2004/RomanDays2004.html . More photos will be posted on the Legio XX site eventually.
ROMAN DAYS PLANNING FOR 2005 by Deb Fuller
Roman Days 2004 went well and a fun time was had by all. The weather cooperated for the most part and everyone had great displays! Matthew's taking a break for next year so I'm taking over coordinating the event. Since Matt's got mightly big caligae to fill, I'm trying to get as many people involved as possible. If anyone wants to be involved in the planning of Roman Days 2005 at Marietta Mansion or just wants to keep up with what is going on, please go to the RomanDays yahoogroups at:
Let me know who are you and
unit you belong to or what persona you portray. This is open to
who is interested but I'd especially like unit commanders or unit
contacts to sign up to make easier to send out announcements.
Also, if there are people or units not on this list or elsewhere on the 'net that you think would like to participate in Roman Days, please let me know that as well.
Thanks in advance, guys, and I hope to see you all next year if not sooner!!
Sulla Lepidina, Legio XX
CHILDREN AND DOGS AT MARIETTA--A Note from Jane Walker (the
Susan Wolfe, the site manager at Marietta, came to me Sunday afternoon (at Roman Days) to discuss the issues of re-enactors' children and dogs at events. There were problems and potential problems that we discussed and tried to find solutions for.
Children: Two problems that I personally know of were: 1) Young child re-enactor was found wandering in the parking lot and playing with the parked cars. 2) Two children re-enactors playing tag around the bookseller's stall ran into a young visitor (AFTER being told to stop). My own "perfectly well behaved" 11-year-old was involved in this incident. There apparently were other incidents as well. If you bring your children to future events at Marietta be prepared to keep them occupied in your camp doing a historical impression and do not allow them to walk around at any time without your close and attentive supervision. Marietta Mansion is not a daycare or recreation center, and we want to be invited back, not get the site involved in a liability lawsuit because we failed to take preventive responsibility for our own kids.
Dogs: To start, understand that Susan allowed dogs once years ago, and a visitor got bitten by a dog whose owners were sure the dog would be fine at the event. Her job could be on the line if it happens again, and we can't afford to lose HER. I suggested that she allow people to bring their dogs if the dogs have passed the Canine Good Citizen Test. If you have a dog and want to bring it in the future, you will probably have to provide a copy of the dog's Canine Good Citizen Certificate ahead of time. Susan may also require that all dogs be part of a historical educational presentation. I don't have information about how and where to take the test at this moment, but it should be available online. I plan to take the test with our dog eventually (don't even have the dog, yet!). Too bad there isn't such a test for our kids....
IN STABIANO from Linda Thompson
Salvete: I happened to get a chance to see the Stabiae exhibit at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum this past weekend. It's a small exhibit -- takes about 1/2 to 3/4 of an hour to walk through and at least glance at nearly everything -- but it's worth a look for anyone interested in civilian life and culture. A few historical details in case anyone isn't familiar with Stabiae: it lies to the southeast of Vesuvius, farther away than Herculaneum and Pompeii, but was still close enough to be destroyed by the eruption. Stabiae contained a number of villas belonging to wealthy people; the exhibit focuses on three villas that have yielded a number of artifact finds. One of Stabiae's main claims to fame is that it's where Pliny the Elder died. Pliny the Younger explains in his letter to Tacitus that his uncle had originally intended to sail to Herculaneum to rescue a friend, but the eruption made the water in the Bay of Naples too rough to get there, so Pliny E. changed course and went to Stabiae, where his friend Pomponianus lived. Pliny E. found Pomponianus and his household sometime in the afternoon or early evening of August 24th (the eruption had begun around 1 PM that day). He stayed with them throughout the first day of the eruption, trying to calm their fears. Sometime on the second day, the group decided it was too dangerous to stay in the house, so they left and went to the shore of the bay. It was on the shore that Pliny E. collapsed and died, and where his body was found on the third day after the eruption began. Not as many
everyday items have been found in Stabiae; speculation is that since it was farther removed from the volcano, the inhabitants had more advance time to pick up and carry off items of value.
Since the Stabiae villa owners were wealthy, they could afford good quality work in such things as their wall frescoes. You can see this in the examples on exhibit; one of Stabiae's most famous frescoes is the one called "Flora" -- a goddess facing away from the viewer carrying a bouquet of flowers, painted on a light green background. The exhibit also contains a reproduction of a triclinium (dining room), an almost perfectly intact marble krater, some examples of glass bowls and jars, and the remains of a few agricultural tools. There are also pictures showing some of the excavation work, plus a display of a planned visitors' center for the site. The visitors' center is being designed by the University of Maryland School of Architecture, by the way, working in cooperation with the Restoring Ancient Stabiae Foundation. The intent is not only to create a museum and archaeological park, but to have the site serve as a way to help revitalize the economy of Castellammare di Stabia, the modern city built on/near the ancient one.
From Richard Campbell, "The Roman Pronunciation of Latin" by Frances Ellen Lord, http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/gutbook/lookup?num=7528
Some photos of "Roman Days Northeast", Connecticut, are here: http://184.108.40.206/roman/romandaysNE/RomanDaysNortheast.html
Gosh, quiet summer, eh? There will probably be a July Workshop, but probably NOT on July 3. Stay tuned.
ADLOCVTIO is the Official Newsletter of the Twentieth Legion,
published on the Ides of each month. I am Quintus, aka Matthew
the Legion's Commander and Editor of the Newsletter, http://www.larp.com/legioxx/.