Vol. X, no. vii, July 2000
After a quiet summer, the fall is looking pretty active. On September 16-17 we'll have our little fall encampment at Marietta Mansion. Lounging and drilling on the lawn, etc., open to the public from 10 to 4 each day.
September 30 to October 1 is the fall Universal Soldier program at Fort Washington. Hopefully they'll have done better advertising and get more than 12 visitors this time. Heck, hopefully they'll get more than 12 participants! Anyway, yes it's small but easy, and it runs 10 AM to 5 PM on Saturday and 10 to 3 on Sunday. If I'm really with it I'll remember to mail the registration forms out to everyone who might need one, so why not let me know if you are going or not?
By the way, when you see the hours that an event is open to the public, and you are participating, please try to be at the site a good half-hour or more before opening. That will give us a chance to get our display area squared away and authentic before the visitors arrive and see one of us still wearing sneakers or putting on sunscreen. Thanks!
One other event coming up is a
new one. On October 28-29, Franklin and Marshall College in
Pennsylvania, is putting on a Greco-Roman festival, of which we are to
be the centerpiece. We will set up our usual camp on their lawn,
though there is space inside in case of foul weather, and they will
us--the plan is for Greek and Roman food. Dave Michaels has been
coordinating this with the faculty, and there will be barracks space
floor) available at his house, also in Lancaster. Between the
at the College and sleeping, however, will be "Roman Revel" at Dave's,
so bring your toga.
Dave is hoping that this event might turn into something big and annual, like Roman Days. The College's Classics and Drama departments may get involved, and other reenactment groups are invited, too. Lancaster is about 2 hours north of the DC area. For more details, you can also contact Dave Michaels, or Harriet Flower at F&M.
It was quite a surprise last week to receive the 1998 issue of Arma, Newsletter of the Roman Military Equipment Conference. (Dr. Bishop apologized for the delay and says the next one is coming soon.) There were a couple fascinating articles in it, as usual. One is a more detailed look at a sword and set of belt parts found at Vindonissa, Switzerland, the scabbard of which is the one embossed with the fist of Jupiter gripping his thunderbolts. (Tom Kolb and George Metz have repros of this.) Turns out that the side gutters are iron, not brass, and there is no mention of metal or leather covering the wood at the back.
But the really wild part is the belt that was evidently wrapped around the top of the scabbard. If all the fittings were present, there were only five belt plates, all different: Wolf and Twins, Emperor and Cornucopia, a fancy Hunt type that might have been round instead of square, a floral motif plate, and one embossed with wings and lightning bolts like a scutum! The kicker is that there was no buckle, only an odd doohicky that looks like a dagger frog, with a disc mounted on a flairing base, except that the base has two large holes instead of a hinge. It is thought that this thing was attached to the "buckle" end of the belt by means of the two holes, and that the free end of the belt was narrowed down to a strip that was simply wound or tied around the disc!! (The article doesn't really say if any leather survived that would help explain this.) I can't decide whether to laugh or cry...
Also found was a hinged buckle like on a lorica, which the authors felt was simply riveted to a strap running through the four scabbard rings and buckled to itself, forming an X-shaped loop for the belt.
This find is oddly paralleled by the dagger and belt from Velsen. In both cases, the owner seems to have blown his budget on a fabulous new scabbard, and was forced to hang it on a second-hand belt cobbled together from spare parts.
The second article of Great
concerns lorica segmentata typologies and details. It is becoming
clear that there was a "Kalkriese" style of lorica, named for the
Forest site where a breastplate and numerous fittings have been
Similar parts have come from late first century BC sites, and from
surprisingly, this armor's lifespan overlapped that of the Corbridge
There are not enough pieces of it to attempt a full reconstruction
but there is evidence of brass-edged neck openings and shoulder guards
made in one piece without hinges.
There is also further evidence that the standard interpretation of the Newstead armor being simplified and lacking hinges is not justifiable. Large hinges with pointed lobes and triangular cutouts have turned up on several sites from the second and third centuries AD, and the only complete breastplate from that era has such a hinge in place. The Newstead pieces themselves are too incomplete to tell if the collar plates were riveted or hinged.
There are new patterns for caligae on our website now. Due to my last 2 pairs blowing out at the heel, I went back to the books (always a good idea) and decided that Simkins has it all wrong. The rectangular cutouts at the back always have rounded corners on the originals, and the way the uppers meet the soles at the very back is different, too. (Connolly is much closer.) So I basically used the pattern in Bishop and Coulston, though I have not yet had a chance to make a new pair. Test it out and let me know how they work, okay?
Small additions have also been made to the Balteus, Helmet, and Lorica pages, thanks in part to Richard Campbell who took some excellent photos at the British Museum. Orton Begner had just sent me a few from the very same display case, and I'll be adding a couple of his, too. Richard had closer shots of the belt parts, though. Thank you, both! The lovely bone buckle I made over the weekend is now visible on the Balteus page, and there are a couple new pictures from Roman Days on the Photos page. I hope to add more, soon.
You recall in a recent issue of Adlocvtio, Dan Peterson had told us that some belt plates that we thought of as being cast were actually just heavy sheet with the design punched into the face. Well, last weekend I made a set of little punches out of masonry nails, using my grinder and Dremel tool. It was child's play, and initial tests of punching are very promising. I plan to photocopy a number of full-size drawings of the desired plate, glue it to some bronze or brass 18-gauge sheet, and simply follow the patterns with my matching punches. Then remove the paper, flatten out the curl (it's gonna curl!), shine up the surface and cut the plates apart. YOU can do this, too!
Advice: Try not to drop your 80-pound anvil on your toe. Don't ask, just trust me on this one.
GROWING EMPIRE AGAIN
Last month I only had partial information on the new legions starting in Georgia and Canada, so here's the full story:
Legio XI Claudia
Paul M. Montello
Legio I Germanica
August 5 --Monthly Muster at Roger Moskey's, 10 AM to 5 PM. (Directions below)
September 2 --ditto
September 16-17 --Fall encampment at Marietta. It will just be the Legion this year, as La Belle Compagnie has moved their weekend to October (something about September being too hot...). Our low-stress event.
Sept 30-Oct 1 --Universal Soldier event at Fort Washington, MD
October 7 --Monthly Moskey Muster
October 28-29 --Classical festival, Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, PA.
December --The annual Walk Through Bethlehem at the Seventh-Day Adventist headquarters may conflict with the bi-annual Bethlehem Market Place at St. Luke's Church, but we probably have the manpower to cover both. They are FUN!
Date Change--The large timeline event in Paris, France, scheduled for Sept 29-Oct 1, has been postponed again, to September 2001. Contact Bruno Dienot. (This isn't an official Twentieth Legion event, but a number of people have expressed interest.)
Directions to the monthly workshops/musters at Roger Moskey's house:
From I-495 Capital Beltway, take Exit 12 B Route 267 Toll Road West towards Dulles Airport. After paying toll (50 cents), take the first exit--Exit 16 Route 7 Leesburg Pike West for about 11 miles. Go past Cascades Parkway, and at the next light take a right onto PALISADES Parkway, then an immediate left onto "Triple 7" (Route 777). Pass Calvary Temple on right, take the next right onto Regina Drive; follow it to the end and take a right onto Markwood Drive. At stop sign take a left onto Terrie Drive (culdesac). #304 is just to the right of the middle.
Really, if I HAD managed to send this out on Friday just BEFORE the Ides, would that have been good for your heart? There's a lot to be said for consistency.
ADLOCVTIO is the consistently slightly late newsletter of the Twentieth Legion. The Editor, nicely settled in his ways, is Matthew R. Amt, a.k.a. Quintus Darius Macro, Commander of the Twentieth. If you want someone else to write something for this publication, contact him. The Legion website (on time, every time!) is at http://www.larp.com/legioxx/index.html. Valete!