Vol. XII, no. vii, July 2002
The Legio XX Fall Encampment will be on September 14-15 at Marietta Mansion. This is our annual "lazy" event, just us on the lawn chucking the occasional pilum. (Hey, some of us haven't recovered from Roman Days, yet!) Public hours are 10 AM to 4 PM each day.
The next Universal Soldier encampment at Fort Washington is on September 28-29. If you've been there before and got a registration form in the mail, fill it out and send it back to the Fort as soon as you can. If you have not been there before, or didn't get a form, be sure to register at the event. This is another "lazy" event, but the other groups and the Fort itself are worth seeing, and we traditionally have a pilum-chucking range.
Saturday, October 26 is a one-day event at University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Philadelphia. They are reopening their Mediterranean World section and we are part of the festivities. I'll scare up some details for next month's issue.
As always, contact Quintus with your hopes, dreams, and needs for all these events.
A few weeks ago the Roman world was contacted by one Minervalis Pictor, an authority on ancient paints and pigments. He has given us, at long last, some solid information on the nature of Roman paints, so that we can evolve beyond the modern (and to him, glaringly wrong!) latex and acrylic paints that we've been using on our shields. The methods that he describes will not be as simple as popping open a can of the right color, but that's all right since we put some effort into all the other aspects of our gear. Having to mix up the proper paint will seem like a lot of trouble at first, but eventually will become part of the routine. And he promises us that the difference will be VERY visible!
The base for the paint starts with a chunk of beeswax left to dissolve in turpentine for a week or so, in a clean glass jar (baby-food jars for initial experiments!). This makes a paste which can be made more fluid simply by adding more turpentine. The process can be shortened to 15 minutes by heating the mixture with a double-boiler on an electric hotplate (open flames will make an explosion!!). This paint base, toughened with a few drops of almond or walnut oil, will work fine on domestic items that are not subject to abuse. But for shields, more strength is necessary, so we need to add either mastic resin, which is apparently expensive, or Dammar varnish, a cheap but acceptable modern substitute. (I'm not sure if "Dammar" is a description or a brand name--Minervalis tends to throw around technical terms.) A supply of this base can be mixed up and stored in a sealed jar. Once applied it dries in a few hours.
The easiest pigments are artists' oil paints that come in little tubes. Minervalis recommends squeezing the contents onto paper bags and letting sit for several hours, for all the excess oil and other unnecessary ingredients to soak out. The resulting pigment is then mixed with the base to get the desired colors. He gives a list of acceptable ancient colors, the codes for which are marked on the tubes of any reputable paint: Pbk9 (black), Pw6 (white), Py35 (bright yellow) , Po20 (yellow orange), Py37 (between Po20 andPy35), Pb73 & 28 (dark blue), Pv15 (ultramarine blue), Pb 27 (indigo), Pb36 (Egyptian blue/green), Pb35, 25 (blue shade), Pr 108 (bright warm red), Pg17 (warm, opaque green), Pg18 (cool, transparent green), Pr101 (earth red) ("often sold as "mars" red.....and thats the imperial red"), Pr42,43 (earth shade), Pbr7 (earth browns). The names of the colors will vary according to the brand, but the numbers are industry standards.
For preparing the surface of the shield, a good-quality "artists' acrylic gesso" should be applied and allowed to dry. A shield which has already been painted should be sanded to remove any brush marks and glossiness.
Even the proper brush can make a difference. Good ones to use are hog bristle or "natural" bristle, or camel hair. Use only round ones or "filberts", not flat or angled shapes. Keep the paint just on the tip and brush in one direction. Cleaning the brush is done by squeezing out as much paint as possible on toilet paper, then cleaning with a spoonful of olive oil and wiping. ("Keep the paint out of the ferrule!")
Since I have not yet tried any of this, this is about as detailed or concise as I can get. You can probably get all the ingredients at a good art supply store (possibly at a craft store, but less likely). Minervalis goes into a lot more detail, discussing things like egg tempera, hand-ground pigments, suppliers for ingredients, etc. I'm planning to try ground-up artists' charcoal sticks for black pigment, as I did for the wax in my writing tablets. You can see more of his writings at the Roman Army Talk board, http://pub45.ezboard.com/bromanarmytalk. I'm working on organizing the raw information into coherent instructions, so once that's done and we have done some tests, we'll talk about banning modern paints. Remember, the reason we were using them is because we didn't know what the Romans used. Now we know.
LOST AND FOUND
Who lost a pilum at Roman Days? It was there when I was packing up so I took it home. It's one of those made by Sean Richards, has a copper ferrule, wooden pegs, and no buttspike. Any claims?
INVITATION FROM ITALIA
I'm the press-office chief of the Roman Historical Group (www.gsr-roma.com) that has a Ludus Gladiatorius, our Ludus Domitio and the Roman Gladiator School.
We're performing, since many years, historical reeactments about the Roman Empire of 1st century A.D.,we were on the covers of the most important magazines and newspapers and on the most seen tv all over the world; and this year, on April 21th, the day of the Rome fundation, we performed a historical parade proceeding from the Coliseum to the Foro Romano, along via dei Fori Imperiali.
We're planning and organizing a very big project to celebrate the Rome foundation anniversary on 20 April 2003 with shows and historical reenactments never seen before.
We'd like to know, now that this project is under construction, if your group is interested to take part of the shows and to be here, on 20 April 2003, to celebrate Rome with us all. We're inviting reenactment groups from all over the world.
You're kindly requested to contact us, replying to me, the project manager, and to let me know if you are interested in this project and sending me all your questions about.
Ferox, the gladiator
ALBANO EVENT RESCHEDULED
The event in Albano, Italy has had to be rescheduled. The possible dates are 30-31 August/1 September, 7-8-9 September, and 13-14-15 September, 2002. Please contact Daniele Sabatini with your thoughts and preferences.
My name is Julio RodrÌguez Gonzalez and I have doctor's degree in Ancient History at Valladolid University, Spain (1997). Just like you, I am really fascinated with the Roman army's world, so I am delighted to let you know about the publication of my book Historia de las legiones romanas (History of the Roman Legions), in Spanish.
It contains a fully history of all the Roman legions, from both the High and the Late Empire, from their conversion in professional units in 107 BC. Their number and full name (with secondary group names) can be also founds, as well the reasons for that number and that name, the camps and provinces where each of them were settled, the campaigns they took part and their known commanders' names.
The book appears in two volumes (the total of both is 816 pages) , which include 19 maps. If you are interested in buying it, I send you its complete reference, its price and the address where you can do so:
Historia de las legiones romanas, ISBN 84-931207-8-2, Price 60'10 Euros. Address: Signifer Libros. Apdo52005. 28080 MADRID (SPAIN). E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or: P"RTICO LIBRERÕAS. C/ MuÒoz Seca, 6. 50005 ZARAGOZA (SPAIN)
Thank you for you attention. Yours faithfully,
Julio RodrÌguez Gonzalez
Richard Saulpaugh found a place with artwork on Roman subjects, http://www.military-art.com/roman_empire.htm
From Darren Nunez, Legio III Gallica, Photos of Memorial Day Event in Georgia, http://communities.msn.com/LEGIOXI/shoebox.msnw
From Merlinia, a couple articles on trade between India and the Roman world:
John Macek found anther article on the same subject, http://www.iht.com/articles/64102.htm
Check out the latest updates to the following sections of the Best Roman Site on the Net (http://www.larp.com/legioxx/): Roman Days (photos and MOVIES from this year's event), Photos, Links, Signum, Squamata, and Scutum.
July 21 --Summer Sunday kids' activities at Marietta Mansion, 2-4 PM. Quintus is taking the cardboard shields to do the Kiddy Cohort routine. Anyone wanna help?
August 3 -- Monthly Workshop/Muster
September 7 -- Monthly Workshop/Muster
September 14-15 --Legio XX Fall encampment at Marietta. Our "laid back" event, just us on the lawn.
September 28-29 -- Universal Soldier encampment, Fort Washington, MD
October 26, 2002 -- Demo at Univ. of PA Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Philadelphia
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. (Actually, I've been taking VA Rt. 193 Georgetown Pike from the Beltway, through Great Falls and up to Rt. 7. Cuts off some of the Beltway, the toll, and much of awful Rt. 7.)
ADLOCVTIO is the Official Newsletter of the Twentieth Legion, supposedly published on the Ides of each month. Have you noticed that I've been using this same conclusion for several months with no jokes added? Durn shame.... I am Quintus, aka Matthew Amt, the Legion's Commander and Editor of the Newsletter, http://www.larp.com/legioxx/. Valete!