Vol. X, no. viii, August 2000
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. Marietta is at 5626 Bell Station Rd., Glenn Dale, MD 20769. (301---) 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.
September 30 to October 1 is the fall Universal Soldier program at Fort Washington. Another small and laid-back event, and it runs 10 AM to 5 PM on Saturday and 10 to 3 on Sunday. (Directions next month, cuz I know you'll lose them otherwise! Or check the website!)
Both of these events are good for newer members. Please let me know if you need to borrow anything! The tent will be available for camping, etc., etc.
On October 28-29, Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, 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 feed us--the plan is for Greek and Roman food. 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. Dave Michaels has been coordinating this with the faculty, and there will be barracks space (i.e., floor) available at his house, which is also in Lancaster. Between the show at the College and sleeping, however, will be a "Roman Revel" at Dave's, so bring your toga.
In June I was contacted by Pedro Bedard of Winnipeg, Canada, and after a brief exchange of emails he revealed that is a bit of a blacksmith. "Terrific!" said I, "We need a hundred pilum heads!" Well, he wasn't quite sure he could do a hundred just then, but was happy to try a few. And did he! We have now gotten 23 pilum heads from Pedro, complete with the little ferrules for the top of the wood shaft, all wonderfully hand-forged. So if you an Active Member of Legio XX, or are working to become so, I may have a pilum head for you (including ferrule, $40 plus shipping). If you are not in Legio XX but need a pilum or two anyway, contact Pedro Bedard, 375 Boyd Ave., Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R2W 1P4, 204---. THANK YOU, PEDRO!! By the way, he likes to do other neat Roman iron objects to break up the monotony of making pilum heads, so if there is something interesting you want, send him some pictures.
Of course, once you have your pointy metal thing you need a stick to stick it on. I bought a 5-foot slab of ash at Custom Woodworks in Laurel, MD, have rough-cut out five pilum shafts from it. A new blade for my old circular saw worked wonders (thank you, Richard Campbell!). The shafts as I cut them are 1" square, with an 8-inch section at the top which is about 1-1/2" square. The top has to be trimmed to the length you want and tapered to fit the ferrule, and of course a slot cut for the pilum tang. And the shaft has to be made round--I found that with a drawknife and a rasp that doesn't take too long. I plan to pick up more wood this weekend. A shaft can just be made from an ash 2x2 (1-1/2" square), especially if you only need one or two, but this wider stuff is what Custom Woodworks had in stock and I didn't want to pay more to have it cut more. Heck, if you can find some place with a nice long lathe they could turn out a shaft for you complete, though it would definitely cost more.
Greg Fabic recently bought a Mainz gladius from Blacksword Armoury, made in India by Deepeeka. That's the company that is making the Dan Peterson line of helmets for Albion Armorers, and they now have swords inspired by his guidance, too. They are MUCH better than the Museum Replicas swords, and considerably cheaper! The two Pompeii gladii are $119 with scabbard, while the Mainz gladius and spatha are only $102, with scabbards. The blades are great, as are the hilts, with inset brass guard plates and nice bone grips. Some of the brasswork on the scabbards is sort of cheesy, looking very stamped-out and not elegant like the originals, much like the details on the Museum Replicas "Maintz" scabbard. And the loops for the suspension rings are little tubes soldered onto the crossbands, which might not be entirely wrong but I'm not convinced. Greg's Mainz scabbard was embossed with designs taken from the Fulham scabbard, the large section filled with a vine motif, a wolf-and-twin motif in the top section, and in the space between them (empty on the original scabbard) an Emperor and Cornucopia design. The embossing in both those smaller sections isn't terrific, the figures being kind of vague and skinny. But like the details on the Pompeii scabbard, any part that you don't like is probably very simple to remove, either to replace it or leave it off. Oh, the pommel on the spatha looks very odd, but that is also easily replaced with a wood ball.
Blacksword's website is http://www.blacksword.com; once there, go down and click on "Swords", then "Greek and Roman" at the top. They also sell the same Deepeeka helmets as Albion, but only in one size. And stick to the swords in that one photo, since pretty much nothing else that Blacksword offers is worth getting, including their custom work. There are other places that sell the Deepeeka gladii, too (the item numbers will be similar), so you don't have to get them from Blacksword.
What this means is that we can entirely dump Museum Replicas as a source for Roman equipment. With the possible exception of their mailshirt (which I'm not even sure they offer any more), nothing that they have is as good as what you can get elsewhere. They have refused to make reasonably accurate gear, so from now on we will tell the world to avoid them. (If you already have the Museum Replicas gladius and it's too late to return it, don't worry, you do not have to buy a new sword! But if you are ready to buy one, go with Albion or Deepeeka.)
On a "down" note, I've also removed Illusion Armoring from the Suppliers list. Several people have mentioned to me that they've been waiting a year or two for helmets or armor they've ordered, and they can't even get answers to emails. It's too bad, since Scott Martin, the owner, spent some time in Germany with Dan Peterson, getting close looks at original items, and as a result was making some excellent pieces. I'm not sure what the problem is, though I'd heard that his wife was very ill last year, but it just doesn't seem safe to keep recommending him. We DO hope that Scott's situation improves and that he catches up on his backlog!
POLICY REGARDING CHILDREN AT WORKSHOPS AND EVENTS
We have received inquiries from members and potential members about bringing their children to workshops, and we have come up with this policy.
WORKSHOPS: NO children under the age of 7 may attend workshops. Children 7 and over may attend IF they can quietly entertain themselves for 5 hours or more. Workshops are intended to provide members and potential members with the opportunity to make equipment and share knowledge. There is no one available at the workshops to babysit. The parent is responsible for his/her child at all times. Any child who is disruptive will have to be removed, and the parent will be asked to make other arrangements in the future. We do have parties that the families are welcome to attend; the workshops, however, are not parties.
EVENTS: NO children may accompany anyone who is participating in an event without prior approval of the board of directors. NO MILITARY participant can bring a child that he will be responsible for; it would not be authentic.
While we're on the subject of policy, it has been noted that we must not leave our camp/display area unattended during public hours. There are weapons there, as well as valuable items. From now on we will be certain to have someone in camp "on duty" at all times, even a willing civilian if not a soldier. It may be a bummer to get stuck in camp while the rest of the Legion is out marching up and down the square or parading in the sun, but someone has to do it. Besides being a good military thing, it's authentic!
HORTENSIA'S ROMAN PASTRIES by Jane Walker
--3 cups whole wheat flour
--1/3 cup olive oil
--3 Tbsp honey
--3 apples diced
--1 Tbsp honey
--chopped dried apricots
Combine flour and oil in a large bowl--results should be
damp and crumbly.
Knead in honey and just enough water to make the dough hold together.
In another bowl combine apples and other fruits/nuts/cinnamon to taste with honey.
Roll out portion of dough (I assume the reader has basic pastry-making experience), cut into square or circle, cover half with heap of filling and fold other half over, pinch edges shut and cut vents in top. Bake on baking sheet in 350 degree oven for 30-45 minutes.
TRAVEL REPORT by Lee Burks
I recently spent most of a week in Chicago, on vacation with wife and relatives, ogling the architecture and statuary amid the tall buildings. Had a chance to visit the Field Museum and the Art Institute of Chicago and I headed straight for the Classical period exhibits. The best item was a Macedonian or Thracian helmet at the Art Institute. It's the "Phrygian cap" style bronze as illustrated in Connolly's "Greece & Rome at War" on page 70, illustration #1, only without the cheek guards. It had a very uniform patina, was in good shape and would have been entirely wearable with some lining.
There were busts of Hadrian and Antinous, side by side, of course; both missing noses. My exposure to classical statuary has usually been in catalog or book photos, so it was strangely compelling to gaze into these faces knowing they were portraits.
In front of the emperor was a very bad Roman copy of a famous Greek Aphrodite, I can't think which one, comparable to the worst Italian imports of Eleganza or Toscano. The Etruscan jewelry was very intricate, with gold granulation covering some pieces with tiny spheres of gold the size of sand grains! I was impressed by the delicacy of workmanship in the Greek pottery and the delicate engraving on the back of a bronze mirror.
The 2 museums are worth a look but only if you're in the area, as far as antiquities go. There's a hall with armor along one side, but was of the complete suit of plate type. At each end was a nice spread of old halberds, falchions and war hammers that warranted taking a no-flash photo that may turn out. I attempted photos of the Greek helmet and a kylix cup, etc. Will have to see how they turn out.
Mary Minshall sends word about "a new site on Varus and the Clades Variana, or Battle of the Teutoberger Wald, a topic of discussion from time to time. The site developer is working on a screen play and wants help with his project, so he has opened up a site. " http://www.geocities.com/Paris/Salon/2385/varus.html There is a link for giving feedback, so I want everyone to write in about how the armor should be shiny, not black and brown!
ROMAN DAYS WEST by Sean Richards, Legio IX Hispana
Prado Regional Park, Chino, CA
2 hours east of LA, 2 hours north of San Diego
For more info write to --
September 2 --Monthly Muster at Roger Moskey's, 10 AM to 5 PM. (Directions below)
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.
ADLOCVTIO is the official newsletter of the Twentieth Legion, published on or just after the Ides of each month. Back issues can be seen on the website (http://www.larp.com/legioxx/index.html) Hey, does anyone know where the National Imperialist Convention is being held this election year? Now that would be one to see--much less predictable than the others! Vote For Quintus! He's your Editor and the Legion Commander. Valete!