Vol. XI, no. viii, August 2001
The Legion is back at Marietta Mansion on September 15-16 for our annual Fall Encampment. This is a much smaller and more casual event than Roman Days, just us on the lawn chucking the occasional pilum. Public hours are from 10 AM to 4 PM, but there is no set schedule beyond that. Anyone who is not an Active member of Legio XX and wants to participate should contact me (Quintus) and Susan Wolfe, the site manager at Marietta (301---). There are no plans for merchants, food vendors, etc., though I'll try to remember to bring the cardboard shields for the Kiddy Cohort.
Directions: 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 left again into Marietta.
The fall Universal Soldier encampment at Fort Washington, Maryland, will be September 29-30. If you've been there before, you've probably already gotten the application form in the mail, so don't forget to send that back to them. If you haven't been there before, a ranger will come around with a registration form for you to fill out at some point. Public hours will be from 10 AM to 5 PM on Saturday, and 10 AM to 3 PM on Sunday. As usual, aim to get there about an hour before opening, if you can. There is an admission fee for the public (not much). As usual, there is no schedule of activities, but there is plenty of space for drill and pilum practice. Take a stroll through the fort, too, it's worth it.
Directions: From I-95/495 the Capital Beltway, take Rt. 210 Indian Head Highway South; go about 4 miles and turn right at the light onto Fort Washington Road, which ends about 3.5 miles later at the park entrance.
On October 20-21 the Legion has been invited to participate in a parade and festival activities being held by the Walters Art Gallery in Baltimore, MD. We need to be there and ready to roll about 9 AM, as the parade (called the ArtMarch) starts at 10. It's about 6 blocks long, and will be followed by an opening ceremony which should end no later than 11:30. For the rest of the day we'll be stationed in Mt. Vernon park (not to be confused with George Washington's domus in Virginia!) in the midst of the festival. Activities will include " musical and other entertainment, cultural food and beverage stations, beer and wine gardens and interactive arts activities (Asian fish printing, calligraphy and illumination, painting, and more)." We can break camp at about 7 PM, if not sooner. On Sunday there is no parade but the rest will be pretty much the same, running from 12 noon until about 6:30 PM.
Space is apparently pretty limited, and I have not yet found out if there will be room for the tent or a pilum range. I will also find out about directions, parking, passes to the Museum, overnight security, etc. I expect that we will NOT be camping out, but packing up all our gear overnight.
Shane Evans of Nova Roma is planning a "Roman Days event" in Columbus, Ohio on the October 13th, and is inviting Legio XX to attend. He mentions a full day of activities plus a feast in the evening. I myself will not be going since I'll be doing the Battle of Hastings that weekend, but if a few members are interested I'll be happy to put it on the calendar and send along the tent and signum. Let me know! Any other groups or lonely Romans out there who want more info can contact Shane directly.
Two new suppliers have asked me to mention their names. JB Pickerel makes a very nice lorica segmentata and is experimenting with a number of other things. See his site, Whyt-Hawk Armoury, at http://www.whythawkarmoury.homestead.com/ (click the "Historical" and "Brasswork" buttons).
Scott Jenquin has come up with a method for stamping out lorica lobed hinge blanks. They are perfectly shaped and ready to be folded and notched. He says he can do brass or red brass in nearly any thickness (I'd recommend .020" or so), and is asking $20 for a set of 16 blanks (for 8 hinges).
MC Bishop has made plans and animated pictures of his new preliminary reconstruction of the second-century AD Newstead lorica segmentata. This is a bit of a composite, including details from several different sites, but still more reliable than the old design. Changes might be made as more pieces of the Carlisle finds are uncovered and published. Bishop's plans are online as part of the Journal of Roman Military Equipment Studies site, at http://www.armatura.connectfree.co.uk/jrmes/j1001.htm. There are very exciting little bits like the girdle plates getting progressively wider as they go down--top one 2" wide, second one 2-1/4", etc. I've already started drawing my own patterns…
Recently I've been going
the Corbridge Report again, to refresh my memory on a number of
The basic information is on the website on the Lorica Segmentata page (htttp://www.larp.com/legioxx/lorica.html).
But for those not steeped in lorica lore, the Corbridge style of armor
includes types A, B, and C; type A having buckles to connect the
collar sections to the (lower) girdle sections, while types B and C use
hooks and eyes. The find included six collar sections, numbered
cuirasses 1 through 6. The first four were type A, while cuirass
5 was type B and cuirass 6 was type C. There were also six girdle
sections, labeled as cuirasses i through vi, again with the last two
type B or C. A number of the assemblies were missing one or more
plates. There were the proper number of right and left halves to
assemble three more or less complete loricae, but this is probably by
since it is clear that no two of the shoulder sections matched.
This time my interest was tweaked by the shoulder guards. We knew right from the start that cuirass 1, a type A collar unit, had a type B upper shoulder guard retrofitted to it, presumably as a repair. The pieces obviously were not made for each other because the shapes of the hinges and bosses were very different, and those on the upper shoulder guard matched cuirasses 5 and 6 very nicely. This upper shoulder guard and the one on cuirass 5 also had pentagonal center plates, whereas those on the other three type A collar units had rectangular center plates. As a further curiosity, cuirass 6 was just the collar plates, the shoulder guards being completely missing, so the Report speculated that the shoulder guards from cuirass 1 might have been scavenged from cuirass 6.
The outer or lesser shoulder guards were even stranger than I had remembered. Both cuirass 1 and 5, with their type B upper shoulder guards, had four outer shoulder guards, two long and two short. That's how virtually every modern reconstruction is built, by the way. On cuirass 3, however, all four plates are short, and there doesn't seem to be any suggestion that two of these were simply longer plates with the ends broken off. Cuirass 4 has only three short plates, and cuirass 2 has only two short ones (though rather wide at 2-3/8"), but it is very difficult to say if this was how they were made or if plates have been lost due to damage.
The upshot? Well, if you really want your lorica to stand out in the crowd, you can make it with two, three, or four short outer shoulder guards. The other alternative, already shown on the Legio XX patterns, is making each of four plates shorter than the one before, to make an evenly tapered effect, as is shown on Trajan's Column and at least a couple other reliefs. Things like this remind us to keep an open mind when looking at new armor finds, whether they are of the Corbridge types, or the earlier Kalkriese style, or the later Newstead--their details might not match the popular reconstructions.
Along those same lines, Legio VI Ferrata in South Carolina posted a few photos of the new Deepeeka lorica on their site, and unfortunately it's not good. The shoulder guards hang down to the elbows, the hinges are an incorrect single layer, the buckles are not properly constructed, the backplates seem to be permanently fixed to the girdle plates by rivetd leathers, and the whole thing weighs a massive TWENTY-FOUR POUNDS! More minor problems are that the upper shoulder guards are the wrong shape, there are no brass bosses, the leather is chrome-tanned, only single rivets connect the girdle plates to their leathers (rather than two at each joint), and the strap hinges are backwards (the fancy part should be riveted to the plate, with the rectangular end fixed to the strap). I'm wondering if it might be stainless steel, as well.
Sorry, folks, looks like they blew this one. We'll keep watch, see if it improves, but in the meantime Albion's lorica is still good.
I got a couple phone calls last week from Michael Huye, who is planning to make the most historically accurate Roman movie ever, a laudable goal. He is currently studying the costs of mass-producing things like mailshirts, leather tents, and the like, and even a charter flight for getting reenactors to the filming site (not decided, but Arkansas and I think the Ukraine were both mentioned). It sounds like he's very serious and has access to funding. Anyone who might like to produce equipment (including several catapultae) or help in any other way should contact him, 225---.
From David Mason: "Just thought you and your fellow legionaries would want to know that a new and comprehensive account of Castra Deva, authored by yours truly, has just been published in UK by Tempus Publishing Ltd. Roman Chester: City of the Eagles ($29.99) is obtainable in US from: Arcadia Publishing Inc..., www.arcadiapublishing.com
Robert Garbisch of Legio X Fretensis still needs a dozen more people to reserve spaces in his Tour of Ancient Roman sights in July and August 2002. If you would like to go, contact him.
September 1 -- Monthly workshop/muster at Roger Moskey's, 10 to 5
September 8-9 --Legio XXIV at "March Thru Time" Event, Memory Town, Mount Pocono, PA. Contact George Metz for info, 610---. (Not a Legio XX event, but members are encouraged to attend if they like.)
September 15-16 --Legio XX Fall Encampment at Marietta Mansion
September 15 -- Masterpiece Motorcade, Leg. III Gallica, New Orleans Museum of Art. Contact Darren Nunez, (not a Leg.XX event)
September 29-30 --Leg.XX at Universal Soldier encampment, Fort Washington
October 6 -- Monthly workshop/muster
October 4-6, 2001--ROMEC XIII at Vindonissa, Switzerland. For more info, see http://www.unibas.ch/arch/ROMEC/index.html
October 13 --Nova Roma event in Columbus, Ohio
October 20-21 -- Leg. XX at Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore for ArtMarch parade and festival.
November 3 --Monthly workshop/muster
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 the Ides of each month. The Legio XX website is http://www.larp.com/legioxx/