Vol. VIII, no. viii, August 1998
Museum Replicas has a new "Roman Officer's Helmet", and they have done it again. Oh, it's much better than their "Trooper's Helmet", but the eyebrows still meet in the middle and are still soldered on, so don't bother buying it. What they tried for this time is basically an Imperial Gallic type H, and it has good cheekpieces and all the right ridging, but the neckguard still looks a tad too deep and wide. The brass browband is too wide (easy enough to fix), and the bosses that are supposed to be securing the cheekpiece hinges are out of place, so they obviously got that detail wrong again, too. And since the eyebrows are too close together, the crest attachments are too far back on the skull. As a final insult, you have the option of buying the helmet with a lining, which is held in place with "extra rivets".
Can no one convince these Indian metalworkers how to make an authentic helmet? This one is only $200, and the "Trooper's Helmet" is down to $175!! Can you imagine being able to get a GOOD helmet for that kind of price, quickly and reliably? Instead, the apathetic twits at Museum Replicas and other junk stores are flooding the market with garbage!
SECOND TRUMPET--MARIETTA ENCAMPMENT
This is our annual weekend to share Marietta's lawns with La Belle Compagnie, a 14th century group, on September 26-27, 1998. It's open to the public something like 10 AM to 4 PM, but more easy-going than our bigger events. A good event for newer recruits, military and civilian. We need to practice drilling and pilum-heaving, the latter for scientific purposes as well. The tent will be available for sleeping, and the usual gastronomic delights for eating. Please let Quintus know your plans!
AFTER-ACTION REPORT--FT. MALDEN by George Metz
Legio XXIV traveled some 587 roman miles to Fort Malden in Amherstburg, Ontario, southeast of Detroit, on August 1st and 2nd; to participate in their Military Heritage Time Line Event. Augustus Natalis and myself were present to represent the Legions of Rome.
We were warmly received and given a very favorable posting at the end of the Parade Square, from which we could witness the numerous events. Our unit was the only one to have this advantage. Lunch was provided and the personnel of the Fort saw to our needs and provided drink through the day. The weather was great with "Screaming Sun" and low humidity, with a few clouds now and then... certainly not the "Legio XX Weather" we have experienced of late.
On both days, a sometimes steady stream of visitors passed our position, where we attempted to recruit new legionaries and explained the heritage of the ancient Roman Army. A potential Sumarian-Macedonian even came by. Many young recruits, male and female, had a trial fitting of armour and helmet and were verbally tested to evaluate their suitability for legion service. At times, the waiting line of potential legionaries, young and old, had Natalis and myself quite busy, even during other events, and hoping it would slow down to allow us to take a rest in the nearby shade.
This "Time Line Event" was carried out in a professional way, with all events being announced in advance and clearly narrated, via a "PA" system. A narrated firing of a "six-pounder" gun, twice each day, and a "Rate of Fire" (number of shots loaded and fired in one minute) demonstration each afternoon were the highlights of the weekend. In the time it took to fire the six-pounder, the legions of Rome could have over-run and captured the position. What Rome could have accomplished with that gun!
The reenactor groups represented included Roman, Medieval, 1812, U.S.Civil War, Buck Skin, Great War, WWII, and modern Canadian army. Each participated in a fashion show and tactics demonstration, narrated by John McLeod, Curator and/or his staff.
On Saturday evening, a "Tavern by the River" was open for sustenance, grog and libation, while a celtic band "Barley Brae" entertained well into the night. Visitations among the surrounding camps allowed an exchange of news and opinions on times and events both current and ancient.
Although it was a long way to go, Natalis and I, were both gratified and departed with a feeling of satisfaction in having done our part to educate the visitors in the ways of the ancient Roman Army. Despite the long distance travel required, this event is worth attending and Legio XXIV looks forward to serving at Fort Maldan, with other Legions, if possible, in 1999.
Our thanks go to John McLeod, Curator of Fort Maldan for inviting Rome to take part, and to his staff for their courtesy and support of Legio XXIV.
October 10-11--Columbus Day parade and festival, Piermont, NY--Since only Joe and George expressed interest in this, the Legion won't have any official presence. If you decide you want to go, no problem, I can give you details. Matthew and Tom (at least) will be back at Marietta that weekend for Markland's Battle of Hastings, if you feel like something different.
For those in a traveling mood, Dan Peterson of Legio XIIII in Germany offers these options:
ll-l3 September 98 - Caesar's Festival, Velzeke Belgium This might be considered the first "true" Roman battle reenactment ever in that it will recreate Julius Caesar's Gallic War battle near the site. Over 50 Celts will actually engage some l00 Romans of Leg. XIIII, X Gemina, VI Victrix, and Ermine Street Guard. This may be a recurring event based on its success.
26-27 September 98 - Romertage Aalen - This is the oldest continuous Roman event in Germany every two years, and probably the most international Roman event in the World with groups from Italy, Switzerland, Hungary, Austria, and Germany, hosted on the site of a Limes Cavalry Ala fortress. Over 200 "Romans" are expected.
Authentic Romans from the U.S.A. are invited to join LEG XIIII at both of these events. Interested people can contact Dan
MOVIE REVIEW--"The Age of Treason"
Joe Thompson was kind enough to tape this for us. It's supposed to be based on Lindsey Davis' wonderful Falco novels, but the only recognizable similarities are the names of some of the characters--not their roles or personalities, just the names! Rather than launch into a diatribe on this celluloid atrocity, I'll just offer a few bits of advice to those involved in its creation.
To Lindsey Davis: Our deepest sympathy.
To the Script Writer: Never mind, you've obviously never read ANYTHING about Rome before, so you won't be reading this!
To the Actors: Act.
To the Director: Wakey, wakey!
To the Costume Designer: Congratulations! This is the very FIRST work of fiction to highlight the fact that Roman ladies wore undergarments! However, you omitted the overgarments.
To the Props Department: Discover Brasso.
To the Set Designer: What a clever re-use of the old "Planet of the Apes" sets!
To the Producers: Our sincere and eternal gratitude for NOT following your original intentions to make this into a TV series!
Rumor reports that there is a very nice article about our humble Legio XX in Smoke and Fire News. Anybody seen it? I think I can find out how to get hold of a copy.
Great. "Woodworld" just called to say the eighth-inch luan plywood I ordered for making scutum blanks will be in on Monday--but the workshop is tomorrow! And the metal shop where I used to get lorica metal can't cut it up for us anymore, so I'll have to get it somewhere else. Not a big problem, just not something I can fuss with while trying to get this newsletter written!
On the plus side, my forge is operational, and can indeed make steel red hot with just wood scraps for fuel. My first experiment showed me that I need to learn how to hold onto the work better with the tongs, and that I probably need a larger hammer for some work. Wieners and marshmallows should be no problem, however. Mark and Mike have been rubbing shoulders with a few blacksmiths, too, and are experimenting with pilum heads.
I got a nice letter from Toe Johnson, one of the Big Men in Australia, with a run-down on the various intertwined groups of ancients over there. But he also enclosed instructions for making a Greek linen cuirass and some wonderful tips on making a hoplon. So I have wood set aside to make a hoplon. (Don't ask me about the bronze facing, I'll burn that bridge when I get to it.) And I have plenty of big bronze kickplates for a helmet and another greave. The implications are frightening.
There, four pages, can I quit now? ADLOCVTIO is the official newsletter of the Twentieth Legion, appearing approximately on the Ides of each month. I am Matthew Amt, aka Quintus, the Editor and Commander. Talk to me if you want to know more, or to submit contributions, or if you think you missed an exciting issue at any time. The Legion website: http://www.geocities.com/Yosemite/3761/index.htm Valete!