SECOND TRUMPET--FALL ENCAMPMENT
Our annual fall encampment with La Belle Compagnie will be on September 25-26 at (no surprise) Marietta Mansion, in Glenn Dale, MD. It will be open from 11 AM to 4 PM, and admission for the public is $1. I'm thinking of this as sort of a training weekend, especially for our newer members. If you don't have any gear, there may be some to borrow, but come out and "get your feet wet" in any case. Contact Quintus with your plans and needs, as usual.
AND SECOND TRUMPET--FORT WASHINGTON
The Legion's second event at Fort Washington is a time-line encampment called "Preserving Our Military Heritage". The date is October 2-3, in celebration of the 175th anniversary of the completion of the fort. I just got a thick pack of rules and registration paperwork, so if you plan to go be sure to get a form and all the rules from me. We all have to be registered in advance, it seems. Public hours are from 10 to 5 on Saturday, 10 to 3 on Sunday, and there is an admission charge for non-participants.
HIGGINS ARMORY MUSEUM
On July 20 as part of my travels to the northern wastes I visited the Higgins Armory Museum in Worcestor, Massachusetts. It's a neat place, built around the collection of some late old rich guy named Higgins (all right, John Woodman Higgins, 1874-1961). The ancient collection is small, not surprisingly, and unfortunately the only thing from our general period is a gladiator helmet. That's an interesting piece in itself, one of only three in the U.S., as the museum proudly points out. There is a photo of it online on the Higgins website, www.higgins.org, in the virtual tour section. There are eight Greek Corinthian helmets, VERY fascinating, but I won't go into details here--let me know if you need to know more about them.
From Italy there was a Montefortino helmet, 4th to 3rd century BC. The description said "Bronze and iron", which I though was odd since it should have been all bronze, but next to where the crest knob should have been there was only a shapeless lump which looked like it included rusted iron. I wouldn't go so far as to suggest that it originally had an iron crest knob--perhaps the top is simply damaged and something else has gotten corroded to it. The brim was clearly rolled under and then "cabled", not simply left thick as some drawings imply. The cheekpieces were still present, smallish and almost as wide as they were tall. Another case contained a Negau-type helmet and a short muscled cuirass that was somewhat squashed flat, also 4th to 3rd century BC. The muscling was fairly simple and the nipples appeared to be applied. The rim of the helmet seemed to be done in the same way as the one on page 98 of Connolly's Greece and Rome at War, with a flat ring added inside that is pierced with holes for stitching in the lining. On the front of the bowl, however, were two large round embossed shapes like teardrops, with the points nearly touching.
On loan from Yale University is a group of finds from Dura Europas, dating to about 250 AD. Dominating the case is the complete horse armor of iron scales, with its linen backing still in good shape. There are fragments of brass scale and lamellar armor, some very tiny. There are two spun brass shield bosses, one of which is nearly intact, with the edge of the flange cut into a fine saw-tooth pattern! The other is scalloped into 8 points, though the dome itself is missing.
There is no compelling reason for those interested in the Roman Empire to drive many hours to visit the Higgins Museum, but if you are in the general area and have a little time to spare, it is worth a visit.
ROMAN FESTIVAL IN BRITAIN--by Emilie Amt
In July I visited Richborough Roman Fort in southeastern England, where there happened to be a Roman Festival going on that weekend. Taking the opportunity to compare a British Roman event with our very own Roman Days, I took lots of pictures and a few notes. My report:
Vexillatio Legionis Geminae provided the military element, with a demonstration of "1st century Imperial drill and battle tactics." They had BLUE tunics and shields! Yes, well, hmmm... They had about the same size of contingent as the one at Roman Days, but since they were all from one unit their drills were a bit snazzier; an especially impressive maneuver was the one with two lines that alternated making short charges, the rear line charging through the front line each time, all the way down the field. According to the printed schedule, there was also a "display of combat and hunting techniques by Milites Litoris Saxonici and End of the Roman Age Society," but I didn't see that. I did see the artillery demonstration by one archer and two ballistae--pretty cool.
The military camp was remarkably similar to the one at Roman Days, with one leather tent and one brown cloth one, and various military stuff scattered around. The leather tent had higher sides than the Twentieth Legion's, but I'll leave Quintus to comment on that. I didn't think that part of the camp was any better than the Roman Days camp--maybe not quite as good.
On the civilian side, though, it was a different story. While there was nothing like Hortensia the herb seller's booth (i.e., a detailed authentic recreation on a single theme), there were a lot of attractive civilian and educational displays. Of course these were made possible by the large number of Roman and Celtic re-enactors participating. Many were fairly simple, such as a blanket on the ground with herbs and spices. But there were also half a dozen small white open-fronted tent booths, each with at least one costumed Roman to explain the displays within. There were reproduction items for the public to handle and posters explaining various aspects of Roman life. There was also an elaborate ongoing demonstration of Roman cooking, very similar to that provided by the Celtic ladies at Roman days. Most impressive of all was the re-enactment of a sacrifice, with a wonderful reproduction altar, stuff (crackers, wine, incense) burning on top of it, and lots of prayers in Latin. At the other end of the spectrum, for me, was the rather large Celtic encampment, though it wasn't offensively bad.
Another thing this event did very well was activities for children to participate in. Some required staff, such as the pottery-making activity (for some unfathomable reason, a blue-painted Pict with blond dreadlocks seemed to be in charge of the Roman pottery-making). Others were just there for kids to do on their own, such as the paint-your-name-in-Roman-letters scroll and the mosaic-making trays. And there were several performances by "Britunculus the puppeteer," who apparently (I didn't actually see this either) portrayed the story of Boudicca. Interestingly, the whole event, though larger and better-attended than Roman Days, had much the same tone--casual, friendly, small-scale.
The festival didn't feature any merchants actually selling things, but Richborough is an English Heritage site with a wonderful little shop selling nifty Roman- and Celtic-themed items. I picked up a number of things here that will enhance the educational displays at next year's Roman Days (which in a wild moment I seem to have volunteered to be in charge of). Not least of these is a CD by Synaulia, a group claiming to be "archaeologists" of Roman music--Roman Days will never be the same again.
DESTREHAN, NEW ORLEANS by Darren Nunez
Legio III Gallica in conjunction with Destrehan Plantation will be hosting a multi-period living history encampment at Destrehan Plantation the weekend of October 23rd and 24th. The event entitled "Time Passages" is the first multi-period event in the New Orleans area. This was originally scheduled for September but has been moved to October. III Gallica invites any stray Romans in the New Orleans area at that time to attend. Also attending will be groups from the 1812 era, American Civil War era, WWII era and others.
Please visit the Destrehan Plantation website for directions and information about the site, http://www.destrehanplantation.org/
Also visit the LEGIO III GALLICA homepage at http://members.aol.com/legiiigal/ . Details will be posted on III GALLICA's homepage in the upcoming weeks. If anyone knows of reenactors portraying other time periods interested in joining us in October, please have them contact me at the above e-mail address or the folks at Destrehan Plantation.
In case any of you missed the word, the Legio XX website has moved, to http://legioxx.webjump.com . It is still under construction, conspicuously lacking illustrations, so bear with us. There is already more text than the old site, including extra construction hints for some items and other useful tidbits. A kind and well-educated soul already pointed out that the plural of "nomen" is "nomina", not "nomines", so we'll fix that as soon as possible. If you see any other glaring mistakes or have any problems with the site, let us know. Great thanks to Marshall Wise for doing the construction, and to Mark Graef for arranging the space. Please update your bookmarks!
Recently an ad arrived for what sounds like a fascinating book: Ad Arma!: Romisches Militar des 1.Jahrhunderts n. Chr. in Augusta Raurica (Ad Arma!: The Roman Army of the First Century AD in Augusta Raurica), by Eckhard Deschler-Erb. This is Vol. 28 of a series called Forschungen in Augst, ISBN 3-7151-0028-1. "45 plates...reproduce almost all of the 872 military finds which have been discovered during over 100 years of scientific excavation in the Roman Town of Augusta Raurica," modern Augst. "With an exhaustive summary in German, French and English as well!" You can order it from BSB Buch Service Basel, Postfach/PO Box, CH-4002 Basel, Switzerland. The price is CHF 80.- (Uh, Swiss francs?) Or maybe try Amazon.com! I also have some order cards here for ordering 10 or more copies for a 20 percent discount, so you can take care of all your Christmas shopping.
Aug. 14 --Legio XX workshop at Matthew Amt's house, 10 AM to 5 PM.
Aug. 21 --Historical Armed Combat Association Medieval Longsword Workshop and Gathering, Seneca Valley High School, Germantown, MD. Hosted by Albion Armorers
Sept. 25-26 --Legio XX encampment at Marietta with La Belle Compagnie (14th century), open to public 11 to 4.
Sept. 24-26 --Roman Military Equipment Conference, South Shields, Eng. See the ROMEC website for details, http://pobox.com/~jrmes/romec.htm
Fall, 1999? --Possible display at Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, PA, as part of a classics fair. Still in the planning stages.
Oct. 2-3 --"Preserving our Military Heritage" at Fort Washington, MD, another timeline event.
Oct. 23-24 --Legio III Gallica encampment, New Orleans, Louisiana. Contact Darren Nunez for more information
Oct. 30-31 --Dionysia of Massilia. Games and rites in honor of the god Dionysos, Australia. Contact Mark Kelly
Well, I have to apologize to everyone for the drought, but there just haven't been any events since June. If you can hang on another month, the Rain Gods of the Twentieth will be back on the field in September. And yes, you can pay us NOT to bring rain to your chosen vacation site! Call today!
Adlocvtio is the official newsletter of the Twentieth Legion, published approximately on the Ides of each month by Matthew "Quintus" Amt. Any inquiries concerning the Legion or the newsletter should be directed to him. Valete!