Vol. XXII, no. iv, December 2012


    Some of you may have noticed that I have not been able to put as much time and effort into running the Legion as I used to.  So far I have pretty much been able to get to events, but even that is not certain.  However, the group is still very active and getting new recruits, so overall I'd say we're in great shape.  I am very grateful to Richard (and Allison!) Campbell and to Deb Fuller for all the work they've been doing.  And to all the rest of the gang!  I want to make it clear that you're not rid of me yet.  But I do want to re-state and clarify a few things to make sure we all stay on track.

    AUTHENTICITY.  Might as well put this first!  Let's rededicate ourselves to improving our level of historical accuracy, going through every item we own piece by piece to weed out the cheats and modernisms and sub-standard bits.  I know it's not easy in some cases!  But is it something that can be done without, or that you could borrow a replacement for a while?  That can help if you can't afford to replace it immediately.  Remember that the idea is NOT to hide anything, nor to see what flaws or errors you can get away with.  We've never required perfection, of course, but we should be honest with ourselves, so that we can be honest to our audience.

--We seem to have a shortage of paterae and buckets/pots.  I'm happy to keep bringing mine (though my first proper patera is only on order now!), but there may be problems with drinking water if I can't get to an event.  Deepeeka makes a reasonable patera and situla, so I'd recommend those.  I don't like the Daniyal patera as much, it's too flat and shallow.
--Does everyone have a good pilum for show and a chucker or two?  I'd really love to stop hauling that big bag of chucker pila!  Take one away, for keeps.  Please.  
--Satchel.  Even if you don't have a pack pole, get a satchel.  I'm currently making a couple for sale, or you can buy an Indian-made one.  Sling it over your shoulder to carry wallet, keys, phone, sunscreen, etc., as well as all those handy Roman personal items.  As an alternative to what folks are calling the standard "loculus" (12"x18" with X-shaped reinforcing strips), something like the Commachio bag makes an excellent haversack:   Even a simpler version in linen is very useful.
--It is handy to have a spare pair of footwear without hobnails, even just a pair of simple carbatinae, for wearing indoors on tiled or wood floors.
--Get a cloak, if you don't have one, and I'd strongly recommend socks, trousers and/or leggings, and a long-sleeved tunic (because I really hate being cold myself!).
--I think most of our basics (armor, helmet, shield, sword) are good, and we have a growing number of spares which is nice for new folks (though no one is required to lend anything, of course!).
--Remember that the TENT is part of our display!  Sure, we stash stuff in it, but it should not be used as a place to pile modern miscellania.  If you *must* have modern items on site (grumble, gripe), stow them in a period-appropriate bag, basket, or box, and put THAT in the tent.  We should be careful, though, not to use the tent as a safe place to store valuable personal items, if the public is "touring" through it--see "Satchel", above.

    CIVILIANS--Ladies and non-military men may definitely have something to sit on!  Most would benefit from a box or basket in which to stow PURSES and other personal effects.  The range of what is acceptable is so large and nebulous as to be indefinable, but start by steering clear of visible modernisms or New World or Asian materials such as bamboo or banana leaves.  I can't help thinking there must be some sort of wicker hamper or hassock that can be used for storage *and* seating, just haven't shopped around for something like that.  Wooden folding stools are fine as long as all modern canvas and hardware are replaced.  Beware of wooden stools with modern varnished or stained finishes.  Most any piece of fabric can be made into a bag, terribly handy things.

    Of course we can help with all of this!  Between me and the Campbells, we should have enough fabric, leather, and metal to, well, equip a small army!  And of course if you plan to buy something, it's a good idea to send me a link so I can check it out beforehand.  There's no real deadline on any of this, but it will be comforting to know that everyone is adequately dressed and equipped to be happy through a weekend event.


    It occurs to me that I have not made enough of a fuss about this.  A while back, Richard Campbell took a couple metalworking classes and invested in some tools.  He has been experimenting with a technique known as raising, by which flat sheet metal can be made into bowls--such as helmets.  It's how the Romans made helmets from one piece of metal, not welded from several pieces like many modern reproductions.  Well, after some practice, Richard has raised a one-piece helmet bowl which is FREAKING AMAZING.  It's not done, yet, and we may have to peck at him about properly finishing it, but I wanted the world to know how AWESOME this is.  I don't think he's ready to take orders, but inspiration is free.


    A couple months ago, Matt Lanteigne of Legio II Augusta, Ontario, founded a new discussion board aimed at ancient-era reenactors in North America, the Forum for Ancient Reenacting.  It is still small but growing, and so far we seem to be a friendly and lively bunch.  Check it out:

Yours Truly happens to be one of the Moderators, so be prepared for brutal oppression.


    This will be the last issue of Adlocvtio.  It has become painfully obvious that producing a regular newsletter is no longer high on my list of life's priorities.  I will still be sending out event and workshop reminders to my "local" email list, which is mainly reenactors within striking distance of the DC area.  Updates to the website will happen when time and motivation allow.  And I will definitely still be reenacting!  But I need to be realistic about this newsletter.

    There are already two Yahoo email groups for the Legion, but they don't get used.  There is also the Roman Days list, which does get used for planning for that event, so it's an important resource that will continue.  If someone would like to start a Legio XX Facebook page, I can add a link to the website, but personally I don't like Facebook so don't plan on seeing me there very often.  I do recommend the Forum for Ancient Reenacting as a good place to find me, and to communicate in general.

    Thank you to everyone who has read the newsletter over the past two decades, and for your words of kindness and support!   I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


ADLOCVTIO has been the Official Newsletter of the Twentieth Legion.  I am Quintus, aka Matthew Amt, the Legion's Commander and Editor of the Newsletter, matthew_amt AT yahoo DOT com,