Vol. XI, no. v, May 2001
THE annual big event for us Romans is almost here. It will be held on June 9-10 at Marietta Mansion in Glenn Dale, MD, as before. Public hours are from 10 AM to 4 PM both days, and admission for non-participants is $2 per person. Participants and merchants are welcome to set up on Friday. Just how things will be arranged on the site is not certain, yet, but it looks like we'll have to use the upper field as well as the lawn by the house this year. There's plenty of space, it's just a matter of who goes where.
Richard and Alison Campbell will be setting up Asellina's Caupona for the first time, finished or not! There will be displays on mosaic-making, writing, and architecture, plus Bean the Barbarian and the "Kids' Cohort" (teaching them to drill with cardboard shields). All Romans, Celts, Greeks, other Ancient types, and anyone else who is just mildly interested in such things are welcome. (Group leaders, please let me know how many of your people will be attending!) Remember that you do NOT need to have period clothing or a full set of equipment to participate! Come and have fun!
The schedule is pretty much the
same as last year:
Arrival and set-up, general hobnobbing
10 AM, OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
11 AM, Full muster and opening remarks
11:30, Kids' Cohort
12 Noon, Lunch--cooking and eating demos
1 PM Massed tactical and drill demo
1:30, Kids' Cohort
2 PM, Fashion Show
3 PM Evolution of the Roman Soldier
4 PM Close to the Public
10 AM, OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
11 AM Olympic competition--Armor Race, Pilum Throw, Hamata Toss, Wrestling, various ball games, etc.
11:30 Drill and Kids' Cohort
12 Noon, Lunch and rehabilitation
1 PM Massed tactical and drill demonstration
1:30 Kids' Cohort
2 PM, Fashion Show
3 PM, Closing parade
4 PM, Close to the public
Participants may camp in period
or modern tents--the latter should either be set up out of sight on the
lower field or simply taken down during public hours. There are a
number of hotels within a few miles, mainly on Rt. 450 near the
(I have more info on hotels, including a cut-rate deal at the Red Roof
Inn in Lanham.) There will be a large pavilion canopy and a
of smaller pop-up flies for sun and/or rain protection.
Legio XX Members will be issued the usual eats, but other participants
should supply their own food, or contact Merlinia about her meal
There will probably also be a hot dog and snow cone vendor
There are stores, restaurants, and fast food places within a couple
farther west/north along Rt. 193, or near the Beltway.
Nova Roma will be sponsoring a hospitality suite on Saturday night after Merlinia's dinner, at the Red Roof Inn (Lanham). Drinks, soda, and snacks, and basically a chance to hang out with fellow Roman enthusiasts and decompress.
Marietta Mansion is located at 5626 Bell Station Rd., just off Rt. 193. 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. Susan Wolfe, the site manager at Marietta, can be reached at 301---.
Oh, yes!--Need to borrow any gear?? PLEASE let me know right away!! Most of us who have spare gear are happy to lend it, but we do NOT want to haul extra stuff to an event on the off chance that someone might show up to borrow it! So you can't just show up and assume that it will be there. The best thing to do is to pick up what you need from the owner well before the event, and take it there yourself.
The June 2 workshop session will again be at the home of Richard Campbell's mother, in Alexandria, VA, near Mount Vernon. If you didn't get directions last time, contact Richard and Alison. Their caupona is definitely coming together, and they plan to debut it at Roman Days. It will probably be an ongoing project, always more new things to add!
NEW ARMOR FINDS!
The hottest news is from Carlisle near the western end of Hadrian's Wall. Excavations at the site of the Roman fort there have turned up the largest collection of armor parts in Britain. Your ever-humble Commander actually got a little advance notice about this--Dr. MC Bishop asked me if the Royal Armouries at Leeds could use a photo of MY segmented armguard from MY website to use in their press release! That's MC Bishop, archeologist and author, as in "Bishop and Coulston's Roman Military Equipment", editor of ARMA and some volumes of JRMES, etc. And the Royal Armouries at Leeds is where the Queen of England keeps all the historical military treasures that don't fit in the Tower of London. (Just rubbing your noses in it, yes!) Now, they didn't actually end up using my photo, but it was pretty cool to be asked.
The finds so far include sections of lorica segmentata, both the Corbridge types that we use in Legio XX and the later Newstead style, including the large brass hinges seen on my reconstruction (www.larp.com/legioxx/newstlor.html). So this is a very nice transitional site, and it's well-stratified and datable. It should clear up a number of questions about the Newstead lorica, if nothing else. However, there are also remains of at least three segmented armguards, one of which seems to be pretty much complete. Plus large sections of scale armor, at least one cheekpiece from a cavalry helmet, lots of heads from spears, arrows, and ballista bolts, and more goodies.
Furthermore, since the site is very wet, leather and possibly textiles have been preserved, so those armguards may still have their linings. And the iron pieces are in good condition, not just thick rust stains as at Corbridge and many other sites. The downside is that this is in the nature of a rescue dig, to clear space for a new building. To save time, whole blocks of mud up to three feet square have been dug out and placed in freezers until they can be properly picked through and the objects cleaned and catalogued. Several different labs will be participating in that, but it is going to take some time! At the moment all we have are a few tantalizing X-rays, such as that seen on one of the links below.
Marching Through Time went very well, with seven or eight soldiers and three civilians each day. On Saturday it tried to drizzle on us a few times, just to make sure we were Roman, but our cloaks kept us dry. Tom Kolb turned out as a cavalryman for the first time and seemed to enjoy galloping around the flanks. Jeff Crean took over as signifer (LOVE that wolf!). We actually had a good crowd of spectators for both of our demos, and did a more than adequate job with our drill. One snappy feature we added this time was facing on the move, for instance going from a line in two ranks moving north to a column of twos moving east, without stopping.
Fort Washington had its traditional glorious weather, no activity, and few spectators, so we relaxed and enjoyed ourselves. On Sunday afternoon we were shocked by a visit from Mark and Lolita Graef, with baby Joe! We almost convinced Marcus to get kitted up for some drill, but it was nearly closing time and he still wanted to chat with a couple other camps. (Rats, I forgot to collect his dues! Oh well, easier just to scratch him off the roster, eh?)
For those in the northeastern provinces, the town of Middletown, Connecticut, is celebrating its 350th anniversary with a parade on Sunday, September 2, 2001 at 1:30 p.m. They wanted Legio XX to participate, but I told them it was a little farther than we usually travel. If any other Romans want to get in on this, contact Patrick M. Shugrue.
We have also been asked to
for Project Leap Forward sometime in early July. This is an
program for at-risk inner city kids, at Millersville University in
PA. Just what we'll be doing and when has yet to be decided, but
July 1 or July 8 seem to be the desired dates.
Finally got a look at the new Deepeeka pugio and canteen. Both are acceptable, though not perfect of course. The dagger blade is decently shaped with a nice midrib. The hilt has black horn sandwiched between the tang and the steel hilt plates. The Indians were copying the steel-hilted pugio in Dan Peterson's book, with the hilt tips of the front plate wrapped around the end and overlapping the back plate, but the way they did it is kind of cheesy and over-engineered. Should be simple to Dremel off the rivets, lop off the metal that wraps around, and replace the rivets. (Mind you, I believe sheet steel hilt plates to be more accurate than the all-too-common cast brass!) The scabbard is supposed to be a shaped front plate soldered to a flat backplate, but of course they did a neat invisible weld so that it looks like one piece. Sigh... If you want more realism you can score a line along the edge and slop some solder on. The suspension loops are crudely shaped, and both ends are riveted to the front plate, rather than the wide fancy end at the front and the narrow plain end at the back. Riveted to the front of the scabbard are 4 cast brass plates which seem to be good copies of that one in Peterson's book. There is a little bit of leather inside the scabbard, but the blade still kind of clanks into it very metallically.
The canteen looks great, as far as I can tell, though again the two halves are welded rather than being soldered. Also, the cap needs a waxed wooden stopper if you really want it to be watertight. I know everyone in the world is itching to get one of these canteens, but be aware that it probably was not a standard-issue item. There simply have not been enough of them found, as far as I know, and at least one has some sort of locking cap, implying that it carried something more valuable than water.
George Metz bought a Deepeeka cornu (horn), and I would not recommend it. It seems to be too small overall, the bell end only curves at the narrow end, and the tubing is probably too thin. And it's made of copper rather than bronze or brass. It also needs a little soldering to keep it from falling apart whenever you pick it up.
A few new bits on the website, including a drawing of sword blade shapes attached to the Gladius page, and a few shots from MTT on the Photos page. I also replaced the wing pattern on the Scutum Emblems page with the new one that I used on my latest shield. Remember, folks, the website is a living, growing resource, so keep checking back to see what's new! http://www.larp.com/legioxx/
Paul Montello of Legio XI Claudia in Atlanta put some pictures of his legion in action online: http://content.communities.msn.com/isapi/fetch.dll?action=get_album&ID_Community=PaulsPhotosofRomanLegionaires&ID_Topic=3&ViewType=W
For a really sad story about progress overrunning a major archeological site, go to http://www.arts.uwa.edu.au/Classics/archeology/Z2.html.
MOVIE HELMET FOR SALE by Mike Bonelli
"I have for sale a Roman helmet made for the cinema! Made in Italy, leather, with large brass visor and red brush crest, size large-extra large. I emphasize, this is a movie quality helmet, not the masquerade-Halloween shop junk. It is the type seen in "I Claudius", " Fall of the Roman Empire", etc. It is not the historically correct re-enactor type, but if you know of someone who desires this super high quality helmet, please let me know. The price is $750; I paid more than that, it is high caliber Italian quality." Contact Mike Bonelli at --.
June 2 --Monthly Muster--Caupona special at Richard Campbell's mother's house. Contact Richard for details and directions.
June 9-10 --ROMAN DAYS, Marietta Mansion
July ? --Tentative Legio XX demo in Lancaster for Project Leap Forward
September 15-16 --Legio XX Fall Encampment at Marietta Mansion
October 4-6, 2001--ROMEC XIII at Vindonissa, Switzerland. For more info, see http://www.unibas.ch/arch/ROMEC/index.html
Betting on a punchline here, weren't you? You lose.
ADLOCVTIO is the official monthly newsletter of the Twentieth Legion, and the Editor is Matthew Amt. Best Roman site on the Net: http://www.larp.com/legioxx/. See you at ROMAN DAYS!