ROMAN DAYS 1999
Yes, folks, the second annual Roman Days is just weeks away. I hope you're ready, cuz I sure ain't!! It will be held on June 12-13 at Marietta Mansion in Glenn Dale, MD. Public hours were going to be 10 AM to 4 PM, but Susan Wolfe, the site manager, thinks opening at 11 AM would be better. Not wanting to chop a whole hour out of the morning schedule, I just tweaked it a little:
11:30 AM, Full muster and opening remarks
12 Noon, Lunch--cooking and eating demos
12 to 2 PM, Various drill and tactical demos, tent tours, etc.
2 PM, Massed tactical and drill demo
4 PM to ?, hobnob, party, forage for food, debate great issues, etc.
11:30 AM, Olympic competition! Armor Race, Pilum Throw, Hamata Toss, Wrestling, various ball games, etc.
Noon, Lunch and rehabilitation
1:00, Massed tactical and drill demo
3:00 PM Closing parade
Admission for the general
(i.e., anyone who hasn't told me they'll be attending as a participant)
is just $1 per person. If visitors arrive before 11, that's not a
problem--I've already handed out some flyers that list 10 AM as the
time. As I recall, the Olympics didn't take up too much time last
year, so we should be able to do enough of that before noon.
People are welcome to arrive and set up on Friday, and camp out or leave tents up until Monday morning, if they like. The site layout will be similar to last year, including the large pavilion tent, but the military camps and historical civilian booths will probably be up on the lawn between house and parking lot to take advantage of the shade. If we need camp fires they can be dug on the other side of the driveway, or down on the field near the bushes.
Come One, Come All!! You do not have to be a member of Legio XX to participate in period clothing, and you do not need to have period clothing to come out and have fun! Heck, you don't even have to be Roman--anyone with an interest in pre-medieval history is welcome. Reenactors, wargamers, collectors, scholars, teachers, or people who just think Romans are cool (which they are, of course.) Kentucky Public Television station KET will be sending a Latin teacher and a camera crew to film parts of the event, mainly for students but possibly for PBS! Merchants are welcome to sell their wares, and there is no fee (that I know of), but please let Susan Wolfe know that you are coming. Group leaders: Please get a rough head count of your members that plan to attend, and let me know. Last year we fielded 10 legionaries and over half a dozen civilians, plus participants in modern clothing, and this year will be bigger.
There is plenty of space for displays, parking, period or modern camping, etc. Water, portajohns, straw, firewood. There will be a 20'x30' tent roof for shade or rain protection, mostly for the merchants and table displays, and we can also get some 10'x20' pop-up flies. There are a number of hotels within a few miles, mainly on Rt. 450 near the Beltway. Participants should supply their own food, although there will be a hot dog and snow cone vendor present (Legio XX will feed its own active members, of course). There are stores, restaurants, and fast food places within a couple miles, farther west/north along Rt. 193, or near the Beltway.
Marietta Mansion is located at 5626 Bell Station Road, 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. There is much construction on Rt. 450, and it now makes a left turn where it meets Rt. 704, but it's well marked and should cause no problems.
There will be a workshop session at Matthew and Jane's house on Saturday May 22, from about 10 to 5. This is about your last chance to get help from the experts before Roman Days. Quintus will supply wieners for lunch as usual, and other edible contributions are welcome (no alcohol, please).
Yes, there is actually an event coming up BEFORE Roman Days, the Settmour Swamp Quest in New Jersey on May 29-30. Details were in the March issue, let me know if you need them again. Briefly, it is an SCA event whose other participants will be our audience instead of the general public. We can do our usual displays and marching demos, pilum practice, etc. Settmour Swamp is the group whose ladies did that wonderful cooking last year at Roman Days, so it would be nice if we could return the favor of their visit.
George Metz has wangled an invitation for his Legio XXIV to the “Festival of Centuries” near Syracuse, New York on July 16-17. He’s hoping we can support him with a vexillation. It is at St Marie among the Iroquois near Syracuse, NY, and runs 10 AM to 5 PM. Directions: North on I-81 thru Syracuse to "Liverpool" Exit. West on Rt 370 over bridge, two miles, past lake, to entrance on the left. Site phone, 315---. For more details, contact George at 610---
AFTER-ACTION REPORT: FORT WASHINGTON
This was a very small event, but very sunny! There were 3 of us each day, and about a dozen other participants from 1745 through World War II. On Sunday we were joined by David Michaels, recently transfered from Legio IX Hispana, with his daughter Alexandra. Now and then a visitor would stop by to chat. It was nice and dry and relaxed.
The theme of this event was military evolution, so next year might be a good opportunity to show off some of the different periods that some of us have been dabbling in. The park will invite a few more participants and actually advertise to get more spectators.
A couple things got left out of previous issues. A lady spoke with us at MTT was selling mugs printed with a photo of our camp! They were cool, so I bought one (even though I need another mug like Caesar needs a haircut). She can also put photos on T-shirts, computer mouse pads, etc., so contact her with your desires: Debra K. Roy, 301---.
If you didn’t have a chance to grab one of those T-shirts by Terry Nix from me at MTT, I have a few left, $18 each. They are printed with engravings of Trajan’s Column, black on white, all extra large. You can also order direct from Terry, just add $3.50 for the first shirt and 50 cents for each additional shirt.
In new news, ABC TV will show a new movie, Cleopatra, on May 23. Why does this worry me? The History Channel will have some new show on the Roman Army sometime in May, I think, as well. Probably more worthwhile. Check your local listings for details.
There is a new email list for Roman Army reenactors, which you can subscribe to by going to www.onelist.com/subscribe/RomanArmy . Keep those lines of communication open, and all that.
Volume 7 of the Journal of Roman Military Equipment Studies is out, dated 1996! It is a little heavy on the third century this time, mostly because of an article on some grave finds and another fascinating one on a collection of brass harness fittings with mysterious enamel coatings. Putting a complete coating of enamel directly onto brass was thought to be impossible because the two substances expand and contract differently due to temperature changes, which would cause the enamel to crack and flake off. But somehow the Romans did it, and even after microscopic analysis the experts are still scratching their heads and saying, “How did they DO that?” There is still plenty of first century stuff, including a number of swords and a very nicely preserved pugio. There is a spun Montefortino helmet which has 8 concentric rings (in 4 pairs) inscribed around its crest knob--very spiffy!
All 7 volumes of JRMES are available from David Brown Book Co. This is good reading, folks, especially for you crafty types!
I’m about halfway through The Roman Army at War 100 BC-AD 200 by Adrian Keith Goldsworthy. It’s a fascinating analysis, if not quite as romping in style as, say, John Peddie. Goldsworthy clears up a number of misconceptions and skewed analyses by earlier authors simply by making good use of the available contemporary evidence and avoiding modern perspectives. For instance, it is usually assumed that the Roman army was less effective against opponents who used guerilla warfare, but there are several well-documented conflicts in which the Romans were able to beat guerilla forces at their own game, even using legionary infantry. I wouldn’t say I agree completely with everything he says, but he has obviously done his homework. The rest of the book should be equally enlightening.
Linda Thompson sent me a wonderful list of Latin interjections and sayings, taken from Charlton Lewis’ Elementary Latin Dictionary (1895) and a phrase book called Quomodo Dicitur? The whole list is almost four pages long, so I’ll just give you a few of the highlights here. There will be a quiz.
ACTUM EST-- It’s all over; all is lost
AIN’ TU? AIN’ TANDEM? AIN’ VERO? --Really? Do you mean that?
APAGE! APAGE TE!--Go away! Get lost!
EM TIBI--(esp. when striking someone) There you go! Take that!
EU! EUGAE! EUGE! MACTE!--Bravo! Hurrah!
QUID ERGO?--So what?
PERGE--Continue, carry on
APAGE NUGAS--All joking aside; quit kidding around
PORRO--Go on, continue; Onward, Charge (Ah, that will be useful!)
(MIHI) LIBET--It pleases me; I like it
VIX CREDO--I can hardly believe it!
QUO VADIS?--Where are you going?
May 29-31 --SCA Quest, New Jersey. We have been invited by the Barony of Settmour Swamp, whose ladies who did all that fine cooking at Roman Days 1998. Who's in?
June 12-13 --ROMAN DAYS, Marietta Mansion, Glenn Dale, MD. If you only get to one Roman event all year, this is the one! Several other groups will be joining Legio XX, and it will be bigger and better than last time. Massed tacticals, Olympics, merchants, and more. You do not have to be dressed as a Roman to participate and have a great time!
July --Festa Italiano, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. No official invitation yet.
July 16-17 --Centuries Event, Syracuse, NY. Legio XXIV has been invited and would like Legio XX members to attend as well. Contact George Metz for more info: 610---
July 31-Aug. 1 --Military Time Line event, Ft. Malden, Ontario (just over the border from Detroit). Bit of drive for most of us, but definitely a good time of year to head north, eh? Is anyone seriously interested?
Sept. 18-19 --Legio III Gallica encampment, New Orleans, Louisiana. Contact Darren Nunez for more information: 504---
Sept. 24-26 --Roman Military Equipment Conference, South Shields, Eng. See the ROMEC website for details, http://pobox.com/~jrmes/romec.htm
Oct. 30-31 --Dionysia of Massilia. Games and rites in honor of the god Dionysos, Australia. Contact Mark Kelly
Well, there’s probably something else I’ve managed to leave out, but it’s late as usual so this will have to do. ADLOCVTIO is the official monthly newsrag of the Twentieth Legion, and is mostly written and directed by Matthew Amt, aka Quintus. The Legion website is still at www.geocities.com/Yosemite/3761/index.htm , but we’re working on a new one! Time, time... Valete!