Vol. X, no. vi, June 2000
AFTER-ACTION REPORT--ROMAN DAYS
Another great success! The Legion fielded a total of 12 soldiers and 5 civilians over the weekend, plus George Metz of Legio XXIV, Darren Nunez and David Fontaine of Legio III Gallica, Steve Greeley of Legio XIIII GMV, the cooks Merlinia and Fiona of Settmour Swamp, Cassius and Patricia of Imperium Ancient Arts (Nova Roma), John Kolb with his wargames, and my sisters Katy Amt Hanna and Emilie Amt with the Merchant Adventurers booth. I want to thank Emilie in particular for the amazing amount of work she did creating the educational displays: a timeline, writing displays and activities, mosaic-making for the kids, and more. She roped her friends Steven, SJ, and little Giles (as well as several other people) into being models in a wonderful fashion show. Mark Hanna made a fabulous plywood Celt for the "Bean the Barbarian" game. Emilie suckered our father into making cardboard shields for our first attempt at a Kids' Cohort, in which we taught the youngsters a little drill and gave them a certificate for successful completion. They all seemed to enjoy it. Thanks, Pater, and Thanks to Cassius for supplying the certificates.
This year we moved the whole show up onto the lawn between the house and the parking lot, except for roped-off marching area, in order to take advantage of the shade. The temperature was in the 90s both days, so we spent a little less time in armor than usual and kept the marching demos short. But the skies were clear! The only negative thing was the low public attendance, about 100 visitors on Saturday and only 70 or so on Sunday. Those who did come, however, were very appreciative. We even managed to keep pretty much to the published schedule! The Olympics Sunday morning were fun, and Ron made wreaths for the victors. Later we did a display of the evolution of the Roman soldier, ranging from my Greek gear to Steve Greeley in his 3rd century AD outfit--very spiffy! JJ Moskey brought her runestones to read fortunes, and John and Lisa Macek came to try out the first century (having done others).
I can't thank everyone enough for all their help, and for just turning out and being Roman. Special thanks go to Susan Wolfe and her husband and staff at Marietta for their help in organizing the facilities, pavilions, etc. Now it's time to start planning for next year!
There has been a sudden flurry of new Roman groups. First is Legio V Alaudae, founded by Paul Fitsik of Fort Bragg, NC. He has a preliminary website, http://community.webtv.net/PaulFitsik/LegioVAlaudae. There have been a lot of inquiries about groups in the southeast US, so this new unit should grow quickly! There are also some noises about a group starting in Atlanta, Georgia, and I'll pass info on that along when it happens.
Legio XII Fulminata has been founded in Orlando, Florida. They will probably focus mainly on SCA combat while pooling their living history efforts with Cohors I Praetoria, which has been in Orlando for several years. The contact for Legio XII is V. Nick Starnes, 4474 Harmony Lane, Orlando, FL 32812, 407---
Out in the west is Cohors V Praetoria, just starting up. In New Mexico contact Ralph Izard, 505---; in Arizona, Phil Holmes, 623---. Someone else in Colorado is considering starting a unit there, too.
Finally, a unit is being founded in Western Canada by Quintus Sertorius of Nova Roma. I'll get more details on these, and they'll all be listed on our Legion's Links page, of course.
Been a while since I've run a "Stuff" article. Just before Roman Days I whipped up a natty scabbard for my new Mainz gladius (an imperfect but good-looking prototype that I got from Albion), red leather with a simple brass frame. The openwork throat came from a handy porch lamp! I also wore the caligae that I finally got a chance to make, and promptly blew out one of the heels. Talk about mad! There must be a design flaw with my patterns, so I'm going to do a little research and re-engineer them. In the meantime, if you're using my patterns, it might be a good idea not to cut out the large rectangular holes at the sides of the heel.
Tom Kolb was sporting his new Republican pectoral at Roman Days, that dinky little square breastplate common to less wealthy legionaries around the Punic War era. His is the "el cheapo" model with simple leather straps, much smarter than the elaborately hinged-together ones that Mike Cope and I have made. Tom was decidedly cooler than those of us in Imperial armor, and made sure that we didn't forget it. Hopefully the whole darn unit won't flee the Empire for a cooler, lighter era...
Several of us were sporting new helmets from Albion Armorers, including Italic type D (Greg Fabic), Gallic type I (Mark Hanna and Owen Hutchins), Coolus E (me), and Coolus C (Roger Moskey). Roger and Greg got their hamatae done, and Roger had a new scutum, which he had browbeaten his wife JJ into painting (nice job, too!). Actually, it was Mike who got Roger's hamata done, a month or so ago. Ron was wearing his new balteus, though the manufacturer (me) still has to make the apron for it.
Oh, and George Metz has a signum for his Legio XXIV, and an eagle! It was part of a lamp that the lucky dog found in a flea market--not metal, but it looks perfect!
Agent Silva (Derek Forrest, UK) sent me a fascinating article by leatherworker Chris Taylor of the Saddler's Den, about his experiments with different types of water flasks. He tried several methods of using an animal bladder, always with the same result: it became very brittle and fragile, and was easily torn or broken. Leather, however, proved to work very well, and is still used in some parts of the world for this purpose, of course. He apparently treats it with tallow to make it waterproof.
A leather water flask could still be hung in the mysterious net bag seen on Trajan's Column. Now all we need is some idea of what shape the thing might have been.
Brian Crawford sent notice of a book for sale from Fragments of Time, Massachusetts: Military Diplomas 1954-1977 by Margaret M. Roxan (University of London Institute of Archaeology, 1978). Detailed publication, including transcription, find spot, present whereabouts and explanation of text from 78 different military diplomas from museums and private collections throughout the world. Softcover with 118 pages. List price: $55. Our price: $40.00 plus $3.20 U.S. postage. http://www.fragments.gosite.com/roxan.htm
Bill Van Dyne tells of another new book: Caesar's Legions, the Roman Soldier 753bc to 117ad, by Sekunda, Northwood, and Simkins, published by Osprey Publishing, 2000. He says "It is filled with great illustrations, museum photos and a number of photos of one of the author's own reproductions of various helms and swords."
Another new one: Roman Fortresses and their Legions, edited by Richard Brewer. Authors include: Mike Fulford, Mark Hassall, W H Manning, Lawrence Keppie, JJ Wilkes, S Thomas Parker, T F C Blagg, Dietwulf Blaatz, R S O Tomlin and Siegmar von Schnurbein. 187 pages, black and white plates, ISBN 0854312749, $50.00. Available directly from David Brown Book Co., www.oxbowbooks.com.
WEST COAST EVENTS
Sean Richards of Legio IX Hispana in San Diego asked me to spread the word on these events, being put on together with Legio X Fretensis:
June 17-18, History Timeline at the Grand National Irish Fair, Pasadena CA
June 24-25, San Diego Highland Games, Vista CA
July 1-3, SCA War, Eureka CA. also with Legio II Augusta of Oregon.
July 8-9, Old Fort MacArthur Days, military reenactments from Rome to WWII, San Pedro, CA
July 1 --Monthly Muster at Roger Moskey's
August 5 --ditto
September 2 --ditto again
September 16-17 --Fall encampment at Marietta. It will just be the Legion this year, as La Belle Compagnie has moved their weekend to October (something about September being too hot...). Our low-stress event.
Sept 30-Oct 1 --Timeline encampment at Fort Washington, MD
October 7 --Monthly Moskey Muster
Date Change--The large timeline event in Paris, France, scheduled for Sept 29-Oct 1, has been postponed to May 2001. Contact Bruno Dienot. (This isn't an official Twentieth Legion event, but a number of people have expressed interest.)
ADLOCVTIO is the official monthly newsletter of the Twentieth Legion. It's also late again. Valete! Matthew Amt/Quintus. The Legion website: http://www.larp.com/legioxx/index.html (Oh, and I've done a few little updates, mostly the Links and Photos pages.)
--Newsflash! Legio VI Ferrata in Tucson, Arizona is restarting, with a new website: http://www.geocities.com/leg_vi_f/index.html. The contact is still Thomas Dominick.