Vol. XIII, no. vi, June 2003
AFTER-ACTION REPORT: ROMAN DAYS
Whew, another year, another success. MANY people have told me how much fun they had at Roman Days, including the legionaries of Legiones I Italica (Atlanta, GA) and XXX Ulpia Victrix (Ontario, Canada), and Nova Romans from New England and even farther (and closer!). Legio XXIV was there, of course, and George added even MORE stuff to his usual spread. The gladiators of the Academia put on a great show as always. The Fashion Show was the best yet, and approximately three gazillion bean bags were thrown at Bean the Barbarian.
Mind you, this all happened on Sunday, because on Saturday it RAINED. It was a solid downpour by the time I crawled out of bed, and I was all set to cancel for the day and go back to sleep. But Susan Wolfe had to keep the house open for tours anyway, and offered a nice basement room and some hall space for displays, so we set up some food display and kids' activities inside, and also clustered outside under the many canopies. Basically we spent the day hobnobbing with each other, though there were a few die-hard (or drown-hard) visitors who came by. So the day ended up being quite sociable. In the evening some of us trooped over to Linda and Bill Thompson's house nearby, where Merlinia prepared her annual feast of Roman delicacies. And it finally stopped raining long enough to get home!
Sunday morning, the show went on for real. The Olympics went well, and a number of youngsters were taught the fine art of Roman marching drill. Steve Peffley gave a repeat performance of chopping a scutum with his falx, though his shield was a little more strongly constructed this time and seemed a little better resistant to the weapon. But we finished it off with pila and Greg Fabic's 4th century throwing axe. Oh, and Steve will want me to mention the very special painted motif on his shield: "Campbell's Chvnky Legionary in Entrail Soup". Oh, these barbarians...
Unfortunately, a few of our folks had to miss the event this year. Health problems, business, and family obligations cut the Twentieth's troop strength by half. But with the help of the visiting legions we were able mass a dozen troops on the field, and I think we looked great! Tim Rich came up from Atlanta, and Matt Lanteigne brought two of his legionaries through many trials and tribulations from the Niagra Falls area in Canada, with neat Trajanic gear. Quinton Johansen came down from New England but was only able to stay on Saturday. There were many other participants, all doing a great job, though I don't know all the names or (at this point) even remember the faces! (Roman Days does that to me!)
To all who participated and helped and kept saying hopelessly optimistic things about the weather (if only to keep me from crying!), a huge THANK YOU! It's the fun of getting all these great folks together that makes this all worthwhile. And the usual inadequate Thank You to Susan Wolfe, site manager at Marietta, along with her husband Jim and the staff and the Park and Planning workers, who put up all those canopies and tables and chairs and life rafts and all the other necessities. We couldn't do this without you.
ROMAN DAYS PHOTOS by Jane Walker
I took 220 digital pictures at the event, but I will pare down that number as I check out each image. You can download free 72 dpi images from the website once Matthew posts them. I will also be able to print high resolution images which will be for sale (to cover the cost of paper and ink). Images will be printed on a heavy matte paper which provides the best quality my printer can produce (close to photographic quality--many people can't tell the difference). Price list is included below. I will prepare as many small images for the website as I can for folks to choose from, or folks can specify what they want without seeing them (such as "I want all the good pics of me!"). Each participant can receive one free 4" x 6" print of his/her choice. High resolution images will not be available on the website or through e-mail.
3.5" x 5"......$ 0.45
4" x 6".........$ 0.60
5" x 7".........$ 0.75
8" x 10".......$ 1.50
Roger Moskey is recovering nicely from his recent surgery and is again hosting the regular workshop session this month. The date is this coming Saturday, June 21, 10 AM to 5 PM as usual. Directions are below. This is open to non-members, by the way, just be sure to let the Moskeys know you'd like to come.
Been a while since I've run this column, and we've accumulated a few new toys. I managed to get motivated enough to rebuild my Pompeii gladius scabbard after all these years, with new leather, a proper tinned plate with etched and pierced motifs of Mars and Victory, little palmettes on the corners of the frame, and a finial. Many people who have seen it are now jealous. Finally made myself a new pair of caligae, too!
Greg Fabic put the finishing touches on his 4th century shield. It is a dished oval with a rawhide rim and a very spiffy pointed Germanic boss. The paint job is a radial design of red with sort of olive-drab stripes taken from the Notitia Dignitatum--like any good artist, he's dubious about the color scheme, but I love it!
Richard Campbell was sporting a new Imperial Italic C helmet made by Dean Cunningham of Portland, Oregon. It's terrific and very accurate, Dean being especially proud that hammer and chisel marks are still visible. Richard has been experimenting with casein and milk paints, having completed an auxiliary shield and nearly finished a scutum for Sean Edwards. He has been mixing his colors with authentic pigments, but it's easier (and just as acceptable) to buy the regular colored milk paints and just add water. We still need to experiment with some sort of wax or oil coating to keep the paints from water-spotting.
The big news is that Deepeeka has improved a number of their products. First off, their shields are now much better: the weight is down to under 15 pounds, the handles, bosses, and rims are good, and there is a choice of linen or rawhide facing on the front. The backs may still be uncovered wood, but it's easy enough to glue some linen on. They come fully painted, so there is no choice of emblems, though the Dura Europas scutum is very exciting with its angels and lion! People are trying to get Deepeeka to offer their shields unpainted, which would be fantastic, so stay tuned. Individual shield bosses are also available, brass or steel c. 18 gauge (though I don't think their fancy Tyne scutum boss came out right). Deepeeka has a line of 4th century helmets which are all very nice, the new brass Duerne helmet being particularly eye-catching (and it fits me!). To go with them there are two styles of late Roman boots which look quite tough and well-made. They have two new daggers, one taken from the 3rd century Kunzig finds with a frame scabbard, the other a nice copy of the Leeuwen pugio with its brass dot-motif scabbard. Both of these still have those odd wrapped-around ends on the hilt plates, and I've heard that the black horn underneath is actually plastic, but these can be corrected. For the horsey types, there is a very acceptable first century cavalry helmet with embossed "hair" on the skull. I believe the originals are usually an iron bowl with a thin brass sheathing, whereas this version is simply brass, but I can live with that. There is a conical archer's helmet with a steel bowl and brass frame, cheekpieces, and scale neckguard which looks lovely in the photo. Those looking at earlier periods will note improvements in their triple-disc pectoral and Greek spear, a new Chalcidian helmet, a lovely brass Villanovan shield, and a bronze version of their Corinthian helmet. Also some very striking bronze swords, but I'm not going to get too excited about them until I find out how much they weigh. And I am still not happy with their pilum, since the metal shank does not taper and the point is subsequently too large. I can supply fuller details on all these and more, if necessary.
Several people have mentioned a new find of a very well-preserved Roman boat or barge, being excavated in the Netherlands: http://www.romeinsschip.nl
Linda Thompson's Roman Days photos: http://orpheus.nascom.nasa.gov/~thompson/RomanDays2003/
Richard Campbell's Roman Days photos: http://www.geocities.com/richsc53/RD0603/RD2003.html
For those interested in slings and slinging, there is finally a website: http://www.slinging.org
Naturally there have been a few updates to the Legio XX Website, including the Roman Days page (where you will find many of the pictures that Jane mentioned above), Links, Photos, Scutum, Gladius, Pugio, Crests, and Advice on Starting a Group. Check it out! http://www.larp.com/legioxx/ Actually, I haven't gotten all those new photos up yet, so check back in a few days for all the excitement!
June 21 -- Rescheduled Monthly Workshop, back at the home of Roger and JJ Moskey in Sterling, VA
July 5? 19? -- Monthly Workshop. Date and place to be decided.
August -- Monthly Workshop. We're working on it, okay?
September --Workshop, yada yada...
September 13-14 -- Fall Encampment at Marietta Mansion. Just us on the lawn, a quiet weekend.
September -- Universal Soldier program, Fort Washington. Yes, they know they need better publicity!
October -- Guess what?
Directions to the monthly workshops/musters at Roger Moskey's house:
From I-495 Capital Beltway, take Exit 12 B Route 267 Toll Road West towards Dulles Airport. After paying toll (50 cents), take the first exit--Exit 16 Route 7 Leesburg Pike West for about 11 miles. Go past Cascades Parkway, and at the next light take a right onto PALISADES Parkway, then an immediate left onto "Triple 7" (Route 777). Pass Calvary Temple on right, take the next right onto Regina Drive; follow it to the end and take a right onto Markwood Drive. At stop sign take a left onto Terrie Drive (culdesac). #304 is just to the right of the middle. (Actually, I've been taking VA Rt. 193 Georgetown Pike from the Beltway, through Great Falls and up to Rt. 7. Cuts off some of the Beltway, the toll, and much of awful Rt. 7.)
Is that enough? Can I go to bed, now?
ADLOCVTIO is the Official Newsletter of the Twentieth Legion, supposedly published on the Ides of each month. I am Quintus, aka Matthew Amt, the Legion's Commander and Editor of the Newsletter, http://www.larp.com/legioxx/. Valete!