Vol. XI, no. vii, July 2001

PICNIC WITH CENTURIO MARCUS by Richard and Allison Campbell

       Bob Garbisch, of Legio X Fretensis of California, will be in town July 29, and wanted to see the Legion's tent and the caupona.  Bob, you may recall, is organizing next year's bus tour of Roman sites.  We've invited him by for that Sunday afternoon/evening to look the caupona over.  Several members have expressed interest in getting together and meeting him, so we decided to extend the invitation to all Legio XX members, spouses and interested parties for this cookout.  Simple, hamburgers/hotdogs sort of stuff, but we'll have that and softdrinks & iced tea, as well as wine and beer.  Since it's a Sunday and we all have to work next day we thought we'd arrange this for 3 to 8pm.
       If you would like to come let us know by email or calling us at home at 703---.  We'll send directions out a bit later, but our street address is 1901 Westfield Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22308.  If you're interested in bringing something, salads or desserts or other cookout food would be welcome.
       Let us know if you can make it so we can plan accordingly. We hope you can all make it.  There must be a Roman holiday in there somewhere as our secondary excuse.  We'll do this rain or shine, and even if Bob has a flat tire and is late.

       After reading last month's report on Roman Days, Dave Michaels sent me this moving epistle:
       "That's it?  No mention of the winners of the Legionary Olympics?  My proudest moment as a legionary and not a single mention of my victories in the armor race and hamata toss?  Nothing about the nifty timeline, with legionaries spanning 1,000 years of Roman history?  Nothing about the photo shoot for the mural of St. Martin?  Sheesh!"
       You're absolutely right, Dave, mea culpa!  I was a bit fried for a few days after the event, and some stuff that was supposed to go in the newsletter got left out.
       Dave took the prizes in both the Armor Race and the Hamata Toss at our Roman Days Olympics--what, you didn't know that chucking chainmail was an Olympic event?  The race was made more interesting when the first man to reach the turning post grabbed it and ran off with it!  I do remember that Greg Fabic won the Pilum Throwing event, as we expected.  (Old Ballista Arm, we call him!)  We were pretty casual this year, no gilded trophies or torch parades.
       After closing on Saturday, artist Lee Boynton had a few of us pose for a photo session, for a painting he's doing for St. Martin's Church in Annapolis.  The subject, no surprise, is St. Martin and the Beggar, Martin being a Roman officer from about 350 AD who cut his cloak in two and gave half of it to a beggar.  When Lee came to me for help with this a couple months before, I asked Dave and Greg to bring along whatever pieces of 4th century gear they had.   Combining those with my own long-sleeved tunic, trousers, and Viking shield, and a late Roman helmet of George Metz's, we were able to pass ourselves off as Romans of 350 quite well enough for the purpose.  Dave had the spiffiest tunic and cap, so he was Martin.  Greg and I were scoffing soldiers, and Lee brought along his own beggar who looked delightfully pathetic.  Finally, Jenny McGuire got roped into being a passer-by, and a rather more sympathetic witness to the charitable act.  Personally, I think we did a really good job!  Lee shot about 18 rolls of film of us in various arrangements, and soon we'll be able to see ourselves immortalized on cavas.  Thanks for helping out with this, folks!
       The timeline Dave refers to above was the Evolution of the Roman Soldier, a sort of military fashion show.  I climbed into my Greek hoplite gear to portray the Etruscan period, and pestered a half-dozen other guys into gear of various eras to make up a good brief overview of how the appearance of the Roman soldier changed over a thousand years.  There are actually a couple photos of this on the new Roman Days page of the website (, and another of Greg's 4th century shield and belt on the Photos page.
       One last little note: A few days after the event, one of the medical students from my workplace told me how much he and his family had enjoyed it.  His 4-year-old daughter was still marching around the house calling "Scutum transforma!"  Needless to say, I was tickled pink.  This is the whole reason we do this, my friends!

       There are a number of little new additions on the Legion website.  First of all, I have added a new page just for Roman Days, including a description, directions, schedule, hotel info, and most of the Roman Days photos that used to be on the Photos page.  Still have to add a map and some other stuff, but by the time people need to start planning for Roman Days 2002 it should be pretty much complete.  This makes the Photos page much shorter and quicker to load, just be sure to check the Roman Days page if you can't find a particular picture.  Some older photos are being deleted if I have a newer one along the same lines, just to save space.   And I'm still moving a few bits back and forth so that the Photos page has a little of everything.
      Thanks to Richard Campbell and his digital camera, there are some nice photos of Roger's lorica, making the construction details much clearer (I hope), plus a drawing with the names of the parts.  Richard also got a good shot of my caligae, one of which was loosely laced with a white cord to make the lacing technique clearer--I get questions about this now and then.  The pages on Belts, Tunic, Packs, Scale Armor, Helmets, and Helmet Crests have also been touched up, including some clickable pictures which lead to a larger version for more detail.  And of course the Suppliers and Links pages are constantly getting tweaked.
       When you have a question about equipment or the Legion's accuracy standards, check the website!  I'm always happy to answer questions, but I do get a lot that are answered online already.  If the website really doesn't have what you need, definitely let me know, and I can work on adding it.  The place to go:

 Ron Kenat alerted me to the following amusing website on Latin pronunciation:

       On Wednesday July 18 there is the first half of a special on PBS called "The Roman Empire in the First Century".  In the Washington DC area it's on channel 26 from 8 PM to 10 PM. Apparently the second half will be aired one week later on the 25th.  Immediately following this first episode is another show, called "Gladiators: Bloodsport of the Colosseum".  No idea what these shows might be like, but at least they aren't on cable so I'll get a chance to watch them.  Thanks to George Huppman for the alert.

       I was in Europe for the past five weeks.  Even though I did not have the time to see Mainz or Alesia, I did get to see quite a bit of ancient history in St. Petersburg, Berlin, Regensberg and Paris.  The first batch of ancient art and artifacts that I saw were in the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia.  Only a few reliefs pertaining to the legions, but interesting things none-the-less and I got many pictures.  My second batch of ancient history sightseeing was in Berlin in the Pergamon Museum, where I saw the famous Pergamon altar which was really impressive.  Regensberg in southern Germany had much more Roman history, since it was a fortress town called "Castra Regina" in Roman times.  I saw the remains of the Roman gate in the town up close and personal and was amazed that something almost two thousand years old had even survived as well as it did.  It was a experience to walk up and touch this gate and realize that some legionaries built it.  The gate was called the "Porta Praetoria".  Finally, I visited the Louvre in Paris and saw the mother load of Roman art and artifacts (outside of the British Museum and Italy).  I got to see two Montefortino helmets up close and personal and I took many pictures.  The Montefortino that Albion offers is very close the one I saw in the Louvre, and the helmets there had many imperfections.  Unfortunately they did not have English translations so I could not read about where they were found or the time frame in which they were used.  I also got to see the famous sarcophagus relief with the Republican era legionaries on it, and it was real neat to see it in person and touch it!  One of the soldier's gladii definitely had a spiral twist on the handle.  I also saw a very nice Mithraic relief up close and personal which was a treat.  Unfortunately the Louvre had no Imperial era Gallic helmets or beltplates, etc.  I couldn't tell you why.

   July 7 --Monthly workshop/muster at Roger Moskey's, 10 to 5
   July 1 -- Legio XX demo in Lancaster for Project Leap Forward (Sunday only)
   July 21 --Day in Rome with Legio III Gallica at the National Junior Classical League convention, Louisiana.  Contact Darren Nunez (not a Leg.XX event)
   August 4 -- Monthly workshop/muster at Roger Moskey's, 10 to 5
   August 4 - 5 -- Time Line Event,  Fort Malden,  Amherstburg Ontario,  opposite Detroit.  Not a Leg.XX event; contact George Metz of Leg.XXIV
   September 1 -- Monthly workshop/muster at Roger Moskey's, 10 to 5
   September 15-16 --Legio XX Fall Encampment at Marietta Mansion
   September 15 -- Masterpiece Motorcade, Leg. III Gallica, New Orleans Museum of Art.  Contact Darren Nunez (not a Leg.XX event)
   October? --Possible Leg. XX event at Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore.
   October 4-6, 2001--ROMEC XIII at Vindonissa, Switzerland.  For more info, see
ADLOCVTIO is the Official Newsletter of the Twentieth Legion, published on the Ides of each month.  Oh, well, at least I'm usually THINKING of writing it on the Ides!  The oh-so-humble editor is Matthew Amt.  The Legio XX website is   Until next Ides (or a couple days after), Valete!