Vol. XIII, no. ix, September 2003
September 27-28 is the fall Universal Soldier program at Fort Washington, Maryland. It runs from 10 AM to 5 PM on Saturday, and 10 to 3 on Sunday. Quiet and relaxed, not many visitors, but we shall Do Our Thing with our usual flair. If you got a registration form in the mail but have not returned it, please do so! If you did not, or have not, you will need to register upon arrival. Fort Washington National Park is located at 13551 Fort Washington Rd., Fort Washington, MD 20744. From I-95/495 the Capital Beltway, take Rt. 210 Indian Head Highway South; go about 4 miles and turn right at the light onto Fort Washington Road, which ends about 3.5 miles later at the park entrance. Admission for the public $5 per car (but they don't always charge!). http://nps.gov/fowa/vip.htm, or http://nps.gov/fowa/universal.htm.
La Wren's Nest is having a Bargain Basement sale, featuring a number of Roman items which are good for reenactors. Slightly damaged items or fittings missing (and easily repaired), swords without scabbards, scabbards without swords, etc. Their Bargain Basement page doesn't seem to work yet, but drop them a line to see what they have. Richard Campbell ordered a Coolus E helmet for only $135, but what he got was a very nice Coolus G, the first time I'd seen Deepeeka's version of that. Good shape, accurate neckguard and cheekpieces, very good crest knob, the only problem was one of the feather tubes being missing--not a problem!
Andy Buse is selling off a shirt of butted mail, which can be made into a lorica hamata with some assembly. He also offers brass chest hooks, a mail coif (medieval hood), and a linen and leather subarmalis. Details on the Roman Army Talk board, http://pub45.ezboard.com/fromanarmytalkfrm13.showMessage?topicID=248.topic , or contact him directly.
Graham Sumner's second Osprey book is out, Roman Military Clothing vol. 2, AD 200-400. Unfortunately I have only gotten the briefest glimpse of it so far, but suffice it to say that I've heard good things about it. You can get it from all the usual sources, or direct from Osprey, http://www.ospreypublishing.com. Graham also asked me to mention that the original artwork for the book is for sale, and that inquiries can be directed to him.
The Norfolk Botanical Gardens is hosting their annual History Alive program on October 3-5, from 10 AM to 4 PM. "Norfolk Botanical garden will be invaded by re-enactment groups representing different time periods with food, clothing and customs authentic to the era. Interpreters will provide an accurate and exciting chronicle of our past, explaining the life and times of their characters. Live demonstrations will go on throughout the weekend at different campsites. Regular garden admission applies. For more information call 757--- ext. 352." This is from their website at http://www.virginiagarden.org/specialevents.htm#historyalive, and it's all the information I have. I have heard of this event before, but it seemed a little late in the season as well as farther than I wanted to drive to be chilly. But Greg Fabic is thinking of going to it, and is offering space in his VERY big tent, bring your own cot or bedding. (He has a big van, too.) The leather tent may also be available, and of course the signum and vexillum. Contact Greg if you are interested.
For those of you who want to do more sparring against each other without the sorts of ouches and lawsuits that can result from using steel swords, you might try a foam and duct tape weapon from Jeanry Chandler. His catalog is at http://bellsouthpwp.net/d/e/deodand23/Weapons3.htm, and you can two different gladii at http://bellsouthpwp.net/d/e/deodand23/Gladius5D.jpg and
http://bellsouthpwp.net/d/e/deodand23/blackGlad1.jpg. He says he can do other sword styles, daggers, pila, etc.
TRAVELOGUE From David Blain
We just got back from an aggressive vacation in Britain geared heavily to Roman sites (for academic and research reasons). It took intense planning to get everything organized (hotels, historic site selections, etc.), and we procured an English Heritage (overseas visitors) Pass to help corral some costs. By the end of our trip I had purchased over two dozen books and periodicals as well as several specific Roman artefacts. We drove 1300 miles, stayed in 9 different places (Canterbury, Worthing, Salisbury, Bath, Llangollen, Caerarfon, Tal-y-Bont, York, Wark (near Hadrian‚s Wall), Roslin and Glasgow) and visited 20+ Roman sites.
On the non-Roman side we visited Canterbury Cathedral (where Thomas Becket and the Black Prince are interred), Battle (where William the Conqueror defeated the English King Harold in 1066), the beach at Worthing, Stonehenge, the Whitehorse at Westbury, Bath's Victoria Art Gallery and Costume Museum, Vale Crucis Abbey (argued by some to be the real Glastonbury), Caernarfon castle, the walled city of Conwy and its Teapot Museum, York Minster Cathedral, Edinburgh (its Castle with the Stone of Destiny, HM Registry House (the office of the Lord Lyon), the Children's Museum, the Brass Rubbing Centre and the Royal Mile), Rosslyn Chapel (and castle), Bannockburn (where the Bruce defeated King Edward II), the Wallace Monument, and Dunblane Cathedral and Museum.
1. Canterbury [Durovernum Cantiacorum]: There was a small Roman Museum that was interesting. As we walked the city I noted that its stone walls were made out of flint--not something I expected.
2. Richborough [Rutupiae]: This was the launching point for the Claudian Invasion of 43 A.D. The fortress walls still standing belong to a Roman Saxon shore installation. In Claudian days the fort was sited on an island with the Wansum Channel at its back providing fleet access. Today Richborough is several miles inland. Towards the end of the first century a triumphal arch was erected here to commemorate the Claudian victory. Only the base remains (flint), but standing on it, and looking along the Roman road that we call Watling Street, one can envision the legions marching through the arch over the centuries. The custodian at Richborough is Susan Harris, and she wrote the English Heritage booklet that guides one through the various stages of Roman development here.
3. Fishbourne Roman Villa in Chichester [Noviomagus]: Originally Legio II Augustus (under Vespasian) established a base here for the conquest of southwest England between 43 and 46 A.D., and cargo ships were able to dock at its seaward side. Subsequently a civilian settlement developed. A palace was erected on this spot for the client king Tiberius Claudius Cogidubnus around 75 A.D. using Mediterranean artisans. It is the largest and finest villa/palace north of the Alps. The building is rectangular in plan (450 feet by 510 feet, covering 5.6 acres) with large formal gardens in the center. It had over 100 rooms with mosaic floors (one of which has over 360,000 tesserae). The north wing has been exposed and is under a protective roof. The site is interesting, and the museum shop was well stocked with informative books.
4. Portchester [Portus Adurni] is a Roman Saxon shore fort. It is an impressive coastal site (Portsmouth Harbour) within visual distance of the modern British fleet. All four massive external walls still exist. The internal buildings are gone. An Augustinian priory and graveyard occupy one corner and King Henry's keep another.
5. Old Sarum [Sorviodunum] was a large oppidum when the Romans arrived and was likely stormed by Vespasian and II Augusta. The Romans occupied this site, and four major Roman roads pass in close proximity. The Roman remains have been deeply buried under the Norman inner bailey and will not likely be excavated. The views from the earthen ramparts are impressive.
6. Bath [Aquae Sulis]: The Roman Baths were constructed shortly after the invasion (60 A.D.) to take advantage of the curative properties of the warm waters (1.13 million litres per day). The Roman bath remains are extensive and clearly marked for visitors. Amongst the museum artefacts exhibited was the head of the statue of Sulis Minerva (the principal deity of the temple), a marvellous stone Gorgon's head that adorned the temple pediment, intaglio gemstones lost in the drainage system by bathers, lead curses, etc. A group of four of us enjoyed a private guided tour. The main bath is still lined with its original 45 sheets of Mendip lead to prevent cooler waters penetrating the pool--and they work!
7. Caerleon Roman fort [Isca] was Legio II's HQ from 75 A.D. The baths (an excavated portion is roofed over), amphitheatre (capable of holding the entire legion), excavated northwest barracks (foundations only) and existing defensive walls were impressive. Near the barracks, built into the earth ramparts beside the via Sagularis, were ovens used by the soldiers. The local Roman museum was worth the visit. There was a first century Roman helmet (repro of one found in a German river) on display along with the usual tombstones, etc. Their shop section was interesting and I picked up a half dozen cards featuring Peter Connolly's artwork (the Dacian campaign).
8. Wroxeter [Virconium] started out as a legionary fortress built by Legio XIV/XIIII Gemina in 55 A.D. It ended up being one of the three largest Roman cities in Britain and was the size of Pompeii. It was finally abandoned two hundred years after the Roman withdrawal. The principal building to be viewed here is the bathhouse. There is a section of wall separating the baths from the exercise basilica that constitutes one of the largest remaining pieces of a Roman building still standing in the U.K.
9. Chester [Deva] was founded by Legio II Adiutrix around 74 A.D. The whole of the fortress is now within the city of Chester, but the walls still exist as they were used and augmented over the centuries. Chester was the last city captured by William the Conqueror in the U.K. (1070 A.D.). I met the Chester guard as they prepared to march into the city from the visitor's centre and chatted briefly with them. They had a positive opinion about your Legio XX. We visited the amphitheatre, attended the Deva experience, and walked the walls. I believe that a Legio XX member visited the Deva experience previously and warned against it --my wife and I agree. It was not worth the expense.
10. Segontium Roman fort (Caernarfon): The entrance building was closed, so we took a self tour. The site, a 5 acre Agricolan fort from 77 A.D., is set on a height of land overlooking the town and the harbour. It is named after the local river, known as the Seiont by the Celts, and it housed an auxiliary cohort.
11. Caerhoun [Canovian] Roman fort was built around 70 A.D. to accommodate a mixed garrison. It is situated 5 miles south of Conwy on the Conwy River and overlooks the valley. The road from the Porta Principalis (facing east) leads to the river where small craft could dock. Today a church occupies the northeast corner and you need to use a lot of imagination to picture what once existed.
12. York [Eboracum] was the HQ of Legio IX around 71 A.D. Again, there is little left from the Roman era. York Minster cathedral is built over part of the principia and a statue to Constantine has been erected on the east side. We walked the walls and old city, stopped at the famous multiangular Roman tower in the Museum Gardens and shopped for Roman antiquities. I purchased three antique items: a silver denarius from the reign of Vespasian (his head is on one side and a winged caduceus on the reverse), a crossbow broach used by Roman soldiers and civilians for fastening their capes and an original bronze military apron weight.
13. South Shields [Arbeia] was a Roman military depot on the east end of Hadrian‚s Wall. It features a fully reconstructed fortress west gate, reconstructed barracks block (for one century) and a partially reconstructed praetorium. We were fortunate to enjoy a one hour tour of the barracks and praetorium with an archeologist, and the reconstructions were worth the visit. They give you a much better feel for frontier life as opposed to foundation stones. The barracks represented those common in the latter stages of the Roman occupation. I have seen them showing the rear rooms for sleeping and the front ones for equipment. Arbeia depicted the front rooms being used for cooking with built in ovens.
14. Wallsend [Segudunum] is a 4 acre Roman fort built around 126 A.D. with a fully reconstructed bathhouse modeled on that at Chesters (on Hadrian‚s Wall). It was occupied by a cohort equitata in the third century. The bathhouse was worth the visit.
15. Vindolanda Roman Fort on Hadrian‚s Wall (& Chesterholm Museum) featured reconstructed tower and wall sections in both stone and timber. Near the museum was a reconstructed temple and Roman house --all worth seeing. There were at least a dozen people excavating as we walked the site. Vindolanda is renowned for the 1900 letters found in waterlogged conditions by Robin Burley and his team. The text from these letters has been recovered and is touted as the number one treasure in the U.K. They continue to discover more. Chesterholm, the residence of the first site archeologist, now houses a good museum. There was a piece of a helmet crest on display that was recovered last year. It was braided/tied at the base where it would be placed inside the crest box and was black with age. I spoke with one of the museum staff regarding the piece, and she assured me that it was originally red and made from a local plant known as hair moss--most interesting!
16. Carrawburgh‚s Mithraeum: The remnants of the building can be visited and the exterior walls stand to 30 inches. There is a full reconstruction in the Museum of Antiquities in Newcastle upon Tyne (which is in close proximity to Segudunum and Arbeia). Considering that we drove through Newcastle, it is a shame that we missed the museum.
17. Chesters [Cilurnum] Roman fort on Hadrian's Wall had foundation remains except for a Roman bridge abutment, the tallest standing Roman bathhouse walls in the U.K. and a vaulted principia strong room.
18. Corbridge [Corstopitum] near Hadrian's Wall consisted largely of foundations. There was a horrea with a surviving mullion (side wall vent) and largely intact elevated floor. I probably enjoyed the museum most because of a box and its contents featuring the remains of an armourer's tools and lorica segmentata pieces discovered there some years back (of which I am sure that you are aware).
19. Brunton‚s turret 26B: We took a quick stop at this segment of the wall which stands over seven feet, but it is not particularly noteworthy.
20. We drove through Newstead [Trimontium] and I could not locate the fort, so we continued north. I know that there is one because of photographs of a marker that I have seen.
21. Ardoch Roman Fort [Alavna Veniconvm] is located on the
side of the small Scottish town of Braco about 18 miles north of the
Wall (one day's march). The multiple defensive ditches were
but nothing else was visible. This fort was built around 80 A.D.
and forms part of the Gask Ridge defences.
MORE DISTANT EVENTS
From Rusty Myers, Legio VI Ferrata in South Carolina:
I know it is a long haul for you, but at least wanted to invite you! Our first large event in South Carolina! On behalf of the ISPA and The Legionaries and Supporters of Legio VI Ferrata Fidelas Constans, I would like to formally invite you to our first annual Castro Romani, November 6 thru 10, 2003. This event will be held at Givhans State Park in South Carolina. Knowing it is a bit of a drive for most, we are pulling out all the stops to make this an experience you will not want to miss, nor ever forget!
While this event will be advertised and open to the public, our primary goal is to provide a unique experience to our participants. To this end we have a great number of events which will interest the Roman Reenactor, be they soldier or civilian! This will include a period smithy, potter, baker, and more. If you have a unique impression you would like to bring and add, please contact us. There is no cost to our participants for any of the events they can participate in or for the encampment itself.
Soldiers will get the opportunity to drill and train with double weighted weapons, pila range, live sword (against a post of course!), in addition to participating in Military Games, a 1.5 mile nature trail road march, guard mount, pay issue, and more.
The highlight of the event will be the Centurios Convivium, a grande Roman Banquet prepared by our gourmet Roman Chef, and hosted by the Centurio.
The timing of the event allows us to incorporate the long Veterans Day weekend for units that must travel far. Average Temperature in November in South Carolina is 70-75 degrees. In addition there are few if any events on the calendar for that period of time. Plus… the mosquitos are mostly dead! Legio VI will be onsite Thursday the 6th to Monday the 10th, but you should try to arrive sometime Friday unless you are setting up a special event or station. Vendors are welcome to set up a display, but we ask that they remain in period as much as possible, and you must contact us as soon as possible. We have limited room for vendors, but will endeavor to accommodate you. Remember this event is being planned for the participants, so we need you to attend! Please RSVP by October 1st with firm numbers if at all possible (this is so we can plan the feast).
It is our sincerest hope you will plan to attend. We will have an excellent time, and want you to be there to celebrate the growth of Roman Living Archeology!
Justus Rustius Longinus, Centurio, Cohrs I
Legio VI FFC
MOVIE TRAILER FILMING
Gary Barbosa, Executive Producer, 727---
Period: Second Century Rome And Greece
Set: Parthenon, Nashville, Tennessee
Date: Saturday, March 24 through Monday, March 26, 2004
All Roman Re-Enactors attending whether chosen for the filming or not shall receive hotel accommodations for both Saturday and Sunday evenings.
Should enough Re-Enactors attend, a festival will be held sponsored by us and the City of Nashville, making this a public event, publicized by the City and local news channels. The Festival will include mock Roman Tactics and Gladiator Matches as well as all other facets of Roman Life.
Help us make this an annual event which will grow each year, as well as providing us with enough Roman Citizens to make the filming a success.
QUALIFICATIONS FOR HOTEL ACCOMODATIONS
All re-enactors must:
1: Submit by E Mail (preferred) or send by regular mail a photograph of themselves, outfitted as a Roman Citizen. This will serve to identify the individuals and give us an accounting of what type and how many "Romans" will be attending.
2: A copy of each individual’s drivers license enabling us verification of each individual, mailing address, and ability to book the rooms.
MINIMUM DESIRED ATTENDANCE
Roman Legionaries ? 40
Senators ? 20
Citizens ? 50
Children ? 5
Legionaries could double as Senators and Citizens as long as they have the appropriate tunics and togas.
Once we receive enough participation from the re-enactors everyone will receive an official notice of their room reservations.
We will keep everyone informed of those who join, and how large (we hope) this festival and filming is becoming.
If you like e-Bay, you might try a new auction site, http://www.reenactorstuff.com/
Statue foot wearing sock, with really stupid commentary: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=1538&e=15&u=/afp/lifestyle_britain
A major update of the Helmets page of the website is nearly complete, and minor tweaks have been done to Subarmalis, Schedule of Events, Links, Bibliography, History, and Photographs.
September 27-28 -- Universal Soldier program, Fort Washington. Yes, they know they need better publicity!
October 4 -- Monthly Workshop at Roger and JJ Moskey's, Sterling, VA
November 1 -- Ditto
December ? -- Walk Through Bethlehem program
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.)
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!