03 Apr 2013 -

Equipment of the Miles Gregarius

1uidscroll_whyBasic Impression:

Legio IX maintains a priority list as well as information on sources for accurate equipment. Check with the recruit coordinator or unit procurator BEFORE you order. Many so-called Roman reproduction items offered online are offered for costume purposes and are not suitable for reenacting, being too flimsy or innacurate. Even some commercial products approved for use are not perfect, and require some work. If you're not careful, your impression could cost you between $850 and $2000. Ask first, before you spend! This list is not the final word in getting your gear. It is merely a good starting point. There are other suppliers, and better custom items out there.

Read these two Articles also:

The Probatus

I) Footwear:

1uidartical_scrollSince you are going to be spending a lot of time on your feet, we suggest getting your Roman boots first. Since everybody has a unique set of feet you can do one of three things: Make your own, have someone make them for you, or buy a commercially manufactured pair.

II) Tunica/Focale:

1uidartical_scrollThe tunica is very easy to make! Just take a look on the Tunica page of our handbook. In fact, we prefer our new recruits to make their tunica as a kind of rite of passage... Remember, it should fit like a tent and not a shirt! The color should be a deep or brick-red — stay way from bright red! Think more of a blood or brick red. If you HAVE to purchase one the Hand-Sewn tunic from Soul of the Warrior is best and after that, La Wren's Nest has a nice selection.


1uidartical_scrollThe Focale is simply a scarf that protects the neck from the armor. You can purchase one from Soul of the Warrior or La Wren's Nest.

III) Balteus:

1uiddeep_tekbelt1uidartical_scrollYour balteus will show your individuality a bit and with that said, we recommend that you make your own. It will give you the knowledge to help you conquer many projects to personalize your kit. Suppliers for individual parts can be found in our vendor's links area, but you should also ask your sponsor... If you want to buy a pre-made belt, there are few that are really correct. Most are made with cast plates copied form stamped ones. Deepeeka's model AH6725 (left—which is probably their best belt so far) is one of the few off-the-shelf belts that is reasonably priced..

The Complete Miles

These items above, are the minimum items necessary to participate at any event. (Legio IX does maintain some loaner items for new recruits to use while they are starting out, just contact the centurio or optio.)

IV Pugio:

1uidartical_scrollFor a pugio, there are a couple of options out there for you. For inexpensive: go with the Deepeeka AH3264B, AH3264P, or Soul of the Warrior model SW010. Expensive: custom work from Len Morgan (Fabrica) or Mark Morrow—they are expensive but it is well worth the money.

The nice pugio to the left was made by Brian Stobbs (now retired).

V) Gladius:

1uidartical_scroll1uidsotw_pompeiiThe famous Roman short sword. This is a personal choice. Get a good one. The Roman Gladius was a two-edged sword, but was really more intended for thrusting at stomach height, as stabbing is a very efficient technique, and stabbing wounds, especially in the abdominal area, were almost always deadly. However, the gladius in some circumstances was used for cutting or slashing, as is indicated by Livy's account of the Macedonian Wars, wherein the Macedonian soldiers were horrified to see dismembered bodies.

Though the primary infantry attack was the thrust, the miles was trained to take any advantage, such as slashing at kneecaps beneath the shield wall.

The gladius was sheathed in a scabbard mounted on a belt or shoulder strap, on the right for soldiers, on the left for centurios and others of certain rank.

VI) Lorica/Subarmalis:

1uidmatt_amt_corbridgeB11uidartical_scrollThe armor most associated with the Roman legions was the lorica segmentata (the modern name, as no one knows the real Roman name... perhaps lorica lamenata).

There are two places that you can get a good inexpensive lorica segmentata: Deepeeka and Danyial Steel Craft. The Deepeeka ones are great and perfect once you customize it for you. The Daniyal Steel Craft ones look good in pictures, but have not had a closer inspection.

1uidartical_scrollFor lorica hamata there are three places to go Find-it Armory, Deepeeka, and Danyial Steel Craft. Find-it Armory is going to be the best place to go for two reasons. One: it was designed with the help of reenactors and Two: it is the cheapest around.

The subarmalis is not a mandatory item but once you wear a lorica (segmentata or hamata) you will be making one! It is the same principle as the tunica but shorter and padding around the shoulders and upper back. If you want to purchase a pre-made one go to SOTW or  La Wren's Nest.

VII) Canteen:

Once again you have a couple of options here. You can get a leather bottell from Leather Lore or a clay one from Venetian Cat. Also, the unit has some patterns to make one of these.

VIII) Galea:

1uidartical_scrollOf the Imperial-Gallic helmets, Gallic type G (shown at left) and Gallic type H are the most popular amongst reenactors, but types A through I are all acceptable. All of these can be purchased from Deepeeka but for legionaries with larger heads may need a custom armor such as Manning Imperial or Lonely Mountain Forge.

IX Scutum

1uidix_scutum1uidartical_scrollThe best way to get a good, scutum, is to buy from the unit fabrica (contact the centurio). For an Inexpensive off the shelf scutum, go with the Deepeeka AH3853L -- it's just HEAVY. A good custom one can be obtained from Soul of the Warrior, available in Augustan and Imperial styles. If you are a crafty person you can make your own. Designs for a press can be found on the "Scuta Press" page of Legio XX. The design will be as in our unit Handbook.

X) Thrown weapons: pilum and Javelin


1uidartical_scrollThe best pilum to go with, would be one made by the unit or with parts made by Dave Stone. Soul of the Warrior has some very authentic pila and at a good price! The new Deepeeka pila is still a little heavy but a vast improvement over the older versions they have had!

**Remember ALL Deepeeka gear can be
purchased through the unit.***

***You are not alone out there. Come to the fabrica (gear-making parties) which we try to hold as often as possible, sometimes in league with our comrades in Legio XX. Many of the members have extensive knowledge is most anything you can make and will help you make them at your workshops!

Full Kit

The above list is then completed with the addition of the following items. The full campaign kit includes items that are optional, but some items are recommended for overnight events.

More Clothing:


Subligaculum (underwear)

article_scroll_2.pngFascia Ventralis (sash belt)
article_scroll_2.pngPetasus Stramenti (Straw Hat)

Cold Weather Clothing:

article_scroll_2.pngPilleus pannonius (Pannonian cap)

article_scroll_2.pngUdones (socks)


article_scroll_2.pngbraccae (ankle length trousers)

  • femenalia (full length trousers)

article_scroll_2.png paenula (hooded cloak) or sagum (cloak)

  •  lodix (blanket) What can we say? Wool. Darker or "natural" coloured.


  • Subarmalis (under armor padding)

1uidartical_scrollTegimen (Leather marching cover for Scutum)

Marching Pack:

1uidartical_scrollLoculus (satchel)

1uidartical_scrollFurca (carry pole)

  • Aqua Vescae (canteen)

Digging and Entrenching Tools:

article_scroll_2.pngPala (shovel)

article_scroll_2.pngLamina Caespiti (turf cutter)

article_scroll_2.pngDolabra (pickaxe)

article_scroll_2.pngVali or Sudis (palisade stakes)

article_scroll_2.pngMore Entrenching items

Mess Gear:

1uidartical_scrollThe soldier's eating kit:

  • Vas (cooking pot)

  • patera (mess pot)

  • poculum (cup)

  • conclear (spoon) 

Personal Hygiene items:

article_scroll_2.pngSpongia = Roman toilet paper (sponge on a stick)

  • Small hygiene tools (fingernail scraper, ear spoon, tweezers...), Comb, Razor.

Legio IX has contacts with Deepeeka and DSC. These manufacturers and pieces have been reviewed and selected by Legio IX with the assistance of Matt Amt of Legio XX, Dan Peterson of Legio XIV, and numerous other legions. Be aware there are other Deepeeka, DSC and Indian/Chinese products available, but they are generally of lower quality than the ones we recommend. Even these items will need work, but we can help you with that!

There are always better custom suppliers, indeed, some make goods that are too good for mass produced military hardware. Using the Legio Armamentarium will allow you to economically get into the hobby, then we can all have fun at workshops getting your gear right!

Share on Twitter! Digg this story! Share on Facebook! Technorati Reddit StumbleUpon

Our Calendar