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Legio IX Hispana Handbook
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Basic Impression:

Legio IX maintains a priority list as well as information on sources for accurate equipment. Check with the recruit coordinator or unit Armicustos (Quartermaster) BEFORE you order. Many so-called Roman reproduction items offered online are 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. Ask first, before you spend!

Minutia Guidelines for the Essential Uniform and Equipment

First, our definition of "Minutia": 'Minutia" (also known as "kit") refers to any physical item which is brought to an event. This includes clothes, armor, weapons, gear, food, personal effects and other Roman gear. In this section, we will look at what goes into the proper "kit" for the impression of a common Roman soldier.

Kit really refers to all the physical "stuff" which is brought to any event; not only the uniforms and equipment, but also all the personal effects, food, etc. The kit we are talking about is our standard of what we believe the common Roman infantry impression to be. Specialty impressions will be covered in later appendixes and upgrades to the codex when and where needed.

We have a couple different lists of kit. To attend an event as a "Tyro," You will need 4 things (beg, borrow or steal):

  • Tunica (tunic)
  • Focale (scarf)
  • Footwear (caligae or enclosed shoes such as calcei, fell boots, etc.)
  • simple rope belt

To take the field with the unit, you will need to aquire the "A-List" and later, to be a complete soldier, you will need to continue to build your kit with the "B-List." Now, saying this, if there is an evetnt hat is cold, of course you couild get cold weather items. Still, one should try and get the A-List items as soon as possible.

OUR PHILOSOPHY ON KIT

Our policies about what goes into a kit revolve around three simple rules:

  • That the items that constitute the Kit are historically proven to be correct for a common Roman soldier impression within Legio IX Hispana;
  • that an item approximates or imitates the original in appearance and construction, and…
  • that the members are qualified and historically correct to use or wear it. Archaeology related to Roman military finds and artifacts has many gaps that create dilemmas for us as Roman reenactors. These gaps in knowledge have placed us in a situation where we have had to make decisions regarding some items of kit. For example: "Did Roman soldiers carry a cup with them on campaign marches?" No one knows, but if we decide that the answer is "Yes" then what form did this cup take? In cases like these, we made decisions based on our club's principal policy: to portray a common Roman soldier.

There will, of course, be cases where there is a lack of concrete information for us to make our judgments as to just which particular item is correct. In cases like these, we will go back to our basic unit policy (our "Prime Directive" if you will): to portray the common soldier; i.e. we will choose whichever option would be the most typical.

And remember the #1 rule when dealing with the Roman military: there are really NO firm rules as to uniformity — Roman soldiers were NOT that uniform — certainly not in the modern sense of the term — this idea of "cookie-cutter," all-the-same soldiers is more of a modern U.S. military idea; it ain't how the Roman military (or any ancient army, for that matter) was.

SPECIALTIES

Many members will eventually find a specialty for which they equip themselves for, although they will occasionally leave some of this specialty kit in their car, if they are assigned to some job other than what they have equipped themselves for.

How these standards relate to the individual member is actually quite simple: Every member should own at least the Basic and Full Field Kit. Then, according to either the positions available in the unit or a temporary need, the member will then either assemble one of the specialized kits or be issued equipment to fill a needed specialist role.

Since members are often temporarily assigned to various positions within the unit, and these positions require different kits, the unit itself will try to take on the responsibility of issuing some of the specialized gear to the member when he is assigned to a particular job; so again, the kit which the member is obliged to have first is the Basic Kit.

Read these two Articles also:

Legio IX Hispana
www.LegioIX.org

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