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Personal Effects

These were items which the miles required for keeping his kit clean or mended, items to help him pass the time, or just personal things which the soldier felt he had to have. Aside from the basic kit, there are a wide variety of things which are appropriate. Be careful, though; there is a tendency for reenactors to carry far more personal effects than would be typical of the soldier in the field. When you actually have to "hump" this stuff for real, you'll find that you can pare it down quite a bit — to just the essentials.

On the other hand, if you need to take certain modern personal effects to an event, do make an attempt to replace them with period Roman substitutes. Why? Well picture this for instance: It's early morning at one of our events and the "troops" are just venturing out of their papillos. There are some muttered greetings; the fire has been raised up and some morning porridge is almost ready. After a few bites of Roman breakfast fare, there will be a few minutes to clean up before morning inspection. Perhaps out comes a razor, combs or even ear spoons, as the men begin their morning absolutions. OH NO! What is THAT? A fluorescent orange, weirdly shaped toothbrush is pulled out into view and the spell and aura are destroyed! This historically-challenged moment could have been prevented, simply by trying to avoid such glaring modernisms — hide such crap in your car, or simply use a period alternative. If you need to brush your teeth in the morning, buy an old-timey toothbrush (and no, I don't think toothbrushes were in use then, but better something old-timey looking then obvious farb crap).


Where can you find these period personal effects? Some things, like that cup we've talked about, can be purchased from reenactor supply houses that specialize in other periods (Rev War, Silly War, etc.) just remember to contact the "Authenticity Czar/Armicustos" before making a purchase. Most of the other pieces you will find at rummage sales and flea markets. It's just a matter of building another life in your pockets. Just like in real life, you will find that you end-up filling your pockets (in our case, pouches) with stuff, some of it useful, some of it not so much so. Just cast about so that what you carry is correct for the period — it's so easy to find little trinkets at flea markets, garage sales and antique malls.


Personal items are things such as:

  • the spongia (you know which sponge we mean here…)
  • small hygiene tools
    • fingernail scraper
    • ear spoon
    • tweezers...
  • comb
  • razor
  • knives: small eating and belt-type knives were common

Period money.Other personal items might include letters from home (on leather or bark "paper"), Good Luck Talismans, religious tokens, etc, And it can go on...

  • Dice
  • board game tokens
  • bronze straight pins
  • clothing closures... (Stuff like this makes handy gifts to woo the local girls...).

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