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15 Jun 2017 -


Click here for for a Member Application.

You may also e-mail or telephone our unit point of contacts:

By e-Mail:

By Telephone:
Rob Zienta: 410.599.4229 (cell)


What are the costs and commitments to participate as a Roman soldier or civilian with Legio IX Hispana?

There are no dues or initiation fees to join Legio IX (although we may occaisionally ask for voluntary contributions toward unit equipment or projects). Participation is up to each individual, although we encourage everyone to attend as many activities as they can! We strive to have about 10 events a year, including a mixture of unit workshops (fabrica), work parties at event sites, public living history displays, and non-public immersion events.

Little or no initial investment is required to participate in your first few events; the unit has some loaner equipment and clothing available for new members to use while they are acquiring their basic items. Everyone is encouraged to obtain their own clothing and footware first; many members have made their own for under $100 or purchased these items for under $200.

Portraying a Roman miles (soldier) with all of his combat equipment of course costs more (but less than it does to portray a soldier in some other periods!). Legio IX strives to make the completing this portrayal (called an "impression") as economical as possible. We buy equipment in bulk at near wholesale prices, and raw materials in large quantities. We hold unit workshops (fabrica) where members can make their own equipment or learn the techniques and borrow our patterns. Most members use a combination of buying some items and making others, although almost everything you might need is available from commercial vendors.

Two items, the shield (scutum) and spear (pilum) are usually issued to each miles at events by the unit quartermaster. This eliminates the requirement to buy these on your own (although some members do so anyway). 

Examples of costs for a soldier impression:

Costs of materials to make your own, versus near wholesale to retail price range:

  • Calcei or caligae (Roman hobnailed boots) $40, vs. $75 to $90
  • Tunica (tunic) $25, vs. $50 to $65
  • Balteus (soldier's belt) with baltea bullatis (dangling studded straps)  $40+, vs. $139 to $250 (depending on style and level of decoration)
  • Lorica segmentata (segmented body armor) $60, vs. $169 to $225 (depending on size)

Cost range to purchase through unit, versus retail vendor (not including shipping):

  • Galea (helmet) with liner $120 vs. $150 (for recommended styles)
  • Gladius (sword) $92 to $135 vs. $150 to $170 (depending on type and level of decoration)

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Calendar of Events 2018

(Note: Other events may be added to the calendar over the course of the year. Legio IX fabrica and work party dates are usually selected a few weeks in advance according to which is convenient for the greatest number of members or the hosts.)


  • Date TBD: Fabrica in Fairfax, VA. More MTA preparation work.
  • March 16-18: Military Through the Ages at Jamestown Settlement near Williamsburg, VA. (Official date has not yet been announced but it is almost always held on this weekend). Annual gathering of reenactment groups from ancient to modern periods. A great venue to showcase the unit and do some recruiting. Overnight camping Friday and Saturday (or stay in a nearby motel). 
  • April 6-8: Clash of Iron at Castra Lafe in Arkansas (Official date has not yet been announced but it is usually held on this weekend) Annual immersion event held at Iron Age site with recreated wood and earthwork Roman castra, vicus, and Celtic village. Some Legio IX members have already expressed an interest in carpooling to this event.
  • May 25-27: Castra Aestiva Held annually near Tillsonburg Ontario, Castra Aestiva is a non-public training event involving Romans and their enemies. It is recommended that new Roman reenactors attend it for a unique immersion experience. Participants bivouac in tents (sub-pelibus) sheltered inside of the protective walls of a fortified camp. Activities include typical army fatigues, Roman drill, weapons handling (sword, archery, pila, sling and free arm stone throw), patrolling and (unit) field combat against enemies of the empire. 

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Modern History - History and Background

Back in the Day

The modern Legio IX Hispana was originally founded in 1994, in Southern California, as a combined SCA warband (Society for Creative Anachronisms) and Roman reenactment club.

A Move Towards History

In late 1999, The 9th Legion and Legio IX* Hispana (*pronounced "no-na") were officially separated because many members wished to do a more accurate portrayal of a Roman soldier. The demands of this new historical reenacting direction and the changing desires of several members who were not interested in Roman reenactment brought about the split. In January of 2000, the rebuilding of Legio IX Hispana was begun...

Several members of Legio IX Hispana continued to enjoy participation as fighters in several warbands within the SCA.

Chapters around the world.

Over the years, attempts were made to build chapters in different areas of the country. Some more successful than others. In most cases, distance was just too much a factor in trying to be one large unit. In others, chapter members wanted to do different impressions and/or members were just not able to visit other areas. Such is life and much was learned about the plan of chapters...

A Change

In 2010, health problems and a desire to do less, led founder Sean Richards to begin a search for a new leader of Legio IX -- someone who had the time, energy and motivation for the job, but by 2011, this search had proved fruitless. He and his group in California, decided to merge with Legio VI Victrix of Los Angeles. This was announced in June 2011, with the California part of Leg. IX moving over to join Leg. VI. A few of the Eastern group did some Legio VI impressions for display, both a later impression and our original 1st Century "standard" impression. Others in the East  decided to continue what we were doing and to do it better. Our MidLant group is growing, getting new members from all over and with many coming into Roman from other time periods. Cross time period "pollination" actually helps grow the unit and brings in a diverse group which makes us strong and more adaptable. We think. Stay tuned to see what happens.

Legio IX Hispana camp, Military Through the Ages 2017


We do portrayals of Roman soldiers between AD43 and ca. AD120, but concentrate on Boudica's Revolt, ca. 59-61 AD. At public events, we set up a typical soldier's camp which may sometimes include the women and children of soldiers, as well as other civilians. We're not a glitzy polished guard or parade duty unit, but soldiers in the field.

A current project is a Roman Marching Camp (or castra) near the Washington DC area his will allow both private, immersion events and some public stuff too. Excitin' times. You can check out this project at

Our Goal

Our Goal is to bring ancient Rome to life for our visitors and also for our membership, allowing our unit members to attend immersion events wherein we try to live the life of the Roman miles and see a bit of how he lived. A "taste" of their life, if you will.

A detachment of LEGIO IX HISPANA on a Roman trekOur activities include the following:

  • Participation at various cultural venues... Highland Games Military Timeline events;
  • Exercitium / Immersion events where members drill, train and learn the art of Roman soldiering;
  • Fabrica at which members make armor, clothes and other gear;
  • Annual 2 day campout. Two days and one night as Roman soldiers;

Non-Soldierly Activities

Activities for non soldiers... Do you need to be an armored soldier to participate? Absolutely not. The wives, children, partners and friends of soldiers are very welcome and have a place in our club. There are a variety of daily living activities and craft skills that can be learned and demonstrated. A Roman military unit often had "soldiers" called immunes who had special skills as engineers, clerks, surveyors, and medical personnel (there are many more!).

Physical requirements

You need to be in good physical shape to participate as a soldier. When at events, we can wear armor all day long. Activities include marching, drilling and weapons practice. This can be physically demanding. As a civilian, this requirement is less-so. Still, one must be able to portray a person of this time period without modern aids.


Participation is essential and encouraged but participation at every event is not expected. Some people like events held to educate the public, others would rather not do this and attend events just for us, to see if we can try to "time trip" back. Both types of events can be rewarding.

A Roman feast!Traditions

Legio IX Hispana has some long held traditions, some fun, some silly and some serious, all of which you will learn as you participate.

Good soldiering

Many reenactment clubs of various historic periods make the serious mistake of having too many officers and not enough soldiers. Not us. For the most part, we are just soldiers.

The Basic Kit

The Basic Kit ("A" List) you will eventually need to become a miles gregarius (soldier) includes the following: tunica, focale (kerchief), bracae (pants), caliga, cingulum (military belt), lorica segmentata (armor), galea (helmet), gladius (sword), pugio (dagger), pila (javelin), drinking vessel, and pouch. Most members take about a year to acquire the Basic Kit.

And just for fun, there is a whole long list of other gear you can get to round out your Roman character, like most members you will make or acquire that gear as you go along. See: The Complete List Of Things For A Miles Gregarius or the Codex Hispana.

A Great New Hobby!

Roman reenactment in the USA is still relatively new. Until the last few years, most of all our gear had to be made in our own garages and hobby rooms or purchased at outrageous prices and cruelly, much of that gear was not and still is not historically accurate. Always check with the authenticity Czar.

Help build an Empire!

Legio IX HISPANA founder,
Hibernicus (Sean Richards) in the Castra

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