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Ad Signum


Ad Signum is (supposedly) published each month. Here are the back issues.

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Tactica commands with phonetics

Initial formations for exercitus (field exercise/battle):

Ad Arma  (ahd / ARR mah) To Arms! (put on armor and grab weapons order repeated and passed through the camp)

Ad Signum  (ahd / SIG num) To the Standard! (Fall in!)

Silentium  (see LEN tih um) Silence! 

Ad Imperandum  (ahd / im perr AHN dum) Attention to Orders!

Signum Tolle  (SIG num / TOHL lay) Raise the Standard! (soldiers [miles] also pick up shields [scuta] and polearms [conti: pila, hasta, lancea, iacula)

Dirige Frontem  (DEE rree gay / FRON tem) Dress the Front!

Statue Signum  (stah TEW ay / SIG num) Plant the Standard! (rest or plant standard shaft in ground, soldiers rest on shields and spears) 

Changing shape and density of formation:

Ad Duo. Intra  (ahd / DEW oh.  EEN trah) To Two (ranks). (file) Inward!

Ad Quattuor. Intra  (ahd / KWAT too orr. EEN trah) To Four (ranks). (file) Inward!

Ad Octo. Intra  (ahd / OK toh.  EEN trah) To Eight (ranks). (file) Inward!

Ad Quattuor. Exi  (ahd / KWAT too orr. EKS ee) To Four (ranks). Exit! (the file)

Ad Duo. Exi  (ahd / DEW oh. EKS ee) To Two (ranks). Exit! (the file)

Iunge  (YOON gay) Close Up! (to close order interval) 

Laxa ad Ambas Partes  (LAHX ah / ahd / AM bahs / PAR tays) Open Up to Both Directions! (width and depth)

Ad Latus, Stringe  (ahd / LAH tus,  STRiN gay) From the Flanks, Draw In! (files close in toward signum)

Laxa  (LAHX ah) Open Up! (files spread away from signum) 

Changes of front (from stationary position):   

Ad Contum, Clina  (ahd / KAHN Toom / KLEE nah)  To the Spear (right), Face!

Redi  (RAY dee!) Return! (face the original direction)

Ad Scutum,  Clina  (ahd / SKOO tum  /  KLEE nah!) To the Shield (left), Face!

Transforma  (trans FOR mah! ) About Face! (each miles turns 180 to the scutum [left] to face to the rear)

Muta Locum  (MEW tah / LOW cum) Change Place! (files countermarch to face in opposite direction)

Ad Dextram, Depone  (ahd / DEX tram / day POH nay!) To the Right, Change Front! 

Ad Laevum, Depone  (ahd / LIE wum / day POH nay!) To the Left, Change Front!

Moving in Column or Line:

Signum Sequere  (SIG num / se QWAIRR ay!) Follow the Standard!

Fer Signum  (FAIR / SIG num!) Bear (advance, carry) the Standard!

Sequimini Me  (SAY kwee mee nee / MAY!) Everyone Follow Me! (command given by leader or standard bearer [signifer] to change direction of moving column, or to rally soldiers)

Move  (MOE way!) Move! (march)

Ordinem Servate  (ORR dih nem, sairr WAH tay!) Maintain (dress) the Rows! (adjust intervals, keep the files and front straight)

Plenum Gradum  (PLAY num / GRAH doom!)  fast marching pace

Adcelera  (ahd KAY lerr ah!) Speed up!

Tarda  (TAR dah!) Slow Down! 

Sta  (STAH) Stop, or Stand Fast!

Defensive Formations:

Undique Servate  (OON dee kway / sairr WAH tay!) To All Sides, Guard! (rear ranks about face)

Reverte  (rreh WAYR tay) Revert! (to original position)

Ad Orbem  (ahD / ORR bem) Form a Circle!

Ad Testudinem  (ahD / tes TOO dih nem) To the Testudo!

Movement to Combat:

Infer Signum  (EEN fair / SIG num!) Bear Forth the Standard! (in attack mode)

Ad Pila  (ahd / PEE lah) To Spears! (grip and raise pilum for throwing) (For attack in linear formation)

Ad Gladios et Ad Pila  (ahd / GLAH dee ohs  / et / ahd / PEE lah) To Swords and Spears! (grip and raise pilum for throwing, if no pilum is carried, draw gladius) (For attack in wedge formation)

Parati  (pah RAH tee)  Make Ready! (to raise the battle shout and throw pila)

Adiuta (ah dih YEW tah) Aid us! (cornicen sounds the battle call), followed by Marte (MAR tay!) O Mars! (all combatants shout in unison, each miles in the front rank throws his pilum) 

NOTES: These commands and tactical evolutions are taken primarily from Cicero, Livius, Vegetius, and Mauricius; with supporting evidence and examples from Sallustius, Caesar, Ammianus Marcellinus, Quintillian, Tactitus, Curtius Rufus, Valerius Maximus, Lucanus, Appian et alia. The theory behind these evolutions are described in detail in the derivations of the original  Tactica by the Stoic philosopher Poseidonius by Asclepiodotus, Aelian, and Arrianus, as well as Onasander.

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Click here for for a Member Application.

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

By email (click here)

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). 

A basic soldier impression can cost between $380 (for a combination of self-made and unit discount purchased gear) to $800 for non-discount full retail purchase. 

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