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Becoming a Civilian in Legio IX Hispana


Legio IX has a civilian contingent—members who don't wish to be part of the military and who have an interest in the civilian aspect of Roman Britain. Those members who do portray civilians, don't portray the aristocracy, tribunes, generals, priestesses, etc. No one wears a 1uidromanhistoriantoga (except for certain displays). Civilian members are those common people who would accompany or interact with a camp of Roman soldiers. This can include the women and children of soldiers, as well as assorted craftsmen and local civilians. Civilian members are often native or local born, often Britons but sometimes civilians from other parts of the Empire.

1uidcivilian1Like many Roman reenactment groups, Legio IX Hispana welcomes civilian impressions such including women and children, as LONG as there is an impression. By that we mean what we do is not a baby sitting service nor is it a place simply to socialize (although we do do that). Part of the reason this is done is an effort to both accommodate entire families and to portray Roman civilian life. Roles can include Craftsmen (carpenter, smith, jeweler, netmaker, cord twister, etc.) medic/medicine man, bard and fisherman. Additionally, it is not unknown for older male reenactors (who might have previously played Roman legionaries) to portray consuls, senators, or even a Roman emperor.

In these roles, members can explore the life of the average Roman who was NOT in the military. Tradesmen, craftsmen—families of such. Clerks, slaves, traders... Roman Britain was a diverse and varied land—check here to learn about life then and there.

One Place to Begin

A really great source of information on how to build a Roman civilian impression can be found on Legio XX's website. The link to the civilian area is here.


A really great site to inspire the Roman civilian is here! These are fellow reenactors in Germany... Roman reenacting truly IS something that crosses all borders.


1uidstreet1Here are a couple roles that do not have to be a military role.
  • The Surgeon (Medicus) with his surgical instruments that are recognizable to doctors even today—some with a gruesome history.
  • Herb Seller/Hipotecarium (Apothocary): Our medicus can show you the herbs that were used by the Roman healer to treat ailments, disease and injury. Many were used then, for many different purposes than they are used today. Many of these herbs are unusual, but are now, once again, becoming popular with the herbalist and natural healers of today.
  • Seer/Fortune Teller
  • Families of soldiers and others involved with the army.
  • More to come.
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Becoming a Member of the Ninth Legion

Welcome to Legio IX

This information is intended to get you started to prepare yourself for a Roman Impression as a member of Legio IX. Your impression should be based on Legio IX's service in Britain between Boudica's Revolt in AD 60 and the advance the battle of Mons Graupius in Caledonia in 84. 


If you are under 18, you MUST have signed permission from your parent or guardian to participate. Those under 16 are allowed to participate in drill training only, but NOT combat or combat training. If you are under 16, you MUST be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

We have several "Categories of Membership":

  1. PROBATIO - Volunteers who have have submitted an application form and have had their application accepted. The unit will help you make or purchase necessary clothing and equipment, and in the meantime can provide loaners so you can participate in events. (DO NOT BUY ANYTHING WITHOUT ASKING THE LEADERSHIP FIRST! We have suggestions of reputable vendors.)
  2. TIRO - New members that have purchased or made their own caligae and tunica, and have been to at least one event*.
  3. MILES - Members who have obtained all necessary equipment** and are active participants who have been to at least one public or immersion event*

*Event is defined as any scheduled Legio IX activity as listed on the events page of the LEG IX website, discussion forum, or Facebook group.

**Equipment necessary to progress in rank includes: Caligae, Tunica, Balteus, Lorica, Galea, and Gladius (Civilian members may also attain different status based on their impressions' completeness).

To Get Started:

First: Talk to the Centurio or any Legio IX member. They will help you get orientated to the ancient genre of reenacting and guide you through the process of becoming a member.

Second: Join for emails and updates. This is a place where you can ask any and all questions about the hobby, gear, and construction of gear without feeling like a newcomer! The yahoo group will also keep you informed on upcoming events.

Third: Join the Legio IX Forum here on this site (maybe also)

Fourth: This is a two part step. Part 1: Print off a copy of the Ludus Militis tactica (drill manual) located in our files section. Part 2: Study up on Latin. We know it's a dead language, but you will want to know how to say hello, goodbye, yes sir, etc... in Latin. Don't worry, only a few of us speak it as a second language. We are developing a basic conversation guide for our handbook, which will help you.

Fifth: Start planning your equipment acquisition and determine which items you will buy and which you will make yourself. You should always ask your sponsor or a senior unit member before you buy anything! Not only will this keep you from wasting your money on bad stuff, they may be able to get you a better price, or suggest the best supplier. There is no rush to purchase anything. The Legion has equipment you can borrow until you complete your impression. If you have the gift of being a good craftsman, you can make nearly everything scratch! 

Sixth: Borrow or check out some books.

Finally: If you have a question, ask the group, one of us will know the answer or get you in the right direction. The only thing we require is a noble attitude, we can supply the rest!


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Benefits of Joining Legio IX Hispana

  • We focus our combined energies on creating a dynamic group impression from a single time period. We do not do timelines of Legio IX through history
  • We have established an infrastructure and support network that's designed to get you started very quickly. No need for you to re-invent the wheel.
  • To maintain a high level of authenticity we make much of the armor, weapons, gear and other equipment that we use. We make our Kit by hand when we can, using hand tools whenever we can, even making tools when we need to! We do not use modern mass production precision methods for armor or belt fittings. We hand cut, hand form or hand cast whenever we can. Our gear is not precise because the gear that's been found is also not precise. "With few exceptions, most modern replicas are too well made." M.C. Bishop.1  We are that exception and we do it exceedingly well.
  • We use the gear... in addition to highly informative displays and educational demonstrations at Military Timelines, History Events (Faires, Highland Games et al), Corporate Functions, Museums, and Schools, (Elementary through University) many of us engage in simulated weapons combat, we build Roman encampments, we also go on full kit Campaign Marches in which the total weight of the Kit weighs 110lbs!
  • We have experience using Roman armor, gear, weapons—mostly in non-public venues. The experiences of using simulated weapons in intensely physical combat scenarios (something Roman soldiers actually did!) has endowed us with a perspective that is kind of different than some other groups—a perspective that can't be learned from parading, drills, books or movies, nor from theatrical fighting no matter how sharp the gladius.
  • By joining, you can acquire highly authentic re-enactment grade equipment, armor, weapons and other gear from Member Resources...
  • ...and to quote Marcus, "The pay's good, the water's clean."

(1) Lorica Segmentata: A Handbook of Articulated Roman Plate Armor, M.C. Bishop, page 95

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