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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