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Modern History - History and Background


Origins

The modern Legio IX Hispana was originally founded as the 9th Legion in 1994 in Southern California as a combined SCA (Society for Creative Anachronisms) warband and Roman reenactment club. In late 1999, Legio IX (*pronounced "no-na") Hispana was officially created out of the original group by the many members who wished to do an accurate portrayal of a Roman soldier. In the next decade several chapters of the California group were started, most notably our group which encompassed the mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. We are still growing, getting new members from an even wider area, with many coming into Roman from other reenacting time periods.    



Legio IX Hispana camp, Military Through the Ages 2017

Today

We do portrayals of Roman soldiers between AD 60 and AD 85 in Britain, from Boudica's Revolt to the invasion and occupation of Caledonia (Scotland). 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 portraying a parade unit in Rome, but rather soldiers in the field on the furthest fringes of the Roman Empire.

A current project is a Roman Marching Camp (or castra) near the Washington DC area this will make possible private immersion reenactments and possibly public events as wel. You can check out this project at www.romantimes.org.

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 may wear armor all day long. Activities include marching, drilling and weapons practice. This can be physically demanding. As a civilian, the physical requirements are much less. Still, one must be able to portray a person of this time period without modern aids.

Participation

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 immersion events (just for us reenactors) to see if we can "time trip." 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.

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 heavily modified to be historically accurate. Now all needed items from the unit equipment list (which have been prescreened to meet unit authenticity requirements) can be purchased at a deep discount through the unit through an arrangement with a major U.S. distributor. Legio IX also provides assistance for those who wish to make their own articles be means of research of original artifacts, patterns, and unit workshops (fabricae).

Help build an Empire!

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


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