Now it can be told!!! I have been fascinated with the Roman Empire and the Roman Army since childhood. In 1971, I made a reproduction Roman sword in metal shop at CSUC-Chico. Unfortunately, I used French plans for the classic Spanish short sword, and later have found it is more a crude gladitorial type sword than a Roman army sword. Knowing my love of things Roman, my mother even sculped a statue of me in Roman armor a number of years back.
A few years back, I keyed "Roman Army" into Yahoo search and found out there are rebuilt Roman army legions out there, with people re-enacting the roles of Roman soldiers and civillians. I was thrilled, to find reborn legions in Europe, Russia and the United States. After a lot of research, I have formulated a role for myself.
I am now Arturius Britannicus, an auxilary infantryman of around 31 AD (your time). I am primarily a member of the Cohors III Gallorum et Britannorum. To get more information about this unit and it's history, as well as see our new vexillum, click here. Why did I choose to be an auxiliary soldier rather than a "glorious" legionary?? In the words of Vegetius,
"There is also another reason why the Legions have
become attenuated: The labour of serving in them is
great, the arms are heavier, the duties more frequent, the
discipline more severe; to avoid this many flock to the
Auxilia to take the oaths of service, where the sweat is
less and the rewards come sooner."
In 54 BC, when Julius Caesar invaded Britannica, my family and tribe members, part of the Trinovantes tribe, supported the Romans. When Ceasar left, matters reverted to the old ways, with the Catuvellauni tribe taking much of our lands, and our tribe and family found it hard living in Britannica, having supported Roma. We were of Celtic background, so moved across the channel to Gaul. We settled in the area of Burdigala Biturigum Viviscorum (modern day Bordeaux). Here Roma was in control, and we were safe. There we met like-minded Celts, and Gallic people. We remained in Roman service through the years.
We were called upon to form various types of cohors (partly mounted, and mostly infantry) in 11 AD (your time). After serving with Germanicus in the Rhinelands, pacifying the Germanic peoples (again), we were shipped to the Middle East, to serve as special troops to Pontius Pilate, stationed in Jerusalem. We did guard duty, police work, light skirmishing, and supported Legio X Fretensis, who are in the area, when called to do so. Legio X Frentesis is also the Legio I am currently attached to, based in Vallejo here in North California.
IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN
The armour and equipment used by an auxiliary infantryment, just follow this link.
Roman sanitation, including a look at some Roman toilet paper, just click here.
RETIREMENT AND THE POPINA!!!
Recently, Caesar, via my unit commander, presented this auxiliary with his diploma of retirement from the regular ranks. I am now settling in an area of Gaul, where the tribes are still a bit wild. I am now a Roman citizen, as are my wife and children!! Just before I retired, we had a bit of a chop-up with the local wild tribes, and ended up taking some chunks of their land, as well as a few comely slaves. I got a piece of land to use upon my retirement. I sold half of it to finance my popina, which is set up next to the local army base. The other half of my land is being worked as a farm by two lazy and grumpy slaves.
For the present time, I own a popina, that is a Roman stand-up snack bar. I serve some of the more civilized Gauls too, and find much in common with them. In about a year or two, if business keeps up the way it is, I will add a second floor, and buy two young slave girls to service soldiers and others. I might also rent a room to a traveler at times. Then I can call my establishment a "caupona". Finally, after a few good years, economically speaking, I plan to push out the walls and put in a full kitchen, with a good selection of wines from my home area, Bordeaux, and feature sit-down dining. THEN, I will finally be a "taberna"!!
By the way, the commander made it very clear that in case of trouble, I will be expected, along with other veterans in the area, to don my uniform and respond to the call for defense. SO, you may be seeing me in my battle garb again.
The popina had it's first "outing" August 20-31, 2003 at the Scottish Games in Pleasanton, California. Here I am serving wine to two troopers of LXF. If you are interested in more pictures of the popina, it is here.
I offer also a special blessing from the goddess Diana the Chaste to my sister, Ushius, for her hard work in making my wool and linen/cotton tunics, and making the leather covering for my marching pack's water bottle. Long may she and her talented fingers prosper!!
If this sort of insanity interests you, email me for more information and updates.
FOR SOME INTERESTING LINKS
To check out the Legio X Fretensis, just
For general information about a Legio and its requirements
and info, just
For a good look, in quite a bit of juicy detail, at an auxiliary Roman fort in Britannia, check out the Caerhun Roman Fort Website and just click on the fort's picture below.
AND, if you are interested in learning more about the barbaric Gaulic band, Gaesatae, then just click on the barbaric figure below.
LASTLY, if you are interested
in helping in some small way with world hunger, then check this out by
Arturius Britannicus (Arthur Gamon)
This page was last modified on October 17, 2008