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After Action Report -- Roman Days -- 2002
Citizens of Nova Roma;
I beg your leave to make my report to you of the Roman Days Activities this last weekend.
My wife and I did not originally plan to attend Roman Days this year, but the appeals of "Maximus" Minucius Gladius and the XXIVth Legion Commander could not in all good conscience be ignored, and so we elected to drive to the Baltimore area, rather than fly as on previous occasions. It took us 9 1/2 hours to get there and 8 1/2 hours to return. It was a long drive both ways, leaving here (New London, CT area) at 12:30 P.M. Friday, and returning at 1:45 A.M. on Monday.
There were no problems with the vehicle, but highway construction, accidents along the way, and peak traffic delays were encountered all the way down and back.
Our New York friends provided a fly under which the Senator was able to lay out the Senatorial splendor, and relax in a fashion befitting such an august personage (Grin!!!!!!!) My thanks to the "Wolf of Britain" and wife. The Wolf also presented me with a leather water bottle filled with wine. Double thanks, my friend!!!
Actually, I had a lot of fun at the event. I got to see some old friends and re-new our aquaintance and I was privaledged to meet some new people who were most interesting. There were five Senators at the Event, Cassius and wife, Cincinnatus, Octavius Germanicus, and myself.
The Commander of the XXIVth Legio made up a "fasces" and brought it down to my tent for display. It stands about 3 1/2 feet tall, is about 10" in diameter, and wieghs about 20-25 lbs. He very generously offered the fasces to me to display in my tent whenever I show up at events--very nice, that!!!! After the Event was over we had our pictures taken together with the Commander acting as a "Lictor" and I in my Senatorial Tunic and Toga. My thanks again Commander--the thought was much appreciated!!!!
The Event Location is a lovely park-like setting, and the surrounding lush foliage and trees are a great setting for the Event Location. The "ludi Maximus Gladitori" was set up in a small flat area, just off the driveway into the Main House. It was here that we set up the Gladiator Camp, separate but close to the XXIVth Legion to whom and with whom the school is associated. We are all under the command of the XXIVth Legion Commander.
The Ludi Maximus Gladitori put on four exhbitions in two days:
Merlinia and another lady provided Roman Food to the reenactors for a very nominal fee throughout the weekend. Merlinia the breakfasts and Supper Saturday. The other lady, the lunches for both days.
Nobody had the courage to serve "fat doormice with a honey sauce" but the "Ostrich Meatballs in a Green Sauce" were delicious. We were served Polenta and cheese, with boiled eggs for breakfast on Saturday with fruit preserves. Lunch was stuffed grape leaves, bread, chopped nuts cooked in honey and wine, olives and wine / fruit juice. Dinner on Saturday was a specialty of Merlinia's and company--A salad of greens, wine / fruit juice, spiced bean sauce, Fava Beans, spiced vegetables, Lentils, fish fillets, Garum Sauce, and finished with melon and a elderberry flan. Breakfast on Sunday was boiled guinea eggs, barley mush with currents and fruit butter, and melon slices. A wide variety of fresh fruit (apples, grapes, peaches, plums, bananas) were available at the Glad. School as well as seeded dates. I probably missed some stuff--I usually do, but I am sure, on this list, that someone will correct me if I did!!!!
There were as well several very interesting displays:
The rest of the time I walked around the encampment acting the part of an insufferable ass (easy for me!!!!!) of a Roman Senator, Part-Owner of the Gladiator School and in complete charge of all the slaves therein--Great Stuff!!!!!!
We spent a couple of hours each day showing youngsters how to use the wooden training swords and shields at the two practice butts set up in the gladiator camp. "Maximus" laid out a beautiful display of Gladiator Helmets and weapons. We now have a very nice selection of gladiator weapons, helmets and equipment and are adding to the number all the time. We got three new adult recruits and a young boy at this event, and one of them took over as the "Linista" (referee) in the arena, and the other two were chained together for the Sunday Arena fights. One was given a shield, the other a mace, and encouraged at Pilum Point to beat each other to death. The "survivor" of that conflict was dispatched by "Maximus", upon his entry into the arena, by having his neck broken (great new device for sound effects---really chilling!!).
Saturday's fight was a brisk encounter, between the Wolf and Maximus, which ended in the death of the "Wolf". The fake blood spurted out about four feet, and caught the attention and admiration of the spectators.
The "Wolf" fought "Maximus" (under another name) and beat him severely. The Wolf got the net caught in his Trident and very nearly came to grief!!! Blood (fake) flowed freely and everyone's natural blood lust (well disguised, of course) was satisfied, and the women in the audience were given the chance to cheer the winner and drool over his obvious physical attributes (again well-hidden, but well done!!!)
On both days, "Game Editors" were selected from the audience, primed as to thier duties, and placed in charge of the determination of life or death to the gladiators. They both followed the dictates of the audience who screamed their preferences with abandon.
We in the Gladiator School now have a very nice membership of eight "solid " members who are regulars, with some others who come as they are able. There are some ladies who dress out and others who assist in a variety of ways as well.
The Event entertained about 300 to 400 visitors (my rough estimate--gets better every year!!) with about 40-50 reenactors. The Gladiator School plans to do one more event this year at the present time--Welles, Maine. Eisenhower Park (Long Island) Heritage Festival Coordinator just today contacted my wife and notified her, in response to an inquiry, that due to problems with the festival it would not be held this year. If anyone is further interested in this future planned event, I direct you to Marcus Cassius Julianus.
My sincere thanks for the applications of "Maximus" and Commander Gallio, for me to again consider attending the event. They both were very helpful and generous in their welcome. Normally any person would go a long way for a welcome such I recieved at Roman Days. My thanks to all who made the trip so rewarding!!!!
Marcus Minucius Audens
Fair Winds and Following Seas!!!
[Roman Days 2002 photos can be viewed here.]