Full Version: How to Get into Re-Enactment and Reconstruction
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
Hey all!
So a year ago I downloaded a game called "Total War Rome 2: Emperor Edition" and was forever changed. After being fascinated by the history of the Roman Republic and Empire, I started buying books and researching all I could about Rome and its interactions with her neighbors(soon to be provinces XD). I have been saving money up for a while now, and have been looking to get into re-enacting and getting familiar with other people who share my passion and interest in Rome. I live in the San Diego area in California, and was wondering how I should get into re-enacting and what Roman re-enacting groups there are in my area, as I haven't found much. I would like to buy(or create if I could) Roman military equipment as well as civilian attire and equipment. I was wondering where I should buy such things, and furthermore find people who I can interact with, for the Romans don't fight by themselves, they fight together as a unified, cohesive army. Also, for the equipment, I want something that I can actually use and be as durable as actual Roman armor used in ancient times. I am planning to buy a display case for the equipment and would love to know some tips on maintaining my equipment and finding a re-enactment group I can join. Thanks for reading this post, and I hope to learn more about Roman history as well as re-enact it in today's time. 

Hope to see you soon at a re-enactment!
P.S. BTW I have had people tell me I can't re-enact because I am Korean-American(although tbh American first) and therefore wouldn't "fit in place" in a re-enactment. I do believe the Romans used auxiliary units and did recruit people of Middle Eastern and Asian heritage to a degree. Am I allowed to re-enact or should I just buy the equipment and re-enact in private? Thanks and if you know of any good re-enactments in California, please tell me! I'd love to attend one and meet people who also have an interest and passion in Rome!
I wouldn't say you're not welcome in re-enactment. It's a hobby afterall. That being said, a auxilia role would indeed fit better, but still you've to do what you like yourself.
Welcome, I dont see a problem with it the Empire was a big place...... Wink
Hello, Scott

I certainly agree with Ivor. Many individuals in the Roman auxiliary, the Alans in particular, had Eastern Asian features. Alans are described in one translation of Ammianus Marcellinus as having a... "fierce gaze, due to the cant of their eyes." The Alans, and an untold number of pastoralists who migrated from the borders of China (aka the Roxolani, Aorsi, Huns) descended from the Yuezhi and Xiongnu. They wore clean-shaven faces or upturned moustaches, never beards, in what Karl Jettmar termed as a "national fashion." Saul, an Alan and Magister Militum under Stilicho for a single day, had Asiatic features. So, you are the perfect candidate for an auxiliary. Big Grin
Thanks for the quick response guys! That is definitely very helpful and it is very reassuring to know that I can partake in re-enacting a culture that I believe is extremely interesting and a wonder of history. Do you guys have any recommendations on good places where I can buy equipment to get into re-enacting? I haven't been able to find a re-enactment group, and I don't know what era of Roman equipment they would want, but I figure I would deal with that as it came. I would however, like a personal set that is practical, can actually be used as armor, as well as being realistic(which would basically mean that it can be used as armor if it was created as per roman standards) for a personal collection that I would like to build for Rome. I have a plethora of items from ancient roman history, but the one that I feel would be the jewel of my collection would be a set of roman armor, era and geographic frequency to be determined. Thanks guys for the help and cheers to a new year!
Citizen descendants of auxiliaries might find their way into the ranks of a Legion, so I see no reason why you couldn't go down either route.

I understand that there are a few groups in California, so hopefully you can find some likeminded people nearby. All the suppliers I know are in Europe, so not much help. Besides, I'd suggest waiting until you've settled into a group before buying to avoid any expensive mistake Wink

Try googling Kult of Athena. They carry a lot of Roman-era stuff. Smile
"P.S. BTW I have had people tell me I can't re-enact because I am Korean-American(although tbh American first) and therefore wouldn't "fit in place" in a re-enactment."

I too am K-A and have had ZERO issues within the East Coast Classical Reenactment community. I get far crap from my French-born wife than any reenactor.

Before you buy ANYTHING ask a lot of questions and be ready to get a lot of answers, some contradictory lol.

First critical thing to learn is how to polish brass and bronze and prevent/remove rust. You should NOT be judged by your appearance, but you SHOULD/WILL be judged on how well you maintain your kit.

I don't know exactly which period of Roman history you want to depict, but if like most people you were thinking of the third quarter of the first century AD (and which most groups depict), then I humbly submit that this thread might be of use to you when thinking about what kit you will need:

Be aware though that it refers to legionaries rather than auxiliaries and is not intended to cover more than a very limited time period. If you are thinking of joining a group check which period they depict, whether they depict legionaries, auxiliaries or both, and what their required and established standards of clothing and equipment are.

Start with a soft kit: tunic, cloak, shoes, toiletries, cooking gear, lamp, etc that can be used in different situations. A lot of the more simple things you can make yourself.