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Frustrated wannabe roman
Quote:I have found that sometimes it is better to visit several local groups. In fact, the whole, "I'm a member of this group" mentality may keep you from doing what you want to do.

I know this excellent point has already been remarked upon, but I want to add my support to it.

I have recently come to realize how limiting it can be to get sucked into the perspective of relating to this hobby in terms of belonging to a single group. It can make the whole thing about politics, and create a complicated social atmosphere which overwhelms the joy of the task which brings us all together.

I recommend building individual relationships with people who you enjoy spending time with and who are willing to help you. I can't stress enough--for me--the value of having a face-to-face relationship with someone willing to talk you through the first steps which can seem so daunting (but need not be).

When I got started I was petrified of doing something "wrong" and I did plenty wrong. But we all do. The real test of a relationship worth nurturing is how corrective feedback is given.

The best corrective feedback I ever got was from Legio IX's Doug Mather. I showed up here with (what I now know was) an atrocious kit, and his response was "Hey, nice gear! I have some ideas about how we can make it even better!"

This was great on at least two levels. First, it appreciated my effort as a beginner, and second it included an offer of collaboration embedded in the compliment. The "we" made all the difference for me, in terms of motivation.

Motivation to keep learning comes from three sources: one's experience of (1) competence, (2) autonomy, and (3) connection to others.

Build individual relationships (either face to face or online) which nurture your own experience of these three things, and you'll be in this hobby for the long haul! Big Grin

Michael Sweet, Ph.D.
Viking Invasion [url:31zephj0][/url]
I could not agree more with Michael Sweet's post. That is some incredibly sound advice.

Gaius Aurelius Calvus
(Edge Gibbons)

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"Mens est clavis victoriae."
Hello All,

This is a very helpful thread with much useful advice for beginners. In particular I thought Caius Fabius' points were very well taken, as well as those of Gaius Calvus.

A question to the moderators in on this discussion, could this be moved to the Beginners Section so it might be easier for a newbie to find in the future?

L.E. Pearson
I too agree with Michael Sweets' post as well... IF the experience you want from doing Roman re-enacment is a broad one, in a group or as an individual, with an interest in a range of re-enactment experiences, with the ability to follow your own interests where they take you, unrestricted by the covenants of a group that may only allow a narrow presentation.

It is very important for an individual contemplating joining a group that has a time specific presentation to know that he will be limited as a member to that time frame; that he must as a member abide by the rules... and "buy into" the philosophy and goals of that group.

One thing some groups with time specific presentations provides new members is an opportunity to focus their resources, (sometimes limited by money, time and skill even distance), into creating an in-depth Roman soldier impression and doing that with a large body of like minded people all working together to achieve the groups stated goals.

It simplifies the experience for new members and old members, of members with more resources and of members with few.

In addition, some groups by virtue of being large, have a body of knowledge and a set of resources to make the experience of becoming a Roman soldier... inexpensive. Simple things like being able to buy materials and kit items wholesale or take advantage of bulk orders become possible.

Some groups encourage members to focus on creating a complete impression.... that takes time to achieve.. it can take years. The focus makes it difficult for most to work at more than one impression at a time.

Some groups limit members to a very narrow range of impressions, yet create opportunity for individuals with drive and ambition to attain recognition not because they own a cresta, for example, but simply because, by their work and efforts, they have earned that privledge.

Some groups by virtue of the fact that members do not have to get involved in the day to day operation; do not have to make decisions regarding a corporate body; do not have to choose between one member and another in elections for office or status; do not have to worry about how to make or where to buy a kit item (because that resource comes with membership); some groups are an answer to the question "How do I go about doing this?"

I like the fact that folk have choices....


You cannot dig ditches in a toga!

A nationwide club with chapters across N America
Depending on your shoe size, I have a pair of size 11 caligae I can send you. My wife got me some 100% linen (red) and I have some Madder Red wool that I can let you make a tunic out of......some assistance with postage would be the only payment I would ask.

There are some GREAT folks posting on this board, I learn daily. The Roman is way different than the 42 RHR stuff I was doing, More fun Too!!

PM me if you want the goodies!!

Titvs Calidivs Agricola
Wes Olson

Twas a woman that drove me to drink, and I never thanked her. W.C. Fields
Regarding getting your kit together, I would largely agree with Edge, but unless you can make caligae yourself and have a decent pattern it might be easier to make a tunic first (I have put a piece about making tunics in the 'Beginner's Guide' section), as you might not meet up with someone with experience at making caligae immediately, although you should be able to track down a contact for a suitable person quite quickly.

Also don't worry too much about a dagger if funds are tight. The evidence suggests that they were not universally carried, and a number of first century AD stones show soldiers who are equipped with swords but not daggers. It may interest many people here to know that despite being perhaps the best known pugiophile on RAT I do not actually carry a dagger myself when in kit. This is not intended to be a permanent situation but it is historically acceptable and I have been this way for nine years. I have had the opportunity to purchase cheap pugiones in the past but I would rather not carry one than carry one which I would happily submit to a steel recycling plant.

Another piece of kit which you will find you need is a cloak. Exactly when you get or make this may be influenced by the time of year you get yourself into kit but rest assured that it is something you will need. I would also suggest period socks and lower legs coverings for cold weather kit.

Who is called \'\'Paul\'\' by no-one other than his wife, parents and brothers. :!: <img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_exclaim.gif" alt=":!:" title="Exclamation" />:!:

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No matter what. Find a group first. They might have different regs or ideas on kit. Also, and this is mucho importante... find a group YOU like and can get along with. That is so, so important. Just don't get recruit-itis and get in a hurry. Do your research, hang out and lurk at RAT, read Matt Amt's Legio XX site, and just be calm. :-) )
And welcome brother!![/size]
a.k.a.: Marsh Wise
Legio IX Hispana

Alteris renumera duplum de quoquo tibi numeraverunt

"A fondness for power is implanted in most men, and it is natural to abuse it when acquired." -- Alexander Hamilton

"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress.... But then I repeat myself." ~Mark Twain

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(Oooh, Marshall, you cannot use an icky modern QR code, it is against all policies and rules.)
thank you so much for your offer however they would be too big being only a size 6 to 6 1/2 uk shoe size

thank you so muck for offer , not sure what the postage would be from states would be , so hold fire

once again thank you for the offer Big Grin
real name Paul

In hoc signo vinces

introducing Men To the good news of Jesus Christ
I have a pair of brand new never been worn size uk 7 caligae :wink:
thanks for the offer worth a try
Big Grin plus might help to have around if I make mine own
real name Paul

In hoc signo vinces

introducing Men To the good news of Jesus Christ

It’s probably already on the site

but would it be worth adding to this post
is there a step by step photo guide to diy Balteus
real name Paul

In hoc signo vinces

introducing Men To the good news of Jesus Christ

I am not aware of a step-by-step guide for a balteus, but I am more than happy to "coach" you via email, etc, but you have some REAL experts right there in the UK that could probably help you in person.

I would say that a get together with them would be your best bet. I have helped quite a few guys assemble their baltei in my little workshop, and can tell you that nothing beats having someone to show you the steps.

Good luck,

Gaius Aurelius Calvus
(Edge Gibbons)

Rules for Posting

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Very useful post, even that I want to be a late legionary!
Well, I´ve been a kind of outnumerary for the Cohors Prima Gallica in events, for some years,translating, explaining, etc, but ´ve not taken it seriously...until now!
In my case, I have the tunic. I still need caligae (late models, I need research), pannonian hat, trousers, belt (I want a propellers one, I love the vintage aircraft and this is a curios detail! Tongue ), and, even with the later, I think is a nice (an cheap!) off duty soldier (Don´t forget the belt!). The scrap will have to come later!

-Spatha, Scutum, a dagger or a Francisca, and a spear.
That´s a bit harder for a student...:wink:

Too much exclamations!!!!
(First day at RAT)
-This new learning amazes me, Sir Bedevere. Explain again how
sheep´s bladders may be employed to prevent earthquakes.
[Image: escudocopia.jpg]Iagoba Ferreira Benito, member of Cohors Prima Gallica
and current Medieval Martial Arts teacher of Comilitium Sacrae Ensis, fencing club.
Quote:Very useful post, even that I want to be a late legionary!

Hi Iagoba,

Welcome to the ranks of the Late Romans!

If I may advise you, first get clothing, a belt and shoes (no caligae!), then a spear. A spearpoint is not costly and much more of a primary weapon than a sword or even a shield.

The pannonian cap is easy to make, as is the sagum. A sword you can buy later..
Robert Vermaat
FECTIO Late Romans
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
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