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Standards for Equipment, Gear and Other Items

In general, all equipment, gear and other items we use should be as historically accurate as possible in form, materials and function. By using items which are as close as possible to the items used by real Roman soldiers, we gain not only an a better knowledge of how they did things in the 1st Century AD, but we also gain a better understanding of the life of the miles gregarious (the common Roman soldier).

Sometimes, we substitute modern materials for ancient, for example the use of steel instead of iron or the use of machine-woven cloth instead of hand-woven. The thing is, while we would like (no, love) to use real wrought iron for armor (vs. steel), it is generally not available in a form or in quantities we can readily use. Hand-spun thread and hand-woven cloth is available and all members are encouraged to use it or make their own, when possible, however the cost of these materials prohibits any requirement of its use.

Why use ancient methods of production?

When making reproduction clothing, armor or kit and you are able to use an ancient method to reproduce an item, you should. Why? For one thing, the older methods will do a better job of making modern materials look like they've been handcrafted. Far too often, modern reproductions are made with much more care and precision than were the originals — in the case of the original items, things were just not that well made — "hand-made" truly describes these items. Measurements were not precise — certainly not precise in the way we know it. Among modern craftsmen and makers of Roman stuff, there seems to be this notion of beautiful shiny objects — in many cases this is just not the way things were done back then. Take a good look at photos of original helmets — most are built a little crooked. Stuff isn't exactly uniform and that would drive modern consumers and reenactors nuts! Of course, this is not to say you should make things in a haphazard manner — just that you shouldn't feel obligated to make your reproduction into total perfection.

Remember: Do it like they did, not like Hollywood does!

STANDARD FIELD KIT LISTS FOR MILES GREGARII (ENLISTED MEN)

We have broken down the soldier's "kit" into two different "lists." They are:

  • "A-List: The Basic Kit"— All items on this list represent the minimum kit required to participate at a typical Legio IX event. Every member must possess the items on this list.
  • "B-List: The Full Kit" or "the complete miles" — Items on this list represent all the additional items needed to complete your common Roman soldier impression.

Detailed descriptions (and sources) for the items on the different lists, will be found under the appropriate item numbers in following pages, along with a vendor from the LEGIO IX Source List.

Another important piece of advice (which is pretty much what this page is about): if you are new to Roman reenacting or new to our unit, please don't rush out and just start buying or making clothes; nor any armor, weapons or other gear! Consult our "Authenticity Czar" — he will be happy to help and advise you!

Follow the lists and try to acquire the items in the order they appear on the lists!

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