lunedì 29 marzo 2010

Legionaire of the month March

Salve all,
it is again time to choose the Legionaire of the month.
I am very happy and I was also a bit touched by my proclamation as Legionaire of the month.
I always do the most for the Legio and Roma SPQR just as an hobby, a pleasure; however this prize make me happy because shows that people like the work that I am doing.
Thanks to all!

mercoledì 24 marzo 2010

Legio Badges

1) Skilled archer
Assigned to the soldiers that won an Archery tournament

2) Skilled gladium fighter
Assigned to the soldiers that won a Legio tournament

3) Skilled pilum thrower
Assigned to the soldiers that won a pilum tournament

4) Very disciplined soldier
Assigned to the soldiers that show a very hight respect of rules

5) Active soldier
Assigned to the soldiers that are judged most active in the group

domenica 21 marzo 2010

Matronalia festival

Matronalia (or Matronales Feriae) was a festival celebrating the goddess of childbirth ("Juno who brings children into the light"). A celebration of motherhood (mater) and of women in general. Prior to the reform of the Roman calendar by Julius Caesar, this was the first day of the new year. It was also shared with the first day of the Feriae Marti.

The date of the festival was associated with the dedication of a temple to Juno Lucina on the Esquiline Hill circa 268 BCE, and possibly also a commemoration of the peace between the Romans and the Sabines. On the day, women would participate in rituals at the temple, although the details have not been preserved other than the observation that they wore their hair loose (when Roman decorum otherwise required them to wear it up), and were not allowed to wear belts or to knot their clothing in any place.

At home, women received gifts from their husbands and daughters, and Roman husbands were expected to offer prayers for their wives. Women were also expected to prepare a meal for the household slaves (who were given the day off work), as Roman men did at the Saturnalia.

Murmillo Gladiator

The MURMILLO (left) was a type of gladiator during the Roman Imperial age. The myrmillio-class gladiator was adopted in the early Imperial period to replace the earlier Gallus, named after the warriors of Gaul. As the Gauls inhabiting Italy had become well-integrated with the Romans by the time of the reign of Augustus, it became politically incorrect to portray them as enemy outsiders; the Gallus-class gladiator thus had to be retired.
The distinguishing feature of the murmillo was the high crest of his helmet which, together with its broad rim, was shaped somewhat like a fish. The murmillo took his name from this fish-shaped helmet; the word comes from the Greek word for a type of saltwater fish.
Otherwise, he wore a loincloth (subligaculum), belt (balteus), very thick wrappings on the lower part of his left leg (designed to protect the top of his feet from attack and from his own shield), a gaiter on his right leg, a linen arm guard (manica) to protect his right arm, and the curved rectangular shield (scutum) of the Roman legionary. He also carried the legionary's short, straight-blade sword, or gladius, from which gladiators derived their name.
The murmillo usually fought the thraex or hoplomachus, with whom he shared some of the equipment (notably arm guards and all-enclosing helmet, and the dangerous short sword). A number of ancient authors, including Valerius Maximus and Quintillian, assert that he also regularly fought the retiarius. It would certainly have been an unusual pairing, contrasting a slow but heavily armoured gladiator with a fast but lightly equipped one. However, this pairing is disputed; visual depictions of murmillones show them fighting the thraex or hoplomachus rather than the retiarius.

Examples of the pairing between murmillones and other gladiator types can be seen in frescos and graffiti in Pompeii. In one well-preserved example, a murmillo named Marcus Atillus, who is credited with one match and one victory, is depicted standing over the defeated figure of Lucius Raecius Felix, a gladiator with 12 matches and 12 victories. His opponent is shown kneeling, disarmed and unhelmeted. The graffito records that Felix survived the fight and was granted his freedom (manumission).

Retiario Gladiator

Developed in the early Augustan era, the retiarius carried a trident, a dagger, and a net . Except for a loincloth held in place by a wide belt (balteus) and a larger arm guard (manica) extending to the shoulder and left side of the chest the Retiarius fought naked and without the protection of a helmet. Occasionally a metal shoulder shield (galerus) was added to protect the neck and lower face. A tombstone found in Romania shows a Retiarius holding a dagger with four spikes (each at the corner of a square guard) instead of the usual bladed dagger. This was previously thought to be an artistic invention or perhaps a ceremonial weapon but a recent discovery of a Gladiator graveyard found that several of the remains had four odd-looking marks that form the outline of a square on their bones which is consistent with the use of such a weapon. A variation to the normal combat was a retiarius facing two secutores at the same time. He stood on a bridge or raised platform with stairs and had a pile of fist-sized stones to throw at his adversaries and keep them at bay while the secutores tried to scale the structure to get at him. The platform (called a pons, "bridge") may have been constructed over water.
There appears to have been an effeminate class of Retiarius (retiarius tunicatus) that wore tunics to distinguish them from the usual Retiarius. Retiarii usually always fought Secutores but sometimes Murmillones.

Traex Gladiator

The Thraex, or Thracian, was a type of Roman gladiator, armed in the Thracian style with small rectangular shield called a parmula (about 60 x 65 cm) and a very short sword with a slightly curved blade called a sica (like a small version of the Dacian falx), intended to maim an opponent's unarmoured back. His other armour included armoured greaves (necessitated by the smallness of the shield), a protector for his sword arm and shoulder, a protective belt above a loin cloth, and a helmet with a side plume, visor and high crest.
He and the hoplomachus, with his Greek equipment, were usually pitted against the murmillo, armed like a legionary, mimicking the opposition between Roman soldiers and their various non-Italian enemies.

Scissor Gladiator

The Scissor (or Scizore) was a type of Roman gladiator who fought with a distinctive bladed weapon called the Roman Scissor. It consisted of a hardened steel tube that encased the gladiator's entire forearm, with the hand end capped off and a semicircular blade attached to it. A handle inside the tube allowed the gladiator to maintain control in the heat of battle. This weapon was well-regarded because of its deadliness and versatility; the gladiator could use his protected arm to block his opponent's blows and quickly counterattack, the shape of the blade being such that even slight contact could cause a serious wound.

Quinquatria Festival

Celebrated for five days, and was for this reason called by this name: that on the first day no blood was shed, but that on the last four there were contests of gladiators. It would appear however that the first day was only the festival properly so called, and that the last four were merely an addition made perhaps in the time of Caesar to gratify the people, who became so passionately fond of gladiatorial combats. The ancient Calendars also assign only one day to the festival.
As this festival was sacred to Minerva, it seems that women were accustomed to consult fortune-tellers and diviners upon this day. Domitian caused it to be celebrated every year in his Alban villa, situated at the foot of the Alban hills, and instituted a collegium to superintend the celebration, which consisted of shows of wild beasts, of the exhibition of plays, and of contests of orators and poets

Quinquatria Legion Event

I Quinquatria duravano cinque giorni, da cui il nome. È però possibile che solo il primo giorno fosse il Quinquatria vero e proprio, e che i successivi quattro fossero stati aggiunti successivamente, probabilmente all'epoca di Gaio Giulio Cesare, allo scopo di divertire il popolo: infatti, mentre il primo giorno era proibito versare sangue, nei successivi quattro venivano organizzati giochi gladiatorii. Questa interpretazione è avvalorata dal fatto che nei calendari più antichi solo un giorno è dedicato a questa festività. Ovidio a riferisce che la festività era dedicata al dies natalis ("compleanno") di Minerva, mentre Festo afferma che veniva commemorata la consacrazione alla divinità del tempio sull'Aventino. In questo giorno dedicato a Minerva, era uso che le donne consultassero gli indovini.

venerdì 12 marzo 2010

Legionaire of the month of February

Ok, it is past some times, we had some problems in Gennuary, but here we are finnaly again with the LOTM prize! Where the best members are mentioned!
For February the winner is Tonina Rodenberger, for the big help that she gives everytime for the Legio. Congratulation Nina and thanks for all your work!
Primus Pilus Brodbiz Bagration