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Third Newsletter

- Text by Robert Garbisch
-- Images by Jay King

Ave Militiae Mutatio!

I have good news to report on our Legio X Fretensis official recognition as a Living History, educational, non-profit organization. The IRS has assigned our Legio X group a Federal ID number. That number is 94-332OZ25

With this official sanction, Legio X needs to become incorporated as a non-profit organization with the State of California. This step was recently taken when I submitted our Legio X Fretensis application form to the California Secretary of State. The filing fees have been paid and our application is now being processed.

Being granted this official recognition allows you, as a member of Legio X, to declare ALL OF YOUR EXPENSES for this organization to be TAX DEDUCTIBLE. That includes any travel expenses, such as the mileage for using your own vehicle, air fare, equipment purchased, food, materials, lodging, phone calls, postage, etc. It is a tax benefit to help our cause. It is not to be abused or misused. It is extremely helpful when you consider the fact that the average cost for a full set of armor and equipment for an average Legionary will be around $ 1,000 +. This is, in reality, the average cost for joining any Living History organization. Please remember, your initial cost just to try this Roman adventure is very inexpensive.

That now brings us to our Legio X standards for acceptable armor and equipment. Due to the fact that today there exist very few authentic items from the First Century AD period (the passage of Time has a certain tendency to do that to material items) there is much debate over what is right and proper versus what may have been. Just take a look at your own clothes closet. Can you imagine someone from the future year of 4000 desiring to reenact our own time period? Then somehow they had the good fortune to discover a "rare find" of the tattered remains of one of your pairs of blue jeans. From that sole evidence they came to the conclusion that all blue jeans must have been like this example. As present day 20th century citizens, we know that this fact would be in error.

We need to establish some kind of historically correct standard combined with some present day reality of available materials and technology. I will be the first to admit that my Centurio outfit and equipment may be considered not 100% historically accurate. This is mainly due to some of the materials I used in making it. This same standard of quality control is also evident in many of the suppliers for Roman equipment. If you truly desire to be 100% accurate, then you will have need to make it yourself from the same type of materials that would have been used by the ancient Romans. In most cases, this will prove to be very expensive, very time consuming, or perhaps even impossible to really duplicate. It's your choice.

If you have been blessed with the necessary talents and tools to make your own equipment, then I offer you the following sources to help you in your project. Contact Legio IX Hispana. They offer some good guidelines for making your own Roman clothing, outfits, and equipment.

Sean J. Richards, (Gaius Valerius Tacitus Hibernicus), Roman Legion Quartermaster, 3208 32nd Street, San Diego, Ca. 92104-4736 (619) 284-ROME, open 9am to 4pm PST. He can be found on the Web at

I have appointed Arild Barrett to be our Legio X Fretensis AUTHENTICITY OFFICER. Please check with him first before purchasing any of your equipment. He prefers the Legio XX Handbook for Legionaries as his guidelines. The Legio XX Handbook can be seen on the Web. Arild Barrett, 11181 Kings River Ct., Rancho Cordova, Ca. 95670 (916) 852- 1907,

With this newsletter you will find the Legio X Fretensis Handbook. This handbook will provide you with some general guidelines for becoming a Legio X member. It will also give you a brief history of the Legio X, plus some other interesting facts to help you in your chosen impression. Your comments on improving this handbook are most welcome.

Please remember, the success of the Legio X really depends upon the combined efforts of everyone and YOUR participation for presenting the Legio X to the public. Together, we will make a real difference and a true contribution for the good of our audience and for yourself.

Our primary goal should be, in my opinion, the presentation of a good, quality "living history" impression of a Roman Training Camp. We can only accomplish this by doing our own research into the actual conditions of the Roman World in the Ist century. We can never really "step back in time" (nor would you really want to). But we can recreate some of its physical properties. We can only imagine what the real people of that time period were experiencing and how they might have expressed their feelings. The more effort you invest in developing your own Roman Persona, the more rewards you shall receive in a personal satisfaction of your own "living history" experience.

This will involve your own commitment to obtain the proper outfit for the personal role you have chosen to portray. It will require from you the development of a Roman impression that will accurately represent that time period of human history, to the best of your current knowledge. This general rule applies to all roles in the Legio X, whether you are military, civilian, or even barbarian. (Ugh!)

But most important of all, let us not forget the Legio X drama presentation dealing with the man, Jesus of Nazareth. The quality of our presentation will serve as a valuable opportunity to educate the public on the importance of the ministry of Jesus in the Roman time, and perhaps even in our own present time. Your personal testimony should reflect the historical facts of how this man may have impacted upon the person you are portraying. It is strictly voluntary.

LEGIO X MEETIING: March 20th, 1 pm, at the home of Robert Garbisch, 224 Masonic Drive, Vallejo, Ca. (707) 557-4188.

This special meeting is intended for all of you who are interested in attending the Celebrate History event, in San Francisco, on April 10/11 . I hope to have all of the necessary facts concerning our part in their program, possible cost to attend, hours expected for our presence, etc. This will be our Legio X Recruiting effort to the public. Please RSVP if you plan to attend this event. Thank you.

ATTENTION! For all those members of the Legio X who have paid their membership dues for 1999 -- THANK YOU! For those interested members who are about to send me their dues of $30 -- WELCOME AND THANK YOU!

And for the others -- PLEASE JOIN US!


Bonum diem!                       Good day!
Quod est tu nomen?             What is your name?
Mihi nomen est _____.         My name is _____.

Salve, Centurio Marcus Legio X Fretensis - IV Cohort

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