Report of the Roman invasion of Upper Meridies

Fl. Galerius Aurelianus, aka Padruig the Uncle in the SCA, reports on his recent attendance at the Legio V Alaudae Roman Festivus in Clarksville, Tennessee, where he took part in the encampment and gladiatorial combat.

Fl. Galerius Aurelianus writes:

Fl. Galerius Aurelianus (aka Padruig the Uncle) Gub. Am. Austrorientalis S.P.D.

On Saturday, a.d. II Idus Oct., six citizens of the province attended the Legio V Alaudae Roman Festivus in Clarksville, Tennessee, at the Austin Peay State University campus. Those attending were Violentilla Galeria Saltarix (aka Zubebe), T. Galerius Malleolus, Mania Galeria Corvina (aka Rose), her daughter, Aula Galeria Renata, and myself.

Members of the Legio V Alaudae (Knoxville, TN) and Legio VI Ferrata (Beaufort, SC) were present under the command of centurions, Bob Wear and Rusty Myers. Total troop strength was about 10-12 milites, 1 standard-bearer, and the 2 centurions. The Soul of the Warrior and Legio V also set up as vendors. Among the spectators were a dozen or so SCAdians from the area.

America Austrorientalis set up a tent displaying aspects from the Religio Romana and Roman domestic life. The former featured a public altar set before our tent near a bronze cauldron representing a fountain or well. The latter included samples of common Celtic & Roman foods--lentils, millet, barley, oats, turnips, onions, garlic, oatcakes, and two types of bread--along with moretum (garlic, herb, and cheese pate), samit (Celtic curds with garlic & dill), honey butter, and garbanzo & sesame spread (hummus). The bread & side dishes was sampled freely by the participants and spectators much to their general enjoyment. Many Nova Roma flyers were distributed.

Apart from demonstrations of Roman military & domestic arts and the munera (gladitorial games), the provincials held a religion ceremony at 1:30 p.m. to celebrate the Meditrinalia and Fontinalia.

During the last gladitorial match of the day, I took on the role of a disgraced Tribune condemned to the arena to fight the secutor, Tiberius Lupus. After a fierce match, in which both of us were wounded on the leg, I decided that no true Nova Roman magistrate would ever let himself be killed by a low class gladiator. So I fell on my the collective booing & disappointment of the crowd. [Note: Truthfully, I was just too tired and winded to continue the fight and didn't want to give my opponent the satisfaction of taking me out.]

As the event wound down, we packed up our displays and went off to dinner at a local caupona. Another excellent event sponsored by the southern provincials of Nova Roma (& the SCA).