salvianus: (Stenolfr)
There's a project on in York to build another replica longship.

I believe the group has permission to display one of the old Regia fibreglass boats from Naburn Marina at the Jorvik Festival this year to aid the fundraising etc. and should be at Kings Staith on Saturday. I'm hoping to meet up with them, as several members of my Roman group Comitatus are willing to get involved, probably largely as crew in Viking kit, as I understand the group are from the civic side rather than re-enactors / archaeological, but their aim is to make the replica authentic to the best standard.

Their web site is Jorvik Afloat

I'll post more details as I get them. I'll pass on any advice/experience anyone has.

Crossposted to [livejournal.com profile] viking_research [livejournal.com profile] uk_reenactors [livejournal.com profile] regia
salvianus: (Salvianus shield)
Comitatus, Dateline 306 A.D.

After the triumph of the anniversary and dedication, we had a nice quiet weekend at Barley Hall. Well, quiet apart from the mad, drunken karaoke from next door 'til 4a.m. each morning. I may have been a bit tired.

Great fuddle on Friday in the big hall, with Constantine in the window & the passers-by interested, confused or, in one case, scared witless. Slept in the great chamber (briefly), & put a display together with the aid of Victor's bow lathe, which I got working quite well.

We made forays for pasties & ice cream, handing out the hand bills Helen had printed up for us, lurking outside the Roman Bath and ogling the superb gladiators from the Hungarian Collegium Gladiatorium

Some of Helen's friends who were over for her writing weekend came by & got the full personal tour & were very impressed with the long haired barbarians in the arena.

Read more... )
Sunday arrived all too soon, but we centralised all of the displays in the great hall and had a relaxed time of it. I watched the gladiators again with Helen & some of the girls & I think a new wave of fans were born. With the help of Cynric & Viventia I achieved my afternoon goal of using my new saw to shorten the adze handle I'm working on & we worked in shifts to get all the kit out to Swinegate for pickup.

Kit bit: )
salvianus: (Default)
Comitatus, Dateline 25th July 306 A.D.

Seventeen hundred years to the day since Constantine was acclaimed Caesar by his late father's troops here in York. We attended the commemoration service as representatives of those troops & as honour guard to Archbishop Sentamu.

The service was held at the Minster, site of the very principia where it all happened. But a few feet higher, obviously. The Archbishop's robes are brilliant - he's completely updated the fossilised robes & actually carries it off! They brought the statue of Constantine to life & Demetrius & the lads carried him to his chariot & we processed down Stonegate, the fort's Via Praetoria, while the bish boogied along to a carnival band, to the Museum Gardens where we stood guard on the Museum steps & were entertained by Panther dancers, thoughts for the future, including banning aeroplanes & an 'It's a Knockout' version of the execution of Christians in the persecutions. Um.

But there were enthusiastic kids with DIY corni, the Museum staff gave us water & the whole thing finished with a falconer chucking a golden eagle at the Rev. It swooped up, turned over the crowd & flew towards us, then soared up into the sun - Aquila Invictus!

As we marched off, I managed to get the hang of Victor's tuba, & landed myself with the job of tubicens.

At the C4th Roman Bath House, Victor had already set up our new ballista. After a well deserved pint, we named it Constantine with some ceremony - a healthy 4th Century mixture of Mithraistic (incense & cymbals) & trad. classical touches (libation of wine & grains etc) and a bit of Latin I'd put together, hopefully without too many glaring errors:

Click for text )

Rather pleased to find "my arms can bend a bow of bronze" in Samuel :-)

The Sacramentum was hard to read by candlelight, but Fortunatus helped me out & all were sworn in for another year. I must memorise it.

In Latin ;-)

Graham at the Bath House was very welcoming & we had a nice drink to celebrate at the Yorkshire Terrier. All set for the big weekend at Barley Hall!
salvianus: (Default)
After months of anticipation and planning, I had to miss participating in the clash & the wedding, not to mention the Comitatus AGM. Labyrinthitis has been making my head spin for two & a half weeks now & this does not make for battle safety.

I did get along to the markets and managed to take photos at the battle - see photo gallery. I got to meet Cezary Wyszynski, Milosh and the other traders from Poland and picked up a Regia spec spear and my first authentic woodworking tools for my LHE craft.

Here's to next year.
salvianus: (Default)
Holderness.

The first day and the Holderness meeting clashed with Pudsey, but that evening I got down to the riverside to join the gang for a few beers.

On Sunday there weren't any punters so we did some combat practice including the boar's snout and set up some action shots for the camera. Kobbi was kindly able to supply me with a scramasax and a pair of turnshoes to call my own.

I enjoyed another opportunity to practice without having to display. There were a couple of passing dog walkers & I looked up from my dinner to find one of my predecessors as chair of the Parish Council regarding me with some curiousity. I do think it is the first time I've seen him look surprised :-)
salvianus: (Default)
Rather than a professional display, like Holderness put on in 2004, this year the Fulford Battlefield Society decided to stage a childrens' event involving the local schools. I went along in kit to help out & ended up being cast as Tostig.

We lead our half pint army of Vikings from the Park & Ride site up to the parish playing field on Fordlands Road, which the thick of the battle probably passed over. Or under, now. Chas Jones provided the commentary and the kids played out the course of the battle with cardboard shields they had painted the day before and boffers from Jorvik. Towards the end, they started getting carried away and I had to hold the lines apart with my spear. One little tyke threw himself at me and laid into my shield like a minature beserker - totally fearless! I had to restrain one of them who wanted to massacre the defeated York contingent & sod historical accuracy.

Scary, scary nippers.
salvianus: (Default)
Holderness, Roman age Germanic Barbarians.

Very handy for me, allowing me to join in the carousing on Saturday night & still sleep in my own bed. The camp in the Museum gardens, in the shadow of the Multangular tower, was a great laugh. Folk were very generous with advice and kit - was able to loan a pair of shoes (Kobbi's advice was to soak them so they moulded to my feet, but, mindful of our planned walking holiday I wimped out & wore walking socks later disguised with checked cloth) and a leather belt from Rick to replace my plaited one.

Many of the Holderness lads really went to town adapting their kit for the early period look of the Roman legionaries of Legio XX and IX, with clubs, bare chests & woad. The dateline of the festival was nominally the acclamation of Constantine in 306A.D., but as Comitatus were not made welcome by the co-ordinator organiser bloke in charge way things worked out we had Claudian Romans rather than 4th Century ones. The Germanic war cries and barritus were a great hit with the public and were addictive - by the time we saw the gladiatorial bouts on late Sunday, I hooted & cheered automatically for the barbarians. The Gladiators were from the Hungarian Collegium Gladiatorium & really serious - very fit, built & well practised; just their warm up exercises were exhausting to lesser men and they attacked full on & without respite. They got the honours from the whole group. Their gallery at York 2005

Got a lot of helpful tips on using the 2-handed spear from Andy & Magnus. I now badly want one of my own. On Sunday, I finally gave my first hit on an opponent - while he was busy with the bloke on my right, who I presume finished him off. I was too busy buying it immediately myself to see.

Fighting the Roman unit was fantastic. Only a few were used to re-enatment combat & most had unsharpened display gladii (but 'sharp enough') and weak (and very pretty) shields, so the rules were quite restrictive - more like theatrical combat, pushing rather than thrusting & hitting with flats only. Despite being scripted to take a dive in the third round, I have to say we did our best to act them out of the arena with chanting & taunting that built up such an atmosphere it was difficult to hold back - I saw a few shield edges lying around afterwards, at least one Gallic helmet fell apart & another lost it's crest. Oops.

We certainly lived up to the barbarian role.

Did I mention not to mention the belly dancers?

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February 2011

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