Age and ethnicity - limits imposed by reenactment group?

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Age and ethnicity - limits imposed by reenactment group?

Postby Marcus Livius Horatius » Thu Jun 09, 2016 11:54 am

I am interested in getting started with Roman military reenacting. Out of curiosity, what are the age range of most reenactors? I'm in my early 30s. What was the age range for active legionaries? Would someone my age more likely be a centurion? Do groups have any rules on ethnicity? I'm of middle eastern descent, would this be a problem?
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Marcus Livius Horatius
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Re: Age and ethnicity - limits imposed by reenactment group?

Postby Marcus Minucius Audens » Thu Jun 09, 2016 5:48 pm

Master Horatius;
In regard to age and ethnicity in reenactment, the only real considerations arise when people of color or sex reenact in a role that is not normally recognized by the spectator public. This gives rise to questions, the answers which may not be fully understood by those who are not in the reenactment world, or are of an age where full understanding of the world around them has not yet come to the fore. For instance, there is no record of women serving in the legions. However, today's women would like to try it, and many are successful. The same goes for the American Civil War period where there were a few women who enlisted falsely and were later removed, when it was revealed tha they were the wrong sex to be in the ranks

The way this is worked out in units that I have belonged to, if a woman at ten feet in full uniform or civilian dress,(called the 10 foot rule), presents a character that the Inspector can not tell if the figure is a man or woman, then the woman can be accepted. Of course, In Civil War Uniform or civiian dress, that means sloppy uniforms and binding up the more personal aspects. In my unit of engineers, no women were ever involved in the Topog Engrs. during the Civil War, so the women in the unit serve as govt. hires, which is recognized, and as civilians are free to study the mapping, and reconn. techniques under the tuteledge of a commissioned Topographical Engineer if they wish to do so. Both ladies have studied the aspects of what and who the Topog Engrs. are and can take over explanation on any display or action presented. In addition they are both excellent cooks working at what they wish to do.

In Roman reenactment, I still take part and I am seventy-nine years old. In Civil War Reenactment I have been commissioned by Lt. Gen. U.S. Grant as his Chief Engineer and Chief of Staff with the rank of Brig. Gen. (By brevet). In Roman Reenactment I acted as a Tribune of Engineering when I was in the NR Senate. When I resigned from the Senate, I became a Civil Engineer and Surveyor. Women normally enter the Roman Reenactment as either slaves, or women associated with the legion in some way, or in cases where the reenactment centers on a village concept, some part in the village as a housewife or someone who makes or sells food or merchandise. I have seen women as old as myself and as young as elementary grade children serving in reenactment. In legion reenacting, color usually makes no difference since the Roman Empire included peoples of many colors and cultures. Essentially. reenactment depends upon the unit you decide to join and it's rules.
Here are some suggestions that I always give to people who come to me and ask if they should join reenactment, whether it be Rev War, Civil War, or the Roman Way:

>> Go to at least three units that participate in the kind of reenactment that you appreciate or like;

>> Always get the approval of the leader of the unit you join before buying any materials, weapons, armor, uniforms, or accouterments;

>> Be prepared to begin at the lowest rank and work you way upward. Rank and position are awarded by your attendance at Events, and your willingness to take on unit projects and ideas.

The people of the reenactment unit, if you are really interested, will be closer to you on a time together basis than your family, so you must be sure that you can get along with them as a whole for a long period of time. You will be required to work and train hard to bring your ability to drill, weapon exercise, and do battle in the field or in the camp, according to who you are, and what you do, to the level of others of your rank and position.

In my case, In the Roman Reenactment world, I am a Civil Engineer and surveyor. My task is to survey and pick out with flags the canp for the legion, and then set up my engineering display of models, instruments, and weapons. Then I am expected to make a sketch map of the camp, while we are in camp, and follow that up with a finished map to the commander later. I am expected to make myself available to narrate to the crowd of spectators about any skirmishes or drilling that takes place and answer any questions about my map, models, weapons, instruments, and sketch map display. My start in reenactment was as a servant (less than a Private) to the Captain of the militart unit some 30 years ago.

I hope the above has answered your questions. I hope to meet you on the field in some future event or activity.

Respectfully Submitted;
Marcus Audens
Marcus Minucius Audens

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