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“Tenth Legion”

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DEAR FRIENDS,
WE WELCOME EVERYBODY WHO SHARES OUR IDEAS!

We suggest your participating in our work on reconstruction of antique battles.
We have already been engaged in this subject for 16 years (the idea of the Club “Tenth Legion” and mass miniature games appeared in 1982, and the first rules were written 16 years ago), so we have good material resources.
During last ten years our creative collective managed to reach a new and, probably, the most advanced level of such kind of work in Russia at the present moment.
Our purposes are to draw attention to antique military history by reconstruction, to understand a military system of antiquity by using a new technology which is constantly being improved and to supplement primary sources and works of military historians with our own ideas.
Nowadays a lot of people having read some books on History and comprehended their contents rank themselves as experts on military science quickly enough and consider their own opinions significant ones, but our experience has shown that even on the very first steps of reconstruction, the person starts to understand that it is only the beginning of the way.
Joint work of the members of our public organization- the center of military-historical researches (the Club “Tenth Legion”), military historians, sculptors and manufacturers of models done within a few years allowed us to create the modelling line consisting of more than 100 figures on a scale of 23 millimeters, models of the buildings on the same scale and the checked up game rules which make it possible to play battles for the period of antiquity using tin military historical miniature with the number of tin warriors from 300 up to 3000 ( on a game scale 1 to 10, these are battles with participation from 3000 up to 30 000 warriors).
Furthermore, we manage to hold the battles with participation up to 1000 figures within only 3-4 hours, under the condition of the preliminary preparation for the battle of all the participants of the game process.
For the majority of the participants the game process brings a huge amount of positive emotions and doesn’t tire the participants!
At present we are developing the modelling line and improving the rules for the period of the I-III centuries of our era, which was a legendary time of a great Roman Empire.
We can supply you with figures made of tin-silvery metal, and you will be able to create the army of Imperial Rome, home-guards and teams of the German (Barbaric) tribes, Celtic detachments or the whole group of the armies of Darks and their allies, and Parthenonians in 2006.
Each army has its own modelling line consisting of approximately 15 and more figures.
At present the most diversified and numerous are the army of Roman Empire and the aggressive German tribes resisting it, and the newest models are the armies of Darks.
We can help you to organize your own Club, to create your own collection, to realize our game product at your place in private (individual) not the Club order (you can become our permanent dealer and the business partner).
We shall supply you with the game rules, a specialized methodical literature and whenever possible with model resources for a game field.
You can find the information on our project on this site.
THE GIVEN SITE IS THE PART OF THE OFFICIAL SITE OF ST.-PETERSBURG PUBLIC ORGANIZATION –THE CENTER OF MILITARY-HISTORICAL RESEARCHES OF THE CLUB “TENTH LEGION”

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SUMMARIES

Germanic tribes in the Wars against the Roman Empire in the end of the I c. BC – the beginning of the III c. AD.

   Today we can maintain with confidence that the contemporary European military culture developed under the influence of the Roman-Germanic tradition of I-III centuries AD.  The primary sources of historical information make it clear that over 5 centuries, from the Cimbri and Teutoni to the Alemanns, there was the migration of the settled agricultural tribes leaving their native lands in search of new territories or by perforce. The basins of the rivers Vezera, Lower and Middle Elbe, the Jutland Peninsula and the South-East part of the Northland where the Germanic tribes settled, are known to be originally Germanic.
  The most valuable source of information on the militant Germanic tribes is the work of the great Roman historian Tacitus, named “On the origin of the Germanic people and the location of Germany”, written in the end of I c.AD. (further on we will be calling it “Germany”). In this work Tacitus gives a detailed description of customs, the way of life and ,what is more relevant for us, of the military science of the nation that defeated the Great Roman Empire. In addition to that this information can be found in some other works by the same author.
   By the end of I c.A.D. the Romans managed to conquer the Germanic tribes that lived at the Western part of the Rein- up to the river Weser. As a result of the victory over the Legions of Cuintilius Varus gained by the chief of the Cherusci tribe, Arminius, in the Teutoburg woods in the 9th A.D., the border between the Roman Empire and the Germanic territory set in at the line of the Rein.
The offensive against the legions of Varus was planed to the end of autumn which undoubtedly meant that they took into account the hard weather conditions of the Germanic lands. It was the part of the well-planned strategy of the Germanic anti-Roman coalition chiefs led by the young Arminius.
However the common danger- to be conquered by the Roman Empire contributed to strife overcoming and unification for the struggle against the Romans.  In I-II c.A.D. the Roman Empire was at the peak of its strength and military glory, and the slogan «Separate and rule» serves a wonderful example of the effectiveness of the Roman politics. Having stirred up a discord among the Germanic tribes the Rome dominated over them until the beginning of the III c. A.D. At this time along with the changes in the every day life of the Germans there also formed the strong national movement evoked by the Roman military and trade expansion. The Germanic tribes started entering the numerous federations and tribe unions. In Rome on the contrary took place the destruction processes revealing their unstable position. At this point the Romans stop the conqueror policy and turn to the protection and defense of their borders limited with the “limes”. The lack of the historical material on this topic makes us use the original information sources and compare them with the documents left by the Romans.
  In fights the basic strategies of the Germanic were very well planned ambushes mainly made on the swampy grounds and the fierce hand-to-hand fights to the victory or death which usually discouraged their enemies. As the Germanic could not besiege fortresses, their favorite tactics was a sudden foray or a night raid that usually involved plunder of frontier provinces of the Roman Empire.
Germanic warriors defied danger and death and were extremely cruel with the captives. They were ready to fight and die for the integrity of their villages defending the peasants unable to fight. As we see even the Ubii, Sugambres and the wild Suevi whose characters can be found in some novels possessed arable fields, settlements and fortifications.
The Germanic infantry was depicted by the Roman authors as the enemy singing wild songs and swinging shields above their heads. These warriors had a special frightening song called Barditus. Before every battle the chief of the tribe was making a speech and the warriors were approving it with the sabre-rattling and a three step dancing.
The usual weapons of the Germanic were a framea, a skramasaks and a hatchet.
Tacitus says that the shields of the warriors were painted in bright colors of natural origin mainly white, green, blue or yellow and the wooden umbons (placed in the middle of the shield) was painted red or blue.
The main distinctive feature of a Germanic warrior was carefully brushed knotted hair (nodus) put either at the back of the head or at the temple. Also they wore short coats up to wrist fastened with primitive fibulas or just a thistle, a well-curried fur and a short fur outlining waist-coat.
As for the female costume and appearance the Germanic maids were mainly blonde or fair-haired and usually tied their hair with red ribbons. Unlike the mail coat fastened at the shoulder, the female one was thrown over the shoulders from the back and fastened with an agraf (or sometimes buttoned up with two buttons) under the chin.
We can state with confidence that the presence of the women able to help in the military camps and their fathers and brothers fighting shoulder to shoulder with them (family-clan relations) sometimes inspired the Germanic warriors even more than the famous Roman discipline.
The tradition of the Germanic warriors has strong connection with the shaman practice and ancient beliefs. They preserved these beliefs since the very old times until the appearance of Christianity when they were proclaimed outlaw and annihilated. We can also suggest that the wars of the Chatti tribes belong to this military tradition.
The most widespread runic symbols were different swastikas and the non-alphabet runic symbols like the “Wolf hook”, Vald rune and Ziu rune. In their meaning these runes are close to the notion of strength in a battle and military initiation therefore they could be painted at their shields.
In the year 178 the Germanic tribes started their invasion and Marcus Aurelius had to gather his army again and move to the Lower side. The “Golden Age” came to an end and the Germanic tribes pronounced the new “Iron Age”. In AD 180 Marcus Aurelius died of plague in the Vindobona camp having not suppressed the militant Germanic tribes. Therefore summing it all up we can say that there were no victors in this war.

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