Fectio, Late Roman re-enactment society

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Roman Shows
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Jeroen's Birthday- Fort Vechten
Saturday 11 November 2006

Filming at Fectio
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Panoramic shot of the tower during the big Roman adventure.
Panoramic shot of the tower during the big Roman adventure.

Jeroen has been coming with us to many events during the past years, and this year when we visited the tower he was always with us. So when he asked for a Roman bithday when he became 6 years old, how could we ignore that wish? So after a bit of organising we had to dress 4 boys and 3 girls as small Romans! I constructed 4 real small shields (but with a rubber umbo), while Philippine made the necessary tunics - with regard to the probable weather conditions we also made sure we had warm cloacks for all!

After the presents and cake, it was time to make swords for the boys.
After the presents and cake, it was time to make swords for the boys. The girls made a neckless..
The girls made a neckless from glass beads.
.. from glass beads.
To the tower! We had to bring along our own ladder though.
To the tower! We had to bring along our own ladder though.
Time to run around the tower!
Time to run around the tower!
Part 2: a plumbatae - throwing course. To the left my father-in- law who was a big help.
Part 2: a plumbatae - throwing course. To the left my father-in- law who was a big help.

The day of the party dawned, and it looked as if it would stay dry - good news! So when the kids came round we could do the original program. First, presents, cakes and handywork: the boys could paint their own Roman sword while the girls made a neckless from original-looking glass beads. And when everybody was ready, it became time to dress them all in a Roman tunic and a cloack, and head in two cars for the tower! Our daughter Marrit could not come (which she regretted), but she had a party of her own. Well, it was dry but very windy - the woolen cloacks came to a good use (even though a bit long). And after we moved all the gear and food inside, it was time for the kids to start running around this very big wooden playhouse! Then we all took turn blowing the Lituus, the big horn.

Awayyyyyy!
Awayyyyyy!
The girls were not as eager as some boys, who could not get enough...
The girls were not as eager as some boys, who could not get enough...
Part 3: balloon killing. We used my smallest javelin so that all the kids could use it.
Part 3: balloon killing. We used my smallest javelin so that all the kids could use it.
Piercing.. now!
Piercing.. now!
All the kids were very eager and almost seriously..
All the kids were very eager and almost seriously..

Then, time for the second event, plumbatae throwing. We used Fectio's training darts of course, wood with a rubber tip. The kids were really fanatic! After a short explanation they all lined up and, with the wind at their back, tried to throw as far as they could. And some got really far! Next part: balloon stabbing, for which we used real gear: a sharp javelin. We had attached rows of balloons to the front of the tower, which the kids could stab at. Which they did, some taking the task really seriously - sometimes the spearhead came off and remained stuck in the wood! Everybody got several turns and we replenished the balloons until all were gone.

.. the girls liked this part very much too.
.. the girls liked this part very much too.
Part 4: time for a Roman story inside the burgus.
Part 4: time for a Roman story inside the burgus.
Fluttering oil lamps, drinks, more sweets and a Roman story.
Fluttering oil lamps, drinks, more sweets and a Roman story.
Back down..
Back down..
..for the treasure hunt!
..for the treasure hunt!

Click the pictures to see the movies:

Sounding the Lituus
Sounding the Lituus (0.49min, 2.1 Mb)

Plumbatae throwing
Plumbatae throwing (1.15min, 3.2 Mb)

Spear thrusting
Spear thrusting (0.55min, 2.4 Mb)

The Lituus again - the end
The Lituus again - the end (0.42min, 1.9 Mb)

After the last balloon gave up the ghost we all climbed inside for lemonade, cookies and a Roman story. Not a ghost sorty (maybe next time) but one about two friends visiting their father on his watch duty at the tower. The door was (almost) closed and the fluttering light of the oil lamps made for a very special atmosphere. After the story was finished (and the cookies too) we headed back down and out, for the last event: treasurehunt! Philippine had set a course with hidden items such as a fibula or a shoe, marked by red fabric tied to branches. The kids were told that a thief had ran past us, dropping all his stolen goods.. At the end they asked where he had gone off to! With the last item found, we all blew the Lituus again, before heading home to the cars and back to our house. Even the sun came out, to conclude a very successful Roman birthday party!


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