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ROMAN LEGIONNAIRES LIVE TO FIGHT AGAIN

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Views: 424
Published: 31 July 2015

By: AP Archive

Duration: 6m 17s

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Video Description: AP Archive upload this video on 31 July 2015 here some information about video - LEADIN: A group of modern day Romans have been celebrating their Empire's glorious past with historical re-enactments and bloody battles with barbarian invaders. The group of enthusiasts take painstaking care to ensure their costumes are as historically accurate as possible. STORYLINE: Roman swords, daggers, helmets and armour shine once again under the Italian sunlight. These Roman legionnaires are preparing to do bloody battle with the barbarians. This group is meeting in the countryside of Civitavecchia - a few kilometres outside Rome, what was once the heart of one of the largest empires in history. The group Senatus Populusque Romanum (Senate and People of Rome), commonly known as SPQR, is a cultural association based in the capital. It collects studies and stories of a legionnaire's daily life to weave into its historical re-enactments. Currently SPQR has around 50 members who meet every week to stage battles. Members like naval officer Antonio Scalzi, who explains his meticulous costume. He says: "I'm a centurion, the centurion was an officer. He used to stay in front of the legion, risking death, he was a reference point for soldiers. He used to wear a helmet with a transverse crest, he was easily identifiable." Andrea Alesiani is another member. He lives in Rome and used to practice martial arts, but once he had attended an historical re-enactment organised by SPQR he fell in love with his city's history. A the moment everyone call him Tiberius Rufus, his battle name, during the fighting he serves as standard-bearer for the tenth legion and he is an officer. Alesiani joined the tenth legion five years ago and for him it is not a problem to train every week with strict rules and hard fighting. "I am dressed up in the armour of 95 AD. We try to be accurate because the Roman army developed along the centuries and has changed a lot over time. We try to study these changes. We faithfully reproduce what has been found inside archaeological digs or from bas reliefs, or monuments like Trajan's column. All our clothes are part of a archaeological study. What we do is an historical commemoration, but also a sort of living archaeology," he says. Giorgio Franchetti, is the association's founder. He says he began to dress up as a legionary in 2001 in order to follow his passion for the history of Rome, a city at the heart of a vast empire that stretched from Scotland to Afghanistan and dominated world politics for over 700 years. "People who attend this kind of commemoration are looking for adventure, for the emotion of dressing up as a hero. The hero they have dreamt of when they were young, flipping through the pages of books at school. But they should also have the desire to tell history to others," he says. A Roman legion was an infantry unit consisting of heavily armed soldiers, equipped with shields, breast plates, helmets, spears and swords. In the early republic, the strength of a legion was about 3,000 men; there were 4,800 legionnaires in the days of Julius Caesar; and the 25 legions that defended the empire during the reign of Augustus counted more than 5,000 soldiers. The legions were the backbone of the Roman army, supported by auxiliary troops. Centurions (roughly equivalent in rank to today's junior officers, but functioning as captains in field operations) commanded cohorts. The re-enactments often draw a crowd of spectators. "It was very interesting to see how Romans and Gauls used to fight," says 11-year-old local boy Riccardo Bello. "It is a way to enjoy the Sunday, I think children especially enjoy this kind of event," adds Thomas Dagostino, a 19-year-old Civitavecchia resident. You can license this story through AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/metadata/youtube/f905d9f1a94923f453f2c1a6acaeb408 Find out more about AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/HowWeWork - some time information was not available for video ROMAN LEGIONNAIRES LIVE TO FIGHT AGAIN