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By way of introduction, the article below was written by Dominus of Rome, a speech advocating Rome's participation in the SCA and at Pennsic. Rome first fielded at Pennsic XXIX in August 2000 fighting for the Midrealm in the Tuchux vanguard.

Rome has made the huge splash alluded to below, winning great glory in many battles. We were uncertain at first how accepting the SCA would be with a Roman group. We are an anachronism within their anachronism, after all. Thanks for the warm welcome, SCA, and all the new friendships. We've since become an established fixture at Pennsic, attending every Pennsic since in force. It just keeps getting better.

"…the difference between the previous Commentaries and this one is that I do not intend to write about our past. It's our future that we must all consider now with Roman gravity. I'm not discounting the past. It's important. A country that does not remember its past has no future. And the past must certainly be important to a country like ours, with a strong awareness and pride of our history and our grand traditions. But today I write about our future. You know the past. You were there, and you helped build it. And no, Rome wasn't built in a day, was it? We're still building her, and that's what I want to write about now.

We've fought important battles and wars in the last year, Ragnarok being the most important of them. We've gained some Romans, but some have slacked off. I won't fault those who've done their two years with Rome's Legions. They've earned their share of dignitas and Roman glory. But they are dearly missed. When an inactive Roman comes back out to join the fray with his countrymen, welcome them home as you would your family. Anyone who has harsh words of criticism for them will hear harsh words of criticism from me.

Our future has more potential than our glorious past. And our past has been glorious. I could write volumes recounting the glorious personal deeds of my triumphant countrymen and the deeds of each valiant iron clad Legion of which they are a part. I have been literally moved to tears by the heroism and steadfastness demonstrated by my fellow Romans, and your commitment and valor have inspired me with confidence that Rome will survive. That we have more than a future. Rome has a destiny.

At Ragnarok, we've built a national reputation beyond measure. Something eternal that no amount of treachery could tear down. …Rome's glory has always been won in battles, not in tournaments. What's more important is what else the tape shows of the huge battles. Our thinly spread line of Romans fending off attacks by a vast foe, fighting with valor against innumerable odds. Did we lose? Gods, yes! The tape shows the enemy advancing in unbelievable numbers. Not in formation, but as a horde massed twelve to twenty deep against ours, spread one deep. At some points, you can't even see our line. But when the dust clears for a moment in the advance of hundreds, you see the last few Romans forming up to fight their last stand among the heaps of dead. That's Rome. Who needs victory when you have everlasting glory? That's why you shouldn't criticize your inactive countrymen. They've been there. They've helped make it happen for you, for me, for all of us. If anything, urge them to return for more. They know what they're missing. That's why they come back out.

I mentioned our destiny. Dagorhir has been our past, and we will not stop fighting there. It's been the perfect proving grounds for us. They've built our Legions into the unvanquishable war machine we've become. And we've returned the favor. That unmentionable LARP we used to attend fought in phalanx formation when we began there, they'd never heard of a flank attack. We've schooled them well. Our training has made them worthy adversaries. But they are worthy only by LARP standards. We have new fish to fry. Lots of them.

You've heard tell of Pennsic. Pennsic, to provide you with background, is the SCA's (Society for Creative Anachronism) Ragnarok equivalent. The SCA is huge, with an international membership numbering in the tens of thousands. For the last thirteen years, we've been big fish in a small pond. Rome is rapidly outgrowing her small pond. And I know you, you pompous Roman bastards. You all would rather be big fish in a big pond. That's what I want for you too.

Locally, SCA has five or six battles a year within 100 miles. Their battles usually have hundreds of participants. Even a small battle for them generally has a hundred combatants. That's worth our time. You've all demonstrated genuine commitment in your Roman career. That's what I am asking for now. Your commitment that you spend the money, time and effort necessary will have your gear together for Pennsic next August. Your commitment that you will attend practices between now and then, and become as dangerous with a stick as you've become with a foam sword. Your commitment that you will stay as steadfast and dedicated to the Legions as we expand our Known World to include new campaigns and new challenges. Your commitment to join the SCA as a card-carrying member and keep your combat authorization current. You won't ever be sorry. You can expect the same commitment from me. Further, I commit to help you in any way I can. I'll be there with you every step of the way. I will share your hardship, work and expense. And when we take the field at Pennsic against the massed thousands, I will be there to lead you to eternal glory as I have always done: with your help.

I said big fish in a big pond. Pennsic is a war of such epic proportions that it is difficult to envision without having experienced it firsthand. Two thousand fighters take the field. Over two thousand! Anything you've faced to date has been little more than a skirmish by such standards. How can Rome hope to achieve the singularly unparalleled reputation that she has earned thus far in medievalism? I have a plan, and I'll share it with you.

Most have you have met Shaitan of the Tuchux. The Tuchux are like us in many ways. Bad ass fighters who take no crap and have no time for politics or medieval wuss types. (Thanks, Harn, for telling me how to correctly spell "wuss".) We don't have much more common ground than that with the Tuchux. They're barbarians, we're not. They wear lots of black leather; we like to gleam in the sun. For background, Shaitan was in Dagorhir when I joined. The Tuchux number about 80 active fighters nationally. They're arranged in groups of ten the way we are in our Legions of five. Shaitan is a commander of one such group of ten. I've spoken with him at length about the kind of arrangements we might make to fight with them at Pennsic. Romans can't be Tuchux any more than Tuchux can be Romans. They feel just as we do about their people conforming to their established standard. As it says in the Mos Maiorum, "if you want to be an exception to the things that have made Rome great, why be a Roman?" They feel the same way about their standards as we do about ours, and properly so. The arrangement we arrived at is that Rome will camp near and fight with the Tuchux. The SCA's East Kingdom and Mid-Realm are the contenders in the Pennsic War, and they bid for military assistance. Fighting with the Tuchux, we can hope to exact a portion of the tribute they receive for fighting with the highest bidder. What do they get out of it? Shaitan gets considerable clout for adding twenty of the world's best soldiers to the Tuchux line. The Tuchux have a reputation similar to ours. They're our SCA equivalent. Big, mean, unstoppable. Good fighters too, even in melee, which is a lot more than I can say for most of the SCA. But fighting with them is not the entire plan, nor does it make Rome big fish on her own merit. I shall continue.

Fighting with the Tuchux makes us very high profile. They're the group everyone is most afraid of. We'll be very noticeable among their ranks, gleaming in steel and fighting in formation behind our red shields. Everyone trying to scramble out of their way will cross swords with the Legions, much to their personal detriment. Twenty armored Romans will make a considerable splash, even on a field of thousands. Everyone will ask themselves and their fallen comrades, "Who were those guys? Did you get the number of that truck?" People will remember our deeds, and talk about us. You think that our admirable and well-earned national reputation is something to be proud of? It is. But it is nothing compared to the national fame that awaits us in the SCA. There are other individual Romans and small groups of them who fight in the SCA nationwide. There are individuals and groups of people who've fought Dagorhir and are now in the SCA, who would love to be part of something bigger. There are people in Dagorhir that want to fight in the SCA, and would with some urging. Our strong presence and success on the field will make them flock to our Eagles, as Romans, auxiliaries, or just as associates. Through SCA, we are poised to become a famous national organization, recognized and feared by thousands. That's the destiny I'm speaking of. And it's yours to share, my beloved countrymen. All you need do is join me as we reach out and take it in a gauntleted fist. Rome is going to grow into something we've only dreamt of. It's time. We stand now at the threshold of our eternal destiny. If we step through that threshold together, that future is ours.

That’s SCA. Now I want to tell you more about Pennsic itself. It's a nonstop, two-week party with over ten thousand people. Plan on being there for the second week at least, that's when the battles all happen. Pennsic sprawls over countless acres that will take you all of a full week to explore. The parking lot itself is bigger than Ragnarok was, covering a square miles of dusty cars. It will probably be over a mile from your tent in camp, and you won't see your car for the whole week. And you won't need it. Pennsic has a dozen fine, inexpensive restaurants set up in pavilions right in the market place. The market place is sprawling, about the size of the Ragnarok site last year. You will get lost in it, among countless shops that sell clothing, armor, jewelry, weapons, leather gear, camping supplies, books, weapons, anything and everything an avid medievalist could possibly want. Every camp for miles has a huge party every night, with dancing girls, wine, liquor, kegs, and anything else you could hope for. There are two thousand scantily clad medieval women worth looking at, and they've all been drinking for days. You won't even need your car for anything the whole time you're there. There are hay wagons that run back and forth all day like a medieval bus service. Pennsic is the penultimate, it's the Disney World of medieval combat. If anything, I should apologize to all of you for not pushing Rome to go sooner.

-Allaricus Xirinius Dominus, Imperator
Revised Excerpt, Commentaries XX
In The Consulship of Tiberius And Tempest

We have gigantic dreams for Rome's future in the SCA. We welcome any and all SCA fighters who share our fascination with Rome to join us on the field, to share the fun! Roman groups are out there, as are many lone individuals who are interested in Rome and would love to be a part of something greater. Whether you just want to fight with the massed iron Legions under the unvanquished Eagles of Rome, or would like to become a full member, we welcome you!

Please consider that an invitation. If interested, don't hesitate to contact us


Rome Goes to War Camp Roster Dominus on Pennsic SCA Membership Application Directions Official SCA Pennsic Site