About the R.M.R.S.
The R.M.R.S is a research and re-enactment group specialising in the latter part of the 1st century AD. The Society presents living history displays of Roman military drill and civilian life at venues all over Britain. Our training base is at the Lunt fort, near Coventry and although many members live in the Midlands a number also come from as far afield as Essex, Scotland, Germany and even Rome! Members are of all ages, male and female, single, couples and families.
Vexillatio Legionis Geminae
The display team of the RMRS represents a detachment of the Twin Legion, Legio XIIII Gemina Martia Victrix along with its associated auxiliary units. The team demonstrates the drill, tactics, battle formations, training, armour and equipment of the Roman army at the turn of the 1st and 2nd centuries A.D. at the time of the Emperor Trajan. Troops are based in an authentic encampment area and, where space permits, displays include archery and the firing of a catapulta and manuballista. Various military ceremonies are also a regular feature including the swearing of loyalty to the Emperor, roll calls and military religious ceremonies.
Demonstrations can also include figure types and equipment from the early Republic through to the fall of the Empire during the 5th century A.D. We also have a marine with two fully operational model Roman warships. Between displays soldiers talk to members of the public, answering questions, demonstrating equipment and eating authentically cooked Roman rations. Soldiers speak Latin wherever possible and answer to the names of original members of Legio XIIII.
Recruits interested in soldiering can opt either for Legionary or Auxiliary status and this is entirely a matter of personal choice. Legionaries in the ancient world had higher status and pay than the auxiliaries but the RMRS holds no such distinctions. Indeed, auxiliary status is increasingly popular given their variety of weapons and equipment and our Batavian and Hamian cohorts are regarded as an integral and important part of the display team.
Both male and female, put on
displays and demonstrations of various aspects of domestic life, manufacture
and trade. Like the soldiers, they give information, answer
questions and demonstrate the use of some of the various items on
display. Living history displays include religion, food and
cooking, spinning, dyeing, weaving, cosmetics, children's toys,
games, writing and mosaics. Many of these provide opportunities for
members of the public, particularly children, to gain 'hands on'
All the clothing, footwear, personal belongings, armour, equipment, and artillery used have been reproduced using authentic materials, after extensive research. For example, an account of the research and reconstruction of one of our pieces of artillery, the manuballista, was reported in the proceedings of the Roman Military Equipment Conference. Our polybolos or multi-shooting artillery piece is the only one in the world and recently featured prominently on television. Our armourers are highly regarded in their field and produce pieces for museums and collectors the world over. Using these reconstructed artefacts provides further opportunities for research.
Film and Television
The RMRS is a regular participant in the production of both films and television programmes and are well regarded both for their professionalism and their good-humoured co-operation : recent appearances include Time Team Live; I Caesar ; The Glory that was Rome; Eureka ; Adam Hart-Davis' acclaimed What The Romans did for us and The Real Spartacus
Courses, Talks and Presentations
Besides the full-scale public displays, the society also runs weekend courses on Roman military life and many members give talks and presentations about various aspects of Roman history to schools, colleges, clubs and societies. Should you have any enquiries about these or any of our other activities, do not hesitate to email us.