Roman Gathering at Kohorten-Kastell Aalen, Germany, 23 - 24 September 2000

Legions arriving at the training area of Kohorten-Kastell Aalen, Germany

On 23. and 24. September 2000 the grounds of the former Kohorten-Kastell Aalen were once again garrisoned by a large Roman force. Reenactors and historic societies from several European countries had accepted the invitation of the Limes-Museum at Aalen, and attended the annual Roman gathering there. The archealogical site was covered with military tents, civilian trade stands, and a variety of heavy military equipment. Roman craftsmen went about their work, some of which was sold to the audience on the spot. There was even a hairdresser who created the latest Roman hairstyles. Roman food and drink was available, but the small field kitchen ran out of supplies quickly, due to the enormous number of visitors. Anyone interested in Roman military life had ample time to talk to officers and legionnaires when they were off duty.

Participating Units and Reenactment Societies

The Roman Camp at Kohorten-Kastell Aalen

Legions arriving at the training area

Legions arriving at the training area

Legionnaires and auxiliary soldiers of the first detachment

Legionnaires and auxiliary soldiers of the first detachment

Legionnaires and auxiliary soldiers of the second detachment

Legionnaires and auxiliary soldiers of the second detachment

Auxiliary archers at the end of the column

Auxiliary archers at the end of the column

The column approaches

The column approaches

The head of the column halted

The head of the column halted

The entire column halted

The entire column halted

Legionnaires fanning out towards the audience

Legionnaires fanning out towards the audience

Officers and signifers mark the rally point

Officers and signifers mark the rally point

Following their drill exercises, the legionnaires practised a shieldwall attack against enemy archers. The auxiliary archers shot training arrows with blunt heads which still had an impressive impact on the shieldwall.

Legionnaires in line of battle

Legionnaires in line of battle

Shieldwall receiving the first volley of arrows

Shieldwall receiving the first volley of arrows

Shieldwall receiving the second volley; archers can be seen in the background

Shieldwall receiving the second volley; archers can be seen in the background

Shieldwall receiving a final volley of arrows prior to melee

Shieldwall receiving a final volley of arrows prior to melee

Following the combat exercise, legionnaires of I. ROEMERKOHORTE OPLADEN demonstrated their Balista artillery, using light-weight wooden projectiles. This large catapult can throw heavy stone projectiles to a range of over 300 meters, but doing so would have caused serious damage to parked cars and nearby buildings.

Balista catapult of I. Roemerkohorte Opladen

Balista catapult of I. Roemerkohorte Opladen

Signifer, musician and centurio deployed at the Balista

Signifer, musician and centurio deployed at the Balista

Signifer, musician, optio and auxiliary soldier deployed at the Balista

Signifer, musician, optio and auxiliary soldier deployed at the Balista

Marching back to camp

Marching back to camp

The returning heroes are awaited in camp

The returning heroes are awaited in camp

Waypoint Latitude Longitude Elevation
Kohorten-Kastell Aalen, Germany N 48°50′10.3″ E010°04′56.6″ 395 m
GPS waypoints in WGS-84 format, taken with a handheld GARMIN eTrex Summit Global Positioning System.

The annual Roman gathering at Kohorten-Kastell Aalen is well worth a visit. Come and see it next year.

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