Description

Founded in October 2006, the group Legio X Fretensis – Malta is an officially recognised, voluntary organisation (VO number: 1045) dedicated to Roman Military and Civilian historical re-enactment and living history, during the Early Roman Empire. (30 BC – 180 AD).

This group is an autonomous, non-profit organisation maintained and funded by our members through their dedication and in the interest of culture and historical education.

Mission

The purpose of this group is to educate and instill  interest about Roman Legionary and Civilian Life spanning  various sections of Roman society. Providing an accurate description of who they were, what they did, what they wore: be it clothing, amour or weaponry in the early age of the Roman Emperors. (30 BC – 180 BCE)

This aim is reached through participation in cultural events. Providing  static exhibitions, military displays, drills and tactical battle formations used at the time.  Also conducting educational lectures to any interested parties in all sectors of society,

Historical Accuracy

Our goal is to preserve authenticity. We conduct careful research on reliable primary and secondary sources; archaeological finds, depictions, sculptures and engravings on Roman stone works (famous monuments and even tombstones of soldiers) What we learn we use for in the production of clothing, amour and weapons. We try to re-live the rigorous daily routine of Roman legionaries with our sessions of military drill, battle formations, and camp life, so clearly described by famous authors of the era, such as Josephus, Tacitus, Vegetius and even Julius Caesar himself.

Why the 10th Legion?

The Society portrays living history as Roman Legionaries serving in the 1st Century, 5th Cohort of the 10th Legion Fretensis; as well as civilians of Roman society at this time.

It was levied by the young Gaius Octavius, who gave it the number “10” as a reference to Julius Caesars famous Tenth Legion.

The 10th fought during the period of civil war that started the dissolution of the Roman Republic and Octavia’s victory resulted in him being hailed Emperor by the troops. X Fretensis is then recorded to have existed till at least the 410s.

The representations used on the “Vexilvm” meaning small sail in Latin  (The Standard or “Colours”) were the BULL  the holy animal of the goddess Venus; a Ship, probably a reference to the Battles of Naulochus and/or Actium, the god Neptune; and a Boar. The symbol of Taurus may also mean that it was organized between 20 April and 20 May.

The Legions campaigns took it to the east and it was centrally involved in the First Jewish-Roman War (66–73), under the supreme command of Vespasian. And later in the 2nd Jewish- Roman war during the time of Hadrian.

Since its connection with Judea during Biblical times  the 10th Legion was chosen by our group for reenactment, living history and education purposes. This makes it easier to interact with the public and layman with no historical background who may only know of the Roman soldiers through the Biblical stories related to the Passion of Jesus Christ.

Also during that historical period, the islands of Malta and Gozo were dominated by Roman rule, their location in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea offering a maritime strategic position and the natural harbours providing adequate naval shelters for the winter months. Therefore that there is a probability that Malta may have served as a temporary transit camp for this legion while it was on it’s way from Sicily to the Middle East.

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