Without a doubt the highlight of the Gruppo Storico Romano is the LEGIO XI CLAUDIA P. F., reconstruction at the present day of that legion, which constituted Julius Caesar in 58 BC to campaign in Gaul , dissolved in 45 BC , it was reconstituted by Augustus in 42 BC and, in the course of its history was present in many provinces of the ‘ Roman Empire, including the Dalmatian, the Upper Germany, Dacia and Moesia Inferior .
Its members, when they wear the uniform, live and behave as closely as possible, like the old Roman milites of that legion in the first centuries AC. Based on the current behavior of these legionnaires are posed: loyalty, friendship, mutual fairness and solidarity, team spirit and cooperation in the work of the Legion.
The LEGIO XI CLAUDIA, directed by senior officers (Legatus Legionis and Tribunus Militum), has an operational commander, the Centurio, assisted by an Optio and a Tesserarius .
The young, and not so young , that driven by the passion of the legendary world of the Roman legions, want to be part of it, are initially recruited as tirones (students). They attend theoretical classes and practical training and once ready they attend the oath of allegiance (Sacramentum) to the legion. Sacramentum ceremony is held twice during the year, one in spring and another in autumn. After the oath, the tiro becomes a miles legionarius and began his career with the planned promotions, that occur both in the number of holdings in the activities of the legion, both of ‘individual merit.
The legionaries are trained every Thursday evening from 20:00 to about 21:30, normally with theoretical lessons or lectures, followed by practical exercises with shield, sword and lance. The evenings on Thursday with a dinner group, optional, at the headquarters of the G.S.R.
Also on the first Sunday of each month, from 10.00 to about 12.30 , the legionaries are trained in complete uniform, deployed out on the march to the Circus Maximus and the Appia Antica Park, arousing always wonder, interest, sympathy of passers-by, tourists and especially of boys. In these Sunday outings there is nearly never a stop at the bar for a coffee, or rather an invasion of the bar, where they are always attracted curious people who flood the legionaries with questions and pictures, and express their admiration.
In the demonstrations, which often legionaries are called to do in public in Italy and abroad, the legion performs marches, military maneuvers , formations of defense and attack , with orders given in Latin. Many of these orders have been taken from the Latin literature of the period, such as the works of Julius Caesar and Livy. Other orders and expressions used, not found explicitly, are literal translations from Italian to Latin.
Among the defensive formations are made:
- the famous “Tortoise “, the pride of the Roman army, which allowed to advance under fire from enemy arrows and bolts without a loss;
- “The Wall”, a wall of shields used to counter enemy attacks, particularly the cavalry;
- the “Defense of the Vexillum”, the emblem revered as sacred by the legionaries, to be protected above all else.
The formations of attack are:
- “Line”, the simplest, in which the legionaries advancing towards the enemy arrayed in rows close together, fights the first line, and when it shows signs of fatigue or failure is made the exchange of line: the second line passes in front of and first goes to the back of the grid (aciei mutatio);
- The “Wedge”, used by legionaries to break through and pass a deployment opponent.
All maneuvers and military orders in the Latin used are collected in an operational manual “legionaries militis Summarium”.
For the legion, usually in spring or autumn, instructional camps are organized in tents, reconstructions of Roman castra, where you relive the experiences and emotions of Legionaries’s camp of’ ancient Rome.
On certain occasions the Legion organizes reconstructions of battles, usually against the barbarians, like the one that occurred on the afternoon of April 18, 2010 at the Circus Maximus in ‘ field of the celebrations for Christmas in Rome 2010. Here three Roman legions, the Legio XI Claudia, the Legio VI Ferrata of Rovigo , the Legio XIII Fulminata fromCesena, they faced the Celts Lingones Ferrara. This event was emphasized on the one hand the order, the compactness and efficiency of the Roman army, the other the valiant and courageous temper, but untidy and careless of Lingones and their drama and sentiments expressed in the defeat.
Legio XI Claudia has a watchword, that soldiers often cry during the marches and expressing the qualities which must tend the legionary: value, courage, loyalty,
VIS! ………. VIRTVS!
ALBIVS TIBVLLVS AVGVSTVS