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Army, Attack!

What do you do when you want to teach your Latin students about the Roman army? You bring the army to your classroom, of course!

Wanting to supplement their Latin 3 unit on the Roman army, Upper School Latin teachers Kat Smith and Judy Lebowitz found Roman Legion XXIV, a reenactment group that visits schools. On Halloween, the Latin classes hosted George Metz and John Niemiec, dressed in full regalia, to talk about life in the Roman army—history's first government-supported army—and to teach Latin expressions used by the armies. Yet, that wasn't all—the classroom was filled with armor, helmets, shields, weapons, and other items.

Students learned about the tunic (standard dress for a Roman soldier), pilum (a type of javelin invented by the Romans), Roman standard (identifies a legion), soldiers' formations (such as the tortoise formation, which the students practiced), marching bags (which only added to the weight from everything else a soldier wore and carried), the Roman glassmaking industry, personal care, and, last but not least, the plume for a soldier's helmet. They clearly had fun, trying on armor and helmets, and holding shields and weapons—just another day in the life of the Classics!

Contact: Greg Waxberg '96, Communications Writer and Editor of The Pingry Review