RomanArmy List

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about using
the RomanArmy List

Last modified: Thursday, August 04, 2005

This list is onthe yahoogroups server and you must set up through them. The main number one thing you MUST do or we won't approve you to join is to fill out a yahoo PUBLIC profile with your real name and city where you live--that's all we require, but we DO require it to be on this list!

Table of Contents

1. About the Roman List

[101] What is the Roman List ?
[102] How do I subscribe to the Roman List ?
[103] How do I unsubscribe from the Roman List ?
[104] How do I introduce myself?
[105] How do I post to the Roman List ?
[106] What are appropriate and inappropriate topics for the Roman List ?
[106a] Sales and Want List(s)
[106b] Gossipy or Slanderous Posts
[106c] Public vs Personal Responses
[106d] Public vs Private Email
[106e] "Signature" Files
[106f] Flame Wars

2. General Questions

[201] Can I share the Roman List postings with others?

3. Miscellaneous

[301] How did the the Roman List start?
[302] What other Roman resources are available?
[303] Email communication, etc.
[303a] Common email vocabulary
[303b] Common email acronyms
[303c] Some other reenactment acronyms; vocabulary ("farby")
[303d] Putting non-verbal communication into email (smileys, etc.)
[304] What about the "Good Times" virus?

If you have additional questions you would like to see covered in this FAQ, please send email to the list owner: Marsh Wise. Please note that this FAQ is specifically about the mailing list. Additional information regarding the subject of Roman and Ancient Periods reenactment is covered elsewhere.

1. About the Roman List

101. What is the Roman List ?

The Roman List is an electronic mailing list which provides a forum for living historians of the Roman Empire to discuss all aspects of Rome, from the Republic to the Late Roman period with special emphasis on the Empire. We do living history by utilizing a combination of lifestyle representations, military impressions, modes of dress, foodways, crafts, and battle reenactments. We attempt to transport the observers to another time and place, to better understand the very human and often mundane experience that accompanied what we now consider crucial events in our country's history. Topics in the past have included: event announcements, uniform and equipment manufacturing and reviews, Period conversation, Latin commands, authenticity and a plethora of other topics on Rome and the Roman Military.

The the Roman List is an unmoderated list, which means that messages are not reviewed by anyone before being posted to the list. Therefore, the list owner is not responsible, nor cannot be responsible for the list content.

See below for more specific details regarding appropriate topics and other etiquette.

102. How do I subscribe to the Roman List ?

RomanArmy exists independently from the engine that delivers the mail. Currently, the engine that the Roman List employs is

To subscribe to the Roman List , point your web browser at . You may then follow the directions  to register yourself and subscribe. Be prepared for a lot of email! On a rare occasion, the Roman List may generate as many as 25-50 messages a day. If this sounds like more than you can reasonably handle, then you should consider subscribing to the "digest" version, a single piece of email that has multiple postings in it.

[103] How do I unsubscribe from the Roman List ?

To unsubscribe from the Roman List , point your web browser at and follow their instructions.

104. How do I introduce myself?

Newcomers are encouraged to post a brief introduction of themselves. Give your name and your group affiliation. Tell us what state (or country) you and/or your unit is from -- not everyone knows where LEGIO MXIII is based. If you're willing, tell us a little bit about yourself: what most interests you about reenacting, what attracted you to reenacting, anything else you think is relevant.

It's polite to introduce yourself when you join the list, but if you're feeling very shy, you could lurk for a while. Introduce yourself as soon as you feel ready. In any case, you should introduce yourself the time you first post something to the list, if you haven't already.

See below about how to post your introduction.

105. How do I post to the Roman List ?

It is often a good idea for newcomers to the list to sit back and read for a week or two (called "lurking") to get a good idea of what is appropriate to post. Newcomers are encouraged (but not required!) to post a brief introduction (see above).

When you're ready to take the plunge, address your email to:

Please use the best possible Subject line. Good examples are:

  • Kit: Good source of supply
  • Event: Announcing Roman Days, Living History Event May '05
  • Wanted: Linen thread
  • Seeking: Info on...
  • For sale: Late Roman kit
  • Discussion: Authentic rations--where to find, how to make
  • Disc., various: Blankets, tents & safety, raw material, & more

Good Subject lines help everybody to sort out what's important to them and to delete/ignore the rest. People either delete messages with bad Subject lines or waste time and resources reading them. When replying to a message, PLEASE change the subject line if you change the topic!

Keep subject lines short and put the most important information near the beginning. Some mailers truncate subject lines to 40 or 50 characters and most truncate them to 80 or less.

Posts with the word ADMIN READ: or ANNOUNCE: in the Subject line are from the list owner or moderators and should be read for important information regarding the list.

In order for other subscribers to know who you are and how to contact you directly, please remember to use your real name and your email address at the bottom of your email. You're also encouraged to include your unit affiliation. For example:


The the Roman List is a recreational forum. If you aren't willing to sign your real name to a message, you shouldn't be sending that message to the list. Remember, you can always send private mail to an individual if you need to send confidential information, such as your U.S. Mail address or telephone number.

Some people's mailers don't show the sender's email address by default, so you should always include it in your signature. (Your mail program doesn't show the sender's address? Ask your system manager or read the documentation. Unless your software is very old, there is a way to make it show the sender's address.)

It's recommended that you don't include your telephone number or U.S. postal address, or anyone else's, anywhere in a message to the list. Cases of harassment and stalking have occurred, though not to members of this list, thankfully. If you want to give out a phone number or address as contact info, ask interested people to email you privately to request the address and send it privately to people who respond. For people whose business is in reenactment (notably sutlers), it's appropriate to give out a business address. For others, keep in mind that some people's companies frown on personal mail at the office.

You should realize that your posts are made freely available through various means. People share email with those not on the list, and even with those that don't have email access, etc. A good rule of thumb to use is, if you would not want to see your email on the front page of the New York Times, don't send it. See also "Can I share the Roman List postings with others?", below.

The list owner strongly discourages sharing emails of opinions off the list. There is a certain form that email takes that folks off the list may not understand. Reprinting of an email without the expressed consent of the author is prohibited -- if you publish a newsletter and wish to use an email in it, ask the author's permission -- most are very willing to share that information.

You may want to keep this checklist somewhere convenient, so you can run through it before you send email:

  • Is the tone ok?
  • Did you call anyone names or insult anyone?
  • Do you really mean to send it to the whole list?
  • Do you need to update the subject line?
  • Did you delete irrelevant parts of old messages?
  • Did you say something new/has your point already been made?
  • Is it a relevant topic?

106. What are appropriate and inappropriate topics for the Roman List ?

FIRST go HERE to view the topic FAQ! These are things that have been beaten to death--we don't wanna hear 'em again! Read the topic FAQ and then you won't have to ask waste bandwidth again ;-) Also, Topics should relate to Roman or Ancient Periods reenacting. For example, caring for equipment, setting up a camp, event announcements and reviews, event safety, military and non-military activities for events, etc. Discussion about the different eras is proper when it applies to reenacting (for example, equipment lists, availability of fabrics, conditions of life on campaign, museums with exhibits of Roman articles). Please don't post messages concerning other eras (e.g., Civil War, RevWar, War of 1812, etc.) or other places (18th c. Egypt) or modern practices (modern health care or politics) unless they are relevant to the Era we are reenacting and reenactment of it. Non-Period topics are not appropriate; while the Roman List members are a chatty and (mostly) friendly group, the list owner asks that posts that are not about reenacting the Roman Army or Empire be sent privately to the individual posting the message rather than to the whole list.

Other lists are available for discussion of various aspects of Rome as a historical period, unrelated to reenactment. The Internet is filled with newsgroups (Usenet) and a multitude of publicly accessible mailing lists that cover every topic under the sun. Please use the appropriate forum for the subject you wish to discuss.

Do not post messages that are repetitive. It is particularly important that you make sure you have downloaded messages recently before sending a response in order to make sure that no one has already made the point.

Do not post messages that are vulgar, irrelevant, or personally derogatory. Even if the people involved in the thread might tolerate the language, there are many other participants on the list who should not and do not want to "listen" to it. In addition, avoid sharing your negative comments on units, individuals, businesses, or umbrella organizations. There are people that care deeply and invest themselves in all these organizations. If you have a constructive comment, please share it; however, when you make negative comments people have to defend the organization and it just gets ugly -- if you must send the message, send it privately. Try to be concise, as some list members are charged by the volume of mail they receive. If you persist in derogatory messages, your privilege to sent email to the list will be revoked. Also: the use of any racially or sexually derogatory terms will result in the offender getting their ass immediately booted off this list! Consider this your WARNING!

If someone posts a clearly irrelevant message, such as an Internet scam offer or a chain letter, DO NOT post to the list saying "why did this show up on the list". Either ignore the message (this is best), reply to the sender, or contact the moderators.

[a] Sales and Want Lists

Commercial messages should be relevant to reenactment; individuals may post listings but businesses should restrict themselves to contact information and a brief description of the type of goods or services provided. Please use a clear Subject line (e.g., "For sale: Deepeeka Gallic H Helmet") and ask people to reply to you privately. If you have several items for sale, collect them into a single message.

If you're responding to a "For sale" posting PLEASE respond privately to the seller, NOT to the whole list. The the Roman List and its owner are in no way responsible for the accuracy of any advertisement on the list or the quality of any goods bought through the list, nor do they endorse any merchants in any way. "Caveat emptor;" let the buyer beware.

  1. The subject line should include, at a minimum, FOR SALE: After that, if you can include an item name, it would also be appreciated. This lets people delete or skip the message right away if not interested.
  2. Keep the posts as short as possible, infrequent, and make sure you are clear how to reply back to you! Do not ask for replies to the list, please. They are infrequent, to the point, and, according to many in the survey, much appreciated by many on the list.
  3. The list is only the messenger, so please do not blame or hold the list in any way responsible for:
    1. not enough responses
    2. too many responses
    3. a response you do not like
    4. inaccurate descriptions
    5. misrepresented goods
    6. outrageous pricing
    7. &c.

[b] Gossipy or Slanderous Posts

Gossip and slanderous and/or libelous posts are NOT allowed. If you're not sure what constitutes gossip, slander, or libel, replace your name with name of the person you're targeting and ask yourself how would you feel if 250+ people within the hobby were going to read that about you and you wouldn't know it or see a copy of it. Libel and slander are serious business and there are serious consequences for these sorts of posts.. Constructive criticism and opposing views on a particular subject are welcome; personal attacks are not.

The Roman List is not the proper forum to deal with private conflicts. Please use private email, phone calls, etc., to keep private issues off of the Roman List . If you need to request recommendations or are trying to track someone down because of money owed, equipment borrowed, etc., then please request private/direct responses. If responding to such a request, do so using private email. Last but not least, don't respond to posts that violate this rule -- it only makes the problem worse. If you persist in derogatory messages, your privilege to sent e-Mail to the list will be revoked and we will send a swarm of moths to infest your collection, along with a special cloud of rust-inducing agents to destroy your armor and swords.

[c] Public vs. Personal Responses

When responding to a post made to the Roman List , take a moment to consider if your response is of interest to the majority of list members (some 250+ subscribers). If not, consider emailing it directly to the original poster instead. Many subscribers to the Roman List pay by the hour to access their email and/or have other limiting resources to large amounts of unnecessary email.

When replying to a previous posting, PLEASE trim down "quoted material" BUT leave at least the From line and enough information to figure out what you're replying to. (Including the Date, From, and Subject lines is usually a good idea.) Please don't quote an entire post just to add something like "I agree". In fact, if all you have to say is "I agree", it's best not to post at all! Replying without quoting anything, so that no one knows what you're commenting on, is also strongly discouraged. If you use AOL, you need to highlight the text to reply to first.

It's also helpful to the Roman List members if you use the same Subject line when appropriate or change the Subject line as needed to reflect the topic of your post. For example, when replying to a post with a Subject line like "Question: How do I wear my lorica?", you may want to modify the Subject line to "Discussion: Wearing lorica." Or if the topic changes, for example, change "Seeking: info on
to "Discussion: LEGIO XIIII."

[d] Public vs Private Email

It is general netiquette not to publicly post email received privately.  Ultimately, the rule of thumb is: don't send email (private or otherwise) that you wouldn't want to become public knowledge within or beyond the Roman List .

[e] "Signature" Files

Some mail systems allow for "signature" files to be included automatically in email. Long time netiquette encourages that these files be no more than five lines in length and typically include your real name and email address.

For those on systems that do not provide this functionality (e.g., AOL and other "online services"), it is requested that you manually "sign off" with your name, email address, and unit affiliation -- see "How do I post to the Roman List?"

[f] Flame Wars

Certain topics on the the Roman List -- how shall one say? -- inspire fervid opinions. Every so often, someone will post a message on one of these topics and a flame war will start.

PLEASE be aware that some topics always seem to start flame wars, like modern gun laws, or my umbrella organization is better than your umbrella, women portraying men, etc..  PLEASE don't make one worse by contributing to it.

2. General Questions

201. Can I share the Roman List postings with others?

We strongly discourage sharing emails of opinions with people who are not on the list. There is a certain form that email takes that folks off the list may not understand. It takes on a different form of communication. We trust that you will use your good judgment. If you're passing on postings for their personal use to those who don't have email access or aren't list subscribers, alright, but please consider supplying those people consistently (or asking them to subscribe if they can); discussions take shape over time and it can be important that people receive the same amount of information as much as possible.

Reprinting of an email without the expressed consent of the author is prohibited -- get permission before redistributing their message or a part of it to a public forum, such as posting it to another mailing list or publishing it in a newsletter. Feel free to redistribute portions of a message which quote other works without the poster's permission, but keep in mind that these other works may be copyrighted and subject to restrictions.

Notwithstanding the above, posters should realize that their posts are made freely available through various means (forwarding, archives, backups of people's computers). Although we _ask_ list members to get permission before redistributing messages, it is not possible to control what list members do with postings. If you absolutely do not want your message to go further than the list, do not post to the list in the first place.

3. Miscellaneous

301. How did the the Roman List start?

The list started in 1999 on the old e-groups service and was started by Mark Canady.

The eGroups service was bought out by Yahoo, the Borg of the Internet in late 2000 or early 2001 -- I forget... and in the Winter of 2004, the list was handed over to me, Marsh Wise to bring it back from death.

302. What other Roman resources are available?

Please see the the Roman List webpage of links. [Not currently active]

303. Email communication, etc.

[a] Common email vocabulary:

  • to flame - To complain at length about something. Especially, to complain at length, insultingly, and to no purpose. Please don't send flames to the list.
  • flame-proof suit - When you say something provocative (e.g., for the Roman List , that no bearded men should be allowed to reenact soldiers, or that wepaons laws are too restrictive or not restrictive enough), you might first say that you are "donning your flame-proof suit", in expectation of being flamed by someone who disagrees with you and doesn't know how to argue civilly.
  • flame war - A series of posts on a topic in which people lose their tempers and flame at each other without saying anything new or useful. (Before posting a message on a provocative topic, please read the archives if possible. Whatever you have to say has almost certainly been said before.)
  • to lurk - To join a mailing list and just read what comes in without ever posting anything, so that no one realizes you are reading messages. "How do I post to the Roman List ?", above, explains lurking etiquette for the the Roman List list.
  • to post - To send a message to a mailing list.
  • soapbox - What you climb onto when you're about to state an opinion that you know others may disagree with.
  • thread - A series of messages on the same topic; a "conversation" on a mailing list. Threads often drift onto another topic, or splinter into multiple threads. When this happens, be sure to update the subject line!

[b] Common email acronyms

  • BTW - by the way
  • FAQ - frequently asked questions (pronounced "fack")
  • FYI - for your information
  • IMO, IMHO - in my (humble) opinion
  • LOL - laughing out loud
  • ROFL - rolling on the floor laughing
  • TIA - thanks in advance (rarely abbreviated)

[c] Common reenactment acronyms; vocabulary ("farby")

  • farb/farby -Inauthentic or inauthentic actions or kit. No one can prove where this term came from, but the consensus is that it came from people saying "FAR BE it from me to criticize, but your clothing/uniform/kit/equipment/way of holding your rifle/etc. is not authentic/correct/accurate/etc."

    This term can indicate anything from mild and constructive disapproval ("When you can manage it, you ought to replace those farby black sneakers with proper shoes") to unleavened hatred and scorn ("Farbs like that shouldn't be allowed to reenact!"). Some people find the term offensive (probably ones who've heard a lot of the latter usage). At any rate, it's nastier to call a person a farb than to call their kit farby. And how you say something counts for a lot, so keep in mind that in email, people can't hear your tone of voice.

    "Farb" may be more common as a noun and "farby" as an adjective, but if so, the preferences are slight.

  • Tactical - Combat reenactment where there are usually no spectators.
  • Living History - an event where you demonstrate tot he public about your impression and period in history.
  • First-Person - Where the reenactors try and act like they are actually thre and are, in fact, real member sof this time period.

[d] Putting non-verbal communication into email (smileys, etc.)

Emphasis: Most people surround emphasized text with the underbar character; for example, "I _really_don't_ want you to do that!" Some people use asterisks; e.g., "that's *really* good". There are also various other less common methods in circulation.

Shouting: Uppercase letters mean shouting ("I'M SHOUTING!"), which is _not_ the same as emphasis. Don't "shout" unless you mean it.

Smileys: Smileys, also called emoticons, concisely indicate emotion in email. To understand smileys, tilt your head all the way over to the left (or in rare cases, to the right). Most smileys consist of three characters, for the eyes, the nose, and the mouth. There are hundreds of possible smileys, but the most common are these:

:-) The Smiley Face. "Just kidding" or "no offense." Sometimes indicates happiness, for example: I just got a raise! :-)

;-) The Winky Face. "Just kidding", sarcasm, or facetiousness.

:-/ The Wry Face.

:-( The Sad Face.

;-Þ Sticking one's tongue out or "Doh!"

Descriptions: Following Charles Shultz's fine tradition, you may see descriptions of non-verbal communication surrounded by asterisks, e.g., *sigh*, *smile*, *moan*. Some people use <g> to mean "grin".

304. What about the "Good Times" virus?

The "Good Times" virus is a hoax that has been floating around the Internet for several years now. If you get email talking about a virus spread through email with the Subject line of "Good Times", return it to the sender and let them know that it is a hoax.

You should be EXTREMELY careful running any programs you retrieve over the Internet regardless of you how you get them (email, FTP, the Web, etc.). Should it ever become necessary to inform subscribers of a virus, the list owner will use a Subject line containing the keyword ADMIN in it.

If you have any questions or concerns about viruses, talk to your local Internet provider.

There are several sources of information regarding viruses and this particular hoax. Please see one the following URLs:





This FAQ based on the Haynet FAQ developed by Darci Chapman. Adapted and expanded by Sue Felshin. Modified by Gary Liming and Cathy Johnson for the RevListe and lastly Marsh Wise and crew for this list.

The list owner is Marsh Wise. Please send comments and suggestions for the FAQ to the list owner.

This mini-site maintained by Marsh Wise, List Owner
Last Updated: Thursday, August 04, 2005