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On Friday, I had the pleasure of going back to Gaul, 52 BC, to the Romans' siege of the enormous hillfort of Alesia and their shenanigans with Vercingetorix. This was for a day's work as a Roman Soldier, filming for Battlefield Detectives. I've had make up applied, and I'm convinced it adds about 10 years and 2 stone to me!
The Romans built 10 miles of multiple ditches, ramparts and big nasty pointy things around the Gauls' hillfort - for some reconstructions see HERE.
I believe the episode will be aired on The History Channel next year, and eventually on to terrestrial (4, or 5 I think) sometime.
David - it might not look it, but my very own hasta (spear) is over 6 ft long! When filming the Romans defending their siege works (I think it was 4 or 5 times we went through that one) I nearly speared one of the guys from Britannia, with my hasta landing about 2 feet from his feet! He moved back for the next shoot...
Much of the programme was under the direction of Britannia's senior chap, Dan, though obviously the TV production team were actually directing it. Fierce? Only the second time I've had to use the shield to protect myself from incoming projectiles when we did the attacking of the siegeworks - huge sods of Essex clay whirling through the air. Only one thing was going to stop them hitting home... (not that I am complaining!) My left hand and knee are still grazed from the hour we spent in combat with the gauls, and putting my body weight into the shield. Britannia are very fun to work with.; if this is work, more of it please!
See page 17 of the Essex Enquirer 21st July 2005 for a small feature and pic of the proceedings... if you should really be bothered!
Nick - the shield was actually made of authentic Roman, erm, fibre glass, dirtied up to look more authentic! (provided by the film company ). I do have my own auxiliary shield of metal, wood and leather, but it dates 100 years + this particular period. The shield here is a Republican shield.