Legio XV Apollinaris is an offspring of "URL", the organisation for live roleplaying at the University of Oslo. The ideas that were to become this project, were spawned there several years ago.

  • At "Trenne Byar" in 1994, the largest single LRP event in Scandinavia to date, an accident brought our attention to the fact that a small, poorly armed, inferior force could stop an overwhelming enemy attack simply by appearing well organised and determined.
  • In 1995, a group of the then young URL, decided to participate at Ravn's summer LRP event as a military unit. They were 13, nine of who decided to make their own metal armour. Being inadequately equipped to make proper plate mail, they decided to make a crude version of the famous Lorica Segmentata. Once again this event proved the efficiency of discipline, training and uniformity. In an LRP setting, this is quite uncommon, LRPers being notorious individualists.
  • In the spring of 1996, members of URL formed a committee with the aim of creating a larger unit, based on the before mentioned experiences. The goal of this organisation, named The Roman Project, would be to attend large LRP events, (e.g. Swedish events), to prove our theory, have fun and add a touch of realism to LRP military forces.
  • Based on our experience, and the resources available at the time, we really had very few choices regarding the historical style of our unit. Both Vikings and Normans were considered, but rejected due to their lack of uniformity, which we saw important. Also, classical Hoplite Phalanx would be impractical in the wooden terrain of Scandinavia. Having good experiences with the loricas mentioned earlier, the choice of Trajanic Romans was unavoidable. Thus, Legio XV Apollinaris was formed.
  • From the first moment, mass-production was a vital clue, as we had grown tired of hand-fitting every single rivet. Neither did we trust our large number of members (after Norwegian standards) to be able to make their own equipment in time, and according to our strict and historical specifications. For the first time, one was to behold uniform equipment in large numbers at an LRP event!
  • Our first actual LRP event was a two day training/testing session in April 1997, held in co-operation with "Yggdrasil", an LRP group from Bærum, Norway. This gave us invaluable hints to tactics and further enhancement of the equipment.
  • The following summer saw the legion's real baptism of fire, at the excellent LRP event "Nyteg" by "Lilla Gillet" in Sweden. At this event, held in the LRP fantasy world of "Ett Glas" (the same world as "Trenne Byar"), Legio XV appeared as a unit of mercenaries from the "Em" mountains. Emphasising discipline and soldiers' honour, we made a fair impression on the Swedes. This was, of course, a major inspiration, and a tremendous boost of morale.
  • For "Gränsen", a historic LRP event in the summar of 1998, we renewed a lot of our equipment and managed to produce helmets for all legionaires. Our Swedish sister-group had the role as probatii (recrutes) at this event, and we look forward to further contact and co-operation. Thanks to the organisors effort to producing raw materials we were also able to make a simplyfied century fort, the largest structure to be built in any Scandinavian LRP event to date!
  • In the summer of 1999 we were, as reenacting romans, invited to "Hjemsted Oldtidspark", an outdoor museum covering the Roman Iron age. A small contingent left for Denmark where we held daily demonstrations of roman equipment and battle tactics for a delighted audience. We regard this invitation from a serious museum as a recognition of our work. During this stay we also made a number of valuable contacts.



By Ståle Johansen
Published Feb. 9, 2010 3:00 PM - Last modified Mar. 3, 2015 12:08 PM