“ROMANA SUM” (the ancient Romans didn’t have lowercase letters) translates as “I am Roman,” where the single speaker is female. An alternative translation* – one I prefer aesthetically – is “I am a woman of Rome.”

I am doing my best, within the world of the SCA, to research and recreate the material culture and life of 50BCE. My persona is Tullia Saturnina, a widowed midwife. Tullia’s sweetheart is Caius (my guy Robert). I live in Dragon’s Mist but I also participate with the Barony of Three Mountains, Stromgard, and at the Kingdom level. I’ve been honored with the Jambe de Lion and the Goute de Sang. I am currently the Arts & Sciences Champion of the Barony of Dragon’s Mist.

My goal is historical accuracy. If you ever catch me in a mistake (TANTUMMODO OVUM SUM) or think I’d be interested in hearing about something, PLEASE drop me a note! I’ll be posting my papers, etc to the Papers page so you can see what I’m up to. The Resources page has links to lots of info, shopping, etc. I’m not sure yet how else I will use this page. I like the idea of having time go forward at some point… Maybe post some letters from Tullia to her family members about her life, her reactions to public events as Julius Caesar’s story reaches its climax…? Who knows. Feel free to join in the conversation if there’s something you’d like to see.

*Unless you are nitpicky about Latin grammar, because it’s not in the genitive form. But “FEMINA ROMANAE SUM” doesn’t make for a snappy blog title, so bear with me.

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Roman Memes in Modern Day Life

Note: This article appeared in the March issue of the Dragon’s Tongue.

meme definition.pngLast August, I was escaping the summer heat by walking in an air-conditioned mall one day and realized I was surrounded by Roman memes (in the original sense of the word).

Gathered Neckline Stola

Gathered-neckline stola

There were logos with big Roman numerals, and stores with red and gold bunting. The shoe places were offering “gladiator sandals,” while Macy’s was selling a shirt that looked like the top half of a gathered-neckline stola. And these were just the obvious ones… Let’s take a peek at some of the ways Roman traditions have survived into the modern era.

First of all – It was August… Renamed for Augustus Caesar in 8 BCE.

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Dragon’s Mist Arts & Sciences Championship

DM Arts & Sciences Championship

ATTENTION ALL ARTISANS! I hereby announce the upcoming Dragon’s Mist Arts and Sciences Championship to be held at Carnivale (March 24th at Schlegel Hall 485 S. Main St Banks, OR, 97106). You do not need to be a DM resident. FB link.

COMPETITION: Single entry, with documentation and oral presentation required. You will have a table space for your display. Your entry will be judged on period methods, materials, and understanding of period context. The entry should contribute to a better understanding of an aspect of period life or material culture. Research papers and consumables are welcome as well as the usual artistic object. Entry can not have previously won a competition, unless it has been sufficiently overhauled and rebuilt into a new entry. Note: The Bardic Championship will be held at the same event. Please enter your performances there.

JUDGING: Three experts in your field will confer and rate your entry using the Kingdom A&S judging forms. To be clear: Baronial entries are not expected to score perfectly. Many people who do well at local levels have bad experiences at Kingdom because they don’t know what to expect. I’d like to start a conversation with both the judges and entrants about what is the norm for local competitions… and let everyone know that winning a baronial competition with 3s (out of 5s) is perfectly fine.

PRIZES: The winner will receive a set of gold-plated or silver jewelry, made by the current DM A&S champion, as a prize. They will also choose one of the largesse donations to keep. As Drusa is entering, a box like these below will be one of your choices.


All competitors will receive a participation prize, TBD.

A largesse item will also be granted to an entrant chosen by the Baron and Baroness.


  • Notification ( of your intent, with the title of your entry and your full SCA name, by 3/1/18.
  • Submission of a letter of intent to Their Excellencies in court on the day of the Championship. This can be elaborate, in the style of your persona, or simple.
  • Oral presentation to judges (and members of the populace who chose to observe) of up to 20 minutes, followed by a short Q&A period for judges. Total time 30 min.
  • A largesse donation of a period object (or useful period materials), preferably made by the entrant. Although it can be the competition object, that’s not expected. It will be presented and considered with your judged entry.
  • Willingness to be the Champion of the Barony of Dragons Mist. You gain the honor of wearing the Champion’s cloak, and carry the Champion’s regalia. Additionally, you earn a place of pride whenever the Baronial court is in session. You will organize next year’s competition, with the aid of the event steward and A&S Minister.

I am throwing down the gauntlet: BRING YOUR BEST! This is a chance to push yourself and create something you’ll be proud of for years. Start planning now!


Domina Tullia Saturnina, JdL, GdS

Dragon’s Mist A&S Champion

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Hercules Knot, take 3…

My first two attempts are written up here. For this version, I wanted to do silver (instead of brass), and do a continuous loop rather than a curve and a ring. I also decided to use a jig to bend the loops. My goal was to have a display of my progress out for 12th Night, but I got obsessed with my new motorcycle and didn’t spend enough time in the studio.

IMG_20180116_101854.jpgI was cranking away last weekend trying to finish, when I realized that my rushing things was making for sloppy soldering. I figured I was better off stopping than presenting substandard work. Keep an eye out at future events for the finished necklace!

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Tracking down period techniques

One of my goals is to learn to make jewelry the way the Romans did, not just duplicate their designs with modern techniques and tools. I contacted my friend Alberto (he’s part of Legio Secvnda Consvlaris, an Italian re-enacting group) to see if he had any ideas. He connected me with his friend who makes Etruscan pieces! I’ve always adored the Etruscan works. They are tiny and shockingly detailed. I’m very excited… stay tuned!

From his website:


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Collegium 2017

I graduated from student to apprentice to Eulalia Piebakere! I taught about Roman slavery and manumission! I took a bunch of terrific classes! I got to see *all* of a Bardic championship, which was awesome! Drusa and I had a fantastic time – And my wonderful friend Idonia was put on vigil to become a Laurel. I’m so proud of her!

NOTE: I’m wearing Romano-Brit because it was cold! Also, we are following a medieval model of apprenticeship because Eulalia’s persona is from 13th century York.


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2 Upcoming Competitions: Yule & DM Champion

Champion’s Choice at Yule: Arts & Sciences for everyone!

12/16 at the Oregon Army National Guard Columbia County Armory, 474 S 7th St, Saint Helens, Oregon 97051, 9am-9pm, no site fee! (FB Event for the Tri-Baronial Yule)

Please join us for a friendly competition! There will be three categories: Place yourself in Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced, with (minimum) a 3×5 card listing your SCA Continue reading

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Chain-making, Roman style

Chains appear as decorative elements in jewelry as well as practical applications (suspended oil lamps, scales, etc). Although the finished products look similar to Viking wire weaving, the method is different.


Chain for a small oil lamp. I took this at the traveling Pompeii exhibit when it was in Seattle.

Viking knit bracelet  3 small.jpg

Viking wire weaving bracelet


Wire weaving uses a single long wire, threaded back and forth, to create a strand.

Loop-in-loop (the Roman method) uses individual oblong rings. They are bent and hooked into each other. Here’s a modern tutorial.d9d449e8177b56e2d193f0d0e3443801--jewelry-clasps-jewelry-findings.jpg Continue reading

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