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The Romans in Britain Staff page and about the site and the Original Author

About the Site Itself

This website was originally created way back in the late 1990's by a guy who went by the Roman name of Victius Maximus... I LOVED this website!! It had SO MUCH great info and I came to it a lot. Alas, the site had been gone for years and it was sad. The last I had heard, Victius had said that he had some severe health problems and that a friend was hosting the site for him — then, it was just GONE. For a long time, I could not find Victius, but a while after I put the site back up and had done a lot of reno-work to it, he contacted me. At first, he was unhappy, but then came to realize all his work was alive again, and his work credited to him. I have not heard from him again now in many years, after those couple brief emails, but as far as I know, he is still alive. I check the 'Net (he's a photographer and still active) and see he still draws a breath...

Anyway, this website had been dead for at least 3-4 years or more and, as it is so FULL of really great information, it really needed tobe out there. How did I do it? Well, fortunately, I had saved it for reference — so, one dark December evening, I resolved to bring it back. After a few days of long, feverish work, it was alive again! Years later and it's still not totally finished, I really need to finish all the recipes (well underway with Latin names, original recipes and citations, but still working on though) and maybe I'll get the recipes into a database format... The Roman sites area needs some serious work too. As I have a real life, it isn't always possible to work on this stuff as much as I'd like. A note: my name is Decimus Mercatius Varianus, a Roman reenactor of Legio IX Hispana. I will just go by my Roman name for now.

How it Happened

Fortunately, as previously noted, I had downloaded the old RiB website to use as a reference — it was real lucky in that when I needed to look something up and found the site was GONE, all was not lost. :-o When I did see the site had disappeared, I was pretty sad, but knew I had saved it... When the decision to bring it back occured, it was just a matter of finding the site and files in my "Stasi" archives. I did some severe hard drive searching and found the site files, as the site appeared "back then." It needed work. It had been built with "frames," a website layout system, which while it was cutting edge and looked good in 1999, nowadays it's not. yeah, change! So, it has taken MANY hours to get this site into a modern template form (vs. the old "frames" layout — spit! Hiss! Ick!) thus allowing some real update and modification. (Of course, saying that, "modern" is a relative, as I then used a program that is now about 15 years old — ancient in computerdom — called GoLive CS2 and it'snow way obsolete) Many now use the latest thing, Adobe Dreamweaver... however, I detest Dreamweaver and it's clunkiness — sorry, it's built for goobers and not web designers — mostly those with great fear of the backside of the site. As it is now, with our cutting-edge mobile CSS code, Dreamweaver explodes. Maybe on the newest version, but I am not paying Adobe to rent software. Eff that! I'm doing this in Visual Studio Code v. 1.50.0 and sometimes using Notepad++ also. However, you don't wish to hear me rant about Adobe's poor business practices. :-)

Over the last seven years (can it be that long), we've converted to a "mobile-friendly" template (well, templates, as there are about 20 of them) and all of that now takes hand coding.

Maybe this site isn't all moderny looking with translucent drop-down menus, but it was built that way on purpose. I have also tried to keep pukey, "1998-looking" backgrounds out and the coloring, although things are a bit gaudy, as this is what the Romans would have done. The menus were using real Roman typefonts because I think that makes it feel more Roman — sadly, they were just a bit too much on the Internet. Maybe in the future, we'll have a way for you to toggle the site to look plain and modernly boring.


About the Current Websitarius

VarianusMy name is Decimvs Mercativs Varianvs. I am a Roman reenactor and history buff, here in the United States. I am member of Legio IX Hispana East Coast. I run a few historical websites and also make them for small groups and non-profits on the side (ask, if you need one ). I live in rural Pennsylvania and these days, I just drive a truck and haul the Mail... traveling along the byways of the American roads — gives me time to think...

So first, again, I am a historical reenactor... DUH! I got into that originally doing OPFOR (Opposing Force training) for the U.S. Army as an unpaid volunteer — this hooked me up with other reenactors and I then got into WWI reenacting. This led to WWII and Rev War (a bit) and now, Roman reenacitng.

And a bit more about me now: I was the the long-time former editor of both my WWI unit's magazine and its webmaster, along with also being the editor of the GWA's (Great War Association) On the Wire for a while and their original webmaster. As it is now, I've been doing computer and electronic publishing for over 30 years now. I find it fun and challenging. I strive to make the sites I run a better resource for reenactors and historians around the world and to this end, we are always soliciting help. I say "We" because it is a collective venture...

I have one wee red dog with the wife having another tinier dog on top of that. Hmmm, what else?

From and Where

NavyAnother bitlet about me — like you care! Originally from the province of California, I have lived in Pennsylvania, Florida, Virginia — along with also, for a short while, in Oregon, Oklahoma and Alaska. I graduated from High School in 1982 and and not long after the graduation announcements I (like a fool) made the jump from high school to the U.S. Navy. I was stationed in Pensacola, Florida for training and then onto Key West, Florida. It was different... as much as Key West is associated with people like Jimmy Buffett and Ernest Hemingway, I found something else about it — Key West ain't normal! fantasy festNot only is it usually just one drunken party and they also have something called "Fantasy Fest" around Halloween. Key West is also the GAY capital of the South, and . It is also a really weird place to live. As you can imagine, all of this was quite a shock for a young kid from a little town out in the country (yes, there are country towns in California too)... Lots of head shops too, that we were supposed to be "off limits to us" — yeah right! Long ago.

Free at last, free at last, free at last!

After I got me outta the Navy ;-) I moved back to good old Cali for a couple of years and that is where I learned to be a "truck drivah" oooohhhhh.... a "contract mail driver" to be precise. An "oh-so-fun" job dealing with the Post Office and its minions. In 1986, I moved to the Washington D.C. area (actually Northern Virginia), where I continued to haul mail for a sucession of scumbags mail contractors (not all are bad, just many of them are). Back to driving... it ain't all bad and it does give me time to think — I still detest the Post Office. After almost 39 years, what can I say?

Living in the D.C. area, I also got to do a lot of fun things. The D.C. area is pretty neat and has a lot of great things to do — history, culture, etc. Sometimes I really miss it sometimes Of course, sometimes I don't either — taxes, traffic, too many people, loud, — all the time, no stars. And, it is highly unlikely that my little town in Pennsylvania will be the target of a scumbag terrorist attack — perhaps a Mexican revolution or some kind of Amish junta, but terrorism — doubtful. Not a lot of idiot protestors here either... Anyway, tired of reading about me? I would be — if you're reading down this far into a very boring bio, well, you must care (or be one of my brothers).

About the Original Author and Websitarius Emeritus

Here is the info for Victius Maximus, our Websitarius Emeritus:

I am Victius Maximus the creator and original author of this website. Born in Harrow — just north of London — in 1953 and 6' 2" tall, I now live in Welwyn Garden City, which is near St. Albans, the site of Verulamium, the third largest town in Roman times.

By profession, I am a freelance computer systems designer/analyst/programmer and have travelled to many far flung places in the world both for the government and private companies.

Why this site was created

Ifirst became interested in British Roman history while at school and became fascinated by the highly advanced society they built in this country

Living near Verulamium meant that I could study Roman history and have easy access to information on Roman life. As I began to delve into the details of Roman Britain, it soon became apparent that the Romans were as far advanced in all aspects of life as space aliens would be to us today.

As my knowledge of the Romans grew so did my desire to share this information with as any people as possible.

So in November 1999, I began work on this website. Firstly I wrote about British Roman history. Then I began to realise that there were very few books covering a wide range of topics about the Romans. Some covered the history, while others concentrated on the innovations the Romans brought to this country. I soon found the Internet was the most effective way to get as much information to as many visitors as possible.

In March 2000, the website became live via my free webspace. In March 2001, it moved from this temporary location to the official 'Romans in Britain' website. It moved a couple more times before going away for a few years [and, as you can see, has moved twice more in recent years since its rebirth].

Currently this site consists of 435+ pages [more like close to 522 now].

Computer Geekery

Our Server

We are hosted on my main server (reenactor.Net) which is a "shared host" — A few years ago now,we moved to a new host and things were great. He then retired and we had a bad move, wherein the host had some problem that we didn't show up in half the world. Ugh. Our host before helped us get to where we are now and much better in the server department. Anyway, I am not a wealthy person, so unless a lot of denarrii roll in, this is what we got.

Das Computer

It's now a core i7 w/ Win 10 Pro, 64 bit... lotsa RAM, solid state HD to boot on with a lot of main HD space (though quickly filling up) and some other crap — guess that will hold me for another coupla more years (we can hope ). I DO have decent monitors, a nice 23" widescreen, skinny thingee (with a smaller one on the side). Too Kewl. Are ya tired o' my computer crap yet?


Initially, I used Adobe PageMill 3.0 to lay out pages and build my sites — then I converted over to Adobe GoLive — first v.4.0, then v.5.0, v.6.0 and later GL CS2; a tool of the devil to learn, but a great program that Adobe killed way too early. Of course, since Adobe went and bought Macromedia, you know these fools just HAD to go and kill GoLive in favor of Dreamweaver — hey, it's Adobe's way; aquire something realy good, then turn around and abandon it. Hell, I still love PageMaker (for doing print stuff), even though the evil Adobe dumped it YEARS AGO in favor of InDesign, which I am not as keen on, but stuck with.

The photos and art are usually edited with Adobe Photoshop CS6 and CorelDraw x4, also I occasionally (more like rarely) mess with Adobe Illustrator if I HAVE to (kicking and screaming and rarely) — I still like CorelDraw better.

Microsoft Word is sometimes used for editing text (and its convert feature to fix text that I have accidently typed in all-caps and don't wish to retype. Occasionally, Word is also used for converting documents that have been submitted, over to HTML format [this used to work real well, but now, it requires even a bit more work.]

Last, a friend, had made me start using Notepad++ and then later, to this: Visual Studio Codefor code work and it DOES work pretty well for that, having some good tools for manipulating the code. Whatever works, we use it. Sadly, I have been forced to give up my beloved GL CS2, but we move on with new tools... I dread having to manage the over 522 pages without the site management tools of GL.

Hand Codery

I also now do HTML code editing, etc. Partly thanks to a class I took at Sierra College back in the daythanks Stan (and other friends over the years)! However, coding by hand is a true pain in the arse and it makes it hard to lay stuff out and see what it looks like. I use it for tweakiing things and adding things like the "drop cap" you see on some pages. The VSC really helps with this too. BTW, I know this really kind of information IS kind of boring unless you're a web geek. Maybe I'll make a blog to go with this site, I dunno. I am real bad about keeping blogs updated — just too much to do now. I need a secretary.

What we're doing

We have been updating pages as we go with newer, better, more updated information. Better art/photos, etc. More to come, really! Latest updatessd: Redoing the recipes and food section to be way better with citations, the original Latin/Ancient name, a translation of that and a photo, if we can. Time consuming as we are also converting the menu to a CSS style driven one, instead of using graphics for the menu buttons. Maybe the server will stop gasping...

Recently, a whole new medical section was added, with info about, and art, of the herbs and medicinal plants that Roman doctors use. We had a new page on how the Romans painted all their statues and buildings, but newer yet is one on Roman Concrete. Stuff to read and for kids to steal for school assignments smiley Lots of updates on the Roman military area too, We learn more lost info about the Romans all the time. Literally every month more photos and info and art comes online. Info should be free.

So anyway, now, we're moving forward. Check back often and let us know what you think. For now, use this e-mail addy:

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Romans in Britain


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