Full Version: Greek re-enactors - how do you display?
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Hi everyone!

This may fit better into the re-enactment section but I have posted it here as it is more likely to be seen by re-enactors of Greek hoplite groups.

I would be interested to get some sort of idea about how the different Hoplite groups around the world display, specifically with the use of weapons. Does your group use sharp weapons, for authenticity, and parade drill etc. (like many roman legionary groups) or do you use blunt weapons and re-enact combat (like most medieval groups I know)? Or do you do something completely different? The idea came to me after seeing some impressive videos from Athenea Prómakhos… ... re=related ... re=related

Show of hands? Big Grin
Well, in the case of Athenea, real spears are used for parades, during explanations, and when weapons are shown to people.
Before the combat, real spears are changed, and other ones with false blade are used. real spears are very dangerous in combat, and over all because of the people that are watching. Other thing are gladiatorial games, where there are only two people, far from the crowd, this makes easy to use real weapons because everything is more controlled

each one does it and try to make it look as real as possible. That remembers me that I have to do my own one :lol:
In Greece we parade using the process depicted on the Vix crater as a reference. Please see in the show your Greek warrior impression thread for images
We give honors using an interpretation of Asclepiodotos by taking onguard posture and display the emblem.

We have tested "phalanx breaking" ... 010055.jpg ... 010052.jpg ... 840026.jpg

But since we lack equipment for handling massive conflict safely; 2 groups crushing on each other is still a No-Option for us.

Kind regards
The video is great, but what are they using :?: Are they real spears :?: :?: Or rubber :?:
The javelin guy looks like hes throwing a real javelin, it looks like they are lifting the spears up in the air and just pushing each other with shields. A few spears seem to come close to the old face!
Whats's going on here?
I would have thought that with the nice gear people just used it to parade in, I dont want my super thin brass helmet to get dented, or once I spend 100+ hours on shield have it ruffed up.
We are usually using spears with foam spearhead In combat, as shown in the picture. For any other occasion (parade, museum event and so on) we use our real weapons. The trainingsweapons are simply made of foam and tape.
We use sharps, but have very controlled arena display protocol which does not invove actual combat. It is a mix of movement and explanation. Arrows are "flu's" with soft tips and again very controlled use.

Below is something someone posted from a 2006 display, but you will get the essence of it here (although there are multiple scenarios adopted).
The best example of hoplite combat I have ever seen involved no hoplites and was posted by Giannis a while back (specifically 20 seconds into the clip) ... re=related

And here, they seem to have attempted to solve the lack of depth of ranks with single fellow with a pole- with mixed results. (first 30 seconds or so) ... re=related

This type of pushing, othismos in Greek, is integral to hoplite warfare- probably more important than weapons play. If anyone knows these fellows, I'd love to pick their brains on how they "re-discovered" these tactics.
that one in Russia uses real weapons!! Confusedhock:
Very nice find,Paul.These guys would love to have hoplite kit.One or two men with a pole cannot withstand the pressure,but it is interesting that they insist in forming lines,contrary to most other medieval reenactors. And even when they brake after a few seconds(due to lack of ranks) again they attack or defend themselves in small groups of two or three side by side, as it's recomended by ancient writers for hoplites that are retreating.
Yea, I'd love to know more about how this group came up with their tactics. The best part of that second clip is the way the front-ranked men seem almost out of control in the charge- like they are riding a wave of pressure behind them. I wish we could see their faces :lol:

This effect is one reason that I don't think that they charged directly into battle after a 50 meter trot. They could never keep that close for so long without fouling. The charge of scores of meters into battle and the terminal charge into enemy ranks (in the manner of clip 2) had to be discrete events. A long charge would leave hoplites impacting either in clumps or at best ranks, both are inefective aginst a mass of troops. Two phalanxes doing this would be suicidal for their formations, leaving their front ranks interpenetrated and negating the whole point of originally forming in order.
This is why Herodotus sais the Marathon fighters were the first who charged froma long distance. This mean two things. First that for the two previous centuries the hoplites were not running before contct with the enemy phalanx,and second that later they did practice this. There are two more points however. Herodotus mentions a very long distance of running that seems unlikely.About two kms. Second, his final words are that the Marathonomachoi were the first who run in front of the enemy,he doesn't mention the distance. He didn;t say "they were the first who run for so long"!
What we can't know is what they did later on.Perhaps they run only against light troops? What did they do against phalanxes? What happened when light teoops became an essential support of the phalanx,say the end of fifth century bc?
Maybe this long and quick charge was made because the persian army were still disembarking and not formed properly to face the greeks, and with this charge greek wanted to make the most of this situation, something like the charge of macedonian cavalry agains persian cavalry on granicus.
Persians had set a proper camp in Marathon unopposed.
They were embarking their horsemen and according to Aelian this was th reason of Miltiades attack

It has been discussed in the othismos threads.

Different opponents require different methods.
If your foe was Greek phalanx you manouver more and charge less.
In marathon they advanced 1300 meter in open order and they charged the last 200 meters.

Kind regards
I think there is no ancient writer who says they charged only the last 200 meters though. Is there,Stefane? But it is a valid possibility as the range of bows was somewhat like that,or at least this is a good distance to start running in order to avoid arrows. Herodotus uses the word "dromaioi"(which means running) for the whole distance and this is highly unlikely!
Quote:I think there is no ancient writer who says they charged only the last 200 meters though. Is there,Stefane? But it is a valid possibility as the range of bows was somewhat like that,or at least this is a good distance to start running in order to avoid arrows. Herodotus uses the word "dromaioi"(which means running) for the whole distance and this is highly unlikely!

Most peopleuse Loeb text (early 20th century) "dromaioi".
But Teubner text (1832) uses the phrase "dielthontes" (= covering the ditance).
Late Sir Steven Runisman said there is a manuscript in Vattopaedion monastery dated in 1650 with Herodotus fragments and uses the Teubner expression.

After being force to run 1500 meter in full NATO gear including "Bergen pack" (Same weight as hoplite gear) I don t believe that hoplites could jog 1500 meter and then perform close combat for another couple of hours. NO way!

Kind regards
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