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Full contact Hoplite fighting
#1
We would like to do full contact reenactment battling in hoplite gear. Our period is the archaic period so our protection looks like an encased medieval knight though I find there is still a lot of flesh exposed in the armor. And still a few very dangerous spots like the neck area etc.

I was wondering how other hoplite organisations do it? I also wonder if they really didn't use padding back then. I've taken a few hits in my armor without padding and they come in very hard (as a mma fighter I can take some punishment but with weapons it is a different story). So I was wondering, should I wear some kind of gambeson beneath it to keep things safe? (sacrifising historical accuracy for protection seems like a fair deal to me)

I also found an exposed neck very dangerous so I was wondering to make some kind of aegis for increased protection in the neck area. But mainly how do other hoplite groups fight full contact and what kind of extra armor do they wear to keep things safe?
Polemarch of the Spartiates: Aegiadae

Hardwig
http://spartiates.agogeads.be
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#2
Use padded and wooden weapons.
Otherwise you will be adding members to the lists of deceased, fairly certainly.
Visne partem mei capere? Comminus agamus! * Me semper rogo, Quid faceret Iulius Caesar? * Confidence is a good thing! Overconfidence is too much of a good thing.
[b]Legio XIIII GMV. (Q. Magivs)RMRS Remember Atuatuca! Vengence will be ours!
Titus Flavius Germanus
Batavian Coh I
Byron Angel
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#3
An underlying question might be, "Are there any Hoplite groups who fight 'full contact' at all?"
M. Demetrius Abicio
(David Wills)

Saepe veritas est dura.
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#4
The problem in full contact hoplite fighting is not so much the harm that blows can inflict to the body but the inherent danger of accidental stampeding when one group overpowers another.

In our Association we have done the following experiments:

Inside a training ground we drew the outlines of fallen people. Som eof them knew the "die-safely" that is practiced in many events. When we marched over the designate space and we halted there. We discovered that there is no guarantee that some leg will not land accidentally on a human joint to say the least. Those who might have fallen down would have been incapacitated Lacking the ability to perform a "danger-less" othismos we stopped the effort.

During filming for a documentary. Six professional athletes (wrestlers)tried to visually demonstrate the amount of pressure in the effort to contain 6 hoplites with full contact. We had to blow the "panic whistle" quite frequently to "put the brakes" on the phalanx for reasons of safety.

Even in one to one close combat weird things can happen
http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6162/61856...1ab0_b.jpg

Unless a professional stunt co-ordinator create a safe process to do full contact hoplite fighting -especially for the phalanx, I personally do not consider it safe.
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#5
It doesn't have to be safe. Yes, we have to try minimize the chance of serious injuries, but bruises and lighter cuts aren't really a big deal.

The safety of the fallen warriors should be the concern of the fallen warriors. The most effective way is to curl up in a fetal position under your shield.
Kis György Márk (by western standards, György Márk Kis)

Legio Leonum Valentiniani

http://www.legioleonum.hu
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#6
If someone stepped on you the shield would distribute the weight across your entire body, good thinking.
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#7
Questions:

In which place in the world law would allow you to perform experiments that risk grievous bodily harm?

Is it certain beyond reasonable that curled in fetal position under your shield you are safe?

What might happen if a rank of more than three people stepped over you?

While negotiating progress under stress how you avoid aiding yourself with your spear (supporting your position pressing downwards that is) if you are a rear-ranker: even with sauroter removed?

In Journes Galo-Romaines June 2012 nine of our members, well armored resisted only by pressuring them 20 French Celtic re-nactors. The front ranking Frenchmen nearly suffocated mainly being pressed by their own! Photos and videos exist in the KORYVANTES pages on the web and the social media


With all due respect I worry when I hear proposals from well meaning people offering suggestions especially if the have no practical experience of phalanx conditions.

Kind regards
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#8
And when you fall face first on top of the shield?
Visne partem mei capere? Comminus agamus! * Me semper rogo, Quid faceret Iulius Caesar? * Confidence is a good thing! Overconfidence is too much of a good thing.
[b]Legio XIIII GMV. (Q. Magivs)RMRS Remember Atuatuca! Vengence will be ours!
Titus Flavius Germanus
Batavian Coh I
Byron Angel
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#9
Hoplite:

Me, and several thousand other reenactors beg to differ. Just take a look at Wolin Viking Fest or Battle of Nations.

I've had several ranks march on top of me, even horses! The thing is, that no more than 2 people can step on you at a time, meaning that the pressure distributed would be still low enough for you to bear. I speak from experience, this technique is the standard for dead persons on the battlefield.

And I wouldn't call a bruise "grievous bodily harm". If you have a helmet, shield, greaves, and body armour, you are good to go. All other equipment pieces are just bonus.
Kis György Márk (by western standards, György Márk Kis)

Legio Leonum Valentiniani

http://www.legioleonum.hu
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#10
I think we are referring to the people who have had spears through thee eyes,
Lances splintering and piercing the brain...etc
I know some people who make great deals of their risk assessments
And yet know they are not safe!
The hoplite fighting technique is fairly different fr on a Viking melds
In that it requires the group to remain as a whole, with no room for manoivering
Around fallen people.
I see where you are coming from, but I wonder how long it would be before someone
Decided to take their petty peeves out on an opponent and cause arm, all the while hiding behind
A feeble excuse?
Visne partem mei capere? Comminus agamus! * Me semper rogo, Quid faceret Iulius Caesar? * Confidence is a good thing! Overconfidence is too much of a good thing.
[b]Legio XIIII GMV. (Q. Magivs)RMRS Remember Atuatuca! Vengence will be ours!
Titus Flavius Germanus
Batavian Coh I
Byron Angel
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#11
Mark,
I do respect the fact that you have re-enacting experience.
What i say is your experience is very different than mine.
I have too in both medieval and ancient.
In the viking shield wall most people are not very tight together as there is not enough room to manouver with axes and longswords.

The hoplite phalanx is the definition of tight formation. When with locked shields there is just one human foot between people in parallel or vertical.
You barely control your movement in this formation. All together move or all together stop.
It takes training to move sideways as a group and it was rarely done even in antiquity.
Once engaged you can only go forward. Nowhere else. Its the tactic of the steamroller

If two phalanxes engage and one collapses there is no way to control the domino effect of a guy falling on another and not just one guy in this case. Weapons are not the issue. Unstoppable mass is the problem. You can not stop if a number of shields are in full contact with the forwards guy's back and keep shoving no matter what.

A bruise is no reason for fuss I agree. What guarantees that a guy who got cuts to his lips from his helmet because of the violent contact will not make a fuss? What guarantees that that one mass of people will not step and crack joints on a mass of other fallen people or suffocate them?

Real life examples? Paniced exits of crowds from stadious or metro statons.

Kind regards
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#12
I now understand, I was speaking about something quite different. I accept your arguments. Smile
Kis György Márk (by western standards, György Márk Kis)

Legio Leonum Valentiniani

http://www.legioleonum.hu
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#13
Quote:We would like to do full contact reenactment battling in hoplite gear. Our period is the archaic period so our protection looks like an encased medieval knight though I find there is still a lot of flesh exposed in the armor. And still a few very dangerous spots like the neck area etc.

I was wondering how other hoplite organisations do it? I also wonder if they really didn't use padding back then. I've taken a few hits in my armor without padding and they come in very hard (as a mma fighter I can take some punishment but with weapons it is a different story). So I was wondering, should I wear some kind of gambeson beneath it to keep things safe? (sacrifising historical accuracy for protection seems like a fair deal to me)

I also found an exposed neck very dangerous so I was wondering to make some kind of aegis for increased protection in the neck area. But mainly how do other hoplite groups fight full contact and what kind of extra armor do they wear to keep things safe?

Where are guys located? Sounds fun.
Jim K
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#14
2Thraex

Hi. We in Russia use steel fighting in antics, but it never can be called "full contact" like, for example, Battle of Nations. and you could never make really full contact fighting with thrusting and choping strikes, because even in the early age the armor gives no protection to palm (wris?hand? how it would be - where the fingers are?))) ), throat and especially poor defense to arms, legs, pelvic.

We use the system, where one have hits. For example, one is hitted in his body - so he "dies". Steel and bronze armor protects you from "death" absolutely (so strike in the cuirass, for example, does nothing). Linen and leaher armor give aditional hits
Of course, you can hit with normal forse in armor, and not strong in unarmored body.

For darts and arrows we use paded heads

That system is ok.
http://mreen.org/anabasis/video-s-lembolopolisa.html
Lovchikov Andrey. "ANABASIS" reanactment society, Saint-Petersburg, Russia.
http://anabasisspb.livejournal.com/
http://vk.com/anabasis
https://www.facebook.com/Anabasis-695452...ef=tn_tnmn
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#15
Hi maitre Renard, your system looks very promising.
Indeed I've found out the hard way that early armor leaves lots of unprotected areas with hands and thighs suffering the most. Nice video btw Smile

@Rhiothamus: we're from Belgium.
Polemarch of the Spartiates: Aegiadae

Hardwig
http://spartiates.agogeads.be
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