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Please click the image to read - Fact vs. Fiction: Reconciling "300: Rise of an Empire" with the Battle of Artemisium
Lecturer of ancient Greek warfare: John Trikeriotis
(Text and images on ancient history's greatest
last stand are accessible via the link below)
The Battle of Thermopylae is an integral part of the curriculum of many high schools, colleges and universities around the world. In addition, the battle is taught in military academies as an example of how a small well-trained group of resolute warriors can defend their position against a numerically superior force. Therefore, when Warner Bros.' '300'premiered in 2007, it raised awareness of the heroic story of King Leonidas and the 300 Spartans to unprecedented heights. However, the movie which was adapted from the eponymously named Frank Miller comic book series was criticized by scholars and many in the academic community due to its revisionism. Even more disconcerting was that its R-rated content became much more readily accessible to the under-17 audience due to the release on DVD and its continued airing on cable TV. This undoubtedly had an impact on impressionable young students who couldn't ascertain the differences between '300's factual and the fictional elements, of which there were many.
The primary source of the Greco-Persian Wars is the historian Herodotus, who recorded through oral testimony the events that occurred from 490-479 BC. While his works are indispensable to the study of the conflicts at Marathon, Thermopylae, Artemisium, Salamis, Plataea and Mykale, what merits further examination is that very little was mentioned by the ‘Father of History’ with respect to the tactics employed, or the panoply worn by the ancient Greek hoplite during these landmark battles. The panoply, defined as a full array of armor, may have included, but was not limited to the helmet, shield, cuirass/linothorax and greaves. While it afforded maximum protection and essentially covered the warrior from head to toe, unlike the depiction of the heavily armed infantryman in the movies, what one hoplite wore usually varied by individual preference to that of his countrymen on the battlefield.
Consequently, the website's mission has been to provide a more authoritative summation of the events as they happened at Thermopylae ('Hot Gates') and the tangential battle at Artemisium, both of which were fought concurrently in August 480 BC. In addition, the conclusions reached from our research have allowed us to reconcile the results of our inquiries (see below) by providing an accurate representation of the phalanx, which was a massed formation of hoplites, combined with a factual depiction of the warriors' armor and weapons for use as a learning tool in the classroom...>>>MORE
"The Hellenic Warriors" living history group appearances at schools, museums, universities and other venues
Please click the image above to view "The Hellenic Warriors" living history group in the classroom
Please click the image above to contact us relative to appearances on-site to your classroom, or via remote location
On-site and remote location learning
(Bringing the museum to the classroom)
Since the few extant archaeological artifacts that have been recovered from the battlefield of Thermopylae are weapons (primarily arrowheads), any mention of what armor the Greek warriors wore during the iconic last stand may seem speculative. Therefore, in the course of our research we have either constructed or commissioned many of these individual components based on the images of the contemporaneous pottery/vases that have survived from the era. Several invaluable resources have been consulted that must be acknowledged, and which are cited at the end of our interview by the independent historians from "The Ultimate History Project". The article which can be accessed via the preceding link mentions only several of these titles, and it is for this reason that we have expanded the list so that it offers a more comprehensive selection for the faculty and students who wish to pursue this topic further.
We can not emphasize or quantify the importance of the visit to the classroom, especially when one of the benefits derived from our appearance is that students are able to examine, and if they wish, array themselves in the various components of the armor worn by the ancient Greek warrior. We have compiled a multimedia presentation which encourages a hands-on approach with students in the classroom, whether at the lower, middle or upper school level. It is this tangible characteristic which offers the pupils a different perspective on the warfare of the ancient Greeks which can not be extrapolated from the textbook alone.
However, due to budgetary restrictions imposed on schools and the logistics required for travel, our appearances in most cases have been confined to the east coast of the United States. After several insightful comments from teachers, we believe we have resolved this dilemma. It is for this reason that we've developed a program for long-distance learning which will enable us to ‘visit’ educational institutions throughout the United States and internationally. As a result of this paradigm, financial constraints are reduced and the impracticality of long distance travel is removed.
Irrespective of location, whether on-site or via remote setting, the materials available (many of which are not reflected on the pages of the website) have been compiled specifically to refute many of the characterizations in the aforementioned Warner Bros. '300' movie. Furthermore, as a result of the 2500th anniversary of the Battle of Marathon (490 BC), we have recently augmented our presentation by adding several of the other pivotal conflicts of the Greco-Persian and Peloponnesian Wars...>>>MORE
If you are interested in having us appear at your school or via remote location, please contact us.
The image above of 'The Hellenic Warriors' phalanx is courtesy of Themistocles Chronis/DCGreeks.com
(Recreating the armor and warfare of the ancient Greeks)
Please access the following link to read more about the battlefield of Thermopylae
To view a video of the introduction of 'The Hellenic Warriors', recorded during their tribute to the defenders of the battles of Marathon and Thermopylae, please clickhere. The video, courtesy of Rina Chios, was filmed during the opening ceremony of the 2012 Maryland Greek Independence Day Parade.