Historical reenactment can be described essentially as
a well researched attempt to recreate aspects of an historical event or
time period for educational purposes. While it can be construed as an
avocation, reenacting is a passion
which entails not only a financial commitment, but countless hours of
research as well. The end result is the refining and perfecting of the
warrior's 'uniform' from a
bygone era. In the context of the Greco-Persian Wars era, it is
limited to several practitioners worldwide, whose highest visibility
has been attained through their appearance in television programs
relative to the battles of Marathon & Thermopylae.
a local level, the presence at parades, festivals, etc. by these
reenactment groups garner much attention, as adulation is rained upon
them by the thousands of spectators, many of whom take photos as a
memento of the occasion attended. It is very impressive and
awe-inspiring to observe a
formation of these 'interpreters' wearing their different variations of
multicolored and monochromatic horsehair maned helmets, while
displaying their ornate and uniquely designed shields. In addition to
their colorful cloaks which can be seen gently billowing in the wind,
and their weapons which have been polished to such a high degree that
they gleam in the sun, viewing the accoutrements of the ancient Greek
reenactors and their Persian counterparts is something quite
extraordinary and unforgettable.
Greek warrior reenactors
the representation of Greek & Persian armor can encompass several
different manifestations, the efforts by the handful of international
reenactors nonetheless are much more accurate than those depicted in
the highly controversial Warner Bros.' movie '300'. For comparative purposes,
several of the images included in this article illustrate the
differences between the highly inaccurate portrayal of the Persian
warrior from '300' vs. an historically authentic recreation worn by a
Persian warrior 'The Immortals' (c) Warner Bros. '300'
Persian warrior reenactor - Courtesy of www.4hoplites.com
These reenactment groups in a variety of settings
pay homage to the combatants of the Greco-Persian Wars, however, it is
in an educational environment where they make their greatest impact.
Their demonstrations in classrooms/auditoriums incorporate tangible
elements which complement the lessons taught by the students'
instructors. For example, a student wearing a helmet will notice that
of sound has diminished and vision has become partially obscured. In
addition, holding the reenactor's shield until
fatigue starts to set in will provide the scholar the opportunity to
different and appreciable perspective.
It is this
interaction which affects the students' sensibilities, the same ones
that affected the warriors 2,500 years ago, thereby,
providing a glimpse of the past which can not be gauged from history
books alone. Since the younger generation at the elementary and high
school levels are the
most impressionable, the speaking engagements and demonstrations by
these 'living historians' are invaluable, as they dispel many of the
inaccuracies that have perpetuated by Hollywood.
Authors notes: Greek warrior reenactors - Courtesy of www.300spartanwarriors.com Movie image (c) Warner Bros. '300' Persian warrior reenactor - Courtesy of www.4hoplites.com
John Trikeriotis is a financial consultant in the USA and maintains the website 300 Spartan Warriors.
As a member of the Leonidas Expeditions which is comprised of
academics, authors and scholars, he will be traveling to the
battlefield of Thermopylae to locate several areas pivotal to the