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Academic publication on the Ephesus symbol.

My thanks to the editors of ACTA ARCHAEOLOGICA PULTUSKIENSIA Vol. VI of the Humanities Academy of Pultulsk for publishing my article on the Ephesus bee symbol





For the third consecutive year, the «ROYPEL 1941 – THE REENACTMENT» event took place in Macedonia on the 12th and 13th of May. The event was organized under the aegis of the Ministry of Defense and the Civil Authorities of the region. For the reconstruction of the battle took part 50 reenactors from the groups: Kampfgruppe «Süden», Reconstruction Team “Sacred Squadron 1942-45″, Stenopos 1941, SISO, Kampfgruppe «Bulgarien», and Asociatia Deutsches Freikorps.


Official photo of «ΡΟΥΠΕΛ 1941. Η ΑΝΑΒΙΩΣΗ»

On Saturday, May 12, the reenactors paraded in Sidirokastro and attended a bawl with period music reviving the sense of the era. On Sunday, May 13, the reenactment of the battle took place. With the help of visual and sound effects, the reenactors gave their best performance and captivated the audience that was very impressed by the reconstruction. Also very impressive were the pilots of Serres Air Club and Thebes Air Club – who took part with their aircraft, simulating the enemy air attacks.

εξοδος υπεραπιστών ρουπελ

Photo: Παντελής Τζερτζεβέλης


Photo: Panagiotis Dermitzakis

Visitors of the event touched the 8,500, record number so far. May the event «ROYPEL 1941. THE REENACTMENT» become an permanenet institution and progress even higher, as apart from preserving the historical memory, it contributes to the development of historical events tourism that is relatively new to Greece.

631_19212817Φωτογραφία Μιχάλης Λιάπης

Photo: Μιχάλης Λιάπης Michlis Liapis


Για τρίτη συνεχή χρονιά έλαβε χώρα η εκδήλωση »ΡΟΥΠΕΛ 1941 – Η ΑΝΑΒΊΩΣΗ» το διήμερο 12 και 13 Μαΐου. H διοργάνωση πραγματοποιήθηκε υπό την αιγίδα του Υπουργείου Αμύνης και των Πολιτικών Αρχών της περιοχής. Για την αναπαράσταση της μάχης έλαβαν μέρος 50 αναβιωτές από τις ομάδες: Kampfgruppe «Süden», Ομάδα Αναπαραστάσεως Ιερός Λόχος 42-45, »Στενωπός 1941», ΣΙΣΟ, Kampfgruppe »Bulgarien», και Asociatia Deutsches Freikorps.

Επίσημο φωτογραφικό υλικό διοργάνωσης «ΡΟΥΠΕΛ 1941. Η ΑΝΑΒΙΩΣΗ»

Το Σάββατο 12 Μαΐου οι αναβιωτές παρέλασαν στο Σιδηρόκαστρο και παρευρέθησαν σε χοροεσπερίδα με μουσική της περιόδου αναβιώνοντας τη αίσθηση της εποχής. Την Κυριακή 13 Μαΐου έλαβε μέρος η αναπαράσταση της μάχης. Με τη βοήθεια οπτικών και ηχητικών εφέ οι αναβιωτές έδωσαν τον καλύτερό τους εαυτό και ενθουσίασαν το κοινό που έμεινε εντυπωσιασμένο από την αναπαράσταση. Εντυπωσιακoί ήταν και φέτος οι πιλότοι της Αερολέσχης Σερρών και της Αερολέσχης Θήβας- που έλαβαν μέρος με τα αεροσκάφη τους, προσομοιώνοντας την εχθρική αεροπορική επίθεση. 

Φωτογραφία Παντελής Τζερτζεβέλης


Φωτογραφία Παναγιώτης Δερμιτζάκης

Οι επισκέπτες της εκδήλωσης άγγιξαν τις 8.500, αριθμό ρεκόρ έως τώρα. Είθε η εκδήλωση «ΡΟΥΠΕΛ 1941. Η ΑΝΑΒΙΩΣΗ» να γίνει θεσμός και να πάει ακόμη ψηλότερα καθώς εκτός από τη διατήρηση της ιστορικής μνήμης συμβάλει και στην ανάπτυξη του καινοφανούς για την Ελλάδα ιστορικού τουρισμού.

to koino sto Roypel to 2018

Φωτογραφία Μιχάλης Λιάπης

Η Ιστορική αναβίωση και η Ζωντανή Ιστορία στην Ελλάδα και το εξωτερικό

Αρθρο μου στο περιδικό «Ναυτική Ελλάς»  στον ιστότοπο :


Seleucid elite and special mission infantry Middle 3rd century B.C. (The living history approach.)

The Army of Alexander was an army made for campaigns, conquests and dedicated to the purpose of continuous expansion and when the armies of the Hellenistic Era are mentioned one thinks of massed ranks of pike armed infantry and roaring war elephants.

But the Successors armies like the Seleucid army had a different mission from the conquering troops of Alexander the Great. The army became ”institutional” and geared towards defense, aiming to protect the ruler and the vast lands of the Empire.

To accomplish that the Seleucid’s “Royal Guard” is estimated to have had 10.000 men in various units, core of which were the “Argyraspides” (lit. Silvershields). The unit was continuing the tradition of Alexander’s “Hypaspists”, having a lot of functional similarities with the Persian “Immortals”. The backbone of the “Silvershields” came from the Syro-Macedonian elite, or even original Greek Macedonians called “klerouchoi” (military colonists) who were settled in the Empire receiving land and privileges in exchange for military service.


But we must not forget that the armies of the Hellenistic Successor States were combined arms war-machines with a lot of special purpose and elite status units. Two types of specialist fighter, reconstructed by the German Living History Association “Hetairoi” will be presented here: The “Thorakites Thurophoros” and an officer commanding a detachment of the “Elephant Guards”.

The “Thorakites”


The Greek world was quick to adopt the Celtic oblong shields after the Galatian invasion of 280/279 BC. Greeks called this type of shield “thyrreos” (door) because its shape looks like that of a door. The troops using these shields were called “thurreophoroi” (bearers of the thurreos). From the contemporary sources most of the “thurreophoroi” appear to be a kind of peltast. That means troops fighting in open order and able to operate in rough terrain. Yet Polybius talks of “Thorakites”, a type armored “thurreophoroi.”. It’s an open debate if these men operated like the later roman auxilia or were the base of what some other sources call “romanized infantry”. (i.e. troops fighting in the manner of roman legionaries)

“Thorakites thyreophorros” armed with long thrusting spear and muscled cuirass. Scholars though believe that a type of chain mail or the “tube and yoke” cuirass would be more common. Courtesy Living History Association “Hetairoi”

The reconstructed individual is a mercenary from mainland Greece who found his way in the service of the Seleucids. The dolphins appearing on his shield are based on Megarean coins so he might be either an exile from Megara or an immigrant “katoikos”. He wears a “Sidon type” helmet and his main weapon is a long trusting spear. He is armored with a Hellenistic type muscled cuirass like those appearing in the contemporary terracotta figures. He is probably not “romanized infantry” as his sword is hanging in the greek and not roman method of attachment – from the right side. A blue linen chiton and the long boots that appear in Hellenistic period art complete his attire.


Officer of the “Elephant Guards”


The use of war elephants came as a sharp shock to the Greeks who campaigned with Alexander in India. So after his death every Successor Army made an effort to obtain and maintain an elephant corps. While the impressive appearance of the large beasts could intimidate enemy infantry and throw opponent cavalry, unused to them, into confusion, there was always the fear that if the elephants panicked they would try to escape the battle trampling friend and foe indiscriminately. Alexander in the battle of Hydaspes River demonstrated skirmishers and light troops could wreck havoc on elephant units. To counter this threat the Seleucids created guard detachments for each individual elephant of their “theriarcheia”. (i.e. beast command) Bar-Kochva makes the logical assumption that were about 50 men per elephant that reminds us the modern analogy of an infantry platoon to a main battle tank. Naturally this battle group would have been under the command of an officer who directed it during the engagement and probably made sure that the men would not get carried away from their mission, which was the protection of the elephant.

Officer without shield showing the reconstructed armor based the tomb of “Lyson and Callicles” Courtesy Living History Association “Hetairoi” The belt is probably meant as symbols of a elite military status or rank

The officer depicted here is well armored. His “tube and yoke” cuirass is based on Macedonian tomb frescos and the purple color marks him as important royal official. The same applies for his helmet He is wearing the “iphikatides” boots and carries a long hoplite-type sword. While the troops he command might not be so heavily armed we chose to armor him because he needs to be less fast moving in order to be able to direct their actions and probably prime target for the enemy missile troops. His panoply is completed with a hoplite type shield perhaps not as heavy as the one of the earlier hoplites.




Segunda Nick Seleucid and Ptolemaic Reformed Armies 168-145 BC (Volume 1) Montvert Publications


Head, Duncan (1982) Armies of the Macedonian and Punic Wars. WRG p. 115


Polybius X.29.6 Loeb Classical Library, Harvard University Press, 1922 thru 1927. Translation by W. R. Paton. P. 173


  1. Bar-Kochva, The infantry Royal Guard in the Seleucid army, Cambridge University Press, 1989


Bezalel Bar-Kochva The Seleucid Army: Organization and Tactics in the Great Campaigns Cambridge University Press p. 82

A myth about the Metaxa Line refuted

There is a widespread inaccuracy in the use of chemicals by the Germans in the forts of the Metaxas Line. Veterans of the era denied it, especially general Theodoropoulos (a captain at the time).

T.H. Wisdom an RAF officer at the time mentions a little known attempt of the RAF to air supply the defenders of “Metaxas Line” and mentions for the first time about parachutists attacking the forts[1] something that Greek sources and eyewitness accounts deny. The same is repeated by Stanley Casson, a member, of the British Mission in Greece, who also talks about employment of poison gas by the Germans against the forts.[2] The “fog of war” can possibly justify this misinformation. In 1948 Christos Zalokostas published a book in Greek titled: “Rupel, The fort of History and Memory” and repeats the same claims but General Esftathios Theodoropoulos -a captain commanding the Malianga Fort at the time- refuted these claims. In his interview to the POLEMOS & ISTORIA (War & History) magazine said the following:

“Q: Did the Germans use poison or asphyxiating gas?  

Gen: No, they used dynamite, hand grenades, flamethrowers & of course their artillery.”[3]

As for the parachutists, the only recorded such attack took place in Corinth[4]. The most logical explanation about parachutist activity at Metaxas Line is that the crews of multi-crew bombers of the era were mistaken for parachutists when they bailed out from falling airplanes. It is also possible that the supplies that RAF dropped to the Greeks according to Wisdom might also be mistaken for parachutists. Beevor gives an unusual explanation: “The other bird to cause confusion was the stork. Alighting in great numbers in the course of their northern migration, they provoked wild reports of parachute landings”[5].

Defenders have been subdued with the employment of smoke grenade and the destruction of the ventilators. (photo: The end of the heroes of Istibei’s fort re-enacted by the Historical Representation Group, ’42 ’45)



[1] Wisdom T. H. Wings over Olympus page London 1942 p79

[2] Casson S. Greece vs Axis. Page 127

[3] General Theodoropoulos in «Polemos kai Istoria (War & History), April 2001 translated interview here: http://greekmilitary.net/metaxas.html

[4] AN ABRIDGED HISTORY OF THE GREEK-ITALIAN & GREEK-GERMAN WAR Hellenic Army History Directorate Athens 1997 p 238

[5] Beevor A. Crete: The Battle and the Resistance John Murray (Publishers) Ltd London 2005 p 22

Περί του Μύθου των αερίων…

Υπάρχει μια διαδεδομένη ανακρίβεια περί χρήσης χημικών από τους Γερμανούς στα οχυρά της Γραμμής Μεταχά. Βετεράνοι της εποχής το διέψευσαν, ειδικά ο στρατηγός Θεοδωρόπουλος (τότε λοχαγός Δ/κτης Οχυρού Μαλιάγκα) σε συνέντευξη του στο Περιοδικό «Πόλεμος   & Ιστορία» (τεύχος Απριλίου 2001). Οι υπερασπιστές όσων οχυρών υπέκυψαν εξουδετερώθηκαν από τα καπνογόνα και την καταστροφή των εξαεριστήρων.

(Φωτό Ιστίμπεη το τέλος των ηρώων από την Ομάδα Ιστορικής Αναπαράστασης Ιερός Λόχος ’42 ’45)


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