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The striking contrast of respect vs ridicule of the Ancient Greek Culture

22/07/2015

(Respect in Hesperia Vs Helladotrans in Hyperobrea)

In a really tough time for Greece its logical to turn to our Historical Tradition for guidance and inspiration. As I wrote in the past the people in this country seem to show their respect for their recent history with very good reconstructions. Even in the reconstruction of Medieval Greek History, Cyprus shows that there is hope in the future.

Our European partners (despite reservations expressed in Greece) respect the Ancient Greek Tradition and recognize themselves as heirs to Magna Grecia. Cultural activities for the 2600 years from the founding of Marseilles took place in France. The city was transformed into an interactive archaeological park where adults and (most important) children came in contact with the Ancient Hellenic Civilization The following video captures the atmosphere:

But, it’s not only in the coastal area that the French practice their participation in their Greek heritage but in the french mainland where the crater of Vix (from Sparta) was discovered, the French also honor Greece.

The local re-enactors efforts are noteworthy. They are experimenting on the phalanx dynamics  amongst other things.

In Italy they also cherish the memory of Magna Grecia. During the last week of July 2015 took place the Tarento archaeological festival that aims to become a permanent institution.The Italians with complete respect to tradition and historical accuracy brought the ancient Taras to life for a full week.

I thank my good frienf Katja Zaccheo who brought that to my notice

In Germany they make a serious study on the Hellenistic Period and I had the honor of participating. It saddens me to say that in Greece this is still in the sphere of “scientific fantasy”….

In Britain that has a long tradition of historical reconstruction, except hoplite reenactment they make a serious study of the Ancient Greek Cavalry

Excllent ancient horseman Reconstruction by J. Conyard Source: www.oxfordmail.co.uk

And while all these were taking place in the “Land of the Hesperides” as the ancient poets would say, in the legendary Hyperborea that many people believe it to be in – Russia the annual tourists attraction “Times and Epochs” took place. A very careful and scientifically sound reconstruction with the interactive participation of the audience

The Main theme this year was Ancient Rome along with the cultures that it came into contact wth. My Russian friends from the “Anavasis” living history group created excellent reconstructions of the Bosphoran Kingdom. There were also reconstructions of Celtic and Sarmatian warriors.

imabge courtesy Andrey Lovchikov

Bosphoran Hoplite reconstructed by the «ANAVASIS» group image courtesy Andrey Lovchikov

From our straggling country there was unfortunately a participation that honored the tradition of ridiculing out history as was established in Asia Minor. There was an assortment of various warrior impression whose attire was an incoherent and ahistorical mixture of various time periods not particularly related to the event theme. Notable was the appearance of the king of the Amazons (!!!) with over-sized solder-guards that reminded of floaters that children wear at the beach and a general appearance of a… chandelier! (sic)

 κορυβαντες koryvantes

image based on a photo from my good friend Margarita Rodicheva

Or was it about a reconstruction of warrior priest of some weird eastern cult that influenced the superstitious multitude of Rome? I wonder though if the armorer who made all this attire had in mind the comic fight of dwarf gladiators that opened the main spectacle or the Andabatae (gladiators who fought with cumbersome weapons to provide a comic spectacle).

mosxashow1

Probably in the spirit of the above there was also a very comical reconstruction of a duel where one of the contestants had clearly no idea of using his weapons when the video of this monstrous caricature appeared on the social media by the group’s weapons expert it draw the biting comments of all experienced weapons masters . One person suggested that they should watch a Hollywood exaggeration film about Ancient Sparta at least 300 times!!!

image courtesy Margarita Roditcheva

image courtesy Margarita Roditcheva

Perhaps they tried to sabotage the triumph of Aemilius Paulus after two millenia by making the hapless Macedonian prisoners looking more like senior citizens at the beach!

This form of outrageous madness cannot be copied! It must probably run inside these individuals for I cannot think of any other rational explanation.

Perhaps they should abandon ancient cultures altogether and start Late Byzantine as perhaps is the secret wish of one of their members who frequently visits neighboring countries to participate in archery contests with an attire referring more to a Köçek, although he probably fancies himself reenacting a Byzantine vassal of the Ottomans or an officer of the John VI Kantakouzenos Turkic mercenaries. Not surprising from a person who appears to associate with eastern extremists of the most fanatic type.

As an acquaintance of mine says there is a difference between historical reconstruction and High End Tourism! Some people though persist in not grasping the difference of the above two concepts and aim to prove true, all the negative misconceptions concerning modern Greek «re-enactors» who abuse our heritage.

Unfortunately as things go in this country it seems that the rape of Ancient Greek Tradition will probably continue in the future. Poor Fatherland....

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