Ancient Greece enthusiasts were reenacting the 479 BC battle of Plataea against the Persians on the original battlefield during a seven-day commemorative event running July 25th to July 31st.
Originally planned for the battle’s 2500th anniversary, the Plataea 2022 event commemorates the final clash of the second Persian invasion of Greece, which ended with the victory of the allied Greek forces and put a final end to Persian military ambitions.
“Plataea 2022 is both a reenactment event and a digital experience of the Battle of Plataea in 479 BCE between the forces of the Great King of Persia, allied with the polis of Thebes, and the army of the Greek Alliance, including the Athenians, Spartans, and all of the other allies,” the event’s website explains.
Plataea battle reenactment schedule
The depth of the experience made a long event necessary, according to the organizers.
Hence, the seven-day schedule which allowed participants to experience “the whole of the battlefield, from the Athenian position on the far left near the town of Melissochori, to the final Spartan position on the far right at Agios Demetrios below Erythres, almost 10 kilometers away.”
After a few days of settling in, drill, and demonstrations, the organizers planned to reenact the movements of the battle, “including the Athenian night march, the final Spartan march, and the skirmishing movements between the armies along the Asopus in in the rough ground along river courses.”
“This experience of the original battlefield, including the archeological site of the ancient city and the almost untouched area of each phase of the battle, should be an unparalleled re-enactment experience,” the event’s overview states.
Since the numbers or required safety equipment to refight a battle with hundreds of thousands of participants were never expected to be reached, the organizers have chosen to recreate movement rather than fighting, offering every participant the opportunity to take on many roles; Athenians, Theban, Spartan, Persian.
Enactors could also practice marching in kit and experiment with methods of carrying their shield and helmet, but combat interactions remained very limited for safety reasons.
Scheduled safety inspections took place before every immersive event, and no sharp spears or spears with sharp metal sarauters were allowed in any of these.
The Digital Experience, scheduled to follow after the reenactment event, will offer a set of videos on the battle itself, on hoplite warfare, craftsmanship, and other aspects of the period, as well as on the archaeological Museum of Thiva (Thebes) in Greece.
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