Massive Cosplay to Recreate Battle of Marathon

Massive Cosplay to Recreate Battle of Marathon

The re-enactors at Marathon probably won't have abs quite so chiseled.
The re-enactors at Marathon probably won't have abs quite so chiseled.

More than 200 Greek cosplayers will dress in 300 BCE period armor and weapons.

The story of the Battle of Marathon has intrigued historically-minded folk for more than 2,600 years. The Athenians defeating the Persians at Marathon was the precursor to the second invasion of Greece as dramatized in the film and comic book 300. Not only did Marathon consolidate the Greek city-states into a more cohesive nation and spur the growth of human civilization in Europe, but the legend of the Greek messenger running 22.6 miles to Athens with news of the victory over the Persians is the basis for the long-distance race many people kill themselves training for today. To commemorate the battle which took place on the plain of Marathon in 490 BC, more than 200 people from various locations around the globe will re-enact the confrontation as authentically as possible with blunted bronze weapons and period-appropriate armor and clothing on September 10th in the Greek town.

Getting all of those people together and equipped has practically taken more logistical expertise than the real battle. "It has taken us three years to equip even that many," says Christian Cameron, a Canadian participating in the recreation. "Correct armor and weapons - not to mention period textiles and dyes - take hundreds of hours to make."

The cost of each pretend warrior is nothing to scoff at either. "Most people at Marathon will be wearing five to ten thousand euros [$7,200-14,500] worth of equipment, much of it made by hand," Cameron said.

The whole event will occur on the presumed site of the battle and will feature a plethora of cultural activities like dance and crafts from Greek history. The armies will even camp just like they did in 490 BC and only cook food that would have been available to military forces at the time.

Let's just hope that the enthusiasts will be using modern septic systems, or at least have a place to do laundry. Do you realize how bad armies smelled back then?

And it's impossible to get poop stains out of bronze armor, believe you me.

Source: AFP

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I wonder if there'll be nude sports.

Stuff like this actually stimulates the economy so if you needed another reason to cosplay...

Ahhh reenacting. Just a fancy word for "lets play dress up."

"The armies will even camp just like they did in 490 BC"

...

Bring on the dysentery!

This sounds fun. I'd love to see a video.

300 was about Thermopylae, not Marathon.

Other then that I love the idea and wish I had the kind of money to do it here in the states.

Greg Tito:
Massive Cosplay to Recreate Battle of Marathon

Not only did Marathon consolidate the Greek city-states into a more cohesive nation and spur the growth of human civilization in Europe, but the legend of the Greek messenger running 22.6 miles to Athens with news of the victory over the Persians is the basis for the long-distance race many people kill themselves training for today.

I'm sorry but the Greek city states never formed a cohesive nation, after the defeat of the 2nd Persian invasion the went back to fighting amongst themselves. Athens and Sparta spent 27 years at war with each to decide who was ging to be top dog in Greece. Sparta won but the cost were so high that Sparta former ally Thebes launched an attack and defeated Sparta. Thebes in turn was defeated by Macedonia. A closer description would be like The US and the Soviet Union allying to defeat Hitler and then spending the next 50 years at the edge of war.

Uh, this isn't cosplay. The guys doing this would probably be pretty pissed at you calling them cosplayers, too.

Also, how is this news? Re-enactment on this scale happens all the time.

Xan Krieger:
300 was about Thermopylae, not Marathon.

Other then that I love the idea and wish I had the kind of money to do it here in the states.

He's saying the battle was the precursor to the Second Persian Invasion, in which the Battle of Thermopylae was fought.

OT: This seems pretty cool, I just hope they can get more people to do it than they tend to get at Civil and Revolutionary War reenactments around here.

wait 22.6 miles? so why is every marathon 26 miles? ahhhh what i've been told all this time has been a lie!! x.X

Nimbus:
Uh, this isn't cosplay. The guys doing this would probably be pretty pissed at you calling them cosplayers, too.

Also, how is this news? Re-enactment on this scale happens all the time.

On the scale of ten thousand bucks each? I think this is ranking up the usual weekend meetings of Cavaliers vs Roundheads.

Besides, shouldn't it be the Battle of Snickers? (yeah, I know, only makes sense to 30+ brits :D )

This came to mind tho:

interesting but seems kind of 1 sided or will there be Persians and i just missed it

Nimbus:
Uh, this isn't cosplay. The guys doing this would probably be pretty pissed at you calling them cosplayers, too.

Also, how is this news? Re-enactment on this scale happens all the time.

and yet it is still cosplay though to be fair it is the most nerdiest form even nerdier than full costume larping

Irridium:
I wonder if there'll be nude sports.

More importantly, will there be female nude sports.

...

Whaaaaat?

You left out the best part about the runner! Upon entering Athens the runner yelled "Nike!", which means victory, and promptly fell over and died. These silly runners making their jog in shorts. Let's see them run it in 60 pounds of armor!

Man I would Love to be Part of This

Cowabungaa:

Irridium:
I wonder if there'll be nude sports.

More importantly, will there be female nude sports.

...

Whaaaaat?

Females were not permitted to sport. Sorry to ruin it for you.

On another note, this would be pretty cool to see. I do however hope they have some sort of requirement. Not everyone is built to wear a spartan armor :o

Errr... SInce when is historical reenactment Cosplay? Trying to shoehorn in a news article by using the word to make it remotely games related?

sadasfdasfasfd, excuse me while I hammer my face into the keyboard at calling this cosplay.

There's a difference between cosplay and re-enactment. A lot of re-enactors would be pretty pissed if you called them the former.

Nimbus:
Uh, this isn't cosplay. The guys doing this would probably be pretty pissed at you calling them cosplayers, too.

Also, how is this news? Re-enactment on this scale happens all the time.

Balls, you beat me to it.

The battle of marathon? Which poor sap has to run many miles in order to say, "Nike"?

I get that there is a cultural difference between historical re-enactment and cosplay, but functionally how do they differ?

They both feature people dressing up as a chosen character as accurately as possible. The distinction being one source is fictional while the other is historical.

Not really much of a difference in my mind.

Greg

grimner:
Errr... SInce when is historical reenactment Cosplay? Trying to shoehorn in a news article by using the word to make it remotely games related?

i was wondering the same thing

I'm predicting quite a few too well fed Spartans in that army :D

I hope there will be plenty of youtube coverage .

Scytail:
Ahhh reenacting. Just a fancy word for "lets play dress up."

THAT ISN'T TRUE! *kicks you into a pit*

Actually... Huh. Come to think of it, it is kind of like playing dress up. Oh well.

Reenactment is a lot harder than cosplay. In addition to making the "costumes" which we call "kit", you also have to be physically fit. You need to train regularly for quite a while before you'll be let onto a battlefield. I've trained every Wednesday night for a year, and only now am I graduating from spears to sword and shield. Also, have you ever tried running around in gambeson and chainmail, or even holding a shield up for an hour? That shit is HEAVY.

Reenactment also involves real fighting with real, blunted weapons. It's actually a little dangerous; you can't really do it without proper insurance. It also has serious educational value. My reenactment group is a college society funded by our University. Not to mention that many people make a living out of reenactment: I know many reenactors who earn their living out of making period clothes, weapons and armour. Besides, I don't know many cosplayers who would go camping in a period tent in the back end of nowhere to go training for a weekend.

So, yeah. Not cosplay.

Mr.K.:
I'm predicting quite a few too well fed Spartans in that army :D

Sorry to nitpick, but I guess those people will go for historical accuracy, so there won't be any Spartans at all. Only Athenians and those guys from that other polis everyone forgets. Plataia, or something.

Greg Tito:
I get that there is a cultural difference between historical re-enactment and cosplay, but functionally how do they differ?

They both feature people dressing up as a chosen character as accurately as possible. The distinction being one source is fictional while the other is historical.

Not really much of a difference in my mind.

Greg

Cos-play is just dressing up, while reenactment's focus is on historical martial arts, we do not dress up as characters. I am a member of a Wars of the roses reenactment group, in my group we only ever wear period clothing at events, where in our twice weekly training sessions we fight in modern clothing and bare minimum armour with real but blunted weapons(not that edges are needed in most cases, even a sword is nothing more than a glorified steel bar). I have great respect for anyone willing to put together(and wear in public) a cosplay costume, but i doubt they ever learn how to fight like there chosen characters or use weapons capable of doing serious harm.

and 200 hundred is not that large for a reenactment event, probably the largest Greek one i've heard off, if anyone want to see something like this try the battle of Tewksebury, i was at it this year i think there was about 2000 reenactors on the field.

So, this isn't a re-enactment of the game Marathon?

Greg Tito:
I get that there is a cultural difference between historical re-enactment and cosplay, but functionally how do they differ?

They both feature people dressing up as a chosen character as accurately as possible. The distinction being one source is fictional while the other is historical.

Not really much of a difference in my mind.

Greg

I can see your point, and wasn't trying to come off as a dick, was just curious. Cosplay just seems geared towards the videogame and anime cultures in particular, hence the question.

As a historian myself, I'd also chime in that reenactment (when done by archaeologists as is the case here) can be a lot more rigourous. You can't quite *interpret* Leonidas as you could, say Snake, the rules are much more strict, and quite often serve an academic or educative purpose.

Nimbus:
Uh, this isn't cosplay. The guys doing this would probably be pretty pissed at you calling them cosplayers, too.

Also, how is this news? Re-enactment on this scale happens all the time.

True, and it's not all that large to be fair... only 200. Probably 70 hoplites three or four deep, 100 Immortals ish and thirty guys on horses. I'm all *meh* about things like this because I get worked up about numbers (petty, I know).

I could go on about 'accuracy' but people would accuse me of being a killjoy. However, one thing I will ask: will they have any Persian ships?

Citizen Snips:
snip

orangeban:
snip

Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! It's a legend borne from two events: Pheidippides' run from Athens to Sparta (and back) and the forced march of the Athenian army from Marathon back to Athens. Besides, the popular interpretation had him cry 'Νενικήκαμεν' (nenikekamen), not 'nike'.

DTWolfwood:
wait 22.6 miles? so why is every marathon 26 miles? ahhhh what i've been told all this time has been a lie!! x.X

I think it's to do with the rehashed Marathon run when it first took place in London, the route being changed for one reason or another, and the length became 26 miles, though the actual distance between Athens and Marathon is closer to 25. But don't quote me on that.

Zhukov:
"The armies will even camp just like they did in 490 BC"

...

Bring on the dysentery!

And if you're lucky, the sodomy haha.

Looks interesting, but I wouldn't call it cosplay. I used to work for Fort Henry and performed re-enactments, and they are NOTHING like cosplay. They literally had a drill sergeant from the officers academy train us, old imperial style, minus the rum rations and beatings. It's not so much a game of 'hey, I'm going to put on this costume and goof around' it's 'oh shit, my boots better be shined or else he's going to yell at me again'.

chiMmy:
Females were not permitted to sport. Sorry to ruin it for you.

Except Spartan women. Girls trained (in a similar state of undress) alongside their male counterparts and were allowed to participate in the Gymnopaedia and other athletics events.

On another note, this would be pretty cool to see. I do however hope they have some sort of requirement. Not everyone is built to wear a spartan armor :o

The Spartans weren't really involved, since they only appeared some three days after the battle merely to compliment the Athenians on a job well done before slinking back to the Peloponnesus. There was no uniform equipment except the basic panoply (aspis/dory/cuirass/kilt/greaves), but nothing was standardised except the spear (point, 9 feet-ish & sauroter) and the diameter of the shield. The cuirass was typically a linothorax-type affair, and bronze breastplates were the reserve of either the very well-off, or the professionals. Helms varied depending on individual wealth as well (Corinthian/Thracia/Chalcidean etc.).

So if it is to be 'accurate' expect it to be quite an eclectic affair (visually, that is).

This is not at all "cosplay" - they are not reenacting Sailor Moon but a critical military battle in the development of our entire Western civilization. This is a reenacted event, not performed or played at, by archaeologists and local Greeks, not some tentacled sci-fi nightmare. Even Ren-fest isn't cosplay nor is a Civil War recreation. This article stretches itself to ennoble anime geeks at the price of real culture and history- in fact, it's not even an article- it's a forum post disguised as internet news. There is a difference between recreated and just fake. The fake stuff, especially the modern armies of it, is what really stinks of poopy armor.

nexusix:
This is not at all "cosplay" - they are not reenacting Sailor Moon but a critical military battle in the development of our entire Western civilization. This is a reenacted event, not performed or played at, by archaeologists and local Greeks, not some tentacled sci-fi nightmare. Even Ren-fest isn't cosplay nor is a Civil War recreation. This article stretches itself to ennoble anime geeks at the price of real culture and history- in fact, it's not even an article- it's a forum post disguised as internet news. There is a difference between recreated and just fake. The fake stuff, especially the modern armies of it, is what really stinks of poopy armor.

Wow. That's a lot of er, history rage.

As I said before, cosplay and historical reenactment are basically the same thing. They just draw from different sources. Your post here underlines the fact that they also both carry a strong emotional weight for the people involved.

Greg

 

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