This site deals mainly with
reconstructing the hoplite of the Persian War era, 490-480 BC,
which is the most popular with reenactors. However I will
also add some guidelines for earlier and later gear as well, e.g.
7th-6th centuries BC, Peloponnesian War (c.430-400 BC), and
Hellenistic (Alexander and later). For the Trojan War era
and its Homeric heroes such as Achilles and Hector, see my Bronze Age
site. I have noticed that many people collecting Greek
equipment have no guidance beyond movies and the advertisements
written by vendors, so this site will attempt to lay out some
basic information and recommendations. My research has
hardly been exhaustive, but this should get you started.
This is NOT an attempt to start an ancient Greek living history group or hoplite unit!! If you want to do something like that, go for it, and sign me up, but I myself am far too swamped to found a whole new group. The descriptions of equipment and construction will not be as in-depth and thorough as on the Twentieth Legion site, but feel free to contribute more if you can.
New research and better examination of old research has changed some of our old beliefs. Be aware that much of the old information will continue to circulate for years, and that many popular books must now be used with great caution. That includes all our beloved basic sources: Peter Connolly's Greek Armies, and/or pertinant sections of Greece and Rome at War; John Warry's Warfare in the Classical World; various Osprey volumes; and AM Snodgrass' Arms and Armour of the Greeks.
Research and shopping are
hard! The ancient Greeks seem to have gone out of their way
to make every item of armor or weaponry difficult to reproduce,
and modern archeologists seem to have hidden away vast quantities
of artifacts just to keep reenactors from finding out how the darn
things were made. It's a challenging era, but with these
guidelines you should be able to skip most of the research, and
reduce the time and and danger of shopping.
Oh, movies--yes, they are
very inspirational for a lot of folks! But I have not
watched any of them, they just aren't my thing. And as far
as history goes, the rule of thumb is to assume that everything
you see in a movie is WRONG, and go from there. Movies are
for fun, but go elsewhere for knowledge, eh? Thanks!
ELSEWHERE ON THIS SITE:
|Hoplite Home Page
||Bibliography||The BRONZE AGE|
Fabrica Romanorum--Matt Lukes, Canada. http://fabricaromanorum.shawwebspace.ca/
arms and armor (as well as Roman), including one-piece helmets at
a substantial savings.
Manning Imperial--Craig Sitch, Australia, http://www.manningimperial.com/.
of our favorite custom armorers, making excellent shields,
helmets, greaves, swords, and more. Heck, just go to his
site and browse the photos--THAT is what everything should look
Lonely Mountain Forge--Joe Piela, http://www.lonelymountain.hoplologia.org/
. My friend Tom and I got our Corinthian helmets from
him--you can see Tom's being raised in one piece on Joe's website,
and Tom's greaves, too. He does excellent work and his
prices are good. His backlog is about 7 months but he meets
Imperium Ancient Armory--California. http://www.imperiumancientarmory.com/.
gear and other sources, generally very good. (Linothorax
looks great but is obsolete glued linen--ask about leather or
Kult of Athena--http://www.kultofathena.com.
reputation for service. Deepeeka and Daniyal equipment (see
below), plus their own versions of a few items. Don't even
look at the other brands.
line of Deepeeka gear (see below). (Steer clear of the other
(click British flag for English). Deepeeka and Daniyal gear,
plus their own line which is mostly good.
La Wren's Nest --Lawrence Brooks, 35 Chadbourne Ridge
Road, Hollis, Maine 04042.207-727-5844, fax 207-727-4596. http://www.lawrensnest.com.
helmets, weapons, and accessories (See below).
"Wulf"--United Kingdom, wulf.lighting AT virgin DOT net, or sabre.wulf AT virgin DOT net. Makes a very nice aspis (shield). Not cheap! He may be hard to get hold of (being very busy!), but this is the only contact information I have for him.
ASPIS/HOPLON BLANKS--Michael Broyles, mjbroyles AT
yahoo DOT com. Approximately $450 plus shipping. Any
covering or fittings would be extra.
Bronze Age Craft--Neil Burridge, UK. http://www.bronze-age-swords.com/aegean_swords.htm
(bottom of page) Trilobate arrowheads in cast bronze!
Darken the sky with really good arrows!
Venetian Cat Greek Pottery-- http://venetiancat.com/Price-List2.html
you want FABULOUS ceramics, Julia Passamonti is the lady to go to.
***Deepeeka Steelcrafts, India--This is the supplier for
many vendors. While these items are far more accurate than
any previous "off the shelf" gear, there are still flaws of
various degrees. BEWARE: Most vendors offer Deepeeka's
good stuff and bad without knowing the difference! See the
various pages on this site for what's usable.
Deepeeka has a website at http://www.deepeeka.com, but they only sell wholesale so no price information is available. Prices will vary from vendor to vendor. Deepeeka will not be able to give you any more detailed information about the historical accuracy of their products, either, since they only copy what someone shows them or what they see in pictures. They don't understand authenticity or reenacting!
(DSC) is another Indian manufacturer, and their line of products
is expanding. Their Greek shield is heavy, but
gorgeous! Available through Kult of Athena (http://www.kultofathena.com)
or directly from Daniyal. You might also be able to buy it
through Imperium Ancient Armory in California, http://www.imperiumancientarmory.com/,
or Armamentaria in the UK, http://www.armamentaria.com/store/
Avoid Museum Replicas and Windlass Steelcrafts! Nothing that they have is any better than the equivalent item from the above sources, and most of it is worse. They have demonstrated repeatedly that they have no knowledge or concern for historical accuracy in their pre-medieval products.
People often ask about the
cast bronze Greek helmets from Hellenic Art--Some of these look
reasonable in form, but they claim to be cast rather than
correctly hammer forged. Most are inaccurate in appearance,
too heavy to wear, painted green rather than polished, and
EXPENSIVE! Better for the shelf than the head.
For a long list of
suppliers of materials and equipment, see the Legio XX Suppliers
The Forum for Ancient Reenacting--A relatively new
board, aimed at reenactors in North America
THE PHALANX Email
King Leonidas and the Spartans of Thermopylae
The Greek Warriors--Hoplite unit in New York
The Warriors of Greece--Charlotte, North Carolina
Taxeis Plataia--The Plataians--Canada
A branch of Hoplologia
The Hoplite Association, UK--A hoplite reenactment group,
and they look good!
http://www.4hoplites.com/ --Includes more equipment guides, etc.
Sydney Ancients--Mark Kelly. Hoplites and other
ancient types, Australia.
Hoplite group, Germany
Listing of Greek Festivals in
the US--Need some place to wear this stuff, right?
Sparta: Her People, Her Culture, Her Legacy--by Kevin
Marshall and Kevin Hendryx, still under construction but GREAT
Ancient Greek Armour, Shields and Helmets--Great links and
photos, but beware of the links to equipment vendors!
Hellenic Macedonia--Artifact Photo Gallery. Includes
Philip II's equipment and more.
Metropolitan Museum of Art--Muscled cuirass
Four interesting helmets
Hermann Historica Munchen--Antiquities Auction house,
browse through for photos of helmets, armor, etc.
Slinging.org--Stone Age Ballistics--A number of great
articles on slings and slinging, links, etc.
University of Pennsylvania Museum --Used to have a
Virtual Exhibit, but it seems to be gone.
The Twentieth Legion--see how I spend most of my
time and energy
ROMULUS, The Founder of Rome--My page on everyone's
favorite Villanovan warrior is pretty good, too!
|Hoplite Home Page
||Bibliography||The BRONZE AGE|
THIS PAGE AND THIS AUTHOR
This page last revised 11/27/13
My vital statistics:
Matthew Amt, Laurel, MD, email matthew_amt AT yahooo DOT com
. (Be sure to put something distinctive in the subject line,
or your message may get deleted as spam!) I have
constructed this website to be of some assistance to anyone
dabbling in this era, and you may contact me if you think you can
wheedle more information out of me (oh, probably). And of
course if you think you have something to add, by all means let me