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). 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|
Manning Imperial--Craig Sitch,
One 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 like!
Lonely Mountain Forge--Joe Piela, http://www.lonelymountain.hoplologia.org/
My friend Tom and I got our Corinthian helmets from him--you can
being raised in one piece on Joe's website, and Tom's greaves,
He does excellent work and his prices are good. His backlog is
about 7 months but he meets his deadlines.
Imperium Ancient Armory--California. http://www.imperiumancientarmory.com/.
Deepeeka gear and other sources, generally very good. (Linothorax
looks great but is obsolete glued linen--ask about leather or quilted
Kult of Athena--http://www.kultofathena.com.
Good 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.
Full line of Deepeeka gear (see below). (Steer clear of the other
France (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,
Maine 04042.207-727-5844, fax 207-727-4596. http://www.lawrensnest.com.
Deepeeka 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
If you want FABULOUS ceramics, Julia Passamonti is the lady to go to.
***Deepeeka Steelcrafts, India--This is the supplier for many
While these items are far more accurate than any previous "off the
gear, there are still flaws of various degrees.
BEWARE: Most vendors offer Deepeeka's good stuff
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
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 page, http://www.larp.com/legioxx/supplrs.html.
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
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
and Kevin Hendryx, still under construction but GREAT book list.
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
on slings and slinging, links, etc.
University of Pennsylvania Museum --Used to have a Virtual
but it seems to be gone.
The Twentieth Legion--see how I spend most of my time
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THIS PAGE AND THIS AUTHOR
This page last revised 2/27/13
My vital statistics:
Amt, Laurel, MD, email matthew_amt AT yahooo DOT
com . (Be sure to put something distinctive
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,
And of course if you think you have something to add, by all means let
me know! But I'm really not likely to make equipment for you or
run a group, sorry!