Ancient Greek Hoplomachia

In ancient Greece, as Athineos mentions, the Madineans and the Arcadians were the inventors of hoplomachia! And, according to Eumorphus, the above also thought up the weapons and armaments of those involved.

The ancient Greeks were trained in hoplomachia through a dance called Pyrichi, that had standardized defensive and offensive moves. According to Plato it is a faithful representation of the hoplite during battle: moving to the side to evade the opponent’s strike, retreating to gain momentum, lunging forward, ducking to be as small a target as possible. Other similar armed dances were the Prylis, the Kretan Orsitis, the loud dances of the Kourites and the Koryvantes.
Plato in his “Laws” suggests the introduction of hoplomachia lessons in the training areas, as a necessary element to the physical education of youths.

In Sparta and Athens hoplomachia was never a medium of physical education for the youths.
Only in the 3rd century BC did the leader of the Achaean League introduce hoplomachia to the gyms. By the 2nd century BC hoplomachia training was similar to nowadays with a head covering for protection. The equipment included a short sword, a spear, greaves, a metal helmet, metal shield and leather or metal breastplate.

Το ‘χτύπημα της οργής’ και ο συμβολισμός του στη Βυζαντινή τέχνη ως το ‘Χτύπημα της Θείας Δίκης’ που καταστρέφει τους άπιστους και το κακό.

Αρχάγγελος Μιχαήλ (Semyon Ushakov, 1676)
Αρχάγγελος Μιχαήλ (Semyon Ushakov, 1676)

Του Γεώργιου Ε. Γεωργά

Ευχαριστώ τον Nicholas Petrou που με έμπνευσε μετά από μια συζήτηση να ασχοληθώ με το θέμα αυτό.

Το χτύπημα που έρχεται από την υψηλή θέση φύλαξης και χτυπά το στόχο με καταφορά, το βλέπουμε μέσα σε εικονογραφήσεις και ζωγραφιές στη Βυζαντινή τέχνη (και όχι μόνο), έχει ένα μυστικιστικό συμβολισμό. Συμβολίζει το δίκαιο και γεμάτο οργή χτύπημα, με το οποίο το αποτέλεσμα αυτού είναι η σύνθλιψη του άπιστου εχθρού ή του κακού που έχει τη μορφή του δράκου ή του ίδιου του Σατανά. Στη Βυζαντινή  τέχνη το χτύπημα εκτελείτε από έναν άγιο που είναι εντεταλμένος από το Θεό να εξολοθρεύσει το κακό.

Ολο το άρθρο εδώ

Beyond the Golden Gate: The Byzantine Army at War

With this article I have the honor to announce Mr. Nicholas Petrou, the new member of our school as historical researcher.

Relatively little has been discussed in relation to the Byzantine army. It is only recently that finds and historical academia have begun to put together a more coherent image of the Byzantine Army by analysing its tactics and formations.  This article will effectively outline the way the Byzantine army operated during its existence in brief and concise way.

Before I begin, it is important to analyse the context of the Byzantine Empire itself: indeed an ‘army’ is representative of the society it derives from and an army can provide context to social, economic and cultural structures. The word ‘Byzantine’ itself is inherently problematic. It was coined by the Historian Hieronymus Wolf in 1557, a century after Constantinople was conquered by the Ottomans, which referenced the Ancient Greek town Byzantion that existed before and during the Roman Empire. The Byzantines simply referred to themselves as ‘Romaion’ (Romans) and this is important in understand how the the inhabitants of the Empire perceived themselves. The Byzantines didn’t simply view themselves as successors to the Roman Empire, they saw themselves as the Roman Empire manifested in the present and the direct manifestation of God’s Kingdom on earth. Its introverted culture constantly analysed its own identity and this constant re-defining of identity was based on the celestial (its theological relation to God on earth), cultural and its past glories. From this, it justified itself as the synergy between Greco-Roman culture. With an abundance of economic wealth, one of the oldest surviving capital cities and a large standardised army, the Byzantine Empire can be regarded as the superpower of the medieval age.

Read all the article here : Beyond the Golden Gate: The Byzantine Army at War