There is a draft schedule posted on this site, and it will change and be refined as we receive input from the Greek Ministry of Culture and the Municipality on what sorts of presentations they would like to see. However, all of us would like to see the Taxeis or the body of hoplites do some drill (for example) and some groups might like to have the opportunity to test some basic martial skills. Time will be set aside for these activities, and the organizers think it is essential that different taxiarchs have an opportunity to try different theories of drill and command in the phalanx. This sort of experimental archaeology requires that every participant have an open mind and a cooperative attitude. Language and custom alone will be enough of a barrier. So—please—let us not begin by insisting that any particular system is “right” or “wrong.” Let us experiment!
At the same time, it is essential that some military discipline be maintained with some hierarchy of rank so that the camp can be maintained and the schedule of events be met. By registering, you and your unit accept the imposition of this (mild, non-tyrannical!) hierarchy. It is our intention to utilize the senior officers of larger groups as taxiarchs, and the command structure can and will be bent to serve the needs (and fun) of the group, not vice versa.
During the days of the event, there will not be very much time to leave the site and visit other places. Reenactors should plan to be “on site” from at least 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM every day of the event. Units and individuals not camping on site will have to have transport to and from their hotels as well as plans for lunch every day. Every reenactor should have a kit-lunch packed so that they can eat wherever the Taxeis as a whole happens to be when there’s time to eat. This expedient lunch will greatly ease the schedule. Put another way, if people wander off for lunch, they have the potential to derail the schedule.
The organizers will do the very best they can to make this event run smoothly and be fun and inspirational, exciting and rewarding. At times, it will also be brutally hot, physically demanding, and dull. Come prepared! Always have water. Have a period canteen if you can. Come with a period sack or haversack to carry food (or have a slave). Have footwear that is authentic and in which you can walk a long distance (at least a mile or two).
So—all reenactors need to consider what they need to make their equipment safe. Pushing shields can damage them—rubber arrows can streak them. BRING THE KIT YOU WANT TO CARRY on long marches and in an opposed tactical, and refer to the information included on this site regarding safety. Maybe the most beautiful thing you own should stay at home. Or perhaps not. Because we may never get to do Marathon again.
On Sunday, we hope to drive into Athens and visit the Ancient Agora and the Acropolis in kit—celebrating, as it were, the Victory of Marathon. This requires the approval and cooperation of the Ministry of Culture (we’re working on it). We will certainly end the event in Piraeus, at the Archeon Gefsis. We hope to make this a memorable and safe event for all participants!