2500th anniversary of the Battle of Marathon

Gods, how I would have loved to have been at this event. It’s been planned for the last two or more years, and hundreds of reenactors from all over the world descended on Greece to make it happen. Christian Cameron, whose Greek HF books are spoken of very highly, was there, as was Angus Donald, author of the excellent Outlaw. Take a look at some of the amazing pictures here. There are also some on one of the posts here. No doubt more will follow, and videos too. I can’t wait. Major kudos to everyone who took part. It was an amazing achievement, and I sincerely hope that a Roman event of that size could take place at some stage, reenacting a major battle like Cannae, Alesia, or Pharsalus.

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  1. Mike Reed
    Posted 12 September 2011 at 22:47 | Permalink

    I think that makes two of us Ben. I too would love to have been there. It certainly would have been a day to remember for those who were there. Those pictures are excellent, and the work that gets put into such big events like that is always admirable. I tell you what, if there’s a Roman equivalent of that, I’d be so determined to go that I’d even break every rule in the book to make sure I’m there.

  2. benkane
    Posted 13 September 2011 at 10:38 | Permalink

    @Mike: you missed the 2000th anniversary of the Varus disaster in 2009 in Germany, then? I did 🙁 Hundreds of reenactors – apparently, it was incredible.

  3. John Salter
    Posted 13 September 2011 at 13:21 | Permalink

    Mike – There is Roman equivalent every year at Chester, ‘This is Deva’. I think there are some links on old blogs on here with pictures, if you can’t find them there are lots on utube. Next year is supposed to be even bigger and should be fantastic.

    There’s Kelmarsh as well every year, where literally thousands of reenactors appear from virtually every decade you can imagine.

    Ben, I’ll bet the Varus anniversary was fantastic, it’s an incredible yet horrific story. I’ll have to look for some pictures of it.

  4. benkane
    Posted 13 September 2011 at 13:44 | Permalink

    @Mike@John: yes, there are old links on here somewhere – or as John says, you’ll find them on YouTube. I can’t wait for next year – Paul Harston said to me this year that he’s going to aim for a full cohort of legionaries. Now that would be an incredible sight.

  5. Mike Reed
    Posted 13 September 2011 at 18:53 | Permalink

    Hi John – it’s just as good to meet you here on this site of which Ben is host. He’s a very talented writer isn’t he? I’ve finished the Forgotten Legion series and I really look forward to Hannibal, which I’ll start after finishing Tony Riches’ Fortress.
    I think one of Ben’s older blogs MIGHT have led me to looking at footage on utube of the Chester Roman Festival earlier in the summer – I think you’ve jogged my memory. I’ll give it another look, especially at ones I might have missed, before I shut down. I’ve also discovered footage of the Middlewich Roman Festival going back about the last 10 years, and if you’re interested, that is to take place on the 24/25th of September (I’m even being kitted out for it!). I’m also glad you enjoyed your recent visit to Turkey.
    Ben (and John) – it’s nice to know we can use such a site for talking about Roman history in the way others talk about the weather! There’s such a treasure trove to discuss.

  6. Mike Reed
    Posted 13 September 2011 at 22:06 | Permalink

    I forgot to say John – thanks for the info. Any that is given me is always highly valued. Best wishes.

  7. John Salter
    Posted 14 September 2011 at 10:57 | Permalink

    Mike, good ‘to meet you too.’ Not to blow smoke up or in Ben’s direction, yes his books are fantastic and I’ve read everyone, they sit proudly on one of my bookshelves next to the likes of Simon Scarrow’s, Anthony Riches and many others. Rome and all it’s intricacies, decades, centuries, wars, regions and even sometimes politics is/are wonderful subjects and so rich.

    This is Deva was a great weekend and I was fortunate to meet Ben and Ruth Downie (the author of the Ruso series) and have a good chat with them. Could have waffled on for hours but it was very busy, it’s always great to meet like minded people who have similar interests.

    Ben is genuinely enthusiastic about the subject which I think shows in his writing. He even brought his Falcata sword and a Carthaginian shield to Chester. I heard his talk about Hannibal at Kelmarsh but unfortunately didn’t get to speak to him on that occasion.

    Hannibal is a brilliant read and although it’s Ben’s biggest yet, I got through it in a couple of days, it even kept me awake at night, I’m certain you will enjoy it as well. I didn’t know there was a Roman Festival in Middlewhich, I’ll have a look for some details thanks. I grew up not too far away from there!

  8. benkane
    Posted 14 September 2011 at 16:20 | Permalink

    @Mike@John: *embarrassed, but grinning*

  9. Fabitaromunass
    Posted 15 September 2011 at 22:00 | Permalink

    Did you hear that Andy Whitfield lost his fight against cancer two days ago, Ben? Unbelievably sad news. He played his part well though and wont be forgotten soon.

  10. silvermum
    Posted 16 September 2011 at 06:06 | Permalink

    Hey there Ben, its been a while and for me an even longer wait than usuall, had your book on order for no less than six weeks, so could in fact be the last of your fans to have read Hannibal. But boy was it worth it! Congatulations on it being in my opinion the BEST book I have ever had the privillage of reading. What a rollercoaster – I was glued from the start right to the end. I laughed at times, even cried, and at other times was fair gagging. I was transported to ancient times, and didnt want to leave. Cant wait for the next installment.
    Thanks so so so so much!!!!!

  11. benkane
    Posted 16 September 2011 at 15:13 | Permalink

    @Fabitaromunass: I did, yes. Very very sad. I can’t think why I didn’t post about it at the time – I’ve posted elsewhere. Thanks for reminding me. Will do one later.

  12. benkane
    Posted 16 September 2011 at 15:15 | Permalink

    @silvermum: great to hear from you! Glad that a) you finally laid your hands on a copy of Hannibal, and b) that you enjoyed it so enormously. Which bits did you cry at? (wondering if they’re the same ones I did when writing it).

    Keep an eye out for Spartacus: The Gladiator – coming out 19 Jan 2012!

  13. silvermum
    Posted 17 September 2011 at 10:09 | Permalink

    Hey there I cryed about **** fate and when ****** and ****** realise they can only ever be enimies. Sniff Sniff.
    It was so heart wrenching- my partner knows im really into a book when I either a) laugh out loud, or b) start sobbing into the pages. haha luckily I got to do far more of the former!! Love those insults, gugga, goat ##@*!#. Also wahoo I will be marking my calender for Spartacus, as you have a life long die hard fan in me!!!!

  14. Mike Reed
    Posted 18 September 2011 at 22:18 | Permalink

    Ben/ John: it’s funny you should mention the Varus disaster just as I was reading about it in Adrian Goldsworthy’s Complete Book of the Roman Army. I have a friend who lives in Hamburg, not far from the Teutoberg Forest where it all happened. Next time I go to Germany I’ll have to look into that a bit more and see what I can find. But I bet the atmosphere at the re-enactment of that battle WAS something well worth a memory, and I’d certainly envy those who were there. If I remember rightly the Teutoberg Forest gave its name to the battle didn’t it?
    John’s also reminded me Ben of the full cohort that’s going to appear at Chester (This is Deva) next summer, that that you mentioned to me earlier on. Next summer I’m hoping to get more weekends off work so I can go to all these festivals, which also includes Kelmarsh. I can imagine these festivals being busier next summer, what with the Olympics and the Queen’s Golden Jubilee.

  15. benkane
    Posted 20 September 2011 at 08:36 | Permalink

    @Cool! I blanked out the names in your comment just because I’ve had people read things like that in the threads before, and then had the books ruined for them. Glad you like the insult gugga!

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