26592Re: [WarOf1812] In the beginning . . .
- Nov 1, 2005In Imperial Rome there were individual excesses, such as the one
described by Craig. I have seen this one attributed to other Caesars
besides Caligula; Nero for example.
However, the Romans did have a specific ritual which presented in
regular theatrical form the change of season from campaign season to
going back to the land. They were known as the ludi Romani (Roman
games) in which young men, who were not regular soldiers, dressed up as
such and performed certain ritualized processions and demonstrated
The games were lengthy, lasting from 3-16th Sept., and were accompanied
by various others forms of entertainment and enjoyment - dancing,
racing in the circus, feasts, etc.
The patron god, for whom the games were performed was Jupiter.
I would call this true 'reenacting' since those involved were not
soldiers, but civilians dressing up to act like soldiers.
Numerous ancient texts from Mesopotamia, two thousand years before
Rome, depict cyclical rituals of victory over the forces of chaos.
Given that many later rituals were accompanied by theatre, it is
possible that reenactment of this cosmic struggle was part of these
earlier rituals. Some temple texts read just like scripts from a play.
If the connection is sound then folk have been playing soldiers, as
well as being soldiers, for millennia.
My two cents' worth
On Tuesday, November 1, 2005, at 08:20 AM, Craig Williams wrote:
> As far as re-enactment in Canada goes I have to agree with Vic. The
> focused period re-enactment by predominantly the civilian/historian/
> antiquarian in Canada seems to start with the AWI. There is plenty of
> evidence of "sham battles" being performed in Canada during Military
> pageants in the Victorian age, but as Mr. Suthren points out, they
> were performed in contemporary uniform and equipment.
> The History of re-enactment as entertainment/education(?), can be
> documented back to the time of the Romans.
> I believe, (and some of our friends who know Roman history much
> better than I, will be able to correct me here), that it may have
> been Caligula that had a lake made for the re-enactment of a Roman
> Naval victory in which a large number of the original Roman soldiers/
> sailors from the battle, attacked a shipload of slaves and hacked
> their way into entertainment history. They likely killed more people
> than in a C.B.Demille epic but then, they were trying to.
> Craig Williams
> The War of 1812: In Europe, thousands fought over the fate of hundreds
> of square miles: in North America, hundreds determined the fate of
> THOUSANDS of square miles...
> Unit Contact information for North America:
> Crown Forces Unit Listing:
> American Forces Unit Listing
> Yahoo! Groups Links
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