Greek history is known worldwide for its tales of immortal gods, heroic warriors and battles like the fall of Troy. One group of modern Greeks is taking it all a step further, by reviving and reenacting Hellenic fighting skills and culture.
KORYVANTES, founded in 2009, is a group a Greek history enthusiasts who not only research ancient weapons, armour and combat skills, they also take these around the world, bringing this aspect of Hellenism back to life and sharing it with modern audiences.
Made up of people from all walks of life — from amateur history buffs to archaeological experts — KORYVANTES makes battle-ready replicas of ancient Greek weapons and also stages reenactments of archery, sword fighting and the unarmed martial art of pankration.
It also involves Greek young people, teaching them the traditional songs, dances and stories connected with the country’s martial past.
The group has successfully brought this ancient warrior tradition all around the world, with exciting demonstrations in Biskupin Museum, Poland in 2011; Biga, Turkey in 2014; the Viminacium Museum, Serbia in 2014), and twice to Moscow’s Times & Epochs Festival in 2015 and 2017.
Its traditional archery team has participated in over 25 international festivals around the globe from South Korea, China, Poland to Turkey, the U.K., Hungary and Cyprus.
So successful is the organization that it has been brought in numerous times to help international film producers and TV production companies stage and reenact ancient Greek battles.
It has worked with National Geographic on ‘Warriors Series, Spartan Vengeance’; the BBC’s ‘Who were the Greeks’ and ITV’s ‘Joanna Lumley’s Greek Odyssey’.
Now it is urging the Greek government to support such projects as living history becomes an indispensable part of cultural tourism.
“It is a smart way to revive your past and to integrate your touristic industry, with full respect to your cultural values,” the group says.