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The Greek Warriors > Re-enactors in full metal gear May 20, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Hellenic Light Americas.
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They’re not Civil War re-enactors, the apparent top of the pecking order in a world that is part history lesson, part role-playing. They’re certainly out numbered by Revolutionary War actors, who replicate full battles that exhibit the folly of rigid linear warfare. The Greek Warriors look a lot cooler than your average Trekkie in full Klingon regalia.

“The Civil War guys are the most prominent re-enactors in the United States, then Revolutionary War, then the Romans,” said George Marcinek of Staten Island, N.Y., founder of the Greek Warriors. “You will not come up with too many Greek warrior re-enactors sites.”

A New York City-based group that portrays ancient Greek soldiers, the Warriors do their thing at Greek-American festivals, parades and cultural events. The surprise box-office success of the movie “300” which dramatizes the Spartan stand at Thermopylae, has contributed to interest in the Warriors, which Marcinek started in 2004. The group performs at events for nothing more than food and lodging.

They’ve become a staple at the Greek Independence Day Parade in Manhattan, as well as other local and regional festivals. The troupe, or maybe troop, features about two dozen re-enactors who can represent Spartan, Athenian or Corinthian soldiers. They pose for photos, dispense history, serve as honor guards and display maneuvers, but they don’t do combat re-enactments.

“It brings ancient times into modern times,” said Marcinek, a 52-year-old risk management analyst from Staten Island. “The best medium to do this is at a Greek festival.”

While the spectacle of the Warriors’ costumes, including colorful helmets and shields with regional and family crests, attracts some participants, history is another draw, although the interest extends beyond those of Greek heritage.

“At least half the members are Greek,” said Marcinek, who is actually of Italian descent. “The other half are those who appreciate Greek heritage and Greek armor.”

Rocco Manitta, an ex-Marine from East Greenbush, N.Y., plans to take up a shield as a member of the group for the first time.

“I think it’s more of a military type of interest,” the 33-year-old said. “… This is sort of the roots of Western military tradition. … There are a lot of similarities between the Spartan ethos and Marine Corps life.”

Peter Giakoumis of Queens, N.Y., who works for the Department of Homeland Security in New York, serves as co-commander of the group. He spent six years as a Civil War re-enactor.

“We are bringing a different phase of history to life. Usually, it’s just in a museum,” said the 41-year-old. “This year, of course, the movie ‘300’ was popular and interest has piqued. People are into it. “It is kind of cool,” he continued. “The only bad thing is we don’t have ancient Persians to beat up.”

Related Links > http://www.thegreekwarriors.com

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