Monday, July 25, 2011

Does anybody else do this?

Kate and I were musing on something this weekend that perhaps you all could help me out with.

One of the big events in the area was the re-enactment of the Battle of Manassas on the 150th anniversary of the event. It got us thinking - Civil War re-enactments are a big deal in the U.S., particularly in Virginia where a lot of it happened. To a lesser extent, we re-enact the Revolutionary War too (you see a lot of this down where I went to college, in Williamsburg and Yorktown).

Does anybody else do this? Do any other cultures re-enact their bloodiest wars, not in some vague ceremonial way but with a high premium placed on authenticity and detail? It's kind of strange, if you think about it, but it seems so natural that I personally have never thought about why we do it before.



  1. We do it in Britain. An organization called "The Sealed Knot" re-enact the English Civil Wars. They also do a few other wars from time-to-time.

    There's also quite a lot of medieval reenactment and WWII reenactment.

  2. There is WWII re-enactment in France.

    There have also been re-enactments of various battles associated with the French Revolution/Napoleonic wars.

  3. Another question we had that I forgot!

    The most enthusiastic re-enactors are Southerners, which is also... odd...

    Do losers re-enact their wars as much as we do ours?

    Kate had mentioned that she heard that the Battle of Waterloo was recently re-enacted, but the question is... did French re-enactors show up? Napoleon was apparently played by a Virginian ( - we're gluttons for punishment, I guess), and most of those who were interviewed in this article were apparently British or Belgian.

  4. > The most enthusiastic re-enactors are Southerners, which is also... odd...

    In Britain it's a rural, unfashionable middle-class middle-aged thing, like restoring traction engines or competitive ploughing. It's not a Stuff-White-People-Like hobby. I expect that explains the geography.

  5. The Romans put on naval battles in the Coliseum. I'm not sure how much re-enacting they did in them, however.

  6. Daniel Kuehn,

    In New England I met a bunch of very enthusiastic re-enactors of the Revolutionary War. That's where I first fired a flintlock.

  7. Dem sutheners are just practicing for the next time. :)


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