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Σάββατο, 24 Αυγούστου 2013

"KORYVANTES" - Horseback Ascent of Mountain Oeta , August 10-11 2013


Association "KORYVANTES" Members in the Alpine Plateaus of Mountain Oeta, (1850 metres above sea level)

The Living History Association “Koryvantes”, in the context of developing it's activities, starts an in depth study of the Equestrian Warfare in the Hellenic World based on the principles of Experimental Archaeology and quotation of Ancient sources.
As first from a series of related actions, in with “Panagiotis Stamelos Equestrian Club” (at Mexiates in Phiotis/ Central Greece), took place a two-day mountain horse trekking (August 10 - 11 2013) of Mount Oeta in combination with intense archery training. It’s a unique activity, done for the first time in Greece. Seven Association members took part, two of which were aged 12 and 15 years old.
The purpose of the mission was not the detailed study of a particular historical period but preparation for testing conclusions for the use of cavalry as a maneuver weapon in the Hellenic world. It’s a relatively unknown aspect of Cavalry use from the Greek Armies but a timeless one.  
For example we mention:
  • Thessalian Horsemen – Crossing mountainous Phiotis in order to attack the Phocians in 500 B.C (Herodotus, Pausanias)
  • Macedonian Horsemen – crossing mount Oita (Bralo) to bypass the straights of Thermopylae in 338 B.C. (Plutarch, Pausanias)
  • Alexander’s Cavalry - crossing the Cilician Gates in Asia Minor and Persian Gates in the Iranian plateau (Curtius, Arrian)
  • Byzantine Akritae – Patrolling the mountainous trails of the Cilician Gates shadowing Arab raiders from mountain outposts and execution of sudden raids in order to eliminate them (Theophanes Continuatus, Akritic Songs, Αl Tabari – Muslim sources)

Climbing mount Oita was attempted at a distance of 55 km total from the "Kastania" village (1000 m. above sea level) until the "Livadies" plateau (1850 m. above sea level) and the "Alykena" peak (2080 m. above sea level). It included passing from rural roads alpine fields but in a large part from hardly accessible mountain trails and small streams.
The riding started from Kastania continued to “Oeta Refuge” and "Livadies". Our camp was set in "Amaliovrisi". The same day we tried the South road to the Alpine plateaus of Oita canyon, visiting the temple of Hercules , paying our respects to the Hero and Warrior. In the Sunday morning, 11th August, we followed the road "Livadies" (1850 m. above sea level) - "Alykena" peak (2080 m. above sea level). The return to "Kastania" village was done from the Northwestern side of the forest.
During the mission, a high intensity archery training took place, in various heights, in middle and long distances for the teams preparation in Traditional archery contests.
One important parameter was the composition of the team from both experienced and inexperienced riders. The participation of inexperienced riders in a high intensity / high difficulty horse trek and its absolutely successful conclusion is proof of the high professionalism of the equestrian trainer Panagiotis Stamelos and the correct preparation of the mission.

Returning from "Alykena"Peak, (2080 metres above sea level)
Reaching the Oeta plateaus , with the River Sperhius bay, on the northside.
Traditional Archery Training in the "Livadies" Plateau (1080 metres above sea level)

Heading to the "Alykena" peak (2080 metres above sea level )

One of our Traditional Archery Trainings

Shooting with a scythian bow , in the Mountain of the -Hero and Archer- Hercules
On the Way to the East , returning  to the Livadies Plateau
On the way from the Village "Kastanies" to the Oeta Alpine plateus