About

Koryvantes Association

The Association of Historical Studies “KORYVANTES” is a contemporary Cultural Organisation, a world-class revolutionalry reenactors society devoted in researching and applying experimentally the Military Heritage of the Hellenic worlds from the Bronze Age to the late Byzantium.

The Association was founded in 2009 by people with a background in the study of ancient Greek and Byzantine warfare who were not satisfied by the level of reconstructions undertaken so far in Greece and internationally and who wished to ultimately adopt a framework based on experimental archaeological methodology and test established and new theories in ancient and medieval warfare.

A key direction for the Association is the development of a unique Intellectual Property focusing on ancient/medieval Hellenic warfare, shared among all interested parties and for all types of activities: academic, experimental, educational, technical and athletic.

Just how the Coryvas Dracon was protecing knowledge, the KORYVANTES Association work is protecting and keeping alive the 33-centuries long tradition of heavily armed Greeks.

33 Centuries

33 centuries of Hellenic military history. From 1700 BCE to 1600 CE, 3300 years of military tradition revived. From the Mycenaean Eqetas to the Classical Hoplites and from the Hellenistic Heteroi to the Byzantine Cataphracts, the technology-leading body armors are the striking characteristic of warriors, diplomats, leaders and merchants who traveled in Mediterranean and Middle East for the survival and prosperity of their societies.

This long tradition, though embedded in the DNA of modern civilization, was almost lost and forgotten. There is only one complete Mycenaean body armor (Dendra armor), a few good examples of Archaic / Classical  / Hellenistic era armors preserved in Museums and almost none of the 1000 years of Byzantine empire.

KORYVANTES Association has set to search, analyse and bring to life the magnificent armors that made the Hellenic armies renown throughout the centuries. With painstaking work and no expenses spared in the research, construction and testing of armors and weaponry, KORYVANTES Association brings to life the unique experience of ancient Hellenic armors keeping alive this wonderful tradition.

This 33-centuries heritage of heavily armored Hellenes is today not a lost memory… our members revive this tradition in Museums and Archerology Festivals and in presentations at Academic forums… we communicate our work to people through magnificent photos in publications and dramatic music video clips… we embed in video games… KORYVANTES Association is the trustee to keep this tradition alive for the future generations

Traditional Archery

KORYVANTES Association is proud representative of the World Traditional Archery Federation (WTAF). We maintain a 40 person team of archers and our aim is the promotion of Greek Traditional Archery.

Traditional Archery is a worldwide popular activity and sport. It requires hard training and devotion, while it is beneficial both physically and mentally. Our members try to embrace the athletic aspect of Traditional Archery by participating in local and international championships. Moreover, we cooperate closely with the Greek Archery Federation, working for promoting the Total Field Games (TFG) to the international community, thus achieving the co-existence of Traditional and Olympic archery heritages.

Moreover we conduct extensive researches on every aspect of Greek historical archery techniques, equipment and military use, throughout the long military history of Greek civilization. We reconstruct archery equipment and related items emphasizing historical precision. We experiment on the use of the aforementioned items, and participate in living history events. The results of our Association’s research are published in reputable Academic journals.

“Dear Friends in Archery, both Olympic or Traditional styles! We wish you a high level of co-operation in archery.

WTAF – The World Traditional Archery Federation is only 8 years old, but our profile is one of the oldest heritages in mankind. Today our Federation has 54 country members worldwide and we salute Greek archers in our family not only as archers but as excellent presenters in our Academic Conferences. The KORYVANTES team justifies our slogan: “Traditional Archery Is More Than Sport” – it is also preservation of cultural heritage, experimental archaeology and archery practice! Your members are researchers of ancient Greek weaponry, armor and fighting techniques as well.

We – and all Hungarians – learn about your mythology and we know that when Hercules went for the Apples of Hesperides he made a miraculous shot and freed Prometheus. We hope all the members of KORYVANTES will be heroes like Hercules and save the Heritage of Greek History and present it worldwide for our admonition. On the other hand: we – Greek and Hungarian archers – should work together on Scytian memories like second cousins.

Dear Spyros Bakas and KORYVANTES Team, we are waiting for you at our yearly competitions in Hungary to practice our lovely traditional archery together.
And may your arrows hit their targets!”

Posta Pál, vice president of World Traditional Archery Federation, European director, February 2014

Pancration

For many enthousiasts and martial arts practitioners, Pancration is the holy grail of the modern combative sports. But in reality, Pancration is an unknown territory with very few evidence on how the martial art was really practiced in ancient times.

We have done extensive reasearch in the area and we have a unique expertise, as we do practise combative techniques using our Museum-quality armor reconstructions. Our point-of-view is that Pancration was a trully combative prarctise, part of the training of the Hoplite warriors of the Archaic and Classical eras.

Apart of our Academic work in the area, KORYVANTES Association is performing Pancration demonstrations in selected Museum and Academic events.

Documentaries, Museums, Festivals

We are proud representatives of the Hellenic warrior and armor tradition thoughout the long history of the Hellenic worlds. This reflects in our collaborations with world-class Documentaires the last years. Our association has worked with National Geographic ‘Warriors Series, Spartan Vengeance’, BBC ‘Who were the Greeks’, ITV ‘Joanna Lumpley’s Greek Odyssey’, France5/TV5 ‘Echappées belles’ and has captured the imagination of millions of people worldwide.

KORYVANTES Association also is collaborating with Museums and Archaeology Festivals to demonstrate Warriors of various eras of Hellenic history. Key demonstrations were delivered in Biskupin Museum (Poland, 2011), Journées Gallo-Romaines St-Romain-en-Gal (Vienne, France, 2012), Biga (Turkey 2014), Times & Epochs (Moscow, 2015).

Teach Progress!

Cronus the father of Zeus had received an omen from Gaea that his offspring would overthrow him so it was important not to realize that Zeus (hidden by his mother in a cave) was alive or the divine baby was in grave danger. In the interior of the cave, Koryvantes (or Coryvantes, Courites) made their first invention. They constructed a hanging cradle for the baby.

Cronus was the master of land, sea and sky. Zeus cradle although inside earth was not touching the ground and also did not touch the sea and the sky. In this manner the holy child was well protected from Cronus who ate his own children, to prevent them from toppling him from power. Even more important things followed the first invention of the Koryvantes.

Koryvantes Gods are also mentioned to have invented the first bow and teach archery to humans. It is said that they constructed the first drum, by stretching an animal skin, and offered it as a present other the mother of Zeus.

Κορύβαντος, ϑυµίαµα λίβανον

Κικλήσκω χѳονὸς ἀενάου βασιλῆα μέγιστον,
Κύρβαντ’ ὀλβιόμοιρον, Ἀρήιον, ἀπροσόρατον,

νυκτερινὸν Κουρῆτα, φόβων ἀποπαύστορα δεινῶν,
φαντασιῶν ἐπαρωγόν, ἐρημοπλάνον Κορύβαντα,

αἰολόμορφον ἄνακτα, ѳεὸν διφυῆ, πολύμορφον,
φοίνιον, αἱμαχѳέντα κασιγνήτων ὑπὸ δισσῶν,

∆ηοῦς ὃς γνώμαισιν ἐνήλλαξας δέμας ἁγνόν,
ѳηρότυπον ѳέμενος μορφὴν δνοφεροῖο δράκοντος∙
κλῦѳι, μάκαρ, φωνῶν, χαλεπὴν δ’ ἀποπέμπεο μῆνιν,
παύων φαντασίας, ѱυχῆς ἐκπλήκτου ἀνάγκας.

To Coryvas, The Fumigation from Frankincense

The mighty ruler of this earthly ball, for ever flowing, to these rites I call;

Martial and blest, unseen by mortal sight, preventing fears,and pleas’d with gloomy night;

Hence, fancy’s terrors are by thee allay’d, all-various king, who lov’st the desart shade;

Each of thy brothers killing, blood is thine, two-fold Kurete, many-form’d, divine.

By thee transmuted Deo’s body pure, became a dragon’s savage and obscure: Avert thy anger, hear me when I pray, and by fix’d fate, drive fancy’s fears away.

(ORPHIC HYMNS, TRANSLATED BY THOMAS TAYLOR)