Awkward date reenactments #1At the risk of sounding bitchy or starting a flame war, I have a few gripes with the reenacting hobby that I feel need airing. Some things bother me more than others, and though I am far from perfect myself and indeed have been guilty of some of my own complaints in the past , I feel that the hobby as a whole would be greatly improved with a few changes. If you must wash your reenacting clothes, wash them by hand in a sink or bathtub and hang dry them. I have a confession to make: during my first five years in the reenacting world, my clothes were never washed. Not once.
To make it look right, it needs to be treated as they would have! The postmaster who had five children lost 18 shifts so presuming they were each wearing one that is 23 about 3 each but the poorer mantuamaker and the servant each lost only one; other servants did lose 4 and 9. From this the number of pieces of underwear varied but then you have to also put it in the context of how much did each person carry with them into the camp situation, I doubt very much if the women when they left their homes to live alongside the soldiers in camp hauled along their entire wardrobe.
Women: Stop cross-dressing. It fools no one, confuses the public and has no historic basis; aside from a few confused women who wished to prove something by sneaking into a military unit. Dudley — So, should we ban pretty much anyone over 45 or over lbs from the field as well? I style myself off of Jane Perkins, whose unit obviously knew she was female, since she wore her long braid coiled up under her kepi. Do some research. It was about several women who went to war during the Civil War is that the War of Northern Agression?
It was very interesting and worth looking for. Sorry to offend you. As mentioned, you might want to do some research. Several soldiering women carried rank, and not always with their gender unknown. Of course, there were also some who were dismissed when their gender became known, such as the 1st Sgt in the 10th New York Heavy Artillery. Rosetta Wakeman is noted in that she went to her grave camp disease without being detected as a woman. We know her by her letters home.
I merely portray the person I might have been in another time period. Even though historical evidence shows some women were warriors during the dark ages, many men and women still see it as not acceptable for a woman to take to the field AS a woman.
On the field I am a warrior first and a woman 2nd, and very proud of the fact. Freydis — would you care to write about your experiences for this blog? Would you be interested? Awesome Freydis! I wear my very long hair braided and stuffed into a hat under my helm.
As if. Freydis, have you ever heard of the 11th C. Look her up. I do have to agree with wanting more to do in evenings than just party. I also wish the menfolk themselves in my group would do more than fight and train.
Oh well. Change comes slow. First, I want to say that many folks in the folklore community have posited that women and third gender people have always played a more prominent and equal role in the society of our ancestors than the christian story allows.
Second, new studies are finding it. We honor our history with an uncut lineage of strength through support not rules and dogmatic policing. Eff those dudes. Fight on sister! Yes and yes to everything about doing your own research and thinking critically instead of following the masses. Think about it—clothes were an investment, and not easily replaced.
You would mend them when they tore. You would brush off the mud when it dried to keep it from wearing the fabric unevenly. You would wash your linens or have them washed frequently enough to avoid breakdown of the fibres from dirt. Yes, our clothes should certainly show some wear.
So I’m Marrying a Reenactor
Do people really still encounter misogyny at the hands of their fellow reenactors? I know a lot of WWI reenactors whose uniforms have not a spot of mud on them.
Not good! This post is intentionally non-period-specific, so some things I wrote are more applicable to certain eras than others. Just one silly example, but for men at arms—when was your uniform issued? Recently to your time of portrayal or six months of hard marches ago?
Are you garrisoned or on campaign? That informs what it should look like, how much wear it should show. And 3—I am so sorry! I had no idea. I just wanted to say I have been what some call a living historian for most of my life. I am a descendant of an earl and of a family line that was thought to be extinct so I got into this to help rebuild my family but to also have fun. Most of my work is based on the black pestilence though, Unlike most people I see that prefer the court clothing which I cannot stand because it is so uncomfortable I chose to be a low-middle class apothicary.
A female apothicary is extremely rare. I have had my share of mistreatment especially with the witch issue being an apothicary. Women ended up doing a lot of the mens jobs after the pestilence, or black death because it killed off mostly males. I think that is next to improbable anyhow as you said most have sparkling clean clothing and wear modern high heels… Whats with that!!
When I am not doing the black pestilence era I am rebuilding my family line from onwards. War is the most common theme in all of these reinactments. Yes war was very common especially in the highlands of the 13th century onward as family fought family but it was not always war.
I like to go out on walks in my era clothing, sometimes go riding if I get the chance. I do have a claymore sword. Scottish women did have a sword for protection and did know how to use it but you wont see women in skimpy armor like xena. That was actually illegal.
Joan of Arc was killed for wearing armor, ie mens clothing. I am not saying it has to be all accurate. Dad says there is no point in living if you dont have any fun. I do admit living history stuff, which is not like a ren faire, can get very strict but that is because when we are working we are telling a story based on what really happened.
But ya as a female apothicary I have seen my share of bad people in the hobby.
As an historical reenactor I thank you for your post. You said many things that needed saying. I was introduced to reenacting as a hobby by my husband about 6 years ago. We are happily ensconced in a new group of wonderful and caring men and women.
And oh, the women…. We have been fortunate to make many wonderful friends and have many terrific experiences within the reenacting community. I know many women who would echo your sentiment regarding some of the men and women in this hobby. If you are in an infantry unit, try to have at least a concept of what military tactics were in the time period you portray. Learn the drill. I also believe that there is a difference between worn in clothing and dirty, tatty, nasty unwashed clothes.
If you portray a soldier, realize that, unless you have been in the field for weeks under constant combat conditions, you would be expected to keep your uniform and gear in as close to immaculate condition as possible.
I understand what that means in a field environment, but I have seen too many chaps in garrison who are filthy, and that would have been unacceptable in most situations. As for the cleanliness of clothing, it varies from situation to situation and from period to period. Since I have only recently gotten into anything preth century, most of that sentiment was directed at the WWII crowd. They do seem to be centered around war and battle. At least for my time period. Our personas are based off of people in history but not necessarily a specific person.
Which leads me to a question. If it is not a specific battle or person or event in history that you are recreating, can it really be called reenacting?
Also, the washing the clothes bit. I would have to say that it would depend on the type of clothing and the stature of the person you are portraying. The aristocrats would never step out of the house in dirty clothing.
But the peasant class as well as middle class rarely wore clean clothing. Other than under garments, of course. STOP: showing visible tattoos or piercings that cannot be justified by the persona you are creating.
Unless you are portraying a french person with a pink wig. It just makes the rest of the people in your group who are trying to take it seriously, look shabby to the public. Most people these days are distinguishing reenactment from living history precisely on those criteria. Another thing that we should be willing to take on is being politically incorrect. One of our gigs for the night program was a nasty argument about his taking me to California, which culminated with me chucking a dish at him, which shattered against a wall.
Our intent was to portray life as it was, and make people think. We actually finally retired the characters because they took too much emotional toll on us. Another reenactor I knew portrayed a subservient slave. But we still need to portray the not-pretty parts. I admit being put in chains and a cage for the witch re enactments can be rather daunting but its necessary too.
In a crowd when we begin I try my best to last as long as I can but in the end the Apothicary especially a female one is the first to be accused of witchcraft. After all we do make potions and the likes.
It had its dark side. If we do not educate the public on these things are we not doomed to repeat it again some day? I know its all myth but remember it was a very religious era. Even making a prayer at a well could get you killed. The movie Black Death was a pretty good portrayal of that actually.
We certainly need more civilian portrayals. For me they are far more interesting and rewarding than military ones. Additionally, I think those of us who do public demonstrations need to get out from behind the rope-line and attend some reenactments a MoP. What we discovered about the events we attended was very eye opening. Although the Celts were well known for their drunken parties they did other things too and that was the impetus for additional research.
Most reenactors get the same wear out of their clothing in three years Every reenactor I've ever met has at some point, usually in a trailing. Colonial Revolutionary War reenacting day dress with coordinates and side " Dating Old Photographs, " ~ Interesting article with many photo. Inside the World of Twentieth-Century War Reenactors Jenny Thompson But he admits that in some respects, such as dating, balancing his hobby and hisreal .
I portray a union soldier. My interest is in Napoleonic reenacting. An item very high on my bucket list is to participate with a cavalry unit at a Waterloo event.
I get to Europe about once every years and have yet to find a group willing to work something out, even though they say that I look like a better rider than most of their members. One thing to keep in mind—membership itself might be required to participate in events, simply because of legal red tape.
I hope you find a group willing to let you participate at the level you can! I have to say that I have totally enjoyed this discourse. I find history fascinating and love going to an event with reenactors. We run an antique business and dress in period clothing for our events, trying to keep in touch with the time period of our house for the most part. There is nothing I like better than when someone more knowledgeable than me offers a suggestion for a change in my dress, even if it is a slight variable on what I am already doing.
As dealers in primitives as well as early country antiques, it works for our business, but I feel so much better about what we are doing after reading this and all the comments. I do a lot of interpretation which leaves room for some inconsistencies which I often explain to the public. Instead of chiding those individuals with finger pointing or nasty comments we should look for ways to help them around these obstacles with positive suggestions. More re en-actors makes for a better experience for all!
Great article! I am now in my 18th year as a Civil War re-enactor. When I first began re-enacting, I portrayed a war correspondent. I researched news reporting of the time and spent my first few years as a reporter. Spectators were drawn to me because I was doing something different, something that they had never considered or heard of. I later joined a medical unit. We can recreate an war-era field hospital. I still, however, portray a civilian, a civilian contract surgeon. This still creates interest and education for the spectator.
Although we do after-the-battle scenarios where we recreate surgery, we also display our medical equipment and explain it to the public. This went over very, very well. Treating women poorly and then claiming it was due to the time period shows a great deal of historical research is needed by those people.
In the Victorian era, upper- and middle-class women were treated very well. If one projects oneself as being truly authentic, then, I believe, one must research the customs, beliefs, and ideals of the time. It makes me feel a lot better, though, that recently I joined 2 civilian groups in my area for two different time periods, our primary focus being dancing.
We have classes every Friday and attend period balls all around the area, not to mention setting up at local reenactments and historical houses and things. We do demos and hold our own soirees. If you want to be a woman and be on the field- I say more power to you. Though I will give our members credit, most have voluntarily chosen not to wear glasses when demonstrating in front of the public. I have been considering laser eye surgery to fix my eye problem but money has been very tight.
I live on a grant and I am petrified to spend any of the money on myself. It took me 5 years of waiting and meetings before I even got my grant. Three cheers! Huzzah Huzzah Huzzah for a lovely conversation with very little nastiness!
Well said and well responded to. Ahhh my darling dear took her nap like a good girl and my dearest mother decided to do her daughter a good turn and washed all those smelly dirty clothes.
How can one be angry at the good deed of a fine and dear mother?? Now that said I am NOT a fan of fake patina! I hate to hear people talk about how they left a perfectly good frock coat outside for two weeks or they did this or that to age a perfectly good piece. Anyhoo, nice article. It will create bad feelings and soon you will find yourself standing on the field by yourself with no soldiers.
Stop using the hobby and your fellow reenactors for your own self-aggrandizement. We all use the hobby as a form of escape from the modern world, but if your modern works sucks, work to improve it. Historians have college degrees and are trained research and interpretation of source materials.
Reading several books on a subject does not an expert make. Unless you have a degree in history you are not a historian plain and simple. My college degree concentration was in the obscure field of historical ethnobotany, and I have applied skills from both my research and my hands-on experience.
And can tell you that sometimes the historians who have only research material at hand can arrive at erroneous conclusions. I am not directing my remarks at the college educated. Disciplined research, as you pointed out, is universally applicable. Yes it is also true taht historians working strictly from source materials can draw incorrect conclusions. That is a fault in his process and he is not a GOOD historian.
I am speaking to those who have no idea how to perform any research yet take the attitude they are somehow the purist in the hobby they have been in for 9 months. Of course sailing around in a ship and believing you are performing any useful research on a particular individual is like riding around in 32 Ford believing you are researching Bonnie and Clyde.
We all need to take a deep breath and realize, it is a hobby and it is all thing to everyone. One thing I REALY wish re-enactors whould stop doing: Having these little discusions about how other people should be enjoying their hobby. Use the soap box for fire wood and make your own little part of the hobby better, if enough people think like you you will find each other and viola!
It has worked for me this past 20 years or so. Just to let you know Chris, some of us may not have a history degree, but we have spent a lot of time researching. I have spent the last two years reading book after book after book, thick ones, on every aspect of my role, from clothing to speech. And yes, other people should not tell others how to do things. Re:laundering- If the event is to be seen as a Festive day then most populace would have cleaned up to the best of their ability.
I always preferred to let my dresses hang dry as the weight of the damp clothes made extra pressing unneccessary.Key & Peele - Confederate Reenactors
I would add, if you stop trying to pass along encouragement to others to read and learn, dig the same hole. As my health has been failing I still try to learn and pass along information before I pass on myself.
As a CW, Rev. In any period in time there has always been many things in common in the military structure; that being dicipline, uniform in clothing, equipment and personal appearance and conduct. I accepted the public spectator wanting to be entertained and found them often to be a distraction.
Most spectators would not think nothing of it if they witnessed a Rev. It has been an expensive, rewarding and fun hobby. I actually quite like this aspect of events, Ricarda. I find it helps immensely with the immersion aspect. As one who prefers to play enlisted soldiers in the various Western armies with the exception of a political commissar in the Spanish Civil War, which brings an entirely different set of rules I have to recognize that I would not have had much leeway in deciding who to obey.
For millenia, privilege was determined by birth, and was not fair, democratic, or just. I quite enjoy it that way! I think that far too many reenactors bring a modern mindset to events, and this is a perfect example. If you really do want to experience history, as is the claim of most reenactors, you have to have the same mindset.
Besides, Ricarda, why are you at these events if not to do hard labour? Like I said, before the event when everyone pulls up in their pick-ups, I expect everyone to pitch in. I am an apothicary which in that era was more and more common for females since the pestilence wiped out the majority of males.
That is documented. It is also documented as to why the whole witch thing started even though the pope himself did not believe in it. I do use modern technology but my operating system is from I am picky like that and my career required it.
But I went to work in a 14th century commoner outfit. It was comfortable and to be honest dignifing. As long as it did not interfear with my job it was fine and respectable.
Clothing of today you pay a fortune and get a scrap of cloth. It is awful what people wear nowadays. No dignity whatsoever. I work in 2 eras. The era of the black pestilence, mainly right after it since it took England years to recover from it, and the era of my family line which I am slowly restoring which was thought to be wiped out. It just went underground in I enherited a title when I was born. I thought it was just something dad called me.
To me it is irrelevant, archiac but to dad it means something. I made a rule never argue with a highland born scot. In the beginning nobody had papers. Look at aerospace which my brother is one of the top spacecraft designers for Roscosmos. Did they have papers then? You think Korolev had papers in aerospace engineering or rocket science?
Hell no. Since most of my work was in Novosibirisk most of the commoner clothing was perfect for the climate too. Yes some take the whole thing a tad too far when the idea of living history was to have fun and get an idea what it was like back then. Nobody can really say what it was really like though.
Science is the art of guessing. Usually educated guessing but still its a guess. When I go around the ruins of several of my families castles I can only imagine the fear in peoples minds back then. I mean 8 foot thick stone walls?
historical reenactment - Free Dating, Singles and Personals. Mostly reenacting, but some art and history thrown in there too. Date? Drunk History, History Jokes, Funny History, Confederate States Of. Historical reenactment (or re-enactment) is an educational or entertainment activity in which . (and the derivative adjective "farby") is unknown, though it appears to date to early American Civil War centennial reenactments in or
It was a time of fear more then anything. My point is we are all experts in something but also all beginners. True wisdom comes from knowing that you know nothing. Totally agree. For example as a Spanish Civil War reenactor politic is really important to the whole war and the interantional support.
While time travel might be impossible (so far), historical reenactors say their hobby is the next best thing. But what's it really like to take part in a. realtorscommercial.com, the on-line home of historical reenacting and living history! We try to post the additions along with the date so you can figure out what's new. What if you found out that the person you were dating lived a double life? That they What if you discovered your boyfriend was a reenactor?.
My favourite events are private tacticals with a high level of authenticity no Family Guy jokes in the trencheswith a non-misogynistic group, doing an impression I enjoy. Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult to find all of those traits all at once. Do you not have the SCA near you? Camping events, indoor events, day events, week long events. Women are included in all facets of the game, including fighting or anything else they want to do. Apparently they used to do them quite frequently about 15 years ago now.
I love how for every stop you have a start. That is extremely helpful to many of us to see!
Lead by example, regardless of what social activity it is. I think too many people love to complain without offering suggestions on how to improve. Kelsey — I am so glad I found your blog. I am only 3 years into Rev War reenacting, and learning alot. I am finding the group I have been involved with really cares little for authenticity and many of your above comments are reinforcing that I am in the wrong group.
I will keep looking at your blog and trying to learn! Thanks so much. Even sleeping. START: Conducting research based only on primary, peer reviewed sources from interviews, jounals, libraries and museums then making your kit and character based on that research. I think there are a lot of groups who are historically inaccurate, in big and small ways, who do research from certain online encyclopedias and the like.
They state that they are a historical reenactment group. But, this is only part of the big problem. Both issues can lead a path of foolishly misrepresenting your character e. Making false claims is bad form. Making claims based on poor knoweldge is bad too. Both ruin the integrity and perception of the reenacting community; especially when you are very adamant about the information they are providing. I am so with you on this!! I use to be a part of a pirate group to help out a friend who was really interested in the pirate thing he woks on a period ship.
His whole crew was lean and neat. I was covered in tar, dirt, with burn holes and missing buttons. It was a joke. I am part of one of the few groups who is still doing things the period way, St. The RenFaire circuts here used to be pretty focused on maintaining a historical atomsphere during faire hours. There where rules and folks followed them. Now, everyone working faire dresses like a steampunk or a fairy and drinks out of pewter… It all collapsed in the last 10 years or so.
One cool thing though, is that it has been so much easier attracting those who are interested in real reenactment. Closed reenactment events are the best and they are responsible for the preservation of historical reenactment. I would really like them to stop calling what they do history.
In my experience very few re-enactors are serious students of the era they claim to portray. The military groups seem to be populated by men who never got over playing soldier. In the colonial era town where I live there is a guy who plays dress up in frilly breeches and minces around the historic district with an awful faux British accent claiming to portray the 18th century founder of our town, about whom there is little historic record and of whom there are no known images.
In all likelihood, the real man was a rather hard scrabble character with few pretensions but that does not slow down the dress up guy who is clueless about how offensive his portrayal is to many people and how little reliable historic fact he conveys. I am respectful of your hobby, particularly if you are committed to doing it accurately but in my experience you would be the exception.
Not trying to flame anyone or troll. These are comments are just based upon my observations as someone who has been trained in historic inquiry. What is your connection with the reenactment community at large? Are you a member of the hobby, or basing your opinion on observance of a few events and individuals. During the early twentieth century, historical reenactment became very popular in Russia with reenactments of the Siege of Sevastopol —the Battle of Borodino in St Petersburg and the Taking of Azov in Voronezh in Inthere was a reenactment of the Storming of the Winter Palace on the third anniversary of the event.
Large scale reenactments began to be regularly held at the Royal Tournament, Aldershot Tattoo in the s and 30s. A spectacular recreation of the Siege of Namuran important military engagement of the Nine Years' Warwas staged in as part of 6-day long show. In America, modern reenacting is thought to have begun during the — Civil War Centennial commemorations. Most participants are amateurs who pursue history as a hobby.
Participants within this hobby are diverse, ranging in age from young children whose parents bring them along to events, to the elderly. In addition to hobbyists, members of the armed forces and professional historians sometimes participate.
Reenactors are commonly divided or self-divide into several broadly defined categories, based on the level of concern for authenticity. Other countries have different terms of art, slangand definitions. Anachronistic clothing, fabrics, fasteners such as velcrosnoodsfootwearvehicles, and modern cigarettes are common.
The origin of the word "farb" and the derivative adjective "farby" is unknown, though it appears to date to early American Civil War centennial reenactments in or B: Forget About Research, Baby".
Some early reenactors assert the word derives from German Farbecolor, because inauthentic reenactors were over-colorful compared with the dull blues, greys or browns of the real Civil War uniforms that were the principal concern of American reenactors at the time the word was coined.
Kummerow, a member of "The Black Hats, CSA" reenactment group in the early s, he first heard it used as a form of fake German to describe a fellow reenactor. The term was picked up by George Gorman of the 2nd North Carolina at the Centennial Manassas Reenactment inand has been used by reenactors since. Mainstream reenactors make an effort to appear authentic, but may come out of character in the absence of an audience.
Visible stitches are likely to be sewn in a period-correct manner, but hidden stitches and undergarments may not be period-appropriate. Food consumed before an audience is likely to be generally appropriate to the period, but it may not be seasonally and locally appropriate.
Modern items are sometimes used "after hours" or in a hidden fashion. The common attitude is to put on a good show, but that accuracy need only go as far as others can see. At the other extreme from farbs are "hard-core authentics", or "progressives," as they sometimes prefer to be called.
Hard-core reenactors generally value thorough research, and sometimes deride mainstream reenactors for perpetuating inaccurate "reenactorisms". They generally seek an "immersive" reenacting experience, trying to live, as much as possible, as someone of the period might have done. This includes eating seasonally and regionally appropriate food, sewing inside seams and undergarments in a period-appropriate manner, and staying in character throughout an event.
The period of an event is the range of dates. See authenticity reenactment for a discussion of how the period affects the types of costume, weapons, and armour used. Numerous cottage industries abound that provide not only the materials but even the finished product for use by reenactors.
Uniforms and clothing made of hand woven, natural dyed materials are sewn by hand or machine using the sartorial techniques of the period portrayed. Detailed attention to authenticity in design and construction is given equally as well to headgear, footwear, eyewear, camp gear, accoutrements, military equipment, weapons and so on. These items which are generally much more expensive than clothing and uniform in modern production offer the wearer a lifelike experience in the use of materials, tailoring and manufacturing techniques that are as close to authentic as possible.
Event spectators may derive more satisfaction from attending reenactments when a high level of authenticity is attained in both individual clothing and equipment, as well as equipment used in camp. The term 'living history' describes the performance of bringing history to life for the general public in a manner that in most cases is not following a planned script.
Historical presentation includes a continuum from well researched attempts to recreate a known historical event for educational purposes, through representations with theatrical elements, to competitive events for purposes of entertainment.
The line between amateur and professional presentations at living history museums can be blurred. While the latter routinely use museum professionals and trained interpreters to help convey the story of history to the public, some museums and historic sites employ living history groups with high standards of authenticity for the same role at special events.
Living histories are usually meant for education of the public. Such events do not necessarily have a mock battle but instead are aimed at portraying the life, and more importantly the lifestyle, of people of the period.
This often includes both military and civilian impressions. Occasionally, storytelling or acting sketches take place to involve or explain the everyday life or military activity to the viewing public. More common are craft and cooking demonstrations, song and leisure activities, and lectures. Combat training or duels can also be encountered even when larger combat demonstrations are not present.
There are exceptions i. Saylors Creek, Gettysburg. In Germany medieval reenactment is usually associated with living history and renaissance faires and festivals as e. The specific German approach of authenticity is less about replaying a certain event, but to allow an immersion in a certain erato catch, in the sense of Walter Benjamin the 'spiritual message expressed in every monument's and every site's own "trace" and "aura"', even in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.
Combat demonstrations are only loosely based on actual battles, if at all, and may simply consist of demonstrations of basic tactics and maneuvering techniques. Scripted battles are reenactments in the strictest sense; the battles are planned out beforehand so that the companies and regiments make the same actions that were taken in the original battles.
They are often fought at or near the original battle ground or at a place very similar to the original. These demonstrations vary widely in size from a few hundred fighters to several thousand, as do the arenas used getting the right balance can often make or break the spectacle for the public. Tactical battles are generally not open to the public. Tactical battles are fought like real battles with both sides coming up with strategies and tactics to beat their opponents.
Historic villages, like Colonial Williamsburg, and events like the Jane Austen Festival in Kentucky often showcase reenactors carrying out historic trades, such as cooking, tailoring, and blacksmithing, as well as going about other ordinary aspects of daily life.
Period-appropriate, handmade clothing can also get very expensive, with specialty items such as coats and shoes starting at several hundred dollars. As with a lot of things, pop culture influences which reenactment eras and activities are popular at any given moment. The release of a smash book, movie, or video game can cause a surge in popularity; WWI and WWII video games have particularly boosted reenactments of those eras in the past few years.
Historical anniversaries—like key dates in the Civil War or American Revolution—can also spark a flurry of renewed interest and commemorations. Plus, many reenactors also have significant craft skills. Garrett notes that his group crafts most of their Viking gear, aside from speciality items like helmets.
They even created their own Viking treasure hoard by molding and casting ancient coins. Most reenactors spend countless hours delving into the history of their preferred era and becoming knowledgeable specialists.
But while reenactors pride themselves on their scholarship, there can be some guesswork involved, especially for particularly ancient or less well-documented eras.