Ancient Rome Festival Recreates Legionnaires' Fights in Bulgaria's Svishtov

Society | June 28, 2008, Saturday // 00:00
Ancient Rome Festival Recreates Legionnaires??™ Fights in Bulgaria??™s Svishtov: Ancient Rome Festival Recreates Legionnaires' Fights in Bulgaria's Svishtov The battles between Roman legionnaires and barbarians are one of the main events of the "Eagle on the Danube" Festival taking place in Bulgaria's town of Svishtov. Photo by

More than 300 participants from Bulgaria, Italy, Hungary, Germany, and France are recreating the life of ancient Roma's legionnaires in "Novae - the Eagle on the Danube" Festival, which started Friday in Bulgaria's town of Svishtov.

The three-day event dedicated to the life, combat skill, and culture in the Roman Empire is taking place in Bulgaria for the first time.

The town of Svishtov was picked to host it because the region around it, where the ancient town Novae was located, used to be a center for the deployment of Roman legions for about 300 years.

The Eagle on the Danube Festival was initiated Thursday night, when the town of Svishtov welcomed Fuoko di Vesta - the Holy Fire, which was brought in a Roman galley on the Danube River.

On Friday the Svishtov residents witnessed the recreation of fierce battles between the Roman legionnaires and the barbarians, which took place on the town stadium.

The Romans initially defeated the Celts and the Thracians but the barbarians eventually triumphed. The camp of the legionnaires is also located on the town stadium in Svishtov, where the Romans and the other participants cooked their own meals.

The festival continued later with the opening of a slave market and a traditional Roman market in downtown Svishtov, and with gladiator fights, during which the Mayor of the town of Svishtov Stanislav Blagov was proclaimed "Roman Emperor".

A renovated, original Roman pool was also shown for the first time during the Eagle on the Danube Festival. The pool in the ancient town of Novae was renovated by the archeologist Pavlina Vladkova, and was filled with water specially for the legionnaires.

The Festival is continuing Saturday with demonstrations of a Roman legionnaire's wedding, a funeral of a Roman warrior, more gladiator fights, victory marches, musical shows on torch light.

Similar Roman festivals have already taken place in Germany, Portugal, and France. The recreations are initiated by the Italian NGO Prima Leggio Italica.

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