“The Battle” is the term that refers to an event in the spring that became, over time, a sort of tradition in the Lower School. Starting in 2004, the fifth grade students reenacted some action-packed event from the ancient world, be it a battle between Romans and Carthaginians, a gladiator display, the Trojan War story, or a shield wall fight between Vikings. It was something fun to do because of my love for history and because North Cross School, as an independent school, allowed me the freedom as a young teacher to experiment with some projects for the students that might not have been approved in a public school. The first performance was a march of Spartan hoplite soldiers; it wasn’t even a battle. But after a year or so, I grew more ambitious and we staged a choreographed battle. From then on, it was something we did for the whole school in the spring, either on the grass in front of the Carter Athletic Center or the game field.
The Battle was something that I couldn’t do alone. Parents volunteered to make realistic-looking shields and weapons from wood, to costume their children in clothing from the era, and to provide support on the day of the performance with make-up, crowd control, and picture taking. Without parental help, none of the reenactments could happen.
So, when the mother of a former student of mine came to me and volunteered to help bring back The Battle, telling me that many parents were lined up to help, I said yes. I was touched by how many valued it and were willing to sacrifice time and energy to make this a reality.
This year’s battle will be fought between the Roman legions of Julius Caesar and the Celtic warriors of Vercingetorix in 52 BC. The fifth graders will portray the Roman legionaries, the most trained and disciplined soldiers of the ancient era; the sixth graders, who missed The Battle last year, will portray the wild and fierce Gallic warriors that rebelled against Caesar’s conquest of Gaul.
Thanks to the wonderful parents we have here at North Cross School, “The Battle” is back! It will be fought on Thursday, May 18th. The whole community is invited to witness the return of a rite of passage for our students!
Until then, feel free to watch past year's Battle's:
2015 Viking Battle Reenactment:
2013 Funeral Games (Gladiators) Reenactment:
2012 Battle of Cannae Reenactment Newspaper article:
(not sure if this has copyright issues)
2011 Trojan War reenactment: