The Sacred Band/The 300 Thebans/the first Band Of Brothers?

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The Sacred Band/The 300 Thebans/the first Band Of Brothers?

Postby JOHN THURSTON » Fri Nov 16, 2007 7:28 pm

It was very nice of Hugh to bring up the The Theban Victory over the spartans at Leuctra in , ah, lemme think---370 BC.

As previously noted, Epaminondes overloaded his LEFT flank (not his right as i stated) with a phanlanx 50 men deep NOT 20 or 30.

My memory does not always serve me well.

Neverthelless, Phillip Of Macedon (from whom Metacomet of King Phillips' War in this commonwealth (PROMA)) was given a nom de querre by either Plymouth Colony or Mass. Bay Colony) developed his tactics his son's leaderships and the Macedonian army.

Phillip had more men that Epaminondes and better Cavalry.

At Charonea the Thebans (as Athenian Allies or with their Athenian allies at the least) went head to head with Phillips Army.

In the decades before this battles a band of brothers presaging "We Happy Few" and the 101st ABD took shape.

It was called by Herotodus (perhaps the Father of written military history) The Theban Sacred Band.

Memory may fail me again, but the band consisted of 300 of the Bravest Thebans, alleged to be homosexual, not that it matters.

Harry Turtledove in his novel(s) often wrote of battles in the fictiticious but intereting world of Videssos.

One Battle in "The Lost Legion" (not the Last) strangely parralled Manzikert.

His novels seemed to basically rotate around a parallel Earth dominated by a (parallel) Hellentistic or Byzantine Culture in which world a Rome never became dominant.

In his novels he postulated a unit of 'lovers" and stated that "non would disgrace himself in war before his lover"

At Charonea, the band was asked to surrender by Phillip and one quote alleded to have been may was "No, it is a good day for us to die together"

I can't really verify this as true, nor do I intend to desrcibe in detail this battle, or Leuctra here.

What seems to be certain is that the Sacred Band refused to surrender and was wiped out to a man.

Alexander, again calling on memory, led The Companion Cavalry at this pivotal battle in which the indepenence of the City States of Greece can well be said to have been extinguished.

Hugh noted that the Spartan society that produced the Spartan Hoplite Armies that dominated Greece at least until Leuctra> This battle over which few Athenians would have shed tears, was an extremely repressive society.

In passing I must note that Rome was in many ways, equally repressive The Veneer of Democracy (actually a narrow form of Republicanism) was very shallow.

Perhaps only Athens had, briefly, a true democracy, in which, ironically, no woman could take part. Thus limiting this father of democratic states to 25,000 participants. I base this estimate of anecdotal evidence saying that Attic Greek was probably never spoken by more that 75000 people.

Hopefully my estimate is low.

To Alexander, Charaonea was a place where courage was shown by himself and the Sacred Band.

Perhaps it could be considered a final whetting of the sword his father had forged for him.

Still, the courage of the Sacred Band, of forgoten, speaks somewhat against the views of some regarding 'gays' in the military.

I am not gay, but I hope I never felt there was any lack of courage ever to be shown by those who served and are serving in our forces.

It seems more likely that the Armed forces will not 'be allowed" to win in Iraq when, to some extent, it has now been shown that they can win.

Partisan Politics played a large part in the Battle of Manzikert, perhaps the final field battle that started Byzantium's long slide to oblivion.

I hope this is not to be our own fate.

I can never find out enough about the Sacred band, so I hope others have input.

"All Enlightenment Gratefully Accepted"
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Postby Hugh » Tue Nov 20, 2007 3:47 pm

John, about the only thing that I would add to your post is that, after Phillip's assassination, Alexander had his hands full in Macedonia for a while consolidating his hold on that kingdom. During this period, several of the Greek city states rebelled against his overlord status, particularly egged by Demosthenes of Athens. But he leading city militarily was Thebes and she paid theprice when Alexander suppressed the rebellion. He had Thebes razed to the ground and all of its military age men slaughtered with the rest of the population sold into slavery. Rome did a similar thing to Carthage and, later, to Corinth but Rome then planted Roman colonies where the old cities had been, hence you get Paul's letters to the Corinthians and Augustine operating out of Cathage. Alexander refused to allow anyone to settle where Thebes had been and Thebes ceased its existence at that point.

There has been a suspicion that he did not do the same to Athens as he had too much respect for its history and culture. You must remember that Alexander's tutor as a boy was no less than Aristotle, an Athenian.
Trying to Walk in the Light, Hugh
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Postby JOHN THURSTON » Wed Nov 21, 2007 6:35 pm

Well Hugh:

I must say that when you add info it is excellent and i appreciate it.

I did not know about the toalt raising of Thebes and Corinth at all.

some things to get missed.

Thanks a lot my friend.

"All Enlightenment Gratefully Accepted"
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Joined: Sat Nov 28, 1998 6:01 am

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