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Thread: The Spartan Myth

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    The Spartan Myth

    I meant to post this back in July when I first watched it. This guy argues that military prowess, for example, wasn't something the Spartans were known for by their 5th and 4th Century contemporaries. Like other aspects of Spartan what became the Spartan myth it was the product of later image making or, in a word, propaganda. Like most of you, this runs against almost everything I've ever heard or read about the Spartans.

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    Spartans were a bunch of freaks and pedo's. Creepy, shameful time period in history.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just AnotherPerson View Post
    Spartans were a bunch of freaks and pedo's. Creepy, shameful time period in history.
    Greeks in general believed in man-boy "love", although I think those relationships developed when the younger one reached puberty. So the Spartans are not different for that. There was a sort of myth that Spartans were better than other Greeks on land. But if you read what the contemporaries wrote the Spartan phalanx were beat many times by the phalanxes of other city states. Such as Athens. From what I have read, which is a lot, I believe the Spartan phalangite was superior but the leadership was is what determined who won battles.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter1469 View Post
    Greeks in general believed in man-boy "love", although I think those relationships developed when the younger one reached puberty. So the Spartans are not different for that. There was a sort of myth that Spartans were better than other Greeks on land. But if you read what the contemporaries wrote the Spartan phalanx were beat many times by the phalanxes of other city states. Such as Athens. From what I have read, which is a lot, I believe the Spartan phalangite was superior but the leadership was is what determined who won battles.
    Right. Pederasty is not pedophilia. Its...well gay.

    Anyway, not sure what to make of this but at the very least I can accept the idea that the Spartans both cultivated and capitalized on a certain image of Sparta. I just don't know to what extent this image reflected reality.
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    I prefer to believe what Ive been told my entire life...because whats the difference at this point SPARTA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.

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    The "shameful times" are now. Things we do today would not have been accepted by the ancients either.
    Greece was a spearpoint of western civilization and like all things tied to any form of western civilization they are under attack now by socialist and communists. We are all, to some extent...Greeks.

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    Something I read recently in Numa Denis Fustel de Coulanges's The Ancient City, a chapter on war and military. In ancient times, armies would not go into battle unless the gods somehow communicated their approval, read in stars, bones, lots. Accordingly, the Spartans would line up for battle, shields and weapons at ease, even as the enemy attacked, awaiting a sign from the gods. This may have contributed to their prowess.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    Something I read recently in Numa Denis Fustel de Coulanges's The Ancient City, a chapter on war and military. In ancient times, armies would not go into battle unless the gods somehow communicated their approval, read in stars, bones, lots. Accordingly, the Spartans would line up for battle, shields and weapons at ease, even as the enemy attacked, awaiting a sign from the gods. This may have contributed to their prowess.
    I'm not sure they took it that far but that ancient states did not commit their armies to battle in what were perceived as unfavorable (cosmic) circumstances is plausible in light of the evidence.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister D View Post
    I'm not sure they took it that far but that ancient states did not commit their armies to battle in what were perceived as unfavorable (cosmic) circumstances is plausible in light of the evidence.
    Found the passage, the stuff of legends!

    Let us now examine a Greek army, and we will take for example the battle of Plataea. The Spartans are drawn up in line; each one has his post for battle. They all have crowns upon their heads, and the flute-players sound the religious hymns. The king, a little in rear of the ranks, slaughters the victims. But the entrails do not give the favorable signs, and the sacrifice must be repeated. Two, three, four victims are successively immolated. During this time the Persian cavalry approach, shoot their arrows, and kill quite a number of Spartans. The Spartans remain immovable, their shields placed at their feet, without even putting themselves on the defensive against the arrows of the enemy. They await the signal of the gods. At last the victims offer the favorable signs; then the Spartans raise their shields, seize their swords, move on to battle, and are victorious.
    https://socialsciences.mcmaster.ca/e...ncientCity.pdf (.PDF)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister D View Post

    Anyway, not sure what to make of this but at the very least I can accept the idea that the Spartans both cultivated and capitalized on a certain image of Sparta. I just don't know to what extent this image reflected reality.
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    Our sissified, childish, vindictive, and escapist academic historians reflect fantasy, so I'll stick with the traditional view of the Spartans:

    Metal Against Straw
    The Battle of Plataea (479 BC)

    Greeks: 100,000 (led by Spartans)
    Persians: 300,000 ancient Iranian trash
    Greek fatalities: 1,400
    Persian fatalities: 250,000
    On the outside, trickling down on the Insiders

    Hey, Preppies! Imagine the boot of democracy stomping on your face, forever.

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