How homosexuals smashed the Spartans
The Persians are betting on Sparta. After the reflection of the Persian invasion of Hellas more than 100 years passed. Much has changed since then. The brilliant take-off of Athens has sunk into the past, the silent witnesses of which are the ruins of magnificent buildings. The long war between Athens and Sparta, the defeat of Athens and the collapse of their sea power were gradually forgotten. Not long enjoyed the fruits of victory and Sparta - not only Athens, but also her former allies, supported by Persia, came out against it.
When the exhausted Sparta ceased to instill fear in the Persian king, he forced the Greeks to make peace among themselves and dictated his terms to the Greek ambassadors who arrived in the Persian capital. Sparta again began to impose its will on the Greeks, but now by the grace of the Persian king. The Spartans unceremoniously interfered in the affairs of the rest of the Greeks, overthrew, where they could, democracy, put their supporters-oligarchs in power and placed garrisons.Citizens hated the oligarchs, but they were supported by the Spartan garrisons, whose chiefs were the real rulers.
And where are the homosexuals?
Wait a bit ...
Even in Thebes, their old ally, the Spartans planted their garrison and executed it in part, partly driving out supporters of democracy. Those who managed to survive, found shelter from their neighbors - in Athens. The Athenians always competed with the Thebans, often fought against them, but now they were united by a common hatred for the Spartans, whose rudeness and arrogance became unbearable.
Sparta was still considered the most militarily powerful state in Greece. Meanwhile, the situation in the country gradually changed not in favor of the Spartans.
The Spartans, although they were not supermen, as they are described in mass culture, were the strongest warriors of Greece. Yes, they sometimes won, but in open battle "wall to wall" the Spartan phalanx was unbreakable. At least it was considered as such until 371 BC. er
Epaminondas and his new military tactics. The Theban Democrats, with the support of the Athenians, secretly returned to their native city, killed the oligarchs and expelled the Spartan garrison.Epaminondas became the outstanding military leader of the Thebans. He introduced a new military tactics, which he brilliantly applied when the Spartans tried to restore their domination in Boeotia by force.
It was at Levktrah on August 5, 371 BC, where 10 thousand Spartans led by King Cleombrot and 6 thousand Thebantans of Epaminondas met. The enemy troops came together near the city of Levktra. Theban commander Epaminondas decided to apply (for the first time in history) the tactics of an oblique order.
Usually in wars between the Greeks, the outcome of the battle was decided by a head-on collision between two phalanx of the hoplites. The side whose phalanx was more numerous and, consequently, had more rows in depth, had won, its blow was therefore more powerful. The resilience of warriors meant a lot in the battle, the ability of everyone to keep their place in the ranks and help their comrades standing side by side, in this the Spartans had no equal for themselves for a long time. The highest and strongest warriors were built on the right flank, so he was considered the strongest and usually decided the outcome of the battle.
In the battle of Leuvtras, the Thebans first used the so-called "oblique wedge" tactic: Epaminond was the first of the generals in world history to discover the principle of concentrating forces on the direction of the main attack.If the Spartans lined up for battle as usual, then the Thebans did not set their line parallel to Spartan, but at an angle, pushing the right flank away from the enemy and strengthening the left flank against the right flank of the Spartans.
This flank, by its numerical superiority, pierces the enemy's line and goes to the rear, which is fatal for the phalanx. Epaminondas assembled selected Theban forces on the left flank, just opposite the Spartans. The center and right flank were to restrain the Spartan allies, weaker troops.
The battle began cavalry. The Theban cavalry quickly turned the enemy to flight, and the defeated cavalry crushed its own ranks. Confusion in the structure of the enemy took advantage of Epaminondas and moved the infantry into battle. At the beginning, the Spartans won, but in the course of the battle, they were physically destroyed by the superior number of the Thebans (the Spartans had no more than 12 rows in depth, while the Thebans had 50). Especially distinguished Sacred squad, 300 selected warriors of Thebes. Having lost about 400 of 700 soldiers, the Spartans began to retreat, and soon their example was followed by less disciplined units. They retreated to their original camp.We must pay tribute to the Lacedaemonians: even after being defeated, they did not take the camp by storm. The fight was over.
The right wing of the Spartan army was defeated, and the losses amounted to about a thousand people, among whom was the Spartan king Cleombrot, who belonged to the same dynasty as Leonid. Having counted their losses and sensing the mood of the allies, the polemarches unanimously decided to ask for peace from Thebes.
Theban commander Epaminondas made a revolution in the history of military art. He developed tactics to concentrate superior forces on the direction of the main strike. The order of the Thebans, who used Epaminondas in the battle of Leuvtra and in the battle of Mantinea, allowed to crush the Spartan hegemony in Greece. The Boeotians tried to use the deep construction even before Epaminondas, at the Battle of Delia.
And now the most interesting thing about the Sacred Squad. These were the elite Theban warriors who were tied together by ... love. And love is homosexual. Epaminond himself was distinguished by his love for his neighbor, this was not considered shameful by something (he once defended his wounded friend at the cost of his life).The detachment was divided into 150 pairs of men who stood shoulder to shoulder. It was believed that a warrior would not be afraid if his beloved was with him.
The holy squad of Thebes is an unexpected and one-of-a-kind event in military history. This select military unit consisted of homosexual couples and became one of the most formidable military formations of antiquity, because, as Plutarch said, “the union of lovers increased its combat capability.” In fact, the detachment did not know defeat until the battle of Heronei, when the Macedonian king Philip II and Alexander of Macedon inflicted a crushing defeat.
For the first time the Sacred Squad is mentioned in connection with the battle of Tehira, which occurred in the early spring of 375 BC, although this military unit existed before that. At the origins of its creation was the Theban aristocrat Gorgid. The detachment consisted of 150 homosexual male couples. Gorgid took over the creation and recruitment of people in the Holy Battalion. His fighters were young aristocrats who were educated at the gymnasium, where same-sex relationships were commonplace.
It should be noted that the idea of homosexuality in ancient Greece was different from the modern one.Sometimes they confuse homosexual relations between adults, who were strictly condemned by the Greek people, with pederasty, that is, relations between an adult man and a youth. In some cities, such relationships were part of the education system for adolescents from aristocratic families. Something similar happened in Thebes, where male couples consisted of an adult and a young man. The elder was responsible for preparing and educating his ward, primarily in matters of morality, instilling in him such values as devotion, loyalty and moderation.
After a period of strict upbringing, a close personal and professional connection was established between them. The ancient Greek historian Plutarch asserted that homosexual relations were the strength of the detachment, since “a system united by mutual love is indissoluble and indestructible, since those who love, ashamed to discover their cowardice, always remain beside each other in case of danger”.
The idea was that the detachment would fight extremely selflessly, since the soldiers would not want to disgrace each other, and in the event of the death of one of the lovers, the second would fight to the death to avenge his honor and put the body to the earth.The authors of Theban legislation were well aware of all the advantages of the detachment and strongly encouraged homosexual relations in order to maintain a high level of combat readiness of their troops.
The morale of the members of the Sacred Squad was reinforced by numerous mythological examples in which they saw their reflection. The Theban aristocracy cited as an example to follow the mythical hero Iolaus, a young athlete, a horse charmer, an inseparable friend and lover of Hercules. It came to the point that male lovers swore allegiance to each other in front of Iolaus’s grave. Moreover, the main myth of the city was the story of Theban king Lai, who kidnapped his teenage stepson Chrysippus and raped him. It was from this episode that pederasty began to be honored in Greece.
For 33 years, the Sacred Squad became the most victorious foot force in Greece. The city authorities provided them with food and money, even in peacetime, and military work was their only occupation. In peacetime, this professional army of constant readiness was located in the city of Cadmey by a garrison.
The sacred squad participated as the advance force of the Theban troops in the battles of Levtrah and Mantinea, during which the power of the Spartans was thoroughly undermined. Before these battles, Thebes was under the rule of Sparta, and only thanks to the military talent of General Epaminondas was it possible to increase the fighting capacity of the Theban troops. He is considered one of the greatest military geniuses of antiquity, and the Roman orator Cicero called him "the main man of Greece."
Philip II and Alexander the Great against Thebes and Athens
The Thebans defeated the Spartans, who were considered invincible warriors, but their dominion lasted only until Macedonia reached maturity. Macedonian king Philip II spent a few days as a hostage in his childhood in Thebes. After returning home, he set himself the goal of reforming the Macedonian army, based on the traditional Greek phalanx, but with the addition of some tactical elements to give it more flexibility. Thus, he hoped to subjugate those Greek cities that continued to view the Macedonian kingdom as a country of barbarians.A significant part of these tactics he borrowed directly from the Thebans.
Subjugating the six major Greek city-states and having achieved from Athens a union favorable for Macedonia, in the middle of the 4th century BC Philip II went to Sparta and sent a message to the leaders, which at some other time would only provoke the formidable Spartans: , and the city itself will erase from the face of the Earth. " But the Spartan warriors were no longer the same as before, and chose to give way to Philip II than to enter into war with him.
So, in 340 BC. Athens was convinced that direct hostilities were the only way to moderate the unbridled appetites of Philip II. Together with his teenage son Alexander Philip II invaded Central Greece and in the battle of Heronea (338 BC), he defeated the Thebans and the Athenians.
Little information remained about that battle, but it is known that the young Alexander, who commanded the Macedonian cavalry, wrote the first lines in his brilliant military biography.While on the left flank the Macedonian infantry oppressed the troops of the Athenians, Alexander of Macedon sent the cavalry squad of the Getairas against a select squad of Theban infantry deployed on the extreme right flank.
When the defeat was already inevitable, the Sacred Squad steadfastly held on to the last warrior and was brutally exterminated. Plutarch writes that all 300 soldiers died that day. But according to the remains found in a mass grave in Heronei, in fact, 254 people died, while the rest were injured or taken prisoner.
It is Plutarch who claims that upon seeing the mountain of bodies, Philip II said with respect: "Let him die who suspects that they have done something wrong."
During that battle, Thebes and Athens lost about 2,000 fighters. Over 4,000 soldiers were captured. The Battle of Heronee was one of the most decisive battles of antiquity. After that, Alexander the Great established his authority over Greece and created the Corinthian Union, which included all Greek states, with the exception of Sparta. The most interesting thing is that Macedonia has partially used the tactics of the Thebans to occupy their throne.