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Athenians, in particular, held a special contempt for Thebes due to the latter's actions in the Peloponnesian War ; as well as the Thebans' destruction of Plataea in BC, and the invasion of the Athenian-allied Boeotian city of Oropus in BC. Demosthenes records this sentiment very clearly in a disclaimer in his speech On the Navy BC : "It is difficult to speak to you about [Thebans], because you have such a hearty dislike of them that you would not care to hear any good of them, even if it were true.

This sentiment changed in BC, when Thebes abruptly severed its alliance with Philip II after being convinced by a speech from Demosthenes and joined the Athenian-led Pan-Hellenic alliance against Macedonia. The result being the annihilation of the Sacred Band in Chaeronea and the destruction of the city of Thebes itself in BC by the Macedonians.

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In light of these actions, Athenians eventually changed their opinions on Thebes, now regarding it in a sympathetic light as a fallen ally. It was during this period that much of the accounts favorable to Thebans were at last written. Works by authors like Anaximenes of Lampsacus , Aristoxenus , Callisthenes, Daimachus , Dinarchus, and Ephorus are believed to have been written between and BC. Except for Dinarchus, almost all of them have been lost to history or survive only in fragments. Among them are Ephorus and Callisthenes who were contemporaries of the Theban hegemony and the Sacred Band.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Sacred band. This article's lead section does not adequately summarize key points of its contents. Please consider expanding the lead to provide an accessible overview of all important aspects of the article. Please discuss this issue on the article's talk page. August See also: Ancient Thebes Boeotia. And if there were only some way of contriving that a state or an army should be made up of lovers and their beloved, they would be the very best governors of their own city, abstaining from all dishonour, and emulating one another in honour; and when fighting at each other's side, although a mere handful, they would overcome the world.

For what lover would not choose rather to be seen by all mankind than by his beloved, either when abandoning his post or throwing away his arms? He would be ready to die a thousand deaths rather than endure this. Or who would desert his beloved or fail him in the hour of danger? See also: Boeotian War , Theban hegemony , and Spartan hegemony. Main article: Battle of Tegyra. Main article: Battle of Leuctra. See also: Epaminondas. Main article: Battle of Chaeronea BC.

See also: Chaeronea. Although they initially fought as horsemen, during the 4th century BC they primarily fought as hoplite heavy infantry. Compare with Knight. Stylianou believes that only one Spartan mora was defeated in the battle, and that accounts of two morai is a result of the inadvertent inclusion of the second mora in Orchomenus which might have moved out to intercept Pelopidas after he defeated the first one, though they never met in battle.

The number of spartiates have been falling catastrophically for over a century, numbering at perhaps not more than 1, by the time of the Battle of Leuctra. At the Battle of Nemea BC , for example, spartiates still constituted 6, hoplites of an army 19, strong. Chrissanthos, ; Gabriel, Others believe that this action was pre-planned perhaps even rehearsed and independently performed as part of the Sacred Band's role in the battle.

Ashley, Benjamin Jowett, c. Shrimpton Classical Association of Canada. Against Demosthenes. Homosexuality and Civilization. Harvard University Press. Bernadotte Perrin, 75 AD.


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The Life of Pelopidas. Loeb Classical Library edition. University of California. Shepherd, Cohoon, Loeb Classical Library. Yonge, c. In Beert C. Verstraete; Vernon Provencal eds. University of Chicago Press. Military Theory and Practice in the Age of Xenophon. University of California Press. Dakyns [c. But Pausanias, the lover of Agathon the poet, defended those who wallow together in licentiousness and said that an army composed of lovers and beloveds would be strongest.

For he said that they would be ashamed to abandon each other in battle. But it would be quite extraordinary if those who are used to paying no attention to censure and to having no sense of shame before each other should nevertheless be ashamed to perform a shameful action. As proof he brought the example of the Thebans and the Eleans who are experienced with such things, and he claimed that even though they sleep with their beloveds, they still set them together in their ranks for battle.

But there is no proof from this, for the situation is not similar: for them this practice is acceptable, but for us it is exceedingly shameful. Greek, Roman and Byzantine Studies. Cambridge University Press. History Today. DeVoto The Ancient World. John Dryden , Parallel Lives. Hamish Ion; Keith Neilson eds. Elite Military Formations in War and Peace. Greenwood Publishing Group. Ashley Murray Munn Oldfather, Bibliotheca Historica. Spartan Warrior BC.

Osprey Publishing. Democracy and Classical Greece. Excellentium Imperatorum Vitae. A History of Greece, Volume 5. Philip II and the Sacred War. Brill Archive. Warhorse: Cavalry in Ancient Warfare. Continuum International Publishing Group. Buck Boiotia and the Boiotian League, B.

University of Alberta. Blackwell Publishing.


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Xenophon and the Art of Command. Stackpole Books. Gaebel Cavalry Operations in the Ancient Greek World. University of Oklahoma Press. Stylianou Oxford Classical Monographs. Oxford University Press. Description of Greece. In Mogens Herman Hansen ed. Chrissanthos Gabriel Great Captains of Antiquity. Potomac Books, Inc. The Art of War in Western World. University of Illinois Press.

Arthur Majoor The Army Doctrine and Training Bulletin. Archived from the original PDF on Traver Kurt P. Vandersteen Retrieved 27 March Odysseus, Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Retrieved August 3, As you approach the city you see a common grave of the Thebans who were killed in the struggle against Philip. It has no inscription, but is surmounted by a lion, probably a reference to the spirit of the men.

That there is no inscription is, in my opinion, because their courage was not favoured by appropriate good fortune. Chaeroneia is near Orchomenus. It was here that Philip the son of Amyntas conquered the Athenians, Boeotians, and Corinthians in a great battle, and set himself up as lord of Greece. And here, too, are to be seen tombs of those who fell in the battle, tombs erected at public expense. Second Series. Dictionary of National Biography, , Volume Lethaby The Journal of Hellenic Studies. The Companion Guide to Mainland Greece. Companion Guides. The Academy. IX : — London: John Murray.

Tod American Journal of Archaeology. Rahe Hambledon Continuum. Pausanias' Guide to Ancient Greece. Studies in the Ancient Greek Polis , Volume 1. Franz Steiner Verlag. Classical Receptions Journal. Volume Plutarch, On the Daimonion of Socrates. In Konrad H.

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Kinzl ed. A Companion to the Classical Greek World. On the Navy. Ancient Greece. History Geography. City states Politics Military. Apella Ephor Gerousia. Synedrion Koinon. List of ancient Greeks. Philosophers Playwrights Poets Tyrants. Society Culture. Greek colonisation.

Category Portal Outline. LGBT military and veteran groups. Sacred Band of Thebes. Sexual orientation and gender identity in military service. Androutsos is held to have been the one to unearth the statue during his tenure as local military governor by Ali Pasha of Yanina in , but the statue had likely fallen apart due to the poor quality of the pedestal's material.

Offers in the late 19th century by the British archeologist Cecil Harcourt Smith to fund the restoration of Lion of Chaeronea was initially refused by the Greeks. In the late 19th century, excavations in the area revealed that the monument stood at the edge of a quadrangular enclosure. Excavation of the tumulus between and by the archeologist Georgios Soteriades confirmed this.

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Recovered among these were vases and coins dated to the 4th century BC. The skeletons within the enclosure of the lion monument are generally accepted to be the remains of the Sacred Band, [70] [71] as the number given by Plutarch was probably an approximation. Hammond claims it was the place where Philip turned his army around during the Battle of Chaeronea and believes that it contains the members of the Macedonian right flank who perished. He argues that it is highly improbable that the Thebans would be able to commemorate their dead within Philip's lifetime with such a massive and obviously expensive monument.

In addition to Pausanias and Strabo, Justin also clearly says that Philip forced the Thebans to pay for the privilege of burying not cremating their dead. Therefore, the cremated remains are likely to be Macedonian, while the remains around the lion were the Sacred Band.

Philip, after all, was known for his ability to inflict unnecessary cruelty when it served a greater purpose. He further points out that questioning the honesty of Pausanias is unwarranted, as any well-informed Greek then would probably know the ascription of the monument even centuries after the battle; Pausanias' knowledge of topography was not second-hand and his testimony was echoed independently by other ancient sources such as Strabo and Justin. The historicity of the Sacred Band is largely accepted by historians; it is detailed in the writings of numerous classical authors, especially Plutarch.

Noted classical historians like John Kinloch Anderson and George Cawkwell accept Plutarch's Life of Pelopidas , which contains the most detailed account of the Sacred Band, as a highly reliable account of the events, in contrast to Xenophon's patchy treatment of Theban history.

Walbank commented that his depictions of the Battle of the Eurymedon , Gaugamela , and Tegyra all surviving through Plutarch are quite adequate. While Jacoby, responding to claims that Callisthenes was unreliable in accounts of land battles in contrast to Xenophon, pointed out that Callisthenes did accurately describe the details on the Battle of Tegyra.

He summarized his opinion of Callisthenes' account with " Sie ist panegyrisch gehalten, aber sachlich nicht unrichtig. There is nothing implausible or unusual in Plutarch's account, and every reason to consider it one of the best of his battle pieces. The historian Gordon S.

Shrimpton further provides an explanation for Xenophon's silence on much of Theban history. He notes that all the surviving contemporary accounts of Thebes during the period of Theban hegemony between and BC were often highly critical; with their failures ridiculed and their accomplishments usually being downplayed or omitted altogether. For instance, the Athenian Isocrates — BC in his Plataicus which details the destruction of Plataea by the Thebans , makes no mention of the Theban victory in Leuctra, and harshly reviles Thebes throughout. His later work Archidamus mention Leuctra briefly, and only to criticize Thebans as being incompetent and incapable of capitalizing on their rise to power.

Xenophon, another Athenian, is the only contemporary who grudgingly notes some Theban accomplishments, and even then, never in-depth and with numerous omissions. His only mentions of Pelopidas and Epaminondas by name, for example, were very brief and shed no light on their previous accomplishments.

The most unfriendly writers like Xenophon and Isocrates could do was omit his accomplishments in their work altogether. Shrimpton believes that the apparent indifference of earlier authors was due to the general hatred by other Greeks against the Thebans who had medized i. Athenians, in particular, held a special contempt for Thebes due to the latter's actions in the Peloponnesian War ; as well as the Thebans' destruction of Plataea in BC, and the invasion of the Athenian-allied Boeotian city of Oropus in BC.

Demosthenes records this sentiment very clearly in a disclaimer in his speech On the Navy BC : "It is difficult to speak to you about [Thebans], because you have such a hearty dislike of them that you would not care to hear any good of them, even if it were true. This sentiment changed in BC, when Thebes abruptly severed its alliance with Philip II after being convinced by a speech from Demosthenes and joined the Athenian-led Pan-Hellenic alliance against Macedonia.

The result being the annihilation of the Sacred Band in Chaeronea and the destruction of the city of Thebes itself in BC by the Macedonians. In light of these actions, Athenians eventually changed their opinions on Thebes, now regarding it in a sympathetic light as a fallen ally. It was during this period that much of the accounts favorable to Thebans were at last written. Works by authors like Anaximenes of Lampsacus , Aristoxenus , Callisthenes, Daimachus , Dinarchus, and Ephorus are believed to have been written between and BC.

Except for Dinarchus, almost all of them have been lost to history or survive only in fragments. Among them are Ephorus and Callisthenes who were contemporaries of the Theban hegemony and the Sacred Band. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Sacred band. This article's lead section does not adequately summarize key points of its contents. Please consider expanding the lead to provide an accessible overview of all important aspects of the article. Please discuss this issue on the article's talk page.

go site August See also: Ancient Thebes Boeotia. And if there were only some way of contriving that a state or an army should be made up of lovers and their beloved, they would be the very best governors of their own city, abstaining from all dishonour, and emulating one another in honour; and when fighting at each other's side, although a mere handful, they would overcome the world. For what lover would not choose rather to be seen by all mankind than by his beloved, either when abandoning his post or throwing away his arms?

He would be ready to die a thousand deaths rather than endure this. Or who would desert his beloved or fail him in the hour of danger? See also: Boeotian War , Theban hegemony , and Spartan hegemony. Main article: Battle of Tegyra. Main article: Battle of Leuctra. See also: Epaminondas. Main article: Battle of Chaeronea BC. See also: Chaeronea. Although they initially fought as horsemen, during the 4th century BC they primarily fought as hoplite heavy infantry. Compare with Knight. Stylianou believes that only one Spartan mora was defeated in the battle, and that accounts of two morai is a result of the inadvertent inclusion of the second mora in Orchomenus which might have moved out to intercept Pelopidas after he defeated the first one, though they never met in battle.

The number of spartiates have been falling catastrophically for over a century, numbering at perhaps not more than 1, by the time of the Battle of Leuctra. At the Battle of Nemea BC , for example, spartiates still constituted 6, hoplites of an army 19, strong. Chrissanthos, ; Gabriel, Others believe that this action was pre-planned perhaps even rehearsed and independently performed as part of the Sacred Band's role in the battle. Ashley, Benjamin Jowett, c. Shrimpton Classical Association of Canada. Against Demosthenes. Homosexuality and Civilization. Harvard University Press. Bernadotte Perrin, 75 AD.

The Life of Pelopidas. Loeb Classical Library edition. University of California. Shepherd, Cohoon, Loeb Classical Library. Yonge, c. In Beert C. Verstraete; Vernon Provencal eds. University of Chicago Press. Military Theory and Practice in the Age of Xenophon.

University of California Press. Dakyns [c. But Pausanias, the lover of Agathon the poet, defended those who wallow together in licentiousness and said that an army composed of lovers and beloveds would be strongest. For he said that they would be ashamed to abandon each other in battle. But it would be quite extraordinary if those who are used to paying no attention to censure and to having no sense of shame before each other should nevertheless be ashamed to perform a shameful action. As proof he brought the example of the Thebans and the Eleans who are experienced with such things, and he claimed that even though they sleep with their beloveds, they still set them together in their ranks for battle.

But there is no proof from this, for the situation is not similar: for them this practice is acceptable, but for us it is exceedingly shameful. Greek, Roman and Byzantine Studies.


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    Table of contents

    Philip II and the Sacred War. Brill Archive. Warhorse: Cavalry in Ancient Warfare. Continuum International Publishing Group. Buck Boiotia and the Boiotian League, B. University of Alberta. Blackwell Publishing. Xenophon and the Art of Command. Stackpole Books. Gaebel Cavalry Operations in the Ancient Greek World. University of Oklahoma Press. Stylianou Oxford Classical Monographs. Oxford University Press. Description of Greece. In Mogens Herman Hansen ed.

    Chrissanthos Gabriel Great Captains of Antiquity. Potomac Books, Inc. The Art of War in Western World. University of Illinois Press. Arthur Majoor The Army Doctrine and Training Bulletin. Archived from the original PDF on Traver Kurt P. Vandersteen Retrieved 27 March Odysseus, Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Retrieved August 3, As you approach the city you see a common grave of the Thebans who were killed in the struggle against Philip. It has no inscription, but is surmounted by a lion, probably a reference to the spirit of the men.

    That there is no inscription is, in my opinion, because their courage was not favoured by appropriate good fortune. Chaeroneia is near Orchomenus. It was here that Philip the son of Amyntas conquered the Athenians, Boeotians, and Corinthians in a great battle, and set himself up as lord of Greece. And here, too, are to be seen tombs of those who fell in the battle, tombs erected at public expense.

    Second Series. Dictionary of National Biography, , Volume Lethaby The Journal of Hellenic Studies. The Companion Guide to Mainland Greece. Companion Guides. The Academy. IX : —