Saturday, October 6, 2018

Theban's Sacred Band of Thebes

Sacred Band of Thebes, a battalion composed of 150 pairs of male lovers, maintained at state expense, who were station on the battlefield in couples, thus establishing a noble precedent for homosexual in the military.

This force created by Theban general Gorgidas in 378 BC. It was probably first formed as a guard for the city-state’s citadel. At first the Sacred Band did not distinguish itself in combat; possibly because Gorgidas placed it soldiers in the front ranks of the central Theban phalanx, where it was integrated with other soldiers.
This did not allow the special training of the Band to be demonstrated because other less talented soldiers diluted the Band’s strength.

Established after the liberation of Thebes from the Spartans, this battalion contributed to Thebes’ military prestige until its heroic end at Chaeronea in 338 BC. Apparently Gorgidas was killed in some skirmish shortly after he founded the band, for the next year its leadership passed to Pelopidas, the young Theban, who had led the exiles in there rebellion.

The scared Band achieved its reputation by defeating the premiere army of ancient Greece, the Spartans, but they could not match the new organization and tactics introduced by Philip, whose army, under his son Alexander, would conquer most of the known world.
Theban's Sacred Band of Thebes

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