Monday, 30 April 2012

Ancient Greece

Ive recently added new page focusing on Ancient Greece (you can find it in the main menu tab) - ancient Greek warfare, detailed information about army units, including many great images. Its an ongoing project, so at the moment I focused on hoplites, however soon you will be able to find much more information. Now you can enjoy:

Ancient Greek warfare - short history about how the ancient Greek army developed
    • Phalanx - everything about this formation you would like to know

The Sacred Band of Theban - an inspiring "alternative" to 300 Spartan cliche

Colorful history of 300 elite soldiers who defeated Spartans on many occasions, were invincible for over 40 years and in the final battle against overwhelming forces didn't surrender and died with honor.
  • The Sacred Band of Thebes were the elite forces of the Theban army in the 4th century BC. Originally it was formed of 300 hand-picked men, all housed and trained at the city's expense in order to fight as hoplites.
  • They became, in effect, the "special forces" of Greek soldiery and the forty years of their known existence (378–338 BC) marked the pre-eminence of Thebes as a military and political power in late-classical Greece.
  • The Sacred Band under Pelopidas fought the Spartans at Tegyra in 375 BC, routing an army that was at least three times its size.
  • It was also responsible for the victory at Leuctra in 371 BC (against Spartans), called by Pausanias the most decisive battle ever fought by Greeks against Greeks.
  • Defeat of that formation came at the Battle of Chaeronea (338 BC), the decisive contest in which Philip II of Macedon, with his son Alexander, extinguished Theban hegemony.
  • Plutarch says that Alexander the Great was the "first to break the ranks of the Sacred Band of the Thebans", which have previously been seen as invincible (with help of the heavy cavalry and the novel long-speared Macedonian phalanx)
  • The Thebans of the Sacred Band held their ground, although surrounded and overwhelmed, refused to surrender and nearly all 300 fell where they stood beside their last commander, Theagenes.



  1. The Sacred Band consisted of 150 pairs of lovers. The band was known as 'Sacred', says Plutarch, because each couple swore sacred vows to one another at the shrine of Iolaus (Hercules' lover). Athenaeus of Naucratis writes that it was fear of losing honour in his lover's eyes that led the band to fight so fiercely.

  2. Nice read i have with your post and yeah... an inspiring "alternative" to 300 Spartan cliche!

    Greetings from México.