Author Topic: The Spartans Were Morons  (Read 6470 times)

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Offline daftandbarmy

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The Spartans Were Morons
« on: January 21, 2018, 14:17:41 »
Yup....   :nod:

The Spartans Were Morons

Let’s face it, the Spartans were morons.

The next time you see a middle-aged, bearded, chubby cop or military dude dressed up like Donny Delta Force in morale patches, Velcro and “operator gear” festooned with Spartan helmet insignia, ask yourself: What are they really laying claim to?

https://taskandpurpose.com/the-spartans-were-morons/?utm_content=tp-facebook&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social


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Re: The Spartans Were Morons
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2018, 14:43:50 »
Interesting article, thanks.

Offline Remius

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Re: The Spartans Were Morons
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2018, 15:10:25 »
Good article.  More people should learn a bit more about them before they espouse their value system or hold them up as paragons of humanity...
« Last Edit: January 21, 2018, 15:53:36 by Remius »
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Offline Old Sweat

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Re: The Spartans Were Morons
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2018, 16:22:32 »
And they would have been too proud to understand and use the magic phrase "FPF Fire, over."

Offline Chris Pook

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Re: The Spartans Were Morons
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2018, 16:35:28 »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPFQPJ6BWlU&t=13s

A really interesting video documentary on the Spartans - from an admiring female academic.
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Offline Altair

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Re: The Spartans Were Morons
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2018, 16:40:58 »
The spartan leadership were morons,  but nobody who wears a patch with a spartan helmet are paying respect to the spartan leadership.

They are paying respect to the spartan warrior,  to the notion that quality beats quantity,  and the notion of a total warrior,  born and breed.

Doesn't mean they are right,  and the spartans downfall shows the limits to that philosophy
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Online Kat Stevens

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Re: The Spartans Were Morons
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2018, 17:01:14 »
The 300 at the Hot Gates are not memorialized for their tactics, their brilliance or the latest in ground to ground ballistic javelins tech. It is their willingness to throw themselves into that gap knowing the likelihood of return was pretty thin. The individual Spartan hoplite was the definition of devotion to becoming the best death dealer he could be. They are a symbol of a few things some people still hold in pretty high esteem, dedication, duty, loyalty and courage.  Pretty moronic concepts now, I agree.
Apparently, a "USUAL SUSPECT"

“In peace there's nothing so becomes a man as modest stillness and humility; but when the blast of war blows in our ears, then imitate the action of the tiger; stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood, disguise fair nature with hard-favor'd rage.”

 Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and start slitting throats

Offline winnipegoo7

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Re: The Spartans Were Morons
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2018, 17:16:05 »
I think that article was written by a moron.

Offline Dimsum

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Re: The Spartans Were Morons
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2018, 17:17:32 »
I think that article was written by a moron.

Why do you think so? 

I'm not agreeing or disagreeing - I haven't read it yet.  Just wondering why.
Philip II of Macedon to Spartans (346 BC):  "You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city."

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Offline Remius

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Re: The Spartans Were Morons
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2018, 17:41:56 »
The 300 at the Hot Gates are not memorialized for their tactics, their brilliance or the latest in ground to ground ballistic javelins tech. It is their willingness to throw themselves into that gap knowing the likelihood of return was pretty thin. The individual Spartan hoplite was the definition of devotion to becoming the best death dealer he could be. They are a symbol of a few things some people still hold in pretty high esteem, dedication, duty, loyalty and courage.  Pretty moronic concepts now, I agree.

The problem, is when you dig deep enough you see that a lot of that version of what’s the Spartans were is a lot of propaganda and overblown myth making.  Even at the time.  Sparta was always concerned for Sparta.  No one else.  They fought to maintain their society which was all about keeping their slaves under control.  They cared very little for concepts of freedom or democracy or whatever Hollywood’s would have you believe.  They trained for war to keep their slaves from revolting to maintain their way of life.  That’s pretty much it.  Ever wonder why they only sent 300? Because everyone else were needed to keep the population in check.

Now if people want to believe in those things that you listed I have no issues with that.  Heck if they want to believe that Spartans were all that and a bag of chips and it makes them better people for it, cool.

From a historical perspective though, they were psychopaths that wanted to maintain a way of living that meant treating other people harshly even for the standard of those times.

The idea of sparta that we think of today is a noble one.  The reality is far from it.

Calling them morons is a bit of a simplification as i believe they were quite canny.  They avoided war far more than they engaged in it.  That required a lot of diplomacy and lot of acumen to pit your adversaries against each other.
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Re: The Spartans Were Morons
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2018, 18:06:56 »
Got it. We judge ancient people looking through a lens coloured by todays moral standards. Nobody born before facebook is worthy of any sort of admiration. Charlemagne? Dick. Washington and Jefferson? Slave owning dicks. Sir John A? Residential school dick.
Apparently, a "USUAL SUSPECT"

“In peace there's nothing so becomes a man as modest stillness and humility; but when the blast of war blows in our ears, then imitate the action of the tiger; stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood, disguise fair nature with hard-favor'd rage.”

 Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and start slitting throats

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Re: The Spartans Were Morons
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2018, 18:11:37 »
Ever wonder why they only sent 300? Because everyone else were needed to keep the population in check.

Uh...what? So the Spartans never participated in any wars or something that required entire Legions of men being absent from their home for long periods of time? I think you're wrong on that one...
The military isn't really like a James Bond movie where you go for jet training in the morning and then underwater demolitions after lunch.

Offline Remius

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Re: The Spartans Were Morons
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2018, 18:29:26 »
Got it. We judge ancient people looking through a lens coloured by todays moral standards. Nobody born before facebook is worthy of any sort of admiration. Charlemagne? Dick. Washington and Jefferson? Slave owning dicks. Sir John A? Residential school dick.


Not at all Kat.  They were cruel even by the standards of the day.  If you compare Sparta to any of the Greek states of the day.  Heck you can look at Persia at the time as being way more enlightened by comparison. The Helot system was very unique to Sparta and though Sparta was admired for many things, that particular institution was not, even by the historians of that day.

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Re: The Spartans Were Morons
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2018, 18:37:58 »
You might want to take a look at the documentary I posted up thread.

For the Thermopylae action see the section from 43 minutes to 51 minutes.  It offers the selection criteria for the 300.
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Offline Jarnhamar

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Re: The Spartans Were Morons
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2018, 18:46:05 »
You might want to take a look at the documentary I posted up thread.

For the Thermopylae action see the section from 43 minutes to 51 minutes.  It offers the selection criteria for the 300.

I'm low on data with no WiFi,  can you post?  8)
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Offline Remius

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Re: The Spartans Were Morons
« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2018, 18:50:11 »
Uh...what? So the Spartans never participated in any wars or something that required entire Legions of men being absent from their home for long periods of time? I think you're wrong on that one...


I never said that.  They did occasionally participate in wars that necessitated large bodies of men.  Just that they were far and few between.  At most, if the sparta s mustered all of their Spartan warriors at the time the most they could get is about 8000-10000 warriors depending on the timeframe.  Herodotus actually makes reference to it in regards to their numbers at the battle of Platea.  5000 Spartans.  Likely being the most they ever deployed in any one battle.  The rest were kept behind to keep the population in check.  A population 10 times bigger that them. They rarely ventured too far from their own land in great numbers.
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jollyjacktar

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Re: The Spartans Were Morons
« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2018, 18:57:08 »

Not at all Kat.  They were cruel even by the standards of the day.  If you compare Sparta to any of the Greek states of the day.  Heck you can look at Persia at the time as being way more enlightened by comparison. The Helot system was very unique to Sparta and though Sparta was admired for many things, that particular institution was not, even by the historians of that day.

Wouldn't the historians of the day, really be more like the MSM of the day?   :D

Offline Altair

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Re: The Spartans Were Morons
« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2018, 19:01:49 »
The problem, is when you dig deep enough you see that a lot of that version of what’s the Spartans were is a lot of propaganda and overblown myth making.  Even at the time.  Sparta was always concerned for Sparta.  No one else.  They fought to maintain their society which was all about keeping their slaves under control.  They cared very little for concepts of freedom or democracy or whatever Hollywood’s would have you believe.  They trained for war to keep their slaves from revolting to maintain their way of life.  That’s pretty much it.  Ever wonder why they only sent 300? Because everyone else were needed to keep the population in check.

Now if people want to believe in those things that you listed I have no issues with that.  Heck if they want to believe that Spartans were all that and a bag of chips and it makes them better people for it, cool.

From a historical perspective though, they were psychopaths that wanted to maintain a way of living that meant treating other people harshly even for the standard of those times.

The idea of sparta that we think of today is a noble one.  The reality is far from it.

Calling them morons is a bit of a simplification as i believe they were quite canny.  They avoided war far more than they engaged in it.  That required a lot of diplomacy and lot of acumen to pit your adversaries against each other.
I think one needs to separate the politics of the spartan from the warriors of Sparta.
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Offline dapaterson

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Re: The Spartans Were Morons
« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2018, 19:05:58 »
Am I the only one who misread the title, and wondered why the Spartans were going door to door, wearing white shirts and ties?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKIOqJns5N8
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Re: The Spartans Were Morons
« Reply #19 on: January 21, 2018, 19:13:17 »
Yup....   :nod:

The Spartans Were Morons

Let’s face it, the Spartans were morons.

The next time you see a middle-aged, bearded, chubby cop or military dude dressed up like Donny Delta Force in morale patches, Velcro and “operator gear” festooned with Spartan helmet insignia, ask yourself: What are they really laying claim to?

https://taskandpurpose.com/the-spartans-were-morons/?utm_content=tp-facebook&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social

The ancient Greeks had many different helmet designs, but there is no such thing as a "Spartan helmet." What the author is probably thinking about is the Corinthian style helmets that were in use throughout Greece and Italy.





























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Re: The Spartans Were Morons
« Reply #20 on: January 21, 2018, 19:18:53 »

 If you compare Sparta to any of the Greek states of the day.  Heck you can look at Persia at the time as being way more enlightened by comparison.

Considering the Spartans were supplied BY the Persians........
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Offline Remius

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Re: The Spartans Were Morons
« Reply #21 on: January 21, 2018, 19:26:11 »
I think one needs to separate the politics of the spartan from the warriors of Sparta.

Except for the fact that Sparta is a warrior culture.  All Spartan citizens were of the warrior class.  The Warriors of Sparta were in fact the politics of Sparta.
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Offline Remius

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Re: The Spartans Were Morons
« Reply #22 on: January 21, 2018, 19:37:30 »
Considering the Spartans were supplied BY the Persians........

Bought, paid off. ;)  Sparta needed Persian support to further their aims on a few occasions. Not to mention the mercenaries they would send over.  Or when they tried to go after the Macedonians while they were where busy fighting the Persians in Ionia.
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Offline Remius

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Re: The Spartans Were Morons
« Reply #23 on: January 21, 2018, 19:43:32 »
Wouldn't the historians of the day, really be more like the MSM of the day?   :D

All things considered there is an element of truth to what you just said. 

I’m not 100% sure but I’m pretty sure just about anything contemporary was written by non Spartan writers.  Herodotus is generally considered a pretty good source though.  Spartans weren’t much on writing.  Not due to any lack of ability but it goes to the minimalistic aspect of their culture.
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Offline Altair

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Re: The Spartans Were Morons
« Reply #24 on: January 21, 2018, 19:51:57 »
Except for the fact that Sparta is a warrior culture.  All Spartan citizens were of the warrior class.  The Warriors of Sparta were in fact the politics of Sparta.
correct.  However,  while warriors in the field,  I can get exemplifying them,  outside the battlefield,  not so much.

Greece would have been better served completely unified with the spartans as their shock troops. There is a case for having brutal,  tough,  born and breed warriors, but there needs to be a creative,  productive,  innovative society backing them.

That said,  for those in a warrior profession the spartans are a inspiration.
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Re: The Spartans Were Morons
« Reply #25 on: January 21, 2018, 19:54:20 »
correct.  However,  while warriors in the field,  I can get exemplifying them,  outside the battlefield,  not so much.

Greece would have been better served completely unified with the spartans as their shock troops. There is a case for having brutal,  tough,  born and breed warriors, but there needs to be a creative,  productive,  innovative society backing them.

That said,  for those in a warrior profession the spartans are a inspiration.

Of course, some of us object to being called "Warrior" instead of "Soldier".

https://angrystaffofficer.com/2016/12/14/stop-calling-us-warriors/
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Offline Remius

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Re: The Spartans Were Morons
« Reply #26 on: January 21, 2018, 20:06:05 »
correct.  However,  while warriors in the field,  I can get exemplifying them,  outside the battlefield,  not so much.

Greece would have been better served completely unified with the spartans as their shock troops. There is a case for having brutal,  tough,  born and breed warriors, but there needs to be a creative,  productive,  innovative society backing them.

That said,  for those in a warrior profession the spartans are a inspiration.

Interesting topic. 

To be honest, one can admire their martial prowess.  But it had a major flaw.  No flexibility or innovation at all.   The Thebans bested them at Leuctra despite being outnumbered by the Spartans.  Almost unheard of. Against a well trained disciplined army that employed combined arms and flexible tactics they collapsed completely. 

I would prefer to draw my inspiration as a soldier from the Macedonians or the Romans as I also object to us being called warriors and it soldiers.
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Re: The Spartans Were Morons
« Reply #27 on: January 21, 2018, 20:49:48 »
My point was that, individually, Spartans were the honey badgers of the ancient world. Tough, aggressive, tenacious, and fearless . To say that the soldier was the embodiment of the state is to say the same about us. We serve(d) the state, we are not the state.
Apparently, a "USUAL SUSPECT"

“In peace there's nothing so becomes a man as modest stillness and humility; but when the blast of war blows in our ears, then imitate the action of the tiger; stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood, disguise fair nature with hard-favor'd rage.”

 Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and start slitting throats

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Re: The Spartans Were Morons
« Reply #28 on: January 21, 2018, 20:55:46 »
My point was that, individually, Spartans were the honey badgers of the ancient world. Tough, aggressive, tenacious, and fearless . To say that the soldier was the embodiment of the state is to say the same about us. We serve(d) the state, we are not the state.

They were also slavers and staunch, anti-democratic tyrants. Regardless, all of Greece messed it up during the Peloponnesian Wars, of course.
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Offline Remius

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Re: The Spartans Were Morons
« Reply #29 on: January 21, 2018, 21:01:21 »
My point was that, individually, Spartans were the honey badgers of the ancient world. Tough, aggressive, tenacious, and fearless . To say that the soldier was the embodiment of the state is to say the same about us. We serve(d) the state, we are not the state.

Not debating about them being tenacious, agressive and fearless.  I agree. 

The difference is that Spartan citizens were all warriors.  Spartans were the state.  You could not rule, vote, own land etc etc unless you were a Warrior. The embodiment of the Spartan state was the Spartan warrior.


 It isn’t the same at all about us.

We serve the state but we are not the state. 
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Re: The Spartans Were Morons
« Reply #30 on: January 21, 2018, 21:16:43 »
They were also slavers and staunch, anti-democratic tyrants. Regardless, all of Greece messed it up during the Peloponnesian Wars, of course.

It was common practice to sell defeated enemies into slavery for all Greek armies.  So what if they were anti democratic?  By and large, so was the rest of the ancient world.

Not debating about them being tenacious, agressive and fearless.  I agree. 

The difference is that Spartan citizens were all warriors.  Spartans were the state.  You could not rule, vote, own land etc etc unless you were a Warrior. The embodiment of the Spartan state was the Spartan warrior.


 It isn’t the same at all about us.

We serve the state but we are not the state. 

 That's all I'm saying, the individual soldier had many qualities worthy of admiration, his politics notwithstanding.
Apparently, a "USUAL SUSPECT"

“In peace there's nothing so becomes a man as modest stillness and humility; but when the blast of war blows in our ears, then imitate the action of the tiger; stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood, disguise fair nature with hard-favor'd rage.”

 Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and start slitting throats

Offline Altair

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Re: The Spartans Were Morons
« Reply #31 on: January 21, 2018, 21:31:39 »
It was common practice to sell defeated enemies into slavery for all Greek armies.  So what if they were anti democratic?  By and large, so was the rest of the ancient world.

 That's all I'm saying, the individual soldier had many qualities worthy of admiration, his politics notwithstanding.
technically nobody in the ancient world was truly democratic when one considers that the 50 percent of the population missing the dangly thing between their legs couldn't vote.

And the individual spartan soldier had many qualities to be admired,  and that's where it ends. I don't think people with a spartan logo or motto are advocating for a political system like the spartans.
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Re: The Spartans Were Morons
« Reply #32 on: January 21, 2018, 21:34:48 »

 That's all I'm saying, the individual soldier had many qualities worthy of admiration, his politics notwithstanding.

That much could be said of many soldiers over the centuries.  My dad respected and admired the German Paras they kept meeting in Italy.  He said they were magnificent opponents.

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Re: The Spartans Were Morons
« Reply #33 on: January 21, 2018, 21:41:53 »
I think though the premise of the OP’s article though is that most people wearing Corinthian helmet logos and Spartan patches has more to do with 300 and Gates of Fire than any legitimate interest in Spartan History.  I remember when we covered Ancient Greek and Roman history in high school and 90% of the class were asleep.

It’s similar to those people that got SPQR tattoos on their arm after seeing Gladiator saying it was the sign of the Roman legion because the movie said so.  The irony being that slaves and barbarians wore tattoos, not Roman citizens or soldiers.

That being said, it’s a harmless thing one way or the other.
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Offline Remius

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Re: The Spartans Were Morons
« Reply #34 on: January 21, 2018, 21:43:16 »
That much could be said of many soldiers over the centuries.  My dad respected and admired the German Paras they kept meeting in Italy.  He said they were magnificent opponents.

Same reason I cheered for the empire in Star Wars  ;D
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Re: The Spartans Were Morons
« Reply #35 on: January 21, 2018, 21:54:47 »
Same reason I cheered for the empire in Star Wars  ;D

How could you not, with Brianne of Tarth in all that shiny StormTrooper stuff? :nod:

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Re: The Spartans Were Morons
« Reply #36 on: January 22, 2018, 00:17:01 »
People wear patches or icons of things that they feel they can relate to or associate with, it's no different then riding around in a hummer with a spray painted Punisher logo on it..people by large like to associate themselves with certain things...look at tattoos for example. One person's tattoo might seem ridiculous to you but they associate themselves with it for a reason. My  :2c:
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Re: The Spartans Were Morons
« Reply #37 on: January 22, 2018, 10:46:32 »
As I recall Spartans were quite happy to take their company from men or women while out and about.

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Re: The Spartans Were Morons
« Reply #38 on: January 22, 2018, 13:26:12 »
As I recall Spartans were quite happy to take their company from men or women while out and about.

Very common in Hellenistic societies at the time.

The Thebans, the ones who defeated the Spartans at Leuctra and ended their influence in Greece had a unit comprised of male couples.  They trampled the Spartans' best and killed their king as well at Leuctra.
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Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: The Spartans Were Morons
« Reply #39 on: January 22, 2018, 13:50:05 »
Surprised nobody noted, in the "Spartan are the State" topic that in Sparta, it was the women who owned the land and buildings and made the political decisions under the rule of the Queen. The men, well, they were the labourers tilling the land when not at war and soldiers.

Offline Remius

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Re: The Spartans Were Morons
« Reply #40 on: January 22, 2018, 14:30:32 »
Surprised nobody noted, in the "Spartan are the State" topic that in Sparta, it was the women who owned the land and buildings and made the political decisions under the rule of the Queen. The men, well, they were the labourers tilling the land when not at war and soldiers.

Not quite.  Women did enjoy more rights than most women of that era.  They did own property and had inheritance rights.  There are a few notable Queens that may have had some influence but Sparta was rules by two kings (from two family lines) and two councils of elders that were all men.  but one could say that if you owned everything then maybe you had some influence.

Also Spartans were  only allowed to have one profession.  Soldier.  No manual labour of any sort like tilling fields or farming was allowed.  that's what the helots were for.
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Offline Altair

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Re: The Spartans Were Morons
« Reply #41 on: January 22, 2018, 16:06:05 »
While the spartans were defeated well and proper at leuctra,  let's not forget that they were the winners of the  three Peloponnesian wars that preceded that battle,  and they were the only part of Greece not conquered by the macedonians.

Morons or not,  the Spartans were no slouches.
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Offline Remius

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Re: The Spartans Were Morons
« Reply #42 on: January 22, 2018, 16:29:19 »
While the spartans were defeated well and proper at leuctra,  let's not forget that they were the winners of the  three Peloponnesian wars that preceded that battle,  and they were the only part of Greece not conquered by the macedonians.

Morons or not,  the Spartans were no slouches.

So Spartans won about 15 major encounters and lost 22 in their time.  While they did win the Peloponnesian wars they couldn’t keep their influence and power long term. 

Untrue about the Macedonians.  By then they (Sparta) were pretty much a non threat.  Philip did enter the area and pretty much stripped Sparta of all her lands except the actual city and gave it to surrounding city states that submitted to him.  He turned his attention to Persia instead of pressing the issue.  When King Agis tried to rebel against Alexander, he was defeated by Parmenian and was killed along with a good chunk of what was left of Sparta’s finest.  Many of the Greek states wanted them dealt with harshly.  Alexander apparently was lenient but forced a pile of concessions on them.  including them joining the Corinthian League.

After that they became essentially the Upper Canada Village of the ancient world.

I’ll restate that I don’t agree that they were morons. Overrated and doomed to failure is more with what I agree with. Formidable sure, but they had a good propaganda machine.
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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: The Spartans Were Morons
« Reply #43 on: January 22, 2018, 16:37:35 »
So Spartans won about 15 major encounters and lost 22 in their time.  While they did win the Peloponnesian wars they couldn’t keep their influence and power long term.

They also had 30 Tyrants:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thirty_Tyrants

... which says a lot about how important it is to not lose a major war against one of your socio-economic rivals.
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Offline Remius

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Re: The Spartans Were Morons
« Reply #44 on: January 22, 2018, 16:44:53 »
They also had 30 Tyrants:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thirty_Tyrants

... which says a lot about how important it is to not lose a major war against one of your socio-economic rivals.

Oh yes.  And it seems that the more they tried to turn Athens into another oligarchy the more resistance they created until they were overthrown.
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Offline FJAG

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Re: The Spartans Were Morons
« Reply #45 on: January 22, 2018, 17:53:50 »
That much could be said of many soldiers over the centuries.  My dad respected and admired the German Paras they kept meeting in Italy.  He said they were magnificent opponents.

 :off topic: My dad was one of them. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately for him and me) Italy (Sicily actually) was his last fight. After that he spent the last two years of the war in Scotland as a guest of His Majesty the King.

 :cheers:
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Offline Blackadder1916

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Re: The Spartans Were Morons
« Reply #46 on: January 22, 2018, 18:27:15 »
:off topic: My dad was one of them. . . .

Spartan? Moron? . . . oh, now I understand. Should always read the full item with references and not just the headline.
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Re: The Spartans Were Morons
« Reply #47 on: January 22, 2018, 18:59:56 »
Spartan? Moron? . . . oh, now I understand. Should always read the full item with references and not just the headline.

 :not-again:   :waiting:
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Offline Thucydides

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Re: The Spartans Were Morons
« Reply #48 on: January 22, 2018, 21:41:15 »
Wouldn't the historians of the day, really be more like the MSM of the day?   :D

Herodotus, Thucydides (the other one) and Xenophon would like a word with you.....

Quote
I’m not 100% sure but I’m pretty sure just about anything contemporary was written by non Spartan writers.  Herodotus is generally considered a pretty good source though.  Spartans weren’t much on writing.  Not due to any lack of ability but it goes to the minimalistic aspect of their culture.

Actually, both Thucydides and Xenophon ended up writing not only about the Spartans, but in Sparta and among the Peloponnesian allies due to being exiled from Athens.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2018, 21:49:40 by Thucydides »
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

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Re: The Spartans Were Morons
« Reply #49 on: January 22, 2018, 21:55:09 »
My point was that, individually, Spartans were the honey badgers of the ancient world. Tough, aggressive, tenacious, and fearless .

Pericles had a pretty bad assed boast about the Athenians:

Quote
"If we turn to our military policy, there also we differ from our antagonists. We throw open our city to the world, and never by alien acts exclude foreigners from any opportunity of learning or observing, although the eyes of an enemy may occasionally profit by our liberality; trusting less in system and policy than to the native spirit of our citizens; while in education, where our rivals from their very cradles by a painful discipline seek after manliness, at Athens we live exactly as we please, and yet are just as ready to encounter every legitimate danger. In proof of this it may be noticed that the Lacedaemonians do not invade our country alone, but bring with them all their confederates; while we Athenians advance unsupported into the territory of a neighbour, and fighting upon a foreign soil usually vanquish with ease men who are defending their homes. Our united force was never yet encountered by any enemy, because we have at once to attend to our marine and to dispatch our citizens by land upon a hundred different services; so that, wherever they engage with some such fraction of our strength, a success against a detachment is magnified into a victory over the nation, and a defeat into a reverse suffered at the hands of our entire people. And yet if with habits not of labour but of ease, and courage not of art but of nature, we are still willing to encounter danger, we have the double advantage of escaping the experience of hardships in anticipation and of facing them in the hour of need as fearlessly as those who are never free from them.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Colin P

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Re: The Spartans Were Morons
« Reply #50 on: January 23, 2018, 10:25:56 »
Spartan? Moron? . . . oh, now I understand. Should always read the full item with references and not just the headline.

I knew he was old, but had no idea......  ;D

Offline Remius

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Re: The Spartans Were Morons
« Reply #51 on: January 23, 2018, 11:15:02 »
Herodotus, Thucydides (the other one) and Xenophon would like a word with you.....

Actually, both Thucydides and Xenophon ended up writing not only about the Spartans, but in Sparta and among the Peloponnesian allies due to being exiled from Athens.

For true Laconophiles (yes that us actually a term) Xenophon is a very good source of info.  He is very biased but he is also critical of how much the Spartans had fallen from grace. That's if you want a true picture of the Spartans and not what Hollywood wants you to think.  Note that he also fought with the Spartans. 

I'm putting his book Polity of the Lakedemonians on my reading list.  Currently re-reading Herodotus' Histories as this thread has rekindled my interest in the subject.
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