Author Topic: The Spartans Were Morons  (Read 6477 times)

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Offline dapaterson

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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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Online 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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Offline Kat Stevens

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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.”

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Offline daftandbarmy

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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.
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

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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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Offline Kat Stevens

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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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Online 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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jollyjacktar

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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:

Offline EpicBeardedMan

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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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Offline Colin P

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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.

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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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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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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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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.