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(io9)   Article asks "Were the Spartans truly the greatest warriors of all time?". This is madness   (io9.com) divider line 88
    More: Unlikely, Spartans, slave rebellion, Athenians, Sparta, Persians  
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2919 clicks; posted to Geek » on 05 Mar 2014 at 9:17 PM (32 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



88 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2014-03-05 08:23:46 PM  
The 300 in full battle formation vs. a single UAV.

FIGHT.
 
2014-03-05 08:29:09 PM  

bdub77: The 300 in full battle formation vs. a single UAV.

FIGHT.


I've played enough Civilization to know that a phalanx of Hoplites can totally face off against an M1-A1 tank.
 
2014-03-05 08:36:55 PM  

RexTalionis: bdub77: The 300 in full battle formation vs. a single UAV.

FIGHT.

I've played enough Civilization to know that a phalanx of Hoplites can totally face off against an M1-A1 tank.


Haha.

Seriously though, this 'article' is just another marketing gimmick for the upcoming sequel to a movie that should never have had a sequel made for it. I have no illusions that somewhere along the line the production company was involved in the writing of this article.
 
2014-03-05 09:19:44 PM  
I'm pretty sure Deadliest Warrior already answered that question.  Also

RexTalionis: bdub77: The 300 in full battle formation vs. a single UAV.

FIGHT.

I've played enough Civilization to know that a phalanx of Hoplites can totally face off against an M1-A1 tank.


I know that pain all too well.
 
2014-03-05 09:23:55 PM  
In the original civilization I lost a battleship to a phalanx. It took a good half hour to stop laughing.
 
2014-03-05 09:28:55 PM  

GreenOverload: In the original civilization I lost a battleship to a phalanx. It took a good half hour to stop laughing.


was the phalanx swimming???
 
2014-03-05 09:33:16 PM  

Virulency: GreenOverload: In the original civilization I lost a battleship to a phalanx. It took a good half hour to stop laughing.

was the phalanx swimming???


Worse, they were in the city I was attacking with the battleship. They gave me a beat down and never got their sandals wet
 
2014-03-05 09:33:31 PM  
That's like asking what kind of bear is best.
 
2014-03-05 09:36:16 PM  
 

A great comic about some helots running away after getting involved in the murder of an ephor and a couple of spartan soldiers. This happens some time after they lost Messenia so Sparta was already eroding away and was living pretty much off previous glory.
 
2014-03-05 09:36:33 PM  
Poor 700 Thespians. You dudes acted your way to the final end with the Spartans and nobody gives a damn about your sacrifice.
 
2014-03-05 09:37:46 PM  

Dinobot: A great comic about some helots running away after getting involved in the murder of an ephor and a couple of spartan soldiers. This happens some time after they lost Messenia so Sparta was already eroding away and was living pretty much off previous glory.


i.newsarama.com


Pbfftttt... failed at hotlinking the image the first time around.
 
2014-03-05 09:39:07 PM  

GreenOverload: Virulency: GreenOverload: In the original civilization I lost a battleship to a phalanx. It took a good half hour to stop laughing.

was the phalanx swimming???

Worse, they were in the city I was attacking with the battleship. They gave me a beat down and never got their sandals wet


Just be glad they didn't have a gazebo.
 
2014-03-05 09:40:00 PM  
The silliest concept in the whole movie was the idea that the Spartans fought for the freedom of all Greeks.

The Spartans were the North Koreans of Greece.  Brutal, fierce, and weird.
 
2014-03-05 09:44:44 PM  

ko_kyi: The silliest concept in the whole movie was the idea that the Spartans fought for the freedom of all Greeks.

The Spartans were the North Koreans of Greece.  Brutal, fierce, and weird.


THIS.

/ IIRC, they had no problems enslaving other Greeks (helots)
 
2014-03-05 09:48:34 PM  
Was 300 the gayest movie ever? Discuss.
 
2014-03-05 09:49:40 PM  

ko_kyi: The silliest concept in the whole movie was the idea that the Spartans fought for the freedom of all Greeks.

The Spartans were the North Koreans of Greece.  Brutal, fierce, and weird.


Reinforced by the horrible entire B plot of "meanwhile back at home".  Although, I think it's way more silly that they didn't bother to show the other 8700 greeks that were at Thermopylae, but eh.   No plan to see the sequel, really.  About the only thing that could interest me would be the full on battle at Platea.
 
2014-03-05 09:51:27 PM  

ChrisDe: Was 300 the gayest movie ever? Discuss.


Top Gun.
 
2014-03-05 09:56:10 PM  
Greatest warriors of all time:

www.figuren-modellbau.de
 
2014-03-05 09:56:53 PM  

bdub77: RexTalionis: bdub77: The 300 in full battle formation vs. a single UAV.

FIGHT.

I've played enough Civilization to know that a phalanx of Hoplites can totally face off against an M1-A1 tank.

Haha.

Seriously though, this 'article' is just another marketing gimmick for the upcoming sequel to a movie that should never have had a sequel made for it. I have no illusions that somewhere along the line the production company was involved in the writing of this article.


Well, the movie is going to (supposedly) focus on the Battle of Artimesium, which was a naval engagement concurrent to the Battle of Thermopylae. In fact, it was the Athenians keeping the Persians tied up in that battle that allowed the Sprtans to make their stand and not overwhelmed with an even larger Persian force. So it does sort of tie in historically, even if the movie is placing the battle as later and possiblyt mashing it up with the Battle of Marathon as well.
 
2014-03-05 10:01:35 PM  

Sarien: ko_kyi: The silliest concept in the whole movie was the idea that the Spartans fought for the freedom of all Greeks.

The Spartans were the North Koreans of Greece.  Brutal, fierce, and weird.

Reinforced by the horrible entire B plot of "meanwhile back at home".  Although, I think it's way more silly that they didn't bother to show the other 8700 greeks that were at Thermopylae, but eh.   No plan to see the sequel, really.  About the only thing that could interest me would be the full on battle at Platea.


I haven't seen the movie in a while, but was there not a huge subplot with actual 1-eyed witches and magic etc.?

Meaning it wasn't so much historical fiction as straight fantasy with a more-than-normal observation on history?
 
2014-03-05 10:02:10 PM  
Please Drew, ease up on the Gawker.
 
2014-03-05 10:05:10 PM  
static.neatoshop.com

/Shameless plug is shamelessly tiny
 
2014-03-05 10:06:40 PM  

ko_kyi: The silliest concept in the whole movie was the idea that the Spartans fought for the freedom of all Greeks.

The Spartans were the North Koreans of Greece.  Brutal, fierce, and weird.


Actually they were the America of Greece: proud, violent slave owners who spent all of their money on warfare and ate terrible food.
 
2014-03-05 10:10:15 PM  
Your. Meme. IS BOR-ING!!!!!

/movie overrated like phantom menace too
//only more boring
 
2014-03-05 10:13:23 PM  
ecx.images-amazon.com
 
2014-03-05 10:24:08 PM  
The battle of Sphacteria was actually kind of funny. The leader of Athens, Cluny, was under all kinds of pressure to prove that he could lead in battle and not just play politics at home. He totally pulled the victory out of his ass and reaped the benefits.
 
2014-03-05 10:37:51 PM  
Yes, they were the greatest warriors.

But they were not the greatest soldiers.

Spartans were brilliant, brave, disciplined, fit and tough. But they were often bull-headed instead of strategic, tenacious instead of tactical, and they lacked intelligent leadership and war planning, eschewing things like combined arms (ballistics, cavalry, auxilias) and adaptation (everything from terrain and mobility to identifying enemy weaknesses while shoring up their own). And they never numbered many -- the city itself was never more than 30,000 people at its height and the army would never be more than one-third of that, and rarely more than half the army would leave on campaigns because the rest had to stay home and protect/police the city and/or put down helot uprisings (Sparta infamously boasted having no walls, which is really really stupid when you think about it). So you have the supposedly fiercest fighting force in the world and it's barely more than a full legion. Meanwhile, their enemies are fielding 50,000+ strong armies.

And they didn't really have a game plan for winning every war. They were basically a one-trick pony: All they knew how to do was fight the Spartan way, which was successful at first but became easier to defeat as the centuries war on and everyone got the book on them. They became stuck in their rigid, old conservative ways and refused to adapt to changing ideas and technologies in warfare, and so they stagnated while everyone else around them got better.

Sparta became pretty much a joke by the time the Macedonians rolled through. Both Philip and Alexander left it alone. And by the time the Romans showed up, it had become a tourist attraction. A relic of a bygone era.
 
2014-03-05 10:55:06 PM  

Ishkur: And they didn't really have a game plan for winning every war. They were basically a one-trick pony: All they knew how to do was fight the Spartan way, which was successful at first but became easier to defeat as the centuries war on and everyone got the book on them. They became stuck in their rigid, old conservative ways and refused to adapt to changing ideas and technologies in warfare, and so they stagnated while everyone else around them got better.


Not to turn this into something that belongs in the POLITICS tab, but I wonder if the US ( & Europe) is doomed to the same fate over the next few centuries....
 
2014-03-05 10:55:06 PM  
qui?
 
2014-03-05 11:02:20 PM  

ko_kyi: The silliest concept in the whole movie was the idea that the Spartans fought for the freedom of all Greeks.


There is an interesting pattern throughout history that the most competitive and warlike regions are safe from establishing any kind of imperial hegemony over their neighbors so long as they stay fragmented and fighting amongst themselves. But then as soon as someone unites them, they become an unstoppable force for a few centuries.

Observe:

The Iranian plateau was full of a bunch of bickering, warlike aggressive tribes and kingdom states for several hundred years (Pasargadae, Maraphii, Maspii, Panthialaei, Derusiaei, Germanii, etc..). Then they were united by Cyrus and the Pasargadae, pooled their forces and went on to establish the mighty Achaemenid Persian Empire, which ran roughshod over everyone else.

The Greek peninsula was full of a bunch of bickering, warlike aggressive tribes and kingdom states for several hundred years (Macedon, Thessaly, Attica, Epirus, Argolis, Ionia, Laconia, Arcadia, etc). Then they were united by Philip and the Macedonians, pooled their forces and went on to establish the mighty Empire of Alexander, which ran roughshod over everyone else.

The Italian peninsula was full of a bunch of bickering, warlike aggressive tribes and kingdom states for several hundred years (Romans, Latins, Sabines, Samnites, Lacani, Piceni, Etruscans, Greeks, Boii). Then they were united by the Roman Republic, pooled their forces and went on to establish the mighty Roman Empire, which ran roughshod over everyone else.

The Arabian peninsula was full of a bunch of bickering, warlike aggressive tribes and kingdom states for several hundred years (Quraish, Kinanah, Bakr, Thaqif, Bariq, Utub, Ghatafan, Tamim, etc). Then they were united by Khalid Ibn Al-Walid and Mohammed, pooled their forces and went on to establish the mighty Islamic Empire, which ran roughshod over everyone else.

The Mongolian steppe was full of a bunch of bickering, warlike aggressive tribes and kingdom states for several hundred years (Khamag Mongol, Kherid, Tatar, Mergid, Naimans, etc. ). Then they were united by Temujin the Great Khan, pooled their forces and went on to establish the mighty Mongolian Empire, which ran roughshod over everyone else.


The indication of all this is clear: If there is a region in the world full of a bunch of bickering, warlike aggressive tribes and kingdom states who are only interested in fighting each other, watch out! They are hardening themselves in the ways of war, and if they unite then the rest of us are in deep trouble.
 
2014-03-05 11:04:27 PM  

Forbidden Doughnut: Not to turn this into something that belongs in the POLITICS tab, but I wonder if the US ( & Europe) is doomed to the same fate over the next few centuries....


It's the fate of ALL empires -- it's the exact same pattern everywhere you look.

I have detailed notes on this as well. Let me know if you'd like to read them.
 
2014-03-05 11:07:25 PM  

Forbidden Doughnut: Greatest warriors of all time:


Yes, but absolutely terrible at consolidation and administration. The Mongol Empire was like one of those Risk turns where a large army just grabs every territory in Asia, which looks impressive initially, but the next turn everyone just takes all those territories back.
 
2014-03-05 11:07:39 PM  

Forbidden Doughnut: Greatest warriors of all time:

[www.figuren-modellbau.de image 620x413]


Pretty damn much. The Mongols killed 40 million some odd folks in their day. They committed the Holocaust several times over. With horses. Arrows. And swords. It took WWII to outstrip that, and that's on a global scale, and including all the sides of the conflict. The Mongols just said, screw this "honor" and just murdered the sh*t out of everything in their path. Sometimes they'd do folks a favor, and NOT murder them to their faces, but throw plague ridden corpses over the walls, just to soften folks up so that they could just roll in, play murder games, then salt their fields and make off with everything that wasn't nailed down, and a lot that was.

My ex-wife's Polish father had an epicanthic fold, thanks to the efforts of the Mongols doing their thing. These guys weren't just warriors, they were f*cking force of nature in their just plain badasstitude. The Spartans? They were indeed no joke, but they don't even have a share of the scope of how terrifying and effective the Mongols were. My mother's people, the Japanese? Oh, the samurai were indeed something to behold. And they never got a chance to actually meet the Mongols truly head on, because oddly enough, horsemen make really sh*tty sailors, and they got their asses saved by the Divine Wind. Twice. The one thing that my mother's people DID learn from the first real conflict from outsiders for a long ass while, was that their swords really sucked at getting through Mongols armor, and thus the katana was born. The second time around, the Mongols proved to be ever crappy sailors, and hit ANOTHER typhoon, and thus set the stage for my mother's people figuring that they were chosen and protected, as opposed to REALLY f*cking lucky.  Which, they were.
 
2014-03-05 11:15:18 PM  

Ishkur: ko_kyi: The silliest concept in the whole movie was the idea that the Spartans fought for the freedom of all Greeks.

There is an interesting pattern throughout history that the most competitive and warlike regions are safe from establishing any kind of imperial hegemony over their neighbors so long as they stay fragmented and fighting amongst themselves. But then as soon as someone unites them, they become an unstoppable force for a few centuries.

Observe:

The Iranian plateau was full of a bunch of bickering, warlike aggressive tribes and kingdom states for several hundred years (Pasargadae, Maraphii, Maspii, Panthialaei, Derusiaei, Germanii, etc..). Then they were united by Cyrus and the Pasargadae, pooled their forces and went on to establish the mighty Achaemenid Persian Empire, which ran roughshod over everyone else.

The Greek peninsula was full of a bunch of bickering, warlike aggressive tribes and kingdom states for several hundred years (Macedon, Thessaly, Attica, Epirus, Argolis, Ionia, Laconia, Arcadia, etc). Then they were united by Philip and the Macedonians, pooled their forces and went on to establish the mighty Empire of Alexander, which ran roughshod over everyone else.

The Italian peninsula was full of a bunch of bickering, warlike aggressive tribes and kingdom states for several hundred years (Romans, Latins, Sabines, Samnites, Lacani, Piceni, Etruscans, Greeks, Boii). Then they were united by the Roman Republic, pooled their forces and went on to establish the mighty Roman Empire, which ran roughshod over everyone else.

The Arabian peninsula was full of a bunch of bickering, warlike aggressive tribes and kingdom states for several hundred years (Quraish, Kinanah, Bakr, Thaqif, Bariq, Utub, Ghatafan, Tamim, etc). Then they were united by Khalid Ibn Al-Walid and Mohammed, pooled their forces and went on to establish the mighty Islamic Empire, which ran roughshod over everyone else.

The Mongolian steppe was full of a bunch of bickering, warlik ...


good point. last time that happened was Germany. basically the whole world had to gang up on them.
 
2014-03-05 11:18:35 PM  

Ishkur: Forbidden Doughnut: Greatest warriors of all time:

Yes, but absolutely terrible at consolidation and administration. The Mongol Empire was like one of those Risk turns where a large army just grabs every territory in Asia, which looks impressive initially, but the next turn everyone just takes all those territories back.


(shrug) they had a longer run than the British.
 
2014-03-05 11:20:08 PM  

hubiestubert: Forbidden Doughnut: Greatest warriors of all time:

[www.figuren-modellbau.de image 620x413]

Pretty damn much. The Mongols killed 40 million some odd folks in their day. They committed the Holocaust several times over. With horses. Arrows. And swords. It took WWII to outstrip that, and that's on a global scale, and including all the sides of the conflict. The Mongols just said, screw this "honor" and just murdered the sh*t out of everything in their path. Sometimes they'd do folks a favor, and NOT murder them to their faces, but throw plague ridden corpses over the walls, just to soften folks up so that they could just roll in, play murder games, then salt their fields and make off with everything that wasn't nailed down, and a lot that was.

My ex-wife's Polish father had an epicanthic fold, thanks to the efforts of the Mongols doing their thing. These guys weren't just warriors, they were f*cking force of nature in their just plain badasstitude. The Spartans? They were indeed no joke, but they don't even have a share of the scope of how terrifying and effective the Mongols were. My mother's people, the Japanese? Oh, the samurai were indeed something to behold. And they never got a chance to actually meet the Mongols truly head on, because oddly enough, horsemen make really sh*tty sailors, and they got their asses saved by the Divine Wind. Twice. The one thing that my mother's people DID learn from the first real conflict from outsiders for a long ass while, was that their swords really sucked at getting through Mongols armor, and thus the katana was born. The second time around, the Mongols proved to be ever crappy sailors, and hit ANOTHER typhoon, and thus set the stage for my mother's people figuring that they were chosen and protected, as opposed to REALLY f*cking lucky.  Which, they were.


Japan is an unlucky country. It's constantly quaking, has little arable land, and their weakness is really cute anime girl pillows.

I tend to believe the gods sunk the Mongol fleets. The gods of Mongolia. To save themselves from being dakis.
 
2014-03-05 11:23:05 PM  

hubiestubert: The Mongols just said, screw this "honor" and just murdered the sh*t out of everything in their path.


A little off... the mongols DID have honor.  Just a different form.  Example:  Even the great Ghengis Khan would not spill the blood of higher classmen from other cultures.  It was dishonorable.  So he'd put them inside a travel chest and very slowly suffocate them instead.
 
2014-03-05 11:25:58 PM  

GreenOverload: In the original civilization I lost a battleship to a phalanx. It took a good half hour to stop laughing.


I'm not laughing at you. I'm laughing because I would have sent another ship.
 
2014-03-05 11:26:43 PM  

Cpl.D: hubiestubert: The Mongols just said, screw this "honor" and just murdered the sh*t out of everything in their path.

A little off... the mongols DID have honor.  Just a different form.  Example:  Even the great Ghengis Khan would not spill the blood of higher classmen from other cultures.  It was dishonorable.  So he'd put them inside a travel chest and very slowly suffocate them instead.


...or roll them up in a rug and squish them. good point though.
 
2014-03-05 11:29:15 PM  

eynonmcwanker: (shrug) they had a longer run than the British.


Depends which measuring stick you're using.
 
2014-03-05 11:30:34 PM  

eynonmcwanker: Cpl.D: hubiestubert: The Mongols just said, screw this "honor" and just murdered the sh*t out of everything in their path.

A little off... the mongols DID have honor.  Just a different form.  Example:  Even the great Ghengis Khan would not spill the blood of higher classmen from other cultures.  It was dishonorable.  So he'd put them inside a travel chest and very slowly suffocate them instead.

...or roll them up in a rug and squish them. good point though.


Which would spill their blood.  ...but which would be captured in the carpet.

Preeeettty sneaksy, Genghis Khan!
 
2014-03-05 11:32:12 PM  

whither_apophis: That's like asking what kind of bear is best.


Well, you have to be more specific. Is it a hunting bear or an assault bear.
 
2014-03-05 11:34:35 PM  

bdub77: The 300 in full battle formation vs. a single UAV.

FIGHT.


If your going to do a job, do it right and level their city as well.

upload.wikimedia.org
 
2014-03-05 11:41:54 PM  

ChrisDe: Was 300 the gayest movie ever? Discuss.


Too much naked Lena Headey in 300 to be the gayest movie ever.
 
2014-03-05 11:54:02 PM  
I'm pretty sure the Klingons could take them.
 
2014-03-06 12:20:48 AM  
i1.ytimg.com
nope.

/300+1
 
2014-03-06 12:45:22 AM  
Hannibal would like a word.....
 
2014-03-06 12:53:41 AM  

whither_apophis: That's like asking what kind of bear is best.


Kodiak.
 
2014-03-06 01:42:10 AM  

Mr. Eugenides: whither_apophis: That's like asking what kind of bear is best.

Kodiak.


Polar.
 
2014-03-06 01:46:17 AM  

skinbubble: Mr. Eugenides: whither_apophis: That's like asking what kind of bear is best.

Kodiak.

Polar.


Ghost Bear.
 
2014-03-06 01:54:16 AM  

Barry Lyndon's Annuity Cheque: Poor 700 Thespians. You dudes acted your way to the final end with the Spartans and nobody gives a damn about your sacrifice.


Not cool. Just because they like other women doesn't make them "dudes."
 
2014-03-06 01:56:41 AM  

thrasherrr: ChrisDe: Was 300 the gayest movie ever? Discuss.

Too much naked Lena Headey in 300 to be the gayest movie ever.


I could have lived with more.
 
2014-03-06 04:06:23 AM  

Cpl.D: skinbubble: Mr. Eugenides: whither_apophis: That's like asking what kind of bear is best.

Kodiak.

Polar.

Ghost Bear.


Drop.
 
2014-03-06 04:16:47 AM  

Archie Goodwin: Cpl.D: skinbubble: Mr. Eugenides: whither_apophis: That's like asking what kind of bear is best.

Kodiak.

Polar.

Ghost Bear.

Drop.


Yogi
 
2014-03-06 04:19:37 AM  

thrasherrr: Too much naked Lena Headey


I've seen these words before, but this makes no sense.
 
2014-03-06 04:47:47 AM  

Ishkur: All they knew how to do was fight the Spartan way, which was successful at first but became easier to defeat as the centuries war on and everyone got the book on them.


Nice pun.
 
2014-03-06 05:03:24 AM  

Archie Goodwin: Cpl.D: skinbubble: Mr. Eugenides: whither_apophis: That's like asking what kind of bear is best.

Kodiak.

Polar.

Ghost Bear.

Drop.


Drop bear versus hardened outer-sphere clan warriors?

... all right, you got me.
 
2014-03-06 05:12:58 AM  
The greatest warrior of all time has yet to be born.
He will be fat, soft, and doughy - and will have Cheetoh-stained fingers.
And he will destroy whole nations from behind his console in the bowels of a nondesrcipt warehouse somewhere in San Diego - or Minsk.
 
2014-03-06 05:13:21 AM  
Really? I'm the first? Well, ok....

www.themarysue.com
 
2014-03-06 05:18:37 AM  

ChrisDe: Was 300 the gayest movie ever? Discuss.


No, but it was the dullest movie ever.

If they ever make a movie about the  Sacred Band of Thebesthat would be the gayest movie ever (NTTAWWT). It would also be immensely trolltastic.
 
rpl
2014-03-06 06:02:55 AM  

Forbidden Doughnut: ko_kyi: The silliest concept in the whole movie was the idea that the Spartans fought for the freedom of all Greeks.

The Spartans were the North Koreans of Greece.  Brutal, fierce, and weird.

THIS.

/ IIRC, they had no problems enslaving other Greeks (helots)


Could you name a culture from that time period that didn't practice slavery? Not even to mention that the concept of "Greeks" didn't really exist back then as much as the concept of "Athenians" and "Spartans" and so on.
On the other hand, Laconia is the earliest known example of an equal society where women could go to school, compete in sports, own property, manage their husbands' household while they out warring (so pretty much all the time). Hell, they could even vote.
 
2014-03-06 06:47:02 AM  

ChrisDe: Was 300 the gayest movie ever? Discuss.


bdub77: Top Gun.


Shortest discussion ever.

Forbidden Doughnut: Not to turn this into something that belongs in the POLITICS tab, but I wonder if the US ( & Europe) is doomed to the same fate over the next few centuries...


America's decline is about as textbook as it gets.
 
2014-03-06 07:08:48 AM  

Cpl.D: skinbubble: Mr. Eugenides: whither_apophis: That's like asking what kind of bear is best.

Kodiak.

Polar.

Ghost Bear.


Repeating Bears.
 
2014-03-06 07:24:32 AM  

WhyteRaven74: Hannibal would like a word.....


If we're talking greatest tactician, perhaps.
 
2014-03-06 07:38:32 AM  
Well, "Leonidas vs Master Chief" was already done, so....
 
2014-03-06 07:40:23 AM  

doglover: ko_kyi: The silliest concept in the whole movie was the idea that the Spartans fought for the freedom of all Greeks.

The Spartans were the North Koreans of Greece.  Brutal, fierce, and weird.

Actually they were the America of Greece: proud, violent slave owners who spent all of their money on warfare and ate terrible food.


1/10 too obvious
 
2014-03-06 07:45:09 AM  

ko_kyi: The silliest concept in the whole movie was the idea that the Spartans fought for the freedom of all Greeks.

The Spartans were the North Koreans of Greece.  Brutal, fierce, and weird.


This. That said, from the point of view of "history of the sort you'd read on an aggregator site", it wasn't bad at pulling apart the myth of Sparta.

The shout out for the Theban band of gay ninjas was good, as well. Those guys don't get a lot of air time, because of don't ask, don't tell.
 
2014-03-06 07:54:20 AM  
I do know that Spartans were greater warriors than NInjas:


Spartan_vs_Ninja
 
2014-03-06 08:03:56 AM  

kroonermanblack: it wasn't so much historical fiction as straight fantasy with a more-than-normal observation on history?


Pretty much.  If you watched 300 with any sort of eye for historical accuracy, you're watching the wrong movie.

. . . Though I will say it was far more accurate than any movie that used the phrase, "Based on a true story."

Ishkur: Sparta became pretty much a joke by the time the Macedonians rolled through. Both Philip and Alexander left it alone.


If you're a conquerer you don't leave a place alone because it's a "joke".  Philip sent a threatening letter, Sparta called his bluff, he decided against invading them.  This is the same Philip who, with his son Alexander leading the charge, wiped out the Sacred Band of Thebes.  If the Spartans were pushovers, Philip would've pushed.  He had the mettle and the men.

The thing is, for a violently proud (or proudly violent) nation, Sparta just didn't have much wealth to offer.  Philip would've had to wipe them out, which was certainly possible but not easy, for land that wasn't worth the effort to hold.  It's easy to say Sparta was "a joke" or that the Spartans were DUDEBRO enough that Philip didn't dare fight them, but I think both theories are overly simplistic.  The truth was in between:  Philip was a pretty darn smart strategist who looked at Sparta, decided it was way more trouble than it was worth, shrugged, and went on to trample over lands that promised better RoI.

ko_kyi's comparison to North Korea makes Philip's decision quite understandable.  Many nations are certainly capable of invading North Korea, but nobody tries because it would be a hellaciously nasty fight just to win a heap of shiat.
 
2014-03-06 08:16:18 AM  
Greatest Warriors of all Time:
www.badassoftheweek.com
 
2014-03-06 08:19:51 AM  
Meh, you can't be the greatest of all time when you aren't even the greatest in your own time/region. The Thebans beat the Spartans time and again with their Sacred Band.

Sparta got by mostly on their reputation, the quirks of Greek battle tactics, and the strength of their Lacedaemon allies - combined of course with really good warriors.

Greeks would put their best troops on the far right of the battle - meaning that the Spartans would always face off against the minor allies of whomever they were fighting (their enemies of course would be facing the minor Spartan allies - so the Spartans relied on their own ability to quickly overcome these lesser troops and their own Lacedaemon allies to hold on long enough for the Spartans to win their flank) . As soon as the Thebans inverted this strategy, placing the Sacred Band led Thebans on their left, directly opposite the Spartans and forcing the Spartans to face the troops of one of the major powers, they started losing battles.
 
2014-03-06 08:39:53 AM  

Tiberius Gracchus: The Thebans beat the Spartans time and again with their Sacred Band.


An awesome historical fact probably glossed over by the politically inconvenient characteristic that every single member of the Sacred Band, by requirement, was gay.

/ So, sort of like the U.S. Navy
// I keed, I keed
/// Seriously though, you can do a LOT worse than be compared to the Sacred Band; even enemies respected them, and if you don't get that you are the reason why bigots are stupid
 
2014-03-06 08:47:54 AM  

dragonchild: kroonermanblack: it wasn't so much historical fiction as straight fantasy with a more-than-normal observation on history?

Pretty much.  If you watched 300 with any sort of eye for historical accuracy, you're watching the wrong movie.

. . . Though I will say it was far more accurate than any movie that used the phrase, "Based on a true story."

Ishkur: Sparta became pretty much a joke by the time the Macedonians rolled through. Both Philip and Alexander left it alone.

If you're a conquerer you don't leave a place alone because it's a "joke".  Philip sent a threatening letter, Sparta called his bluff, he decided against invading them.  This is the same Philip who, with his son Alexander leading the charge, wiped out the Sacred Band of Thebes.  If the Spartans were pushovers, Philip would've pushed.  He had the mettle and the men.

The thing is, for a violently proud (or proudly violent) nation, Sparta just didn't have much wealth to offer.  Philip would've had to wipe them out, which was certainly possible but not easy, for land that wasn't worth the effort to hold.  It's easy to say Sparta was "a joke" or that the Spartans were DUDEBRO enough that Philip didn't dare fight them, but I think both theories are overly simplistic.  The truth was in between:  Philip was a pretty darn smart strategist who looked at Sparta, decided it was way more trouble than it was worth, shrugged, and went on to trample over lands that promised better RoI.

ko_kyi's comparison to North Korea makes Philip's decision quite understandable.  Many nations are certainly capable of invading North Korea, but nobody tries because it would be a hellaciously nasty fight just to win a heap of shiat.


Very true.  Remember Sparta didn't believe in wealth, since it was basically a communal civilization there was no need for it.  Why waste forces killing them all for basically nothing?
 
2014-03-06 09:39:56 AM  

Ishkur: ko_kyi: The silliest concept in the whole movie was the idea that the Spartans fought for the freedom of all Greeks.

There is an interesting pattern throughout history that the most competitive and warlike regions are safe from establishing any kind of imperial hegemony over their neighbors so long as they stay fragmented and fighting amongst themselves. But then as soon as someone unites them, they become an unstoppable force for a few centuries.

Observe:

The Iranian plateau was full of a bunch of bickering, warlike aggressive tribes and kingdom states for several hundred years (Pasargadae, Maraphii, Maspii, Panthialaei, Derusiaei, Germanii, etc..). Then they were united by Cyrus and the Pasargadae, pooled their forces and went on to establish the mighty Achaemenid Persian Empire, which ran roughshod over everyone else.

The Greek peninsula was full of a bunch of bickering, warlike aggressive tribes and kingdom states for several hundred years (Macedon, Thessaly, Attica, Epirus, Argolis, Ionia, Laconia, Arcadia, etc). Then they were united by Philip and the Macedonians, pooled their forces and went on to establish the mighty Empire of Alexander, which ran roughshod over everyone else.

The Italian peninsula was full of a bunch of bickering, warlike aggressive tribes and kingdom states for several hundred years (Romans, Latins, Sabines, Samnites, Lacani, Piceni, Etruscans, Greeks, Boii). Then they were united by the Roman Republic, pooled their forces and went on to establish the mighty Roman Empire, which ran roughshod over everyone else.

The Arabian peninsula was full of a bunch of bickering, warlike aggressive tribes and kingdom states for several hundred years (Quraish, Kinanah, Bakr, Thaqif, Bariq, Utub, Ghatafan, Tamim, etc). Then they were united by Khalid Ibn Al-Walid and Mohammed, pooled their forces and went on to establish the mighty Islamic Empire, which ran roughshod over everyone else.

The Mongolian steppe was full of a bunch of bickering, warlik ...



Indeed. We need to beware the Fremen.
 
2014-03-06 09:43:53 AM  

fredklein: Well, "Leonidas vs Master Chief" was already done, so....


Funny use of "first person shooter".
 
2014-03-06 10:20:35 AM  

Flt209er: [i1.ytimg.com image 850x478]
nope.

/300+1



A great episode from a great show. I love the DVD commentary in the extras also.
 
2014-03-06 10:53:13 AM  

dragonchild: Forbidden Doughnut: Not to turn this into something that belongs in the POLITICS tab, but I wonder if the US ( & Europe) is doomed to the same fate over the next few centuries...

America's decline is about as textbook as it gets.


upload.wikimedia.org

A bit dry but worth the read.
 
2014-03-06 11:23:51 AM  

dragonchild: If you're a conquerer you don't leave a place alone because it's a "joke". Philip sent a threatening letter, Sparta called his bluff, he decided against invading them. This is the same Philip who, with his son Alexander leading the charge, wiped out the Sacred Band of Thebes. If the Spartans were pushovers, Philip would've pushed. He had the mettle and the men.

The thing is, for a violently proud (or proudly violent) nation, Sparta just didn't have much wealth to offer. Philip would've had to wipe them out, which was certainly possible but not easy, for land that wasn't worth the effort to hold. It's easy to say Sparta was "a joke" or that the Spartans were DUDEBRO enough that Philip didn't dare fight them, but I think both theories are overly simplistic. The truth was in between: Philip was a pretty darn smart strategist who looked at Sparta, decided it was way more trouble than it was worth, shrugged, and went on to trample over lands that promised better RoI.



Yes and no. Yes, Sparta was tenacious and any war with them would've been certain even if pyrrhic which is not what Philip was interested in. He wanted control and unification, not annihilation (despite his sternly written letter and the infamous Spartan reply "If" -- that's practically the lesser known of the classic blunders: Never try to bluff the Spartans). Depopulating Laconia was pointless. Despite their animosity for one another, the Greeks rarely committed whole-scale destruction of one another (one of the theories why the Phalanx was developed was specifically because it was so defensive it led to minimal loss of life. Two Greek armies fighting each other amounted to little more than a bunch of infantry squares pushing each other back and forth on the battlefield with no measurable casualties, allowing them to resolve disputes without devastating populations).

But Sparta had been coasting on reputation for centuries and were hardly in a position of hegemony. They did not have the manpower for offensive campaigns and weren't likely to leave the Peloponnese, so from Philip's point of view there really was no reason to invade Laconia. Simply ignore the Spartans and they'll ignore you.
 
2014-03-06 11:56:35 AM  

grimlock1972: Archie Goodwin: Cpl.D: skinbubble: Mr. Eugenides: whither_apophis: That's like asking what kind of bear is best.

Kodiak.

Polar.

Ghost Bear.

Drop.

Yogi


Buttkis
 
2014-03-06 11:59:47 AM  

Your_Huckleberry: grimlock1972: Archie Goodwin: Cpl.D: skinbubble: Mr. Eugenides: whither_apophis: That's like asking what kind of bear is best.

Kodiak.

Polar.

Ghost Bear.

Drop.

Yogi

Buttkis


Butkus. Spell fail by me. Teach me not to use preview
 
2014-03-06 12:49:13 PM  

Archie Goodwin: Cpl.D: skinbubble: Mr. Eugenides: whither_apophis: That's like asking what kind of bear is best.

Kodiak.

Polar.

Ghost Bear.

Drop.


Teddy
 
2014-03-06 01:02:27 PM  
static.comicvine.com

Any more silly questions?
 
2014-03-06 03:54:17 PM  

mainsail: Archie Goodwin: Cpl.D: skinbubble: Mr. Eugenides: whither_apophis: That's like asking what kind of bear is best.

Kodiak.

Polar.

Ghost Bear.

Drop.

Teddy


Pooh
 
2014-03-06 04:51:16 PM  
Greatest warrior the world has ever seen:

img.fark.net
 
2014-03-06 09:13:09 PM  

chozo13: Greatest warrior the world has ever seen:

[img.fark.net image 250x300]


Please tell me that's a Halloween costume.
 
2014-03-06 09:53:10 PM  

AbiNormal: chozo13: Greatest warrior the world has ever seen:

[img.fark.net image 250x300]

Please tell me that's a Halloween costume.


I don't remember the story correctly and I am going to bed. A google search for stolen valor douche might yield some answers though.
 
2014-03-07 12:07:44 AM  

chozo13: AbiNormal: chozo13: Greatest warrior the world has ever seen:

[img.fark.net image 250x300]

Please tell me that's a Halloween costume.

I don't remember the story correctly and I am going to bed. A google search for stolen valor douche might yield some answers though.


Thanks to your lead of "stolen valor douche", I came up with this guy.
 
2014-03-07 07:21:59 AM  

skinbubble: chozo13: AbiNormal: chozo13: Greatest warrior the world has ever seen:

[img.fark.net image 250x300]

Please tell me that's a Halloween costume.

I don't remember the story correctly and I am going to bed. A google search for stolen valor douche might yield some answers though.

Thanks to your lead of "stolen valor douche", I came up with this guy.


I think that website you linked has a list floating around of all the stolen valor retards that they have outed. It isn't the best laid out site around so it might really hurt your brain trying to find it.
 
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