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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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2923 clicks; posted to Geek » on 05 Mar 2014 at 9:17 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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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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