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Catchphrases Of The Ancient Spartans

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Catchphrases Of The Ancient Spartans Empty Catchphrases Of The Ancient Spartans

Post Neon Knight on Thu 7 Nov - 21:29  Selected quotes:

The Spartans pioneered the laconic phrase. Lakonia was the general region around Sparta in southern Greece. They were a tough people, wasting little time with flowery phrases and got to the point quickly. If they had a chance to inject a little humor with their remarks they did, but they particularly excelled at delivering stinging words to some of the most powerful leaders of the ancient world.

As Philip II of Macedon was conquering Greek city-states left and right, Sparta was left alone. Philip had achieved a crushing victory, and Sparta was relatively weak and without walls. Philip sent a message to the Spartans saying “If I invade Lakonia you will be destroyed, never to rise again.” The Spartans replied with one word, “If.” Philip eventually decided to bypass Sparta as it was a poor region and not worth the fight. Neither Philip nor Alexander attacked the Spartans while they ruled.

The Spartans roughly equated childbirth as similar to going to battle. They often waited until a woman was well into her teens to have children to ensure a healthy pregnancy. Women participated in athletics and were ready to handle the numerous slave uprisings if the men were away at war. When asked by an Athenian why Spartan women were the only ones who could rule men, the great Queen Gorgo replied, “We are the only ones who give birth to men.” Boldly stating that only Spartans could claim to be real men.

“With it or on it” - Most people are more familiar with the longer “Come back with this shield or on it,” but in everyday use, it was shortened to just five words as a woman handed his shield to a departing soldier. In battle, if soldiers had a disorderly or cowardly retreat, they dropped the heaviest piece of equipment they had, their shield. No Spartan woman would welcome home a coward. In place of cowardice, a soldier struck down doing his duty would be carried home with his shield serving as a stretcher. A Spartan could only come back holding his shield in victory or die in the attempt.

“Molon Labe” - A Greek phrase many history buffs are familiar with, in English, “Come and get them.” At the famous battle of Thermopylae, the scene was dramatically set. Xerxes had about 100,000 men at his disposal compared to 7,000 Greeks led by 300 Spartans. Xerxes attempted to be rational and requested the Greeks to lay down their arms, and he would spare them all. Leonidas replied, “Come and get them.”

On the eve of battling the 300, Dieneces, a Spartan learned from an informer that the Persian arrows were so numerous they would hide the sun. Dieneces listened to the foreboding news and replied to his informer “You bring us good news! For now, we can fight in the shade.” There are various translations of this but it is a great example of the Spartans staring death in the face and laughing.

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Post Jehan I on Sun 17 Nov - 17:16

300 was a good movie.
Sad there isn't more movie whith this spirit.
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