The army of homosexuals, the battalion of 300 gay soldiers

In ancient Greece, as in any other civilised city in this world, homosexuality has been an accepted part of everyday life. Homosexual couples have shown devotion to each other, that Plato proposed the formation of an armed unit composed entirely of homosexual couples

. "Don't ask, don't answer" was certainly not a policy for this army. Here is the story of the sacred The ban band of ancient Greece, an army of gay partners.

Plato's army of homosexuals

In Plato's Symposium, which was essentially a hypothetical conversation between several characters that were created around 370 BC, Phaedra states that an army consisting entirely of homosexuals would be formidable, because each person he would struggle hard to ensure the safety of his lover.

 Plato argued that each person would fight with an extraordinary courage to defend their loved one. And he was right, because such a battalion was created and more than that he was successful in Roman wars.

The sacred battalion of Thebes

Around 378 BC, an elite combat division called the Sacred Battalion of Thebes formed as a branch of The ban Army, consisting of 150 gay couples. The battalion was created by a general named Gorgas, and one of the first missions of the newly formed army was to march on the front lines during the famous war between Chablis and Sausages II.

The formation of the army did not have a populist purpose, but it engaged in several battles and even played a decisive role in helping Thebes become an important city-state.

The earliest mention of the homosexual battalion was written in 324 BC. by Dinarchus in his work Against Demosthenes. Dinarchus wrote that the Sacred Battalion of Thebes, led by two generals (probably supposedly lovers) named Pelopidas and Epaminondas, was victorious against the Spartans in the battle of Leuctra in 371 BC.

Recruiting soldiers

Entry into the sacred battalion was not allowed to anyone. Gorgidas personally selected the 300 members based on their athletic ability and military experience. Each couple fit the pattern of homosexual relationships in Greece at that time: an older, dominant gentleman and his boyfriend, more passive.

Couples chosen to join the division were, according to Polyaenus, "consecrated by mutual bonds of love." In fact, the use of the word "sacred" in the name of the company is believed to derive from the sacred oath made between the lover (older, active) and the lover (younger, passive) before the Altar of Iolaus of Thebes. (Iolaus was Hercule's nephew and lover.)

The soldiers had to stay fit, if they were called to fight an invading army, so when there was no war they would train continuously. According to the documents, the men practiced fights and organized competitions. They got on the dance floor because it was thought that engaging in the arts would make soldiers more emotionally stable. It is also very likely that they would develop equestrian skills, as Gorgidas was a former cavalry officer. Overall, the training of the soldiers in this regiment was similar to that of any soldier of that time.
A decisive victory at the battle of Tegyra

The Sacred Battalion of Thebes, under the command of Pelopidas, set out to conquer the city of Orchomenus, an ally of Sparta, because they heard that the Spartan troops had left the city unprotected. When they reached the gates of the city, however, Pelopidas learned that Sparta had sent reinforcements.

He ordered his army of gay lovers to retreat to Thebes, but they were caught between the garrison in Orchomenus and the Spartans. The homosexual battalion was more numerous than the two armies. Pelopidas made a smart strategy at the moment and succeeded in killing the Spartan leaders. The battle was won.

The army of homosexuals, the great defeat

In 338 BC, the army of homosexuals received a fatal blow. During the battle of Chaeronea, in which Thebes and Athens joined forces to fight the forces of Philip II of Macedon and his son, Alexander. The army of homosexuals, despite their training, failed to stand up to the powerful Macedonians.

The battalion was surrounded and given the opportunity to surrender, but just as Plato predicted, the lovers chose to fight to the end. All 300 soldiers were slaughtered, but they earned the respect of Philip, who ordered all soldiers to be buried according to local customs.

After the disappearance of this battalion, another army of homosexuals was never formed.

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