Its predominance began with its crucial role in the Battle of Leuctra in BC. He mentions the Sacred Band as being led by the Theban band homosexual rights Pelopidas and, alongside Epaminondas who commanded the army of Thebes Boeotiawere responsible for the defeat of the Spartans at the decisive Battle of Leuctra BC.
Plutarch 46— ADa native of the village of Chaeroneais the source of the most substantial surviving account of the Sacred Band. The exact date of the Sacred Band's creation and whether it was created before or after the Symposium of Plato c. The generally accepted date of the Sacred Band's creation is between and BC. Though "Theban band homosexual rights" of these mention the Sacred Band by name, these may have referred to the Sacred Band or at least its precursors. In the old debate surrounding Xenophon's and Plato's works, the Sacred Band has figured prominently as a possible way of dating which of the two wrote their version of Symposium first.
"Theban band homosexual rights" Socrates in his Symposium disapprovingly mentions the practice of placing lovers beside each other in battle in the city-states of Thebes and Elisarguing that while the practice was acceptable to them, it was shameful for Athenians both Plato and Xenophon were Athenians.
According to the British classical scholar Sir Kenneth Doverthis was a clear allusion to the Sacred Band, reflecting Xenophon's contemporary awareness of the Theban practice, albeit anachronistic as the dramatic date of the work itself is c.
He acknowledges, however, that Plato may have simply put the hypothesis in the mouth of Phaedrus according to the supposed earlier dramatic date of the work c. It only shows that Plato was more mindful of his chronology in his Symposium than Xenophon, and proves that he was actually quite aware of the Theban band homosexual rights Band in his time.
According to Plutarch, the hand-picked men were chosen by Gorgidas purely for ability and merit, regardless of social class. Theban band homosexual rights Plutarch claims that it was due to an exchange of sacred vows between lover and beloved at the shrine of Iolaus one of the lovers of Hercules at Thebes.
He also tangentially mentions Plato's characterization of the lover as a "friend inspired of God". The Sacred Band was stationed in Cadmea as a standing force, likely as defense against future attempts by foreign forces to take the citadel. The historian James G. DeVoto points out that Gorgidas previously served as a hipparch cavalry officertherefore equestrian training was also likely provided.
According to Theban band homosexual rights, Gorgidas originally distributed the members of the Sacred Band among the front ranks of the phalanxes of regular infantry. Their main function was to cripple the enemy by engaging and killing their best men and leaders in battle. It was during the famous stand-off between the Athenian mercenary commander and later strategos Chabrias d. This was followed by Athens openly entering into an alliance with Thebes against Sparta.
The Spartan forces were held up for Theban band homosexual rights days by Theban forces manning the earthen stockades at the perimeter of Theban territory. The Spartans eventually breached the fortifications and entered the Theban countryside, devastating the Theban fields in their wake. Though the Athenians had by this time joined the Theban forces, they were still outnumbered by the Spartans. With the fall of the stockades, they were left with two choices, either to retreat back to the defensible walls of Thebes or to hold their ground and face the Spartans in the open.
They chose the latter and arrayed their forces along the crest of a low sloping hill, opposite the Spartan forces. Gorgidas and the Sacred Band occupied the front ranks of the Theban forces on the right, while Chabrias and an experienced force of mercenary hoplites occupied the front ranks of the Athenian forces on the left.
Agesilaus first sent out skirmishers to test the combined Theban and Athenian lines. Agesilaus then commanded the entire Spartan army to advance. He may have hoped that the sight of the massed Spartan forces resolutely moving forward would be enough to intimidate the Theban and Athenian forces into breaking ranks.
It was during this time that Chabrias gave his most famous command. Shortly after the Theban band homosexual rights in Thebes, Agesilaus disbanded his army in Thespiae and returned to Peloponnesos through Megara. Phoebidas engaged the advancing Theban army with his peltasts. The harrying Theban band homosexual rights the light infantry apparently proved too much for the Thebans and they started to retreat.
Phoebidas, hoping for a rout, rashly pursued them closely. However, the Theban forces suddenly turned around and charged Phoebidas' forces. Phoebidas was killed by the Theban cavalry. Not long afterwards, Agesilaus mounted a second expedition against Thebes. After a series of skirmishes which he won with some difficulty, he was forced again to withdraw when the Theban army came out full force as he approached the city.
Diodorus observes at this point that the Thebans thereafter faced the Spartans with confidence. It occurred near the Boeotian city of Orchomenusthen still an ally of Sparta. Hearing reports that the Spartan garrison in Orchomenus had left for LocrisPelopidas quickly set out with the Sacred Band and a few cavalry, hoping to capture it in their absence. They approached the city through the northeastern route since the waters of Lake Copais were at their fullest during that season.
Unwilling to engage the new garrison, Pelopidas decided to retreat back to Thebes, retracing their northeastern route along Lake Copais.
However, they only reached as far as the shrine of Apollo of Tegyra before encountering the returning Spartan forces from Locris. The Spartans were composed of two morai led by the polemarchoi Gorgoleon and Theopompus. The Spartans advanced, confident in their numbers, only to have their leaders killed immediately in the opening clashes. Leaderless and encountering forces equal in discipline and training for the first time in the Sacred Band, the Spartans faltered and opened their ranks, expecting the Thebans to pass through and escape.
Instead, Pelopidas surprised them by using the opening to flank the Spartans. An account of the battle was mentioned both by Diodorus and Plutarch, both based heavily on the report by Ephorus.
The exact number of the belligerents on each side varies by account. Diodorus puts the number of Thebans at against the Spartans' 1, each mora consisting of menapparently basing it on Ephorus' original figures. Theban band homosexual rights puts the number of the Thebans atand acknowledges three sources for the number of Spartans: Some of these numbers may have been exaggerated due to the overall significance of the battle.
For in all the great wars there had ever been against Greeks or barbarians, the Spartans were never before beaten by a smaller company than their own; nor, indeed, in Theban band homosexual rights set battle, when their number was equal. Hence their courage was thought irresistible, and their high repute before the battle made a conquest already of enemies, who thought themselves no match for the men of Sparta even on equal terms.
But this battle first taught the other Greeks, that not only Eurotas, or the country between Babyce and Cnacion, [note 4] breeds men of courage and resolution; but that where the youth are ashamed of baseness, and ready to venture in a good cause, where they fly disgrace more than danger, there, wherever it be, are found the bravest and most formidable opponents.
According to Xenophon, they were alarmed at the growing power of Thebes and weary of fending off Spartan fleets alone as the Thebans were not contributing any money to maintaining the Athenian fleet. Thespiae and Tanagra were subjugated and formally became part of the reestablished democratic Boeotian confederacy.
By this time, Thebes had also started attacking Phocian poleis allied to Sparta. In response to the Theban army outside the city's walls, the Phocian general Onomarchus brought out all the inhabitants of the city including the elderly, women, and children and locked the gates. He then placed the non-combatants directly behind the defenders of Elateia.
On seeing this, Pelopidas withdrew forces, recognizing that the Phocians would fight to the death to protect their loved ones. It was initiated by either the Athenians or the Persians perhaps at the prompting of the Spartans. The Spartans also sent a large force led by King Cleombrotus I Sparta having two kings simultaneously for most of its history to Phocis, ready to invade Boeotia if the Theban band homosexual rights refuse to attend the peace conference or accept its terms.
Epaminondas' refusal to accept the terms of the peace conference of BC excluded Thebes from the peace treaty and provided Sparta with the excuse to declare war. Shortly thereafter the army Theban band homosexual rights Cleombrotus was ordered to invade Boeotia.
The Thebans however were committed to a fight. Cleombrotus then moved inland, following the eastward road towards Thebes, until he reached the Boeotian village of Leuctra modern Lefktra, Plataies near the southwestern end of the Theban plain. There they were met by the main Theban army. The Spartan army numbered about 10, hoplites, 1, light infantry, and 1, cavalry.