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Author Topic: Greek Spartans  (Read 4983 times)


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Greek Spartans
« on: January 08, 2005, 04:15:21 PM »

Besides Hock's Spartan Sinawali dvd (which is great) does anyone have any sources for looking at the techniques used by the Greek Spartans? Tapes, Books, ect.?


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Re: Greek Spartans
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2005, 07:45:53 PM »

There is a really nice "coffee table" book entitled "Warfare in the Classical World" by John Warry. With lots of pictures and descriptions of the arms, armor and how they were used, it is not what you would expect to see required as a textbook, but it was for my "Warfare to 1500" (or something like that - it was five years and many classes ago) course I took.

Of course, no mention of the Spartans is complete without pointing out that much of their fighting spirit was inspired by the desire to protect (and not look like a wuss) their, ahem, "significant others" inside the unit. This is completely ignored in the otherwise excellent book "Gates of Fire" by Stephen Pressfield. Which in itself is a represenation, in historical fiction, of the beliefs of the International Hoplogical Society and in turn represents much of the early influences in mentality of the current USMC Martial Arts Program.



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Re: Greek Spartans
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2005, 02:53:22 PM »

Eh thats not quite true, certainly they had lovers that they fought with, but for most Spartan men the homosexual relationships would end when the younger of the two would become an adult. You're thinking of the Sacred Band, an army composed of homosexual couples from Thales (i believe). They were undefeated until the entire unit was wiped out at some battle that I can't remember. Homosexuality was a common thing in the ancient Greek world

The spartans fought just like any other greeks did, so you can look it up in any text book on Greek history. They just fought better, not necessarily different. They made a point of basically fighting most battles the same way, so there weren't exotic "techniques" per say.

Also, you must know that any historical information about the Spartans is at least second hand, as they had no writers or historians of their own, and the people who did write about them probably exaggerated certain points.

So anyone claiming to sell you secrets of spartan fighting techniques are, most likely, full of crap.

Nick Hughes

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Re: Greek Spartans
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2005, 03:15:14 PM »

I know a little about them because I'm married to one...seriously.

They put their newborns out in a basket overnight...if the child survived it was considered worthy to train as a warrior.

They had two governements...a peace time govt and a war time govt.  When they weren't at war the peace time govt ran things democratically and very PC.  If war was declared, or they were attacked, they stepped back and the wartime govt took over.  Not a bad idea.

They practised very early psy ops.  When the battle was over at the end of the day the Spartans would go out on the field of battle and remove all dead and wounded Spartans so when the battle resumed in the morning the enemy would see only their dead.

I agree with the crazy guy with the sword (cool tag BTW) that their fighting techniques were probably very similar to the other Greeks at that time.

Interesting side note.  The movie called the "Warriors" is actually a re-enactment of the history of the ancient Greeks.  You'll remember the gang banger who was trying to unite all the gangs name was Cyrus (sp?)  The Warriors were supposed to be the Spartans.

Apparently the Spartans were but one tribe called to Athens for a meeting to unite all the smaller factions in to one big group.  Cyrus was killed and the Spartans were framed.  A band of nine of them had to fight their way back home with everyone trying to kill them.

Hard pressed on my right. My center is yielding. Impossible to maneuver. Situation excellent. I am attacking.
--Ferdinand Foch-- at the Battle of the Marne


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Re: Greek Spartans
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2005, 07:53:34 PM »

Please do remember that I nicknamed the knife module, "The Spartan" Combat Module only because of generalizations. It was a sword and shield world then, and when you couldn't reach and stab the enemy you hacked on their weapon bearing limb. The impact disarm.

My general intent was to spread the respect around. Europeans and Africans get no respect and Asians seem to get it all. It seemed to me that modern man in many circles were just gloming onto the Filipino " defang the snake" as if the concept was invented in Manila. Cavemen hit the weapon-bearing limb.

In all my travels in the Philippines I never heard one say "defang the snake." I am not saying is is a southern California may have roots in the Canate Family... but was not an automaticly used and recognized term in the "penes." Only Dan Inosanto (and then maybe Balicki could answer for sure)

I thought it appropriate to call the impact disarm drills-The "Spartan" Drills just to...spread the respect... the Spartan format works-

Knife vs knife
Knife vs stick
Knife vs pistol quick draws
Unarmed vs weapons
Stick vs stick and other weapons
(A gunshot makes a helluva weapon-dropping impact)

Type in Spartans on Amazon and see what comes up. The guys mentioned the best books...

« Last Edit: March 08, 2005, 10:03:52 PM by »


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Re: Greek Spartans
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2005, 08:55:15 PM »

haha as a side note:  there is homosexuality in "Gates of Fire", its just not explicit. Remember the boy who is tutored and mentored by Polynikes? Well that student-teacher relationship was not just scholastic, if you know what i mean....but it ended as soon as the boy was considered a man. We call it prostitution, the Greeks called it learning.