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Old 12-29-2015, 01:15 AM
 
4,097 posts, read 2,954,038 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by max340 View Post
Plutarch and Xenophon disagree over whether Spartans practiced pederasty. I have to go with Xenophon and say no.
Actually Plutarch agrees that that pederasty was strictly forbidden by Lycurgus the law giver, as does Aristotle. The confusion comes from wishful thinking from modern gay academics and a misunderstadning that the the phrase "eromenos" referred to sexual love, when it did not. But the ancients are clear as can be.

For the record, whiles the Athenians and Thebians thought homozexuality was great, the Romans also despised it. The pentalty for homosexuality in the legions was death. As for Pluatarch and Xenophon:


Affectionate regard for boys of good character was permissible, but embracing them was held to be disgraceful, on the ground that the affection was for the body and not for the mind. Any man against whom complaint was made of any disgraceful embracing was deprived of all civic rights for life.
Plutarch, Customs of the Spartans, 7


I think I ought to say something also about intimacy with boys, since this matter also has a bearing on education. In other Greek states, for instance among the Boeotians, man and boy live together, like married people; elsewhere, among the Eleians, for example, consent is won by means of favours. Some, on the other hand, entirely forbid suitors to talk with boys.
The customs instituted by Lycurgus were opposed to all of these. If someone, being himself an honest man, admired a boy's soul and tried to make of him an ideal friend without reproach and to associate with him, he approved, and believed in the excellence of this kind of training. But if it was clear that the attraction lay in the boy's outward beauty, he banned the connexion as an abomination; and thus he caused lovers to abstain from boys no less than parents abstain from sexual intercourse with their children and brothers and sisters with each other.
Xenophon, Constitution of the Lacedaimonians, chapter 2


And this is what has actually happened at Sparta; the legislator wanted to make the whole state hardy and temperate, and he has carried out his intention in the case of the men, but he has neglected the women, who live in every sort of intemperance and luxury. The consequence is that in such a state wealth is too highly valued, especially if the citizen fall under the dominion of their wives, after the manner of most warlike races, except the Celts and a few others who openly approve of male loves. The old mythologer would seem to have been right in uniting Ares and Aphrodite, for all warlike races are prone to the love either of men or of women. This was exemplified among the Spartans in the days of their greatness; many things were managed by their women.
Aristotle, Policts, book 2 chapter 9


Spartan love knows nothing shameful: whether a young man should dare to suffer outrage or a lover to give it, it would benefit neither to dishonor Sparta by doing so. For they would either have to leave their fatherland or better yet life itself.
Aelian, Varied History 3.12


'Any male Spartan that admires a Lakonian youth, admires him only as we would a very beautiful statue. For bodily pleasures of this type are brought upon them by Hubris and are forbidden..'
Maximus of Tyre "Declamations' 20.e
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Old 12-31-2015, 07:45 PM
 
38 posts, read 23,897 times
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The US Navy SEALS would wipe the floor with the Spartans.

And they are not all huge, heavily muscled guys. They come in all shapes and sizes. They are guys in SpecOps who are 5'7" and 150-160 lbs. who can shoot you down from 1/2 mile away or break your neck in a matter of seconds. You wouldn't give these guys a second look on the street.

In terms of training, operational tempo, combat experience, nutrition, access to the latest weapons and technology and absolute fighting spirit, US Special Operations (Navy SEALS, DevGrup, Special Forces, CAG, PJs, etc.) are the best of the best.
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Old 01-01-2016, 09:15 AM
 
432 posts, read 182,119 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kicks45 View Post
So awhile back a friend and I were watching Spartacus and he made the comment that in reality while they would indeed be buff they wouldn't be ripped like they are in the show. I asked him why and he said because back then they didn't have access to good nutrition or supplements like we have, would you agree?

Also, hypothetically if you had say 10 Spartans from the time go up against 10 Navy SEAL guys today in hand to hand combat do you think the Spartans could win?
Theres no real gain to running the low bodyfat % needed to get ripped aside from looks or some sports.

Back in the day the knowledge wasn't there to make it happen, diets were mainly fats and carbs. Look at atheles from the 50's they would have alot more knowledge of sports nutrition and still ran alot higher bf%.

As for Seals its comparing apples and pears.

h2h with Greek weapons? Spartans cause thats what they train for.
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Old 01-01-2016, 12:17 PM
 
Location: Riverside Ca
21,708 posts, read 24,137,821 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beavischipolte View Post
The US Navy SEALS would wipe the floor with the Spartans.

And they are not all huge, heavily muscled guys. They come in all shapes and sizes. They are guys in SpecOps who are 5'7" and 150-160 lbs. who can shoot you down from 1/2 mile away or break your neck in a matter of seconds. You wouldn't give these guys a second look on the street.

In terms of training, operational tempo, combat experience, nutrition, access to the latest weapons and technology and absolute fighting spirit, US Special Operations (Navy SEALS, DevGrup, Special Forces, CAG, PJs, etc.) are the best of the best.
We're talking both using same relatively equal weapons. But yeah if we're comparing a fully armed Navy SEAL vs a fully armed Spartan the SEAL would win simply because of the advanced weaponry that can take the Spartan from longer distances. But I agree hand to hand my vote goes to SEALS for the most part. But I don't think it would be unanimously SEAL dominated fight. It's not like the Spartan is just gonna sit there waiting for you to break his neck or stab him.
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Old 01-01-2016, 02:24 PM
 
552 posts, read 264,683 times
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Spartans got rolled by a Crimson Tide.
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Old 01-02-2016, 01:21 AM
 
Location: Southeast Michigan
2,852 posts, read 1,849,359 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beavischipolte View Post
The US Navy SEALS would wipe the floor with the Spartans.

And they are not all huge, heavily muscled guys. They come in all shapes and sizes. They are guys in SpecOps who are 5'7" and 150-160 lbs. who can shoot you down from 1/2 mile away or break your neck in a matter of seconds. You wouldn't give these guys a second look on the street.

In terms of training, operational tempo, combat experience, nutrition, access to the latest weapons and technology and absolute fighting spirit, US Special Operations (Navy SEALS, DevGrup, Special Forces, CAG, PJs, etc.) are the best of the best.
Now let's stop all this chess puffing...

First, we are of course assuming the same level of technology. Say take 300 SEAls and 300 Spartans, and give them hand held bladed weapons. No guns, boats, grenades etc.

Spartans were taken out of their mothers' care at a very young age (6 or 7 ?) and put in barracks where they would reside until 30. All that time they did nothing more than train to fight and fight and fight, plus some grammatical / philosophical education.

Remember too, that these were the days when hand-to-hand combat was the only form of combat in existence. Archery too, of course, but it was secondary. So for most of their life, starting from the very young age, they were trained to kill people with their hands using what was basically a big mean knife (Greek xyphos that the phalangites used was a big dagger, much smaller than the later swords).

Of course their main weapon was the spear. And their great reputation as warriors comes more from their ability to hold the line in a heavy infantry formation. But this was the time when any warrior was a bladed weapons specialist - simply because this was one of the only two weapons he used.

While SEALs are definitely trained to use knives and hand to hand combat techniques, they are specializing in a very different type of combat. They have to learn a whole lot of other skills and most of them take precedence over actual hand-to-hand fighting. They simply can't afford to spend as much time on poking people with sharp objects as these ancient types did. They only have to be better than another, less well trained modern human - not than a warrior living 2,400 years ago when all they had was a spear and a xyphos. And given the almost constant nature of warfare in the ancient world, by the age of 20 an average Spartan warrior would have many more hand-to-hand battles with actual live opponents on his resume.

Now about the nutrition. It may come as a surprise to many, but the ancient Greeks and Romans had excellent nutrition, even by the modern standards. They lived in a very hospitable climate, with excellent agriculture compared to the Northern / Western Europe, and the elite (which is what the spartan warriors were) was most definitely not starving. Even the slaves were not starving. Read on the research of the remnants of the last meals of the people dug up from Pompeii - they were very well fed. The malnutrition was more of a problem in the Western Europe after Rome started falling apart and agriculture and commerce collapsed.

And look at the Greek statues and paintings. Everyone's buff. Again, it was not necessarily the case in the real life, but the young elite was extremely body-conscious. To have a well tuned body was very important, a matter of pride and status, and if you were not a slave / helot or some poor farmer, you dedicated a lot of time to bodybuilding and excercise. Especially if you spent most of your life in the barracks.

Nor the SEALs have the monopoly on martial arts. Greeks spent a lot of time beating the crap out of each other with bare hands - almost bare, they used special leather wraps with metal disks that could easily crack a bone with one blow of a fist. Before the mass use of ranged weapons, pretty much any warrior culture had martial arts that allowed a warrior to kill his opponent with his bare hands. This was essential when all fighting was hand to hand and you risked losing your weapon. The greatness of Eastern martial arts like karate is in that they survived longer. They are by no means unique.

Now, SEALs and other Special Ops troops are specifically trained for ambushes and sneak attacks - so perhaps they would have a surprise advantage over people whose primary role was that of heavy infantry. Although given the difference in lifestyles, I think a lot of what our SpecOps have to be taught, the people living in the year 500 BC would learn naturally. But as far as using your hands and some basic tools to kill an opponent in a face to face fight, the well trained ancient warrior would have a whole lot more actual experience and training than any modern SpecOps soldier - just because of the way of life, the tools available, and the constant nature of warfare back then.

Just like a rapier wielding XVI century professional soldier or duelist would likely make a short work of any modern special forces operator - he is in his element, and is fighting on his terms, with an extremely quick and lethal weapon he spent lifetime mastering, and is superbly skilled in what he does, and most likely has killed more people in close combat than 90% of these modern Rambo types. And I mean close combat, not shooting someone 20 yards over. Just because his time has passed, doesn't mean he wasn't a top warrior in his time.

Last edited by Ummagumma; 01-02-2016 at 01:40 AM..
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Old 01-05-2016, 09:01 AM
 
4,456 posts, read 3,936,310 times
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Re: Spartans and pederasty

You know I think we are so far removed from ancient Sparta that we in our era really have to make a jump in understanding how 'love' and 'war' mixed together especially in Spartan culture. In Sparta, the whole point of life and meaning went to dying in battle with valor and glory.

The Spartans knew that when they went into battle each soldier's actions affected the outcome of his whole unit that he was fighting in. It is no wonder that Soarta was so victorious on the battlefield since they understood that fostering close physical and emotional bonds between the soldiers made them succeed in battle. In Sparta soldiers indeed fought and gave their lives for the state but at the last they really fought for the fellow right next to them.
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Old 01-05-2016, 09:29 AM
 
10,387 posts, read 18,491,541 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alphamale View Post
Just take a look at Ancient Greek statues of men.
Actually, no. These statues are a representation of an ideal.
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Old 01-05-2016, 01:39 PM
 
4,097 posts, read 2,954,038 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travric View Post
Re: Spartans and pederasty

You know I think we are so far removed from ancient Sparta that we in our era really have to make a jump in understanding how 'love' and 'war' mixed together especially in Spartan culture. In Sparta, the whole point of life and meaning went to dying in battle with valor and glory.

The Spartans knew that when they went into battle each soldier's actions affected the outcome of his whole unit that he was fighting in. It is no wonder that Soarta was so victorious on the battlefield since they understood that fostering close physical and emotional bonds between the soldiers made them succeed in battle. In Sparta soldiers indeed fought and gave their lives for the state but at the last they really fought for the fellow right next to them.
What the...?

You just completely ignored the unanimous consensus of all of the ancient authors, inlcuding Xenophon, who fought with the Spartans.

What you are talking about is Thebian culture, along with the wishes of moderns peophiles who write books.

Here, lets post them again. Keep in mind, these are ancient sources, including primary sources. Please acknowledge that you now understand that you are incorrect.


Affectionate regard for boys of good character was permissible, but embracing them was held to be disgraceful, on the ground that the affection was for the body and not for the mind. Any man against whom complaint was made of any disgraceful embracing was deprived of all civic rights for life.
Plutarch, Customs of the Spartans, 7


I think I ought to say something also about intimacy with boys, since this matter also has a bearing on education. In other Greek states, for instance among the Boeotians, man and boy live together, like married people; elsewhere, among the Eleians, for example, consent is won by means of favours. Some, on the other hand, entirely forbid suitors to talk with boys.
The customs instituted by Lycurgus were opposed to all of these. If someone, being himself an honest man, admired a boy's soul and tried to make of him an ideal friend without reproach and to associate with him, he approved, and believed in the excellence of this kind of training. But if it was clear that the attraction lay in the boy's outward beauty, he banned the connexion as an abomination; and thus he caused lovers to abstain from boys no less than parents abstain from sexual intercourse with their children and brothers and sisters with each other.
Xenophon, Constitution of the Lacedaimonians, chapter 2


And this is what has actually happened at Sparta; the legislator wanted to make the whole state hardy and temperate, and he has carried out his intention in the case of the men, but he has neglected the women, who live in every sort of intemperance and luxury. The consequence is that in such a state wealth is too highly valued, especially if the citizen fall under the dominion of their wives, after the manner of most warlike races, except the Celts and a few others who openly approve of male loves. The old mythologer would seem to have been right in uniting Ares and Aphrodite, for all warlike races are prone to the love either of men or of women. This was exemplified among the Spartans in the days of their greatness; many things were managed by their women.
Aristotle, Policts, book 2 chapter 9


Spartan love knows nothing shameful: whether a young man should dare to suffer outrage or a lover to give it, it would benefit neither to dishonor Sparta by doing so. For they would either have to leave their fatherland or better yet life itself.
Aelian, Varied History 3.12


'Any male Spartan that admires a Lakonian youth, admires him only as we would a very beautiful statue. For bodily pleasures of this type are brought upon them by Hubris and are forbidden..'
Maximus of Tyre "Declamations' 20.e
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Old 01-05-2016, 04:20 PM
 
Location: Southeast Michigan
2,852 posts, read 1,849,359 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe from dayton View Post
Actually, no. These statues are a representation of an ideal.
More like something in between. In all Greek city states, the poorer folk had to spend their days working, and didn't have the time to groom their bodies. They were most definitely strong and lean. But likely not very "sculptured".

The richer landowners who made up the first ranks of the phalanx (since they could afford the best armor) were very conscious of the shape of their bodies, and spent a lot of time in workout and sport activities. Much of that time was dedicated to bodybuilding and getting as close to the ideal represented by the Greek statues as possible.

The Spartans with their unique lifestyle had all the time in the world - and the inclination - to develop their bodies.
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