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Thread: The fate of cowards in ancient Sparta

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    Default The fate of cowards in ancient Sparta

    Spartans considered a coward the person who 1) retreated without a command about a tactical maneuver in combat, 2)the deserter and 3) the one who was captured alive by the enemy.

    Due to the Spartan fighting tactics where every soldier who responsible to cover his fellow soldier ,one act of cowardliness or deserting could lead to severe complications in actual combat. Thus the penalties were quite severe:

    The coward lost all his civil rights.

    He was not accepted in the Syskoinia , the joint military camp comprised by the various tends.

    Ηe was not accepted in gymnasiums and related activities.

    He was not accepted to the Apella , the assembly of Spartan citizens.

    His wife was forced by law not to live with him or have any *********** with him.

    He could be lawfully beaten in every moment by any citizen who wanted to abase him without the right to seek justice in court.

    The other citizens never spoke to him..

    Every time he was meeting another citizen in the street he was obliged to move aside letting this citizen pass.

    He was obliged to give his seat anywhere if another citizen asked for it , even if this citizen was younger than him.

    He was not allowed to take care of his appearance and take care of his hair. Ιt's known that the Spartans were meticulously took care their long hair especially before any battle so they would be presentable in Hades in case of death.

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    Proby? Wud dat? LongShot's Avatar
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    And then he was kicked into a hole, obviously.

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    I'd run from those giant trolls too.

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    So go tell the Spartans better not to be cowards.

    Btw, the Spartans ended up as a tourist attraction for elderly romans.

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    Did they make him put on a dress and suck his thumb?

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    Spartans also canceled his bus pass and people frequently flatulated in his general direction.

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    Pining for a custom title PEMM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCR View Post
    Btw, the Spartans ended up as a tourist attraction for elderly romans.
    Could you tell more about this one?

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    His wife was forced by law not to live with him or have any *********** with him.
    That is really bad...

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    Senior Member tercio67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PEMM View Post
    Could you tell more about this one?
    Diamastigosis, once a ritual became a spectacle. An amphitheatre had to be built in the 3rd century to accommodate the tourists.

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    During the Roman conquest, Spartans continued their way of life, and the city became a tourist attraction for the Roman elite who came to observe exotic Spartan customs.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sparta

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    No Good Bloody Seppo California Joe's Avatar
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    So they were metros[*******"#000000"]exual[/COLOR].

    Cowards also weren't allowed to work on their abs or wear Axe body spray...

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    Not Goat Roping Shermbodius's Avatar
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    .......................

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    Senior Member [WDW]Megaraptor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCR View Post
    So the traditions went on long after they had lost any practical meaning and were only banned when christian emperors banned all pagan rituals in Greece.
    I don't know much about Greece specifically, but in many cases when Christian emperors got around to banning stuff it was already long since out of fashion.

    Such as Egypt, where Christian emperors ordered the temples to the Egyptian gods closed down...but by that point there were only a handful of temples and priests in Egypt in that venerated the old gods.

    As Greece became Christianized, great cultural shifts took place that were not brought about by force, as Greece began to see itself and be seen as Eastern rather than Western.

    Overall though the continuance of Greek rituals in peaceful, bucolic Roman Greece is really interesting. Read Pausanias for example, who made a tourist guide of Greece and describes a land with a massive tourist industry built around ancient monuments, historic sites, ruins, art, the Olympics, artifacts and historic objects that allegedly belonged to Trojan War heroes, etc. Basically like a large section of the Greek economy today.

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    Senior Member tercio67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by California Joe View Post
    So they were metros[*******#000000]exual[/COLOR].

    Cowards also weren't allowed to work on their abs or wear Axe body spray...
    You mean [*******#333333]Axinē [/COLOR][*******#333333]?[/COLOR]

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    L O L A JCR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [WDW]Megaraptor View Post
    I don't know much about Greece specifically, but in many cases when Christian emperors got around to banning stuff it was already long since out of fashion.

    Such as Egypt, where Christian emperors ordered the temples to the Egyptian gods closed down...but by that point there were only a handful of temples and priests in Egypt in that venerated the old gods.

    As Greece became Christianized, great cultural shifts took place that were not brought about by force, as Greece began to see itself and be seen as Eastern rather than Western.

    Overall though the continuance of Greek rituals in peaceful, bucolic Roman Greece is really interesting. Read Pausanias for example, who made a tourist guide of Greece and describes a land with a massive tourist industry built around ancient monuments, historic sites, ruins, art, the Olympics, artifacts and historic objects that allegedly belonged to Trojan War heroes, etc. Basically like a large section of the Greek economy today.
    But I don't know about Greece, but Christianization was apparently pretty brutal in areas of the near East (Antioch, Egypt etc) in the 4th century. Remember the story of Hypathia.
    The great christianization wave could well have been the slavic migration of the 6/7th century, not Constantine.
    I've once read an article (Wiki but well researched) that stated that the loss of the majority of antique literature did not occur in the middle ages, but rather in the period between Constantine and the division. Christianization apparently struck the roman world with some sort of cultural revolution, including the destruction of books and libraries. One hint at that is that the earliest preserved catalogues of both western and Constantinople libraries from the 6th century do not contain much more antique books than we have now. 90% of the lost books were lost before the fall of the western empire.


    Regarding the "east/west" thing, the Church was officially unified until the middle ages, the bishop of Rome being the primus inter pares for the west, while the Bishop of Constantinople was the same for the east. The church shism isn't as old as it seems.
    But the underlying cause is older: In the west, religion was left to seperate priests, while the east always embraced the god-king.
    Roman emperors were officially diefied but this was a dry state cult in Italy, not a passionate religion, while in the east people took this seriously.

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