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The Spartan Myth
By Teutonic Fist & James LaFond
Hey James this was a great show with the fatherland. Here is something I wrote a while ago after seeing one of these Spartan Memes one time too often. I fucking hate Sparta.
Since the Movie 300 the myth about Sparta became popular among European nationalists as if the Spartans were the archetype of the bare-chested European warrior that defended Europe against oriental hordes in Turbans over 2000 years ago. The Movie, based on a comic, based on another movie, based on ancient Greek propaganda, struck a nerve at the time, but just as much as ancient Persian goat man or guys with bone blades for hands, the mythical history of Sparta is Bullshit. What we understand of Sparta today is basically the content of a Roman tourism brochure luring middle class tourists to the colony of Greece with the tales of strong warrior men and beautiful women.
Truth is, Sparta was never known for his Warriors at the Time. The best Warriors were said to come from Argos, a city further up north of Sparta. Sparta was more comparable with the Plantation Aristocracy of the old South. The city ruled over a valley of Helot Slaves fenced in by a mountain range settled by Perioikoi, a citizen and craftsmen class
that were not allowed to live in Sparta itself, but who were necessary to produce goods that required more finesse then agricultural slave labor. The Spartans itself spend their time in leisure with art, plays and music. During the Olympics, they didn't perform exceptionally.
The battle of the hot gates which the movie 300 is about was never planned as a suicide mission or anything like that, and besides the 300 Spartans, there were 10 times as much other Greek soldiers at the battle, which the movie treats as a side note and rather brawlers then soldiers. Also, way more of them survived the battle then Spartans.
Sparta gave up the battle against three years later anyway and the Persians burned down Athens.
The idea that they fought for freedom against Persian tyranny is outright absurd. King Xerxes, portrayed as a metrosexual, abolished slavery, everyone was subject to the king and not property, and the Achaemenid dynasty was a rather tolerant and much more stable form of society then Greece. If anyone fought for freedom in the battle of the 300 movie, it was the Persians.
In fact, their federalist system of government worked effective enough that later Philipp of Macedon copied the Persian System of taxation and soldiery. When he together with his Son Alexander invaded Greece, the Spartans didn't even show up for the Battle of Chaeronea so wrecked their society was at this point. Because 50 after the events in the
movie 300, they fought the other Greeks in the Peloponnesian War, which lasted almost 30 years and devastated the peninsular. During that war, the Spartans got paid by the Persians to raise a fleet against Athens.
The Spartans looked like the Winner in the end, but the war ate up too much of their substance which with the low reproduction numbers of the ancient world could not be replenished. So almost 30 years later and still generations missing, Sparta lost a War against Theben and its general Epaminondas freed the Helots, which broke the back of the Spartan Slave system. Sparta was fucked and as mentioned, another 30 years later, the Macedonians invaded and Sparta had nothing that it could muster anymore at this point. Later, Sparta became a roman tourist trap.
If anything from that time influenced Western Civilization, its Persian federalism and not Sparta. So fuck those Spartan Sodomites and their pissant slaver city.
Notes from James
1. Helots, had the shitiest military job of their time, actually campaigning with Spartan heavy footman as skirmishers and bearers even as junior Spartan’s hunted their fathers and brothers for training back home. Although helots had military success against the operationally brittle Spartan hoplites they could not prevail through pure 4-G warfare due to the fixed settlement of their vulnerable non-combatants. Also, the Messenian Helots were subdued once with the aid of Athens. Gene Wolfe, in Latro in the Mist sketches a successful helot strike against Spartan hoplites. See also Shorn of Little Sissy Things.
2. The Spartan prologue was the 600s and 500s when they dominated wrestling like no nation before or since, with Horse-Strong and his son winning 11 Olympiads between them. See All Power Fighting for their story, available only as an e-book on this site.
3. In the Spartan heyday of the 400s B.C. they earned their reputation against Persian and allied Greece forces. They sinned by murdering Dorious of Rhodes, breaking the Olympic truce to murder him. Like Imperial Japan their ethical and honor systems broke down in cross-cultural circumstances and they became monstrous overlords.
4. The Arkadians are absolutely the most mis-represented characters in 300, which was a rip-off and distortion of Stephan Pressfield’s excellent book Gates of Fire. Rather than goonish hillbillies depicted in the comic book film, the Arkadians were allied Peloponnesians who used longer spears and smaller shields and were hard running mountain infantry, 30 of whom accompanied the 300 and raided the camp of Xerxes. The Arkadians were to the Spartans what the Navy Seals are to the U.S. Marines.
5. The Spartan epilogue may be regarded as heroic, as, long severed from their Messenian Helot slaves, the Spartans rose again to have local military success in the late 200s and early 100s B.C.
6. Argos, Sparta & Athens would be like the American Civil War factions, with Sparta representing the Confederacy, Athens New York and New England Yankees and carpetbaggers and Argos Free Soil Union men of the Ohio Valley and Kansas. The rivalry between Argos and Sparta was centuries old with the Spartans eventually winning out. See The Gods of Boxing and All Power Fighting for the insane battle of Hysie and other Argive heroes.
7. Macedonians, never invaded Sparta, but kept an uneasy peace until the death of Alexander when Greece rose and Antipiter put down the revolt, in which the greatest Greek hero was a wrestler from a small Greek state.
8. Arete and the stress that Spartan life and the dementia that overtook Spartans campaigning in an imperial capacity [much like Japanese soldiers in WWII] is well treated in Gene Wolfe’s Latro of the Mist.
9. The Roman Fetish for Sparta was based on their reading of Greek history but mostly on the fact that Sparta was one of the Greek states that allied with Rome.
10. Sparta and Persia generally got along well, as illustrated by Herodotus and Xenophon. When they did not, the Spartans proved easily a match for the Persians and a Spartan junior officer actually co-commanded the Ten Thousand with Xenophon during their storied March-down-to-the-sea out of Persia. A reading of Herodotus goes a long way towards dispelling the modern historical myth that the Greco-Persian wars were a racial and ideological struggle with consequential freedom won for Western Civilization at Marathon and Plateua. These societies were cousins and Xenophon even wrote a biography of Cyrus the Persian as a lesson on masculinity and statesmanship for his sons. The real threat to Western life was Athens, with its obscene democracy which would ultimately be resurrected and used to destroy European tradition in the late 1700s down to the present. Thucydides’ work, that of another Athenian exile, which Xenophon takes up with completing the story of Dorious [Spear-chief] of Rhodes, defines Athens in all of its degeneracy.
11. Homosexuality seems to have been of a specific pederastic type similar to the Samurai tradition and to have involved about 30% of males in all Greek communities, with the Spartans slightly more prone to this due to their long separations from their women. The Athenians, Thebans and Cretans were all more prone to man love than the Spartans. Indeed, the 300 members of the Theban Sacred Band that bull-dozed the Spartan King in 371 B.C. were all married homosexuals, an extreme form of man love unknown in Sparta. Alexander would later have them all killed.
12. Persian morality was a bi-word in their time. They were basically the closest thing to muscular Christianity types of today seen on earth until the Crusades. In regards to homo sex, the Persians were largely innocent and did have a liberal slave empire which permitted tribal autonomy and was, in most respects, morally superior in terms of privacy, ethnic identity and religious tolerance than most ancient, medieval and modern states, including the current U.S.
13. In the end a reading of the life of Sparta [See Spartan Reflections by Cartledge] demonstrates that extreme tribal measures to maintain a sense of masculine identity can provide shinning peaks of heroic perfection, which are, however, interspersed by deep vales of cold cruelty which yawn far wider than the more memorable moments in the Sun.
14. The unsung heroes of Thermopyle were the Thespians, whose entire male population of 400 died three generations in a row, at the Hot Gates besides the Spartans and Theban hostage fighters, and then again at the hands of the Thebans and Athenians in two different wars. The men and women of Thespia suffered more than any other Greek community and were ethnically cleansed like Aegina, Naxos, Thasos, Thebes, Corinth and other tiny Greek-speaking nations that fell under the heels of the Athenians, Thebans, Macedonians and Romans. Much might be said of the Persian Empire where every person was a slave to the Great King and he to God, or about the Spartans, who practiced the cruelest form of slavery in the pre-Roman world, but the Spartans and Persians did not make a habit of genocide like the Athenians, Macedonians and Romans, the latter of whom perfected the art. For this, Xenophon, an Athenian exile, who commanded allied troops against Persian forces, admired both the Persians and Spartans, the former for their wisdom and statecraft and the latter for their battle prowess.
Note: Relevant Patron Deities
Argos: maternal, Hera of the Shield
Athens: maternal, Our Guardian Lady of Thought
Sparta: paternal, Herakles and The Heavenly Twins, Castor and Polydeukes, respectively ascendant demi-gods of self-made victory, MMA, dueling and boxing
Thebes: paternal, Shining Apollo, excellence, song, plague, boxing, wolves and the solar disc
Alexander and some imitative Roman Caesars took Herakles [Latin Hercules] as their patron deity, though always in recognition of his mythic rapist father, Zeus [Latin Jupiter.]
Of Lions and Men
For When White Meant Might
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Add Comment
Sam J.March 24, 2018 6:23 PM UTC

Forgot to add the movie was stupid as fuck. Spartans never ran around screaming and bellowing like the actors. They were mostly quite and said little then killed you.
Sam J.March 24, 2018 6:21 PM UTC

I don't agree with the condemnation of the Spartans. Using a cartoon or a movie to reference who they were is...not advised, as the people making these moves want more than anything to to attack Whites and any remanents of their culture they can. Not that they were always perfect or virtuous. They were around for a long time. That they were slavers was not any different than most other people's of the time. They didn't have machines run on oil so if you wanted to get ahead it was the only way. In some ways they were better Masters as they let families live together and just took a percentage of what was produced instead of owning them outright and taking all.

They were devious as they were raised that way or they starved as children. They had to steal food. I think their whole society was set up to suck and be a pain in the ass so that when they were on campaign they lived better. It worked for a long time and if their population had kept up there was no reason it had to end. I place their population deficit solely on the Women. After all that was really all they HAD to do was have lots of kids and they didn't do it. The Spartan Women were the most liberated of most anywhere at that time and if you look around today...well we have much the same. If we had to depend on American Women to pull the country through we would likely be ruined.

They were the best fighters of the time as status demanded that they be able to do so and status is the end for most Men. It's what we strive for. After all if you're only job is to fight and the society is geared up for this and you spend lots of time fiddling around to keep yourself in a condition to do so you ought to be able to best most Men. Like an ancient boxer fighting some young hot head. That Alexander left them alone should tell you something. He could have beat them wasn't worth the pain it would have caused him.
responds:March 24, 2018 9:20 PM UTC

Yes, Sam, being the best fighters of your time should recommend you to future men, no matter how much of a weirdo you were.
ShepMarch 21, 2018 4:36 PM UTC

James—Any chance we'll see All-Power Fighting in traditional book form?
responds:March 21, 2018 6:51 PM UTC

I will be working on this with my Niece in May, so it should be up for sale this summer.
ArgyraspideMarch 20, 2018 9:19 PM UTC

So, what is your take on the alternate historical telling of what happened to Leonidas and the 300 as told by Diodorus Siculus?

His facts are that the Spartans made a stealthy raid into Xerxes' camp to try to kill him and end the war. They were unable to do that so they decided to simply kill as many of the Persians as possible until they were killed themselves, which is what happened.

Whose story is true? Diodorus' or Herodotus'? No one knows for sure.
responds:March 21, 2018 10:04 AM UTC

I favor a balancing of the two accounts although I have not read them and other source material side-by-side but years apart. Cartledge and Pressfield are the best modern renderings I have see. Interestingly, the old movie 300 Spartans depicts the raid. and I further suspect that such a raid would have been made by the Arkadian detachment.