Monday, December 17, 2007

Sparta, Leonidas and false legends

-(italian) I fanciulli, appena nati, erano esaminati dagli anziani, e, se risultavano deboli o deformi, venivano esposti sul monte Taigeto perché fossero raccolti dai Perieci o dagli Iloti, oppure lasciati morire.

-It's hard for textbooks to say anything nice about the Spartans.

-The state determined whether children, both male and female, were strong when they were born; weakling infants were left in the hills to die of exposure.

On the photo is Leonidas (could be: statue found near his thomb) -"Lion's son", "Lion-like"- king of Sparta. If I had to choose a man-hero, ideal, I would name him. I like Spartans from my school-years and this man is for me the greatest in all history.
"We do not know what he looked like or how he felt. We only know what he did. ... Herodotus is our main source of information, plus a few fragments". I thought, Leonidas has to be about 30 years old, but the sources I read to write this post tell about 50-years old man.

The legends narrow, Leonidas knew from oracles that Sparta's king has to die to save the city and he went in the battle to give up himself.
When Xerxes wanted they lay down arms, Leonidas answered: Well, come here and take them.
Xerxes said: tomorrow the sun will be covered with flying arms. Leonidas answered: It's better for us, we can fight in the shadow.
On the third day of the battle (Thermopylae) Leonidas said to his soldiers to make good breackfast because this night they will eat in Aidòs ( the kingdom of the death)

So, till here you know more or less the history.

An interesting result have archeologists (Theodor Pitsios) in the place "where the spartans threw their deformed and ill children", under the mount Taiget (as the legend narrows -source: Plutarсh, from Athene, enemy of Sparta). They found in that place bones of 46 men of the age from 18 till 35 years ( VI-V cent. b.C.). Probably they were traitor, criminals and captives. No children bones found. False Legend. Written, surely,with only aim: to make bad publicity to enemies of Athene.

Now they want to demostrate that the legend about homosexual preferences of spartans is a false legend too.

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