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Thread: Athens vs. Sparta

  1. #41
    Cornicularius
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    Quote Originally Posted by visiar View Post
    Sparta was weaker then. In its golden ages it could have fought a lot harder.
    Pikemen > hoplite.

    Pikemen were easier to recruit. They were paid and equiped by the nation, and fairly cheap (less armour).
    Hoplites were less common, since they were consisting of medium to rich folk. Expensive armour.

    Sparta could have formed a big league, thus bigger army than Thebes.

    Who knows who would win, someone should do a custom battle between spartan units and theban units, see who wins jokes.

    Thebes was kinda smarter than Sparta, they made an army, to counter the Spartans. Spartans are too 'old fashioned'.

    Quote Originally Posted by silentsam74 View Post
    Why Pelopidas rather than Epaminondas?
    Pelopidas was the one who formed the army, fended the Macedonians, beat the Spartans, and died by the Macedonians. He's the guy. Pelopidas was the general, Epaminondas was the a fellow statesman and general. I liked Pelopidas more, his character and history, mainly. (maybe im exaggerating his importance, )

    Read Plutarch's "lives", there was one of Pelopidas, and maybe Epaminondas. It is really interesting, actually. My memory is rusty, I can't give too much detail.
    Last edited by DimeBagHo; August 12, 2009 at 03:55 PM.

  2. #42
    Sardaukar One's Avatar Hastatas Posterior
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    Default Re: Athens vs. Sparta

    You are exagerating Pelopidas' importance.
    He was subordinate to Epaminondas, like Marc Anthony was subordinate to Caesar.

    Edited for excessive mocking. -DBH
    Last edited by DimeBagHo; August 13, 2009 at 03:06 AM.

  3. #43
    Cornicularius
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    Default Re: Athens vs. Sparta

    You realise that people have different opinions on famous people?

    Example:
    Alexander the Great is highly praised, as the MOST SUCCESSFUL leader in antiquity (besides Hannibal).
    But infact, it was his generals, who were the ones who won the battle and did everything. All Alexander did little in the battle. His generals won his glory and battles, they were the best.

    Yes, many people are margninalised in history. So you can't justify who is better to idolise and praise.

    I like Pelopidas because of his history and character, that's my preference. Similar to how I like Seleucid more than Alexander. He was an excellent captain and deputy captain of the hypaspists, and a great general too. The hypaspists are a great favourite of mine too.

    I'd like to see your post with excessive mocking ^^ .
    Last edited by Pelopidas_Of_Thebes; August 13, 2009 at 03:55 AM.

  4. #44
    _Lacedaemonian_'s Avatar Wimmer
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    Default Re: Athens vs. Sparta

    Sparta achieved little, although they had a "tough guy" military image and reputation.
    Spartan name survives to the day as a synonum of bravery and battle valor.I am not so sure about Theban one.

    Thebes on the otherhand, destroyed Sparta.
    Wrong use of verb."Defeated" is a better choice.Although defeated,Sparta continued to exist.Thebes didn't.
    Remember Alexander.Honour Kassander.

    They could have ruled Greece.
    But they didn't.Their efforts proved fruitless even against the tyrant of Thessaly,Alexander of Pherae.

    Athens vs sparta:
    Eh... Athens ftw.
    Everybody hates Sparta in Greece
    Not really.Remember the first Athenian League and the Theban participation alongside Persian forces in the Battle of Plataea,479 BC.

    and died by the Macedonians
    Incorrect.Pelopidas died by the Thessalians,altough his forces were victorious in this particular battle.

    Thebes was kinda smarter than Sparta, they made an army, to counter the Spartans. Spartans are too 'old fashioned'.
    True.Spartans were high bound traditionalists,but once they rearmed according to the Macedonian standards they proved once again effective in battle(Agis IV,Cleomenes III).

    Read Plutarch's "lives", there was one of Pelopidas, and maybe Epaminondas.
    Plutarch's "Life" of Epaminondas is lost.
    Last edited by _Lacedaemonian_; August 13, 2009 at 05:24 AM.
    Carpe Noctem.

  5. #45
    Sardaukar One's Avatar Hastatas Posterior
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    Default Re: Athens vs. Sparta

    @ _Lacedaemonian_

    Nicely done!

    Is Plutarch's life of Epaminondas lost, or did Plutarch just not write one?

    I would add that one main reason for Spartan decline was their failure to adapt to changes in strategy that were happening elsewhere.

    Pylos might well be the first example of this.
    Iphicrates spanking of a Spartan morae outside of Corinth in 390 BC is another example.
    Those pesky peltasts.
    And of course, Pelopidas leading the Sacred Band at Tegyra in 377 BC.
    Improvements in the use of light troops and hoplite tactics should have taught the Spartans a valuable lesson. It seemingly didn't.

    The Spartan hoplite had clearly declined in my opinion, though declined to where the Theban hoplite was a better individual hoplite is doubtful. But of course, hoplite warfare isn't about fighting as individuals.
    Its also fortunate for Thebes that Cleombrotus was leading the Spartans at Leuctra instead of Aegesilaus.
    Its hard to see Aegesilaus being that incompetent.

  6. #46
    silentsam74's Avatar Shashu
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    Default Re: Athens vs. Sparta

    Lost works
    The Romans loved the Lives, and enough copies were written out over the centuries so that a copy of most of the lives managed to survive to the present day. Some scholars, however, believe that only a third to one-half of Plutarch’s corpus is extant. The lost works of Plutarch are determined by references in his own texts to them and from other authors references over time. There are traces of twelve more Lives that are now lost.
    Plutarch's general procedure for the Lives was to write the life of a prominent Greek, then cast about for a suitable Roman parallel, and end with a brief comparison of the Greek and Roman lives. Currently, only nineteen of the parallel lives end with a comparison while possibly they all did at one time. Also missing are many of his Lives which appear in a list of his writings, those of Hercules, the first pair of Parallel Lives, Scipio Africanus and Epaminondas, and the companions to the four solo biographies. Even the lives of such important figures as Augustus, Claudius and Nero have not been found and may be lost forever.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plutarch#Lost_works

    By the way, here is a link to english translated versions of some of Lives. Good stuff.
    http://www.e-classics.com/
    Last edited by silentsam74; August 13, 2009 at 09:37 PM.
    Right, as the world goes, is only in question between equals in power, while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.
    --Thucydides

  7. #47
    hacon's Avatar Vexillifer
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    Default Re: Athens vs. Sparta

    Although Agesilaos generally outmaneuvered the Thebans during his invasions of Boeotian territory in 378 and 377, and outfought them in the skirmishes that occurred his only set piece battle was at Coronea in 394 where he allowed his hatred of the Thebans by dealing them a crushing defeat to cloud his tactical judgement by engaging the retreating Thebans head on instead of engaging them on their unshielded side. Xenophon regards these tactics as honourable and courageous ( a civil service euphomism for a decision thats likely to lose you the next election) but not the safest plan. The outcome was the Thebans cut their way through leaving Agesilaos the field and wounded.

    To say Cleombrotus was incompetant is to my mind not quite the right choice of words but to say he was beaten by the better general on the day is.
    I believe Cleombrotus recognized the Theban tactics and attempted to counter by extending his line to the right and wheeling it to catch the Thebans in the flank.
    He did not reckon on 2 things, first that the cavalry he sent forward to screen his movements would be pushed back onto his own line causing some disruption and secondly the ace in the hole, the Sacred Band under Pelopidas who caught them before the Spartan deployment could be completed.
    As it was the Spartan line held against the mass Theban phalanx for a while (they were able to push back to recover the body of their king) but weight and numbers eventually told (on this part of the field the Spartans were probably outnumbered by the Thebans, 4 Mora on a 35 year callup = 2400 the Thebans would have been 3000+). The Spartan allies were reluctant participants and were not involved.
    I dont believe Agesilaos was involved at Mantinea in 362 as Charles D Hamilton suggests in "Agesilaos and the failure of Spartan Hegenomy" having been just recalled to Sparta's defence having been diverted their by Epaminondas' forced march on Sparta.
    Diodorus plutarch and Xenophon are the original sources on the battle. For a more contemporary description see "Military Theory and Practice in the Age of Xenophon" by J K Anderson and "The Spartan Army" by J F Lazenby.

  8. #48
    Sardaukar One's Avatar Hastatas Posterior
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    Default Re: Athens vs. Sparta

    I knew Plutarch paralleled his lives. Demetrius the besieger and Mark Anthony for instance.
    I didn't realise he had written so much thats now lost to us.
    Fortunately, we have a lot of secondary sources to make up for that.

    I have Lazenby's book. Difficult reading.

    My recollection of Coronea is that the Thebans got the worse of it, despite being able to break through.
    Actually, didn't the Spartans let them through?

    To attack the Thebans in the rear might have been safer, but by attacking the Thebans as he did, Aegesilaus went for the oppurtunity to knock the Thebans out for good.

    Aegesilaus didn't like the Thebans. Thats for sure. But sending a pro Theban Commander in Cleombrotus?
    He hardly had distinguished himself the last time he went up against the Thebans.
    At Leucktra, I don't think it can have come as a great suprise that his cavalry got trounced.
    I would describe Cleombrotus as simply being too slow to recognize the danger. By the time he did, it was too late.

  9. #49
    _Lacedaemonian_'s Avatar Wimmer
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    Default Re: Athens vs. Sparta

    I would describe Cleombrotus as simply being too slow to recognize the danger. By the time he did, it was too late.
    I agree.

    The other famous battle between Thebans and Spartans was the battle of Mantineia in 362 BC.The result was a draw and not a Theban victory as you might find in Wikipedia. In 362 BC, the Theban Epaminondas led a coalition of forces deep into the Peloponessus, threatening Sparta directly. Foiled in a surprise attack on the unwalled city, Epaminondas moved northwards to threaten the city of Mantinea which had sided with the Spartans. Unfortunately for him, some Athenians, now openly in alliance with Sparta against the Thebans, had just arrived in time to repel the Thebans' advance guard, giving the Spartans time to organize a relief force.

    The Spartans and allies occupied the 2 kilometre-wide gap between the Mytikas and Kapnistra ridges south of the city. The Theban coalition advanced north up the road from Tegea; deployed across the plain, which is intersected by a few small paltry streams, virtually dry in the late summer season the battle was fought in, and ground arms.

    Seeing this, the Spartans and their allies called a lunch-break, upon which the Thebans rapidly attacked across the plain, their deep phalanx breaking the allies. Alas, at the moment of victory, Epaminondas was mortally wounded. Deprived of their leader, the coalition forces failed to pursue the defeated allies, and the greatest Greek battle to date came to in inconclusive end.

    Further interesting details:

    Since the battle was fought outside their city, the Mantineans occupied the position of honour at the right end of the allied phalanx, near the Mytikas ridge. Next came the Arcadians, then the Lacedaimonians and their associates, then the Eleians and the Achaeans in the centre, with the Athenians taking the left-flank position. The Mantinean and Athenian contingents fielded cavalry, guarding the flanks of the phalanx at the foot of the hills, and, unusually for a battle in this era, some Eleian cavalry was held in reserve.
    The Thebans held the left of their line, arrayed in a 50-deep block, then came the Tegeans and then the Argives. Next were the Euboeans, Locrians, Sicyonians, Messenians, Malians and Aenianians, and then the Thessalians and remaining allies. The white-helmeted Theban cavalry was deployed on both wings, and their left wing also had Thessalian cavalry. The whereabouts of the Arcadian cavalry is unknown. The Theban cavalry was supported by hamippoi footmen which gave them the edge over their allied opposites.
    (so here we have the citizens of Mantineia face-to-face with the deep theban block instead of Spartans--->in this battle there is no base to accuse the Spartans as slow-learners;actually this battle indicates that war was still an honourable act--->to defend my country I will face my mortal enemy!)
    During the course of the battle, the Mantinean cavalry was pushed back by the Theban and Thessalian cavalry (mostly expected), while on the eastern flank, the Athanian cavalry was defeated by the Theban cavalry, hamippoi and slingers deployed along the Kapnistra ridge, aided by Thessalian javelinmen.

    The Theban phalanx crashed into the allied phalanx, and aided by their victorious cavaly, broke it. At this point Epaminondas was struck down, and the pursuit was not pressed. On the Eastern flank, the victorious support troops had dispersed to plunder, and were in turn defeated by the Athenian foot.

    Both sides raised trophies of victory in the battlefield.



    References:
    Diodorus Siculus, XV, 84-89
    Xenophon, Hellenica, VII, 5
    Plutarch's Life of Epaminondas
    Carpe Noctem.

  10. #50
    silentsam74's Avatar Shashu
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    Default Re: Athens vs. Sparta

    Quote Originally Posted by _Lacedaemonian_ View Post
    Both sides raised trophies of victory in the battlefield.
    From Xenophon:
    When these things had taken place, the opposite of what all men believed would happen was brought to pass. For since well-nigh all the people of Greece had come together and formed themselves in opposing lines, there was no one who did not suppose that if a battle were fought, those who proved victorious would be the rulers and those who were defeated would be their subjects; but the deity so ordered it that both parties set up a trophy as though victorious and neither tried to hinder those who set them up, that both gave back the dead under a truce as though victorious, and both received back their dead under a truce as though defeated, and that while each party claimed to be victorious, neither was found to be any better off, as regards either additional territory, or city, or sway, than before the battle took place; but there was even more confusion and disorder in Greece after the battle than before.
    I thought this was pretty interesting.
    Right, as the world goes, is only in question between equals in power, while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.
    --Thucydides

  11. #51
    _Lacedaemonian_'s Avatar Wimmer
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    Default Re: Athens vs. Sparta

    When these things had taken place, the opposite of what all men believed would happen was brought to pass. For since well-nigh all the people of Greece had come together and formed themselves in opposing lines, there was no one who did not suppose that if a battle were fought, those who proved victorious would be the rulers and those who were defeated would be their subjects; but the deity so ordered it that both parties set up a trophy as though victorious and neither tried to hinder those who set them up, that both gave back the dead under a truce as though victorious, and both received back their dead under a truce as though defeated, and that while each party claimed to be victorious, neither was found to be any better off, as regards either additional territory, or city, or sway, than before the battle took place; but there was even more confusion and disorder in Greece after the battle than before.

    Although Xenophon is considered a pro-Spartan,we should never forget that his son Gryllus fought and died for Athens at the Battle of Mantinea,a battle which Xenophon might have watched as a spectator,given the fact that it took place very close to his residence at Scillus,near Olympia.
    Carpe Noctem.

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    Sardaukar One's Avatar Hastatas Posterior
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    Default Re: Athens vs. Sparta

    The Thebans were getting the better of it at Mantinea until Epaminondas got killed. Or so I thought!

    When Epaminondas got killed, it kinda took the wind out of the proverbial Theban sails no?
    An unamed Spartan ran him through with a spear right?


    Thanks for the links(a few posts back) by the way SilentSam.
    I knew that some of Plutarch's works were lost. I didn't realize it was so much.
    Last edited by Sardaukar One; August 16, 2009 at 07:21 AM.

  13. #53
    Ishiyumi no shashu
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    Default Re: Athens vs. Sparta

    Quote Originally Posted by Athenian Alexandros View Post
    The value of human life is a principal rule , even in a poor society. The spartans didnt accept the weak/deformed because they judged them not worthy, sparta controlled much land for farming in laconia and could afford to feed its people
    the value of Human life is a very new(late 16th century) concept... during the ancient times Human life was only valued for its role in sociaty. be it a soldier, a farmer, a craftsman of any sort, etc. not to mention that women and slaves didn't even get that far...

    seriously, you need to learn the word "perspective" and utilize it, especially on historical discussions...

  14. #54
    poep's Avatar Murakawa
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    the stupid christians don't have any reason too talk about scientific things like the value of human life, alexandros

    the christians never did a bit of science

    never
    Last edited by DimeBagHo; September 15, 2009 at 02:55 PM.

  15. #55
    CaesarVincens's Avatar Extensor Culturalis
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    Default Re: Athens vs. Sparta

    Many scientists were and still are Christians. Some Christians do resist science, but those are by far a minority. You should think carefully before making such broad and demeaning statements, poep.

    Expand your borders, a mod based on XGM 5.

  16. #56
    Spartan198's Avatar Equites Cohortales
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    Default Re: Athens vs. Sparta

    And, please, edit your previous post if you want to add something.
    Sparta: Total War | Hegemonia City States | Roma Surrectum | Aristeia | Hic Est Lacedaemon | RTR VII | Amazon: Total War | Historical RTW Vanilla 1.5 | RS1.6a Greek Cavalry Sub-Mod |

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  17. #57
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    Default Re: Athens vs. Sparta

    yes that would be very handy.
    under your post there is a option "edit post"


  18. #58
    Lycurgus the Lawgiver's Avatar Wimmer
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    Default Re: Athens vs. Sparta

    Quote Originally Posted by CaesarVincens View Post
    Many scientists were and still are Christians. Some Christians do resist science, but those are by far a minority. You should think carefully before making such broad and demeaning statements, poep.
    I would like to give you some feedback on that statement.

    Recent evidence states that about 90% of scientists (in the western world) aren't religious (Dawkins, 2007). This percentage is higher among eminent scientists. And indeed many scientists were religious, but mostly because of the fact, that if they said they weren't they would have to endure great consequences. In light of this the scientists would say they were.

    Lastly I would like to add that I don't agree with poep's way of generalization.
    Also I'm sorry I don't have a reference to back my claims with, but if you need one I could find it.


    I'm immortal! Unfortunately it wears off after 80 years..

  19. #59
    Suzuki
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    Default Re: Athens vs. Sparta

    Quote Originally Posted by Lycurgus the Lawgiver View Post
    I would like to give you some feedback on that statement.

    Recent evidence states that about 90% of scientists (in the western world) aren't religious (Dawkins, 2007). This percentage is higher among eminent scientists. And indeed many scientists were religious, but mostly because of the fact, that if they said they weren't they would have to endure great consequences. In light of this the scientists would say they were.

    Lastly I would like to add that I don't agree with poep's way of generalization.
    Also I'm sorry I don't have a reference to back my claims with, but if you need one I could find it.
    completely correct. Einstein was religious too


  20. #60
    Lycurgus the Lawgiver's Avatar Wimmer
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    Default Re: Athens vs. Sparta

    Quote Originally Posted by death to the romans View Post
    completely correct. Einstein was religious too
    Yes. Except he invented his own 'einsteinian religion'. In which god is a metaphor for all of nature's and the universe's mysteries.


    I'm immortal! Unfortunately it wears off after 80 years..

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