Past and Present: The Sacred Band – A Legacy of Same-Sex Love from Ancient Thebes

This infantry regiment of 150 male couples defeated the Spartans in open battle. By Dr. James RommJames H. Ottaway Jr. Professor of ClassicsDirector, Classical Studies ProgramBard College Among the many roads leading up to the Supreme Court’s 2015 decision on same-sex marriage, one of the more significant routes passes through Boeotia in central Greece.  This[…]

The Boetian War: Ancient Thebes Revolts against Sparta, 378 BCE

The Spartan Eurypontid king Agesilaus led two expeditions against Thebes but achieved little. Introduction and Background The Boeotian or Theban War broke out in 378 BCE as the result of a revolt in Thebes against Sparta. The war saw Thebes become dominant in the Greek World at the expense of Sparta. However by the end[…]

‘The First Man of Greece’: Epaminondas and the End of Spartan Tyranny over Thebes

Epaminondas transformed the Ancient Greek city-state of Thebes, leading it out of Spartan subjugation into a preeminent position in Greek politics. Introduction Epaminondas (Greek: Ἐπαμεινώνδας) (ca. 418 B.C.E.–362 B.C.E.) was a Theban general and statesman of the fourth century B.C.E. who transformed the Ancient Greek city-state of Thebes, leading it out of Spartan subjugation into a preeminent position in Greek politics. In the process he broke Spartan[…]