Despite the fact that gay men are often seen as less physically capable than straight men, The Sacred Band of Thebes – a fearless army that was formed of only gay lovers – proved that’s definitely not the case.
According to Pink News, the army “was formed in Ancient Greece by a general named Gorgidas in 378 BC”.
Gorgidas’ army was made up of 300 men; couples compiled of one older “lover”, and one younger “beloved”. These were estimated to be around 30 years-old (when they typically retired), and 21-years-old when they joined.
The notion of lovers fighting side-by-side was one that was supported by Plato.
“And if there were only some way of contriving that a state or an army should be made up of lovers and their beloved, they would be the very best governors of their own city, abstaining from all dishonour, and emulating one another in honour; and when fighting at each other’s side, although a mere handful, they would overcome the world.
“For what lover would not choose rather to be seen by all mankind than by his beloved, either when abandoning his post or throwing away his arms? He would be ready to die a thousand deaths rather than endure this.
“Or who would desert his beloved or fail him in the hour of danger?”http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/symposium.html
The Sacred Band of Thebes used dance and wrestling to train for their fights, and went on to win multiple battles, including beating the Spartan army who vastly outnumbered them.
After 40-years of fearless fights, they were finally defeated in 338 BC. Despite being offered the chance to surrender, The Sacred Band of Thebes continued to fight until each of them were killed.
But according to Plutarch, Philip II broke down in tears after defeating them. He is recorded as saying: “Perish any man who suspects that these men either did or suffered anything unseemly.”
On a completely related-unrelated note…
WATCH: Spartan wields his sword