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The sacred band : three hundred Theban lovers fighting to save Greek freedom

Romm, James S.2021
The story of the Sacred Band, an elite 300-man corps recruited from pairs of lovers, highlights a chaotic era of ancient Greek history, four decades marked by battles, ideological disputes, and the rise of vicious strongmen. At stake was freedom, democracy, and the fate of Thebes, at this time the leading power of the Greek world. The tale begins in 379 BC, with a group of Theban patriots sneaking into occupied Thebes. Disguised in women's clothing, they cut down the agents of Sparta, the state that had cowed much of Greece with its military might. To counter the Spartans, this group of patriots would form the Sacred Band, a corps whose history plays out against a backdrop of Theban democracy, of desperate power struggles between leading city-states, and the new prominence of eros, sexual love, in Greek public life. After four decades without a defeat, the Sacred Band was annihilated by the forces of Philip II of Macedon and his son Alexander in the Battle of Chaeronea--extinguishing Greek liberty for two thousand years. Buried on the battlefield where they fell, they were rediscovered in 1880--some skeletons still in pairs, with arms linked together. From violent combat in city streets to massive clashes on open ground, from ruthless tyrants to bold women who held their era in thrall, The Sacred Band follows the twists and turns of a crucial historical moment: the end of the treasured freedom of ancient Greece.
First Scribner hardcover edition.
New York : Scribner, 2021.©2021
xvii, 298 pages ; illustrations, maps, portraits ; 22 cm
Map on endpapers.Includes bibliographical references (pages 257-276) and index.
1. Love's Warriors (August 382-January 378 BC) -- 2. Boeotia Rising (378-375 BC, plus background 400-382 BC) -- 3. Philosophers in Arms (375-June 371 BC) -- 4. Otototoi! (July 371-370 BC) -- 5. The Three Free Cities (370-367 BC) -- 6. A Death in Thessaly (367-364 BC) -- 7. A Death in Arcadia (364-359 BC) -- 8. The Sacred Wars (358-335 BC).
9781501198014 (hbk)9781501198014
Dewey class:
LocationCollectionCall numberStatus/Desc
Sandringham LibraryAdult Non Fiction - History938.4 ROMAvailable
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