The Sacred Band of Thebes

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The Theban Sacred Band was one of the greatest military corps of Ancient Greece, thriving from the city-state of Thebes for almost 50 years in the mid 4th century BC. In addition to their fighting prowess, however, there is another fascinating aspect to their history; this 300-man elite corps was made up of 150 pairs of male lovers, many of them buried side by side where they fell in battle. To hear more about this, Tristan spoke to James Romm, author, reviewer, and James H. Ottaway Jr. Professor of Classics at Bard College in Annandale, New York. James gives us a glimpse of Theban democracy, power struggles between leading city-states, and the growth of eros, sexual love, in Greek public life. His book ‘The Sacred Band’ is out now.



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