The Sacred Band Of Thebes: An Army Of 300 Gay Lovers

By | August 26, 2019

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Symposium scene, ca 480-490 BC, decorative fresco from the north wall of the Tomb of the Diver at Paestum, in what is now Italy. Source: (Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Archaeological Museum) (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)

In ancient Greece, much like modern-day San Francisco, homosexuality was an accepted part of life. Homosexual couples often exhibited such devotion to each other that Plato proposed the formation of an army unit composed entirely of gay couples. "Don't ask, don't tell" was definitely not a policy for this army. Here is the story of ancient Greece's Sacred Band of Thebes, an army of gay partners.

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Grown men engaging in sex acts with young boys was totally acceptable in Ancient Greece. Source: (

Plato's Idea?

In Plato's Symposium, which was essentially a written hypothetical conversation between several characters that were penned around 370 BC, Phaedrus states that an army made up entirely of gay lovers would be a formidable one because each person would fight hard to ensure the safety of their lover. Plato wrote "No man is such a craven that love cannot inspire him with a courage that makes him equal to the bravest born."