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?
– Plato, “Symposium”, trans. Jowett.
Finished reading an article on a fun site, Cracked.com. It was entitled, “The 6 Most Cynical Exploitations of Romantic Love in History” by Robert Evans.
I found #5 most interesting: “Homosexual Soldiers Forced to Fight to Protect Their Lovers”. In 380 B. C., Theban general Gorgidas applied Plato’s theory that a band of lovers will fight harder than a band of brothers — and created the Sacred Band of Thebes, an army contrived of 150 male couples, which “out-armied every army around, and it took no less than Alexander the Great to bring them down. All because somebody decided to exploit their love to turn them into killing machines”, (R.E.).
That’s pretty bad-ass, save for the whole exploitation part.
And now I leave you with one of my favorite “love” songs –