Posted by: aediculaantinoi | August 20, 2013

For the Sacred Band of Thebes

For the Sacred Band of Thebes

Boeotia’s crown was placed upon the city
when the blood of the Sacred Band fell upon it
against the marauding Philip and Alexander of Macedon;

One-hundred-and-fifty charioteers
carried one-hundred-and-fifty chariot warriors,
each a pair of lovers, to valiant death;

Six hundred coins upon their eyes for Charon,
the boatman of the river Styx
who gave his name to the town…

Or was it Chiron from Mount Pelion
who was the famed centaur and tutor
that was memorialized in Chaeronea?

Plutarch was the greatest son of the town,
the one who sealed the legend of the Sacred Band
from myth to history above their blessed graves.

The wealth of Croesus would not be sufficient
to endow a funeral with gifts and games
equal to the glory of the three hundred Thebans.

Sing their praises from high mountains,
join the eternal sea’s dirge for them at the shore,
and remember the fierce lovers who fell at Chaeronea.


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