Home Culture History This …. Is …. Spartan … Steel!

This …. Is …. Spartan … Steel!

SpartaBack in 1961, the American nuclear physicist and research associate at the metallurgical laboratory in Chicago, Lyle Borst, visited Sparta influenced by the bravery of the ancient Spartans to study the weapons used in ancient Greece.

On his trip to Greece, Borst discovered that a “Manhattan District Project” in Sparta made steel in large quantities as early as 650 B.C.

Based on specimens he obtained from archaeologists, he theorized that steel was the secret weapon of the Spartans and that it was the reason for their military successes against enemies having only soft iron or bronze weapons.

Having such a weapon at that time, Borst said in a 1961 article in The New York Times, was almost the military equivalent of having an atomic bomb.

However, that actually stands as a scientific explanation of how 300 men managed to decimate the army of Persians, Medes and Cissians who amounted to 50,000 armed soldiers. Leonidas the brave was a 5th-Century B.C. Spartan military king who  led a small force of Greeks, mostly Spartan the famous 300, but also Thespians and Thebans, against the much larger Persian army of  Xerxes, at the pass of Thermopylae in 480 B.C. during the Persian Wars.

It was once again demonstrated (and scientifically as well) that except for the laconic matter-of-fact bravery that both Leonidas and the Spartans were famed for, they also used advanced technology ahead of their times. The Spartan shield was also said to be pivotal because it was almost impregnable.

They were defeated only because of the overwhelming odds and because a Greek traitor, Ephialtes, showed the Persians a pass that let them get around the Spartans, but it was a pyrrhic victory because the time the Spartans bought allowed the rest of Greece to unite and ultimately defeat the invaders, and save Western Civilization again, just as the Athenians did in beating the same foe 10 years earlier at the Battle of Marathon.

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  • Choralife

    ” However, that actually stands as a scientific explanation of how 300 men managed to decimate the army of Persians,”

    Decimate actually means to punish every 10th person. The word doesn’t make sense in this context.

  • leventi

    Your playing semantics. I get what the author is saying. A very nice article. Thank you.

  • Alex

    Two key reasons why ancient Greeks were relevant was because they had the common sense to understand the importance of both technology and a strong military.

  • Alex

    Advanced technology and military mixed together creates respect of borders.

    If we had any sense in us today we would have stealth ICBMs and anti-ballistic systems rather than waste our money on conventional forces. If our critics had 50 megaton thermonuclear devices pointed at their capital cities watch how fast they would start being polite to us again and denouncing the Skopians.

    A perfect example of this is how few recognize the desired name much less state of “Republic of China” (Taiwan). The unprincipled patronizing cowards fear a Chinese response.  Because we are weak both militarily and economically, the vultures and parasites swoop in.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ange.kenos Ange T Kenos

    But do not play down the drive of the Spartans, their commitment, their bravery… all as critical as steel

  • Alithia

    Steel is as useful as anchors if there wasn’t any training and bravery behind it. 

    BTW…I like the Iranian revision of history. The Persians didn’t lose the war to Greeks and Thermopyles is a Western fabrication like the Holocaust. 

    Malakes. 

  • Alex

     The new steal is nuclear and biological weapons and the capability to deliver them.

    Terrorists could sneak in a few nukes piece by piece as innocuous items but it would be hard to take out an entire country this way.  ICBMs are soon going to be a limited option because of advanced anti-ballistic systems.

     This means ICBMs of the future will need to have some sort of cloaking metamaterials that deal with both visible and invisible wavelengths of light. (One would also need to supplement with anti-ballistic capabilities)  Such weapons would be best launched from similar stealth nuclear subs in the ocean to both prevent detection and to obfuscate who delivered them.

    The secondary approach is through biological warfare. One creates a highly contagious disease that either wipes out most of the population of country but where you own population has less of a fatality rate because of having certain genetic markers in higher frequencies.

    One could even send flowers to what was left of one’s enemy and denounce those that attacked them. Even a small nation with these technology capabilities would have the ability to dispatch any large nation into the dustbin of history.

  • 6800

    Another factor is that Ancient Greeks were free and free men fight vastly harder than slaves do.   Too bad Greeks truly haven’t been free since the fall of Constantinople.