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Spartan Hoplites & Roman Legionaries
Hey guys I made some more Spartans lololol
About this creation
All minifigs shown here were created using custom decals that I designed myself. Don't forget to check out my Decal Shop! Weapons, helmets, and shields by BrickForge.



A row of 6 Spartan hoplites. Male Spartan citizens were known as Spartiates, or "peers," meaning that they had equal status in Spartan society - above the status of the helots, Sparta's slave class. Trained from childhood, Spartan soldiers made up the most disciplined army in ancient Greece.



The word hoplite comes from hoplon, meaning the shield that the hoplites carried. They were heavy infantry spearmen who fought in a formation known as a phalanx.



A shot of the back decals.



A shot of LEGO's Spartan minifig from the first series of collectible minifig blind-bag packs, as compared with mine.



As disciplined as the Spartan hoplites were, they had nothing on the discipline of the Roman legions at the height of Rome's power. The Romans practically invented the art of the drill, pounding discipline into their soldiers every day until each legionary feared the whip of his centurion (commander of approximately 100 troops) even more than his enemy.



Rome took great pride in its military and in the genius of its great generals, men like Scipio Africanus and Julius Caesar. Victorious generals returned home in a great parade known as a Triumph, often accompanied by the dedication of a great triumphal arch, covered in depictions of the battle and the general's glorious victory.



A Roman legionary was armed with a javelin called a pilum, which was designed to bend and possibly break after striking its target, so that it could not be retrieved and used by the enemy. After throwing these spears, the legion would advance, their tower shields locked together, and march over the enemy, cutting them apart with their relatively short swords like a meat grinder. It was a brutal but efficient style of warfare that helped make the Roman Empire one of the largest in history.



Okay, you kids sat through that whole history lesson, so here's some silly pop culture for you:


On the left we have Maximus Decimus Meridius, Russell Crowe's character from the 2000 film Gladiator. A disgraced Roman general fighting to avenge the deaths of his family, Maximus kills the Emperor Commodus in single combat in the arena. This makes for a good movie, but the reality was a little different. While Commodus really was a hated Emperor who fought in the arena many times, he did not die there. Rather, a group of senators conspired against him and sent his wrestling partner to strangle him in his bath. This was in AD 192.


On the right, of course, is one of the Spartans from Frank Miller's graphic novel and subsequent film 300, depicting a fantastical version of the famous Battle of Thermopylae, in which 300 Spartans (with some often-forgotten help) defended the small pass known as Thermopylae (the hot gates) from an immense army of invading Persians under Xerxes the Great. The comic and film are intentionally exagerrated. Although Spartans did often train in the nude, they wore heavy armor in battle, which was one reason they were able to stand against so many light-armored Persians.



Obligatory "THIS IS SPARTA!" image. Hope you're happy now!


With the exception of the above scene, most of the cool lines in 300 are not the work of Frank Miller; they're taken straight from historical accounts. The Spartans were famous for their dry wit, called "Laconic" after an old name for Sparta. Some examples include:


- Spartan mothers or wives gave a departing warrior his shield with the words: "With this or on it!", implying that he should return (victoriously) with his shield, or (his dead body) upon it, but by no means after saving himself by throwing away his heavy shield and fleeing.


- When the Battle of Thermopylae was about to begin, Xerxes offered to spare the Spartans if they gave up their arms. Leonidas replied "Molon labe" (Greek: Μολών λαβέ), which translates to "Come and take them". Today this is the motto of the Greek 1st Army Corps.


- According to Herodotus, Spartan warrior Dienekes was told that the Persian archers were so numerous that when they fired their volleys, their arrows would blot out the sun. He responded with “So much the better, we'll fight in the shade”. Today Dienekes's phrase is the motto of the Greek 20th Armored Division.


- According to Plutarch, on the morning of the third and final day of the battle, Leonidas, knowing they were being surrounded, said to his men, "Eat well, for tonight we dine in Hades."


- Also according to Plutarch, when asked by a woman from Attica, "Why are you Spartan women the only ones who can rule men?", King Leonidas's wife Gorgo replied, "Because we are also the only ones who give birth to men."


- According to two different historical accounts, when Philip II of Macedon and his son Alexander the Great were conquering Greece, they sent a message to Sparta saying something along the lines of, "If I win this war, you will be slaves forever. If I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city." To which the Spartans sent a one-word reply: "If."


There can really be no doubt: Spartans were badass.


 


All minifigs shown here were created using custom decals that I designed myself. Don't forget to check out my Decal Shop!




Comments

 I like it 
  November 9, 2011
LONG LIVE GREECE!
 I like it 
  September 19, 2011
Cool! I hope you continue posting creations, I thought you'd given up on LEGO!
 I like it 
  August 19, 2011
Great job Love your work. You know, after a couple of months without much action from you, I started to get a bit worried your liking of lego... But this recent one is a real reliever :)
 I like it 
  July 18, 2011
Amazing decals on this ones, Justin :D
  July 14, 2011
did you make our buy those roman soldiers
Justin Saber-Scorpion Stebbins
 I like it 
Tyler Dillon
  July 12, 2011
Awesome spartans!
 I like it 
  July 11, 2011
Well done!!!!
 I like it 
  July 10, 2011
Neato mosquito!
Justin Saber-Scorpion Stebbins
 I like it 
ben siekierski
  July 9, 2011
yeah the real number of greeks was around 6,000 not including the athenean navy
 I like it 
  July 9, 2011
Those are some really, really, REALLY good decals.
 I like it 
  July 9, 2011
Excellent!
  July 9, 2011
Thanks for the history lesson. That's probably some of the most interesting stuff I've read on MOCPages in a while. Gotta love that Spartan sense of humour.
 I like it 
  July 9, 2011
wow nice costums i love these lego people :)
 I like it 
  July 9, 2011
I hate that Maximus because of his helmet I dont like it if people crush lego parts. But the other minifigs are awesome!
 I like it 
  July 9, 2011
Some excellent minifigures! Brilliant work! Yours looks so much better than Lego's Spartan! Great work ;)
 I like it 
  July 9, 2011
Can you be my history teacher...PLEASE (Pleading anime puppy eyes) LOL
Justin Saber-Scorpion Stebbins
 I like it 
General Asher S.
  July 8, 2011
When I saw this it reminded me of a documentary series from the early 80's called Masada (about the first Jewish-Roman War). Anyway, great job!
 I like it 
  July 8, 2011
Awesome figs and decals!!
 I like it 
  July 8, 2011
these guys are cool, i like yours better than Lego's. Also, if there are centurions, are there also decadions, like decade?
 I made it 
  July 8, 2011
Actually, the Spartans were aided at Thermopylae by Thebans and Thespians, who also fought and died there. That was what I meant when I said "with some often-forgotten help".
  July 8, 2011
Yapdap Reep Bitte, you for got to mention that the other "large" army was the Athenians and they didn't fight at all during the battle it was all the Spartans.
 I like it 
  July 8, 2011
your creations never fail to amaze me another brilliant job (if your a percy jackson fan check out my camp half blood comic series signups http://www.mocpages.com/moc.php/278990)
 I like it 
  July 8, 2011
Your decals are (like Spartans indeed) badass - and I really enjoyed the history lesson! Most of the phrases and facts I knew, but it's always good to see some context in creations! - Kevin
 I like it 
  July 8, 2011
The Spartans were awesome. That's why they made the Spartans in Halo 'Spartans'. The often forgotten help you mentioned was actually a large number of other soldiers. Larger than that of the Spartans themselves. You did a great job of depicting these wonderous fighters.
 I like it 
  July 8, 2011
Wonderful stuff!
 
By Justin Saber-Scorpion Stebbins
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