janeiro 22, 2007

English: Spartans

This is not one of my usual posts. This one has two purposes.

First, I´ll write it all in english to test my own skill at this language. You see: I read and listen a lot of english in an ordinary day, but I seldom WRITE in it! So, this post serves me as a training for my "mastering-many-languages-as-possible" life-masterplan; AND I hope it helps you too - at least as a reading test. Sorry for those who doesn´t undestand jack; but, hey, it´s a globalized world. You should know better! ;)

So, to train my brain, I´ve thought on a subject. It must be not-so-simple, or the writing will be in vain - using plain words and phrases doesn´t up the notch a level for me. So, I´ve thought about a more or less complicated theme (TOO complicated, like nuclear physics, wouldn´t atract readers AT ALL!), and still valid for reflection nowadays.

Hence, today´s topic is about Spartans.

You know, here is a people to admire. In ancient Greece, they were considered not only the best warriors (and the best of THE WORLD, at that!), but the most honorable and proud of the entire empire.
Although a simplistic analisys first suggest they were a rough and a barbarian civilization, with no study at all, a more careful look will discover a lot more about them. A more soft and intellectual side.

Their martial prowess were legendary because they honed their skills to the best, serving in the army from the age of 7 to 60 (!), in order to have a perfect body - a man´s only real possession, in their mentality - and a resilient mind as well. After all, a strong warrior didn´t depend only on the muscles he had, but also on the will that controled them. For that, Spartans were brilliant tacticians and strategists. The famous Battle of the Thermopylae (translation: "hot gates"), serves as exemple to the entire world, where just three hundred man stood their ground against an army many times it´s size, because they choose the battle terrain wisely, and fought strategically. They all died in that battle, of course (the battle itself is subject to a future post), but their lesson lived on: Depend only on yourself, on your body, on your mind and will; extract the advantages of your surroundings; lay a carefully thought plan; don´t be afraid of the consequences; and, last, but not least, don´t forget your values even in the direst of hours, and die with your vows and honor intact. "Etan I Eptas", as they said. "With this or upon this" it´s the correct translation, related about their shield.
The idea was that a Spartan could only return to Sparta in one of two ways: victorious or dead. If a Spartan soldier were to return to Sparta alive and without his shield, it was assumed that he threw his shield at the enemy in an effort to flee faster; an act punishable by death or banishment.

In Greece, where the battle occurred, there is a monument of King Leonidas, dead in battle. On the sculpture, there is a saying also, transcribed here:

"Go tell the Spartans, stranger passing by,
that here, obedient to their laws, we lie."

Tell me if it isn´t THE most badass´ epitaph you´ve ever read!!?? And, of course, it applies the same logic above. On my tomb will be one just like it!

"Go tell the Spartans, you who read,
that here, separated from his brothers, Henrique is dead."

Pretty badass indeed!

Um comentário:

Robson disse...

Well, my english sucks, but yours is fine. And the text is great. Congrats!

Im my tomb:
"Go tell the Spartans, you crazy bitch, that I fucked all their mothers and was able to run free".