The Story of an Elite Army of 300 Gay Men

The elite team, founded by a general named Gorgidas, consisted of 150 gay couples.

L. Small
4 min readApr 10


Photo by Jaime Spaniol on Unsplash

During the era of ancient Greece, same-sex relationships were accepted in society. Same-sex couples (especially men) often showed such high loyalty towards each other that Plato (the famous philosopher) proposed the formation of an army unit composed entirely of gay couples.

In his account titled Symposium, written around 370 BC, Plato stated that an army composed entirely of gay couples would be a strong and invincible force.

He believed that each person in the army would fight tooth and nail to ensure their lover’s safety when fighting. He claimed that love would cause a person to have courage.

In fact, a few years before the Symposium was written, a similar elite army had already been established. Around 378 BC, an elite team known as “Hieros Lokhos” or in English, “The Sacred Band of Thebes,” was formed as one of the branches of the army of Thebes (a city in central Greece, now known as Thiva).

The elite team, founded by a general named Gorgidas, consisted of 150 gay couples. This brought the total number of members of the elite team to 300.

This elite team has nothing to do with the Spartan army led by Leonidas as in the movie “300”. The battle between Leonidas’ army and the Parsis took place 100 years before the Sacred Band of Thebes was formed.

The Sacred Band of Thebes’ first assignment was to serve as a vanguard to the army led by Chabrias (General of Athens) against Agesilaus II (King of Sparta) in the Boeotian War (378–371 BC).

The Triumph of the Sacred Band of Thebes

The ruins of ancient Theban citadel of Cadmea. Source.

The formation of the Sacred Band of Thebes was not just a publicity stunt. They engaged in and won several important battles and even played an important role in helping Thebes become an important city in Greece.

Apart from winning the battle against King Agesilaus II, the elite band also found success in other famous…



L. Small

"One arrow alone can be easily broken but many arrows are indestructible" ~Genghis Khan~