Brilliant Beards #3

While I’m on the theme of renowned warriors of the bearded variety (See Brilliant Beards #2: Vikings) I obviously need to pay homage to the greatest of the ancient Greek warriors: the Spartans.

Virtually all men in ancient Greece were bearded, particularly warriors and philosophers.  However it was the Lacedaemonians (ie. Spartans) who were the most feared warriors.  It was Herodotus who first recorded the events of the Battle of Thermopylae where a small contingent of Greek warriors led by 300 Spartans held off the Persian masses until a greater Greek force could be assembled and a proper defence made.  While stylish, Frank Miller’s graphic novel/movie “300” is nothing more than a flashy bastardization of history… at least Gerard Butler’s Leonidas had a beard!

Brilliant Beards #3: the Spartans

Spartan Hoplite spartan_butler

Before that fateful battle in which all of the Greek warriors died, Herodotus records (Histories 7:208) how the Spartans spent the evening before battle preparing their weapons and grooming their hair & beards.  Apparently within Spartan culture if someone was deemed to be a coward his punishment was to have his beard shaven off (ie. he was a boy, not a man).  So be a man; prepare your weapons and groom your beard!

Perhaps the Bearded Gospel Men best apply this lesson into our own culture: