Thursday, December 22, 2005

Drunks of War

Drunks of War. This is an article from the July/August 2003 issue of Modern Drunkard Magazine. In it, the author (Rich English) argues that "Societies possessing a robust and realistic attitude toward intoxication have produced mightier warriors than those which censure consumption. "

This thesis in never proven in the article. However, it does provide an interesting account of the Battle of Thermopylae. In fact, this account is the majority of the article. (This is the battle where 300 Spartans held a million plus Persian army at bay for seven days and killed over 100,000 men. )

English concludes, "Spartan success at Thermopylae hinged on several important elements: Persian arrogance, Xerxes’ dependence upon conscripts, the narrow terrain of the Hot Gates, wildly superior Spartan training and tactics and wine. "

Again, the wine part is not really proven even if the Spartans were known to drink before battles while the Persians were forced to fight sober. But heck, this is Modern Drunkard Magazine. It is an interesting read even if the scholarship is lacking.

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