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Immortal Heroes of Sparta

 

What are men? Mortal gods.
What are gods? Immortal men.
– Heraclitus

A Man's life is action, the practice of heroism.
A Man should always think of an act of bravery, of a deed, of performing something impossible for all others.
A Man should always remember his heroic mission in life – and he will achieve everything he desires.
A. R. Basov, "Spirit of the Warrior"

 



All men's souls are immortal, but the souls of the righteous are immortal and divine.
– Socrates

Sparta was a state of warriors, and all freeborn citizens without distinction were warriors. They did not occupy themselves with anything else on principle, putting their faith and trust in their martial prowess; their cities were not surrounded by walls.
The role of the state in Sparta was very strong. There were no social antagonisms – all Spartans were equal; they competed only in valor, but within the ranks of their ironclad phalanx. The Spartans lived and died with arms in hand, waging innumerable
local wars on a tiny piece of land which is hard to find on a map.
A. R. Basov, "Spirit of the Warrior"



The best of men choose one thing in preference to all else, immortal glory in preference to mortal good; whereas the masses simply glut themselves like cattle.
– Heraclitus

Great Plato did not know any better than take the Spartan polity as an example of an ideal state, but in truth, Sparta, as a historical phenomenon, demonstrated the deadlock of an explicit, violent dictatorship. Sparta had no drive toward development, being a rather considerable example of the fact that even a primitive philosophy based on force, hard-line attitude, and absence of internal social antagonisms may be extremely operative and victorious, although static and unpromising, stiff like a stone statue.
A. R. Basov, "Spirit of the Warrior"



The Spartans do not ask how many are the enemy, but where are they.
– Plutarch

Weakness generates failure and decay. In nature, lice attack a weakened and distressed creature; they propagate on it and live by sucking out its vital force.
Only he who becomes strong can shake off all parasites; nobody can take advantage of him.
A. R. Basov, "Spirit of the Warrior"

He who has overcome his fears will truly be free.
– Aristotle



Even if you hide underground a thousand steps deep, death will find you if your time has come. Cowardice attracts misfortune. The brave despise danger, and it avoids them. Accordingly, legendary warriors rarely died in battle. The power of spirit is the most reliable protection and one should always remember it.
A. R. Basov, "Spirit of the Warrior"

A coward turns away, but a brave man's choice is danger.
– Euripides



The Spartans, like the samurai, despised money and were partisans of isolationism and a special type of stoicism. The doctrine of the Spartans’ life per se was simple: they were the best warriors of their time and by force of arms retained their condition of "a justifiably proud man", maintaining the slave-owning state from age to age.
A. R. Basov, "Spirit of the Warrior"

"For the whole earth is the tomb of famous men; not only are they commemorated by columns and inscriptions in their own country, but in foreign lands there dwells also an unwritten memorial of them, graven not on stone but in the hearts of men. Make them your examples, and, esteeming courage to be freedom and freedom to be happiness, do not weigh too nicely the perils of war." [Pericles' Funeral Oration]
– Thucydides, "History of the Peloponnesian War"



Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees the others.
– Aristotle

Man conquers the world by conquering himself.
– Zeno of Citium



The secret of this extraordinary longevity consisted in practicing strong moral principles, and the Spartan society had lasted for a very long while… before these principles were defied. For ages, the Spartans had been surrounded by mighty enemies, but these enemies were able neither to shatter nor eliminate them. The ruin came from the inside...
A. R. Basov, "Spirit of the Warrior"

If you worship your enemy, you are defeated. If you adopt your enemy's religion, you are enslaved. If you breed with your enemy, you are destroyed.
– Polydoros of Sparta



Move ahead and do not look back – this is the philosophy of the warrior.
Nothing disappears, and what must occur, will occur.
A. R. Basov, "Spirit of the Warrior"

What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.
– Pericles



Death itself is not important for a warrior, but the determination to die any moment at his own will.
A. R. Basov, "Spirit of the Warrior"

Regard your good name as the richest jewel you can possibly be possessed of – for credit is like fire; when once you have kindled it you may easily preserve it, but if you once extinguish it, you will find it an arduous task to rekindle it again. The way to a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear.
– Socrates

 

Quotes are taken from
the book "Samurai. Spirit of the Warrior" by A. R. Basov

avaliable as an eBook (for Windows, Android, iOS) and a hardcover book (pre-order only).

 

 




I will not get lost...
The North Star is shining in the darkness...
The road to Valhalla, straight like a sword, is always in front of me!

Copyright 2000-2016 Alexey R. Basov, Tatiana Basova. All rights reserved.

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