11 The Warrior Archetype

Episode Eleven: Be Brave My Heart

Combat for the ancient Greeks was an up-close-and-personal affair. Either you killed the man across from you or he killed you.

The decisive, pitched battle was everything.

Amazingly, that method (and the warrior codes that derive from it) is still the way we in the West fight today.

The “quagmires” we have found ourselves in in recent decades stem from facing enemies who understood these rules and refused to play by them.

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7 Comments

  1. Andrew+Lubin on September 21, 2020 at 6:48 am

    It would be a challenge to judge the courage of 300 Spartans facing hundreds of thousands of Persians against Sudanese Dervishes with broadswords charging a British square armed with Martini Henry’s (or substitute examples of your own).

    Perhaps the common factor is that both the Spartans and the British trained to rely -and support – the man on their left and to the right, and this knowledge made them fight harder in the knowledge they were not fighting alone. And keeping to the east-west concept, let me suggest the best example of the value of fighting as a single unit was the 13,000 1st MarDiv Marines fighting their way back from the Chosin Reservoir in 1950. “We’re coming out as Marines,” Gen O.P. Smith told McArthur, “and we’re bringing our wounded and our dead with us.” S/f

  2. Joe Jansen on September 21, 2020 at 7:00 am

    I’ve long appreciated Victor Davis Hanson’s clarity and insight. I like that his wiki bio lists his occupation as: “Professor (Emeritus), author, farmer.”

    The realism with which you write about the period makes me pretty sure something of your consciousness lived there.

    • Brian Nelson on September 21, 2020 at 1:24 pm

      Joe,
      VDH is one of my favorite writers/thinkers I’ve read since being introduced to him by the Adjutant General of the Utah Army National Guard. MG Brian Tarbet led an Officer Professional Development dinner that I was fortunate enough to attend. In his remarks, he mentioned a quote from VDH. I looked him up, and read him nearly as frequently as this blog.

      Below is a link to an article VDH wrote in 2009 titled, “Thoughts About Depressed Americans”. My favorite quote from this article is,
      “For the present I think that we have enough social service bureaucrats, enough consultants, enough PhDs that will lecture how race/class/gender has made us, our air, our dogs even, so unfair. WE SIMPLY ARE THIRSTY FOR THE UNAPOLOGETIC DOER, who never says he’s sorry for himself or his country or his ancestors, but instead thinks and plans how he can build something better and leave it for others — the age old agrarian commandment “make sure you leave a better farm than you inherit.” Where are they all, in the grave?”

      I capitalized the sentence that resonated so deeply with me.

      Here is the link to the complete article: http://victorhanson.com/wordpress/thoughts-about-depressed-americans/

      Oh–and to echo your last statement–I’m pretty sure Mr Pressfield, in another incarnation, walked those fields 2500 years ago as well…
      bsn

  3. Fergus O'Connell on September 22, 2020 at 12:48 am

    These posts are always *so* interesting and thought provoking. Thanks, Steve for the time and work that you’ve put into them.

    • Barbara Newton-Holmes on September 22, 2020 at 6:21 am

      Yes – that’s just what I was going to comment. I really appreciate the time you take to make these, Steve!

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