"If", the Lacadaemonians said

The Spartans are remembered throughout the history of Western civilisation as some of the greatest, most disciplined, and most terrifyingly skilled warriors that ever lived. But the very military education that made them the most feared and respected citizen-soldiers in all of Greece, also made them remarkably good at coming up with utterly badass dry trash-talk.

We remember the Spartans for their most famous line, "MOLON LABE!!!"- "COME AND TAKE THEM!!!"- uttered in response to the Persian demand to surrender their arms at the Battle of Thermopylae. This phrase has become the rallying cry of patriots, gun nuts, and free citizens of the United States everywhere in response to ever more desperate attempts by the US government to usurp their God-given right to keep and bear arms.

However, it turns out that the Spartans had a veritable treasure trove of such phrases, and they would routinely trot them out as needed to cut their opponents down to size with words- usually right before they did the same thing with their weapons:

Any country that could scare off both Philip of Macedon and his son, Alexander the Great, with a single word, was not one that you wanted to screw around with.


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