Anecdotal thoughts of Jim Aborwhear

I experienced a relatively rare emotion today…enthusiasm.

At lunch over a coffee I was discussing cabbages and Kings with a colleague of mine. For some reason we were discussing the history of warfare and meandered into the ancient world, specifically the Spartans. Anecdotal thoughts of Jim AborwhearI recalled that the word “laconic” was related and was rather pleased that I remembered the story behind it.

“The word laconic is derived from a region of ancient Greece called Laconia, the capital of which was the city of Sparta. The inhabitants of Sparta were famed for their warfare but also for the economy of their speech. The story goes that Philip II of Macedon once called on the Spartans to surrender, sending them the following message: “if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city”. The Spartans, in typical laconic style, sent a reply containing just one word: “If”.

This led to a discussion of the Punic wars and the battle of Cannae…and before I knew what I was doing I was breaking up wooden stirrers and recreating the battle on the table with an excitement and focus that is rarely, if ever, present in my working life.

by Jim Aborwhear


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