Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Today In History: Molon Labe, Y'all!



The Texans show their dim view of Mexico's new cannon-confiscation program by shooting up some Mexican dragoons at the Battle of Gonzales, leaving at least one looking like a rural road sign and marking the start of the fight for Texan independence.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

The British tried to seize some cannons and that started the American Revolution.

Mexico tried to seize some cannons and that started the Texan Revolution.

We need to stock up on cannons...

Someone call John Hancock.

comatus said...

So the militia asked the ladies of the village to stitch up some kinda flag, quick-like. And someone in the Sewing Circle, in a hardscrabble slaveowner patrimony where "a woman's role" was birthing babies, vaporing in hoopskirts, and/or unremitting toil (choose one), had read Greek history.

Home-schooling? Dog-eared copy of Herodotus just laying around? Divine inspiration? You make the call. Mebbe just a Texas thing.

Mike said...

The poor Mexicans just misunderstood the point of the flag - they thought it meant what is said. Thus the Texican Revolution was started over a simple linguistic misunderstanding. At least that is how I have always explained it to my kids.

Rabbit said...

You'll note we still have the cannon as well.

We're simply waiting for a suitable tyrant to come for it again.

Regards,
Rabbit.

Ben said...

Don't mess with Texas.

Desertrat said...

"And someone in the Sewing Circle, in a hardscrabble slaveowner patrimony where "a woman's role" was birthing babies, vaporing in hoopskirts, and/or unremitting toil (choose one)..."

Uh-huh. Came from New York or Massachusetts, like most Texicans in those days. A few from Kentucky and Tennessee, and a whole bunch from Europe. And a lot of folks from Mexico, looking at the Mexican names of counties and towns which were named after those revolutionaries.

Slaveowners generally came in AFTER the Revolution. Slaves were expensive, and most of the early settlers were poor--which is why they came, in the first place: That proverbial "new start". Not many hoopskirts either...

Santa Anna was indeed a tyrant, descended from a long line of bachelors...

Art

comatus said...

rat, I'm poking fun at the stereotype of antebellum women (in Texas, we're ante a couple of bellums). Obviously, somebody in that circle was pretty damn erudite, much to our glee and moral edification. I'm with you on this.

Good line on the bachelors, too.

Byron said...

Knowledge of both Greek history and the Greek language was much more widespread and in depth than it is today amongst educated and semi-educated people.

During the Revolutionary War, there was a minor skirmish south of Savannah close to Sunbury and Fort Morris. The British heavily outnumbered the Americans and trapped them. The British commanding officer demanded the surrender of the American troops and that they lay down their arms. The response of the junior American officer to this demand was a letter in which he said,"I offer this laconic reply, come and get them." {A "Laconic phrase" is a very concise or terse statement, named after Laconia (a.k.a. Lacedaemon [Greek Λακεδαίμων])} Laconia is also known by another name-Sparta.

Molon labe and it's meaning was widely known to any classically educated man-many of whom were fluent in speaking and literate in reading Greek in the original.