Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

VIRTUAL - Death comes to the Theban Sacred Band: Skeletons from the Battle of Chaironeia (338 BC)

November 8, 2021 @ 7:00 pm EST Eastern Time

This is an online event.

AIA Society: Washington, D.C.

Lecturer: Maria Liston

The Battle of Chaironeia was a turning point in Greek history. Macedonian forces under the command of Phillip II and his son Alexander defeated a combined Greek force of Athenians, Thebans, and others near the town of Chaironeia, establishing Macedonia dominance over much of the Greek mainland. Anchoring the Greek line on the right was the Theban Sacred Band, an elite military unit consisting of 150 pairs of hoplite soldiers, who were purportedly lovers as well as comrades in arms. Opposite them on the Macedonian left was the cavalry force led by Alexander, then 18 years old. In the course of this decisive defeat of the Greeks, the Theban Sacred Band was almost entirely annihilated. Excavations in the 19th century recovered skeletons of the Theban soldiers interred at a battle monument near the acropolis of Chaironeia. This lecture presents evidence from these skeletons for death on the battlefield and subsequent mutilation of the corpses, and explores the use and efficacy of weapons and armor in ancient warfare.



Short bibliography and/or website on lecture topic:

Plutarch’s Lives, on the Theban Sacred Band:

The Battle of Chaironeia (Charonea):  Battle of Chaeronea – World History Encyclopedia (

Matson Lecture

When placing events on your calendar using these buttons, please check that time zone displays correctly.


November 8, 2021
7:00 pm EST
Event Categories:


Elise Friedland


In-person or Virtual Event
Subscribe to the AIA e-Update

support Us

The AIA is North America's largest and oldest nonprofit organization dedicated to archaeology. The Institute advances awareness, education, fieldwork, preservation, publication, and research of archaeological sites and cultural heritage throughout the world. Your contribution makes a difference.