Georgius Jehner von Orlamünde

Members of the Theban Legion

Germany (c. 1480)

Tempera on Wood Panel, 76 cm.

The Image of the Black in Western Art Research Project and Photo Archive, W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research, Harvard University

So this painting pretty much reduced me to barely coherent squeals of “LET’S BE BOYFRIENDS OKAY”.



Fun fact. There was an Ancient Greek army called The Sacred Band of Thebes or The Thebans which was composed of 150 male couples. The generals believed that men fighting alongside their lovers would fight harder and die for rather than betray each other. That is so hot and awesome.

I demand an AU.

Leonidas, Spartan military king

Leonidas was a Spartan military king in 5BC, who is famous for leading his 300 Spartans, as well as Thespians and Thebans, against the Persian army of Xerxes in 480BC- this was the Battle of Thermopylae. 

Leonidas was defeated by Xerxes’ much larger army and killed, with the Persians mangling his corpse. According to Herodotus, the Thebans surrendered when Leonidas had been killed, as they had never wanted to be there in the first place.

witches’ alphabet - theban script

the theban alphabet is a writing system with unknown origins. it was first published in johannes trithemius’ polygraphia (1518), in which it was attributed to honorius of thebes. trithemius’ student agrippa (1486–1535) attributed it to pietro d’abano (1250–1316). it is also known as the honorian alphabet or the runes of honorius after the legendary magus (theban is not, however, a runic alphabet), or the witches’ alphabet, due to its use in modern wicca and other forms of witchcraft as one of many substitution ciphers in order to hide magical writings - such as the contents of a book of shadows - from prying eyes.

Bell idol. This terracotta figurine dates to the 7th century BC (the Late Geometric period). Theban workshop of the Oinochoe Group.

Was this a figurine for the dead? Mathieux Néguine of the Louvre elaborates:

The date and place of origin of the figure are readily identifiable through comparison with other local pottery. Its function is more problematic, however. Certain aspects of the painted decoration represent jewelry or tattoo designs known to have been in use at the time, but others are more symbolic, and may relate to the animal and vegetable kingdoms over which the figurine-goddess reigned (note the leaf fronds and water fowl).

The figure may be a goddess of animals, nature, and life, whose first known representations date back to the Bronze Age, in Crete. Its reappearance in the Geometric period, in Boeotia, testifies to the enduring appeal of certain motifs and beliefs.

The goddess - identified by some with the figure of Artemis - takes on a new significance here thanks to her association with the idea of movement. The articulated legs would have moved quite freely when the figure was suspended from a cord (as originally intended). Figurines of this type have been found in the graves of women and children from the 10th to the 8th centuries BC; they may symbolize the protective forces of nature, accompanying the deceased on his or her journey in the afterlife.

Courtesy of & currently located at the Louvre, France. Photo taken by JastrowCA 573.


“The Hermetic Triumph”
Andrew Schmidt

4.5’ x 2’ x 1’
Wood, Paint, Glue, Marker, Crystal Clear Enamel, POSCA Paint Marker, Foam, Resin

“The Hermetic Triumph” is a sculpture that was produced after a month of alchemy research and practice. The “tablet” itself is a reference to the Emerald Tablet, said to be the foundation of alchemy and the roots of the Hermetic tradition. The front panel shows three magical languages: The Alphabet of the Magi and Theban, being medieval alchemy languages, as well as Elder Futhark which deals with esoteric magic, gods, and the elements. In the center are the symbols for the three prime elements of alchemy: salt, sulfur, and mercury. On the back panel are the four Aristotelian element symbols. Finally, at the top, it culminates into alchemical gold.


Anonymous Bohemian Illuminator (Prague)

The Martyrdom of Saint Maurice and the Theban Legion

Bohemia (1402)

Illumination on Parchment, 460 x 230 mm.

Martyrology (129 fols.), fol. 94 sup v , left border, second medallion from top: Martyrdom of St. Maurice and the Theban Legion.

The Image of the Black in Western Art Research Project and Photo Archive, W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research, Harvard University

Wow. This is a pretty powerful image of the story of the Theban Legion and Saint Maurice. Also, God looking at what’s going on seems downright appalled at what’s happening.

Terracotta Kantharos (drinking cup with high handles)
Attic Greek, Late 5th Century BC

The kantharos combines the head of a satyr and the head of a woman. On the cuff, above the satyr, is a maenad riding a panther; above the woman, the Theban sphinx seizes a youth. The molded satyr head preserves small but numerous traces of added color.