The OrderOn the nature of the Order
The Order is a fraternity of Lovers. A religion, in the most quintessential meaning of the word.
Our mythic origin dates back to the year 338 BCE and the Battle of Chaeronea. This was the last stand of the Sacred Band of Thebes, an elite troop conformed by 150 couples of male lovers.
The Sacred Band was an ideal of Love and the passion of Lovers. That day, the world witnessed the fall of the most sacred of bands. A loss that even the victorious Philip II mourned:
[…]And when Philip, after the fight, took a view of the slain, and came to the place where the three hundred that fought his phalanx lay dead together, he wondered, and understanding that it was the band of lovers, he shed tears and said, ‘Perish any man who suspects that these men either did or suffered anything that was base.’
The Lion of Chaeronea (see images below) was built soon after the battle to commemorate the fall of the Sacred Band. It was rediscovered in 1818, but destroyed during the Greek War of Independence.
The Order of Chaeronea rebuilt the Lion in 1902, and it still stands as testimony of the Sacred Band of Thebes and the Order.
In 1897, poet and gay activist George Cecil Ives gave new life to the Order; in a period of time during which some forms of Love where still illegal. Namely, those between individuals of the same gender.
Inspired by luminaries like Walt Whitman and Edward Carpenter, he recruited brilliant minds of his time for the Cause; including poet and novelist Oscar Wilde.
Unfortunately, and as it often happens with artists and trailblazers, they both died way too soon to witness the early fruits of their work.
More than half a century later, the aim and purpose of the Order is still relevant — more than ever.
While we now have laws in several countries that protect Lovers and recognise their unions, we have also seen an increase on extremism and violence against them.
That is the reason while we continue the work of George Cecil Ives and, while do not claim any direct connection to his original group, we adhere to the rituals, purpose and, above all, ideals, that the above-mentioned luminaries once championed.
We are now on the verge of change. And here we will stand, and fight once more.