Senin, 07 September 2009

300 Spartans: A Brief History of the Battle of Thermopylae

Spartan King Leonidas

Spartan warriors were elite fighting men. They are still praised today for their discipline, physical training, and strategic skills. Yet, out of all these elite Spatan warriors rose someone who even they considered to be extraordinarily brave, and heroic. That person was Spartan King Leonidas.

His background: he was one of the sons of king Anaxandridas 11 of Spartan and a descendant of Hercules. He succeeded his half- brother, Cleomenes 1, and married Cleomenes' daughter, Gorge.

In 480 B.C, during the Persian-Greco Wars, Leonidas lead 300 Spartans and thousands of allies in a mission designed to slow down the Persian military advance toward the heart of Greece. It was considered to be a suicide mission. When the battle seemed hopeless King Leonidas, dismissed their allies, leaving only him and 300 other Spartans to hold off thousands of Persian warriors, they were literally outnumbered one thousand to one.

Yet, they manage to hold the Persians at bay for days. By all historical accounts, the 300 Spartans and King Leonidas fought with their last breath, but was eventually overpowered and killed.

Facts about the Battle of Thermopylae

The Battle of Thermopylae took place September 17-19, 480 BC

The 300 hundred Spartans who fought along side Leonidas were an all-sire unit, which means that they all had sons who would carry on their bloodline if they were to die. They were also comprised of Leonidas own fighting unit. Some historians have reported that King Leonidas wanted to go to his death. Why? An oracle told him that Spartan only could be saved by the death of its kings and one from the lineage of Hercules. He fit the bill on both counts.

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