our best history leader KING LEONIDAS ( sgt is better )

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our best history leader KING LEONIDAS ( sgt is better )

Post  dundek on Tue Feb 23, 2010 6:34 am

Battle of Thermopylae
480 BC

Leonidas, king of SpartaOn the arrival of Xerxes at Thermopylae, he found that the place was defended by a body of three hundred Spartans and about seven thousand hoplites from other states, commanded by the Spartan king Leonidas.
Xerxes learning about the small number of Greek forces and that several Spartans outside the walls were exercising and combing their hairs, in his perplexity, immediately called Demaratos to explain him the meaning of all these. Demaratos told him that the Spartans will defend the place to the death and it was custom to wash and dress their hairs with special care when they intended to put their lives in great danger. Xerxes who did not believe Demaratos, delayed his attack for four days, thinking that the Greeks as soon as they would realize his great forces will disperse.
He sent also heralds asking to deliver up their arms. The answer from Leonidas was "come and take them" (Μολών λαβέ).
A Spartan, who was told about the great number of Persian soldiers, who with their arrows will conceal the sun, he answered: "so much the better, we will fight in the shade".
At the fifth day Xerxes attacked but without any results and with heavy losses, though the Medes fought bravely. He then ordered his personal guard the "Immortals" under Hyrdanes, a body of ten thousand consisting from the best Persian soldiers, to advance. They also failed and Xerxes was observed to jump from his throne three times in anger and agony. The following day they attacked, but again made no progress. Xerxes was desperate but his luck changed when a Malian named Ephialtes told him about a secret path across the mountain. Immediately a strong Persian force was sent with Hyrdanes, guided by the traitor. At day's break they reached the summit, where the Phokian army was stationed and who upon seeing the Persians fled.
When Leonidas learned all these incidents, he ordered the council of war to be summoned. Many were of the opinion that they should retire and find a better defendable place, but Leonidas, who was bound by the laws of Sparta and from an oracle, which had declared that either Sparta or a Spartan king must perish, refused. Three hundred Spartans and seven hundred Thespians took the decision to stay and fight. The rest were permitted to leave, with the exception of four hundred Boeotians, which were retained as hostages.

The battle at Thermopylae, 490 BC.

Leonidas did not wait the Persian attack, which had being delayed by Xerxes and advanced in the path, he fell upon the Persians. Thousands of them were slain, the rest were driven near the sea, but when the Spartan spears broke, they started having losses and one of the first that fell was king Leonidas. Around his body one of the fiercest battles took place. Four times the Persians attacked to obtain it and four times they were repulsed. At the end, the Spartans exhausted and wounded, carrying the body of Leonidas, retired behind the wall, but they were surrounded by the enemy, who killed them with arrows.
On the spot, a marble lion was set by the Greeks in honor of Leonidas and his men, together with two other monuments near by. On one of them, the memorable words were written:
"Ω ξείν αγγέλλειν Λακεδαιμονίοις, ότι τήδε κείμεθα,
τοις κείνων ρήμασι πειθόμενοι".

"Oh stranger tell the Lacedaemonians, that we lie here,
obedient to their laws".


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