A history of the battle of thermopylae

The Greeks elected to draw the line at Thermopylae. The idea ignores the fact that the Persians would, in the aftermath of Thermopylae, conquer the majority of Greece, [] and the fact that they were still fighting in Greece a year later.

And yet, despite those fundamental differences, the most memorable battle between Greeks and Persians would hinge on less ideological and more universal factors: It branched, with one path leading to Phocis and the other down to the Malian Gulf at Alpenus, the first town of Locris.

Battle of Thermopylae

They held their ground against the Persians but were quickly defeated by the vast enemy army, and many if not all; sources differ were killed, including Leonidas. Here, wrote Herodotus, they resisted to the last, with their swords, if they had them, and, if not, with their hands and teeth, until the Persians, coming on from the front over the ruins of the wall and closing in from behind, finally overwhelmed them.

Spartan elders determined which infants could live or die. They would do so, however, without the Thebans, who as Leonidas had expected surrendered to the Persians before the final assault began.

The Spartan would do his duty. Herodotus suggests they were brought to the battle as hostages to ensure the good behavior of Thebes.

Battle of Thermopylae Under Xerxes I, the Persian army moved south through Greece on the eastern coast, accompanied by the Persian navy moving parallel to the shore. The Battle of Thermopylae also served as the inspiration for the film He waffled over whether the long-delayed punishment of Athens merited such a far-flung campaign.

They were defending their homes, and they were doing their duty — they were not fighting as slaves of some half mad god-king. Such freedoms as their warrior elite enjoyed did not extend to non-Spartans living in their territory, the Helots, who served as their slaves.

Legend has it that he had the very water of the Hellespont whipped because it would not obey him. Leonidas and the Spartans had been trained to do their duty, and, having received an oracle that Sparta must either lose a king or see the city destroyed, Leonidas was convinced that his final duty was death.

Persian boys, it was said, were taught only three things: Many Greek towns relented in the face of certain destruction. The exile, for whom there was no love lost for the city that had expelled him, admitted that no length of odds could possibly convince the Spartans to submit.

The Greeks of Asia Minor were blessed during their period of subjugation only insofar as the Persian kings generally remained remote figures of power. It is commonly stated that the Spartans were obeying the laws of Sparta by not retreating, but it seems it was actually the failure to retreat from Thermopylae that gave rise to the notion that Spartans never retreated.

Sending the main army in retreat, Leonidas and a small contingent remained behind to resist the advance and were defeated. At daybreak on the third day, the Phocians guarding the path above Thermopylae became aware of the outflanking Persian column by the rustling of oak leaves.

In the late summer of B. The traitor, Ephialtes, was apparently motivated by greed when he revealed the mountain path to Xerxes. Xerxes had every reason to congratulate himself", [] while Lazenby describes the Greek defeat as "disastrous".

Stories abounded of executions and tortures ordered on the whims of angry monarchs. It was common practice for the Spartans to fix their hair when they were about to risk their lives, but neither the scout nor his king could comprehend such apparent vanity.

The various Greek contingents now took turns fending off the attacks, but the Persians failed to make any headway. For two days, the Greeks withstood the determined attacks of their far more numerous enemy.

The Spartans, he said, feared only the law, and their law forbade them to retreat in battle.Trace major events of the battle at Thermopylae and understand the significance of the conflict. Compare the leaders and the armies of the Greeks and the Persians and understand what they reveal about ancient Greek and Persian culture.

Battle of Thermopylae, ( bce), battle in central Greece at the mountain pass of Thermopylae during the Persian Wars. The Greek forces, mostly Spartan, were led by Leonidas. After three days of holding their own against the Persian king Xerxes I and his vast southward-advancing army, the Greeks.

The long path to battle at Thermopylae began in what is now Iran, heart of the once vast Persian empire. Nowadays, ancient ruins attest to its long-vanished greatness, but to the Greeks of the early 5th century bc, the Persian empire was.

The Battle of Artemisium was fought in early August BC in conjunction with the Battle of Thermopylae.

The Battle of Artemisium was a naval engagement between the Greek and Persian fleets and saw fighting over a three day span. With the defeat on land at Thermopylae, the Greeks were forced to withdraw from Artemisium. Thermopylae is a mountain pass near the sea in northern Greece which was the site of several battles in antiquity, the most famous being that between Persians.

Leonidas (c. B.C.) was a king of the city-state of Sparta from about B.C.

until his death at the Battle of Thermopylae against the Persian army in B.C.

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A history of the battle of thermopylae
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