We are before the anniversary of one of the most famous battles in history, the Battle of Thermopylae (480 BC), in which the Spartan king himself Leonidas told the king Xerxes I of Persia the famous phrase "Molon labe” (come for them), when he demanded that they lay down their arms and surrender.
Instead, the Greeks fought fiercely for three days And although they were ultimately annihilated, they inflicted serious damage on the Persian army, although the most important thing is that they managed to delay the advance of the enemy army towards Athens, allowing enough time for the city to be evacuated towards the island of Salamis.
Although the Thermopylae It was a clear defeat for the Spartan army, it was also a great moral victory and inspired the rest of the troops in the battles of Salamis and Plataea.
The heroic sacrifice.
A Greek group of approximately 7,000 men marched north in the summer of 480 B.C. to prevent the passage of the Persian army, which according to ancient sources had more than a million men, although current historiography places the number between 100,000 and 300,000 men.
The Persians reached the pass towards Greece in late August or early September and the Greek army, vastly outnumbered, managed to hold off their enemies for a total of seven days, including all three of the battle, until his rear was annihilated.
During two full days of battle, the small force led by Leonidas I of Sparta he managed to block the only path by which the huge Persian army could pass. After the second day of battle, a local resident named Ephialtes betrayed the Greeks by revealing to the Persians a small trail that led just behind the lines of Leonidas' army.
Aware that his strength was being overwhelmed, the spartan king he dismissed the bulk of his army and was left in the rear with 300 Spartans, 700 Thespian hoplites, 400 Thebans and a few hundred other men, trying to defeat Xerxes I, although the vast majority were killed.
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