Thursday, September 13

300 and the battle of thermopylae

deeply imoved by the movie "300", I was looking for the real story behind the movie and found huge amount of information at various sites. thought of consolidating the same, with due credits to the original publishers. King Leonidas by Jacques-Louis David (1814)

The battle of thermopylae took place in year 480 BC. King Leonidas of sparta faced a massive persian army with just 300 spartans along with 700 thespians. This last stand against the massive army of Xerxes I of Persia (Xerxes the Great) at the hot gates (pass of thermoplyae) gave Greek army the much needed time to raise and launch a successful defense against Xerses.

Though King Leonidas fell, the Persian army suffered massive losses, hugely disproportionate to Greeks. The subsequent Greek victory at the Battle of Salamis left much of the Persian Empire's navy destroyed and Xerxes was forced to retreat back to Asia.

King Leonidas's last stand at thermopylae is considered as one of the bravest in human history and is used as an example to teach management lessons on the advantages of training, equipment, and good use of terrain as force multipliers. King Leonidas and his 300 men have since then become the source for inspiration and courage to stand against overwhelming odds.

Leonidas and his men repulsed the frontal attacks of the Persians for the first two days, killing roughly 20,000 of the enemy troops and losing very few of their own. The Persian elite unit known to the Greeks as "the Immortals" were held back, and two of Xerxes' brothers died in battle. On the third day a Malian Greek traitor named Ephialtes led the Persian general Hydarnes by a mountain track to the rear of the Greeks leading to the fall of Leonidas.

The battle of hermopylae has been the inspiration for Hollywood movies - 'The 300 Spartans' which starred Richard Egan as King Leonidas in 1962 and '300' starring Gerad Butler as the spartan king in 2007.300 is based on the Frank Miller classic graphic novel which is also named "300".
Richard Egan as Leonidas

read more on King Leonidas at wikipedia and 300 spatran warriors.com. '3oo spartan warriors' is a pretty comprehensive website with links to many articles and momentos based on the spartan king Leonidas and his 300 men.