Thermopylae and leonidas politics

King Leonidas I was dispatched from Sparta with only his royal bodyguard of men to help him stop the oncoming Persian invasion, led by Xerxes I.

Thermopylae and leonidas politics

Anaxandridas refused, claiming his wife was blameless, whereupon the ephors agreed to allow him to take a second wife without setting aside his first. However, one year after Cleomenes' birth, Anaxandridas' first wife also gave birth to a son, Dorieus. Leonidas was the second son of Anaxandridas' first wife, and either the elder brother or twin of Cleombrotus.


He made one unsuccessful attempt to set up a colony in Africa and, when this failed, sought his fortune in Sicily, where after initial successes he was killed. His elder brother, the king, had already been deposed on grounds of purported insanity, and had fled into exile when Athens sought assistance against the First Persian invasion of Greecethat ended at Marathon BC.

Plutarch has recorded the following: Leonidas was chosen to lead the combined Greek forces determined to resist the Second Persian invasion of Greece in BC. The probability that the coalition wanted Leonidas personally for his capability as a military leader is underlined by the fact that just two years after his death, the coalition preferred Athenian leadership to the leadership of either Leotychidas or Leonidas' successor as regent for his still under-aged son Pausanias.

The rejection of Leotychidas and Pausanias was not a reflection on Spartan arms.

A Spartan Upbringing

Sparta's military reputation had never stood in higher regard, nor was Sparta less powerful in BC than it had been in BC. Battle of Thermopylae Leonidas at Thermopylae by Jacques-Louis Davidwho chose the subject in the aftermath of the French Revolution as a model of "civic duty and self-sacrifice", but also as a contemplation of loss and death, with Leonidas quietly poised and heroically nude [11] Upon receiving a request from the confederated Greek forces to aid in defending Greece against the Persian invasion, Sparta consulted the Oracle at Delphi.

The Oracle is said to have made the following prophecy in hexameter verse: For you, inhabitants of wide-wayed Sparta, Either your great and glorious city must be wasted by Persian men, Or if not that, then the bound of Lacedaemon must mourn a dead king, from Heracles' line.

The might of bulls or lions will not restrain him with opposing strength; for he has the might of Zeus. I declare that he will not be restrained until he utterly tears apart one of these. There are various theories on why Leonidas was accompanied by such a small force of hoplites.

According to Herodotus, "the Spartans sent the men with Leonidas on ahead so that the rest of the allies would see them and march with no fear of defeat, instead of medizing like the others if they learned that the Spartans were delaying. After completing their festival, the Carneiathey left their garrison at Sparta and marched in full force towards Thermopylae.

The rest of the allies planned to do likewise, for the Olympiad coincided with these events. They accordingly sent their advance guard, not expecting the war at Thermopylae to be decided so quickly. Statue of Spartan king Leonidas at the Battle of Thermopylae.

Whatever the reason Sparta's own contribution was just Spartiates accompanied by their attendants and probably perioikoi auxiliariesthe total force assembled for the defense of the pass of Thermopylae came to something between four and seven thousand Greeks.

They faced a Persian army who had invaded from the north of Greece under Xerxes I. Herodotus stated that this army consisted of over two million men; modern scholars consider this to be an exaggeration and give estimates ranging from 70, toFinally, on the fifth day the Persians attacked.

Leonidas and the Greeks repulsed the Persians' frontal attacks for the fifth and sixth days, killing roughly 10, of the enemy troops. The Persian elite unit known to the Greeks as " the Immortals " was held back, and two of Xerxes' brothers Abrocomes and Hyperanthes died in battle.

The Thespians stayed entirely of their own will, declaring that they would not abandon Leonidas and his followers. Their leader was Demophilusson of Diadromes, and as Herodotus writes, "Hence they lived with the Spartans and died with them.

The King would have thought it wise to preserve those Greek troops for future battles against the Persians, but he knew that the Spartans could never abandon their post on the battlefield.

The soldiers who stayed behind were to protect their escape against the Persian cavalry. Herodotus himself believed that Leonidas gave the order because he perceived the allies to be disheartened and unwilling to encounter the danger to which his own mind was made up. He therefore chose to dismiss all troops except the Thebans, Thespians and helots and save the glory for the Spartans.

When Leonidas was killed, the Spartans retrieved his body after driving back the Persians four times. Herodotus says that Xerxes' orders were to have Leonidas' head cut off and put on a stake and his body crucified.

Thermopylae and leonidas politics

This was considered sacrilegious. Leonidas was the name of an Epic poem written by Richard Gloverwhich originally appeared in It went on to appear in four other editions, being expanded from 9 books to It presents a fictionalized version of Leonidas and the Battle of Thermopylae, as does the feature film adapted from it.

Schrader has produced a three-part biographical novel on Leonidas. A Boy of the Agoge, [24] Leonidas of Sparta: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 and Greeks in August BCE.

The Battle of Thermopylae » - Knowledge at your fingertips Although these many city-states vied with one another for control of land and resources, they also banded together to defend themselves from foreign invasion. Twice at the beginning of the fifth century B.
Battle of Thermopylae | Date, Location, and Facts | On the fifth day after the Persian arrival at Thermopylae and the first day of the battle, Xerxes finally resolved to attack the Greeks. First, he ordered 5, archers to fire a barrage of arrows, but they were ineffective; they fired from at least yards away, according to modern day scholars, and the Greeks' bronze shields and helmets deflected the arrows.
Battle of Thermopylae | Date, Location, and Facts | Your access to this site has been limited Your access to this service has been temporarily limited.
Related Stories Anaxandridas refused, claiming his wife was blameless, whereupon the ephors agreed to allow him to take a second wife without setting aside his first.
Leonidas I of Sparta Greek phalanx formation based on sources from the Perseus Project On the fifth day after the Persian arrival at Thermopylae and the first day of the battle, Xerxes finally resolved to attack the Greeks. After that, Xerxes sent a force of 10, Medes and Cissians to take the defenders prisoner and bring them before him.

Despite being greatly inferior in numbers, the Greeks held the narrow pass for three days with Spartan King Leonidas fighting a last-ditch defence with a small force of Spartans and other Greek hoplites. Thermopylae (lit. "hot gates") was a pass the Greeks tried to defend in battle against the Persian forces led by Xerxes, in B.C.

The Greeks (Spartans and allies) knew they were outnumbered and hadn't a prayer, Thermopylae and Leonidas/Politics Essay. The Battle of Thermopylae pitted the Greek city-states, led by King Leonidas of Sparta, against the mighty Persian Empire under Xerxes I as Xerxes' army att.

Spartans at the Battle of Thermopylae: Herodotus's Real History. Students may be familiar with this famous battle from its depiction in Zack Snyder's movie , based on Frank Miller's graphic this lesson students learn about the historical background to the battle and are asked to ponder some of its legacy, including how history is reported and interpreted from different.

King Leonidas I is the most famous general in the history of Sparta, and perhaps the whole of Greece. But the real reasons may have been Spartan politics, as they were facing peasant revolts, and some in Sparta probably hoped to see Persia crush their Athenian Greek rivals.

At Thermopylae, Leonidas took up a strong defensive position. Leonidas was the Spartan king who famously led a small band of Greek allies at the Battle of Thermopylae in BCE where the Greeks valiantly defended the pass through which the Persian king Xerxes sought to invade Greece with his massive army.

Ultimately, Leonidas and his men were wiped out, but they bought the Greek city-states valuable time and gave an inspirational example, not only of.

Battle of Thermopylae: Leonidas the Hero | HistoryNet