First, the Persian fleet was caught in a wicked storm off the coast of Euboea that resulted in the loss of around one-third of their ships. The final outcome, namely the fact that the Persians did cross the strait, is not surprising or admirable. In 480 BC a small force of Spartans, Thespians, and Thebans led by King Leonidas (approximately 300 were full Spartiates, 700 were Thespians, and 400 were Thebans; these numbers do not reflect casualties incurred prior to the final battle), made a legendary last stand at the Battle of Thermopylae against the massive Persian army, inflicting a very high casualty rate on the Persian â¦ The Vale of Tempe provided them with this geographical advantage, but when the Greeks got word that the Persians had learned of a way to go around the vale, they had to change their strategy. The scene of the battle was the city of Plataea, and due to the Spartan contribution of troops, both sides were roughly equal. Initially a stalemate, the Battle of Plataea took place when Mardonius misinterpreted a simple troop movement as a Greek retreat and decided to attack. Furthermore, he set up marketplaces and other trading posts all along the route he was planning to take to make it easier to supply his massive army as it proceeded west into Europe. Nearly all historical events have both heroes as well as villains. During this training, Spartan men learned not only how to fight but also how to trust in and work with one another, something that proved to be rather effective when fighting in the phalanx. The battle took place simultaneously with the more famous land battle at Thermopylae, in August or September 480 BC, off the coast of Euboea and was fought between an alliance of Greek city-states, including Sparta, Athens, Corinth and others, and the Persian Empire of Xerxes I. How many Spartans survived in the battle of Thermopylae? Fields, Nic. Instead, they’re famous because of how they got to the battle. He was even called “Aristodemus the Coward” from then on. If your web page requires an HTML link, please insert this code: The Battle of Thermopylae: 300 Spartans vs the World, Gods of Death How old is the United States of America? The Greek army, despite being severely outnumbered, were able to fight back the Persians during two days of fighting. This offended the proud Greeks greatly; the Athenians went so far as to toss the Persian heralds into a pit, while the Spartans followed suit and tossed them into a well. The Spartans who fought at the Battle of Thermopylae had been trained at this school, but they are not famous because they were good soldiers. So, in 499 BCE, much of Ionia was in open rebellion, an event known as the Ionian Revolt. But before retreating, an envoy was sent to Thermopylae to see how the battle was transpiring, for they did not want to abandon the fight altogether and leave the right flank of the Greek force at the pass exposed. This determination in the face of almost certain defeat is part of the reason why the Battle of Thermopylae is such a famous story. The Greek alliance originally wanted to confront the Persian forces in Thessaly, the region just to the south of Macedon, at the Vale of Tempe. Although the above scene from the 2006 movie 300 is fiction and likely exaggerated, the Spartans who fought the Battle of Thermopylae have gone down in history as one of the most fearsome and elite fighting forces to have ever existed. This final victory officially drove the Persians from Europe and removed the threat of Persian invasion. That the 300 Spartans had significant help is one of the parts of the Battle of Thermopylae that has been forgotten in the name of mythmaking. Of the 300 Spartans that remained to fight off the Persian advance, none survived, including their king, Leonidas. Once again, Aristodemus was in a difficult position and was forced to apologize for his stance. 1. Once the Persians had managed to conquer Lydia, they would have been interested in conquering Greece, as imperial expansion was one of the most important tasks of any ancient king. The Spartans were joined by three to four thousand soldiers from the rest of the Peloponnese, cities such as Corinth, Tegea, and Arcadia, as well as another three to four thousand soldiers from the rest of Greece, meaning a total of around 7,000 men were sent to stop an army of 180,000. His courage and bravery did not go unnoticed. They engaged with the Locrians and defeated them, but before the fighting began, several Locrians escaped through the narrow pass to warn Leonidas that the Persians had discovered this critical weak point. The Spartan society was known for its highly-skilled warriors, elitist administrators, and its reverence for stoicism, people today still look to the Spartans as model citizens in an idealist ancient society. The Greeks (7,000 men) made it to the pass first, but the Persians arrived shortly thereafter. The battle resulted in the death of Leonidas, who became a hero for his decision to remain behind and fight to the death.
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