[c] However, compared to the probable time (about one month) between Thermopylae and Salamis, the time bought was negligible. [7.221] Of this the following has been to my mind a proof as convincing as any other, namely that Leonidas is known to have endeavoured to dismiss the soothsayer also who accompanied this army, Megistias the Acarnanian, who was said to be descended from Melampus, that he might not perish with them after he had declared from the victims that which was about to come to pass for them. [28] A preliminary expedition under Mardonius in 492 BC, secured the lands approaching Greece, re-conquered Thrace and forced Macedon to become a client kingdom of Persia's. The event was later recorded by Herodotus, who … of the men of Tegea and Mantinea a thousand, half from each place; from Orchomenos in Arcadia a hundred and twenty. [76][77] However, this is only one approach, and many other combinations are plausible. [112], Following Thermopylae, the Persian army proceeded to sack and burn Plataea and Thespiae, the Boeotian cities that had not submitted, before it marched on the now evacuated city of Athens and accomplished the Achaemenid destruction of Athens. Under the statue, a sign reads: "In memory of the seven hundred Thespians.". Cicero recorded a Latin variation in his Tusculanae Disputationes (1.42.101): Additionally, there is a modern monument at the site, called the "Leonidas Monument" by Vassos Falireas, in honour of the Spartan king. In a later passage, describing a Gaulish attempt to force the pass, Pausanias states "The cavalry on both sides proved useless, as the ground at the Pass is not only narrow, but also smooth because of the natural rock, while most of it is slippery owing to its being covered with streams...the losses of the barbarians it was impossible to discover exactly. Herodotus catalogs the many c... Read More; Book 7, The Battle of Thermopylae: Herodotus notes that while Xerxes ostensibly meant to punish Athens, his real intent was to conquer all of Greece. this place: These were they who came from the Peloponnese; and from the Boeotians. "[163], It is reported that, upon arriving at Thermopylae, the Persians sent a mounted scout to reconnoitre. [106] By covering the retreat and continuing to block the pass, Leonidas could save more than 3,000 men, who would be able to fight again. [7.203] In addition to these, the Locrians of Opus had been summoned to come in their full force, and of the Phocians a thousand: for the Greeks had of themselves sent a summons to them, saying by messengers that they had come as forerunners of the others, that the rest of the allies were to be expected every day, that their sea was safely guarded, being watched by the Athenians and the Aeginetans and by those who had been appointed to serve in the fleet, and that they need fear nothing: for it was not a god, they said, who was coming to attack Greece, but a man; and there was no mortal, nor would be any, with those fortunes evil had not been mingled at his very birth, and the greatest evils for the greatest men; therefore he also who was marching against them, being mortal, would be destined to fail of his expectation. [138] Furthermore, this idea also neglects the fact that a Greek navy was fighting at Artemisium during the Battle of Thermopylae, incurring losses in the process. One of which is a statue of King Leonidas I, portrayed as bearing a spear, and shield. Whatever the real numbers were, however, it is clear that Xerxes was anxious to ensure a successful expedition by mustering an overwhelming numerical superiority by land and by sea. [38], After the Persians' departure, the Greeks collected their dead and buried them on the hill. [78] A hoplite phalanx could block the narrow pass with ease, with no risk of being outflanked by cavalry. It is commonly stated that the Spartans were obeying the laws of Sparta by not retreating. [112], It is sometimes stated that Thermopylae was a Pyrrhic victory for the Persians[3][4] (i.e., one in which the victor is as damaged by the battle as the defeated party). On the north side of the roadway was the Malian Gulf, into which the land shelved gently. Herodotus was an extremely significant historian who … True it is indeed that Onetes might know of this path, even though he were not a Malian, if he had had much intercourse with the country; but Ephialtes it was who led them round the mountain by the path, and him therefore I write down as the guilty man. (Herodotus 7.99) After the battle of Thermopylae and the Persian occupation of Attica, King Xerxes consulted his naval commanders about fighting a battle against the Greek fleet, which was gathering … [49] It was also the time of the Olympic Games, and therefore the Olympic truce, and thus it would have been doubly sacrilegious for the whole Spartan army to march to war. [171][173] Curtius describes the subsequent battle fought by the surrounded, unarmed Persians as "memorable". Iranica Antiqua Vol. The performance of the defenders is used as an example of the advantages of training, equipment, and good use of terrain as force multipliers.[144]. The remaining soldiers fought to the death. 149–167, "Two Spartans of noble birth and great wealth, Sperthias son of Aneristus and Bulis son of Nicolaus, undertook of their own free will that they would make atonement to Xerxes for Darius' heralds who had been done to death at Sparta. ", "The Battle of Thermopylae was a Pyrrhic victory for [the Persians] but it offered Athens invaluable time to prepare for the decisive naval battle of Salamis one month later. Thermopylae … [138][141] Thermopylae is famous because of the heroism of the doomed rearguard, who, despite facing certain death, remained at the pass. The Battle of Thermopylae. However, once there, being warned by Alexander I of Macedon that the vale could be bypassed through Sarantoporo Pass and that Xerxes' army was overwhelming, the Greeks retreated. Although no obstacle to individuals, such terrain would not be passable by an army and its baggage train. https://www.britannica.com/event/Battle-of-Thermopylae-Greek-history-480-BC [84], Today, the pass is not near the sea, but is several kilometres inland because of sedimentation in the Malian Gulf. [7.207] These had intended to do thus, and meanwhile the Greeks at Thermopylae, when the Persian had come near to the pass, were in dread, and deliberated about making retreat from their position. "[85] The pass still is a natural defensive position to modern armies, and British Commonwealth forces in World War II made a defence in 1941 against the Nazi invasion mere metres from the original battlefield. [106] The Thespians, resolved as they were not to submit to Xerxes, faced the destruction of their city if the Persians took Boeotia. All rights reserved. [100] According to Ctesias, the first wave was "cut to ribbons", with only two or three Spartans killed in return. [35] Xerxes crushed the Egyptian revolt and very quickly restarted the preparations for the invasion of Greece. "—as in answer to Xerxes' demand that the Greeks give up their weapons). [134] However, within the context of the Persian invasion, Thermopylae was undoubtedly a defeat for the Greeks. [59], Xerxes sent a Persian emissary to negotiate with Leonidas. [63][64]Top rank: Persian, Median, Elamite, Parthian, Arian, Bactrian, Sogdian, Chorasmian, Zarangian, Sattagydian, Gandharan, Hindush (Indians), Scythian.Bottom rank: Scythian, Babylonian, Assyrian, Arabian, Egyptian, Armenian, Cappadocian, Lydian, Ionian, Scythian, Thracian, Macedonian, Libyan, Ethiopian. [30][31] This meant that Sparta was also effectively at war with Persia. News of the imminent Persian approach eventually reached Greece in August thanks to a Greek spy. The Greek rearguard meanwhile, was annihilated, with a probable loss of 2,000 men, including those killed on the first two days of battle. Xerxes delayed for four days, waiting for the Greeks to disperse, before sending troops to attack them.[62]. ("Agamemnon", "Hom. [110] Also present were the 400 Thebans and probably the helots who had accompanied the Spartans. [46] However, the Peloponnesian cities made fall-back plans to defend the Isthmus of Corinth, should it come to that, whilst the women and children of Athens would evacuate en masse to the Peloponnesian city of Troezen. Od. [86], On the fifth day after the Persian arrival at Thermopylae and the first day of the battle, Xerxes finally resolved to attack the Greeks. The battle took place simultaneously with the naval battle at Artemisium. [60] When Leonidas refused these terms, the ambassador carried a written message by Xerxes, asking him to "Hand over your arms". [97] The weaker shields, and shorter spears and swords of the Persians prevented them from effectively engaging the Greek hoplites. The old track appears at the foot of the hills around the plain, flanked by a modern road. The legendary battle of Thermopylae… [7.231] When Aristodemus had returned home to Sparta, he had reproach and dishonor; and that which he suffered by way of dishonor was this - no one of the Spartans would either give him light for a fire or speak with him, and he had reproach in that he was called Aristodemus the coward. Knowing that the end was near, the Greeks marched into the open field and met the Persians head-on. v (Milan, 1924)-hereafter, Giannelli), p. 21, dates the battle of Thermopylae … This combat went on throughout the day. [95] They fought with spears, until every spear was shattered, and then switched to xiphē (short swords). Men that fight not for gold, but for glory."[168]. [137] Alternatively, the argument is sometimes advanced that the last stand at Thermopylae was a successful delaying action that gave the Greek navy time to prepare for the Battle of Salamis. Xerxes … [114][123], With Thermopylae now opened to the Persian army, the continuation of the blockade at Artemisium by the Greek fleet became irrelevant. In the experiment, children are … [105] However, not wishing to be delayed, the Persians merely shot a volley of arrows at them, before bypassing them to continue with their encirclement of the main Greek force. It was held at the narrow coastal pass of Thermopylae ("The Hot Gates") in August or September 480 BC. [7.209] Hearing this Xerxes was not able to conjecture the truth about the matter, namely that they were preparing themselves to die and to deal death to the enemy so far as they might; but it seemed to him that they were acting in a manner merely ridiculous; and therefore he sent for [former Spartan king] Demaratus, the son of Ariston, who was in his camp, and when he came, Xerxes asked him of these things severally, desiring to discover what this was which the Spartans were doing: and he said: "Thou didst hear from my mouth at a former time, when we were setting forth to go against Greece, the things concerning these men; and having heard them thou madest me an object of laughter, because I told thee of these things which I perceived would come to pass; for to me it is the greatest of all ends to speak the truth continually before thee, O king. The courage Persia passed to his camp, observe them, and many other combinations are.. 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