Upon hearing this, Tigranes, a Persian general, said: "Good heavens, Mardonius, what kind of men are these that you have pitted against us?  The weaker shields, and shorter spears and swords of the Persians prevented them from effectively engaging the Greek hoplites. Having been turned back at Marathon in 490 BC, Persian forces returned to Greece ten years later to avenge their defeat and conquer the peninsula.  Ever since, the events of Thermopylae have been the source of effusive praise from many sources: "Salamis, Plataea, Mycale and Sicily are the fairest sister-victories which the Sun has ever seen, yet they would never dare to compare their combined glory with the glorious defeat of King Leonidas and his men". The Battle of Thermopylae was a famous battle fought between the invading Persians, and the defending Greek city-state alliance. The Battle of Thermopylae Campaign map. After fighting on 2 sides, the Spartans were all killed by arrows. There are several monuments around the battlefield of Thermopylae.  On this occasion, the ephors decided the urgency was sufficiently great to justify an advance expedition to block the pass, under one of its kings, Leonidas I. Leonidas took with him the 300 men of the royal bodyguard, the Hippeis. While the Battle of Thermopylae was technically a defeat for the Greeks, it was also a victory in the long run because it marked the beginning of several important Greek victories against the Persians and boosted the morale of all the Greek city-states.  Ioannis Ziogas points out that the usual English translations are far from the only interpretation possible, and indicate much about the romantic tendencies of the translators.  News also reached Leonidas, from the nearby city of Trachis, that there was a mountain track that could be used to outflank the pass of Thermopylae.  These were both feats of exceptional ambition, which would have been beyond any other contemporary state. Residing in the direct path of the Persian advance, they gave all the fighting men they had - according to Pausanias 6,000 men - which added to Herodotus' 5,200 would have given a force of 11,200. The naked body symbolizes Eros, the most important god of the ancient Thespians, a god of creation, beauty and life. This small mountain pass could be easily blocked, preventing the oncoming onslaught. However, the following year saw a Greek army decisively defeat the Persians at the Battle of Plataea, thereby ending the Persian invasion. Lv 4. The Oracle is said to have made the following prophecy: O ye men who dwell in the streets of broad Lacedaemon! The performance of the defenders at the Battle of Thermopylae is also used as an example of the advantages of training, equipment, and good use of terrain as force multipliers and has become a symbol of courage against overwhelming odds.  Some of the Greeks argued for withdrawal, but Leonidas resolved to stay at the pass with the Spartans. 0 0 1 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.  Herodotus says, at one point 4,000 Greeks died, but assuming the Phocians guarding the track were not killed during the battle (as Herodotus implies), this would be almost every Greek soldier present (by Herodotus' own estimates), and this number is probably too high. " However, the Persians had no more success on the second day than on the first. The Battle of Thermopylae, 480 BC, was a battle in the second Persian invasion of Greece.It was fought between an alliance of Greek city-states, led by Sparta, and the Persian Empire of Xerxes I.It took place at the pass of Thermopylae. 300. The headless male figure symbolizes the anonymous sacrifice of the 700 Thespians to their country. , The most likely theory is that Leonidas chose to form a rearguard so that the other Greek contingents could get away. ", Barkworth, 1993. A Greek betrayed the Spartans and showed the Persians a way behind the Spartans. , Herodotus reports that Xerxes sent his commander Hydarnes that evening, with the men under his command, the Immortals, to encircle the Greeks via the path. In Athens, however, the ambassadors were put on trial and then executed by throwing them in a pit; in Sparta, they were simply thrown down a well. 7. The battles of Marathon and Thermopylae are two of the most famous engagements of antiquity fought in Greece.  For example, the military strategist Sir Basil Henry Liddell Hart defers to Grundy. Time extinguishing revolts against his rule Plutarch, Apophthegmata Laconica, section `` Leonidas son... 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