Return to Home Page Harrys Greece Guide

Greece Travel Destinations: Pass of Thermopylae & The 300 Spartans Page 4

Pass of Thermopylae & Battlefield page 4

troop dispositions on third day of the battle, notice the round hillThe Persians arrived and made several failed and costly assaults and had almost given up hope when a Greek Malian traitor named Ephialties (literal translation: nightmare) showed up and offered to show them the mountain path.

By the next morning the Persians were attacking the Greeks in the rear and the font. Leonidas, knowing that all was lost ordered the withdrawal of the main force who were local levies and not battle hardened warriors.

He kept his 300 Spartans and 700 Thespians and 400 Thebians who were kept back as hostages very much against their will and who deserted to the Persians at the first opportunity. Leonidas and the last stand of the Spartans was atop the nearby hill of of Kolonis and the warriors were buried "where they fell" in a burial moundstill visible.

The Naval battle was in support of the 

landLeonidas body was removed to Sparta 40 years later where he is also honored with a statue. All save 2 of the 300 Spartans were killed. One hung himself from shame and the other fought bravely at Platea. Spartan mothers use to tell their sons before battle "Come home carrying your shield or laying upon it". Surrender was not an option.

The reason the force of Greeks avaialble to meet the Persians was so small were several. One was that it was the period of the Olympic Games and a period of peace for the Greek city states.

'Two: The Spartans had their own sacred festival and like the rest only sent an advanced guard. Three: many Greeks thought they prefered the Persians (Sons of Perseus) to being ruled by the Spartans or the Athenians.

More cool stuff about Thermopylae 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

greece travel awards

Why not enjoy Harry's Free Musical Compositions while you read this site? (opens seperately)

Learn Cool Software

©Harry's Greece Travel Guides