Go tell the Spartans, stranger passing by,
that here, obedient to their laws, we lie
In the Battle of Thermopylae of 480 BC an alliance of Greek city-states fought the invading Persian army in the mountain pass, Thermopylae.
Vastly outnumbered, the Greeks held back the Persian advance for seven days.
Leonidas, the Spartan King commanding the army, held up the enemy in one of the most famous last stands of history.
The resistance of the Spartan-led army offered Athens the invaluable opportunity to make battle preparations and decisively defeat the Persians at the battles of Salamis.
The final blow was delivered at Plataea, ending the Persian invasion of Greece and marking the rise of the Athenian Empire as a political and cultural world power.
The performance of the defenders at the battle of Thermopylae is
often used as an example of the advantages of training, equipment and good use
of terrain to maximise an army's potential, as well as a symbol of courage
against extremely overwhelming odds.
Let honor be to those in whose life
it was set to guard Thermopylae.
Never moving away from duty;
Just and equals in all of their acts
But with sadness and compassion
Brave once they are rich and when
They are poor, again brave
Coming to aid as much as they can;
Always speaking the truth
But without hate for those who lie.
And even more honor they deserve
When its predicted (and many predict)
That Ephialtes will appear in the end
And the Medes will finally pass through
Earth! render back from out thy breast
A remnant of our Spartan dead!
Of the three hundred grant but three,
To make a new Thermopylae!
Lord George Gordon Byron
may the force be with you