Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Thermopyles

In the year 480 B.C., in Thermopyles, the most astonishing and unequal battle between few Greeks and a million Persians took place. This battle is one of the most famous and important battles in World History. 


300 Spartans and 700 Thespians under the orders of Leonidas, King of Sparta, decided to fight against the Persians and win or die, defending the freedom of their country. According to Herodotus, the Father of History, the Persian army consisted of about one million seven hundred thousand soldiers who were under the command of king Xerxes. 


The Persians asked the defenders to give their arms up, however, Leonidas replied to them with the heroic phrase, "Come and Get Them" This phrase has been and will always be a bright paradigm for the generations to come of an important and brave Greek army. 


On Kolonos an epitaph was placed to honour the dead soldiers. The epitaph has the following message engraved on it: " You stranger, go to the Lakedaimonians and let them know that we lie here, faithful to their laws". 


During the 1st century A.D. the philosopher Apollonios Tyanefs visited Thermopyles. Someone asked him which is the highest mountain in the world. He replied: "Kolonos is the highest mountain in the world, because on this mountain the law keeping and the noble self-sacrifice have put up a monument, which has its base on the earth and reaches the stars". 

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