Saturday, November 26, 2005

Fighting in the shade

In the year 480 BC the Persian King Xerxes invaded Greece with his army of more than 100,000 men. The Greeks determined to resist the invasion and sent a detachment of hoplites (heavy armed infantry) to resist at the pass of Thermopylae. The Greek force was led by the Spartan King Leonidas and consisted of his 300 hoplite bodyguard and 1200 other infantryman from several Greek city states. Upon encountering the blocking force, the Persian king sent a herald to Leonidas stating "Deliver up your arms." Leonidas replied: "ΜΟΛΩΜ ΛΑΩΕ which romanized reads MOLON LABE" and translates: "Come and take them". After loosing several thousand of his best soldiers in the resulting next two days of fighting, the Persian king sent a further demand to the Greeks to surrender or he would have "the sun blocked out by the clouds of arrows" from his Persian archers. The Spartan reply: "Then we will fight in the shade"


ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

Read Horodotus for the "rest of the story"

Fred Mangels said...

You forgot to add a link. Something along the lines of

ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

I don't believe Herodotus' work is available on the web. You will probably have to visit the library (when open) or that keen used book store in old town.