Laconia and the Legendary Spartan King Leonidas Leader of the 300....Part 3
Xerxes sent an emissary to negotiate with the Greeks. He offered land and freedom as long as the Greeks would surrender, but with no chance of succeeding because the Greeks had already made up their minds to fight to death. The Greeks refused the offer and it was then, when Xerxes ordered them to lay down their weapons. Leonidas then replied... Come and get them...! The battle of one of the most famous last stands in history became inevitable, although Xerxes and his army did nothing for four days. On the fifth day Xerxes sent his troops in order to capture the Greek forces and so the battle began... The Greek forces were stationed in the narrow pass of Thermopylae or Hot Gates and were using the Phalanx formation which was the best tactic to follow in this situation, as the enemy forces were coming from their front where the defense of the Phalanx formation was almost impenetrable. Although outnumbered, the Greek forces managed to inflict heavy losses on the enemy side as they were heavily armored in contrast with the Persian soldiers who were lightly armored and thus more vulnerable to a frontal assault. Xerxes then sent his Immortals later on the same day, but they had the same luck as the Persian soldiers earlier. The invasion of the massive Persian army was blocked by some of the bravest men in Greek history. The same thing happened the sixth day, the Persian army sustained heavy losses again. When the sixth day was coming to an end, Ephialtes the man who is mostly known to the world for his betrayal to the Greek forces, appeared before Xerxes and informed him about a mountain trail which led around the position of the Greek lines. The Phocians who were ordered to guard the mountain trail, were surprised to see the Persian army marching towards them. Outnumbered as they were, they only thing that they managed to do before facing death was to send a runner to inform the Greek forces of what had happened. King Leonidas then decided to stay with 300 Spartans and 700 Thespian volunteers to secure the retreat of the rest of the allied Greek forces, even though his action meant only one thing death...The remaining Greek forces under the command of King Leonidas fought with all their might, until they were overwhelmed by the Persian army and lost the battle. Even though outnumbered, the Greek forces managed to block the Persian invasion for almost three days. Their actions inspired the rest of Greece, that there was still a chance to repel the Persian threat. And that's what happened...The Persian invasion was put to an end within a year at the battles of Salamis and Plataea.