In 353 BC/352 BC during the Third Sacred War, fought mainly between the forces of the Delphic Amphictyonic League, principally represented by Thebes, and latterly by Philip II of Macedon, and the Phocians.
Together with the results of radiocarbon dating on the deposits and stratographic interpretation of the layers of the new land, they were able to account for the fact that travelers of only a few centuries ago reported the pass to be much narrower than we would expect if the process of buildup were proceeding at a steady rate. Archaeologists in 1939 excavated spears and arrowheads at the site, supporting legend that the number of Persian fighters was so great that their arrows obscured the Sun. Meanwhile, the Immortals now entered the fray behind the Greeks who retreated to a high mound behind the Phokian wall. He argues that Leonidas remained in order to give the allied contingents, whom he dismissed (with the exception of the Thebans and the Thespians), time to get away. Pritchett points out that Herodotus seems to have done a very careful study of the site despite the error over the directions; he gives many distances in stades and plethra, and his account also includes an unusually high number of obscure toponyms. Thermopylae (/θərˈmɒpɪliː/; Ancient Greek and Katharevousa: Θερμοπύλαι (Thermopylai) [tʰermopýlai], Demotic Greek (Greek): Θερμοπύλες, (Thermopyles) [θermoˈpiles]; "hot gates") is a place in Greece where a narrow coastal passage existed in antiquity. The historian Diodorus claimed that the Spartans who fell at Thermopylae were 'more responsible' for saving Greece than those who fought in later victories over the Persians, because the mere memory of their great deeds dismayed the Persians and incited their fellow Greeks to perform similar courageous exploits.
The Spartan king, on the third day of the battle, rallied his small force - the survivors from the original Spartan 300, 700 Thespians and 400 Thebans - and made a rearguard stand to defend the pass to the last man in the hope of delaying the Persians progress, in order to allow the rest of the Greek force to retreat or also possibly to await relief from a larger Greek force.
After the battle, Xerxes ordered that Leonidas’ head be put on a stake and displayed at the battlefield. To share with more than one person, separate addresses with a comma. Darius’ response to this diplomatic outrage was to launch a naval force of 600 ships and 25,000 men to attack the Cyclades and Euboea, leaving the Persians just one step away from the rest of Greece. Hornblower, Simon & Spawforth, Antony & Eidinow, Esther. It is not here, however, but elsewhere that the way is narrowest, namely, in front of Thermopylae and behind it; at Alpeni, which lies behind, it is only the breadth of a cart-way, and it is the same at the Phoenix stream, near the town of Anthele. W. Kendrick Pritchett, who is generally credited with injecting new life into the study of ancient topography, has mounted a vigorous defense of Herodotus's reliability on this and other sites. This debate among the Greek states typifies the distinctive feature of their foreign relations in the period, namely that each state tended to support its own regional interests, and it is worth reflecting on how this is usually portrayed in modern historical writing. A large marble and bronze monument commemorating the battle was erected in 1955. Examining the question of exactly what route was taken on each occasion, although admittedly a matter of primarily antiquarian interest, nonetheless illustrates some important trends in modern historical research.
In ancient times it was called Malis which was named after the Malians (Ancient Greek: Μαλιεῖς), a Greek tribe that lived near present-day Lamia at the delta of the river, Spercheios in Greece. Müller, D. Topographischer Bildkommentar zu den Historien Herodots Wasmuth, 1987.
In ancient times its cliffs were by the sea, but silting has widened the distance to more than a mile. - - - - - - - "Thermopylae revisited, and some topographical notes on Marathon and Plataiai" [Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean in Ancient History and Prehistory = Studies to F. Schachermeyer, New York, 1977] 89-105. Early in the morning, the hoplites once more met the enemy, but this time Xerxes could attack from both front and rear and planned to do so but, in the event, the Immortals behind the Greeks were late on arrival. The only freedom the Spartans were really interested in was their own. Leonidas moved his troops to the widest part of the pass to utilise all of his men at once, and in the ensuing clash the Spartan king was killed. Thermopylae Pass Revisited - a Memory of Upton. Persia, with the largest empire in the world, was vastly superior in men and resources and now these would be fully utilised for a full-scale attack. Whatever the exact motives, in 491 BCE Darius sent envoys to call for the Greeks’ submission to Persian rule. In 1941 during World War II the ANZAC forces delayed the invading German forces in the area enough to allow the evacuation of the British expeditionary force to Crete. Now, according to Herodotus Leonidas had been aware from the beginning of the existence of the Anopaia path. Pritchett, W. K. "New Light on Thermopylai" AJA 62 (1958) 203-213. (Ὦ ξεῖν', ἀγγέλλειν Λακεδαιμονίοις ὅτι τῇδε κείμεθα, τοῖς κείνων ῥήμασι πειθόμενοι.). In 279 bce the Greeks delayed the invading Celts at Thermopylae, and in 191 bce the Seleucid king Antiochus III fortified the pass against the Romans under Acilius Glabrio. We have also been recommended for educational use by the following publications: Ancient History Encyclopedia Foundation is a non-profit organization registered in Canada. Ancient History Encyclopedia Limited is a non-profit company registered in the United Kingdom. Places to see, ways to wander, and signature experiences.
I am sure a shared memory amplifies the nostalgia. before kicking Xerxes’ ambassador down a well. The battle would take on mythical status amongst the Greeks, but in reality it was merely the opening overture of a long war with several other battles making up the principal acts.
In the western valley of the Spercheios their land was adjacent to the Aenianes. - - - - - - - Thermopylae - An Historical and Archaeological Guide Athens, 1951. But Sperthias and Bulis bluntly rejected his advice as unsound because he knew only how to be a slave, and that if he had ever tasted 'sweet freedom' he would urge them to fight Xerxes not only with Greek spears, but Persian battle-axes too! As an interesting footnote: the important strategic position of Thermopylae meant that it was once more the scene of battle in 279 BCE when the Greeks faced invading Gauls, in 191 BCE when a Roman army defeated Antiochus III, and even as recent as 1941 CE when Allied New Zealand forces clashed with those of Germany. The first mentioned Amphictyony was centered on the cult of Demeter which was located at the city of Anthela near Thermopylae. Take a minute to check out all the enhancements!
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