300

What triumphs skill, courage, loyalty and honour? Treason by savage betrayal for pittance.
The battle at Thermopylae between the forces led by King Leonidas of Sparta and King Xerxes of Persia ended in favour of the Persians due to one man’s greed. Ephailtes had the blood of 300 Spartans on his hands.
The landscape around Thermopylae where the Spartans fell was very different from what it is today. They did not have as much land from the mountains to the shoreline, in fact, the breadth of it was just 15-men (standing shoulder to shoulder) long. This pass was a strategic battle front for the Spartans where they could exercise control over the advance of stupendously huge Persian armies so Spartans could fight them 15 men at a time. Imagine the stamina required to fight a 10000-men contingent with only spears, short swords and shields!
Xerxes lost rather badly the first two days of battle since he chose to rely on abundance and brawn. Neither of the two stand a chance against a well-oiled battle machine like the Spartans. In a moment of desperation, he used wealth to lure a snake that helped him slither his way into the Spartan stronghold to essentially stab Leonidas in the back.
It all went downhill from there. The Spartans had retreated into a small circle to make their final stand. Seeing that the Spartans were cornered, the Persian army fell back and their archers showered arrows at them instead. This meant that the Spartans never got to fight to their deaths but were instead mercilessly stabbed to death by curtains of arrows. For a people so adamant about honour and righteousness , I hope their dignity was preserved.
There is a wall at Thermopylae built to commemorate the bravery, dedication and patriotism of the fallen Spartans. Across the road from this wall is an excavation site. When the archaeologists dug up the place after WWII, they found Persian arrowheads.

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