In 480 BC, a huge Persian
army, led by the inimitable King Xerxes, entered the mountain pass of Thermopylae
as it marched on Greece, intending to conquer the land with little difficulty.
But the Greeks—led by King Leonidas and a small army of Spartans—took the
battle to the Persians at Thermopylae, and halted their advance—almost.
It is one
of history’s most acclaimed battles, one of civilization’s greatest last
stands. And in Thermopylae, renowned classical historian Paul Cartledge looks
anew this history-altering moment and, most impressively, shows how its
repercussions have bearing on us even today. The invasion of Europe by Xerxes
and his army redefined culture, kingdom, and class. The valiant efforts of a
few thousand Greek warriors, facing a huge onrushing Persian army at the narrow
pass at Thermopylae, changed the way generations to come would think about
combat, courage, and death.