The Battle of Thermopylae from Herodotus’ the Histories

1131 words 5 pages
Western Civilization

February 8, 2009

The Battle of Thermopylae From Herodotus’ The Histories

The Battle of Thermopylae, which Herodotus recorded in his writing The Histories, was one of the most arduous and notable battles of western history. Herodotus was an extremely significant historian who lived during the 5th century B.C. In this primary source writing, he portrays how Xerxes was superstitious and tyrannical, how the battle informs you about the Spartan culture, how the values of Greek promoted society, and he displayed how significant the Persian invasion was on Greek development, for example, their political and intellectual expansion. The Persian King Xerxes
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The events of the battle help inform you about the Spartan culture and lifestyle. The Spartan way of life exemplified that the society had a great deal of authority, which stressed young men to start training for the military and become obedient individuals. The Spartans performed numerous strenuous physical actives, as well as keeping up a healthy and well balanced diet, which would soon pay off if they ever had to go to war.
Demaratus says to Xerxes, “…So likewise the Lacedaemonians, when they fight singly, are as good men as any in the world, and when they fight in a body, are the bravest of all…Law is the master whom they own; and this master they fear more than thy subjects fear thee. Whatever he commands they do; and his commandment is always the same: it forbids them to flee in battle, whatever the number of their foes, and requires them to stand firm, and either to conquer or die.” In the Spartan culture the men were forced to be brave, in which they must follow the law that commands them to fight or die for their culture. Overall, the Spartan culture created the most physically fit and well-trained soldiers, which was shown at their brave and victorious battle of Thermopylae. Herodotus’ narrative promoted many values of the Greek society. Demaratus says “…there is no other nation in all the world which will venture to lift a hand in their defence. Thou hast now to deal with the first


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