Sparta prepared their citizens for war since they early age. Men were well versed in the language of combat. When King Xerxes of Persia invaded Sparta with a horde of soldiers, armed with weird armament, outnumbering in between 50 to 100 times the Greeks, King Leonidas of Sparta has chosen a bodyguard of 300 men (and as well 700 Thespians, 400 Thebans,  and eventually a few hundred others slaves). When King Xerxes saw that ridiculous small group of soldiers he demanded by means of a Persian general to lay down their weapons. King Leonidas said: «Come and get them!». The Persian messenger said: «A thousand nations of the Persian empire will descend upon you. Our arrows will blot out the sun!» and received the courageous reply: «Then we will fight in the shade!». “Come and get them!” is still today the motto for the Greek defense force.

The Greeks were betrayed by a man called Ephialtes, who betrayed his country by revealing a path to the Persians, allowing the Persian Army to outflank King Leonidas. Then, Leonidas decided to dismiss most of the army, forming a rear-guard of around 1,500 men, including his 300 Spartans, 700 Thespians, 400 Thebans and a few hundred fighters, much of them slaves. With this strategic move, the bulk of the Greek army retreats and regroup.

Then King Leonidas, fearless, soldier of freedom, with his 300 men attracted the Persian army to a narrow pass in the mountains and killed 290,000 Persians. Not even the Persian elite of soldiers called themselves “The Immortals”, succeeded to break the Spartan barrier. Not even after the Persian Army killed King Leonidas did they surrender, and later the remnant Spartan soldiers pulled back their dead king and protected their body until the last man died. This old and true story shows the power of men driven by their hearts and the strong wish for freedom…

King Xerxes said himself while looking to his Army: «I am moved to pity, when I think of the brevity of human life, seeing that of all this host of men, not one will still be alive in a hundred years time». King Leonidas, when looked at his bodyguard of three hundred men, he knew that not a single one of them would fight and die in vain. Because their battle was the battle for freedom…

At the end of their invasion, the mighty Persian Army was defeated by the Greeks in decisive victories at the Battles of Salamis and Plataea.

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