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The legend goes that Leonidas was chosen as king because of his exceptional performance at the Agoge when his older brother was deposed due to insanity. Legend has it that after he was named leader of the city state, someone told him "Except you are king, you are not superior than us." He replied, "But if I were not better than you, I shouldn't be king," in reference to his prowess and leadership as a leader. Leonidas, despite his braggadocio, proved himself and became an eternal legend during the second Persian invasion.

Sparta was in a period of great need to atone for its past. In 490 BC during the first invasion by Darius I, the Athenians sent a messenger 140 miles from Athens to Sparta in order to ask for their help. The messenger was refused entry because they were in the middle of a religious celebration. All of Greece praised the Athenians for their victory. Leonidas would not allow that to happen. Gorgo, the wife of Leonidas, allegedly told him before leaving on what was a clear suicide mission: "Come back with a shield or on it." This has to be one of the most badass words a woman can tell her husband before they leave to face certain deaths.

Leonidas' forces were composed of 300 Spartans ( subjugated to the Spartans and 900 Hoplites, as well as several other Greek allies. The actual number of men that he commanded is estimated to be around 7,000. This still pales when compared to the two million men commanded by Xerxes. (Historians believe this number might be closer 300,000). Leonidas, however, echoes through eternity when Xerxes commands him to bow down and lay down his weaponry.

Leonidas, his Spartans and their allies repelled waves of attacks from the front. Tens of thousands bodies of his defeated enemies were said by some to have been piled into a wall. The enemy flanked him only after the seventh day, thanks to an evil Greek named Ephialtes. His name will live forever in infamy.

Leonidas, knowing that the end was close, ordered all Greeks remaining except his Spartans retreat. He fought until the last man with his men. The Spartans,Rolex Milgauss Replica even though he was dead, fought the enemy four more times to recover his body. The story of Spartan bravery in the face endless odds spread throughout Greece when word of the Battle of Thermopylae was heard. In 1955, a bronze statue was erected of Leonidas at Thermopylae with the words "Molon Labe" engraved under it.

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