The Spartan Strategy: a Battle Between Persia and Sparta in Thermopylae

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Words: 1622 |

Pages: 4|

9 min read

Published: Nov 22, 2018

Words: 1622|Pages: 4|9 min read

Published: Nov 22, 2018

Thermopylae, a narrow pass on the east coast of Greece, also one of the best Greek army strategies used against the Persians in the Battle of Thermopylae. The width of the pass allowed fewer allied, Athenian and Spartan soldiers, to fight off more Persian troops. The Persian army was much stronger and larger in size than the allied Greek army, but bravery and strategy helped the allied Greek army to make a huge impact on the Persian army. Although the small band of Spartan soldiers known as the “300” knew the fate that awaited them, they still fought strong, and restrained the Persian army for around three days, in the process removing as many Persian soldiers as they could manage from there homeland that had given them this infamous moment to choose between fight or flight. Despite of there obvious set backs they stood strong until a trader named Ephialtes, led the Persian army on the path that took them behind the Greek army. Already having an upper hand the Persian army took advantage of their size and crushed the 300 remaining Spartan soldiers. This left the remaining soldiers no chance against the Persian forces. Their efforts and bravery at Thermopylae have not been ignored. Throughout history we have honored and celebrated the courage of these men. The most famous recognition of the Spartans loyalty and devotion to their homeland and allies was portrayed in the 2006 film “300”.

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The battle of Salamis was fought by the Greek allies and there Persian rival. The Greek’s used the island of Salamis to run there operations, the islands protective shape helped keep invaders out. The Greek forces were completely out numbered but, they thought they could at least put a dent in the Persian fleets. Salamis is one of the most important battles in ancient history. The Greek army took advantage of the unique protecting Salamis offered and attacked the Persian fleets. The restricted area that the Persian ships had to move became there biggest weakness. The Persian King, Xerxes, was amazed by how strategically the Greeks were. Xerxes sat on a hill top above the battle ground and watched the much smaller Greeks; take out fleet after fleet of Persian ships. When the Persians realized that they were doomed in this battle, they decided to retreat and leave Salamis. However communication also served as one of the bigger errors the Persians made. When the front fleet started to back up, the second followed, but the uninformed third fleet ended up getting crashed into, and the domino effect repeated. This costly slip-up cause a lot of deaths among Persians soldiers.

. The rules of the two enemy kingdoms were very different in many ways. The power was of considerably different stature in both the Greek nations and in Persia. During this time period Persia was known as a thoughtful country and always gave conquered nations people rights to their customs and traditions. Cyrus the Great started this trend of respect threw out his empire in 700 B.C. The empire Cyrus founded is considered one of the greatest empires in history. He exceeded the expectations of his people and of the time period by being a great warrior and a victorious conqueror. Cyrus was respected as a liberator in many other empires of this time. His ambitious and revolutionary ways of rule definitely made their mark in history. The example set by Cyrus was continued on by Darius I. Darius continued Persian success by building the empire although he was not the king to follow right after Cyrus the Great, he proved himself to be Cyrus’s true successor. Following Darius was Xerxes. Xerxes was the king of Persia and the leader of the Persian army. He was the grandson of Cyrus the Great and the son of Darius, both great leaders in Persian history. Although he stood by his father, his way of rule was somewhat different. During the battle of Thermopylae Xerxes was so sure of himself and his army’s ability that he had a thrown on top of a hill so he could see his army defeat the Greek army. His strategy was weak and proved to be somewhat costly and irresponsible for the Persians. Although the Persians won the battle, and ultimately the war, having the advantage that the Persians had they should have had a much more effective tactic for there plan of attack. His way of rule was different from his father and grandfathers nonviolent, caring ways. Xerxes was much harsher on the people of territories he conquered. When Xerxes conquered Egypt in 485 he deliberately revoked the Egyptian way of life. Darius, Xerxes father, was allied with Babylonia and Egypt during his time of rule. When Xerxes came to power he backstabbed these empires and when against his Father and Grandfathers accommodating way of rule.

The Spartans on the other hand were a military city state. There main focus was put on maintaining, and skillfully training the small army that they had. Spartan history tells us that loyalty to there country, all around obedience and strategy were most important in Spartan culture. Helots or peasants of Spartan Empire did all the manual labor in the community thus forcing the others to join the military. At the very young age of seven Spartan boys were taken to training camps, and taught how to fight. Although the discipline throughout the empire was intense, it proved its advantages when it came time for war. Although there was fighting between Sparta and Greece during the Peloponnesian Wars, there was a kind of alliance that hung between the two native Greek empire and when the Athenians went to war the Persians, the Spartans were close behind. With a small military, Spartans tried to avoid war with other empires as much as possible. There lack of men also made there focus during war, quite different. Spartans focused on strategy and expertise, and despite there uniqueness, these alternate strategies provided a lot of success. The strengths of military were most noticeable in the Spartan Navy. Leonidas, a Greek general, is mostly known for his final battle at Thermopylae, where he and all his men were brutally massacred by the much stronger Persian forces. The pride of Leonidas and his men was unmistakable. As history tells us, Leonidas and his band of 300 men, fought strong side by side knowing the fate that awaited them. The Persian forces was estimated at about 10,000 men and with impressive courage, Leonidas and his men stood together and died together.

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In my opinion, the greatest leader was the Spartan general, Leonidas. I believe that there is no loser in a fight. If your willing to sacrifice your life for something you believe in then you did your job. Feeling so strongly about about your country like the band of 300 did, is a amazing accomplishment in itself. Im also a firm believer in education and strategy. I admire the Spartans keen since of direction when it came to the direction of there military. Without direction and obedience your military means nothing. Its like a game with no pieces, you can play all you want but you will not win. The Persians did clearly win the war but only because of the ratio of Persians to Greeks. The Persians plan of action did cost them, they are fortunate enough to have thousand of more troops than the Greeks because the outcome could have potentially been completely different. The larger army seems to appear as a strength no matter what way you turn it. One of the nonchalant and most crucial weaknesses to having a large military is trying to keep everyone on the same page. The technology of the time was also limited, so trying to keep in touch with everyone was a much bigger task. Keeping everyone together is virtually impossible. The attitude and actions of the Spartans, thousands of years ago are admirable even today. They hoped for the best, but were not afraid of the worst. I also believe another strength to Leonidas's empire was the unity and devotion to protecting there country. A lot of these values have been lost threw the years. The intimidation that was used in the Ancient Empires would be considered unconstitutional and below the "standards" we have set for ourselves in society. Although the decline of America is becoming more and more apparent every year, we continue to make the same mistakes. The example our Government gives us is a true mirror to the actions of the people. We don't agree with communism, but everything made in America is from China. The dishonesty we exemplify in our everyday actions can be traced back to the deception we allow to go on in this country. The consequences of these actions are often disregarded and blown off. Learning these non working behaviors is ruining our society, its also affecting younger and younger generations at a much earlier age. Which basically means younger children are subjected to the horrible reality we are constantly trying to change. I understand the Governments frustration and confusion with knowing "what to do" all the time, but I honestly believe that repeating mistakes will bring us closer and closer to our total distraction. We've tried to do things the nice way by not intimidating but like a lost soul, maybe we are need more discipline to get the results we are searching for. The initial turn around would be an intense changed for us at firs, but eventually it would become routine. I do not think we need to go as far as the Spartans. But I do believe changes such as a leader with integrity and a true desire and passion for change

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The Spartan Strategy: A Battle Between Persia And Sparta In Thermopylae. (2018, November 05). GradesFixer. Retrieved April 22, 2024, from
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