"Spartan King Leonidas" by Howard David Johnson

Legendary in the annals of history are the Spartan Warriors of Ancient Greece. Fearless defenders of liberty, they followed a strict military way of life. In 480 B.C. three hundred of them under King Leonidas stood alone at the end against the enormous Persian army under the tyrannical King Xerxes who was sweeping southward into Greece. 

The 300 Spartans fought to the death against these impossible odds in the narrow mountain pass at Thermopylae (Gates of Fire ). The Persians took shocking casualties. Their narrow lines of wicker shields and short javelins were no match for the highly disciplined Spartan lines with their large bronze shields and long spears who slaughtered the Sea of Persians wave after wave.

        It was only after a betrayal of a secret path and the 700 Greek allies were ordered home to warn Greece that the 300 Spartans were finally overcome.  Although the Spartans contributed little to the artistic and intellectual development of Greece, without them, ironically, Democracy and Freedom would have been wiped out in their infancy...

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