Thermopylae 480 BC: The Last Stand of the 300 Spartans at Thermopylae: A Collective Suicide?

The Battle Thermopylae (documentary) 480 BC: The last stance of the 300 at the battlefield of Thermopylae is a one of the great mysteries of ancient History. Why did King Leonidas stay at the battle of Thermopylae when he could have retreated to safety to fight again? Was it Suicide or a tactical decision to remain at the mountain pass?

His decision to remain at Thermopylae was often thought to be a patriotic display. In this view, Leonidas and his 300 were martyr for their fatherland. In addition it was often thought that it was just the 300 Spartans, who died there, but that's simply not the case, but it is true that comparatively few Greeks defended the Hot gates (Thermopylae), so what exactly happened? Where were the other Greeks? Furthermore, there are many other misconceptions around, like the numbers of soldiers who actually died at Thermopylae or how many Spartans (Lacedaimonians) actually were there, how many other Greeks fought there?

Historians like Paul Cartledge even estimated that only 16% of the Spartans main force was employed at Thermopylae, so why exactly is that? Where were all the other Greeks?

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