Thursday, September 8, 2011

Battlefield of Thermopylae, Thermopylae

To tell the truth, I wasn't familiar with Battle of Thermopylae until I watched the Zack Snyder's movie 300.
But ever since I watched the movie, I was fascinated by King Leonidas and 300 Spartans.
I knew I have to see the real battlefield that King Leonidas fought and died.

Pictures were taken on July 9, 2011

Leonidas Monument
It was constructed at the site, in the 50's in honor of the Spartan king and his warriors

A sign, under the statue, reads simply: "Μολών λαβέ"
("Come and get them!"--as in answer to Xerxes' demand that the Greeks give up their weapons).

In 1997, a second monument was officially unveiled by the Greek government,
dedicated to the 700 Thespians who fought with the Spartans.

A plate, below the statue, explains its symbolism:
  • The headless male figure symbolizes the anonymous sacrifice of the 700 Thespians to their country.
  • The outstretched chest symbolizes the struggle, the gallantry, the strength, the bravery and the courage.
  • The open wing symbolizes the victory, the glory, the soul, the spirit and the freedom.
  • The broken wing symbolizes the voluntary sacrifice and death.
  • The naked body symbolizes Eros, the most important god of the ancient Thespians, a god of creation, beauty and life.

Epitaph of Simonides
Simonides composed a well-known epigram,
which was engraved as an epitaph on a commemorative stone
placed on top of the burial mound of the Spartans at Thermopylae.
It is also the hill on which the last of them died. The original stone is not to be found now.
Instead the epitaph was engraved on a new stone erected in 1955.

 "Stranger, announce to the Spartans that here We lie, having fulfilled their orders."

The site of the battle.

The hot springs from which Thermopylae takes its name.

1 comment:

  1. Most informative and beautiful pictures ! Thank you very much for sharing your photographs, and for your descriptions, as I am a historical fan of this most famous ancient battle. Wonderful to know.