Monday, February 06, 2006
Thermopylae (literally, the gates of fire) was the site of a battle during the Persian War. Xerxes and his tens of tousands of troops were fought to a temporary standstill by 300 Spartans.
"Xerxes says he does not want your lives, only your arms."
"Tell him to come and get them." (in Greek, Molon labe)
Historically, every Spartan died in the battle. The premise of the book, however, is that one man, a squire, survives the fighting long enough to be captured and interrogated by the Persian's historian. The captured man, Xeonas, tells of Sparta and the Spartan way of war. He tells of the battle from Sparta's perspective.
Michael Yon talks about the book and how LTC Kurilla gives a copy to every new officer.
“I would be the one. The one to go back and speak. A pain beyond all previous now seized me. Sweet life itself, even the desperately sought chance to tell the tale, suddenly seemed unendurable alongside the pain of having to take leave of these whom I had come so to love.”
If the Marines like the book, it can't be that bad. :)