Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Place of the Birth of Democracy

Jade, my son living a dream. My Spartan has arrived
If you haven’t seen the movie 300, you should. It is fantastic eye-candy for all females and enough action to keep men watching too.  It was a Hollywood, yes. But the fact, in 480 B.C, that 300 Spartans did halt 10,000 Persians from advancing on Greece long enough for Greece to realize the threat was coming their way. Thus,the first republic formed, uniting against a common foe.
King Leonidas


This is the actual  place where the 300 stopped the Persians (and our driver)

Jade/my son and I (both lovers of the ancient world) insisted on seeing this magnificent piece of history where this battle of Thermopylae took place. We got to stand on this sacred ground even though it was a highway. It was unbelievable.  It was amazing. Sand to the right. Mountains to the left.


Today, the beach  has filled out with sand at least 100 yards so it was rather plain. Nevertheless, it was thrilling to be here  Originally, the water lapped the one shoulder of the road, to soft for the Persians to spread out. The other shoulder was lined by a mountain range.This pass funneled them onto the shields and lances of the Spartans for weeks.

Jade  my son walking in the steps of the 300
The trail up to the last stand of the 300
As in the movie, the Persians found a goat trail around to the rear of the Spartan warriors. At this point the Spartans were surrounded. So those left climbed this hill and fought to the last man. 

This is the monument to their sacrifice.

Monument to the last of the 300

 Not far away is a museum in honor of these 300. Unfortunately, few people venture the 2.5 hour drive away from Athens to see it. 

So much history fills this country every step you take. So it’s easy to be distracted by the Acropolis (which we did see)                          

For all democracies out there, this is where it all began. I feel blessed to have stood there and breathed the first air of freedom.


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