Spartan Last Stand

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Spencer Raub P-4 Neuman Military History 9/13/14 Spartan Last Stand While there are many theories regarding Leonidas' choice to stay at the Thermopylae pass, many believe that it was most likely a strategic decision to prevent the Persian cavalry from running down the retreating army. Other historians believe that Leonidas’ stayed at the pass because he had an ultimatum to fulfill that was given to him by the Oracle at Delphi. The oracle had told Leonidas before he set out for battle that the sons of Persia will destroy everything he knows and loves or all of Sparta must mourn for the loss of a king. Many believe this had great influence on his decision to stay at the pass. But all in all what most historians debate is not why Leonidas stayed but whether or not his decision to stay was the overall right choice. My perspective on the situation is that Leonidas’ decision to stay was not the right choice. I postulate this because the whole goal was to protect the pass so that the Persians could not reach Athens, but after the defeat of the Spartans the Persians pushed forward and burned Athens to the ground. So in essence the last stand of the Spartans was pointless because the Persians completed their goal of the ransacking of Athens. Themistocles was the true hero; he evacuated Athens before the Persians came and defeated the Persians in a naval battle at Salamis, which forced the Persians to flee back to Asia. So all in all Leonidas’ decision to stay was overall the wrong decision and Themistocles was the true hero of

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