Legendary king of Sparta, whose name was associated with the most peculiar battle of antiquity, the Battle of Thermopylae, in August 480, ascended the throne in 488 and was half brother Cleomenes I, whom he succeeded. When the Persians arrived at the strait of Thermopylae, Leonidas was there with 6,000 soldiers, waiting for reinforcements from Sparta. To avoid a futile slaughter, drove most of the soldiers holding together of the 300 Spartans and 700 Thespians who refused to leave their position. Leonidas remained with great bravery in place, making the most glorious in the history of leadership in response to Plutarch, "jetties take," obeying the laws of Sparta and creating an eternal attitude of sacrifice and patriotism. Use subtle physical layout, attacker and defender arrangement with depth, pulling the narrow Persian, exploiting the high morale and strength of his soldiers.
The Persians succeeded in maneuvering positions using the nightmare of a secret passage, the "anopiaia path" led them back to the Greeks. Fighting furor Greeks under Leonidas, died to the last in this three-day battle, a symbol for world history.
The glamor of the battle of Thermopylae, despite the defeat, morale was crucial effect on the final outcome of the final attack, scatter the terror of the Persian army at the same time as a defensive effort, won valuable time to judge the war at sea, in battle Salamis.
We can not see but Leonidas individually, as a form, but according to the Spartan life and education.
So what did Leonidas and the Spartans as warriors so special? Historians tell us that we must look at the depth of history, especially education receiving the Spartans even at the age of seven years and into adulthood.
More typical to express attitudes toward war Spartan is the phrase used to say Spartan mother to her son who went to war, "or when or on Tash." The mother saying goodbye to her son reminiscent of how the task was to fight bravely for his country, honoring his arms and if necessary die for it '. This famous phrase hides the mentality of a people who went down in history as an example of honest, austere and full of dignity and self-sacrificing life. These are the ideals that celebrates and Leonidas with this act of selflessness. If anything, as King Leonidas of such people should be given the first example.
For Leonidas, as all the Spartans, the greatest virtue was willing to sacrifice duty of defense and salvation of their country. His attitude in front of the battle and death were similar for both education and the culture of his people.
In forty years lasting service the Spartans did not have to work, but be prepared daily for the war. Seven years were part of a group, voues materials, where they received the appropriate training from the age of twenty years began their march to the mess. By the thirties living in dwellings that were called prowess alone thirties could stay home and only at night. In everyday life, the king did not enjoy special rates and care but only the respect and appreciation of his comrades. Even on the battlefield live without luxuries and precautions while in the hour of battle was nobody in front of him.
A peculiar habit before the battle was to polish their guns, to pamper their body and comb their hair. In this way looked determined and ready for battle, believing that even before the Charon should appear clean and beautiful. Shortly before the collision and sacrificed accompanied paeans started the battle. The period of mourning the dead which lasted eleven days, while the twelfth put an end to mourning. The warriors buried wrapped in red cloaks without artefact, showing that most of them were procurable their participation in Spartan army. Leonidas nurtured within that system where individualism is lost in front of the group and the party is necessary and sufficient when only there to help the whole.
When Leonidas was asked why the gallant prefer glorious inglorious death to life, he replied "because they feature this kind of horse, but he (death) as a characteristic of rational beings." For Leonidas and his three hundred Spartans has a tombstone written by Simonides, who says: "Oh stranger 'angelein Lakedaimoniois that tide keimetha per rimasi peithomenoi Kane" and it gives more value to the words "... Kane per rimasi peithomenoi" if we consider that Leonidas knew that help would come from Sparta.
In the later monument that exists today at Thermopylae in honor of Leonidas, and where his statue is engraved his response to Xerxes' demand 'jetties handles'.
Sparta was the statue of Leonidas one warrior without pretending mustache with Atticus type helmet, work of the early fifth century BC and posture can conclude that he was holding in his left hand raised shield, while the right hand was raised spear. Identified with Leonidas from the moment although there was no sign that proves it.