Saturday, August 23, 2014

Battle of Theropylae

One historical event I have heard about my whole life was The Battle of Thermopylae, or the Hot Gates!  When 300 Spartans go up against 1 million Persians!  And it is fitting I do this post today because I know this event because of my Dad.  Today is his birthday, and I won the lottery with him.  I have the BEST Dad in the world!
He loves this Battle, and always told us about it!  He found inspiration in the Spartans.  He was inspired by their discipline.  Spartans had incredible discipline.  Whatever he does he always says he has discipline like the Spartans.  This is one thing I love about history!  You can learn lessons, and be inspired and motivated!
So when I became a World History teacher I knew I had to teach about the Spartans and the Persians.  One year after I finished teaching this a student raised his hand, and asked if I knew about the movie they are making?  I said no, and he said they are making a movie about this very event.  I got excited!  And the movie was 300!
This movie caught on, and BTW students could not stop talking about it.  One day I walked up to a group of students talking about 300, and said Wow you LOVE history!  They looked at me confused, and said no we love 300!  I said no History!  This movie was inspired this historical event!
The story of the Spartans is amazing!  The Persians decided to take over Ancient Greece.  Ancient Greece was organized by city-states.  The two most famous city states was Sparta and Athens.  They were drastically different.  Night and Day.  Athens was philosophical and full of culture.  Where Sparta was driven by war.  So much everything and everyone did their part to help with being the BEST soldiers!  They had no culture.  They did not have time for that!
The city states also did not like each other, and battled all the time.  But when someone like The Persians threatens Greece they band together.  It is like siblings.  You can make fun of your sister, but if some one else does those are fighting words!  Of course everyone wanted the Spartans to fight!  They were the BEST! 
The Spartans came up with a plan.  They were going to hold off the Persians while the rest of the city states mobilized to defeat the Persians.  This was a suicide mission, and it was understood whoever went would die fighting.  Sparta's 300 best went to go fight a million Persians!  That is hard to imagine!  300 v. 1,000,000.  The best part of the movie is it enables us to show the magnitude of that!  Here is my favorite scene to show the magnitude:
Now you think they would be decimated in a few days, but they last for a week!  They last because of geography, and where they stand their ground.  They do it at the Hot Gates.  A passage through a mountain.  And good news the city states defeat the Persians!  Sparta's sacrifice was worth it!
A great book about Sparta and this moment is Gates of Fire!  It is a great read, and they explain so much!

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