Forums / Off Topic / Molon Labe - ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ - Greek - Means "Come and Take Them"

5 years 44 weeks ago, 12:34 PM

samD

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Molon Labe

(mo-lone lah-veh)

Two little words. With these two words, two concepts were verbalized that have lived for nearly two and a half Millennia. They signify and characterize both the heart of the Warrior, and the indomitable spirit of mankind.

In 480 B.C. the forces of the Persian Empire under King Xerxes, numbering, according to Herodotus, two million men, bridged the Hellespont and marched in their myriads to invade and enslave Greece.

King Leonidas of Sparta and another Greek city-state agreed to help stop the invading Persians, and marched with 300 hand-picked troops to Thermopylae on the north coast of Greece. Thermopylae was the best of three possible defensive areas in which Xerxes' invading army had to advance. This mountain gap along the coast was about 60 feet wide, and was the best location for a blocking action. The confines between mountains and sea were so narrow that the Persian multitudes and their cavalry would be at least partially neutralized. Since the 300 knew they were going to die fighting against overwhelming force the first requirement was that each man had to have a son left behind.

When Leonidas was preparing to make his stand, a Persian envoy arrived. The envoy explained to Leonidas the futility of trying to resist the advance of the huge Persian army and demanded that the Spartans lay down their arms. Leonidas told Xerxes "MOLON LABE", or "Come And Get Them."

"Our archers are so numerous," said the envoy, "that the flight of their arrows darkens the sun."

5 years 44 weeks ago, 1:37 PM

runawaygun762

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It wasn't 300

The total number of Spartans was around 4500 by most historians' guess. There were the 300 actual soldiers, but there was also the standard supply train that all armies need, as well as strap hangers looking to see a fight and make money off the soldiers. But it's still an awesome disparity of force and there is no questioning the fact that those people were real soldiers, standing face to face, putting steel in flesh. Definitely not a push-button war from 30,000 feet.

"I have always been a soldier. I have known no other life. The calling of arms, I have followed from boyhood. I have never sought another." From The Virtues of War, by Steven Pressfield.
5 years 44 weeks ago, 7:55 PM

Anonymous

basis

for the movie "300"

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