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Old December 11th, 2011, 08:57 AM   #1
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Leonidas and his 300 Spartans


What would have happened if King Xerxes of Persia would have brought his army to Greece after the Spartan Carneia? Would the Spartan army had joined the 300 Spartans and Leonidas with the other Greeks? Or was there another reason why Sparta only sent 300 men? Would we simply remember Thermopylae as another Greek battle? Or would we remember it still as a great stand against Persia?
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Old December 12th, 2011, 07:13 PM   #2
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It would not have made any difference. The Greeks (the poleis resisting the Persians, that is) already had a sizable army at Thermopylae and were holding the pass quite comfortably; additional forces would have been unnecessary at that stage. Sure, you can argue that more Spartans would have meant guarding the goat path better, preventing the pass from being outflanked by the Immortals.

However, this ignores the fact that the Greek fleet was being whittled to death in the naval engagement at Artemisium. They were getting ready to retreat after the third day anyway. In fact, one might argue that having MORE soldiers at Thermopylae (and hence keeping the pass for longer) might have been a bad thing for the Greeks: the navy may have been browbeaten to continue fighting the more even engagement at Artemisium, and hence jeopardize the ability of the navy to win at Salamis.
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Old November 10th, 2012, 05:25 PM   #3

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Agree. Also, the Corinthians were building a wall across the Isthmus which shows that the Spartans foresaw the possibility for the Persians to invade Attica and did not plan to help it. They planned to defend Peloponessus in this case.
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Old November 10th, 2012, 05:41 PM   #4

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brisieis View Post
What would have happened if King Xerxes of Persia would have brought his army to Greece after the Spartan Carneia? Would the Spartan army had joined the 300 Spartans and Leonidas with the other Greeks? Or was there another reason why Sparta only sent 300 men? Would we simply remember Thermopylae as another Greek battle? Or would we remember it still as a great stand against Persia?
Don't believe that the Karneia had anything to do with it. The Spartans never wanted to go to Thermopylae in the first place, only doing it to placate some of the allies.
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