Thermopylae: The Battle That Changed the World Essay Example

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  3
Wordcount:  612 Words
Date:  2022-10-03

The book "Thermopylae; the Battle that Changed the World by Paul Cartledge is a historical account of the clash that took place in North-Central mainland Greece. The Battle of Thermopylae was fought between an alliance of the Greek city and the Persian Empire during the invasion of Greece in 480 BC. However, the political backgrounds of this war can be traced in 491 BC when King Darius sent a group of heralds to Greek hoping that they would convince the people to accept the Persian authority (Cartledge 2). In this edition, the author gives a recount of what happened during a three-day battle between the Persians and the Greeks. The author has written his work relating it to other sources, as well as adding his insight about the happenings of the clash. Therefore, this paper will be a review of the Battle of Thermopylae and the extent the war between Greece and Persians changed the world.

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During this battle, Persians were being led by King Xerxes who had succeeded King Darius while Greece was under the reign of King Leonidas (Cartledge 34). Although King Darius idea of persuading Greeks to support his sovereignty had borne fruit in several cities, Athens and Sparta rejected the offer from Persian authority. As a result, extensive preparations other hand King Leonidas was organizing his army to combat the invading Persian army. While writing this book Cartledge extensively referred to the work of Herodotus, who had given an account of the Battle of Thermopylae. Although Persians eventually won this battle in three days, Cartledge, seems to be of the opinion that the Greeks would have conquered the invaders had Leonidas formulated more elaborate plans, especially on the third day of the battle. The author, for instance, argues that Leonidas could have been more assertive in his leadership position when he was surrounded by the Persians who had stealthily walked through the Anapoea path (Cartledge 45). As a result, Leonidas should be blamed for failing to supplement his army on the Anapoea path with better-skilled soldiers, who could have averted the attack on the Greeks.

Personally, I feel that Cartledge's historical account of the Battle of Thermopylae is concrete because apart from consolidating the research done by other historians, he also visited Athens and other Greece cities to collect first-hand data. In most cases, the arguments made by Cartledge are supported by available information about the clash between the Persians and the Greeks. Even though the Persians were strong with large numbers of trained soldiers I believe had Sparta received support from its neighboring cities who had either joined Persian authority or standing on neutral ground Persians would have lost the battle. Initially, the fatalities and casualties suffered by the Persian army were numerous, until they got a break in form of a traitor from the Greeks who showed them the Anapoea path. Therefore I conquer with the author that the outcome of the battle of Thermopylae could surely be different if only Leonidas have tried a little harder to win the battle as he had done on the first two days.


In conclusion, I would recommend scholars interested in ancient history to read the book Thermopylae a Battle that Changed the World because it gives a detailed account of Greek history. Likewise, the author presents a well-researched and versed piece, which is very insightful. The work is convincing, having in mind the evidence provided by the author on the topic of discussion, which is collaborated by other historical sources. Lastly, I feel that Cartledge has immensely contributed to the understanding of the furious Spartans.

Works Cited

Cartledge, Paul. Thermopylae: The Battle That Changed the World. Woodstock, NY: Overlook Press, 2006. Internet resource.

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Thermopylae: The Battle That Changed the World Essay Example. (2022, Oct 03). Retrieved from

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