Analyzing the Battle of Thermopylae
Herodotus was a Greek historian. He is a very significant figure because he was the first to record many important events that happened in the time period. Herodotus helped historians understand what life was like in ancient times, and gave insight as to what happened during the Greek and Persians wars. Herodotus gives a very detailed description of the battle of Thermopylae, and reveals pieces of Spartan and Greek culture, as well as the tyranny of Xerxes.
There are many instances in which Xerxes shows his superstitious and tyrannical nature. For example, he believed that he was the greatest of all the Persians, both born and unborn. He had a highly inflated ego that drove him to want to conquer the world, regardless if a country had done his people wrong or not. He did not want to rest until he had captured and burned Athens to the ground. An example of his tyrannical nature is shown when he cuts the son of his underling in half and marches his armies through the carcass. His superstitious nature comes out when the apparent eclipse required him to seek the Magian for interpretation if it was a good omen. He looked to others for the answers about omens and luck, and very heavily relied on these omens.
We can learn much about Spartan culture from the events of the battle of Thermopylae. The Spartan military culture and code of honor prohibited surrender. The men of Sparta would rather fight and die with honor rather than surrender. The king was willing to die according to the prophecy over having Sparta conquered. Honor was a very big part of Spartan culture, and the battle also tells us that they believed in trying their best. Even if things looks grim, the Spartans wanted to stick it out and fight to the death than turn around and give up. They had a strong sense of work ethic and were willing to put their lives on the line for this work ethic. The Spartans were also intelligent people, as they were able to trick...