Wednesday, April 22, 2009

a.d. X Kal. Mai.


Melius in umbrā pugnābimus!
“We will fight better in the shade!” (Frontinus, Stratagems, 4)

When King Xerxes of Persia invaded Greece in 480 bce, he was defeated by the Athenians both on the sea and then on land. But this would not have occurred so quickly if not for the Spartan king Leonidas. Warned that the Persians would shoot so many arrows that they would blot out the sunlight, Leonidas replied with this phrase. His tiny band of men held off the Persians in Thermopylae’s narrow pass, until an informant showed the Persians a path behind the Greeks’ position. Surrounded, the three hundred Spartans died, fighting to the last man.

From Latin for the New Millennium

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