Last week we took a bus trip tour back in time to North Dakota. To be exact we checked out Theodore Roosevelt’s ranch in the Bad Lands, visited George Armstrong Custer’s home at his last post in Fort Lincoln and looked down on the Missouri River from the Mandan Villages where Lewis and Clark wintered on their epic journey more than two hundred years ago. More on all this and the Medora cowboy musical when I get my pictures organized. And going even further back in time I brought my Nook reader on the bus where in 480 B.C., the mighty Persian king Xerxes led a massive force to the narrow mountain pass called Thermopylae, anticipating no significant resistance in his bid to conquer Greece and perhaps The West entire. But the Greeks, led by Leonidas and a small army of Spartan warriors and allies, had taken the battle to the Persians and nearly halted their advance.
Paul Cartledge's riveting, authoritative account of King Leonidas and the legendary 300 illuminates this valiant endeavor that changed the way future generations would think about combat, courage, and death. Our history books have given full credit to the Greek, particularly the Athenian underpinnings of Western culture. The brave but seemingly dull Spartans very little. While I don’t believe all cultures are equal in value Thermopylae certainly broadened my horizons on the ancient Greeks. Well done King Leonidas. And well done Paul Cartledge. I thoroughly enjoyed your book