The Battle of Thermopylae (Poem)

By Jordan Mides

You were the bravest of men,

Those who fought and died for the protection of liberty and thought. We cannot imagine the fear that you would have endured,

The cries of war and the deeds of great valour.

For Laconian mothers had a saying; ἢ τὰν ἢ ἐπὶ τᾶς,

This driving belief, imprinted in the psyche of all a desire to succeed,

Igniting a flame in the hearts of a divided Greece, a flame that cauterised the wound of rivalry and disdain between the states.

To rally for the common need, for preservation.

If only those who gave their lives valiantly knew the effect of their sacrifice. That through these actions they not only have immortalised themselves as heroes but protected their descendants and glorified their predecessors.

Let all know, that these actions will never be forgotten for millennia to come, They lay where they fell; obedient to their king, country and family. Withstanding the unrelenting barrage of wicker against bronze,

Shoulder to shoulder, facing a tidal wave of arrows that would blot out the sun. To which one brave Lacedaemonian Dieneces proclaimed, that they should fight in the shade.

A beginning of panhellenic endeavours against external threats,

These; Thespians, Thebans, Spartans, Corinthians, Arcadians and Myceneans. Paved the road for a unified Greece and not only inspired resistance amongst those men of old. But amongst your descendants as well, the likes of the 25.03.1821 and 20.05.1941.

When we, your descendants fight against tyranny and reflect upon your plight. The exclamation of the great warrior king Leonidas echoes in our minds and hearts “μολὼν λαβέ”

May you rest and celebrate not only your sacrifice but your lives joyously, in the splendour of the Elysian fields amongst the best of men – our heroes.