Leonidas I of Sparta


Leonidas was the Spartan king who famously led a small band of Greek allies at the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BCE where the Greeks valiantly defended the pass through which the Persian king Xerxes sought to invade Greece with his massive army. Ultimately, Leonidas and his men were wiped out, but they bought the Greek city-states valuable time and gave an inspirational example, not only of what Greek hoplites could achieve against the invading forces but also of the price Greeks were willing to pay to maintain their freedom from foreign oppression.

More about: Leonidas I of Sparta


  • c. 490 BCE
    Leonidas beomes one of Sparta's two kings.
  • 480 BCE
    Death of King Leonidas of Sparta at the Battle of Thermopylae.
  • Aug 480 BCE
    Battle of Thermopylae. 300 Spartans under King Leonidas and other Greek allies hold back the Persians led by Xerxes I for three days but are defeated.