Battaglia delle Termopili

C’era solo un modo per l’alleanza ellenica per fermare l’invasione dei Persiani: trattenerli al valico delle Termopili, ritardare l’avanzata e sfidarli sul mare per tagliare i rifornimenti.

Grazie a ponti di barche gettate sull’Ellesponto, migliaia di Persiani condotti da Serse I invasero la Grecia.

Nel frattempo gli Ellenici si riunirono in un’alleanza formata da trentuno stati, mentre Sparta forniva i comandanti.

Per invadere l’Attica, i Persiani dovevano passare attraverso un valico tra il monte Kallimodron e il mare, il valico delle Termopili.

Gli alleati greci inviarono, al comando di Leonida, re di Sparta, settemila opliti. (1)

Dopo tre giorni di attesa, i Persiani attaccarono, ma nella prima giornata di combattimento furono respinti dalla resistenza greca.

Il giorno seguente la guardia personale di Serse, gli Immortali, tentò un nuovo assalto.

I Greci, dopo aver finto di fuggire, ritornano indietro per colpire i nemici rimasti isolati, infliggendo gravi perdite ai Persiani. Il terzo giorno di battaglia, vedi i greci alternarsi alla difesa delle varie città d’ appartenenza, mentre gli uomini di Serse ripiegano per organizzarsi.

Enfiate, un greco indicò, però ai Persiani un sentiero che conduceva proprio alle spalle della retroguardia di Leonida e che permise ai Persiani di attaccare in discesa.

La resistenza degli spartani fu disperata fino a quando le truppe di Leonida, in superiorità numerica, riuscirono ad avere la meglio, forzano il valico ed invendo la Grecia.

Battaglia delle Termopili : opliti
(1) Soldati equipaggiati con armi pesanti scudo in bronzo, spada corta in ferro e lancia lunga

Come si diventava spartani

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