October 20, 2020

Paul Cartledge: The Battle of Thermopylae (480 BCE)

In this episode of Travels Through Time, British ancient historian and academic Professor Paul Cartledge, takes us back to the 'Graeco-Persian Wars' to visit a major event in the history of western civilisation and culture. 

The mighty Persian empire - based in Iran, founded by Cyrus II in the mid-6th century BCE - launches a massive amphibious expedition in the spring of 480 led by Persian King-Emperor Xerxes. Their aim is to punish Persia's Greek subjects, who together with Eretria and Athens, have risen up in armed rebellion.   

This forces all the many Greek cities of the mainland to make a choice: cave in without a fight, try to stay neutral, or resist. The latter was the choice of some 30-plus cities, led by the legendary Sparta King, Leonidas. 

Show notes

Scene One: Sparta - King Leonidas chooses 'the 300' for Thermopylae

Scene Two:  Thermopylae - a 1-kilometre long E-W pass in northern Greece, where Thessaly (a region whose rulers were already on the Persian side) gives way to (resisting, loyalist) Phocis.

Scene Three: The morning of the final day of the Battle

Memento: A bronze Persian arrowhead



Presenter: Artemis Irvine

Interview: Violet Moller

Guest: Paul Cartledge

Production: Maria Nolan

Podcast partner: Colorgraph

Follow us on Twitter: @tttpodcast_

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