This must seem like a random blog post, but it isn’t. I am trying to get back on track with writing and researching for my novella series of which I received a very comprehensive edit from my editor leading into Christmas and about the same time the family was sent into a bit of a spin.
King Leonidas doesn’t feature as a character in my story, though I am sure there is one for me to delve into, however he is mentioned as a possible familial link to the main character.
Here are some interesting facts about King Leonidas.
- Leonidas was the third son of King Alexandridas and was not meant to be one of the two kings of Sparta.
- His brother Cleomenes died and did not have an heir; his other brother, Dorieus, died while on campaign in Sicily leaving Leonidas as the heir apparent.
- The role of a king in Sparta was a dual one, which meant Leonidas was a military leader as well as a political one.
- From the age of 7, Leonidas was taken from his home and trained as a hoplite warrior. This was the norm for all Spartan born males.
- According to Herodotus, Leonidas’ family lineage was descended from the hero Herakles going back 20 generations.
- Leonidas married Gorgo, who was his brother Cleomenes’ daughter.
- Unlike the 300 movie portrayal of Leonidas being in his youth, he would have been in his 60s during the Battle of Thermopylae.
- Leonidas was selected to lead a small group of 300 hoplite warriors to defend the pass at Thermopylae, all hand-picked with male offspring/s.
- Leonidas ordered the bulk of his force to withdraw and kept with him only the Spartans, Thespians, and Thebans to make a last stand.
- During their final meal, Leonidas supposedly said: ‘Eat hearty, lads, for today we dine in Hades.’
There is a well-known quote from the battle:
The Spartans were revered and feared by other Greek city-states and their reputation was far-reaching.
Thank you for your continued support and as always, I look forward to your comments and will respond.
Historical fiction novelist and a secondary teacher, Luciana Cavallaro, burnt out but not done… yet.
Read more about King Leonidas and the Battle of Thermopylae:
- King Leonidas of Sparta and the Epic Battle of the 300 at Thermopylae https://www.ancient-origins.net/history/king-leonidas-sparta-and-legendary-battle-300-thermopylae-002848
- Leonidas https://www.history.com/topics/ancient-history/leonidas
- Leonidas I of Sparta https://www.ancient.eu/Leonidas_I/
- Leonidas I https://biography.yourdictionary.com/leonidas-i