It is the year 480 BC and the greatest army ever gathered in the ancient world is on the march to conquer all of Greece. An irresistible force, they are destroying whatever dares to stand in their path. One man steps forward to stop them, followed by 300 companions. His chances are next to nil, yet he goes. This man is Leonidas. And his companions are Spartans. They go to stop the Persian advance and meet their destiny at the narrows known as The Hot Gates.
This is an account of the ancient battle of Thermopylae when a contingent of 300 Spartan warriors held off in three days of battle the thrust of the Persian invasion. It is told from the point of view of a twelve-year-old boy, the son of one of the Spartan warriors.
|Publisher:||Association of Waldorf Schools of North America Publications|
|Product dimensions:||6.80(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.40(d)|
|Age Range:||12 - 14 Years|
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The bushes to my left shook violently and I whirled around to meet the intruder. I clutched my spear in both hands and readied it at eyelevel. I steeled myself to drive the point right into his teeth. My full attention was in front of me, so I was taken by surprise when a pair of massive arms suddenly enfolded me from behind in a bear hug. With my arms pinned to my sides, I could only kick with my legs, but it did little good. I was lifted off the ground. I bent my neck to try to bite his arms, but I couldn't reach. Without loosening his vise grip, he shoved my head hard to the left, and the muscles in my neck screamed in protest. Then I felt the cold metal of the man's helmet pressed against my cheek.
“Get quiet, or I'll break your neck,” he growled into my ear.
It was a Spartan voice, so I knew he meant it. I stopped kicking and struggling.
“Now drop the spear,” he commanded.
With my arms pinned, my makeshift spear was dangling from my fingertips. I let it drop.
“Real easy now,” he said. I thought he was going to let me go. I was ready, the moment my feet touched the ground, to dash through the thicket and escape. Perhaps he sensed my muscles tensing. Whatever the reason, he smashed me to the ground on my face. I was stunned from the blow. Then I felt his knee in my back, pressing the air out of my lungs.
“Stay put!” he ordered.
He roughly grabbed my arms and pulled them behind me. I wondered for a brief moment if he were about to drive his sword between my shoulder blades.
“Thanatos!” I prayed silently. “O, Death, come thou quickly that I make no noise to shame me.” But instead of thrusting his sword into my back, he dragged me to my feet by my long hair and held on firmly. I struggled again and only now noticed that when he had thrown me to the ground, he had bound my hands behind me.