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The Spartan King Leonidas is the most inspirational military leader. He marched his 300 Spartans with the "Hot Gates of Thermopylae" in 480 BC, defeating a Persian invasion of two millions men.

Leonidas's lesser-known fact is that he wasn't born to rule. Cleomenes, his half-brother, was awarded that honor. Leonidas would later marry Gorgo, his daughter. Leonidas, who was not Cleomenes nor his full-blood elder brother Doreius but Leonidas as such, whose name means "son the lion", enrolled at the legendary military school,Replica Breitling Watches Spartan Agoge. Boys were taught there from the age of seven to the age of 29 with the sole purpose of creating the ultimate warrior society. Because the men formed the "walls" of Sparta, Sparta was the only Greek capital without walls that could repel invaders.

Training young Spartans

Leonidas' outstanding performance in the Agoge is what made him the chosen king after his elder brother was finally deposed for insanity. Legend has it that Leonidas was named the leader in the city-state after someone told him that he wasn't superior to them because he was a better military leader than him. Braggadocio aside Leonidas proved his worth during the second Persian invasion in Greece.

This was a time when Sparta still had a lot of work to do. The Athenians sent a messenger 140 miles from Greece to ask for help during the 490 BC invasion of Greece by Darius I. They denied him because he was in a religious ceremony. The victory was won by the Athenians, who were then praised throughout Greece. Leonidas refused to allow that to happen.Blancpain Replica His wife Gorgo said to him that he should return with his shield or on it, before leaving on what seemed to be a suicide mission. This, as far as badass things can a wife say to her husband before he leaves for certain death, is No.1.

King Leonidas statue in modern-day Sparta, Greece

Leonidas' force consisted of 300 Spartans and 900 Hoplites, which were slaves under the Spartans' control, as well as several other allied Greek troops. According to some sources, he had a command force of around 7,000 men. This is still a small number compared to the nearly two million commanded Xerxes. However, historians believe this may be closer to 300,000. However, Leonidas' retort "Molon Labe", or "Come to get them!" is what Xerxes commanded him to do when he asked him to surrender his weapons.