In August 480 BC, Leonidas set out to meet Xerxes' army at Thermopylae with a small force of 300, where he was joined by forces from other Greek city-states, who put themselves under his command to form an army between 4,000 and 7,000 strong. He therefore chose a small number, saying that it was his own personal choice, not representing Sparta in any way. This force was assembled in an attempt to hold the pass of Thermopylae against a massive Persian army of between 80,000 and 290,000 men-at-arms who had invaded from the north of Greece under Xerxes I. Leonidas took only his personal bodyguards, and not the army, because the majority of the Spartan Army was coordinating with the massed naval forces of the Greeks against the Persian Navy. This is contrary to the belief that the army could not be sent because of religious restrictions.
Size: 49.5 cm. / 19.5"