Sword of Sparta -300
4 in stock
Description of the Product
The first Persian Empire had been founded by Cyrus the Great, the King of Kings, on the ruins of the Assyrians. By c.500bce Darius I ruled an empire like none before and few since. But there were revolts (as there always is), and Darius had had it with the Greeks. Thus began the Greco-Persian wars, of which the great historian Herodotus tells us with living color. In 490bce the advancing Persians were defeated for the first time in Marathon. It was up to Darius’ son Xerxes to get revenge. He set up the largest army imaginable, (Herodotus and other contemporaries claim army of millions, modern scholars estimate between 100-150 000 men), and set for Greece.
Meanwhile the Greek city-states managed to co-operate against the Persians. However, when word spread that the Persian army was approaching, Sparta could only spare 300 men, led by king Leonidas, as the rest of the hoplites were observing a holy feast and partaking in the Olympic games. Other city-states managed to send slightly larger troops, but all in all the Greeks were so vastly outnumbered that they were marching to a near-certain death, as prophesied by the Oracle of Delphi.
The armies faced off at the pass of Thermopylae, a strategic defence for the Greek. Xerxes demanded the Spartans give up their weapons, to which Leonidas famously answered “Molon labe”, “Come and take them”. The Spartans, Thespians and other Greeks made the Persians pay dearly, but eventually they were betrayed and surrounded. Although they could have retreated, Leonidas chose to defend the pass and let the other Greek troops retreat to fight another day. Not a single Spartan lived to tell the tale, and to this day the battle site has a memorial with the words: “Go tell the Spartans, passerby: That here, by Spartan law, we lie.” The refusal of the Spartans to flee or surrender inspired the other Greeks, and the following year the largest ever hoplite army was amassed and the Persians were driven out of Greece, ending the Greco-Persian wars.
The battle of Thermopylae has inspired countless others since, with its ethos of a small but morally upstanding band of brothers fighting for a just cause, against a large herd of mindless drones. Their “give us freedom or give us death” vibe of fighting influenced, and to a certain extent still influences, patriotic armies who see themselves as defending their soil against invaders.
The battle still resonates in the modern era, and has been the subject of many re-tellings since the times of Herodotus. Our sword is a fully licensed Spartan Sword from Frank Miller’s “300”, just as he drew it and envisioned it to be. Direct from the amazing graphic novel and movies with direct consultation with Frank Miller, we bring you a battle ready version. Made of 1095 high carbon steel, it has a hand-forged and well tempered blade with fuller. The sword has a full tang, with traditional peened over construction. The pommel and guard are solid steel. The wooden grip is wrapped with genuine leather. Includes a “battle worn” full grain leather scabbard and baldric. Comes with a certificate of authenticity. A wicked blade any Spartan would have cherished in battle! Made by Windlass Steelcraft.
Total length 76 cm
blade length 60,5 cm
handle 11 cm
Weight 1,32 kg.
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