Xeones has been brought back in order to tell his own account of the famous Battle of Thermopylae. Xeones recounts how, while he was nine-years-old, his city-state was attacked and invaded, thus causing him to flee to the mountains with his cousin, Diomache, and Bruxieus, an old slave. Miraculously, Xeones survives, and in time he learns to be an archer.
The two boys eventually head to Athens after the death of Bruxieus. Though Diomache travels to Athens, Xeones continues on to Sparta. While in Sparta, Xeones becomes a battle squire for Dienekes, an older soldier, and befriends Rooster. He also becomes the sparring partner for a young man named Alexandros. Xeones, however, accompanies Alexandros on the journey, where the two witness firsthand how the Spartans battle.
Xeones then tells of how the Persian army threatens to invade Sparta. Leonidas, the leader of the Spartans, tasks soldiers to fight in a suicide mission.
One of these soldiers is Dienekes, for whom Xeones is a battle squire. The Greeks manage to gather a force of about 4, soldiers along the way to fight the Persians. Though the Persian army has superior numbers, the army is forced to corral its soldiers through a narrow mountain pass to access the battlefield, a mountain pass that has a sheer drop-off at its rear.
The Spartans are able to use this Persian disadvantage to their own advantage by forming phalanxes, which are small groups of closely formed soldiers, and then charging the Persians from the Thermopylae mountainside. Due to this strategy, the Persian army suffers many losses, compared to a few losses on the Greek side.
After heavy losses, Xerxes then learns of a trail that actually leads behind the Greek army, and sends his best soldiers to outmaneuver the Greeks. This is where the Spartan culture ties into that of the Marine Corps, King Leonidas and his men had the courage to go face overwhelming odds knowing that the chances of survival were slim if even there. Given opportunities of surrender or retreat the Spartans denied them choosing rather to die and give Sparta as much time as possible then to save their own lives.
This can relate to the present Marine Corps in many ways, it is well known that the Marine Corps fights and wins battles, and that we do not surrender we win or we die that is what is expected of us.
Just as the Spartans did in ancient Greece we have upheld those basics of a warrior culture even when others have not, and that sets us apart from other services, because we live by those values. Sometime during the battle King Xerxes seeing the prowess of the Spartans, and their ability for war sought to make a truce with King Leonidas. Promising wealth, and success Xerxes attempted to bribe Leonidas to join him telling him he could have it all if he would simply kneel before him.
Leonidas quickly refused the offer, of power and told Xerxes that they will continue to fight. Outraged by this Xerxes sent wave after wave of his men into the Spartan formation. Leonidas had honor in his actions, doing the right thing, overlooking personal gain, and staying faithful to Sparta and his men.
With the Marine Corps value of honor, we as Marines also do these things. With espirit de corps, and a unswerving loyalty to our country we have always been looked upon to do the right thing even when others will not.
Even our motto Semper Fidelis is our promise to upkeep that honor. In the end of the book the Spartans end up being surrounded, their flanks taken and completely out numbered Xerxes asks Leonidas one last time if he will kneel. In one last act of defiance Leonidas and his men make a final stand and a attempt on Xerxes life fully well knowing that there was no escaping a certain death. Their commitment to their cause was unwavering believing fully in what they fought for they were committed to the point of willfully giving up their lives for their cause and they did so with pride.
This one final act ties into how the Marine Corps is very much like the Spartans of old as the showed that final value that is used by our own warrior culture daily. Marines signing a contract many of them giving up four years if not more of their life fully committed to something they believe in. With many others giving up their lives for a cause that they truly believe in.
Overall I think this book was great, it showed a clear link on our warrior culture, and the warrior culture of the Spartans. It showed that our Corps values are the values of a warrior culture and it was shown through one of the most infamous warrior cultures in history.
It not only was a entertaining read but it taught valuable lessons, and gave a understanding of what it means to be a warrior and what is expected of warriors, and like the Spartans the Marine Corps using those values as a base will allow our actions to echo through out eternity.
Briefly summarize the plot of Gates of Fire., the Persian army under the command of King Xerxes went into Greece planning to make Europe part of the Persian Empire. The King's two million troops ran into three hundred men of the Spartan army, squires and helots along with a few thousand allies at the Thermopylae, a narrow mountain pass in /5(3).
Aly Brown Military Science Gates of Fire November 8, Essay Gates of Fire Steven Pressfield “I had always wondered what it felt like to die” (Pressfield page 3).
Gates of Fire is more popular now than when it was first published because of the movie which is based on the same historical event, the Battle of Thermopylae. As both novel and film demonstrated, it is a battle that took place from to BC between a small army of Spartans versus millions of invading Persians. Essay on Gates of Fire Words | 3 Pages. Steven Pressfield's The Gates of Fire is set in the fifth century B.C. in Greece. The story revolves around the famous battle of Thermopylae where three hundred Spartans held off hundreds of .
Gates of Fire By: Steven Pressfield Subject Person- Spartan Warriors Place- Greece B.C. Event- Battle of Thermoplae. Concept- Xeones recounts his life leading up to the battle. Concept- Xeones recounts his life leading up to the battle. Essay on Gates of Fire, by Steven Pressfield - I. SUBJECT Gates of Fire is a novel about the Battle of Thermopylae that takes place in ancient Greece. The novel began by focusing on its protagonist, Xeones, who had died in the Battle of Thermopylae.