The New Student's Reference Work/Leonidas I

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Leonidas I (lē-ŏn' ĭ-dȦs), king of Sparta about 480 B. C., when Xerxes approached the narrow pass of Thermopylæ with his immense army, opposed him with 300 Spartans and about 5,000 auxiliaries. Finding it impossible to bar the progress of the foe, Leonidas and his 300, having sent their auxiliaries home, threw themselves upon the invaders and perished. Their sublime heroism has ever since been celebrated in prose and song, and was an inspiration to all Hellenes in driving back the invading hosts.