The Battle of Thermopylae: Spartans' Bravery in the Face of Adversity

Quotation from The Histories by Herodotus

Below is a quotation about the Battle of Thermopylae, during the Persian Wars: One of the Greeks said, "Such was the number of the barbarians, that when they shot forth their arrows the sun would be darkened by their multitude." Dieneces the Spartan, not at all frightened at these words, answered, "Our friend brings us excellent tidings. If the Persians darken the sun, we shall have our fight in the shade." adapted from The Histories, Book 7 Herodotus

This quotation is from the point of view of a Greek historian. What does it indicate about the Spartans during this battle?

A. The Spartans were willing to fight bravely even if they could not win.
B. The Spartans had an advantage against the Persians when fighting at night.
C. The Spartans lost against the Persians because they had weaker weapons.
D. The Spartans were too proud to cooperate with their Athenian allies.

What does the quotation indicate about the Spartans during the Battle of Thermopylae?

Answer:A. The Spartans were willing to fight bravely even if they could not win.

Explanation:

The Battle of Thermopylae was fought between an alliance of Greek city-states and the Persians. The Spartans were defending Thermopylae, with just 300 Spartans standing guard on a narrow pass.

As seen in the given excerpt, the Greek's comment that the arrows of the Persians would darken the sun with their multitude doesn't seem to scare the Spartans. Instead, Dieneces replied that "If the Persians darken the sun, we shall have our fight in the shade." This indicates that the Spartans were willing to fight courageously even though they know their enemies have a larger army and they would not probably win.

Thus, the correct answer is option A.

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