They were not prepared to leave their country undefended frompotential Persian amphibious attack, and like the rest of thePeloponnese city-states, kept their army at home protecting theircity.

They sent one of their Kings to organise a defence of the Passusing troops from the surrounding cities; Leonidas took hisbodyguard of 300 plus 2,000 light infantry with him. The remaining5,000 were from other cities.

When the decision was made to evacuate the pass, theSpartans, with the Thespians, remained behind holding the pass inorder to let the other city contingents escape. They all died,making a noble sacrifice.

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