Pass of East-central Greece
along the coast of Locris
facing northern Euboea.
The pass of Thermopylae, whose name means “hot gates” in Greek, is a narrow pass about 4 miles long bordered by the sea on one side and the slopes of Mount Oeta on the other, and leading from Thessalia to central Greece. It owes its name to nearby hot springs that still exist. One tradition links this spring to the death of Heracles, who was exiled in the city of Trachis at the time: after he had put on him the tunic sent by Deiareina and smeared with the blood of Nessus that she thought was a love-charm, and the poison was burning him, he would have flung himself into a nearby stream and drowned. But the stream stayed hot as a result ever since.
The pass of Thermopylae is most famous for having been the site of a famous battle in 480, at the start of the second Persian war, in which the army of Xerxes defeated the Greeks led by the spartan king Leonidas. In this battle, the Persians of Xerxes owed their victory to the treason of a local resident who showed them a little known path through the mountain that allowed them to secretly round the Greeks and attack them from the rear. Near the northeastern entrance of the pass was a village called Anthele and a temple of Demeter which served as a meeting place for the Delphic Amphictyony.
Bernard Suzanne (page last updated 1998), ed.
This text is cited July 2003 from the Plato and his dialogues URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks.
League of ancient states: Thessalians, Locrians, Phocians, Boeotians, Athenians, Dorians, Malians, Dolopians, Enianes, Perrhaebias, Magnetes, and Macedonians. The league supporting the god Apollo estabilished a conduct for war among members. The council had two annual meetings, the spring in Delphi and the autumn in Thermopyles.
Why so called, Amphictyonic League, Amphictyonic Council, its composition, thirty members of council, meet at Thermopylae and Delphi, their jurisdiction, hold Pythian games, crown victorious athletes, make war on Cirrha, rebuild temple at Delphi, fine Phocians for sacrilege, condemn robbers of temple to death, decree destruction of Phocian cities, transfer votes of Phocians to Macedonians, dedicate images of Apollo and statue of Scyllis at Delphi.
The Hellenes who awaited the Persians in that place were these: three hundred Spartan armed men; one thousand from Tegea and Mantinea, half from each place; one hundred and twenty from Orchomenus in Arcadia and one thousand from the rest of Arcadia; that many Arcadians, four hundred from Corinth, two hundred from Phlius, and eighty Mycenaeans. These were the Peloponnesians present; from Boeotia there were seven hundred Thespians and four hundred Thebans.
This extract is from: Herodotus, The Histories, ed. A. D. Godley, Cambridge. Harvard University Press
Cited Aug 2002 from Perseus Project URL below, which contains comments & interesting hyperlinks.
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