In Thermopylae, opposite the Leonida’s monument, there is the low hill of Kolonos, where the famous Battle of Thermopylae took place. Today the hill is quite corrupted compared to the past because of the natural changes and human interference.
On the hill of Kolon, Leonidas recruited 300 elite warriors along with 700 Thespians and 80 Mycenaeans to face the numerous Persians with King Xerxes. The blow to the enemy was overwhelming. With the Persians’ delay in Thermopylae, the Greeks managed to regroup and surprise the Persians at the naval Battle of Salamina.
The Battle of Thermopylae is a universal symbol of bravery and indulgence for the homeland. In memory of the heroes, according to Herodotus, the victims of the battle were buried there and a stone lion and three inscribed monuments were erected in their honor. Today, at the top of the hill, there is a copy of the emblem of Simonis of Kea:
Ὦ ξεῖν’, ἀγγέλλειν Λακεδαιμονίοις ὅτι τῇδε κείμεθα, τοῖς κείνων ῥήμασι πειθόμενοι.
Stranger, tell the Lacedaemonians that we are here, faithful to their laws