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Introduction In history there have been many infamous conflicts. Ia Drang, Guadalcanal, Bataan, Pointe Du Hoc, San Juan Hill, Little Big Horn, and The Alamo are America's hallowed struggles. They're events that formed our collective consciousness as a nation. One notorious conflict that has formed the entire world since the above have shaped our nation is that the Battle of Thermopylae. This epic struggle between the hoards of Persia and the decedents of Herakles decided the course of western civilization. Three-hundred brave, free citizens of Sparta defended the "Hot Gates," a narrow mountain pass in northern Hellas, against 2 million servants of the self-proclaimed god-king Xerxes. For three times, the Lakedaemonians created the savages cover so dearly they dropped the taste for battle. But this epic effort would prove insufficient and the Persian swarm was too large to fail. The historic events are compelling in their but Steven Pressfield generates a genuinely epic journey in his book Gates of Fire. Pressfield weaves the narrative of Xeones, an Akarnanian by birth, who's the lone Greek survivor of the Persian success along with the Emperor's captive. Xeones' boyhood house of Astakos was pillaged and burned by the traitorous city-state of all Argos. Through a string of events Xeones finds his way to Sparta and becomes first the servant of Alexandros, a youth in the agoge, then combat squire into the boy's mentor Dienekes. It is his responsibilities as squire that bring him to Thermopylae. Throughout the publication Xeones unfolds the events of his life in a string of interviews with the Persian royal court recorded by Xerxes private historian culminating at the previous stand of the three Hundred. It's this story telling technique which makes Gates of Fire is truly a masterpi...