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Gates of Fire Chapter Summary & Analysis - Book 5: Polynikes, Chapter 18 - 19 Summary

Steven Pressfield
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Book 5: Polynikes, Chapter 18 - 19 Summary

The scribe narrator takes two entire chapters to address Xerxes and his worries. The outcome of Thermopylae is known—two million Persian soldiers die at the hands of only 300 Spartan warriors, their squires and a few allied forces. The King of Sparta, Leonides, dies as well but the Persians decapitate the body, put his head on a spike and nail the body to a tree. Xerxes cannot get this out of his mind and has a dream that his own head ends up on a spike. His dilemma is whether to take Athens or sail home and forget about the Greeks.

Xerxes' advisers convince him to continue the conquering of Greece, even though the Spartans still have 8,000 troops multiplied by armed helots and allies. The Athenians alone have a fleet of 200 ships and intact fighting units. To leave means dishonor...

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This section contains 505 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Gates of Fire Study Guide
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Gates of Fire from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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