Gates of Fire - Book 5: Polynikes, Chapter 20 - 23 Summary & Analysis

Steven Pressfield
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Book 5: Polynikes, Chapter 20 - 23 Summary

The 300 Spartans assemble as a mixture of ages from early adulthood to over sixty years. Leonidas' strategy is to have the unit fight as a miniature army of green and seasoned soldiers. Two days earlier during a festival, the lady Arete gives Xeones a fairly large sum of money to run away from Sparta and start a new life. He refuses the invitation to leave but accepts the money. Leonidas gives a pep speech to his troops before they embark to Thermopylae.

The 300 pick up reinforcements along the way from Mantinae, Orchomenos, Arkadia, Corinth, Phlius, Mycenae, Thespie and Thebes numbering 3,600. When they arrive at Thermopylae, the place is nearly deserted except for a few looters who scurry away when the army approaches. The residents of Lokris and Phokis, nearby towns, have evacuated.

Leonidas sends out raiding parties to burn grain and...

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