Why was Leonidas, King of Sparta, famous?

           Leonidas was a 5th century BC Spartan military king, who bravely led a small force of Greeks against a much larger Persian army during the Persian Wars. A vast army of Persians was on the march to conquer Greece. A Small force of Greeks had been all that stood in their way. And yet, in a narrow pass at Thermopylae, the impossible almost happened. For three days, just over seventy-one hundred Greeks, spearheaded by an elite unit of three hundred Spartans, gave a savage beating to a Persian army that outnumbered them by perhaps 20-to-1.

             Leonidas, commander in chief of the Greek resistance to Persia at Thermopylae, died in a heroic last stand. Led by Leonidas, the three hundred Spartans stood and fell, and took the pride of the Persian Empire down with them. A king died in this battle, but a legend was born, the legend of Leonidas.