There is absolutely nothing worth posting in my inbox this a.m., and nothing on TV tonight, so let's have some more lengthy videos today ... here's a three parter on the Spartans from the Ancient Warrior series (much about Thermopylae):

Ancient Warriors - The Spartans I
Ancient Warriors - The Spartans II
Ancient Warriors - The Spartans III


Peter Barker writes:

A fellow UNISA student drew my attention to the You Tube clips on the battle of Thermopylae. It is pretty good. I graduated MA last year. My dissertation was largely on the logistics the Persian invasion of 480BC, so I have a close interest in what other people say about it. There is no way that the Persian army (which contained far more subject people than Persians) could have been 100 x the Spartan 300 = 300 000. The army and navy together could possibly have reached that number. The minimum food requirement for those days was about 1.36 kg of grain and 2 litres of water per day. That is, over 400 tons of grain and the contents of a municipal swimming pool of water! The programme rightly discounts Herodotus’ reported number of troops but still, in my view, exaggerated. Generally the clips are a pretty fair account of a story told from the Greek point of view. It is strange that Xerxes kept secretaries near him all the time but perhaps naturally, no Persian record of their failure exists.