A warrior culture that existed more to defend against the threat within than any outside force, the Spartans maintained a standing army to put down any attempts at freedom by a group of people they called Helots or "captives."
Keeping prepared for any Helot uprising was key in how the Spartans lived their lives, even in family life reproduction was key to maintain an edge on the numerically superior Helots.
Leonidas came into power with the death of his older half-brother Cleomenes. He was suspected of having gone mad and killed off.
Up until the actions, little was known about the Spartans in the 480s. It was only when the call cam for support from the Athenians that they reappeared.The Persians...