... go and tell the Lakedaemonians that we died as their laws commanded.

OK, after a hard trip from Sardes, in Phrigia (Asia Minor), to Epidaurus, in the Argolid, our Megabazos and his "band of merry fellows" (ahem) are finally in the Peloponnese, and ready to make their headway to their final destination, Sparta, in Lakonia.

$ cat nano/Inaros_advancing_20051123.txt | perl wc.pl
W: 71454 (MP: 285.816, PP: 142.908), %: 59.545

The title of this post is a free paraphrasis of the monument to Leonidas, in Thermopilae, where the Spartans and a big bunch of allies met the army of Xerxes I in 480BCE in a delay move to give time to the rest of the Greeks to prepare for the Persians. It didn't work, the Lakedaemonians insisted in defending the Corinth Ithsmus, while the Attikans preferred to set a defense near Eleusis (understandably). It didn't work, and the naval battle sought by the Athenians to defeat the Persian naby at Artemisium cape, at the same time, didn't work as well. However a huge storm sunk a good deal of ships in the Persian fleet, composed by Egyptian, Chipriote, Ionian, and Phoenician navies.

With sound victories in land and sea, Xerxes entered in Attika and the Athenians were forced to surrender their city, which was plundered, and make a escape to the nearby island of Salamis, in front of Piraeus. The battle of Salamis by a combined fleet of Athenian and Corinthian triereis against a weakened Persian fleet (later, still in 480BCE) was the first and definitive victory over the Persian army of Xerxes's. Not a huge victory, but enough to delay his plans to proceed to the Peloponnese, then he must leave to suffocate a rebellion in Babylon, while leaving a seriously under-armed general Mardonius to winter in Thessaly. The year after (479BCE) Mardonius met a huge combined Greek army at Plataea, and after a very confussing set of changing battle fronts, was forced to retreat with heavy losses.

But this is "old history" for my novel... I have finally located some "reliable" maps of the time, know the kings and important names (or at least some of them) in Sparta, and will head into the heart of this first half of Part II later today.

This part has been somewhat hard to write, as I am familiarizing myself with the characters, places and so that I hadn't visited for quite some time... That accounts for the poor wordcount, I'm afraid... I'll have to push it harder to meet with NaNoWriMo's deadline and limits. I'm determined to win this year, ¡by Athena!

More later, probably tomorrow, same blog-time, same blog-channel! (hehe, the TV series of 'Batman' in the 60's rocks... ;-)


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