People - Ancient Greece: Dienekes
Ancient Spartan soldier who fought at the Battle of
Dienekes in Wikipedia
Dienekes or Dieneces (Greek: Διηνέκης, died 480 BC) was a Spartan soldier present at the Battle of Thermopylae. He was acclaimed the bravest of all the three hundred Spartiates selected to fight in that battle. Herodotus related the following anecdote about Dienekes:
"Although extraordinary valor was displayed by the entire corps of Spartans and Thespians, yet bravest of all was declared the Spartan Dienekes. It is said that on the eve of battle, he was told by a native of Trachis that the Persian archers were so numerous that, their arrows would block out the sun. Dienekes, however, undaunted by this prospect, remarked with a laugh, 'Good. Then we will fight in the shade'" - Histories, 7.226
Dienekes is one of the main characters in Steven Pressfield's novel Gates of Fire. He does not appear in the 1962 film The 300 Spartans; his famous line is delivered instead by King Leonidas himself in reply to a threat from the Persian general Hydarnes (the same scene also includes Leonidas' famous phrase, Molōn labe). He also does not appear in Frank Miller's graphic novel 300 or the film based on it; his famous quip is delivered instead by the fictional character Stelios. Moreover, Stelios makes the remark in response to a Persian taunt, not the statement of a fellow Greek.
In his honor, the street on the left of the empty tomb (κενοτάφιο) of King Leonidas in Sparta is named after him.
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