—“One-against-one, the Spartans are as good as anyone in the world. But when they fight in a body, they are the best of all the world. For though they are free men, they are not entirely free. They accept Law as their master. And they respect this master more than your subjects respect you. Whatever he commands, they do. And his command never changes: It forbids them to flee in battle, whatever the number of their foes. He requires them to stand firm — to conquer or die.”—Damaratus to Xerxes.

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