Spartans: At the Gates of Fire

Discover the truth behind the legendary battle of the Spartans against the Persians- a moment that shaped the course of history.


The world’s first historian, Herodotus wrote that at the gates of a lonely Greek coastal pass in 480 BC, three hundred Spartans faced a massive Persian invasion force two million strong. Pulling down bronze helmets over their faces on the first day of battle, the Spartans knew they were fighting for the very survival of their homeland. For six desperate days they held the enemy at bay. In the final hours, their shields broken, swords and spears shattered, the Spartans fought with their bare hands and teeth before being overwhelmed. Without their heroic self-sacrifice, Greece’s Golden Age - the most spectacular burst of creativity the world has ever seen – could never have taken place.

After 2500 years, for the first time on television, we combine dramatic storytelling, distinguished scholarship, recent archaeological discoveries and ground breaking computer regeneration to reveal the truth behind a battle that helped to change the course of history, a battle whose name has become synonymous with near-superhuman courage, heroism and self-sacrifice: Thermopylae.


1 x 58 mins


Ancient Worlds, Special


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