The mayor of the city of Sparta announced recently that his city council is organizing a series of huge events next year to commemorate the 2,500th anniversary of the ancient Battle of Thermopylae between the Spartans and the invading Persian army.
Sparta is particularly proud of this anniversary, as its ancient city’s great king Leonidas led his courageous 300 warriors in the legendary last stand of the battle against the massive Persian army, exactly 2,500 years ago next year.
In an interview with the state-run AMNA news agency, Sparta mayor Petros Doukas said that a committee tasked with organizing events which will attract global attention for the major commemoration has already been set up. The group is comprised of both Greek and foreign nationals.
”They will help us with their international prestige, their knowledge, and their international relations and networking abilities in organizing events truly worthy of Sparta, Leonidas and the 300,” the mayor told AMNA.
The committee includes historians, politicians and royals, as well as businessmen and other distinguished personalities, from Greece, the UK, the US, Pakistan and other locales across the world.
The Thermopylae commemoration will include scores of events which highlight the achievements of ancient Spartan civilization, including politics, geopolitics, poetry, philosophy, gymnastics, dance, martial arts, Spartan cuisine, and many others.
Additionally, an ”Apella” is expected to be formed in Sparta’s central square, a re-creation of the ancient Apella, the citizens’ assembly of the ancient Greek city-state.
Some of the important events will also take place outside Sparta itself, including a NATO conference which will bring representatives of the West and the East together to discuss the relations between these two, often conflicting, parts of the world.
Sparta also intends to organize international symposia with particular emphases on Israel, Japan and Egypt and to create a network of the most important cities of the classical period, linking Athens, Rome, Alexandria, Babylon, Syracuse, and many other cities.