Thursday, December 15, 2005

Blog Number 94 - Montaigne's essay about King Leonidas and the '300' Spartans

Michel de Montaigne, the French Renaissance thinker wrote one of the most eloquent essays about King Leonidas and the Battle of Thermopylae.

Here is the translation by Donald M. Frame:

The most valiant are sometimes the most unfortunate. Thus there are triumphant defeats that rival victories. Nor did those four sister victories, the fairest that the sun ever set eyes on - Salamis, Plataea, Mycale, and Sicily - ever dare match all their combined glory against the glory of the annihilation of King Leonidas and his men at the pass of Thermopylae.


Miyuki said...

Hi John,
When did Montaigne(1533-1592) write this essay?I shouldn't wonder if he wrote it after he knew St.Bartholomew's Day Massacre(1572) and he issued a stern warning to those in power.IMO,he seems to be a 'mediator'then.And ,of course, what a 'supporter' he is!

John Trikeriotis said...

Hi Miyuki~

This verse was part of Montaigne's 'Essays' which was published in 1575.