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This warrior is middle aged, and his powerful body and thick, short neck are thrust forward in an unusual and aggressive pose. The shaved upper lip is also a very rare feature.

Leonidas was the king of Sparta who led the Spartan forces at the battle of Thermopylae in 480 BCE, in the war between Persia and an alliance of Greek city-states. He attempted to block the Persian invasion of Greece, but he and all his soldiers died. His body was brought back to Sparta some years after his death and worshipped as a hero there, and was honoured by all Greece.

Fragments of a leg, foot, shield and helmet were also found close by, but most of the plume is a restoration.

Location of Original: 

Sparta Museum


Given by the British School at Athens in 1926


Lippold: Griechische Plastik, 105 (n.15-16)
Richter: Sculpture & Sculptors of the Greeks (1950), 65, fig.104
Karo: Personality in Greek Archaic Art, 156, pl. XV
Riemann, H: Brunn-Bruckmann, Denkmäler Griechischer und Römischer Skulptur, text vol.6 (1947), pls. 776-8
Papspiridi: Guide du Musée Nationale d’Athènes (1927), 340
Woodward, AM: Annual of the British School at Athens XXVI (1923-5), 253, pl. 18-

c.480-470 BCE

Found on the Spartan Acropolis

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