[By Nic Lindh on Wednesday, 05 October 2005]
When it comes to laughing in the face of death, few can beat the ancient Greeks.
Although extraordinary valor was displayed by the entire corps of Spartans and Thespaians, yet bravest of all was declared the Spartan Dienekes. It is said that on the eve of battle, he was told by a native of Trachis that the Persian archers were so numerous that, when they fired their volleys, the mass of arrows blocked out the sun. Dienekes, however, undaunted by this prospect, remarked with a laugh, “Good. Then we’ll have our battle in the shade.”