QI | How Many Spartans Died In The Battle Of Thermopylae?

  • Published: 02 December 2019
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    This clip is from QI Series L, Episode 11, 'Lumped Together' with Stephen Fry, Alan Davies, Ronni Ancona, Jimmy Carr and David Mitchell.

Comments • 489

  • monkeynuts
    monkeynuts  Před dnem

    Aye 2 Spartans were sent with about a 1000 locals to defend the passage that the immortals used to flank the Spartans and the rest of the Greek forces

    • Daniel Zajíc
      Daniel Zajíc  Před dnem

      what do you mean by "Spartans take credit for winning"? When they lost.

      • John Ruddy
        John Ruddy  Před dnem

        @0:10 documentaries jimmy are usually full of bollocks

        • just another human
          just another human  Před dnem

          "How Many Spartans Died In The Battle Of Thermopylae?" 300 britons, according to real history???

          • Роби Латковић

            Yes CHclip I love history , but not shit like this

            • Jarrod Bright
              Jarrod Bright  Před dnem

              Everyone forgets the Helots... they were from Sparta too.

              • Arbiter Lite
                Arbiter Lite  Před dnem

                It was the Boeotian Thespians who fought with Sparta?

                • Cameron Murrell
                  Cameron Murrell  Před dnem

                  The Allied Greek forces at Thermopylae included an estimated 5,000 Athenian and other city state soldiers along with 300 Spartans. The Greeks never “won” at Thermopylae but they slowed the Persian forces a great deal and killed a large portion of Darius’ army. The Spartans ultimately provided a last stand at Thermopylae and allowed the remaining Greek forces to retreat further south and prepare future defensive positions.

                  • zondaintheair
                    zondaintheair  Před 2 dny

                    In a hundred years time Government reports will tell the people how gallant and honest MPs behaved concerning Brexit.

                    • shelby R. Grant
                      shelby R. Grant  Před 2 dny

                      The Battle at Themopylae wasn’t even a speed bump for the Persians. They continued to roll in and stomped Greek ass

                      • Ash Scott
                        Ash Scott  Před 2 dny

                        Well...not one single shred of physical evidence of the battle has ever been found, so...

                        • V4 Enthusiast
                          V4 Enthusiast  Před 19 hodinami

                          Obviously the movie-depiction is unrealistic, but the battle has always been well known (up there with Cannae and Agincourt)

                          • prekreich
                            prekreich  Před 22 hodinami

                            Physical evidence like what? Leonidas left bollock? It was more than 2000 years ago

                            • Rana Abdullah
                              Rana Abdullah  Před 2 dny


                              • madquest8
                                madquest8  Před 2 dny

                                Sandi... of No.73 fame....

                                • GG
                                  GG  Před 2 dny

                                  They didn't win though. What is he talking about? They just stalled the Iranian troops for a few extra days. Iranian troops then moved on and burned Athens and went back. Lmao how is that a win?

                                  • Nova Sky
                                    Nova Sky  Před 2 dny

                                    So one Spartan called Apostropheus got left off the end of the shieldwall by mistake. This is Madness!

                                    • Blair Buskirk
                                      Blair Buskirk  Před 2 dny

                                      Not to mention the fact that every Lacaedonian( Spartan) hoplite also had two or three slave retainers to care for their armour and weapons as well as to provide support as slingers. Remember this was back when you had to carry everything you took to battle , usually on foot at that.

                                      • Stewart MacLean
                                        Stewart MacLean  Před 2 dny

                                        All of them

                                        • Ridhuan AB
                                          Ridhuan AB  Před 2 dny

                                          ".... Every last one of them..." - tom cruise

                                          • frank grochowski
                                            frank grochowski  Před 2 dny

                                            As this happened over two thousand years ago, I would say all of them.

                                            • Cole Scott
                                              Cole Scott  Před 2 dny

                                              Is it not true that the 300 Spartans were a bit exagerated? I thought the number was more 3000. Just 300 made a better legend of the battle?

                                              • Edward Coyle
                                                Edward Coyle  Před 2 dny

                                                300 was the kings personal guard. His secret service if you will. Spartans were not allowed to fight during the holiday that Xerxes chose to invade on. The priests told Leonidas that he could not go to war during the festival as the gods forbid it. He told them he was not going to war, he was "going for a walk" ...and taking his 300 with him. The definition of badass should have Leonidas's picture.

                                                • azaroma
                                                  azaroma  Před 2 dny

                                                  That was so many fun!

                                                  • lecu1967
                                                    lecu1967  Před 2 dny

                                                    Fry let slip that the battle was a victory for the greeks

                                                    • LuxBelle
                                                      LuxBelle  Před 2 dny

                                                      They didn't win the Persians in the battle of thermopylae. They won later though.

                                                      • sam rotter
                                                        sam rotter  Před 2 dny

                                                        How many bipolar people just fucking play games cos there poo is different

                                                        • Tonezone
                                                          Tonezone  Před 2 dny

                                                          The better question is *How many didn’t?*

                                                          • Fred Landry
                                                            Fred Landry  Před 2 dny

                                                            There were thousands of other Greeks.

                                                            • Domasiukas
                                                              Domasiukas  Před 2 dny

                                                              This show would be gold if I understood their accent better.

                                                              • MarekUtd
                                                                MarekUtd  Před 2 dny

                                                                Get cultured

                                                                • Christoffer Udén
                                                                  Christoffer Udén  Před 2 dny


                                                                  • S R
                                                                    S R  Před 2 dny

                                                                    I don’t know but a Spartan died in Deptford yesterday smh RIP Bis😔

                                                                    • badfoody
                                                                      badfoody  Před 2 dny

                                                                      300 Spartans, 600 Helot Squires and a thousand Thespians stayed

                                                                      • raju naidu
                                                                        raju naidu  Před 2 dny

                                                                        They were also 7000 Greeks in a flank

                                                                        • Bob Smith
                                                                          Bob Smith  Před 2 dny

                                                                          Well ... other than the ALL of Them mentioned in the other comments - who knows how many were still left? How many were wounded and sent back earlier? Did they count that guy that betrayed them? Where did Leonidas fit in? Was he #301 or #300? Almost no military unit is at TO & E strength? Did they fill out Leonidas's guard completely? Was 300 ever an exact number to begin with? Does someone have the names of everyone there? Yes, there were several thousand Greeks there besides Leonidas and his Personal Guard but that number varies - I've heard like 7,000 but then what are you counting? There were Greeks guarding that pass the Persians used to flank them - who fell back to protect their own city and left the back door open for the Greeks in the pass to be out flanked. Are they being counted? I'd really not think it credible to think that anyone is going to have a precise number for something like that. .

                                                                          • Rebecca Hawkins
                                                                            Rebecca Hawkins  Před 19 hodinami

                                                                            As for the other issues I don't know everything I only do ancient history as an A Level. It's possibly that the perioikoi looked after the helots or perhaps the ephors. The question is on the spartiates and that would consist just of the King's bodyguard which was 300 in number.

                                                                            • Rebecca Hawkins
                                                                              Rebecca Hawkins  Před 19 hodinami

                                                                              Our source for the 300 men bodyguard would be Xenophon. The Spartans would not simply leave injured they would fight and die that's why it was so shameful for the one guy that did leave with an eye infection.

                                                                              • Bob Smith
                                                                                Bob Smith  Před dnem

                                                                                @Rebecca Hawkins But - how do we KNOW that? What is our source for "Leonidas had a body guard of 300 men"? And - were they all there that day? Did someone get injured on the march? Did someone get sick? Was anyone detached - other than the guy mentioned for any reason? I was in the military and ... one of things we had when we stood watch - was a super nummary. The purpose of this guy was - if someone got sick on post - to take that guys place. Thus - we had an extra guy for every watch. What that guy mostly - actually - did - was wake up the next watch. Other than that he just sat around and did nothing unless someone came up with something they wanted him to do - like make coffee or something like that. Another thing not talked about - is Leonidas's logistical train. The Spartans had to eat. They may have had other supplies or equipment they carried - and this was probably carried by Helot's. The Spartans slaves. They would have someone in charge of them and any animals they were using as transport. Was that person a Spartan? Or were they a Helot? There's another category of people who lived in Sparta that I don't remember the name of ... but these were people (iirc) who were like artisans or merchants or something. Were there any of those guys around - and - how would you count them? Did some of them stay and die with the Spartan Hoplites? See - this is a game show - and what they are doing here - is creating a trick question and then seeing if one of the people on the panel answer it the way they think it should be answered. What's going on here is NOT a scholarly discussion of the structure of Leonidas's Bodyguard - hence all the laughing. So - I'm pointing out problems with their question and them thinking they could in fact come up with a precise answer. .

                                                                                • Rebecca Hawkins
                                                                                  Rebecca Hawkins  Před dnem

                                                                                  The 300 number isn't based of this battle alone, the king thought with 300 men as his bodyguard so it probably is more accurate than you would think

                                                                                  • johnny cash
                                                                                    johnny cash  Před 2 dny

                                                                                    That bellend with the stupid laugh gets on my tits.

                                                                                    • ProtMythic
                                                                                      ProtMythic  Před 2 dny

                                                                                      there were about 10,000+ slaves

                                                                                      • The Sydney Stone Company

                                                                                        Not as upset. haha

                                                                                        • YouveBeenGreeked
                                                                                          YouveBeenGreeked  Před 3 dny

                                                                                          *I approve.* 👍🏼 Λ

                                                                                          • R Greenup
                                                                                            R Greenup  Před 3 dny

                                                                                            In general this show is about as funny as watching an ice block melt.

                                                                                            • R Greenup
                                                                                              R Greenup  Před 3 dny

                                                                                              @john bloggs No I'm not, there is good British humour and there is bad. This falls well and truly into the bad. It's so try hard without any substance.

                                                                                              • john bloggs
                                                                                                john bloggs  Před 3 dny

                                                                                                R Greenup you must be American 😂😂😂

                                                                                                • n n
                                                                                                  n n  Před 3 dny

                                                                                                  Don't know how Fry can have a whole segment about this without mentioning the 700 or so Thespians. Now gods, stand up for actors!

                                                                                                  • Snowy
                                                                                                    Snowy  Před 3 dny

                                                                                                    Four naans?

                                                                                                    • Edward Coyle
                                                                                                      Edward Coyle  Před 3 dny

                                                                                                      As I have been informed, and according to Herodotus, after the persians timidly attacked Greek lines boarding on disobedience of the order to attack, Leonidas ordered a single Spartan to attack the Persian lines. He did so with vigour and was then ordered to return to formation when proven that Spartans will follow orders.

                                                                                                      • Edward Coyle
                                                                                                        Edward Coyle  Před 3 dny

                                                                                                        2 Spartans had an eye infection. 1 was excused the other just fought blind.

                                                                                                        • Aiki Hanley
                                                                                                          Aiki Hanley  Před 3 dny


                                                                                                          • Adam Goldstein
                                                                                                            Adam Goldstein  Před 3 dny

                                                                                                            There were 7,000 Greeks guarding that pass, including a vanguard of 300 Spartans

                                                                                                            • Mizan Rashid
                                                                                                              Mizan Rashid  Před dnem

                                                                                                              6,000 of them were dismissed yet all 300 Spartans remained till the bitter end. Absolute legends

                                                                                                              • Reds_Turtle
                                                                                                                Reds_Turtle  Před 3 dny

                                                                                                                I am so happy Jimmy was corrected as he is always so very proud of speaking "proper english"

                                                                                                                • David Ellis
                                                                                                                  David Ellis  Před 3 dny

                                                                                                                  Ehh, I don't know if 301 is a fair thing to say. Herodotus and other ancient sources never seem to specify 300 *plus* Leonidas, simply that there were 300 Spartans there, as well as somewhere between 700 and 1,000 other Lakedaemonians accompanying them including Helots and possibly Perioekoi (that part's fuzzy, the ancients aren't super consistent on that note; Herodotus states they numbered 900, while Diodorus cites between 700 and 1,000), though they were not considered proper Spartans and so the conclusion could very reasonably be simply 300. Significant digits, my dude. Alternatively, one could cite a figure as high as 1,300, if one insists on taking "Spartan" to mean anyone dispatched from Lakedaemon, including Helots.

                                                                                                                  • Rory Cannon
                                                                                                                    Rory Cannon  Před 3 dny

                                                                                                                    WAIT WAIT HOLD ON. IT WASN'T 300. THE SPARTANS' SERVANTS/SLAVES DIED TOO

                                                                                                                    • Jarrod Bright
                                                                                                                      Jarrod Bright  Před dnem

                                                                                                                      @Ceri Sambrook The Helots were from Sparta too, and were considered Spartan, just second class citizens of Sparta.

                                                                                                                      • Sam McLaughlin
                                                                                                                        Sam McLaughlin  Před 2 dny

                                                                                                                        Bruh, nobody cares about the hellots

                                                                                                                        • Rory Cannon
                                                                                                                          Rory Cannon  Před 2 dny

                                                                                                                          @Ceri Sambrook i guess. but the full death tally was around 1200

                                                                                                                          • Ceri Sambrook
                                                                                                                            Ceri Sambrook  Před 2 dny

                                                                                                                            Servants/slaves aren't Spartans I suppose

                                                                                                                            • biggreenmachine2007
                                                                                                                              biggreenmachine2007  Před 3 dny

                                                                                                                              Thermopylae changed nothing. The Persians broke through and ravaged the Greek countryside for the next three years.

                                                                                                                              • Not Troll just Noob
                                                                                                                                Not Troll just Noob  Před 3 dny

                                                                                                                                Spartans never die. They are just MIA

                                                                                                                                • Jacob Arcand
                                                                                                                                  Jacob Arcand  Před 3 dny

                                                                                                                                  *haha I'm funny I yell word people laugh haha I'm funny*

                                                                                                                                  • Jacob Arcand
                                                                                                                                    Jacob Arcand  Před 3 dny

                                                                                                                                    @Fred Smith exactly my point

                                                                                                                                    • Fred Smith
                                                                                                                                      Fred Smith  Před 3 dny

                                                                                                                                      Nothing is funny on the BBC. A right bunch of shithouses.

                                                                                                                                      • Jakob Parsons
                                                                                                                                        Jakob Parsons  Před 3 dny

                                                                                                                                        Well depends. If you talk only the 300 Spartan warriors that went with their king. 208. But likely these Spartans had squires, some slaves that may have taken part in the fighting as auxiliaries, etc. If you consider them Spartans being from the area of Sparta possibly more than 300 died 😝

                                                                                                                                        • Dave Rivers
                                                                                                                                          Dave Rivers  Před 3 dny

                                                                                                                                          I've learned to be fewer bothered, from the English. Huzzzah! Now I are smurt! 😉🇨🇦😉 The colonies... Still wacky after all these years.

                                                                                                                                          • titi4622
                                                                                                                                            titi4622  Před 3 dny

                                                                                                                                            Spartans never die. They're just missing in action.

                                                                                                                                            • vishal chan
                                                                                                                                              vishal chan  Před dnem

                                                                                                                                              @Sir BigWater they just went to the corner store to pick up cigarettes.

                                                                                                                                              • Sir BigWater
                                                                                                                                                Sir BigWater  Před dnem

                                                                                                                                                Except for the 290 or so Spartan 3s in one battle. And in total about 600 or more.

                                                                                                                                                • Jay Blake
                                                                                                                                                  Jay Blake  Před dnem

                                                                                                                                                  @Edward Coyle 343 industries

                                                                                                                                                  • Edward Coyle
                                                                                                                                                    Edward Coyle  Před 2 dny

                                                                                                                                                    Spartans never die, they just "go for a walk".

                                                                                                                                                    • The_one_who_nox
                                                                                                                                                      The_one_who_nox  Před 2 dny

                                                                                                                                                      vishal chan I know I thought I’d just be an asshole as I had read the same comment 9 times besides this one.

                                                                                                                                                      • Adamantium Claw
                                                                                                                                                        Adamantium Claw  Před 3 dny

                                                                                                                                                        Hate Jimmy Carr’s laugh for one it’s fake and two it sounds like he’s flying away

                                                                                                                                                        •   Před 3 dny

                                                                                                                                                          I stopped watching after Stephen left. Sandy is just ideological and annoying

                                                                                                                                                          • Fred Smith
                                                                                                                                                            Fred Smith  Před 3 dny

                                                                                                                                                            A bit like how Stephen has become now.

                                                                                                                                                            • Tiny mod
                                                                                                                                                              Tiny mod  Před 3 dny

                                                                                                                                                              Guy in the red is a complete prick

                                                                                                                                                              • Peter Grahame
                                                                                                                                                                Peter Grahame  Před 3 dny

                                                                                                                                                                Strangely unfunny

                                                                                                                                                                • Hakon Soreide
                                                                                                                                                                  Hakon Soreide  Před 3 dny

                                                                                                                                                                  So less ... er ... fewer Spartans fought than most people think.

                                                                                                                                                                  • Tim Dewulf
                                                                                                                                                                    Tim Dewulf  Před 3 dny

                                                                                                                                                                    300 hundred plus 7000 others

                                                                                                                                                                    • Kassidy Farrell
                                                                                                                                                                      Kassidy Farrell  Před 3 dny

                                                                                                                                                                      How many Spartans died at the battle of Reach?

                                                                                                                                                                      • Matthew evans
                                                                                                                                                                        Matthew evans  Před 3 dny

                                                                                                                                                                        None, they just went Missing In Action

                                                                                                                                                                        • no name
                                                                                                                                                                          no name  Před 3 dny

                                                                                                                                                                          Don't know I am a Playstation guy.

                                                                                                                                                                          • Eli Galbraith
                                                                                                                                                                            Eli Galbraith  Před 3 dny

                                                                                                                                                                            This is absolute sacrilege! They're poking fun at one of the greatest Last Stands in history! How DARE they!

                                                                                                                                                                            • Abel Babel
                                                                                                                                                                              Abel Babel  Před 2 dny

                                                                                                                                                                              @Pavloz Kapeliz Are you stupid? Island Brits fought tooth and nail in WW2.

                                                                                                                                                                              • Pavloz Kapeliz
                                                                                                                                                                                Pavloz Kapeliz  Před 2 dny

                                                                                                                                                                                They dare 'cause they're descendants of people who never fought their battles... they were always putting others to do that (New Zealanders, Aussies, Canadians, Indians etc) while they were drinking tea... but it's funny to watch how stupid they can be ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                • Abel Babel
                                                                                                                                                                                  Abel Babel  Před 3 dny

                                                                                                                                                                                  Greta is that you?

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Axel Noreen
                                                                                                                                                                                    Axel Noreen  Před 3 dny

                                                                                                                                                                                    Am i the only one who knows that it was actually about 3000 Spartans at the battle with over a thousand allies and most died. Making the death toll way over a thousand

                                                                                                                                                                                    • Axel Noreen
                                                                                                                                                                                      Axel Noreen  Před 3 dny

                                                                                                                                                                                      @Fred Smith thanks for the enlightenment

                                                                                                                                                                                      • Fred Smith
                                                                                                                                                                                        Fred Smith  Před 3 dny

                                                                                                                                                                                        Wrong, sorry. Spartans may have brought some slave Helots with them but they did not fight. 300 Spartans were aloud as the Kings bodygaurd, any more was forbidden due to the Spartan festival of Carnea going on at the time. 7K total, most were Greek allies.