"Go tell the Spartans, thou who passest by,
That here obedient to their laws we lie."
(Simonides, C5th BCE)
This statue is located at Thermoplyae and commemerates the defence of Greece by 300 Spartans who stood against the invading Persian army in a narrow pass and held them off long enough for the rest of the Greek states to raise a proper resistance. It was suicide mission and they knew it. They all died.
Spartan society was an exercise in social engineering that makes the Taliban look like a bunch of fluffy liberals (though just for once women did relatively well out of it). On the other hand they were unbelievably brave. And had nice bums, as you can see.
I find them fascinating (see Divine Torment for my fantasy version).
I may be wibbling on about Spartans some more in the near future...