10 The Warrior Archetype

Episode Ten: Then We’ll Have Our Battle In The Shade

A writer’s story about how “Gates of Fire” came to be.

It all came from reading this true historical quote — “Then we’ll have our battle in the shade” — from the Spartan warrior Dienekes before the battle of Thermopylae.

I thought, Not only is that one of the all-time coolest quips on the eve of destruction … but it is spot-on to break the fear that each man was no doubt feeling, knowing he would not survive beyond the next two or three days.

I thought, “I can tell this story, through this man.”

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7 Comments

  1. Marduk on September 17, 2020 at 6:17 am

    Its an awesome quote, thanks for sharing. What a contrast with the modern world where fragility/ weakness is celebrated.

  2. Zack on September 17, 2020 at 6:29 am

    That is the line that drew me into “Gates of Fire” also. One of the greatest battle lines of all time, better than Clint Eastwood, even better than some of the (great) gallows humor of Navy SEALs. Just as bold as “Give me liberty, or give me death!” but an extra point for humor.

  3. Joe Jansen on September 17, 2020 at 8:58 am

    Appreciate the personal account.

  4. Andrew+Lubin on September 17, 2020 at 10:39 am

    What an awesome concept to write a book around a quote!

  5. Brian Nelson on September 17, 2020 at 2:29 pm

    Steve,
    Your caddie days must have influenced ‘The Legend of Bagger Vance’ as well.

    • Joe on September 18, 2020 at 7:04 am

      I think that’s the first I’ve heard of the caddie story. Be the ball, Danny.

  6. Jim Gant on September 17, 2020 at 4:49 pm

    Yes…it was the opening quote on page one of ODA 316’s SOPS (standard operating procedures). The intent behind the quote served us well in combat for many years.

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