Demophilus of Thespiae

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Native name Δημόφιλος
Born Thespiae
Died 480 BC
Allegiance Thespiae
Rank Commander
Battles/wars Battle of Thermopylae
Memorials At Thermopylae and Thespiae
Relations Diadromes (father)

Demophilus (Greek: Δημόφιλος Demophilos), according to Herodotus, was the commander of a contingent of 700 Thespians at the Battle of Thermopylae (480 BC). His father was the Diadromes (Διαδρόμης).[1]

Demophilus and his men fought at the battle and at the end they stood along with the 300 Spartans at the last stand: all were killed.[2] The ancient Greek traveler and geographer Pausanias also wrote about the stay of the Thespians at Thermopylae together with the Spartans.[3]

After the Battle of Thermopylae, the Persian army burned down the city of Thespiae. The citizens had fled to the Peloponnese.[4]

Demophilos is immortalised in many books and movies. In the 1962 movie The 300 Spartans, Demophilus was portrayed by the Greek actor Yorgos (George) Moutsios.[5]

In Thermopylae there is a monument, next to the monument of Leonidas, in memory of him and his men. There is also a monument to Demophilus in the modern Thespiae.


  1. ^ Herodotus Book 7: Polymnia, 222 "The commander of these was Demophilos the son of Diadromes."
  2. ^ Herodotus Book 7: Polymnia, 222 "Thespians very willingly, for they said that they would not depart and leave Leonidas and those with him, but they stayed behind and died with them."
  3. ^ Pausanias Book 10 Phocis, 20.2 "...if we except the Lacedaemonians, Thespians and Mycenaeans, the rest left the field before the conclusion of the fighting."
  4. ^ Herodotus Book 8: Urania, 50 "For the army which directed its march through Boeotia in company with Xerxes, after it had burnt the city of the Thespians (the inhabitants having left it and gone to the Peloponnese)..."
  5. ^ "The 300 Spartans (1962) Full Cast & Crew". IMDb. Retrieved 2013-10-24.