Marathon. A Persian king stands at last on Greek soil. His Immortals have come to raze the cities of the west. The Athenians are hopelessly outnumbered. The gods are silent. All they have is the shield line. Xanthippus takes a breath. If they cannot stand, all Greece will fall. Thermopylae. Ten years later, Athens has betrayed its favourite son. When the Persians return, when they cross the Hellespont to take revenge on the Greeks, will Xanthippus come home to save his people? Athens cannot stand alone a second time.In desperation, the city calls on men of Sparta to block the pass at Thermopylae. To give them time. To give them hope.Featuring two of the most famous battles of the Ancient World, The Gates of Athens is a bravura piece of storytelling about a people driven to preserve their freedom at any cost.