(Raised to be a warrior. Never to retreat or surrender, no pain no mercy. Community had a big influence on how children were raised (tradition). No room for softness, weakness, only the hard and strong can call themselves Spartans. They did what they were trained, born, and bred to do. High honour to die in battle.) He really value his culture, and the way he lived, spoke, and acted was a reflection of his culture. His culture influenced his character. Honesty, He tells it like it is. Told the Persian messenger that even he would be accountable for his words. Even though the hunchback guy (I didn’t get his name) showed a passion and pride for being a Spartan, the king had to deny him for the benefit of his army. He told xerxes that Spartan women were fierce enough to fight the Persians. While xerces said he would kill any of his men for a victory, King Leonidas was willing to die for any of his men. Strategic 14.30
He believes in his and his followers abilities. Even with a handful, as the Arcadians put it, he believed it was enough. His followers also believed strongly in themselves. Even though the law said he could not go to war, he went because of his beliefs, values. Keeps grounded “his Spartan reserve,” while everyone celebrates (the Persian ships falling, victory over the immortals etc) Led by example, was on the front lines, didn’t hide behind or just pass orders. Well spoken.
Compassion: for his captain, who lost his son in battle. Before he died, love for his wife. Cared for his army’s legacy, that they were few that fought against many for freedom, and that everyone would know about them. “My king it’s an honour to die at your side,” “it’s an honour to have lived at yours.” – I figure we can make something of this. He was the last one to fall, even after they all had been struck by arrows.