Thermopylae (Θερμοπύλαι; "Hot Gates"): small pass in Greece, site of several battles.
The early fifth century history of Central Greece is poorly understood, but it is certain that the Thessalians and Phocians were at war "a few years before the Persian invasion".note[Herodotus, Histories 8.27.] During this war, the "Phocian Wall" was built at Thermopylae: about 150 meters long, parallel along the road, and offering the Phocians a safe place from which to throw missiles at the invaders. However, the Malians (allies of the Thessalians), discovered the Anopaea path and Thermopylae fell for the first time.note[Herodotus, Histories 7.215.] The invaders, however, were defeated at Hyampolis and the Phocians were able to free themselves.