Megistias (Greek: Μεγιστίας, "the greatest one") or Themisteas (Greek: Θεμιστέας) was a soothsayer from Acarnania who died in the Battle of Thermopylae.[1][2] He traced his lineage to Melampus. Despite knowing that death was certain, Megistias stayed and fought.[2] An inscription was written by Simonides of Ceos, a personal friend of Megistias, to honor him.[2][3]

In popular cultureEdit

In the 1962 movie The 300 Spartans, Megistias appears as a Spartan priest and soothsayer and friend of King Leonidas who, in addition to giving predictions, also acts as a physician for the Spartans at Thermopylae. Megistias was portrayed by Charles Fernley Fawcett.


  1. ^ Smith, William, ed. (1870). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. p. 1009. Archived from the original on 2005-12-19. Retrieved 2008-03-18.
  2. ^ a b c Herodotus, John M. (2003). Marincola, John M. (ed.). The Histories. London: Penguin Books. pp. 493. ISBN 0-14-044908-6.
  3. ^ Bradford, Ernie (March 2004). Thermopylae: The Battle for the West. New York: Da Capo Press. p. 149. ISBN 0-306-81360-2.