Spartan soldiers were expected to fight without fear and to the last man. Surrender was viewed as the epitome of cowardice, and warriors who voluntarily laid down their arms were so shamed that they often resorted to suicide. According to the ancient historian Herodotus, two Spartan soldiers who missed out on the famous Battle of Thermopylae returned to their homeland disgraced. One later hanged himself, and the other was only redeemed after he died fighting in a later engagement. Even Spartan mothers were known for their do-or-die approach to military campaigns. Spartan women are said to have sent their sons off to war with a chilling reminder: “Return with your shield or on it.” If a Spartan trooper died in battle, he was viewed as having completed his duty as a citizen. In fact, the law mandated that only two classes of people could have their names inscribed on their tombstones: women who died in childbirth and men who fell in combat.