In the year 480 B.C., the Greeks and the Persians fight one of the most famous battles in history at a place called Thermopylae. Here, the mighty Persian war machine, which has conquered ... See full summary »
Jeffery A. Baker,
Essentially true story of how Spartan king Leonidas led an extremely small army of Greek Soldiers (300 of them his personal body guards from Sparta) to hold off an invading Persian army now thought to have numbered 250,000. The actual heroism of those who stood (and ultimately died) with Leonidas helped shape the course of Western Civilization, allowing the Greek city states time to organize an army which repelled the Persians. Set in 480 BC.Written by
Jes Beard <email@example.com>
Comic artist Frank Miller saw this movie as a boy and said: "it changed the course of my creative life". His graphic novel "300", about the Battle of Thermopylae, was the basis for 300 (2006). See more »
When the Persian army is into Greece where they will meet the Spartans, they are marching between mountains on their left, and water on their right. In actuality, the Persians were marching south along the eastern edge of Greece, so the water would have been on their left with mountains on their right. The way the movie portrays it, the Persians are marching out of Greece. See more »
Opening credits prologue: In the Year 480 B.C. King Xerxes of Persia set in motion his enormous slave empire to crush the small group of independent Greek states-the only stronghold of freedom still remaining in the then known world . . . See more »
It's always about the Spartans. What about the Thespians?
This is a great movie but it steps into one of my pet peeves, the 700 Thespians. They never get the same press as the Spartans. They died with the Spartans, citizen soldiers and professional warriors fighting side by side for the freedom of others. If you want drama, pathos and tragedy, the story of some sculptor, farmer or smithie with a comfortable life, a wife, kids and a career sacrificing himself for freedom would impress me a lot more than a professional warrior taught to treat life with contempt from the earliest age.
Not that I'd call Sparta a "free" state. Democracy does not equal freedom. Yes they did elect their governing council but free states don't take your male children from you at age 7 to turn them into killing machines, don't murder slaves as a rite of passage and don't kill imperfect babies as a matter of law. The slaves in Sparta (the Helots) outnumbered the citizens by a wide margin and could never become citizens themselves. Even those who became emancipated (but still could never be citizens) were held in contempt and fear and were often massacred. Sparta lived in perpetual fear of a Helot revolt.
The Thespians were a free people who worshiped Eros and the Muses and lacked a warrior class. Their version of "slavery" was closer to indentured servitude where you had legal rights and could earn your freedom. Thespia was burned despite the sacrifice of its people at Thermopylae. The survivors still managed to muster another 1800 for the final battle at Plataea.
Incidentally, there were about 5-7000 Greek troops total. It was realistic that such a force could have held the pass indefinitely. Most were dismissed when the Persians threatened to surround them. The Spartans and Thespians remained behind to cover their retreat. (Apparently some Thebans also stayed behind but surrendered before the final battle.)
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