The Battle of Thermopylae was fought between alliances of Greek city states, which were led by King Leonidas of Sparta, against the Persian Empire led by Xerxes over the course of three days, during the second Persian invasion of Greece. The battle took place simultaneously with the naval battle at Artemisium, in August or September 480 BC, at the pass of Thermopylae ('The Hot Gates'). The event was later recorded by Herodotus, who interviewed the surviving soldiers. When it comes to history it is important to be able to differentiate between historical fact, fiction, and over aggrandizement. One must be careful when looking at an event such as the battle of Thermopylae, because of all of the myths surrounding it. Do the Spartans really deserve all of the credit that they have been given for what they did at The Hot Gates or has the tale become an aggrandizement of their accomplishment? A recent film that goes by the name “300” may be responsible for reigniting the mythos that seems to be weaved into the threads of Spartan history.
Many attributes have made the Spartans stand out from other Greek civilizations; their military, their society, and the battles they waged. Spartans were a militaristic state in Greece, their motto was “Ether with it, or on it” (meaning ether you won the battle or died trying). Sparta was also rivals to Athens at the time and would often compete in sports or fight in skirmishes much like two rival high schools. Out of everything that Sparta was the one thing most people think of when they hear the word Sparta is the battle of Thermopylae. No other Spartan conflict has been exploited as much as the battle of Thermopylae. Contrary to what you may or may not believe the Spartans were not the o...
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Miller, Frank, and Lynn, Varley. “300”. Milwaukie, Or. Dark Horse, 2006. Print.
Last Stand of the 300. Dir. David Padrusch and Alexander Emmert. By David Padrusch and Matt
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The Battle of Thermopylae began in 480 BC and was a product of the Greeks attempt help defend the Ionians from the Persians. This irritated the Persian Emperor, Xerxes, because he thought of Greece as a small kingdom that had no place revolting against the Persian Empire. The Athenians sympathized with the Ionians because the Persians had also tried to invade Greece on multiple occasions. The Athenians provided feeble help to the Ionians and in retaliation the Persians struck at athens (23B). Xerxes was known to be irrational with his temper, and may have thought of his invasion as retaliation for the fact that his father, Darius the Great, was defeated at the Battle of Marathon against the Greeks. His temper was so great that at Hellas Point he had the water whipped because it would not obey him (E49). One of several Greek war leaders in the Battle of Thermopylae was Leonidas, the second born son of King Anaxandridas. It was not until his half brother was killed under controversial circumstances that Leonidas rose to power (G72). Apart from misconceptions spread by the popular film “300,” the three hundred Spartans did not go into battle alone, and were accompanied by over eight hundred allies. Nevertheless, the Persians still outnumbered the Greeks ten to one, which is why it is incredible that the Greeks were able to hold them for three days before eventually losing that specific battle. Despite losing the battle in terms of soldiers and defending greece, the battle of thermopylae was somewhat successful in that it was a demonstration of the courage of greek soldiers, impressive battle tactics,
The Athenians, in contrast, were less in number and less equipped. What makes this battle epic and significant, is that despite all the odds, the Athenians won, and the Persians lost. The battle itself is one of history’s most memorable. It is also the earliest battle with a recorded history. In his book, Marathon: How One Battle Changed Western Civilization, Richard Billows argues, and rightfully, that the Battle of Marathon was a crucial point in European Civilization. Had Darius managed to crush Athens and win, the culture, history, and
Sparta, an ancient Greek city-state, was most well-known for its militaristic lifestyle and its soldiers’ prowess in battle. Though war was an essential part of life in Sparta, many other aspects contributed to its society. Sparta’s origin, unique government, slaves, bold women, and elite warriors all shaped the legendary city-state and defined its culture.
The battle of Thermopylae is without a doubt one of the most important Greek battles in history. The remarkable tale about how 300 Spartans used the geography around them to hold off against a Persian army so big it’s still in dispute over the exact number, still brings the attention of people of people in today’s society. If the Spartans were to surrender or flee, Greece today would be considered Persia.
For example when the Persians left there camp and went down a path that lead them behind the Spartans. The Spartans had a thousand troops set up right there waiting for the Persians to come down that way. But the troops left from there because they thought that the Persians would go to there homes and attack their families so the troops went home to protect their families. I don’t like how that’s all they told about those thousand solders I was wanting to know more about that happened when they went back home. Another thing that I didn’t like was how they didn’t really talk too much about the navy attacks on the Persians navy. They say that it was due to lack of information I just wish there could have been more because I found it quite interesting that they did defeat the Persian navy. Although I don’t think they would have been successful if that storm had not came the night before and whipped out part of the Persians
The battle of Thermopylae was between the Greeks and Persians 480 BC. The Greek force was very small, however they were determined to fight against the huge Persian army. As explained in many historical sources like Encyclopedia Britannica, when during First Persians war the Athenians beat the Persians at the battle of Marathon, the Persians left the Greeks by themselves for next ten years. During those ten years The Persians were fighting a revolt in Egypt, and their king Darius also died during that period. Nevertheless, Darius' son Xerxes settled the Egyptian revolt and began to plan the strategies to conquer Greece.
Frank Miller’s 300 the movie is probably the few adaptations of comic books to films that has managed to stay true to the original source and the success the movie 300 made globally is a testament of such, however in every successful film there is always the downsides of it especially if the original source is a comic book and therefore there is the expectations between the comic reader audience and the cinema audience.
The Greeks were able to repel the overwhelming and seemly unstoppable Persian Empire. They were able to do so because of the victories won thanks to the Athenian navy in the Aegean Sea, the hard fought and strategically important battles that the Spartans just would not give up during and they were able to put aside their differences in order to face the greater threat for the good or their culture. Each major city/state contributed what it was good at. It was a nice display of teamwork.
Romeo and Juliet. Dir. Baz Luhrman. Perf. Leonardo DiCaprio, Claire Danes, Brian Dennehy, and John Leguizamo. 20th Century Fox, 1997.
Zack Snyder’s “300” has often been criticized a lot. For most part, it had been claimed that the movie can hardly be labelled credible, and that it only focused on entertainment and visual effects. We should consider the fact that the movie warns the audience that it had solely been based on a graphic novel. I started