300 makes my all-time fetid-movie list. While it is true that the Spartans heroically delayed the Persian invasion at Thermopylae, it is not true that:
1) All Persians were hideous, hairless, trolls. Most Persians probably looked like people. Well, maybe not the people of Walmart.TM
2) Xerxes, the Persian king, was bearded and did not have earrings all over his face.
3) The Greeks did not fight in Speedos. They usually fought with body armor and leg armor. On occasion they fought naked, but it was to avoid infection from dirty garments, not to strut their stuff.
4) There was not a narrow mountain pass or gate at the battlefield. The mountains however were close to the sea.
5) If there were a narrow mountain pass with the width of three men, then why the heck didn’t they fight there instead of on the beach which had a width of perhaps thirty? Think about it. You’re late to a lecture on neo-post-impressionist geometry. Would you rather fight your way through a narrow hallway packed with students on their way to workshop on beer appreciation or across the sparsely occupied grassy quad? I rest my case.
6) A shepherd did betray the Spartans by telling the Persians of a mountain pass that circled behind the Spartan position. However, he was a local and is quite doubtful that he possessed a two-foot high hump.
7) In fact, it is highly unlikely that all baddies in the fifth-century BC looked like orcs from the Lord of the Rings.
8) The Persian Immortals were not short, probably not beardless, did not wear metallic masks, did not have metallic shields. In fact, they had wicker shields.
9) It is true that most of the Spartan soldiers stayed at home because of a religious holiday. There is no record of it resulting from domestic intrigue.
10) There is no record of the Spartan religious establishment as looking like evil cartoon characters.
11) The Greeks did not build their temples atop mountains with sheer cliffs. They could not have constructed such places of worship without an anti-grav machine, which they didn’t have.
12) And finally, just from looking out my window, I find it quite hard to believe that the Greek world of 480 BC was completely and relentlessly lived every moment in grimy-sepia tone. Perhaps they had a spot of green, red, or blue on some spot of the landscape every third day?
– Paul the peace maker
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