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300 Spartans


Jerry
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This film is quite popular - my family has seen it and I will venture out one of these days to see it on the big screen. A review in today's Times says that Leonidas speaks with a Glascow accent.

 

I still find it amusing that Sean Connery used a scottish accent as a Lithuanian submarine commander for the USSR, and Kevin Costner was unable to be British as Robin Hood.

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I saw that Richard Egan pic on cable last year -- and I had to wonder about the treachery of a Greek local, jealous of losing his girl friend, the sensationally gorgeous Diane Baker, showing the Persians a hidden passage around the mountain to get behind their lines. But eventually, of course, I realized it was pure show business hype. As if the story needed more drama.

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OK, saw the new "300" tonight with my grandson. It is blood and guts macho movie, but it seems the ladies are drawn to it to see soldiers nearly naked with chiseled abdominal muscles. And needless to say there are some men who like it for the same reason. It's a new kind of movie -- instead of the Hollywood/celebrity-actors/gigantic budget epic it just relates a famous legend. And they used the same 'goat path' touted by a local Greek traitor that the 1962 film used, so maybe that was written into the historic record.

 

[ 27.03.2007, 16:28: Message edited by: jerry ]

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Obs is right. The "300" film shows Persian gold at the end of the story as a political traitor back at the palace is exposed. But up at the pass, there's another traitor who is actually in Xerxes' camp who craves gold AND 'licking concubines' as the film credits label them. I wouldn't make that up.

 

Alexander the Great? That would be the one with Colin Something? I saw it, and was astonished by previously un-pondered detail -- such as his father, Philip, and their troops all having damaged body parts from battles. Also astonished by the fighting rampant elephants, and (I thought)gratuitous inferences to bi-sexuality. Also wondered why Colin's blond hair needed a lot of touch-up in the roots, but then I remembered that the Greeks of that time really DID bleach their hair.

 

A question remains from "300" - Leonidas tells his men that 100 years ago, the Greeks chased Darius back to Persia. After the 300 film a narrative implies not too long after that event, the whole of Greece and Sparta was energized to oppose the next wave of Persian invasion - and they were only outnumbered 3-1.

 

But I have forgotten how many of these invasions the Greeks turned away and which leaders opposed each other. Was it Alexander against Darius 100 years before this "300" war? Then, did his invasion of Asia stir up this interest in invading Greece? Some discussions I've heard imply that Alexander's time was yet to come... yes, I'm thinking that Alex faced Darius II...

 

[ 27.03.2007, 16:37: Message edited by: jerry ]

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You must be a history professor. My college days are so far back I can barely remember the highlights. But I think Pericles was just 100 years B.C. and this battle was 400 B.C. and Leonidas was 300 B.C. I think there were two Darius emperors with Immortal praetorian guards, and one Xerxes, and I've read, no scanned, some of Plato's Dialogs and was impressed with Socrates. They were almost contemp. with Alexander. But sure, I'll read every word you post on the subject. I was impressed recently by a best seller book called, Why the Greeks Were Important, or some such title. Why We Study the Greeks....

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Oh, and I read Will Durant's volume on Greece and Rome - and can remember there was one sensational beauty of a 'hetera' or something accused in Athens of murder and at her trial she bared her bosom and said, (in Greek), Are these the breasts of a murderess? And they voted no, she's innocent. That sticks in my mind.

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Briefly: 480BC: Xerxes with an Army estimated at around 250,000 (incl 10,000 "Imortals"); crosses the Hellespont; accompanied by a fleet of over 1,200 ships. 300 Spartans plus around 6,000 other Greeks move to a defensive position at the pass of Thermopylae. Following the battle, the Persians moved into Attica, with the Athenians evacuating the City, with most moving to the island of Salamis. The Persian fleet is defeated at the battle of Salamis. Xerxes hands over command to Mardonius with about 150,000 men. The Greeks defeat the Persian Army at Plataea, thus ending their invasion. 431BC: war between Athens and Sparta. 371: Thebes defeats a Spartan Army at Mantinea, using the revolutionary tactic of Epaminondas (longer spears), which gave rise to adoption of the pike phalanx by King Philip of Macedon. 338BC: Phillip defeats the Athenians and Thebans at the battle of Chaeronea, accompanied by his 18 year old son and hier Alexander. 334BC: Alexander invades the Persian Empire of Darius, with 5,000 cavalry and 30,000 infantry; defeating superior numbers at the Granicus; Issus and Gaugamela, thus capturing the Persian Empire within three years. 327BC: Not satisfied, Alexander moved on, to the River Indus, where he defeats King Porus at the battle of Hydaspes. Finally his troops revolt and force him to return home. 325BC: Alexander dies at the age of 33. His Generals, "the successors"; then fight over possession of his Empire. Still awake?! :wink:

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Beautiful thumbnail, thanks. One last word - in the film 300, Leonidas mentions the word 'Marathon' (Plain of Marathon?)in a previous meet-up with Persians '100 years ago' ?? I could be wrong in the years but it was part of his inspirational speech to his troops.

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Marathon: 490BC: Darius I; sent an invasion force to attack Athens. The Athenians asked for Spartan assistance, but as usual, they were tied up with religious celebtrations. So the Athenians attacked the Persian beach-head, defeating them, and sent the message of their victory by runner - who ran the 26miles to give the news, then collapsed and died. :(

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Originally posted by jerry:

This film is quite popular - my family has seen it and I will venture out one of these days to see it on the big screen. A review in today's Times says that Leonidas speaks with a Glascow accent.

 

utter drivel,I watched it last week and the audience laughed most of the way through it.Forget about the history because this film just goes for the CGI blood and gore big time.It's part Braveheart,part Gladiator and part Star Wars.Leonidas looked as though he'd copied Brian Blessed in the original Blackadder, the leader of the Persians is a 7 foot American black guy who looks like a cross between Michael Jordan and Tupac. Most of the battle scenes are conducted with a thrash metal soundtrack grinding away at such volume it leaves your ears ringing long after the film ends. My teenage son loved it, and if you leave your brain at the kiosk before taking your seat you may get something out of it, I was checking my watch well before the end...
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