300: Truth or Tale?

25-Mar-07 9:54 AM by
Filed under Films; 3 comments.

Hiphopguy23 recently saw the movie 300 on the big screen, and he means BIG screen: the fancy IMAX theater. Hiphopguy23 was pleasantly surprised by the style and visuals of the movie, but he left the theater wondering how much was fact and how much was fiction. Hiphopguy23 could probably look on the Internet to find the answers, but that involves work. So instead, Hiphopguy23 will make educated guesses based on his own understanding of the era and will be corrected in the forums.

1) The Spartans sent only 300 soldiers into combat.

TRUTH — The rest of the army was banned from combat due to a religious celebration.

2) The Persian army consisted of millions of soldiers.

TALE — Hiphopguy23 believes the numbers were closer to 450,000.

3) The 300 Spartan warriors killed the Persians at a rate of 10-1.

TRUTH — The Spartans' superior position and superior battle knowledge allowed them to devastate the Persian army.

4) The 300 Spartan warriors trained from the age of 7 to be soldiers.

TRUTH — Those Spartans were a tough breed. Men were raised to be soldiers, and women were raised to birth soldiers.

5) The Spartan warriors fought without armor to show off their abs.


6) King Xerxes attempted to negotiate with the Spartans in person.

TALE — King Xerxes would have appeared nowhere near the front of the battle lines. Also, King Xerxes was not 10 feet tall.

7) King Xerxes brought rhinos and elephants into battle.

TALE — Elephants were generally not used in combat except in Northern Africa. (Only a handful of Hannibal's famous elephants survived after crossing the Alps.)

8) When King Leonidas was ordered to lay down his arms, he snarled, "Come and get them."

TRUTH — This historical battle is the first recorded utterance of this phrase, which is now a staple in every action movie.

9) Dilios lost his eye and was sent away from battle by the king in order to narrate the brave events.


10) Dilios later led an army to defeat the Persians.

TALE — Though Dilios did not lead the army, the Grecian states did unify a year later and to push the Persians back.

See also: A Gentleman's War

3 Responses to “300: Truth or Tale?”

  1. Ken Gagne adds:

    Greek critics hate this film and its inaccuracies; much to their chagrin, Greek moviegoers don't care, reports CNN.

  2. peterw adds:

    Greek critics hate this film and its inaccuracies; much to their chagrin, Greek moviegoers don't care

    You could remove the word(s) "Greek" from that sentence and it would still apply to many movies!

  3. Lily adds:

    300 is absolutely bull, i saw the movie and then went to find more about the battle and it appears that 300 was mostly fiction… The truth is something else