Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Hello and welcome to my blog!! My name is Constantinos, I am Greek and a HUGE history fan. Especially Greek history, of course. A couple of days ago I received a mail from a Belgian friend, Mathias, with the link to a new movie: "300". Based on a graphic novel by Frank Miller (Sin City), the movie which will hit the theatres on March 9 2007, is inspired by a real historical event of the Greco-Persian wars: the Battle of Thermopylae which took place in central Greece in the summer of 480 B.C..

A handful of Greek hoplites (infantry soldiers) stood against an invading army of over 100,000 (according to Herodotus, the Persians and their allies exceeded 1,500,000 troops, or 5 million people including supporting personnel; slaves, craftsemen, even prostitutes). The defenders chose a narrow passage and fought a tactically brilliant battle for 3 days, only to be defeated after a local traitor showed to the Persians a mountain pass taking them behind the Greek lines. The heroic Greeks, led by one of the Kings of Sparta, Leonidas, fought to the last man inflicting great loses to the Asian horde. The Battle offered a moral boost and inspiration to the rest of the Greeks who after centuries of civil struggle united against the advancing Persians and defeated them in the naval Battle of Salamis, saving their country and Western civilization as we know it today.

The perspective of a Hollywood movie about an event of Greek history is always exciting for any Greek. However, the way the story will be presented is always a bit "fishy"... for example, "Troy" was by all means a disaster, totally different from the original version of Homer's "Iliad" and offending to anyone who has actually read the book. The "Iliad" by the way, is considered to be the oldest literature work in the history of the Western world, and has been taught to kids as an epic tale for at least 3000 years!! "Alexander", a movie directed by Oliver Stone, on the other hand, focused too much on the debatable sexual preferences of Alexander the Great, rather than the actual contribution of such an extraordinary personality to the world.

The good part about "300" is that it clearly states that it is a fictional movie, only loosely based upon a historical episode. Inspired by a comic book, the creators take full advantage of the "poetic freedom" offered and present the ancient Spartan society, the events around the Battle, and the Battle itself in a surreal background with fictional elements. It certainly looks like a great epic with a lot of exaggerations compared to the actual incidents.

In future posts I will give more information about the real events and what we will see on the big screen in March. I actually ordered the graphic novel from today, and hope to receive it as soon as possible and will present more details about it.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Free Hit Counters
Free Counter