King Leonidas, The Greek King Whose Story Was Portrayed In The Famous Movie Called 300

Movies tend to portray true-life stories, stories that are both emotional and sad and while they tend to exaggerate the actual stories, we still cannot put movies aside when it comes to storytelling since they give great clues as to the history of certain events. For instance, the famous movie Gladiator was a movie that portrayed the life of a Roman Soldier who found his way to the top despite the odds stacked against him by his enemies. In this story, we got to see some true-life characters, and events that happened, and all of these were built around the fictional character of the main figure. 


This was the same for the story of 300, while the movie received many awards and was known for its popularity amongst many, what people seem to miss about the movie is that the movies demonstrate true life events, but adds some effects and fictional characters and events to beef it up. The movie which was directed by Zack Snyder in 2007, told the story of the famous battle of Thermopylae, a battle that remains very famous and popular among historians. Perhaps one of the reasons for the popularity status of this movie is the fact that the Spartans attempted to do something that had never been done before, fight 10,000 with just 300. 

The story is built around a Greek king called Leonidas, said to be the son of King Alexandridas and his first wife. Leonidas is a king unlike any other perhaps because the story of his Ascension to the throne was very interesting and also because history has often portrayed him to be an interesting figure that was courageous, a skilled fighter that was loved by his people. The Greeks at the time practiced some sort of regional government T, where each region or state has its king. This means that while Leonidas was a Greek king, he was only a king of Sparta a region in Greek. 


Leonidas was a strong king but even strong kings are courageous kings because of their brave soldiers. So interestingly historians credit his men a lot, almost as much as they credit Leonidas himself. I am not particularly sure how Leonidas trained his Spartan men but it is clear that they went through tough training, that shaped them into men who would face anything for their king. They fought battles with him, and interestingly they developed a streak of never losing. 


Just 300 men would fight anyone and protect an entire region at the command of their king. However, a time came when they had to fight something beyond other regions, they were faced with a battle or war that has since left a mark on history. A war between them and an entire nation, not just any region or nation but the nation of Persia, a nation known for its might, its weapons, strategies, and soldiers. 

During the time, The Persians had a king called King Xerxes, an emperor whose wish was to conquer and have the world at his feet. Perhaps he was one of the first emperors who Commanded hundreds of thousands of soldiers and after conquering neighboring areas and nations he began his journey to Greece and attempted to conquer the area. Many often trace Xerxas's attempt at beating the Greeks to the death of his father, as he believed that something fishy had happened that led to his father being killed. Something he traced to rebellions from the area. 


With his army, which he had built to have at least 150,000 men and 600 ships, he began a forceful take of lands and defeat of empires. This reached Greek but here is where it gets interesting. On getting to the shores of Greece, the first region he encounter, or perhaps one of the first few he encountered was that of Leonidas. Leonidas could hardly claim that he can defeat Xerxes alone but they often say courage bears great resemblance to foolishness. 


If battles are to be ranked in the history of the world or perhaps in historical records, it will be quite hard not to factor in that of Thermopylae, as it is often considered of the most famous battles by the Persians. An invasion by the Persians created history on a large scale. Even Greeks record this battle in different capacities, for the bravery of the Greek army and their sad defeat

 

Anyway, we realize that Leonidas and his army met with the army of the Xerxes and it was a serious defeat for the Spartans but not without making history. They held their ground for days. Though their defeat was inevitable they at least stood their ground and confronted the army of Xerxes regardless of how impossible it seemed. Now, to be honest, other kings in the region would have simply given up and surrendered as Xerxes asked but he didn't. 


While the movie 300 portrayed that the Spartans were the only ones present, the battle was a very interesting one that required that the Spartans fight on one end while other Greek armies fight on other ends, while facing the common threats. As far as it could count, the Spartans were exceptional. While other fighters fell and fell quite easily in the face of the Persian army, it is interesting that the Spartans remained. Though eventually they fell but not before they fought a battle that put their names in the history books. According to sources, the Greek armies across the war numbered around 20,000 while the Persian army numbered 200,000 to 2 million soldiers. 

Reference;

https://www.britannica.com/event/Battle-of-Thermopylae-Greek-history-480-BC

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.history.com/.amp/topics/ancient-history/leonidas

Gladiator Greek Leonidas

COMMENTS

Load app to read more comments