300 Against the Sources

In 2006 the movie 300 hit the screens of cinemas across the world depicting a battle that took place nearly 2500 years ago. Though, more accurately it depicts a group of 300 warrior’s involvement in that battle. For most, this would be their first and only exposure to Greek history, leaving them to either take on face value what they saw as basically fact, as it was based on actual events after all. Or, they would assume this was a fictional story with a historical theme, this is Hollywood.  

I explore the main storyline with all of the themes present, where the smaller details can be brought up with more context behind them. I want to be able to show what the film manages to present fairly accurately historically. Or alternatively has presented in its own interpretation with examples in the historical record that can be pointed to. I will also point out some of the fanciful elements and what appears to be inserted for dramatic purposes, but not based on anything from the historical record.

Ultimately, I hope after this episode people can walk away with a better understand of what has been presented and that can be connected to the ancient sources, therefore in line with the historical record. While also recognising what liberties have been made and perhaps why these things are presented or told the way they are. We are not looking to much at what was historical fact but what exists in the historical record that could be drawn upon which will also let us see how the Greeks saw their own history.

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Additional Resources



The Greek Sources

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