Final Exam Paper

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In this paper I will be comparing and contrasting the events that took place in the movie 300 to the real events that were recorded throughout history by many historians that have studied these events of the one of the strongest Hellenic city-states Sparta.

The movie 300 was set in the spring of 480 BC when the Persian King Xerxes was trying to follow in his fathers footsteps who continuing his master plan to conquer the Hellenic city-states, arrives in Hellas. The previous attempts by the Persians had already turned most northern Hellenic tribes and states to the Persian side. The citizens of Athens and Sparta, the largest Hellenic powers of the time felt disrespected by the Persian emissaries' request to surrender to Xerxes. In Sparta, King Leonidas meets with the local oracle, who gives him two options: Either a Spartan king will have to be sacrificed, or Sparta will be burned to the ground. A year earlier (481 BC) a Panhellenic consortium of all southern city-states had already recognized the superiority of the Spartan army (the best organized and trained army at the time) and had declared King Leonidas as supreme commander of the combined Hellenic army. The decision was then made to have a small force block Xerxes' route to southern Hellas in the Thermopylae passage. The size of this passage at the time was 12 meters wide. The great historian Herodotus, maybe exaggerating, states that there were 1,700,000 Persians against 7,000 Hellenic hoplites and slaves, including the 300 men of the Spartan King elite guard. King Xerxes waited four days for the Hellenes to be frightened and eventually surrender and was caught off guard by his opponents' complete apathy. An attempt by King Xerxes to convince Leonidas to drop his weapons and live on as a local governor under Xerxes, but Leonidas replied "molon lave," which means "Come and get them." The three-day battle (Thermopylae Battle) began, with the 300 Spartans and 700 Thespians (the other Hellenes...
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