John Trikeriotis - Lecture at the Center for Hellenic Studies, University of Connecticut - To view more, please click image
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The Graeco-Persian Wars are an integral part of the curriculum of many high schools, colleges and universities around the world. Of these conflicts, one of antiquity’s greatest confrontations is that at Thermopylae (‘Hot Gates’), which has been taught in military academies as an example of how a small well-trained group of resolute warriors can defend their position against a numerically superior force.
In 1962, 20th Century Fox premiered the first and most accurate depiction of the battle entitled, The 300 Spartans.It was this filmwhich inspired Frank Miller to create a series of comic books, entitled, 300. The 2007 Warner Bros. film which was adapted from these comics raised awareness of this clash between the coalition of Greek city-states led by King Leonidas and the 300 Spartans, against the Persian forces amassed by Xerxes the Great.
However, the film adaptation was an ahistorical depiction of the combatants, Persian royalty and the events of 480 BC. Criticized by scholars and many in the academic community, the embellishments by Hollywood seemed to be egregiously disproportionate to what should be taught in classrooms. Despite these objections, the follow-up, 300: Rise of an Empire, which debuted this year followed the same linear approach as its predecessor with its mixture of fact and fantasy.
Both of these movies share one thing in common...their lack of historicity.>>>MORE