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If I’ve learned anything writing these articles it’s that being a big budget movie is no excuse for getting history wrong. That being said, here are the historical inaccuracies of Zack Snyder’s visual epic 300.
- The senate of Sparta was comprised of 30 well-liked and respected members. In the film, they are depicted as horrid monsters.
- Sparta had two kings in control of the city-state. One king led the army to war and the other stayed and ruled the city.
- Young Spartan warriors hunted in small groups to help learn how to function within an army like setting. Spartans did not send out boys by themselves to hunt.
- Spartan warriors traditionally wore equipment made of iron into battle, not loin clothes and capes. It was colored red to confuse enemies who couldn’t tell if the Spartans were wounded.
- Xerxes never sent Leonidas messages to surrender.
- In the film, the Persian soldiers are depicted as monstrous and blood-thirsty but history records the soldiers as well educated. They also had immense respect for Greek civilization and culture.
- The half-blind soldier Dillos did not lead the united Greek army to the Battle of Plataea. That honor goes to one of the most famous generals of the time, Pausanias.