Is the movie 300 historically accurate?

Is the movie 300 historically accurate? The 300 Spartans is one the most epical movies based on a graphic novel, not actual history. It’s a fun action movie with crazy visuals and countless 1-liners.

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Is the movie 300 historically accurate? If no Why?

1: Leonidas wasn’t “prevented” from fighting the war

In 300 King Leonidas wants to march the Spartan Army off to war but is prevented from doing so by politics. This is not what happened. Sparta was in an alliance with various Greek City-States which existed to fight the Persians. Leonidas wanted to march to Thermopylae so he could fight a delaying action, giving Greece time to muster. It was not some desperate sacrifice, it was a tactical decision, and Leonidas expected to survive.

Sparta only sent 300 men for various reasons

  1. Sparta rarely sent their army anywhere. Their army existed to put down potential slave revolts so the army was always needed closeby
  2. There were lots of soldiers at Thermopylae from other city-states. Leonidas was leading a coalition army with the Spartans sending a small detachment

2: The Persians were slavers/evil

By the time of this battle, there were 7 Spartan slaves (Helots) for everyone 1 Spartan Citizen. The Athenians meanwhile only granted the power to land-owning men with Athenian women possessing no rights whatsoever.

Most of Greece actually sided with the Persians and numerous Greek City States had long-lived very happily under the rule of Persia.

3: Battle tactics are not true in the 300 movie

300 at least mentions the phalanx and shows men with shields. However, they do the rest wrong. In the movie the Spartans shove the Persians back with their shields and then start stabbing. This never happened.

The Spartans would keep their shields up at all times and use their spears to stab their enemies over their shield. If you lifted your shield up to stab someone, you break the shield wall and expose yourself.

In the movie Spartans also break ranks a lot and go steaming forward with their swords. Again this never happened. Spartans did not break ranks ever.

4:Is the movie 300 historically accurate? No, look/clothing

First off Sparta itself in the movie is way off. Sparta as a city was very unimpressive. All Spartan men owned large estates and not many people lived in Sparta proper. The city was small, unimpressive, and thinly populated.

Obviously, Spartans didn’t wear leather speedos and helmets into combat. They would have chest armor, leg armor, a helmet, arm armor, and a shield.


So what does the 300 movie get right?

  1. There was a King Leonidas though he was 1 of 2 Spartan Kings
  2. There was a Persian king named Xerxes
  3. Sparta and Persia did exist
  4. There was a battle at Thermopylae
  5. There was a war between the Greeks and Persians
  6. People did use spears and shields in combat

Source

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Is the movie 300 historically accurate?
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Is the movie 300 historically accurate?
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Is the movie 300 historically accurate? No, the 300 Spartans is one the most epical movies based on a graphic novel, not actual history. It’s a fun action movie with crazy visuals and countless 1-liners.