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300 Spartans - The Real Story

The Legend is Fabulous, the Real Story is Astonishing!

London Greek Film Festival

Free: Watch the "Making of" Special; 
Buy Now: DVD USA (NTSC) or EU, Australia (PAL) Note: Amazon ended the manufacture of all DVDs on June 4, 2021. 

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Watched it twice, worth every cent.
-Robert Bruce

Adapted from the 8-episode epic documentary drama called The First War for Western Civilization, this is the perfect television documentary complementing the 2014 movie 300 - Rise of an Empire, the sequel to the 2006 blockbuster movie 300.

"Thermopylae...This is the site of the most famous last stand in history!  Go back 2,500 years to the wars between ancient Greece (West) and Persia (East).  The Greco-Persian Wars 2,500 years ago were a clash between two peoples, two cultures, two systems of government and two continents.  The first clash between East and West.  A clash that has, sadly, continued all the way to today."
-- Dr. Michael Scott, Host (NOVA, BBC, PBS, History Channel & More)

Very good! Nice balance of information and interest. Definitely can see this running on The History Channel one day, hopefully soon.
-Mark Whalanaus

The first democracy in the world spawned the Greco-Persian Wars 2,500 years ago that shaped most of the world today, particularly our politics, but it also gave us some of the most iconic moments and curious mysteries in history...a time when history really did become legend. Leonidas and his 300 Spartans and The Battle of Thermopylae.  

Putting aside the myths and legends surrounding the 300 Spartans, this documentary takes a detailed look at The Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC, leading to the last stand of the 300 Spartans, other Greeks and the Great Spartan King, Leonidas. The legend passed down is that Leonidas went to Thermopylae with a picked band of 300 Spartans to defend the narrow pass with units from other Greek cities. Then on the 3rd day of the battle, when he found out he was being surrounded, he sent most of his troops away and covered their retreat with a last stand because Spartans never retreated.

Photos from 300 Spartans - The Real Story

300 Spartans - The Real Story - Stan Karpinski, Director


- Greece vs. Persia 2500 years ago.
- 50 actors, 350 extras, 10 experts and 4 researchers.
- An event that has done more to shape the way the world is today than any other.
- For the first time anywhere, the FULL story of the greatest war of all time.
- Presented by Dr Michael Scott of Cambridge University.
- Dispelling the myths and legends and revealing the full story.
- The latest research, satellite imagery, re-enactments and ballistic tests.
- The missing links from the ancient texts of Herodotus.
- The Legacy.
- No major detail left out.
- The actual battlefields, the tactics, the strategies, the weapons.

Using the original text of Herodotus, the battle’s only "contemporary" source, we examine the actions of Leonidas as commander of the Greek force of over 7000 men facing 200,000-plus Persians. Why were they there and what eventually led to the most famous last stand in history? Focusing on six key passages in the text, the real story gives a completely different picture than the legend we all know. Leonidas did not stay because Spartans never retreated. They had already retreated once in this war. He had plenty of time for a final retreat if he wanted, but his actions on the last day point to something completely different. The documentary concludes that while the legend is fabulous, the real story is astonishing...Leonidas had plans for the last day and they did not involve a suicidal last stand!

Shot in Australia and Greece, and using actual back-plates from Greece, this production involved nearly 400 actors and extras. Computer 3D modelling and special effects bring the ancient Greek and Persian cities and battlefields to life. It is shot on widescreen HD video.

No stone is left unturned. The Battle of Thermopylae is covered in detail with technical direction by Dr Chris Matthew, historian, and author of A Storm of Spears. It includes a myth busting section to show how the Greeks actually turned the tables on the huge, all conquering Persian army.

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Tags: Greece, greeks, greek, Documentary, ancient history, Culture, history, War, Ellas, Hellenism, Hellenes, persian, persia, leonidas, 300, themopylae, Marathon, battle of marathon, Battle of Thermopylae, herodotus, the histories (herodotus), epic, Miltiades, Kimon, Sparta, spartans, Athenians, Athens, hoplites, soldiers, Darius, Xerxes, Plataea, Salamis, battle of salamis, 300 rise of an empire, rise of an empire, 9/11, 911, themistocles, Michael Scott, Drama, gerard butler, Themistokles

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