High on a narrow mountain pass in 480 B.C., a small Greek army awaits an onslaught of epic proportions. Led by just 300 Spartan soldiers, they somehow hold off the colossal Persian military for seven full days - until not one Greek warrior is left standing.
The legendary battle of Thermopylae is still acknowledged today for its brilliant military maneuvers and the well-trained and fearless soldiers who fought to the death. THE HISTORY CHANNEL® presents a detailed account of this legendary battle, examining the events leading up to the conflict, the tactical expertise that allowed the outnumbered Greeks to stall their mighty foes, and the bloody encounter itself. Find out how an army of a few hundred men overcame impossible odds and witness the conflict that altered the course of Western civilization.
Combining sophisticated digital animation and live actors in strikingly realistic reenactments, LAST STAND OF THE 300 narrates one of the most important - and improbable - battles in history.
Last Stand of the 300
is an interesting 90-minute documentary from the History Channel explaining the details of the ancient Spartans' showdown with the Persian army at the battle of Thermopylae. It's long been a fascinating subject, but it hit popular culture in a big way with the 2007 feature film 300
, based on the graphic novel by Frank Miller. Last Stand of the 300
helps explain the background behind the battle as well as many of the details not covered in the movie, including how the Ionian Revolt and the famed battle of Marathon led to Themopylae, the naval front led by Thermistocles, and what happened afterward. Numerous scholars and authors (including the writers of Gates of Fire
and Empires at War
) explain the rigorous Spartan training, military strategy, the Oracle at Delphi, the Persian technological advantage, different kinds of weaponry and vessels (the Spartan hoplon, dory, and xiphos, and the trireme), and how one of Miller's famous lines came from Herodotus ("Then we shall have our battle in the shade"). The maps are extremely helpful for showing how the geography affected the battle (one detour would have cost the Persians an extra two years of travel time), but the reenactments look kind of simple compared to the extremely stylized feature film. --David Horiuchi