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History also glances at 300 Spartans

Category: 300 News
Article Date: March 8, 2007 | Publication: United Features Syndicate | Author: KEVIN McDONOUGH

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Movie promotion and ancient history collide on "Last Stand of the 300" (9 p.m., History), a glance back at the battle of Thermopylae between 300 Spartans and a vast Persian army. This battle, fought in 480 B.C., not only determined the future of Greek history and Western civilization, but it also became a symbol of bravery and heroism in the face of impossible odds. More recently, it inspired a graphic novel by Frank Miller that has been turned into a highly anticipated motion picture, opening tomorrow. "Last Stand" recalls the warrior culture of the ancient Spartans, whose very name has become synonymous with discipline and austerity.

No look at ancient legend is entirely free of metaphor or historical parallel to our own times. The notion of a tiny fraction of the population defending a country cannot be lost on contemporary viewers. And, of course, the adversaries of "The 300" were from Persia, a nation now known as Iran.


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