The War of Art | Steven Pressfield
In the end, philosophy made the fortune of Athens, which essentially became the University Town of the Roman Empire (only Alexandria came close as a center of learning); but even Sparta's army eventually failed her, as Spartan hegemony was destroyed at the battle of Leuctra in 371 by the brilliant Theban general Epaminondas, , who killed a king, Cleombrotus, for the first time since King Leonidas was killed by the Persians at Thermopylae in 480.
The Battle for France | The American Conservative
The Spartans were not as 'good' as the movie portrays them to be. Greeks, including the Spartans, conquered neighboring areas to acquire more land and to build their slave labor force. Many of the Greek soldiers, who fought with the Spartan elite at the Battle of Thermopylae, were forced to fight because they were slaves. Frank Miller, author of the graphic novel 300, talked about the nature of the Spartans in an interview, "The Spartans were a paradoxical people. They were the biggest slave owners in Greece. But at the same time, Spartan women had an unusual level of rights. It's a paradox that they were a bunch of people who in many ways were fascist, but they were the bulwark against the fall of democracy. ... I didn't want to render Sparta in overly accurate terms, because ultimately I do want you to root for the Spartans. I couldn't show them being quite as cruel as they were. I made them as cruel as I thought a modern audience could stand."
No. The real Persian King Xerxes had a beard and was much shorter. He never went to the front line at the Battle of Thermopylae as his character does in the movie . Actor Rodrigo Santoro portrays the 9-foot-tall Xerxes in the film. Rodrigo, who starred on ABC's , is around 6'2". His height and voice were both altered for the role of the Persian King. Director Zack Snyder talked about Xerxes' exaggerated features in an interview, "...because we scaled him as we did, when his normal voice played, it was even stranger to me. He was out of scale of his voice, not that it wasn't commanding." The actor's actual voice is heard in the film, only with the pitch scaled down.