In 480 BC, three hundred Spartans fought thousands of Persians to the death at the battle of Thermopylae in Greece , and now it's coming to the silver screen.
I hope the movie will be good, but you can also read Stephen Pressfield's Gates of Fire, or better yet, read Herodotus's nearly contemporaneous, 5th-century account.
One bad sign from the movie trailer: Gerard Butler (playing King Leonidas) has short hair. Oops. The Spartans gloried in their long hair. From Herodotus's account of the day before the great battle:
At this time the Spartans were keeping watch near the edge of the perimeter, and they were seen by a Persian spy. Some of them were working out, others were combing their long hair. The spy was completely amazed at this, but he counted the Spartans, and when he had gathered accurate information, he rode back quietly. None of the Spartans pursued him or even paid any attention to him at all, though they saw him.Another bad sign from the trailer: Butler yells a lot. The Spartans (also called Laconians) were famous for their gift for compact and witty understatement. (Hence the term "laconic.") A typical Laconian bon mot: when the Persian despot Xerxes demanded the arms of the Spartans through his emissary, Leonidas replied, molon labe ("come and get them"). I'm sure he said it very quietly.
Still, I'm going to see the movie.