The Sequel To ‘300’

It’s not called 301, unfortunately, but rather 300: Rise of an Empire. The original film depicted the Battle of Thermopylae in August of 480 BC, in which 300 Spartans plus a few hundred other soldiers admirably and surprisingly held off a Persian army a thousand times greater. After a few days, they were defeated however — partly due to a betrayal — and at the same time, the Persians also won the naval Battle of Artemisium. So, after being defeated on both land and sea, the Greek allies retreated and the Persians occupied Athens.

However, the Greeks regrouped shortly thereafter and in September defeated the Persian navy at the Battle of Salamis. This was the turning point of the war, and will likely be the focus of the movie, along with the Battle of Artemisium. Several months later, in the summer of 479 BC, the Greeks decisively defeated the Persians at the Battle of Plataea, which ended the Persian invasion of Greece.

Salamis is one of the most important battles in world history, because had it been lost by the Greeks, it would’ve likely meant the premature end of Western civilization. Without the Ancient Greece which rose to power after the failed Persian invasion, the West would’ve turned out quite differently. For example, Socrates, one of the most important figures in Western philosophy, was born ten years after these events.

The main characters in the film are the Greek general Themistocles and the Persian queen and commander of the navy in the Battle of Salamis, Artemisia (played by Eva Green — Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale). Two characters from the original, Persian King Xerxes I and Spartan Queen Gorgo (played by Lena Heady — Queen Cersei on Game of Thrones) also seem to have prominent roles. It opens on March 14th, 2014.

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