blue moon (2)

Friday, March 09, 2007

300 ©

There is a new movie coming out in the theatres that I am going to see next week.
It’s called the “300”.
It’s loosely based on the Battle of Thermopylae where the Spartans met an invading Persian army.
The battle went down in history, as did another one two thousand years later at a mission in San Antonio with all the defenders dieing but with the small difference that there was no walls separating the Spartans from the Persians.
When word of the battle spread across Greece, every Greek became a Spartan and grew ten feet tall crushing the remnants of the Persian army.

There are hundreds of versions of this battle and I have been raised on this story because I am a Spartan, these are my ancestors and our families make sure we don’t forget it.
Pride in the motherland is strong with my family and all Greeks as I am sure it is with all of us when it comes to where we were born.

Spartans were fierce warriors who lived in a military state ruled by two Kings and elected council.
No one wanted to mess with the Spartans, when they went into battle most would rather ally them selves with whatever side the Spartans were on.
From the time a boy was born he was tested and trained to be a soldier.
If a boy was born ill or disable, he was put to the sword immediately.
By the time the boy reached the age of sixteen he was a lean mean killing machine to be feared by the world over.
War was a way of life back then and the Spartans did lots of it with or against other Greek States or invading hoards from some other lands.
It was an honour to die in battle and the family stood with pride when their sons were brought home on their shields, not that they wouldn’t rather have them back in one piece but warriors were treated with respect befitting their sacrifice.
If one was killed in battle and the wound was in his back, his whole family was disgraced and shunned by the others beleiving they were killed running from teh enemy.
They were a proud people, still are.

Mike’s father was the storyteller in our family because he went farther in school than the rest.
When we were kids we used to crowd around the couch quietly listening to one of his stories:

Leonidas was the king of Sparta when word came that there was an invading Persian army on its way.
All the Greeks throughout Greece gathered and decided to join to fight them off.
Leonidas went back to Sparta to tell the council what was decided upon but found resistance because of a religious holiday.
The council wanted to wait another month but Leonidas had given his word that the Spartans would be at Thermopylae to fight and that other Greeks were depending on the Spartans to lead them to victory so he took his personal guard and headed off without the rest of the Spartan army, along the way they were joined by other Greeks on the way there to make a stand to give the Athenian fleet time to build and brace the Persian fleet and stave off the invasion.

At Thermopylae there was a narrow pass the Persians would have to get through to enter northern Greece, it was the only way and the idea was to hold that pass as long as possible.
Leonidas had an old wall a remnant of times past built up so the Persians couldn’t get by them from that side.
As they were fortifying their defensive position the Persians arrived, lead by their king Xerxes.
100,000 veteran troops marched into the valley below and across from the pass.
It took a week for the main body to assemble.
While waiting for his troops to arrive Xerxes sent the Spartans a message telling them to leave in peace and they would all be spared.
But Leonidas laughed at the suggestion and continues to build up his defences.
Xerxes was insulted by the defiance of such a small force.
He knew, as did the entire known world of the reputation of the Spartans but they were to few even with the 5000 other Greeks with them, they were no match for his massive army.
He waited five days and his scouts reported that the Greeks were not getting ready to leave but were partying and Spartans were braiding their hair preparing for battle.
That was it, Xerxes ordered his troops to attack.
His regular forces, the Medes to take them, he was so confident of an easy win that he ordered the Spartans be taken alive.

Seeing the Persians advancing to engage them, Leonidas ordered the Spartans to the front line, he said this was the Spartans place of battle and the rest could wait from behind in reserve and watch the Spartans fight so they could tell their children.

The Persians marched in unison like a massive wall towards the Spartans.
When they got within 20 paces the Spartans turned their backs to the advancing enemy and ran.
It was unheard of, a Spartan turning his back to the enemy and running.
The advancing Persians seeing this boosted their confidence, they made the mighty Spartans run like cowards.
Breaking ranks the Persians chased the Spartans into the pass where the fleeing Spartans stopped, turned and charge like raging beasts at the enemy.
By causing the Persians to break their ranks, it left them vulnerable than they were as a solid wall.
It was a slaughter; the remaining Spartans marched in from the flanks, cutting off the Persians from the main body and any retreat.
A rear guard was set to hold off any counterattack that might come.
They butchered every single Persian that was trapped in the pass.

Xerxes was furious that his army was beaten by such a small force and ordered another attack.
This time he sent out the Immortals, his personal guard of 10 thousand men.
They were the best of the best and feared throughout for their savagery.
The Spartans assembled at the base of the pass spread out to meet the Immortals as they marched from the valley to the pass.
This time instead of running, the Spartans advanced toward the enemy.
It was insane, they were outnumbered 100 to 1 but the Spartans marched on towards imminent death.
As the got closer they closed ranks and started forming a wedge.
Just then arrows rained down over the Persians sent from behind the Spartan ranks.
In an effort to protect them selves, the Immortals broke ranks giving the advancing Spartans the chance they needed to break into them.
It was a fierce battle but the Immortals were outclassed and were sent running with heavy losses.

Xerxes was beside himself his Immortals had never been beaten before and worse they were beaten in front of the rest of his army bringing down moral.
His army was scared of the Spartans and a scared army can’t win, they won’t even fight.
During the night a man came to the Persians camp and for gold he told them of a way to get around the pass and behind the Spartans.
This traitor led the Immortals to a goat path where they got behind the Spartans with little resistance.

In the morning when Leonidas heard that the Immortals had managed to get behind them and he ordered all the Greek to retreat so they could fight the Persians another day.
The Spartans would stay and guard their retreat.
700 Thespians refused to go stating they would fight with their brothers the Spartans and share in the glory.
Leonidas walked to the leader of the Thespians and told him today they were all Greeks then sent them to guard the rear as the other Greeks retreated.

{Just before the Spartans engaged the Persians, one of the departing hoplites reported that "Such was the number of the Persians, that when they shot their arrows the sun was darkened by their multitude." A Spartan, Dieneces, was not at all frightened and joked about the strength of enemy, announcing to all within earshot that "Our friend brings us good news. If the Persians darken the sun with their arrows, we will be able to fight in the shade."}

The 300 Spartans that remain with their king took to the field to meet the advancing main force led by Xerxes himself.
An officer asked Leonidas what the day’s orders were.
He looked at him and said that their rear was compromised and there was nothing left to protect, so they attack.
Without a word the officer turned and relayed the order to attack.
They all gathered into the wedge that seems to be invincible and headed out towards the advancing army.

The Persians surrounded the Spartas but were loosing badly against the small force.
More Persians pilled onto the wedge.
A small group was separated from the wedge with Leonidas among them.
The Immortals came in from the rear having wiped out the Thespians to the last man and joined the battle.
Leonidas group was overwhelmed and he was killed with the rest.
The Spartans seeing their king down sent a small group to fight their way to him and brought his body to the main group, which was in the throws of a vicious battle on the top of a hill.

The Spartans with their dead king in the center of the wedge held off the Persians once more, infuriating Xerxes.
He sent the Spartans a message,
“Give us the body of Leonidas and we will spare your lives”
Their response was that they would die with their king.
Leary of loosing any more men, Xerxes sent in his archers.
They rained arrows down on the Remaining Spartans until there was no one left to hold a shield over the body of Leonidas.
It’s said that the Persians took the body of Leonidas, mutilating it before he was skewered like a pig then left that way to be found.
The Spartans and Thespians all died that day in that pass but they gave they retreating Greeks the time they needed to escape.

We used to get stories like this every time we gathered for family functions or holidays.
It gave our parents the opportunity to teach us a little about their history and our origins.
We on the other hand as kids dreamed about being Leonidas and out there with the 300 fighting to the death.
This is how they brainwash us at an early age.
Surely there had to be a Plan B that didn’t involve, the “To the death” part.
Who else can you convince to go up against insurmountable odds but a young mind that hasn’t learned the finer points of math?

Old Day Math: 300 Spartans – 100,000 Persians=300 Spartans
Present Day Math: 300 Spartans – 100,000 Persians= RUN!!!!!!!

It’s obvious the Spartans were not the ones that coined the phrase “He who lives and runs away, gets to fight another day”.
Imagine someone stops you on the street and tells you there are 100,000 sword wielding Persian maniacs called the Immortals on the way to conquer your home and they want you to take 300 men and go stop them, what do you say, what do you do?
I’m no coward but lets get real here, sure if there needs to be a fight to the death scenario then so be it but NOT blindly go out there and commit suicide when there could be a perfectly good Plan B somewhere.
Another thing, look at the weapons back then.
They had fucken catapults that flung Buick sized rocks at you.Did they make Rock Proof vests back then?

Have you watched TROY?
If you did, do you remember the weapons the used?
They had swords of all kinds, 14 foot spears so that they could impale two three guys at a time.
There was this one guy that had a big hammer with a head the size of my lazy boy chair.
I wonder what he ate for breakfast and I bet it wasn’t Wheaties?
Then if the list of gruesome weapons isn’t enough to make you think just stand opposite overwhelming odds brandishing said arsenal screaming at you like raving lunatics.
Then you commander comes up to you and tells you the good news.
“Men, I have word from the Oracle that we shall be victorious today and they will remember us for ever”

You got that fucken part right, 300 vs 100,000 they will remember you for many reasons.
The commander and chief takes the word of some priest who says the Oracle came to him with word of the future.
The priest was probably smoking a doobbie behind the alter when he decided he had enough of Leo constantly harassing him and not even a raise in a long time so this was his chance.
Maybe the other side had better benefits, he’ll ask the Oracle after the next joint.

Leading up to the big theater release of the movie “300” they have been flooding the cable channels with documentaries about the 300 Spartans and the story behind them
I was sitting here with Mike the other day watching one such program.
They were chronicling the training of the Spartan warriors and at one point they said that most were paired with another one and they were lovers.
It wasn’t considered a gay thing but their belief was that they would fight harder to protect their lover in battle.
Yeah ok… moves chair away from Mike.
He gives me a dirty look and I tell him “Hey you were born there, I’m Canadian” ha ha ha.
I see where the joke: “How do you separate the Greek men from the Greek boys”?
“With a crowbar” comes from now.
So after absorbing all of this we decide to take it to the master storyteller because lets face it, he never told us about that part before.
So off we went to see Mike’s father to explained the whole bum bumping but not gay thingy just in the name of being a better soldier piece he omitted from his stories.
Well my uncle was freaked saying that it was all lies and they were just trying to slander our heritage.
Yeah well I don’t know about that, these people did a lot of looking and studying to get to the bottom of this.
Well it was obvious he was going to deny all of this and not only did he deny it he called my father to tell him what we said and I got a history lesson from someone who didn’t get past the second grade but is and expert on what happened 2000 years ago.

If I was around back then and this was the requirement for being in the military I’d join the women’s brigade, at least I’d get what I like and my hemorrhoids would be happier.
The saying is, watch my back NOT my backside.

At any rate, our heritage is very important and I am proud to be a descendent from such a proud and rich people.
As perverted or extreme as their methods were, they believed in family above all and went to great lengths to protect their families.

King Leonidas, the 300 Spartans and the 700 Thespians showed the world what a handful of men can make a difference and accomplish the impossible if the cause was honorable and rightous no matter what the odds of success are.
You got to love the underdogs, they know how to live for the moment.

Off marched the 300 into the annals of time.
They marched to the beat of their hearts.
They marched proud, brimming with honor, love of family, god and country.
They marched for their right to live free and die free

Their joy filled the valley before every battle
Their celebration of life echoed through the enemy’s camp
Their laughter insulted the enemy to no end
Their spirits still sing their song from the walls and surrounding mountains

They went out and bathed in a bath of life as it spilled to the ground
Their joy was with their brothers as they fought side by side
They fell with their honor painted on their shields and love in their hearts
Their story still marches through time for all to see what it takes to be free.

Have a nice weekend



gab said...

A history lesson and I was sure I was going to hate it but you made it so interesting like we could be right there. No Ive never watched Troy but Im going to see if I can find it and watch it now thanks to you. Very good post! I will even take(& like) this kind of leasson!

Vickie said...

Hi Spartan--meet Indian Princess :)
You Greek Me Indian
Darn I never thought you would be teaching me a little history after all this sex ..hehehe

hat was a fascinating post, thanks for sharing it and you really need to think about a book---Do you hear me or am I just blowing in the wind?

Take care and hope you continue to improve.

patti_cake said...

Wonderful story Walker. I wish alot of young kids could read it. Maybe you should be a teacher. You sure teach me things every day reading your blog!

Michael Manning said...

Walker: I could see you and George Lucas working together. Very creative! I enjoyed it!!

itisi said...

Very interesting read! I saw some of this on the history channel the other night and they also showed some previews of the movie that you are going to go see. It looked like it will be a good one!Thanks for sharing some Greek history with the rest of us!

tammi said...

Hey there sweet cheeks*
I totally agree w/ someone else's comment.Your a good writer,and you really should put it to some use making money at it.
I hate to m iss a day whe I can't pop in to see where your mind is at that day.LOL...Mine is usually scattered here and so it's cool to read something worth reading!
Have a good weekend cutie!

hellbunny said...

My daughter saw this movie on saturday and she said its really good.

Teresa said...

What a great history lesson. I still don't like Michigan State, though. :)

Lora_3 said...

This was a very informative post. Thank you for sharing.

Vickie's comment was good too!
Darn I never thought you would be teaching me a little history after all this sex

Be safe...

Walker said...

Gab: I love reading about all history. Life is amazing and how we got to where we are intrigues me.

Walker said...

Vickie: HEY history is full of sex. Its like a big orgy of life waiting to be explored and enjoyed by all :)

Walker said...

Patti_Cake; Me a teacjer, noooooo I would rather learn the teach. Or maybe just put it out there for other to help themselves to.

Walker said...

Michael Manning : You think. Hmmmm I should call him up.
I like thinking along these lines.
I think most of the greatest stories are the ones that are real

Walker said...

ItisI: As humans we have a great history of defiance and love of life. I think we dont see por read enough of it for us to understand what those went through for us to be here.

Walker said...

Tammi: Maybe some day but I wouldn't do it for the money. It would have to be because i enjoy writing what I do.

Walker said...

HellBunny: I have heard good things about the movie and I have to go see it for myself :)

Walker said...

Teresa: Well Michigan State isnt really being endorsed by this Spartan ;)

Walker said...

Lora: Maybe next time I will do a post on the history of sex LOL