My husband and I just finished watching the recent DVD release 300, which is the dramatization of the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC. It was actually a pretty good movie, despite some glaring inaccuracies. Such as the clothing worn by Gorgo, Queen of Sparta, who was dressed like a shameless brazen hussy. And wearing a slave bracelet.
King Leonidas of Sparta, who led his warriors to defend the mountain pass into Greece from the Persian king Xerxes, tried very hard. He really did. In a way, I hated even starting to watch this movie because, like Titanic? I already knew how it was going to end. Which is to say, the ground littered with bodies that were all stuck full of arrows. Badly.
Only this time, I didn't have to endure Kate Winslet's Rose leaning off that door she was balanced on, out there among the ice floes in the northern Atlantic, saying, "Jack? Jack? Oh, Jack!" as Leonardo DiCaprio, as frozen as a halibut, gently sank down to the bottom of the deep blue sea.
So anyway, I found this picture, painted by the French artist Jacques-Louis David in 1814, and I think I understand why the Greeks fell to the last man at Thermopylae.
They are wearing no pants. Which is either a reflection on the inadequacies of the Spartan armor, or on the humors of M. David, I just don't know. But I do know that it would be just about impossible for anyone to win at horseshoes, much less in hand-to-hand combat, if your opponent is all up in your business, swinging a sword around.
I mean, really.
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