Movie Trivia: 300

You may wonder how movie trivia “fits” the nature of this blog. Clearly, you haven’t read much of it because even I can’t figure out the nature of this blog, but one thing I know is that a lot of the posts I wrote on a whim due to something I found interesting. With that in my mind, let’s talk quotes:

Bad Guy Envoy of Xerxes: “Our arrows will blot out the sun!”

Spartan soldier who clearly works out in the same gym Hercules does: “Then we will fight in the shade.” (if these are off, it’s because I’m going on memory and I don’t care here).

Now, many a “gun nut” will know of the quote in 300 in which Leonides responds to a demand (“Spartans! Lay down your weapons”) with “Come and get them”. That’s because there are hats, shirts, etc., with the Greek μολὼν λαβέ (molon labe), or “having come, take [them]. Apparently “you can have my guns when you pry them from my cold dead fingers” wasn’t cutting it, so somebody decided to quote from Plutarch.

What’s less well known is that the “fight in the shade” bit also comes from an ancient source (Cicero’s Tusculanae Disputationes), although it’s not quite as dramatic as in the film:

e quibus unus, cum Perses hostis in conloquio dixisset glorians: “solem prae iaculorum multitudine et sagittarum non videbitis”, “in umbra igitur” inquit “pugnabimus.”

(“One of them [the Spartans], when an enemy Persian soldier said to him, boasting, ‘You will not see the sun because of the cloud of our javelins and arrows;’ [the Spartan] replied ‘Then we will fight in the shade'”)

(translation mine, and off of the cuff with little thought to e.g., whether I should have broken up the reply as in the text into “‘in the shade’ he replied ‘we will fight'” and other such nuances)

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