Here at the frontier, the leaves fall like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians, and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are still two cups at my table.

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~

Thursday, January 04, 2007


Frank Miller is at it again. 2007 will see the release of 300, a new movie squarely based on Miller's historical fantasy graphic novel of the same name. If you click on the title of this post, you'll be directed to the official website of the movie.

The film was designed to fit exactly, the images shown in the graphic novel.

The story is based on the Battle of Thermopylae, where 300 Spartans held off an army of 1,000,000 Persians; allowing the rest of the Greeks enough time to get organized and eventually defeat the Persians at the naval battle of Salamis.

In the novel, it's the 300 Spartans, and that's that. In fact, these 300 Peers (highly trained warriors) were backed up by some auxilliaries and allies. Still, there were only a couple thousand of them. Also, historians discount the million Persians, but there was still likely a couple of hundred thousand of them. This in no way diminishes the achievement of the Spartans at Thermopylae.

The Spartans held a narrow gap in the mountains. They were betrayed by another Greek, who showed the Persians a path that would allow them to get circle the Spartans and attack them from behind. When the Spartans learned what was coming, they sent their allies home. Only 700 volunteers stayed behind with them to make the last stand. None of them survived.

The page on the Battle of Thermopylae is here:

300 is not to be confused with The Gates of Fire, a historical novel by Steven Pressfield (best known for The Legend of Bagger Vance). The Amazon page for The Gates of Fire is here:

Pressfield's book is historically accurate and gives a fascinating look into the mindset and lifestyle of the Spartans.

In his book, one of the Spartan auxilliaries is found severly injured and unconcious by the Persians after the battle. The Persian king orders that his story be recorded, and so begins the narration.

I was at the bookstore the other day, hoping to get a look at the graphic novel, but I couldn't find it. It's a movie that I certainly want to see.

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