I see from The Guardian that
Hollywood is already firmly established as a source of cultural decadence in Iran’s pantheon of hated western symbols.But now the country’s Islamic leadership has accused it of “psychological warfare” over its depiction of the battle between the Greeks and Persians at Thermopylae in 480BC, regarded as a key event in the birth of western democracy by some historians.
Well, of course. I’ve read my Robert Graves, and know
The Persian Version
Truth-loving Persians do not dwell upon
The trivial skirmish fought near Marathon.
As for the Greek theatrical tradition
Which represents that summer’s expedition
Not as a mere reconnaisance in force
By three brigades of foot and one of horse
(Their left flank covered by some obsolete
Light craft detached from the main Persian fleet)
But as a grandiose, ill-starred attempt
To conquer Greece – they treat it with contempt;
And only incidentally refute
Major Greek claims, by stressing what repute
The Persian monarch and the Persian nation
Won by this salutary demonstration:
Despite a strong defence and adverse weather
All arms combined magnificently together.
Yes, I know that Thermopylae was 10 years after Marathon, but it’s still a good poem, and I’m not waiting till someone makes Marathon as a
sequel prequel to 300. They should be grateful no one’s made a movie of Aeschylus’ The Persians (Πέρσαι), is all I can say (and they should be even more grateful they didn’t have to translate it at school, along with sodding Horriditus).