The famous battle of Thermopylae, which took place in 480 BC between a massive Persian force led by the King Xerxes and a small band of Greeks headed by 300 Spartans and led by the popular King Leonidas is the subject of 300. Thermopylae (“Hot Gates”) was a narrow pass near a hot springs. The Greeks’ plan was not to defeat the Persians but to delay them long enough to be able to mobilize a larger army for a later battle. They succeeded, and defeated the Persians a year later at the Battle of Plataea. The Greeks in general and the Spartans in particular have long been celebrated for their boldness and courage in the face of impossible odds. As Frank Capra liked to say: What better cause to fight for than a lost cause?