This is what's on Chapter VII:
- Leonidas at Thermopylae, by Jacques-Louis David (1814)
- The amassing of an army by Darius after learning about the defeat at Marathon
- The quarrel between which son should succeed Darius in which Xerxes I of Persia is chosen
- The death of Darius in 486 BC
- The defeat of the Egyptian rebels by Xerxes
- The advice given to Xerxes on invading Greece: Mardonius for invasion, Artabanus against
- The dreams of Xerxes in which a phantom frightens him and Artabanus into choosing invasion
- The preparations for war, including a canal and bridge across the Hellespont
- The offer by Pythius to give Xerxes all his money, in which Xerxes rewards him
- The request by Pythius to allow one son to stay at home, Xerxes' anger, and the march out between the butchered halves of Pythius's son
- The destruction and rebuilding of the bridges built by the Egyptians and Phoenicians at Abydos
-The siding with Persia of many Greek states, including Thessaly, Thebes, Melia, and Argos
-The refusal of aid after negotiations by Gelo of Syracuse, and the refusal from Crete
-The destruction of 400 Persian ships due to a storm
-The small Greek force (appox. 6000) led by Leonidas I, sent to Thermopylae to delay the -Persian army (approx. 3.4 million)
-The Battle of Thermopylae in which the Greeks hold the pass for 3 days
-The secret pass divulged by Ephialtes of Trachis in which Hydarnes uses to lead forces around the mountains to encircle the Greeks
- The retreat of all but the Spartans, Thespians, and Thebans (forced to stay by the Spartans).
- The Greek defeat and order by Xerxes to remove Leonidas' head and attach his torso to a cross.
In 2007, Frank Miller's 300 (graphic novel) was chosen and adapted into the finest historical war film in the event. The film is directed by Zack Snyder with Frank Miller attached as an executive producer and consultant, and was shot mostly with bluescreen to duplicate the imagery of the original comic book.
A Spartan orator Dilios narrates of the young Leonidas undergoing his childhood training, explaining the rigors of Spartan life. Leonidas is cast out into the wild, and survives the harsh winter to return to his home, when he is crowned King. Dilios then tells of when a group of Persian messengers arrive at Sparta, demanding Sparta's submission to King Xerxes. Outraged and offended at their behavior, King Leonidas and his guards throw the messengers into a pit, resolving to face the Persians. Leonidas then visits the Oracle, proposing a strategy to repel the numerically-superior enemy, and offers the priests a customary payment in gold. The priests, called Ephors, having already been bribed by Xerxes, interpret the Oracle's message to mean that Sparta should not go to war, so as to not interrupt the sacred Carneian festival.
Despite the warning, Leonidas gathers 300 of his best soldiers to fight the Persians, selecting only those who have already sired male children, so that their family name can continue even after their death. As they march north, they are joined by a group of Arcadians and other Greeks. Arriving at the narrow cliffs of Thermopylae (referred to as the "Hot Gates"), in sight of the Persian army, they build a wall to halt the Persians' advance.
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