The recent Hollywood film '300' about the defeat of Dorian Spartans by the Imperial Iranians has created a storm of protest from Iranians worldwide. This is not surprising, since the film makers got the entire story wrong, turning the heroic Iranian victors of the battle, the defenders of Cuneiform civilization, into villains, and morphing the tribal Dorians militants from Sparta into heroes. In fact, the film is full of obvious cinematographic errors: Xerxes is shown as an alien with glowing skin, piercings and vines growing from his body, and rhinos, ogres and dragons are depicted on the Imperial side to further subhumanize the Iranians. This article shall not analyze these aberrations and mistakes, but instead focus on the historical inaccuracies and political propaganda of '300'.
Firstly, the Dorians were not fighting for "freedom". On the contrary; Dorian Sparta shared many characteristics with later totalitarian states; cold-blooded eugenics along the lines of Nazi Germany was practised, and mass racial slavery existed just as in the 19th-century circum-Caribbean and apartheid-era South Africa. Not only were the petty Greek tribal states full-scale slave societies; they were racist slave societies, with the indigenous Pelasgians and other tribes enslaved by a tiny minority of Greek invaders. In the words of Prof. Ephraim Lytle, assistant professor of hellenistic history at the University of Toronto, Sparta was an "apartheid state":
"And had Leonidas undergone the agoge, he would have come of age not by slaying a wolf, but by murdering unarmed helots in a rite known as the Crypteia. These helots were the Greeks indigenous to Lakonia and Messenia, reduced to slavery by the tiny fraction of the population enjoying Spartan "freedom." By living off estates worked by helots, the Spartans could afford to be professional soldiers, although really they had no choice: securing a brutal apartheid state is a full-time job, to which end the Ephors [Sparta's highest officials] were required to ritually declare war on the helots." (Lytle 2007)
Whatever "democracy" existed in the Greek city-states was smothered when Alexander of Macedon crushed the Greek tribal states, blotting them out of existence. Paradoxically, Hollywood made a movie a few years ago, called "Alexander" and directed by Oliver Stone, which portrayed the Macedonian demolishers of Athenian democracy in a positive light. The glorification of both Athenian democracy and its destroyers is a contradiction at the very root of pan-Occidentalism.
"Another of the Spartans' less-than-glorious customs is the practice of eugenics, hurling any less-than-perfect infant off a cliff onto a huge pile of baby skeletons. Unfortunately for the 300 at Thermopylae, this system of racial cleansing isn't foolproof: One deformed hunchback, Ephialtes (Andrew Tiernan), manages to make it to adulthood and begs Leonidas for a chance to serve Sparta in the 300. Sure enough, when he's turned down, the hunchback confirms his moral weakness by accepting Xerxes' offer to join ranks with the Persians." (Stevens 2007)
In fact, so common was human sacrifice in Graeco-Roman religion that the Christians made this one of their main planks during their debates with the Pagans. In this connection, we see that Clement of Alexandria noted,
"... a lengthy and elaborately documented list of peoples and individuals who have practised human sacrifice. For example, "Monimus, in his collection of Thaumasia, relates that in Pella of Thessaly human sacrifice is offered to Peleus and Cheiron, the victim being an Achaean. Thus too, Anticleides in his Nostoi declares that the Lynctians, a race of Cretans, slaughter men to Zeus, and Dosidas says that Lesbians offer a similar sacrifice to Dionysus'. He provides similar evidence about Aristomenes the Messenian, the Taurians,the Phocaeans, Erectheus the Athenian, and Marius the Roman. 75 [75. Protr. III.42.1-43.2, in the Loeb translation of G.W.Butterworth.]" (Rives 1995, p.81)
"Next, I know a lot of blokes who will cringe at this, but the selection of the 300 by Leonidas may actually have been 300 homosexual pairs. The agoge (Spartan military school) was an indoctrination into pederasty where a teenage boy was paired with an older more experienced Spartan for initiation. So those men were really, really, close. That never made it into the comic or the film either. I'm sure 17 year old boys would not pay $8.00 to see 300 gay men cuddle under red cloaks before being annihilated. But it is an important part of the story." (Wikle 2007)
Little wonder, then that the Irano-Semitic peoples considered the Greeks to be effeminate. In fact, the terms for Greek in the Irano-Semitic world (Old Iranian "Yauna", Pali "Yona", Greek "Javan" and Prakrit "Yavana") besides meaning barbarian or savage, are derived from the root-word "yoni", meaning vagina. So, even the etymology of this term itself shows that the tall, long-headed and muscular Iranoid and Araboid races, so heroized in the Persepolis bas-reliefs, regarded the short-statured, round-headed and dark-skinned Alpine Graeco-Pelasgian race to be effeminate, in sharp contrast to the depictions in the movie. An illustration of this attitude comes from Mardonius, who stated that "... notwithstanding that they have so foolish a manner of warfare, yet these Greeks, when I led my army against them to the very borders of Macedonia, did not so much as think of offering me battle." (Herodotus 7.9)
The fourth historical error is the false racial imagery in the film. Thus, the movie seeks to portray the Iranians as black, and the Greeks as white-skinned. In fact, it is the Greeks who have a significant Negroid ancestry (Arnaiz-Villens et al. 2001). This Negroid element would have partly come from some of the aboriginal tribes. Indeed, the Greeks are largely descended from the various aboriginal inhabitants such as the Pelasgi, Leleges, Kuretes, Kaukones, Aones, Temmikes, Hyantes, Telchines, Boeotian Thracians, Teleboae, Ephyri and Phelgyae. Some of these were of round-headed Balkan stock, others were Negroid. A small part may have also entered through slaves imported from "Aethiopia" (Africa). Their round-headedness, and their partial Negroid ancestry, prove that the Greeks are largely descended from the pre-Greek aboriginal inhabitants of Greece. While there is no evidence that the blacks faced any racial hostility in Iran, the fact is that the Iranians were definitely taller and fairer than the Greeks, just as they are today.
If the makers of the film had at least read Greek history, they would not have embarrassed themselves by making such stupid mistakes. They would have come across this eloquent announcement by Xerxes during the commencement of the War against the Greeks:
"For this cause I have now called you together, that I may make known to you what I design to do. My intent is to throw a bridge over the Hellespont and march an army through Europe against Greece, that thereby I may obtain vengeance from the Athenians for the wrongs committed by them against the Persians and against my father. Your own eyes saw the preparations of Darius against these men; but death came upon him, and balked his hopes of revenge. In his behalf, therefore, and in behalf of all the Persians, I undertake the war, and pledge myself not to rest till I have taken and burnt Athens, which has dared, unprovoked, to injure me and my father. Long since they came to Asia with Aristagoras of Miletus, who was one of our slaves, and, entering Sardis, burnt its temples and its sacred groves; again, more lately, when we made a landing upon their coast under Datis and Artaphernes, how roughly they handled us ye do not need to be told." (Herodotus 7.8)
Ironically, the victims of these vicious terrorist attacks were mostly fellow Greeks who lived under the beneficial Iranian Imperial rule, primarily the eastern Ionians. Of course, these minor details would not have bothered the Dorian and Aeolian terrorists and mercenaries, for their main goal was to loot and plunder the much wealthier and more prosperous districts of the Empire. The attacks by the Balkanic tribes against the Iranian Empire had exactly the same motive as those of the Germanic tribes against the Roman Empire, or of the Siberian tribes against the Han Chinese Empire: loot nad plunder. Their rich targets could amass their legendary wealth under Iranian rule, which created a much larger common market and consequent overall prosperity. It is on this wealth that the rabble of the poorer and rustic Greek tribes cast their greedy eyes.
It is also important to note that many Greeks themselves invited Emperor Xerxes to liberate Greece: "For, in the first place, it chanced that messengers arrived from Thessaly, sent by the Aleuadae, Thessalian kings, to invite Xerxes into Greece, and to promise him all the assistance which it was in their power to give. And further, the Pisistratidae, who had come up to Susa, held the same language as the Aleuadae, and worked upon him even more than they, by means of Onomacritus of Athens, an oracle-monger, and the same who set forth the prophecies of Musaeus in their order." (Herodotus, 7.6) The reason for this is because these Greeks, mostly from Ionia, had seen first-hand the benefits of Pax Iranica. Hence, another reason for Xerxes' march was an attempt to civilize the savage Balkan tribes. This was part of a more general strategy of the Iranians to bestow their superior and more ancient cuneiform Irano-Semitic civilization upon the less civilized and barbaric tribes of the outlying provinces, thereby reducing the military threat they posed, and bringing them into the sphere of the civilized world. Xerxes' march was an example of a larger, wealthier, more powerful and more cultured empire, trying to civilize a group of much smaller, petty, fragmented and mutually warring pastoral tribal confederations, towns and villages. This strategy worked in Anatolian Ionia, in the Indus Valley and in Libya. Unfortunately for the world, it failed in Greece, much as Rome's civilizing mission failed in Germania.
In fact, if there was a divided group of people anywhere, it was the Greeks. Unlike the Iranians, who forged a single empire which united all Iranians and Semites for several centuries, the Greeks failed to form a single unified state for even a small period of time. The Pagan Greeks never formed a single political unit, they were merely tribal confederations (mis-called as "city-states" in Hellenocentric works) fighting one another.
In this regard, Mardonius stated that, " ... already have we subdued their children who dwell in our country, the Ionians, Aeolians, and Dorians. I myself have had experience of these men when I marched against them by the orders of thy father; and though I went as far as Macedonia, and came but a little short of reaching Athens itself, yet not a soul ventured to come out against me to battle. And yet, I am told, these very Greeks are wont to wage wars against one another in the most foolish way, through sheer perversity and doltishness. For no sooner is war proclaimed than they search out the smoothest and fairest plain that is to be found in all the land, and there they assemble and fight; whence it comes to pass that even the conquerors depart with great loss: I say nothing of the conquered, for they are destroyed altogether." (Herodotus 7.9 http://www.iranchamber.com/history/herodotus/herodotus_history_book7.php)
The statements of Mardonius shows that the Iranians clearly recognized the separate Greek tribal nations of Ionians, Aeolians and Dorians, their lack of political unity, and the nearly continuous inter-tribal warfare they waged against each other.
The seventh historical wrong is to give the Achaemenid Iranian Empire a new name, which the Greeks themselves concocted: the so-called "Persian Empire". Everywhere, on the inscriptions of Persepolis, in the traditional Iranian history as handed down to the Shah-namah, and in the sacred Avesta, it is observed that the Emperors refer to their domain as the "Iranian Empire", the "Shahanshahate-e-Iran", the "Iran-Shahr". Nowhere in the inscriptions, in the Avesta, or in the Shah-nameh do we hear of this silly concocted "Persian Empire". The Greeks might as well have called it the "Persepolitan Empire", a word as comic as the former invention. This was not the rule of the Persian people over everybody else. The Parsa clan were too few in number to have ruled over the entire Irano-Semitic world for so long. It is hence very clear that the Achaemenid Iranian Empire is the common heritage of the entire Irano-Semitic world, and should be properly named as such, on the model of similar names, like the Han Chinese Empire.
Why, then, do Hellenomaniac historians and the film refuse to call the Iranian Empire by its correct name, and insist on using the word they invented, "Persian Empire"? The aim is to trivialize the state in question, and portray it as merely the domination of one segment of the population (either from a particular region or a tribe) over the entire whole, thereby fomenting disunity and rebellions within that state. By insisting on using the term "Persian Empire", the Hellenists, after their proverbial cunning, sow the seeds of intra-Iranian division by portraying the state as the rule of the Persian branch of Iranians over the others. Instead of becoming the common heritage of all modern Irano-Semitic people from Morocco to Punjab, the Iranian Empire is devalued to become only the heritage of the Persians of Persis province. Similar strategies have been and are being used elsewhere:
Now that we have addressed some of the most glaring errors in the film, it is time to turn to the ideology behind it.
Why has Hollywood suddenly embarked on a propaganda campaign trying to glorify pre-Christian, pre-Reformation tribes, who are clearly "Pagan" idolaters? That too, why is it trying to lionize a clearly pathetic military defeat, which failed to stop Xerxes' advance to Athens, and which could not stop him from burning it down, in revenge for Sardis? Why celebrate an event, after which all of the southern Balkans were, for a short while, ruled by the Empire? Even if the inflated numbers of Greek historians are to be believed, this was only a minor skirmish from the Iranian point of view. "Pagan" Italo-Balkan civilization is clearly distinct from the much later Protestant Anglo-Saxon civilization of Hollywood. Not a drop of Greek blood would flow through the veins of the typical White Anglo-Saxon Protestant of New England. Historically, the Dorians couldn't have heard of Jesus, because Christianity wouldn't be invented for another thousand years. So why boast of a civilization which their own creed erased soem 1700 years ago?
The reason is a now declining stream of thought called pan-Occidentalism, which seeks to confound all the distinct civilizations of "the West" into one great porridge. Of course, Nordicism, pan-Germanism, Anglo-Saxonism, Latin nationalism, Macedonianism and Hellenic Exclusionism have all hobbled away at this outdated dogma. The Greeks, of course, had no concept of "Europe" (Burke 1980), and even considered the Macedonians as non-Hellenic. The whole concept of the supposed "West" was only coined recently; according to the Oxford Dictionary, Chesterton was the first to use the expression "Western Man", that too only in 1907. What is commonly called "Western civilization" in the Anglophone press is in fact a popular abbreviation for "Anglo-Saxon Protestant" civilization, which arose with the Protestant Reformation. This is the reason why Brazil, Columbia, Mexico and other Catholic countries are not considered "Western" by most authorities on the topic.
Furthermore, scholars also question the very heterogeneity of the concept of "Graeco-Roman civilization", or what is more properly called, "Italo-Balkan civilization". The reason is that the Latins was responsible for many attacks on Greek culture:
"Theophilus proceeded to demolish the temple of Serapis, without any other difficulties than those which he found in the weight and solidity of the materials, but these obstacles proved so insuperable that he was obliged to leave the foundations, and to content himself with reducing the edifice itself to a heap of rubbish, a part of which was soon afterwards cleared away, to make room for a church erected in honour of the Christian martyrs. The valuable library of Alexandria was pillaged or destroyed; and near twenty years afterwards, the appearance of the empty shelves excited the regret and indignation of every spectator whose mind was not totally darkened by religious prejudice. The compositions of ancient genius, so many of which have irretrievably perished, might surely have been excepted from the wreck of idolatry, for the amusement and instruction of succeeding ages; and either the zeal or the avarice of the archbishop might have been satiated with the rich spoils which were the reward of his victory." (Gibbon 1776, vol.5, ch.xxviii, `Final Destruction of Paganism', p.66)
Howeover one point stands out: in the eyes of the occidentalists, the Achaemenid Iranian Empire is no different from its successor state, the Arabian Caliphate. This should act as an eye-opener to the anti-Semites amongst the Iranians. Part of the shock of many Iranians living outside Iran is that the Pre-Islamic heritage of Iran should be seen by the West in the same light as Islam itself. There is no discontinuity in Iranian history in the eyes of the Occidentalist historian, there is no longer any reason why there should be any amongst Iranian historians any more.
In fact, the diffusion of civilization into Greece from the Irano-Semitic East itself shows the origin of Hellenic culture. It was Ionia which had the benefit of being under Iranian rule, and was consequently the most civilized part of the Greek-speaking world, being illuminated by the rays of Irano-Semitic civilization. It is hence the Ionian language which was the predominant language of the Greek-speaking world for a long time.
This cataclysmic event occurred in a series of invasions from the Balkans. The savage Balkanic invasions of the Argeaedae under Alexander the Accursed, the Seluecidae, the Antigonidae under Antigonus the Cyclops, the Dorians of Agesilaus, and other assorted tribes of savages led to the demise of the Cuneiform stage of Irano-Semitic civilization. The Argead invaders sacked Persepolis and Babylon, hunting down and burning most of the Avesta and Zoroastrian scripture in fanatical book-burnings, a loss which could only be partially retrieved under the Sassanian revival. The Towers of Babel, the ziggurats of yore, disappeared under the sands of Iraq under the impact of the Antigonid invasions of Antigonus the Cyclops, a man as monstrous as his name implies. The savage Seleucid era of tyranny was a long period of incest, patricide and horrible mass murders. At the end of the Seleucid age, the cuneiform and heiroglyphic scripts had died out, ensuring that the knowledge enshrined in the Semitic cultures of Babylon and Egypt disappeared for millenia. Several centuries of history in eastern Iran, homeland of the Avesta, simply do not exist. Coins must be used as the sole reconstructive mechanism for this lost period of history. Half of the Irano-Semitic world was ruled by alien and savage invaders for centuries, and were only liberated from non-Irano-Semitic rule by the Arabian Caliphate.
Yet, this conquest of Greater Iran by the Balkan horders was simply a Zufallstande, a mere coincidence, an occurrence against the fundamental laws of nature. It represented the triumph of the savage over the civilized, the weak over the strong, the effeminate over the masculine. This statement is proven by the fact that Alexander's warlord territories broke up into myriad competing states even during his lifetime.
Indeed, the strength and success of the reaction from the Irano-Semitic world has upset the pan-Occidentalists. This is evidence that the Irano-Semitic world is not yet vanquished, in spite of the best efforts of the barbarians from the Dorians down to the brutish British, and now Hollywood. To date, the reaction to 300 is one of the rare time that Iranianists and Islamists stood in unbreakable unity. 300 has in fact forged unity amongst the disparate elements of Irano-Semitic civilization, a lesson which should anyway have been learned from Mutahhari (Mutahhari 1987).
All Irano-Semitic nations - both Muslim and Jewish - should band together in solidarity and demand an apology from the makers of the film. A strong ideological counterattack must be mounted, not just against the film, but against pan-Occidentalism, pan-Hellenism and brute Balkanism. Warner Brothers should issue an apology not just to Iran, but to the entire Irano-Semitic civilization as a whole. Or they should now make a film showing the Iranian Empire in a positive light. They should apologize to the Jews and clarify their position, for having apparently fomented Anti-Semitism by casting their homeland and Cyrus in a bad light and allegedly reviving the Nazi hook-nose stereotype. Jews worldwide must note the widespread Anti-Semitism enshrined at the very roots of Pan-Hellenism and Pan-Occidentalism (Lazare 1894). Asking for a ban on the film in countries with total freedom of speech is a wrong approach. Instead, the story of Thermopylae must be told from the Irano-Semitic perspective. It is time the Irano-Semites came out with a film called "Alexander the Monster", or, better still, "The 300 Savages".
... Payvand News - 3/27/07 ... --