King Leonidas: Cholesterol of 300

King Leonidas, the hero of the Battle of Thermopylae, continues to enthrall audiences as tales of his bravery and determination continue to grow over time. Unfortunately, those tales embellish the true story of the famous historical figure.

300, Hollywood’s version of the battle, portrays King Leonidas and his Spartans as men who were fit, hardened warriors bent on victory. Herodotus, a Greek historian, glossed over the battle’s facts and even the entire 5th century BC Spartan culture, creating a misconception of Sparta. The truth is Spartans were a gluttonous people, known at their time for their carefree partying and consumption of immoderate amounts of food and drink. The most boisterous of all was King Leonidas.

During the Battle of Thermopylae, Leonidas stayed to fight Persia with 300 Spartans, 700 Thespian volunteers, 400 Thebans that had been pressed into service, and 900 Helots. Instead of fighting off the Persian army, the 2,300 drunkards held off the Spartan peasants who were fleeing from the invading Persian Empire.

King Leonidas in his birthday suit of armor.

After three days of watching Leonidas fight off the peasants, Xerxes of Persia directed his army down a path that led them behind the Spartan army. Xerxes learned of the path through Ephialtes, a citizen of Sparta who had been cheated by Leonidas in a game of barroom darts.

Leonidas died during the battle, not by the sword, but by his culture’s gluttony. His cholesterol levels coupled with his refusal to put down his leather pouch of pork rinds caused Leonidas to suffer a debilitating heart attack.

The greatness of Leonidas is unquestionable, he was a true barroom hero. Not the respectable measure of greatness known to many.

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4 Responses to “King Leonidas: Cholesterol of 300”


  1. 1 B. Martinez May 21, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    The birthday suit of armor! Honestly, it almost made me blush!

  2. 2 Ken Bartlett May 21, 2008 at 3:10 pm

    man…if only history really was like this…learning history would be a lot more entertaining! good job man. i laughed

  3. 3 sixpillarstopersia August 1, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    How ironic that his name now belongs to a chain of chocolate shops! The battle wasn’t depicted like that in the film 300 was it?

    Thanks for the facts.

  4. 4 hcg distributor September 8, 2014 at 1:12 am

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