Monday, 17th February, 2020


King Leonidas was communal, committed atrocities on Xerxes and Persian minorities, says activist

05, Apr 2015 By Pagla Ghoda

New Delhi: Supriya Jangid a social activist and professor of political history at a local university is making news for her latest controversial book on Spartan civilization and their epic battle with Persian army, which took place a few thousand years back. In her recent book titled “Leonidas vs Xerxes, a treacherous tale of class communalism” Ms. Jangid reportedly claims that the clash between Spartans and Persians, known as Battle of Thermopylae [480 B.C.] has been wrongly interpreted by historians all these years. According to her book, King Leonidas was an upper class tyrant king who attacked rather peaceful and benevolent minority king Xerxes and committed atrocities on his army of under-privileged slaves.

Ms. Jangid provided more details on her book at a book launch event at JNU yesterday, “I know the fans will hate me for saying this but the famous Hollywood blockbuster movie 300 has got it all wrong. While it is indeed an entertaining saga with elements of blood, sweat and nudity, it is weak on storyline and contains several historic plotholes, which I have studied and re-interpreted in my book in detail. For example the movie starts by showing that Spartans would only let healthy babies live and all other babies were simply killed at birth. While this fact is supposedly glorified in the movie it clearly indicates that Spartans considered themselves to be upper class people with royal blood who could not tolerate any genetic weaknesses.”

Communal Scream.
Communal Scream.

“The same point was proven again when King Leonidas kicks the poor slave messenger into the pit of death, screaming “This is Sparta.” The fans just love this moment, but please tell me, who kicks a poor fellow into a deep pit just because of a mild altercation? In reality when King Leonidas screamed “This is Sparta” he symbolically meant that in the state of Sparta the messengers were considered to be lower-class individuals worthy only to be kicked by the upper class. This incident also ratifies the fact that it was usual practice in Sparta to kick supposed lower-class individuals such as messengers, potters, cobblers and servants into deep pits especially designed for these “communal” executions. This goes on to prove that Spartans were full of inflated high-class royal ego and were outright communal,” Jangid said.

When asked her views on the fact that 300 Spartans were actually brave warriors set out to put breaks to Xerxes’ conquest campaign and attacked his mighty armies, Jangid got visibly upset.

“First of all it was not “his” armies but “her” armies. Xerxes was a transgender and only those with a patriarchal mindset would always refer to transgenders by pronouns such as his, him etc. I prefer to respect Xerxes by defining her as a female,” Jangid said in a sharp tone.

She further continued, “Now it’s very shameful that history has been twisted in such a convoluted way all throughout. Let me clarify what actually transpired during those times. All of Xerxes’ army was full of slaves and Xerxes was a part of a small minority. Upon that she was a transgender too. Being a minority and a transgender was a double whammy for pitiable Xerxes. She was a constant victim of societal abuse and joke for all her childhood until she gained power. And upon that her beloved messenger was mercilessly slaughtered by Leonidas. What choice did poor Xerxes have but to attack Sparta?”

“And please don’t give me the bull crap about bravado of 300 Spartans. It was again their bloated ego which led them to imagine that they would be able to beat thousands of enemy soldiers on their own. They apparently thought of their enemy as a weak army of underprivileged lower-class slaves who would be easily trounced by their mighty swords. Guess what, they were absolutely wrong,” Ms. Jangid concluded.

While Ms. Jangid’s book is causing heated debates among die-hard fans of Hollywood movie Frank Miller’s 300, it is also being lauded by liberal intelligentsia of the country as an excellent piece of literature and a true portrayal of an ages old class-conflict.

In wake of revelations in this book, a local NGO which reportedly fights for human rights of the under-privileged has planned two high-profile demonstration events in the coming week. One would be a candle light march in front of American embassy asking Hollywood writer-producer Frank Miller to re-write his graphic-comic books in accordance with these new findings and showcase Xerxes in a more sensitive light. Second demonstration will be conducted in front of Greek Embassy demanding 10% reservation for Persians in all government posts in Greece, as a justice against atrocities committed on them thousands of years back.