Dienekes was a prominent Spartan figure, recalled in Herodotus' account of the Battle of Thermopylae, and was acclaimed as the bravest of all the three hundred Spartans.
Herodotus related the following anecdote about him:
"Although extraordinary valor was displayed by the entire corps of Spartans and Thespians, yet bravest of all was declared the Spartan Dienekes. It is said that on the eve of battle, he was told by a native of Trachis that the Persian archers were so numerous that, their arrows would block out the sun. Dienekes, however, undaunted by this prospect, remarked with a laugh, 'Good. Then we will fight in the shade.'"
In the film 300, Dienekes is represented in the character of Stelios. In one scene, Stelios recites the famous phrase about fighting in the shade. While this quote indicates that the character of Stelios was meant to represent Dienekes, there is no other similarities between the two, probably due to the limited information that was given about the latter.
- Stelios is played by Michael Fassbender.