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Leonidas is the protagonist of 300 portrayed by Gerard Butler. He's the human king of Sparta and a warrior, born and bred.




From a young age Leonidas was trained for battle. The education of Spartan boys, the agoge, was that of violence. At the age of seven he was pulled away from his family and forced to live on his own, where he fought and stole to get by until slaying a wolf in single combat and returning home to become king.

Leonidas acted as king for over 30 years until a Persian Messenger arrived to request Sparta's surrender. After the messenger disrespected Sparta and its queen, Leonidas kicked him into a pit, while his men did the same with the Persians who rode in with him. In response to Persia's approach, Leonidas visited the ephors to request their blessing to go to war. Already paid off by the Persians, they rejected the notion.

This section is incomplete.

Real world history[]

Leonidas is based on King Leonidas I of Sparta, supposedly a descendant of Heracles, possessing much of the latter's strength and bravery. While it has been established that King Leonidas of Sparta died at the Battle of Thermopylae in August 11, 480 BC, very little is known about the year of his birth, or for that matter, his formative years. Paul Cartledge has narrowed the date of the birth of King Leonidas to around July 1st, 540 BC.

Leonidas was one of three brothers: he had an older brother Dorieus and a younger brother Cleombrotus, who ruled as regent for a while on Leonidas' death before the regency was taken over by Pausanias, who was Cleombrotus' son. Leonidas succeeded his half-brother Cleomenes I, probably in 489 or 488 BC, and was married to Cleomenes' daughter, Gorgo. His name was raised to heroic status as a result of the events in the Battle of Thermopylae.