The 300, the Battle of Thermopylae, and Gates of Fire:

Glenn Reynolds/Instapundit has an interesting post collecting links about The 300, the new movie about the Battle of Thermopylae, in which 300 Spartan warriors held off a massive Persian army for several days, and helped save Western civilization from destruction in its infancy.

I'm far from certain that The 300 will actually prove to be a good movie, and many of the critics are panning it, as Glenn notes. But, like Glenn, I hope that the movie convinces more people to read Gates of Fire, Steven Pressfield's novel about Thermopylae. Gates of Fire is, quite simply, the best historical novel I have ever read, and I've read quite a lot of them. It illuminates the tragic paradox that the city state of Sparta which played a key role in preserving the Western tradition of liberty during the Persian Wars, was itself founded on slavery to an even greater extent than other ancient societies. And if you read Gates of Fire, you will also find out what the opposite of fear is; I won't reveal it here for fear of "spoiling" the book's impact.

UPDATE: As at least one commenter pointed out, the title of the movie is apparently just 300, without a "the." Personally, I like it better with a "the," but I am correcting my mistake anyway.