Persian messenger: If you value your lives over complete annihilation, listen carefully, Leonidas. Xerxes conquers and controls everything he rests his eyes upon. He leads an army so massive it shakes the ground with its march, so vast it drinks the rivers dry. All the God-King Xerxes requires is this: a simple offering of earth and water. A token of Sparta's submission to the will of Xerxes.
Leonidas: Submission. Well, that's a bit of a problem. See, rumor has it that the Athenians have already turned you down. And if those philosophers and... boy-lovers have found that kind of nerveó
Theron: We must be diplomatic -
Leonidas: (cutting him off) And, of course, Spartans... have their reputation to consider.
Persian messenger: Choose your next words carefully, Leonidas. They may be your last as king.
[Leonidas turns and ponders the offer. He looks at various people standing around, watching him nervously, the last of whom is Gorgo.]
Leonidas: [in his head] Earth and water...
[having made up his mind, he draws his sword on the Persian messenger, whose back is to a large well. The Spartan guards follow suit and draw their swords on the other messengers.]
Persian messenger: Madman... You're a madman!
Leonidas: Earth and water... You'll find plenty of both down there. [indicates the well with his sword]
Persian messenger: [nervous] No man, Persian or Greek, no man threatens a messenger!
Leonidas: You bring the crowns and heads of conquered kings to my city's steps! You insult my queen. You threaten my people with slavery and death! Oh, I've chosen my words carefully, Persian. Perhaps you should have done the same.
Persian messenger: This is blasphemy! This is madness!
[Leonidas lowers his sword and looks toward Gorgo, who nods]
Leonidas: [facing the Persian messenger] Madness? THIS! IS! SPARTA!!!
[kicks the Persian messenger into the deep well]
— The well-known "This Is Sparta" scene
Persian Emissary: [encountering a group of Greeks building a wall to hold off the Persians] I am the emissary to the ruler of all the world, the god of gods, king of kings, and by that authority, I demand that someone show me your commander!
[he is ignored by the Greeks]
Persian Emissary: Listen. Do you think the paltry dozen you slew scare us? These hills swarm with our scouts! And do you think your pathetic wall will do anything other than fall like a heap of dry leaves in the face of...
[He sees that the stone wall is partially made up of Persian corpses]
Stelios: Our ancestors built this wall, using ancient stones from the bosom of Greece herself. And with a little Spartan help, your Persian scouts provided the mortar.
Persian Emissary: You will pay for your barbarism!
[swings his whip to strike Stelios, who surges forward and cuts off his arm] My arm!
Stelios: It's not yours any more. Go now, run along and tell your Xerxes that he faces free men here, not slaves. Do it quickly, before we decide to make our wall just a little bit bigger.
Persian Emissary: No, not slaves. Your women will be slaves. Your sons, your daughters, your elders will be slaves, but not you. By noon this day, you will all be dead men! The thousand nations of the Persian Empire descend upon you! Our arrows will blot out the sun!
Stelios: [grins] Then we will fight in the shade.
- The exchange involving Stelios' Badass Boast.
Leonidas: This is where we hold them! This is where we fight! This is where they die!
Captain: Earn these shields, boys!
Leonidas: Remember this day, men. For it will be yours for all time.
[A Persian Officer rides through the ranks on his horse to address the Spartans ahead.]
Persian Officer: Spartans! Lay down your weapons.
[A spear flies from the Spartans, killing the Persian officer.]
Leonidas: Persians! Come and get them!
- The dialogue during the first wave of Persian attacks on the Spartans
"Remember us." As simple an order as a king can give. "Remember why we died."
For he did not wish tribute nor song... No monuments, no poems of war and valor. His wish was simple: "Remember us," he said to me.
That was his hope. Should any free soul come across that place, in all the countless centuries yet to be, may all our voices whisper to you from the ageless stones: "Go tell the Spartans, passer-by, that here, by Spartan law, we lie."
And so my king died... and my brothers died...
Barely a year ago... long I pondered my king's cryptic talk of victory; time has proven him wise. For from free Greek to free Greek, the word was spread that bold Leonidas and his 300, so far from home, laid down their lives, not just for Sparta, but for all Greece and the promise this country holds.
Now, here on this ragged patch of earth called Plataea, XERXES' HORDES FACE OBLITERATION!! (The other Greeks reply with "HAHOO!!")
Just there the barbarians huddle, sheer terror gripping tight their hearts with icy fingers, knowing full well what merciless horrors they suffered at the swords and spears of 300.
Yet they stare now across the plains at 10,000 Spartans commanding 30,000 free Greeks!
[Faces the army] HAHOO! (The other Greeks reply with three "HAHOO!!"s, as homage to the Three Hundred Spartans)
The enemy outnumber us a paltry three to one; good odds for any Greek. This day we rescue a world from mysticism and tyranny, and usher in a future brighter than anything we could imagine.