This Is Sparta
This is Sparta is a catchphrase that inspired the creation of many memes and remixes referring to the infamous scene from the movie 300.
The scene features Gerard Butler acting as Spartan king Leonidas, who gets visited by the Persian conqueror’s messenger. At the end of the scene we can see Leonidas passionately shouting “This is Sparta” before he proceeds to kick the messenger into a “bottomless well”.
Originally, the story is based on the historical event of the Battle of Thermopylae (480 B.C.), a tale of the battle between the outnumbered, but very skilled Spartan warriors, and the invading Persian army.
Author Frank Miller released his book 300 which he based on this tale, and in 2006, Zack Snyder made his movie adaptation about Miller’s novel.
The movie shows us the drama of King Leonidas’ battle against Xerxes and his massive army consisting of millions of soldiers.
Before launching the attack upon Sparta, the Persians try to negotiate a peace treaty with Leonidas, who responds by kicking the messenger into a bottomless well, while shouting “This is Sparta!”.
Spread and Usage
Memes about this is Sparta started to appear as soon as the movie’s official trailer’s release on YouTube, which already featured the infamous scene. Remix videos and parodies flooded the sites YouTube and YTMND in a matter of a few months.
In 2011, the full clip was uploaded on YouTube by the channel Movieclips and has generated over 22 million views since.
The meme branched into different derivatives throughout the years. The most iconic perhaps is the Sparta remix which refers to the series of music mashups and remixes that feature the vocals and Leonidas’ face from the scene. These remixes were mostly uploaded on YouTube.
There are also image macros which usually have someone kicking another person off of a high place, captioned “this is Sparta”. These memes were popular during the demotivational poster era.
Leonidas’ face also became an individual meme of its own, mostly featuring in animated GIFs.