R2_V10B17_80213_CO3_PULLS_01rl_0006.tifSecond character coming back for 300: Rise of an Empire, this time one of the brave Spartans. When Themistocles arrives to Sparta to ask for King Leonidas‘ help in his maneuvre against the Persians, he’s welcomed (sort of…) by Dilios, one of the most expert and capable soldiers in town, portrayed by David Wenham, who informs him the king is speaking to the Oracle. Dilios appears once again, this time missing an eye, first telling Themistocles Queen Gorgo is not exactly eager to join the other Greek cities in the last battle in Salamis, then appearing on a Spartan ship against the Persian fleet. In the first movie, he was one of Leonidas’ men, the only one who survived the battle against the Persians following Leonidas’ order to come back and tell the 300’s story. Now, let’s see who Dilios is in the comics.

Born and raised in mighty Sparta, Dilios was, as almost all of his fellow citizens, a warrior born, trained since his very childhood to the art of war. Despite being a skilled soldier who had nothing to envy to his peers, Dilios also had other interests and passions, and started studying dialectics and oratory, two skills usually despised by all Spartans, but that fit well enough with Dilios’ natural tendencies. During the first Persian War, when Kind Darius I tried to conquer Greece, Dilios joined the army dilioscomics1put together by King Anaxandridas for the Greek league led by Athenians, fighting side by side with his future king, Prince Leonidas. Leonidas started appreciating this weird Spartan warrior able to speak like an Athenian, and even when he became king, he kept him under great regard. When King Xerxes, new ruler of Persia after Darius’ death, recovered his father’s ambition of conquest, Leonidas was one of the first ones to move. The political and religious authorities of Sparta were against a direct confrontation with the Persians before attempting a diplomatic action, and Leonidas found himself alone: he decided for a desperate and demonstrative solution, gathering 300 of his best warriors and leading them to battle. Dilios was among the chosen ones, a suicidal offer that he took as a great honor.

Dilios marched with his peers, following the king to the Thermopylae, a narrow pass located near the Gulf of Corinth, the landing point of the Persian army. Joined by some Arcadians, the Spartans battled the far more numerous Persians, managing to block the pass, thus preventing the enemy to enter Greece. Dilios always fought on the frontline, leading the charge as one of the more expert soldiers among the 300 (the only other two who could claim an experience equal or superior to his own were Captain Artemis and King Leonidas himself). During one of the first clashes with the Persians, Dilios was hit to his left eye, losing it: this however didn’t prevent him from keeping fighting, thanking the gods to be dilioscomics2born with two eyes. After some days of battles, however, Leonidas spoke with him in private, ordering him to come back to Sparta with the Arcadians. Dilios believed the order to be caused by his lack of an eye, but the king made clear that they would have soon been ambushed by the Persians, led to their back by traitor Ephialtes, and he needed Dilios’ oratorical skills to tell their story and convince the others to fight against Xerxes and his men. Mourning the loss of a heroic death, Dilios obeyed his king, and led the Arcadians back home. Once in Sparta, while Athenians were fighting with the Persian fleet in Salamis, Dilios spent a year to organize the city’s forces and to convince the politicians to move war to Xerxes: he finally accomplished his mission, and was entrusted the command of the Spartan army fighting in the decisive Battle of Platea.

Dilios is an intelligent and cultured Spartan, an unusual trait in a society completely dedicated to war. He’s, of course, also a skilled warrior and a capable soldier, expert in the use of sword and spear. He’s disciplined enough for obeying his sire’s orders even when they “rob” him of the beautiful death he had been promised, proof that Dilios knows how to value the common good over his own.


1 Comment

  1. […] everyone of what had happened, and along with the Arcadians he sent away also one of his men, Dilios, who had the task of convincing the Spartans to join the war thanks to the 300’s sacrifice. […]

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