Yes. According to historians Herodotus and Plutarch, the brave Athenian general Themistocles was not born into wealth. His father, Neocles, was an ambiguous Athenian citizen of modest means. It is believed that his mother was an immigrant. Other children kept Themistocles at a distance. It didn't bother him much, because as other children were off playing together, Themistocles was studying and sharpening his skills. As described by Plutarch, his teachers would say to him, "You, my boy, will be nothing insignificant, but great one way or another, either for good or for evil." In researching the 300: Rise of an Empire true story, we learned that Themistocles less than modest upbringing benefited him in the newly democratic government of Athens. He campaigned in the streets and could relate to the common and underprivileged in a way that no one had before, always taking time to remember voters' names. He was elected to the highest government office in Athens, Archon Eponymous, by the time he was thirty.Was Themistocles really responsible for Greece's strong navy?Yes. Themistocles always believed in building up the Athenian navy. He knew that the Persians could only sustain a land invasion if their navy was able to support it from the coastal waters. However, most Athenians, including the Athenian generals, did not agree with Themistocles. They did not believe that a Persian invasion was imminent, and they thought that the Athenian army was strong enough to make up for any shortcomings with regard to the navy. To get his wish for a stronger navy, Themistocles used his political position to lie and mislead the Athenians into believing that the rival nearby island of Aegina posed a threat to merchant ships. Accepting his argument, the Athenians decided to invest in the navy, leaving Athens with the most dominant naval force in all of Greece. Therefore, it can be argued that Greek civilization was saved by a lie. Top: Actors stand on the deck of an Athenian trireme (ancient vessel) constructed on a sound stage for the movie. Bottom: A seaworthy reconstruction of a trireme, the Olympias, was launched in 1987. Did Themistocles really kill Xerxes's father, King Darius?No. The true story behind 300: Rise of an Empire reveals that Themistocles did not kill Xerxes's father, King Darius I of Persia (Darius the Great), with an arrow at the Battle of Marathon. King Darius died approximately four years later in 486 BC of failing health. It was then that Xerxes, the eldest son of Darius and Atossa, became King, ruling as Xerxes I.Did Xerxes really transform into a God King?No. As you probably guessed, the real Xerxes did not transform into a supernatural God King like in the movie (pictured below). In fact, Xerxes's motivation for his transformation did not even exist in real life, since Themistocles did not kill Xerxes's father at the Battle of Marathon. This highly fictionalized version of Xerxes comes from the mind of Frank Miller, the creator of the 300 graphic novel and the still unpublished Xerxes comic series. Persian king Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) transforms into the fictional God King in 300: Rise of an Empire. Was Artemisia's family murdered by Greek hoplites, after which she was taken as a slave?No. In the 300: Rise of an Empire movie, a young Artemisia (Caitlin Carmichael) watches as her family is murdered by a squad of Greek hoplites. She then spends several years being held as a sex slave in the bowels of a Greek slave ship. She is left to die in the street and is helped by a Persian warrior. She soon finds herself training with the finest warriors in the Persian Empire, hoping to one day exact revenge on Greece. This backstory for Artemisia was invented by Frank Miller and the filmmakers to explain the motivations behind Artemisia's ruthless thirst for vengeance in the film.Did Artemisia have a husband? . 300: Rise of an Empire is a 2014 American period action film directed by Noam Murro. It is a sequel to the 2006 film 300 , taking place before, during, and after the main events of that film, and is very loosely based on the Battle of Artemisium and the Battle of Salamis with considerable altering of historical facts. . This feature is not available right now. Please try again later..