I received the following e-mail from “Pedram” which aptly summarizes this segment of our discussion:
Have you seen the movie? I have heard that it was so insulting to Persian women…
The 300 movie certainly portrayed Iranian women as shallow, mindless “harem girl-objects”. This is even testified to in the trailer:
The portrayal of Iranian women in this movie is not only grossly inaccurate in historical terms, but also degrading, insulting to women in general. Again, this seems to be derived from a massive sense of ignorance regarding the role of Iranian women in history.
The women of ancient Iran were priestesses (i.e. Temple of Anahita), warriors, leaders and guardians of learning. While a detailed discussion is beyond the scope of this article, a few highlights will hopefully serve to arouse the interest of the readers.
Roman sources are very clear in referring to women among the ranks of the Iranian cavalry in the Sassanian era:
“…in the Persian army … there are said to have been found women also, dressed and armed like men …”