Did Themistocles win the Battle of Salamis by luring Xerxes into a trap?
Yes. Themistocles had sent a messenger to Xerxes, telling the Persian King that the Greeks intended to flee by ships that were harbored in the isthmus of Corinth. Unlike in the movie, that messenger was not Ephialtes of Trachis, the disfigured hunchback who had betrayed the Spartans at Thermopylae. The real Ephialtes, who was not a disfigured hunchback, escaped to Thessaly and the Greeks offered a reward for his death. Thinking that the Greek forces were scattered, weak, and intending to flee, Xerxes believed the messenger and sent in his navy for an easy victory. To his surprise, his ships encountered the full force of the Greek navy ready to engage in battle.
Had the Athenian general Themistocles been born into poverty?
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 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.