Messenger: All the God-King Xerxes requires is this: A simple offering of earth and water......a token of Sparta's submission to the will of Xerxes. Submission.
Leonidas: Now, that's a bit of a problem. See, rumor has it......the Athenians have already turned you down. And if those philosophers and boy-lovers have found that kind of nerve, then...
Theron: We must be diplomatic.
Leonidas: And, of course, Spartans......have their reputation to consider.
The messenger is telling Leonidas what Xerxes wants from Sparta. Leonidas gives him the answer.