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Alexander the not so Great: History through Persian eyes
BBC ^ | 7-14-2012 | Ali Ansari

Posted on 07/25/2012 9:39:37 AM PDT by Renfield

Alexander the Great is portrayed as a legendary conqueror and military leader in Greek-influenced Western history books but his legacy looks very different from a Persian perspective.

Any visitor to the spectacular ruins of Persepolis - the site of the ceremonial capital of the ancient Persian Achaemenid empire, will be told three facts: it was built by Darius the Great, embellished by his son Xerxes, and destroyed by that man, Alexander.

~~~snip~~~

He razed Persepolis to the ground following a night of drunken excess at the goading of a Greek courtesan, ostensibly in revenge for the burning of the Acropolis by the Persian ruler Xerxes.

Persians also condemn him for the widespread destruction he is thought to have encouraged to cultural and religious sites throughout the empire...

(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.co.uk ...


TOPICS: History
KEYWORDS: alexander; godsgravesglyphs; greece; persia

1 posted on 07/25/2012 9:39:41 AM PDT by Renfield
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To: SunkenCiv

Ping


2 posted on 07/25/2012 9:40:23 AM PDT by Renfield (Turning apples into venison since 1999!)
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To: Renfield

Alexander the so-so.


3 posted on 07/25/2012 9:43:38 AM PDT by bkepley
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To: Renfield

Only in this day and age is history rewritten for and by the alleged victims.


4 posted on 07/25/2012 9:44:17 AM PDT by Olog-hai
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To: Renfield

The Book of Danial talks ALOT about this time period.


5 posted on 07/25/2012 9:44:49 AM PDT by US Navy Vet (Go Packers! Go Rockies! Go Boston Bruins! See, I'm "Diverse"!)
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To: Renfield

That’s right....in our new more ‘multicultural’ era we must see all sides of everything. I guess the Persians forgot ( or never knew) that victors write history and always have.


6 posted on 07/25/2012 9:48:18 AM PDT by Nifster
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To: Renfield
Persians also condemn him for the widespread destruction he is thought to have encouraged to cultural and religious sites throughout the empire

The Ayatollahs should be pleased that he razed all those non-Islamic sites for them...

7 posted on 07/25/2012 9:50:14 AM PDT by mikrofon (Persian Rag)
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To: bkepley

Wouldn’t Alexander “the homosexual degenerate” be more historically accurate?


8 posted on 07/25/2012 9:52:27 AM PDT by AmericanSamurai
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To: Renfield
I think most reasonably well educated people in the west are well aware the Persians invaded Greece & were repelled both times, and most people know Persia was a great empire.

And any thinking person would understand that modern day Iranians would have a different view of Alexander the Great than do we in the west.

Its also true that our view is no less valid than their's.

9 posted on 07/25/2012 9:53:10 AM PDT by skeeter
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To: Renfield
The Persians have actually gotten a bit of an unfair shake in history.

Their Empire is one of the most impressive, cultural and tolerant examples I can think of.

May I suggest the episode of "Engineering an Empire" about the Persians to show many of their great feats.

10 posted on 07/25/2012 9:57:08 AM PDT by KC_Lion (No more Grand Old Progressives! Vote Conservative-Libertarian-Tea Party!)
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To: Renfield

Poor Darius


11 posted on 07/25/2012 9:58:14 AM PDT by DariusBane (Liberty and Risk. Flip sides of the same coin. So how much risk will YOU accept?)
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To: skeeter

I was listening to a history podcast a while back where the guy was making the point that, arguably, Alexander was worse than Hitler. The rationale was that Hitler, evil though he clearly was, thought that he was doing something for the greater good of the German people; there was some “cause” there, heinous as we find it. Alexander’s only cause was his own glory.


12 posted on 07/25/2012 10:00:03 AM PDT by Bubba Ho-Tep ("More weight!"--Giles Corey)
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To: AmericanSamurai

The homosexual claims are unfounded and unlikely.

“Alexander married twice: Roxana, daughter of the Bactrian nobleman Oxyartes, out of love; and Stateira II, a Persian princess and daughter of Darius III of Persia, for political reasons. He apparently had two sons, Alexander IV of Macedon of Roxana and, possibly, Heracles of Macedon from his mistress Barsine. He lost another child when Roxana miscarried at Babylon.”

Doesn’t sound like a homo to me.


13 posted on 07/25/2012 10:02:47 AM PDT by wolfman23601
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To: AmericanSamurai

There is no historical evidence that Alexander was homosexual.

It is all the rage now to consider anyone who had close friend to be a homosexual.


14 posted on 07/25/2012 10:06:41 AM PDT by yarddog
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To: Renfield
"...his legacy looks very different from a Persian perspective."

It sucks to lose wars.

15 posted on 07/25/2012 10:08:12 AM PDT by Flag_This (Real presidents don't bow.)
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To: Renfield
Alexander ran into trouble when he wanted his Macedonian soldiers to prostrate themselves before him. And again when in a drunken argument he killed one of them without any sort of recourse to the law. He narrowly avoided an assassination plot after having some young Macedonian men flogged for shooting a deer that HE wanted to shoot during a hunt.

Prostration was such an issue to the Hellenize warrior-citizen that two Spartan warriors sent to atone to Xerxes for killing his emissaries by throwing them down a well; by having Xerxes kill them - were horrified to learn that they were expected to prostrate themselves in his royal presence. They came to be killed - but not to bow down!

16 posted on 07/25/2012 10:08:20 AM PDT by allmendream (Tea Party did not send GOP to D.C. to negotiate the terms of our surrender to socialism)
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To: Renfield

Alexander was generally a benevolent conqueror.

One exception was the city of Tyre but only because that city butchered his heralds on the walls in full view of Alexander and his men.

They thought wrongly, that because the city was on an island with high walls that they were safe from attack. It actually was a very difficult job but Alexander seems to have been particularly determined to conquer Tyre.


17 posted on 07/25/2012 10:12:03 AM PDT by yarddog
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To: wolfman23601

Okay, those daggum homosekshuls, they even fooled me with their propaganda. :P


18 posted on 07/25/2012 10:12:03 AM PDT by AmericanSamurai
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To: AmericanSamurai
Alexander and Hephaestion were compared to Achilles and Patroclus, by others and by themselves.

While the relationship of Achilles and Patroclus may or may not have been homosexual (very common and sometimes even institutionalized among the Greeks); during the time of Alexander such a comparison was bound to have such connotations.

So I guess the lesson would be that if you don't want such speculation of homosexuality about the close relationship between yourself and your lifelong male companion; you don't go around comparing yourself and him to two who were widely believed to be so.

19 posted on 07/25/2012 10:37:52 AM PDT by allmendream (Tea Party did not send GOP to D.C. to negotiate the terms of our surrender to socialism)
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To: Renfield
The fact remains that he was a military commander of amazing ability with the best army of the day. Whether he was "great" or "mean" because of it is a matter of perspective, but not the fact that he succeeded brilliantly.

The principal problem of the very impressive Persian empire was, as is so often the case in empires in general, one of succession. Alexander caught them at a bad time; so, for that matter did Xenophon's Greek army earlier, who got sucked into fighting for the losing side and ended up having to cut its way to the sea.

Persia's earlier (mid-sixth-century BC) conquest of Ionia was a rather impressive show as well. A good deal of fighting, quite a great deal of diplomacy, intimidation, and bribery. Persian history that complains about Greek invasions should acknowledge that they started the thing, after all.

20 posted on 07/25/2012 10:46:04 AM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: Renfield
Any visitor to the spectacular ruins of Persepolis

Once the radiation diminishes, tourists will be able to visit the not-quite-so-spectacular ruins of Tehran.

21 posted on 07/25/2012 11:31:01 AM PDT by Moltke ("I am Dr. Sonderborg," he said, "and I don't want any nonsense.")
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To: Renfield

So where does Cyrus the Great fit in? I’ve always been told he was the golden boy of Persia.


22 posted on 07/25/2012 11:39:39 AM PDT by EggsAckley ( There's an Ethiopian in the fuel supply ! ! ..)
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To: KC_Lion

Tolerant, yes, but an extremely top-heavy Gov’t.


23 posted on 07/25/2012 12:09:22 PM PDT by what's up
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To: Billthedrill
I agree. We use “great” in the sense of what was accomplished. For example “Catherine the Great”. It doesn't mean they were blissfully wonderful people and in fact one can be “great” and an evil person all at the same time.
24 posted on 07/25/2012 1:50:55 PM PDT by Sam Gamgee (May God have mercy upon my enemies, because I won't. - Patton)
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To: Billthedrill
I agree. We use “great” in the sense of what was accomplished. For example “Catherine the Great”. It doesn't mean they were blissfully wonderful people and in fact one can be “great” and an evil person all at the same time.
25 posted on 07/25/2012 1:51:09 PM PDT by Sam Gamgee (May God have mercy upon my enemies, because I won't. - Patton)
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To: Billthedrill

The fact remains that he was a military commander of amazing ability with the best army of the day.


War chariots ruled the battlefields of the middle east for over 1000 years, and it was Alexander that found the perfect defense. During the battle with the Persians, a row of war chariots drove directly for Alexander’s front line.

As the chariots approached the line, the Greek soldiers in the first few rows moved sideways, forming a pocket for each chariot, with spears on all sides — the chariots were forced to stop in the pocket, and the soldiers at their rear simply killed them. The pride of the Persian Army was destroyed in minutes.

War chariots were never used in battles again.


26 posted on 07/25/2012 2:30:34 PM PDT by Mack the knife
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To: Billthedrill

Macedon conquering the Persian Empire would be roughly equivalent today, in manpower and other resource today to Venezuela conquering the United States.

It still seems to me the Persians had appallingly poor strategic planners. They apparently could not face the Macedonians in battle and win. So why not use Fabian tactics and attack his supply lines? With massively larger numbers, they could force Alexander to keep his army concentrated, while they still had the men to raid and attack elsewhere.

The reason this wasn’t possible is probably because the Empire was not a nation. They had to go toe to toe with the invader or lose the prestige that kept the subject nations down. The Romans and their allies had sufficient cohesion to use Fabian tactics. The Persians, not so much.


27 posted on 07/25/2012 3:32:14 PM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: Renfield; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; decimon; 1010RD; 21twelve; 24Karet; ...

 GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach
Thanks Renfield. Big Al adopted Persian ways, and even dealt with the Persian usurper using Persian laws and penalties, after chasing and catching him up in what is now Afghanistan. Naturally (and obviously) one of the greatest "what-if"s of history is, what if Alexander doesn't die young?

Alexander the Great was and is called that for a reason. And screw the effin' Persians.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.


28 posted on 07/25/2012 5:01:28 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Renfield; SunkenCiv

Did somebody say Persians?

29 posted on 07/26/2012 10:27:27 AM PDT by colorado tanker
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To: EggsAckley
Cyrus the Great founded the Persian Empire. Before Cyrus, Persia was subject to the Medes.

The first source to refer to Alexander as "the Great" was long after his death, I believe. In his lifetime he would be called "Alexander the son of Philip" if "Alexander" by itself wasn't sufficient.

He was not popular with most Greeks of the day--Darius III had large numbers of Greek mercenaries fighting on his side. After Alexander's victory at the River Granicus, he had the Greek mercenaries he captured slaughtered in keeping with his myth that he was fighting a war of revenge (because of Xerxes' invasion--Macedonia had been on the Persian side in that war).

30 posted on 07/26/2012 3:52:42 PM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: Renfield

An Iranian friend I had, whose father left when the Shah fell, was always emphatic about how great Persian culture had been before the Arabs destroyed it.
Cyrus was a pretty amazing ruler; his heirs not so much.


31 posted on 07/27/2012 11:13:15 PM PDT by RedStateRocker
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To: Renfield

An Iranian friend I had, whose father left when the Shah fell, was always emphatic about how great Persian culture had been before the Arabs destroyed it.
Cyrus was a pretty amazing ruler; his heirs not so much.


32 posted on 07/27/2012 11:13:28 PM PDT by RedStateRocker
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