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Greeks always fought outnumbered?
#16
Also, Macedon, are you Prince of Macedon? You two have the same picture.
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#17
I mean from RTW
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#18
The same pic???? No, I am not and that pic is actually me in kit, so it would be interesting to see who is using my photo...
Macedon
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#19
Quote:I think this would be a very extreme position. Who says so? There are many examples of Greeks fighting while having numerical advantage.

First of all, we would have to exclude every conflict between Greeks, since one of them would probably have a numerical advantage...

"Barbarians" were the enemy I believe in the original post. I suspect the point is that Helleno-centric sources have brave Greeks and Macedonians outfight myriads of barbarians. The rubbish began with Herodotus and was carried on by a clearly silly Xenophon who might have had 1,200,000 Persians at Cunaxa had the king's bastard brother fronted. Arrian's 600,000 at Issus is a fantasy as is his 1,000,000 at Gaugamela.

"You shouldn't have speared him! Always remember, we're Greek hoplites!" (They'll run away...)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2_tMhgisd8
Paralus|Michael Park

Ἐπὶ τοὺς πατέρας, ὦ κακαὶ κεφαλαί, τοὺς μετὰ Φιλίππου καὶ Ἀλεξάνδρου τὰ ὅλα κατειργασμένους

Wicked men, you are sinning against your fathers, who conquered the whole world under Philip and Alexander!

Academia.edu
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#20
Quote:
Macedon post=298335 Wrote:I think this would be a very extreme position. Who says so? There are many examples of Greeks fighting while having numerical advantage.

First of all, we would have to exclude every conflict between Greeks, since one of them would probably have a numerical advantage...

"Barbarians" were the enemy I believe in the original post. I suspect the point is that Helleno-centric sources have brave Greeks and Macedonians outfight myriads of barbarians. The rubbish began with Herodotus and was carried on by a clearly silly Xenophon who might have had 1,200,000 Persians at Cunaxa had the king's bastard brother fronted. Arrian's 600,000 at Issus is a fantasy as is his 1,000,000 at Gaugamela.

"You shouldn't have speared him! Always remember, we're Greek hoplites!" (They'll run away...)

It is true that sources could be biased and exaggerate the number of the opponents. Offcourse the Greeks didnt fight always outnumbered. But many times did.And its logical, since Greece is actually a small mountainous country and couldnt support really big population. Also we have to understand that the class of hoplites (i dont even mention the hippeis) was actually the middle class. You had to have some fortune in order to be able to have a kit. And many reforms in ancient Greek society had exactly this goal. To boost the numbers of hoplites.

Personaly i dont get the feeling that ancient writers and historians praise so much the individual prowess of the greek warrior but actually they praise the system of phalanx. Even for Spartans it is clearly stated. They are no better than any other Greek warrior as individuals. In fact a rich Athenian who could hire an hoplodidaskalos he might be much better.

To conclude, its quite possible a small unit to overcome an outnumbering opponent if there is a fighting system. And the Greeks had the best around those days. Thats a fact. The fact that all greek cities had to adopt it or lose in rediculus heroic era fights, says it all. Then it was the turn of the neighbours to get the treatment which lead to the fact that Persian empire was one of the best employers of greek hoplites.
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#21
Quote:According to modern historians as well as ancient ones, Greeks always fought outnumbered against barbarians, even when it makes little sense that the enemy be able to outnumber them.

One wonders how? And why didn't everyone just roll over and die upon seeing Greeks anyway?

One wonders (increasingly) what the point of your questions and observations is?

Consider the mighty and extremely formidable Roman war machine of later periods. They carved out a huge European empire and their reputation for success, bravery and capability went ahead of them - and yet there were still plenty of tribes who were willing to stand up and fight against them. Why didn't they all just roll over and die upon seeing the Romans anyway?
[size=75:2kpklzm3]Ghostmojo / Howard Johnston[/size]

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[size=75:2kpklzm3]Xerxes - "What did the guy in the pass say?" ... Scout - "Μολὼν λαβέ my Lord - and he meant it!!!"[/size]
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#22
Quote:... and if we are join to call Alexander The Great a greek then of course they weren't, just look at Hydapses River...

Alexander - like his father and mother - was 100% Greek.

Even if you speculate that not all of the ancient Makedonians were Hellenes (something I would debate anyway - but I accept the two sides of this argument) you have to accept that the Makedone royalty and nobility were of Greek stock. Alexander was an Argead/Temenid via his father's line. These were Greeks of Dorian stock originating in Argos. He was of Epeirote/Mollosian stock via his mother's line. On both sides of his family he was descended from Greeks - therefore he WAS Greek.

He was a Greek linguistically
He was a Greek religiously
He was a Greek culturally
He was a Greek ethnically
He was a Greek educationally

He was a Northern Greek who spoke Greek; worshipped Greek gods; wore Greek clothing (before his Persian reinvention); fought in Greek style; and believed himself to be the descendant of the earlier Greek Akhilles.

Case closed.
[size=75:2kpklzm3]Ghostmojo / Howard Johnston[/size]

[Image: A-TTLGAvatar-1-1.jpg]

[size=75:2kpklzm3]Xerxes - "What did the guy in the pass say?" ... Scout - "Μολὼν λαβέ my Lord - and he meant it!!!"[/size]
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#23
Quote:... Btw, are you really 15 years old as your profile suggests or is it a mistake? I do not know many children that young that occupy themselves with such issues...

Unless of course they occupy a country which is busy trying to re-educate their youth into believing a revisionist version of ancient Greek history; and are duty bound to follow some sort of national mission of reclamation (as they see it) of an identity that didn't belong to them in the first place. That is my worry and concern. I hope it is misplaced. But that is the impression I am getting of certain commentators here.
[size=75:2kpklzm3]Ghostmojo / Howard Johnston[/size]

[Image: A-TTLGAvatar-1-1.jpg]

[size=75:2kpklzm3]Xerxes - "What did the guy in the pass say?" ... Scout - "Μολὼν λαβέ my Lord - and he meant it!!!"[/size]
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#24
Quote:
Alex Williams post=298730 Wrote:... and if we are join to call Alexander The Great a greek then of course they weren't, just look at Hydapses River...

Alexander - like his father and mother - was 100% Greek.
I'm pretty sure what he's saying is that if you count Alexander, then there are further examples (the Battle of the Hydaspes being one) where the Greeks weren't outnumbered.
Dan D'Silva

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#25
Quote:Unless of course they occupy a country which is busy trying to re-educate their youth into believing a revisionist version of ancient Greek history; and are duty bound to follow some sort of national mission of reclamation (as they see it) of an identity that didn't belong to them in the first place. That is my worry and concern. I hope it is misplaced. But that is the impression I am getting of certain commentators here.
How nice. Seeing every eastern European as a propaganda fueled revisionist just because you're butthurt over the FYROM's pathetic attempts at identifying themselves with Alexander, despite the fact that my country is a) Democratic, open and has a very good education system; b) Couldn't care less about the disputes between some random Balkan nations.

This arrogant attitude, typical to you western Europeans, is disgusting and insulting, you frog-eating, arrogant and wine drinking short man with a mustache.


P.S. Yes, you can now sue me for not matching your mental image of the typical barbarian by agreeing that Alexander was 100% Greek.
Real name - Peteris Racinskis
TWC name - any variation of "Roach". Blatta Optima Maxima as of now.
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#26
I have removed the last posting due to violation of the rules of this forum. Please continue with the discussion, or the thread will have to be locked.

A reminder to all: if you have any issue with a post on another member, either deal with it in private or ask a moderator to deal with it. Do NOT react in kind in the forum.
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#27
Quote:I'm pretty sure what he's saying is that if you count Alexander, then there are further examples (the Battle of the Hydaspes being one) where the Greeks weren't outnumbered.

I do believe that's his point. I'm not certain about the Macedonians not being outnumbered here - though it is more likely they were at least even.

The source tradition for the battle is not at all the best. Arrian reports the attack force as comprising of two phalanx battalions, the hypaspists and their agema, 5,000 cavalry and all of the Agrianians, javelin men and archers saying that this infantry was not much less than 6,000. That number must be closer to 10,000. Once we get to the battle we have a multiplicity of hypaspist battalions and no phalanx battalions. The later have - through either a fault on Arrian's part or via transmission - clearly been missed out.

The total force is some 15,000. This, then, says much about the size of the rajah Porus' army. As does the remarkable statement of Arrian at 5.14.1-2:

Quote:[...] because he thought he was superior in cavalry, he took only his horse-soldiers, who were 5,000 in number, and led them forward with speed. He also instructed Tauron, the comnunder of the archers, to lead them on also with speed to back up the cavalry. He had come to the conclusion that if Porus should engage him with all his forces, he would easily be able to overcome him by attacking with his cavalry, or to stand on the defensive until his infantry arrived in the course of the action...

Arrian claims 200 elephants stood across the entire Indian "phalanx" and that these were some 30 metres apart (here Curtius has the more believable figure of 85 from memory).This implies an infantry line of 5.8 odd kilometres without taking into account the cavalry. If these figures be correct then Alexander was, as they say, dreaming. His attack force can hardly have occupied much more than two kilometres at most if we allow 8 deep for the phalanx in close order and 8 deep for the "lights" in a more "open" order plus cavalry.

Another indicator of the size of Porus' force is Arrian's description of its destruction. Here "Alexander himself surrounded the whole line with his cavalry, and gave the signal that the infantry should link their shields together so as to form a very densely closed body, and thus advance in phalanx" (5.17.7).

Many argue that the centre force joined in before the battle commenced or as it did so. that is nowhere stated and a difficult thing to totally miss one thinks. More difficult to imagine is a large force joining an attack underway - especially when it had to cross the river to do so. Arrian only states that Craterus' forces joined in the pursuit of the fleeing Indians after the "slaughter ring" had broken.

I'd suggest any accurate numbers for Porus' forces are lost to antiquity. I'd also suggest that, given Alexander's reported views and the size of his attack force, that the rajah's army was little if any larger than Alexander's forces used in the attack.
Paralus|Michael Park

Ἐπὶ τοὺς πατέρας, ὦ κακαὶ κεφαλαί, τοὺς μετὰ Φιλίππου καὶ Ἀλεξάνδρου τὰ ὅλα κατειργασμένους

Wicked men, you are sinning against your fathers, who conquered the whole world under Philip and Alexander!

Academia.edu
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#28
For the Hydapses and Alexander more than likely outnumbering his opponents (and in general a sober reassessment) see: Bosworth, A. B (1997) Alexander and the East: The Tragedy of Triumph . (Oxford)

His historical commentary on Arrian may also elucidate a few things, can't recall. Actually in general Bosworth is a pretty good source for most things Alexander, as are Badian and Borza. The (relatively) recent book by Heckel also is quite good, out on Blackwell.

For Macedonians as Greeks: Honestly I find it rather amusing that you can so tritely state that they were "100% Greek" in Lang, Hist, Culture, Religion etc when so many good Classicists can say nothing so sternly of the sort. With all due respect I would say that you really haven't availed yourself of the evidence.

Now if the apparent alternative to being Greeks is being the Slavonic forebears of modern FYROM then of course that is utterly ridiculous. They certainly were not slavs, nor did they speak a language close that spoken now in the some of the former territory of Philip II. HOWEVER it is not at all a clear cut case and we don't have to give binary answers. Regardless, original ethno/linguogenesis is a pointless thing to debate regarding a people who came to the forefront of Greek history.

As for the propaganda thing, yes it's bad, on both "sides" though you'll find a ridiculous amount of propaganda re ancient Greek history. Some of the things I've heard from the mouths of my fellow students whilst in Athens has been...revealing. It's not as if in Greece we teach things any less revionist - though I admit it kills me to say it.

Incidentally the President of FYROM was to give a talk here at the Oxford Union labelled as the "President of Macedonia". Admittedly I was also one of the people complaining but come on, it IS annoying!
Jass
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#29
Quote:... For Macedonians as Greeks: Honestly I find it rather amusing that you can so tritely state that they were "100% Greek" in Lang, Hist, Culture, Religion etc when so many good Classicists can say nothing so sternly of the sort. With all due respect I would say that you really haven't availed yourself of the evidence ...

Well, I'm not sure if that statement was in response to my comment about Alexander himself (and Makedone royalty/nobility). But if it was, then it ignores the point I made that I was not referring to all the peoples of ancient Makedonia - merely its famous heirarchy. Therefore, if you read my words again you will see I was specifically saying Alexander himself was Greek. That is correct. He was a Temenid. His own personal ancestry can be traced as Greek through both parents. I was quite clear on that point. I suggest you read my post again.

Regarding the general mass of peoples in ancient Makedon, then I agree that nobody would/could make such a generalised statement. I would hazard a guess that the coastal peoples of Lower Makedonia (the original heartland) were of Greek stock, and possibly either North West Greek, Dorian or a branch of that ethnos. As the kingdom/state expanded and Upper Makedonia developed then other peoples fell within the territory. Some of these may have been Thrakians; Paionians; Illyrians; Pelagonians etc. There were also of course other Greeks scattered along the coasts and in Khalkidiki and they eventually fell under Makedonian control. A certain amount of mixing would have taken place I suppose and therefore a large portion of Makedonians would be Greek; another portion non-Greek; and yet another portion perhaps a fairly mixed bunch.

This discussion really belongs somewhere else of course, and I am sure Robert or one of the other mods will remind us of that sooner or later, but regarding Alexander himself, and his immediate family and coterie - I think it is completely fair to say he was 100% Greek in all those various attributes I mentioned.

Regarding the whole F.Y.R.O.M. issue - well, I think we would probably be in 100% accord over that one - but we are not allowed to discuss such sensitive political issues here (more's the pity). So I will defer from pursuing that line of discussion about these Slavic (mainly Bulgarian if truth be told) Fyromians or whatever we are supposed to call them.
[size=75:2kpklzm3]Ghostmojo / Howard Johnston[/size]

[Image: A-TTLGAvatar-1-1.jpg]

[size=75:2kpklzm3]Xerxes - "What did the guy in the pass say?" ... Scout - "Μολὼν λαβέ my Lord - and he meant it!!!"[/size]
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#30
Quote:
Lyceum post=303768 Wrote:... For Macedonians as Greeks: Honestly I find it rather amusing that you can so tritely state that they were "100% Greek" in Lang, Hist, Culture, Religion etc when so many good Classicists can say nothing so sternly of the sort. With all due respect I would say that you really haven't availed yourself of the evidence ...

Well, I'm not sure if that statement was in response to my comment about Alexander himself (and Makedone royalty/nobility). But if it was, then it ignores the point I made that I was not referring to all the peoples of ancient Makedonia - merely its famous heirarchy. Therefore, if you read my words again you will see I was specifically saying Alexander himself was Greek. That is correct. He was a Temenid. His own personal ancestry can be traced as Greek through both parents. I was quite clear on that point. I suggest you read my post again.

Regarding the general mass of peoples in ancient Makedon, then I agree that nobody would/could make such a generalised statement. I would hazard a guess that the coastal peoples of Lower Makedonia (the original heartland) were of Greek stock, and possibly either North West Greek, Dorian or a branch of that ethnos. As the kingdom/state expanded and Upper Makedonia developed then other peoples fell within the territory. Some of these may have been Thrakians; Paionians; Illyrians; Pelagonians etc. There were also of course other Greeks scattered along the coasts and in Khalkidiki and they eventually fell under Makedonian control. A certain amount of mixing would have taken place I suppose and therefore a large portion of Makedonians would be Greek; another portion non-Greek; and yet another portion perhaps a fairly mixed bunch.

This discussion really belongs somewhere else of course, and I am sure Robert or one of the other mods will remind us of that sooner or later, but regarding Alexander himself, and his immediate family and coterie - I think it is completely fair to say he was 100% Greek in all those various attributes I mentioned.

Regarding the whole F.Y.R.O.M. issue - well, I think we would probably be in 100% accord over that one - but we are not allowed to discuss such sensitive political issues here (more's the pity). So I will defer from pursuing that line of discussion about these Slavic (mainly Bulgarian if truth be told) Fyromians or whatever we are supposed to call them.

Alas you're right, the discussion does belong somewhere else (especially since regarding we don't quite agree, but if I start quoting Hesiod etc I'm guessing we will get told of Sad) especially due to the FYROM thing. Ah well, meet and part friends. :-)
Jass
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