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Hellenes supporting Persian king. Are they traitors?
#1
Hellenes supporting Persian king of the kings. Are they traitors or adherents of the Universal Empire?<br>
<br>
The most traditional opinion:<br>
In the war between despotic East and democratic West there is no place for compromise. Those Greeks who joined the Asiatic horde are traitors of Grecian freedom and couldn’t be forgiven.<br>
<br>
But there is other point of view:<br>
The Persian Empire was kind of Universal Empire. It was not THAT bad as it was described by Macedonian propaganda of Phillip II and Alexander the Great. This world power included multitudes of nations, tribes and cities. The regime was rather tolerant. It was not Empire of Evil at all. It was alternative to Greek principle of freedom, which meant ‘war of everyone against everyone’.<br>
I am not sure that after Persian wars Greeks in the Persian Empire (mostly in Asia Minor) lived worse than those in Greece. Asia Minor prospered in the united state, but Greece was tore apart by internal wars. King of the kings became semi-official arbiter of Greek disputes, sometimes a few talents of gold was enough to change the fate of Greek war.<br>
<br>
Well, freedom is freedom. It is absolute value. But maybe we are too harsh to those Hellenes, which lived happily under the rule of the universal king and fought for him? And those who were willing to be comprised in the world empire were not loathsome cowards, but people possessing reason? Was Greek liberty freedom of big cities to devour little ones?<br>
Persians treated Greeks better than Hellenes themselves. Hellenes were inclined to annihilate other Greek cities and populate these places by their own citizens. Can you imagine Persians treating Greeks as Spartans treated their helots? Or did Athenian tributaries live better than those under Persian ‘yoke’?<br>
After all, this part of the world was destined to be included in the great power in the end. And Persian Empire was not the worst solution.<br>
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#2
Quote:</em></strong><hr>Hellenes supporting Persian king of the kings. Are they traitors or adherents of the Universal Empire?<hr><br>
Are you talking about the period of the Persian Wars, or during the invasion by Alexander, or somewhere in between? I think there were a number of reasons at different times. The Thebans and others "medized" to prevent their own annihilation (cf. Eretria's fate in 490). The hoplites in the pay of Persia who faced Alexander's army at Granicus and Issus were mercenaries, but some of them may have been inclined to oppose Alexander for enslaving Hellas. At that point there was no real freedom for Greece either way.<br>
Quote:</em></strong><hr>The regime was rather tolerant. <hr><br>
There was <em>religious</em> tolerance, but the taxation was a constant, tying up capital and stultifying progress, and <em>everyone</em> was the slave of the Great King and lived or died at his whim.<br>
Quote:</em></strong><hr>I am not sure that after Persian wars Greeks in the Persian Empire (mostly in Asia Minor) lived worse than those in Greece. Asia Minor prospered in the united state, but Greece was tore apart by internal wars. <hr><br>
Actually the Athenians won independence for them in the mid-5th Century. The Spartans (the self-styled champions of Greek freedom) sold them out to the Persians near the end of the century in return for the money to build the fleets needed to defeat the Athenians and end the Peloponnesian War.<br>
Quote:</em></strong><hr>Can you imagine Persians treating Greeks as Spartans treated their helots?<hr><br>
Easily.<br>
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#3
Isn't one man's traitor another man's freedom fighter? It's all in the eye of the beholder. Alexander executed the descendants of Greeks who fought for Persia when he encountered these unfortunous people as far away as Central Asia.<br>
Which is kinda peculiar, because technically, Alexander was a macedonian 'barbarian', not a Greek. But, of course, he wanted nay demanded to be more Greek than the Greeks themselves, hence his out of control hatred versus these innocent people.<br>
<br>
In my opinion, these Hellenes were not traitors as long as they were subjects to the Persian king. To be called a collaborator and a traitor after many many years of occupation is in the end wearing very, very thin.<br>
<br>
Valete,<br>
Valerius/Robert <p></p><i></i>
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Robert Vermaat
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THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
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#4
Quote:</em></strong><hr>Alexander executed the descendants of Greeks who fought for Persia when he encountered these unfortunous people as far away as Central Asia.<hr><br>
<br>
[url=http://www.mpt.org/programsinterests/mpt/alexander/journey/episode_3/arac_alex.html" target="top]The Massacre of the Branchidae:[/url]<em>As Alexander's men moved north into the interior of Sogdia pursuing the Persian general Bessus, they came upon a small walled town. Much to their surprise, they were greeted by townspeople who spoke Greek. The residents identified themselves as descendants of the Branchidae, the family of priests who were the guardians of the famous oracle at Didyma. But Alexander must have known their true story. The Branchidae were banished there because they had handed their sacred temple over to invading Persians in exchange for their safety.<br>
<br>
The unarmed Branchidae welcomed Alexander, and immediately surrendered their city to him, holding olive branches out so his men could see their intentions. But peace was not in Alexander's mind. His phlanxes had already surrounded the city. At his signal they attacked, killing every man, woman, and child there. They destroyed the city as well, even tearing up the foundations of buildings so that not a trace of the city remained.<br>
<br>
In his official report, Callisthenes rewrote history, labeling the incident an act of revenge for Xerxes' defilement of the temple at Didyma. His audience could understand and sympathize. The Branchidae deserved their fate. The utter savagery of Alexander's troops could be excused.</em><br>
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#5
OK, I got that wrong, it was about priests, not soldiers. Same idea though, same result, same twisted reasoning by Alexander.<br>
<br>
Valete,<br>
Valerius/Robert <p></p><i></i>
_________________________________
Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR: Forum rules
FECTIO Late Roman Society
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
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#6
Sorry, I shouldn't have posted that without comment. Wasn't about you being wrong. I thought what he did here was even worse. Little Alex was an alcoholic homicidal thug. He killed more <em>Greeks</em> at Thebes, Granicus, and Issus than the Persians did in both of their invasions of Greece. <p></p><i></i>
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#7
i don't think hellens which was supporting the persian king can be related as traitors, since there was not a greek state. there was however a greek nation, but it was composed of different states, maybe it will be more appropriate to call it a civilization rather then a nation, and like for example western civilization is composed of different states of lets say western europe. so an englishman who was coleberating with the germans during wwII would be considered a traitor in england like tn athenian collaborating with spartan during the peloponnesian wars, but in a case of current US occupation of iraq most of the west european states avoided direct combat and even opposed the invasion and no one calls the traitors, therefor hellens who collaborated with Xerxes shoudn't't be considered traitors <p></p><i></i>
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#8
The ancient Greeks seemed to have a pathological dislike of each other than is almost pythonesque by modern standards.

It wasn't just friction between Achaian, Dorian, Ionian or Aiolian.

Sometimes it was within these groups - look at Sparta and Argos.

Had they ever truly united into a Pan-Hellenic superpower - would Macedon have risen to its preeminence? Would Rome have got off the ground? And so on ...

Their forms of democracy, oligarchy and all the rest - and their own micro-cultures - which created such a fractious assemblage of states and territories were far more important to them than any notion of greater brotherhood.

It was their achilles heel and their undoing - however, it does make them endlessly fascinating. 8) It was also at the root of why some would 'medize' and others firmly oppose the aggressor. The same was true in their dealings with Macedon and ultimately Rome. They wouldn't have viewed such views as treacherous. It was whatever was in the individual city-state's best interest that motivated them.
[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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#9
Quote:i don't think hellens which was supporting the persian king can be related as traitors, since there was not a greek state. there was however a greek nation, but it was composed of different states, maybe it will be more appropriate to call it a civilization rather then a nation,
I fully agree. As far as there was a sense of unity, it was partly forged during the war against Xerxes. "Greece" may be called Xerxes' most lasting legacy.

QUESTION: Why are so many posts on this topic anonymous?
Jona Lendering
Relevance is the enemy of history
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#10
because this is an old topic from RATv1. The anonymous posters are old members whose accounts have been deleted on RATv2
gr,
Jeroen Pelgrom
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I would rather have fire storms of atmospheres than this cruel descent from a thousand years of dreams.
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#11
I would say that, facing almost certain defeat, not really able to count on Athens or Sparta to send troops to defend you, not knowing if your state would be the only one to oppose the mighty Persians, you would be wise to send the water and earth. To call them traitors for avoiding their assured anhilation on Persias doorstep is a bit harsh. They did however, deprive themselves of the glory of defeating the Persians.

The Athenian victory had more to do with Persian mistakes and bad planning than anything else. It probably wasn't a great idea to provoke them. They were very lucky that Xerxes couldn't pull off the logistics.

But, were all glad they did right? Otherwise there would be alot less to talk about on this board.
Rich Marinaccio
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#12
Quote:But, were all glad they did right? Otherwise there would be alot less to talk about on this board.
What do you mean by that last bit? We would still have plenty to talk about, it would just be a different something, and we would be doing it in a different language. And Persian conquest was hardly going to destroy Greek culture, although history would have looked very different had Xerxes won.
Nullis in verba

I left this forum around the beginning of 2013, but I hope that these old posts have some value
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#13
......don't forget that even within the so-called 'free' greek cities there were factions, usually oligarchs such as the Alcmeonids in Athens, or the exiled Spartan king Demaratus who supported Persia for their own ends.
And let's not forget that the 'Hero' of the War against Xerxes, Themistocles himself, did not think it 'treachorous' to live out his life as a pensioner of the Persian Great King !! :lol:
I really don't think this debate has any meaning...... :roll: none of the real participants would have recognised the term as we see it, other than as propaganda mud to fling at opponents. :wink:
"dulce et decorum est pro patria mori " - Horace, ODES
(It is a sweet and proper thing to die for ones country)

"No son-of-a-bitch ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country" -GeorgeC Scott as General George S. Patton
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#14
When the Romanians threw out Ceasescu's regime they were asked by Western broadcasters whether it had really been necessary to shoot the man, without trial. The response, "Yes. Other question." (sic) could usefully be applied here.
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#15
Nations do not survive for more than four thousand years by by forgeting or forgiving.
The axiom of national survival is: FOTIA KAI TSEKOYRI STOYS PROSKYNYMENOYS! which means "axe and fire to those who bowed!"
The bigest mistake the that was done was that the Thebans and Thessalians were not anihilated after Platea!

Kind regards
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