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ROME MUST BE DESTROYED (Part II)

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ALEXANDER
Alexander the Great goes ashore in Asia (Minor). Artwork  by Tom Lovell.
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By Periklis Deligiannis
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Continued from PART I

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I go on with some more text from my historical novel “Rome must be destroyed ” which belongs to the sub-category of Historical Fiction. For more info and text, read PART I. A reminder of the plot: Alexander the Great has not died in 323 BC (year of his death in reality). He goes on living and invades Italy, Carthage and the Western Mediterranean. The peoples of those regions (Italians, Carthaginians, Libyans, Celtiberians, Gauls and many others) fight against him under the leadership of Rome, Carthage and Samnium. The hero of my book is not a Greek but a Roman (Aelius Sembronius Vulca), originally a mercenary of Alexander and then an enemy of him. After a series of diplomatic and strategic detours, bloody battles and –finally – total warfare, the war results…..
The first part of the novel (Sogdiana) takes place in the steppes of Central Asia (modern Uzbekistan), the second part (Return) in Italy, the third (Carthage) in Carthage, the fourth and the fifth……
This is the first book of a trilogy that I wrote on this subject.

I apologize in case that the translation in English is not ”literary” enough (or maybe it is!). Copyright is mine, thereby for a probable reproduction of this text, please send to me an e-mail message.

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SOGDIANA

[continued]

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All the barbarians were dead, except two women. The older one had the common Asiatic appearance. Her heavy wound indicated that she was running out of time. The other woman had an uncanny beauty, a real temptation for us men from the Inner Sea. She was young and diminutive. We were impressed by her narrow slanted eyes that looked like reptilian, her protruding cheek bones in her face below the eyes, her small slender nose and her very pale, almost yellow skin. Her body which was silhouetted below her thin leather dress, appeared to be well formed. Her breasts were small, but firm and well rounded.

I knew that most of the Sauromatae people resembled in appearance to the Asiatics. I now verified from this woman and her other dead comrades, that some resembled to the Serae and the Phryni who live afar in the East, beyond India, around a large Yellow river as they call it. I have seen a few Serae merchants at Farthest Alexandria. They had the same strange appearance and the same yellowish skin. The local Sogdians speaking about them, say that they are exceptionally civilised, their kingdoms are powerful and their armies are worthy of the Greek ones. They may say it to tease the Macedonians!
Volsinius the Campanian who had captured her, was most enchanted by the reptilian-eyed woman.
“That is my trophy!” said with joy. He could not wait for the moment to enjoy her. He dragged her holding her stiffly by the hair, whilst she pounded and kicked him. Three of the soldiers, who were passionately looking at her, approached the young girl. They wanted to taste her … If they wanted her Volsinius was unable to deny. He had the right to enjoy the woman first and keep her for his own, after the others had done with her. However the Italian mercenary did not want to share the girl and he was holding tightly his bloodstained spear. Centauros who had seen the threatening situation spoke.
“We don’t have time for this. We are leaving immediately! “.
“We won’t be long Centauros …” said Numerius.
“The Sauromatae we killed were few. They surely belong to a larger raiding party. Somewhere, close by, more enemies are lurking…. “

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ROME MUST BE DESTROYED (Part I): What if Alexander the Great had not died so young?

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phalanx(artwork  copyright: Johny Shumate)

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By Periklis Deligiannis
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Many readers know that I have written a historical novel entitled ‘Rome must be destroyed : What if Alexander the Great had not died so young?’  (See List of my Published Books and Articles  and also the book’s cover on the left of this page) which has been published a few years ago in Greek. I quote here the prologue, the beginning of the first chapter and the accompanying Historical Note for the English-speaking readers. I hope you enjoy it. I apologize in case that the translation in English is not ”literary” enough (or maybe it is!). Copyright is mine, thereby for a probable reproduction of this text, please send to me an email message.

Some more text of the novel you can read in Part II
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The official abstract of the novel (from the Greek edition):
What if Alexander the Great had not died so young? Would he be able to conquer the peoples of the Known World of his era? This is an exciting novel on the adventures and the new conquests of the great king, on the glory that in reality his early death (only 33 years old) had deprived him of. Through the narration of Aelius Sembronius Vulca, an adventurous Roman mercenary in Alexander’s army, an enthralling era is coming alive. Vulca, the main hero of the novel, is following Alexander at every step of his campaigns, until around 315 BC the warrior-king turns against the peoples and states of the Western Mediterranean and dismisses all mercenaries from those regions.
Vulca, the devout soldier of Alexander who fought for ten years at his side ready to sacrifice his life for his commander, will be found on the battlefields confronting him and enemies who until then were his brotherly friends, defending his homeland against the formidable Macedonian phalanx … Will he manage to prepare Rome, Carthage and the other Italian and Western Mediterranean states for the approaching threat? A Rome torn, ravaged by wars in Italy, intrigues and personal ambitions? Alexander is determined: Rome has to open her gates or be destroyed!…
This unique alternative history novel is the first part of a trilogy on the hypothetical march of Alexander to the Western Mediterranean and Europe. It is a work based on solid historical evidence, which enthrals the reader from the first page. An exciting adventure historically based on the real plans of the great warrior-king which, if not cancelled by his sudden death, may have formed completely different the World map until today … A novel that came so close on becoming reality…
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ROME MUST BE DESTROYED

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“… To built a thousand warships larger than triremes, in Phoenicia, Syria, Cilicia and Cyprus, for the needs of the campaign against the Carthaginians and the other peoples who inhabit the coasts of Libya and Iberia and all neighboring coasts around Sicily … “
(projects of Alexander the Great  quoted by Diodoros of Sicily, Book 18, 4).

“… Others say that (Alexander) was thinking (of sailing) to Sicily and the Cape of Iapygia; instigated also by the name of the Romans whose reputation was extended.”
(projects of Alexander  quoted by Arrian in his  Alexandrou Anabasis)

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FOREWORD

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About Alexander… About the years that we fought as his soldiers and as his enemies. This is what they asked me to recount every night around the fire. Members of my family, people of my clan, archons of our community, other young or mature men who would like to hear the man who lived all these harder than anyone else. To listen about this heroic age, as they were calling it … They didn’t know…
Now, at the end of my life, now that involuntarily comes to mind the account of the life of a man, now the image of all these is more intense than ever! Sometimes I remember them with suffering, sometimes with nostalgia. And sometimes when I’m alone, tears appear on my eyes. I succeeded or not on what I was requested to do? Was I the man who had to be in those difficult times? Did I save my people? The Senate and the People of Rome…
These questions are no longer torturing me anymore. They cannot be answered by me. Let my people judge me.
“Recount your memories Vulca … Speak to us…”

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ΕΤΡΟΥΣΚΙΚΟΙ ΣΤΡΑΤΟΙ: ΟΡΓΑΝΩΣΗ ΚΑΙ ΤΑΚΤΙΚΕΣ –Μέρος Β΄

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574848_351945891555654_1916636754_n

Ο ετρουσκικός στρατός του Λαρθ Πορσήνα συγκεντρώνεται κοντά στη Ρώμη (άνω αριστερά) στην αντίπερα όχθη του Τίβερη. Ενας κλασσικός πίνακας του Πήτερ Κόννολλυ. Διακρίνεται μία μεγάλη ποικιλία της ετρουσκικής οπλοσκυεής. Η έντονη ελληνική επίδραση είναι προφανής, όπως και τα εντόπια ιταλικά στοιχεία.
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ΕΤΡΟΥΣΚΙΚΟΙ ΣΤΡΑΤΟΙ: ΟΡΓΑΝΩΣΗ ΚΑΙ ΤΑΚΤΙΚΕΣ –Μέρος Α΄

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Παρά την αναφορά του Λίβιου στους «πολυάριθμους» Τυρρηνούς πολεμιστές, αυτοί θα ήταν αρκετά πολυαριθμότεροι αν η κοινωνία τους ήταν οργανωμένη πιο δημοκρατικά, μια λαμπρή εξέλιξη των ελληνικών πόλεων-κρατών την οποία αρνήθηκαν επίμονα να ακολουθήσουν. Ο Λίβιος ανεβάζει σε 50.000 πεζούς και 4.000 ιππείς, τις δυνάμεις που συγκέντρωσαν συνολικά οι Ετρούσκοι και οι Σαβίνοι για να συνδράμουν την Ρώμη το 225 π.Χ. Λαμβάνοντας υπόψη ότι αυτό το έτος η παλαιά πυκνοκατοικημένη Νότια Ετρουρία ήταν πλέον ρωμαϊκό έδαφος, καθώς και άλλες παραμέτρους, καταλήγουμε σε έναν συνολικό αριθμό 80.000 Ετρούσκων μαχίμων για τα τέλη του 6ου αι π.Χ. Φτωχός αριθμός για μια χώρα που υπολογίζεται ότι είχε τότε 600-800.000 κατοίκους. Συγκριτικά, οι ελληνικές περιοχές της Ιταλίας και Σικελίας διέθεταν σημαντικά μεγαλύτερο ποσοστό μαχίμων επί του συνολικού πληθυσμού τους, λόγω του ανώτερου πολιτικο-οικονομικού συστήματος, κυρίως λόγω της δημοκρατικής οργάνωσης τους. Λόγω αυτής της έλλειψης, σημαντικό τμήμα των τυρρηνικών στρατών αποτελούσαν οι υποτελείς ή μισθοφόροι στρατιώτες, οι Ούμβροι, οι Λατίνοι, οι Όσκοι, οι Κέλτες του πολιτισμού Γκολασέκα (Golaseca) κ.α.
Εκτός από το πεζικό, υπήρχε σημαντικό ιππικό. Ωστόσο οι Τυρρηνοί ιππείς πολεμούσαν συνήθως πεζοί, δηλαδή τα άλογα τους ήταν περισσότερο μεταφορικό μέσο. Πολεμούσαν έφιπποι μόνο όταν είχαν να αντιμετωπίσουν αντίπαλους ιππείς. Για αυτό και ο εξοπλισμός τους ήταν ουσιαστικά οπλιτικός. Οι εξαρτύσεις των αλόγων ανήκαν στον ελληνικό τύπο. Το πολεμικό άρμα εισήχθη στην Ετρουρία γύρω στα τέλη του 8ου αιώνα π.Χ., αλλά είναι αμφίβολο αν χρησιμοποιείτο ως όπλο κρούσης. Με την επικράτηση της οπλιτικής φάλαγγας έγινε μεταφορικό μέσον των στρατηγών, μέχρι που εξαφανίστηκε από το πεδίο της μάχης τον 5ο αιώνα π.Χ. Από εκεί και πέρα, κοσμούσε τους θριάμβους των Ετρούσκων στρατηγών, μια κληρονομιά που πέρασε και στους θριάμβους των Ρωμαίων υπάτων.

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ETRUSCAN WARFARE: ARMY ORGANIZATION AND TACTICS (Part II)

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Larth Porsena’s Etruscan army is concentrating outside Rome (top left) – a classic artwork by Peter Connolly. Porsena on the right is giving orders. A large variety of Tyrrhenian/Τyrsenian weaponry is depicted. The strong Greek influence is obvious, as well as the Italian elements.
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By Periklis Deligiannis
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Continued from  Part I

Despite Titus Livius’ reference to the “numerous Etruscan warriors”, they would be quite more numerous if their society was organized more democratically, a brilliant evolution of the Greek city-states which the Tyrsenians persistently refused to follow mainly because of ethno-social reasons. Livy quotes that in 225 BC the Etruscans and the Sabini raised 50,000 infantry and 4,000 cavalry to assist Rome against the Celts. Taking into account that in this year the heavy-populated Southern Etruria was already Roman territory, and some other parameters, we reach an estimate of 80,000 combatants (men able for service) for late 6th century BC Etruria. A poor figure for a country that as has been calculated by British and Italian scholars, it had a population of around 600,000-800,000 (higher and lower trustworthy estimates). In comparison, the Greek regions of Italy and Sicily had a significantly higher percentage of combatants on their total population, because of their higher politico-economic system, mainly their democratic or milder aristocratic regime. Because of this lack of combatants, a significant portion of the armies of the Tyrsenians consisted of their vassals, allies or mercenaries, such as the Umbrians, Latins, Oscans, Golaseca culture Celts and others.
Besides the infantry, the Etruscan armies had also strong cavalry units. However the Tyrrhenian horsemen used to fight on foot, ie their horses were mostly a transport. They were fighting on horseback only when they had to confront enemy cavalrymen. That is why their equipment was essentially hoplite. The harness of the horses belonged to Greek types. The war chariot was introduced in Etruria around the late 8th century BC, but it is very doubtful if it was used as a shock weapon. After the prevalence of the Greek-type hoplite phalanx it became a transport of the Etruscan generals, until the 5th century BC when it disappeared from the battlefields. After that, the chariot was used for the Triumphs of the Tyrsenian generals, a legacy that was inherited to the Triumphs of the Roman consuls.

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ΕΤΡΟΥΣΚΙΚΟΙ ΣΤΡΑΤΟΙ: ΟΡΓΑΝΩΣΗ ΚΑΙ ΤΑΚΤΙΚΕΣ –Μέρος Α΄

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chariotΕτρουσκικό πολεμικό άρμα ειδικά για τελετές.
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Τουλάχιστον δέκα διαφορετικές εθνο-γλωσσικές ομάδες εθνών μοιράζονταν την αρχαία Ιταλία και τα γειτονικά μεγάλα νησιά. Η πλούσια γη της προσείλκυσε διάφορους αποικιστές και εισβολείς. Μόνο δύο από αυτές τις ομάδες ήταν καθαυτό ιταλικές, η λατινική και η οσκο-ουμβρική, οι οποίες αποτελούσαν θλιβερή μειοψηφία απέναντι στα έθνη των νεοφερμένων. Οι Ιάπυγες και οι Πικηνοί της Ανατολικής Ιταλίας αποτελούσαν ιλλυριογενείς λαούς, καταγόμενοι εν μέρει από την απέναντι δαλματική ακτή. Οι Λίγυρες της βορειοδυτικής χώρας ήταν ένας πανάρχαιος λαός που ζούσε παλαιότερα σε μεγάλο τμήμα της Δυτικής Ευρώπης. Ανάλογη είναι η θέση των Ενετών της βορειοανατολικής Ιταλίας (τους οποίους μερικοί θεωρούν ιλλυρικό έθνος). Οι Σικελοί, Σαρδοί και Κόρσιοι που κατοικούσαν στις Σικελία, Σαρδηνία και Κορσική αντίστοιχα, θεωρείται ότι σχετίζονται με δύο από τους διαβόητους «Λαούς της Θάλασσας» του Αιγαίου, οι οποίοι συνετάραξαν την Ανατολική Μεσόγειο στο τέλος της Χαλκοκρατίας, τους Σεκελές (Shklsh) και Σερντέν (Shrdn). Οι συγκεκριμένοι λαοί που ηταν μάλλον μικρασιατικοί αναμείχθηκαν με Λίγυρες και Ίβηρες (προερχόμενους από την Ισπανία) που προϋπήρχαν σε αυτά τα νησιά. Οι άλλοι δύο λαοί της Σικελίας, Έλυμοι και Σικανοί, έχουν ενδεχομένως ιβηρική καταγωγή. Οι Φοίνικες, ικανοί Χανααναίοι ναυτικοί και αποικιστές, εγκαταστάθηκαν αργότερα στην Σικελία και την Σαρδηνία.
Είναι γνωστός ο ευρύς ελληνικός αποικισμός στα ιταλικά εδάφη. Πρωτοπόροι ήταν οι Κρήτες και οι Μυκηναίοι θαλασσοπόροι. Eκτός από τον γνωστό οργανωμένο αποικισμό από πόλεις-κράτη σημειώθηκαν και μετακινήσεις ολόκληρων ελληνικών φύλων, όπως για παράδειγμα ενός τμήματος Πελαγόνων Μακεδόνων το οποίο σε άγνωστη χρονολογία διέσχισε το στενό του Οτράντο και εγκαταστάθηκε στην Ιταλία, όπου το εθνωνύμιο του αποδόθηκε ως «Πελιγνοί» στην οσκική. Οι Πελαγόνες/Πελίγνοι υιοθέτησαν την οσκική γλώσσα αλλά διατήρησαν αρκετά στοιχεία της ελληνικής καταγωγής τους. Οι Έλληνες αποτελούσαν τον 5ο αι π.Χ. την πολυπληθέστερη εθνότητα της Ιταλίας, συγκεντρώνοντας περίπου το 1/3 του συνολικού πληθυσμού της (στα σημερινά της σύνορα τα οποία ωστόσο είναι πολύ διαφορετικά από τα αρχαία). Ο τελευταίος, χρονολογικά, λαός μεταναστών στην ιταλική γη ήταν οι Κέλτες (Γαλάτες) που κατέλαβαν την Παδανία (κοιλάδα του Πάδου) τον 4ο αιώνα π.Χ.. Οι προαναφερόμενοι λαοί προέρχονταν σχεδόν από όλα τα μήκη και πλάτη του τότε γνωστού κόσμου– από την μεσανατολική Συρία μέχρι την Ισπανία στην Δύση και την παγωμένη κελτική κοιτίδα στον Βορρά – κάνοντας έτσι την αρχαία Ιταλία μια «μικρογραφία» του. Το γεγονός ότι οι γλώσσες και οι πολιτισμοί τους δεν σχετίζονταν καθόλου, εξηγεί τις έντονες αντιθέσεις και αντιπαραθέσεις που δημιουργήθηκαν μεταξύ τους.

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ETRUSCAN WARFARE: ARMY ORGANIZATION AND TACTICS (Part I)

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chariotA Tyrrhenian war chariot, used especially in ceremonies.
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By Periklis Deligiannis

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In antiquity, at least ten different ethno-linguistic groups shared the Italian Peninsula and the neighboring islands. Its fertile land attracted invaders and colonizers coming from various other regions. Only two of these ethno-linguistic families were Italian (Italic); the Latin group and the Osco-Umbrian group, which were a minority among the peoples of the newcomers. All the rest were migrants from elsewhere:  The Iapyges (Iapygians) and the Piceni of eastern Italy spoke Proto-Illyrian languages, originating partly from the opposite Dalmatian coast. The Ligurians in the north-west were a very ancient people who formerly used to live in much of Western Europe. The Veneti or Eneti of the north-eastern country, ancestors of the modern Venetians, were in a similar ethno-linguistic position. Many scholars believe that they were an Illyrian people.

The Siculi (or Sikels), Sardi and Corsi who lived in Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica respectively, have been linked by the modern researchers to two of the renowned “Sea Peoples” of the Aegean Sea who created havoc around the Eastern Mediterranean at the end of the Bronze Age, namely the Shekelesh (Shklsh) and the Sherden or Shardana (Shrdn). These two migrant seafaring tribes, rather of Anatolian origin, were possibly mixed with the Ligurian and Iberian natives of these islands to produce the aforementioned peoples. The Corsi seem to have been an offshoot of the Sherden/Sardi. The other two peoples of Sicily, namely the Elymi (Elymians) and the Sikani had rather ‘Iberian origins’ accorging to the ancient Greek writers, that is to say rather being natives of the local Mediterranean pre-IE ethnolinguistic substratum. The same goes for the natives of Sardenia and Corsica (living at those isles before the coming of the Sea Peoples). The Phoenicians, skillful Canaanite sailors and colonists, settled later in Sicily and Sardinia.

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