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China’s Terracotta Army and the Greek involvement (part II)

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The Terracotta Army of China’s first emperor (credit: Wikimedia commons).

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By Periklis Deligiannis

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CONTINUED FROM  PART I

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The Achaemenid Persian kings were the first to settle Greek runaways, prisoners of war and mercenaries in Ferghana (W.W. Tarn and others). In 329 BCE, Alexander founded in the same valley his fortress-colony Alexandria the Furthest settling there some of his veterans and other soldiers. In the years to come, there were additional Hellenic settlements in the valley and its surrounding areas (in modern Tajikistan and Eastern Uzbekistan). In 238 BCE, the Greek provincial ruler of Bactria, Sogdiane and Ferghana declared his independence from the Seleucid dynasty. The Greeks of Bactria and Ferghana started to extend their territory to all directions. Their expansion to India resulted in the founding of the Indo-Greek kingdom – independent from the Greco-Bactrian one – which reached the peak of its power under the warrior-king Menandros.

However the ancient geographer Strabo informs us that the Bactro-Greeks marched even beyond Alexandria the Furthest, that is in the Tarim Basin and “extended their kingdom as far as the Seres and the Phryni” (Strabo 11.XI.I). The Greeks were calling “Seres and Phryni” the Chinese and the Proto-Turks or the Tibetans.  There is some evidence that the Bactro-Greeks may have sent expeditions as far as Kashgar in the Tarim Basin in the end of the 3rd century BCE, that is around the reign of the First Emperor in China (221-210 BCE). In any case, the Hellenistic art was diffused in the Tarim Basin in this era and also during the 2nd century BCE. The aforementioned Hellenistic archaeological findings in the Urumqi Museum came from this diffusion. (As I have watched in a TV reportage on the issue, there are also strong indications for the settlement of some Greek craftsmen and artists in a city of the Tarim Basin and some of them may had moved to the east, to China proper).

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China’s Terracotta Army and the Greek involvement (part I)

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urumchi-china

A warrior of Hellenistic style along with a depiction of a centaur, woollen wall hanging, Sampul tapestry, 3rd or 2nd century BCE, Sampul, Urumqi Xinjiang Museum. It is one of the most known items of Greek style in Tarim Basin in the era that the Terracota army was manufactured (credit: Wikimedia commons).

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By Periklis Deligiannis

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The main recent event concerning Archaeology and Ancient History is the estimation in a documentary jointly made by the BBC and National Geographic, of a group of archaeologists who continue the excavations at Emperor Ch’in Shi Huang’s Mausoleum with Dr. Li Xiuzhen being the Senior Archeologist, that there was a Hellenic involvement in the construction of the renowned “Terracotta Army” of the Emperor. “We now have evidence that close contact existed between the first emperor’s China and the west before the formal opening of the Silk Road. This is far earlier than we formerly thought,” said Li Xiuzhen. “We now think the Terracotta Army, the acrobats and the bronze sculptures found on site, have been inspired by ancient Greek sculptures and art.”

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THE PHRYGOBOEOTIAN HELMET: a case of hybrid helmet (IN MEMORIAM MIKHAEL GORELIK)

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phrygo-boeotian helmetPhrygoboeotian helmet.

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By Periklis Deligiannis

This is a little bit late dedication, but I was just informed about the death of the great Russian archaeologist, academician, historical author and illustrator Mikhael V. Gorelik (Михаил Викторович Горе́лик) who died on January 2015 in Moscow. Gorelik had been one of my favourite scholars and writers. I really admire his lifetime work especially on the study of the warfare of the Eurasian Steppes nomadic peoples.

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The Phrygoboeotian (Phrygo-Boeotian) helmet is a case of hybrid helmet used by the Macedonian armies of Alexander the Great and his Successors (Diadochoi and Epigonoi), as the archaeological finds demonstrate – either original pieces or artistic representations.
The Phrygoboeotian helmet was actually the old Boeotian casque with the addition of the peak of the “ethnic” Macedonian helmet known as Phrygian or Thracophrygian.
The Boeotian helmet was a patent of the Boeotians, initially appearing when they manufactured in metal form the shape of their characteristic leather caps. Xenophon in his “Hipparchikos” considers this casque as the ideal one for the cavalry due to its advantages, mainly the fact that it ensures a wide visual range for the cavalryman.

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THE HOPLITE PHALANX IN COMBAT (HOPLITE TACTICS)

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03A reenactment of the phase of ‘othismos’ during a hoplite conflict, from the Spanish Historical Association Athena Promachos (photo  copyright: Ana Belen Rubio).

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By Periklis Deligiannis

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Earlier related article: HOPLITE TACTICS: THE HOPLITE PHALANX

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The attack of the hoplite phalanx started with the hoplites of the three or four first ranks (lines) holding their spears horizontally facing the enemy. Thus three or four spearheads prevented the enemy from reaching the frontline of the phalanx. The hoplites of the rear ranks behind the third or the fourth one, were holding their spears in an inclined position in order not to injure with their spearheads the fellow hoplites of the front ranks and to have their sauroterae* directed downwards so that they could kill the wounded enemies lying in the ground, when they were marching over them. The main purpose of this inclined position of the spears was to intercept the missiles of the enemy light infantry (javelins, arrows, stones etc.).

The battle started with the two opposing hoplite phalanxes marching the one against the other. The approach to the battlefield was accompanied either by war anthems, the paeans – as the armies of Spartans and other Dorians used to do – or by war cries. When the hoplite armies approached each other at a distance of about half or one stadion (89 or 177 meters), the hoplites began to run in order to collide with the enemy. This is what the Athenians and the Plataeans did at Marathon against the Persians. The Spartans were an exception to this general rule because on the contrary they were marching in close quarters until the moment of the collision, and at a synchronized march, the pace of which was given by the sounds of pan-pipes. These tactics of the Spartans aimed to the terrorizing of the enemy army through their demonstrated collectedness and apathy. Some researchers have hypothesized that the armies of other Doric cities as well followed the same tactics when approaching the battlefield.

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ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, ΦΙΛΙΠΠΟΣ Β΄ ΚΑΙ ΠΡΟΓΕΝΕΣΤΕΡΟΙ ΜΑΚΕΔΟΝΕΣ ΒΑΣΙΛΕΙΣ: ΜΙΑ ΠΙΘΑΝΗ ΙΣΤΟΡΙΚΗ ΜΕΡΟΛΗΨΙΑ

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Alexander_British_Museum

Αλέξανδρος ο Μέγας
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Σε αυτό το αρθρο, θα ασχοληθω με μία πιθανή «ιστορική μεροληψία» σε βάρος του Μεγάλου Αλεξάνδρου και των Μακεδόνων βασιλέων πριν από τον Φίλιππο Β΄. Και την αποκαλώ «πιθανή» επειδή αρκετοί μελετητές έχουν προφανώς διαφορετική άποψη. Αυτή η κατάσταση οφείλεται στην απόδοση κατά τις δύο τελευταίες δεκαετίες ενός υπερβολικού θα έλεγα ρόλου στον μεγάλο βασιλιά Φίλιππο Β΄, πατέρα του Αλεξάνδρου Γ΄, ως προς τη δημιουργία της Μακεδονικής πολιτικοστρατιωτικής ισχύος η οποία απόδοση αδικεί τόσο τον Αλέξανδρο όσο και τους σπουδαίους Μακεδόνες βασιλείς πριν τον Φίλιππο.  Προκειμένου να παρουσιάσω το πρόβλημα θα παραθέσω μία σύντομη περίληψη της ιστορικής πορείας των Μακεδόνων έως τον Φίλιππο Β΄.

Οι Μακεδόνες ήταν φύλο της Βορειοδυτικής Ελληνικής ομάδας με καταγωγή από την περιοχή του όρους Λακμου της Ηπείρου, συγγενείς των Δωριέων (της φυλετικής ένωσης των οποίων είχαν αποτελέσει σημαντικό φυλετικό συστατικό), των Θεσσαλών, των Αιτωλών, των Μολοσσών κ.ά. Οι περισσότεροι ερευνητές και ιστορικοί παρουσιάζουν, μάλλον υπερβολικά, την υπέρμετρη ισχύ του Μακεδονικού Βασιλείου την οποία κληρονόμησε ο Αλέξανδρος, ως σχεδόν αποκλειστικό δημιούργημα του πράγματι μεγάλου βασιλιά Φιλίππου Β΄. Όμως αυτή η άποψη, εκτός από υπεραπλουστευμένη, είναι και μεροληπτική. Προκειμένου να δειχθεί το έργο των Μακεδόνων βασιλέων πριν τον Φίλιππο, αρκεί να αναφερθεί πως όταν οι Μακεδόνες ξεκίνησαν τη μεταναστευτική και έπειτα κατακτητική τους πορεία από την κεντρική Πίνδο προς τον χώρο που κατέστη αργότερα η πατρίδα τους, αριθμούσαν μόλις λίγες χιλιάδες πολεμιστές και τους αντίστοιχους αμάχους (σύμφωνα με την έκταση της Μακεδονίδος – βλ. στη συνέχεια – και τους συνήθεις πληθυσμούς των ορεσίβιων μεταναστευτικών φύλων της Χερσονήσου του Αίμου της εποχής).

Συνέχεια ανάγνωσης

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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THE HEYDAY OF THE ATHENIAN NAVY AND FLEET (325-322 BC)

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By  Periklis    Deligiannis

Τo  my  wife,  Nelly,  my  inspiration  and guiding  light  of  my  life .

trial

The  modern  trireme “Olympias.”

TABLE:  The  numbers  of  warships  of   the  Athenian  fleet  during  the  5th-4th centuries  BC

Chronology Number  of    warships
Around  500  BC 50  penteconters
Sea  Battle of  Salamis 480  BC  (along with  the  Athenian  clerouchs  in Chalkis) 200  triremes
468  BC 200  triremes
After  the  failed  campaign  in  Egypt 200  triremes
outbreak  of  the  Peloponnesian  War (431 BC) 300  triremes
Nikias’  Peace  (421  BC) 300  triremes
Sicilian  disaster  (413  BC) 108  triremes
Battle  of  Arginousae  (406  BC) 180  triremes
Aegospotamoi  (405 BC) 180  triremes
After  the  final  defeat  of  Athens  (404 BC) 12  triremes
370  BC 100  triremes
Around  350 BC 300  triremes
325-3  BC 417 warships=  360  triremes,  50  quadriremes  and  7 quinqueremes.

Athens  was  not  one  of  the  traditional  naval  powers  of  Greece.  Around  500  BC,  its  fleet  was  rather  insignificant  comparing  to  the  powerful  fleets  of  triremes  and  biremes  of  Corinth,  Miletos,  Samos,  Aegina  and  other  maritime  city-states,  consisting  of  50  outdated  penteconters (small  50-oared  warship).  The  Athenian  fleet  was  relatively  newly  built,  thanks  to  the  perseverance  of  Themistocles.  In  fact  it  was  built  a  few  years  before  its  great  victory  at  Salamis  (480  BC)  against  the  fleet  of  the  Achaemenid  Persians.  During  the  greatest  part  of  the  “Golden”  5th  century  BC,  the  Athenian  fleet  consisted  of  300  triremes , of  which  usually  200  were  manned,  or  maximum  250.  A  part  of  the  crews  were  Athenians  or  ‘metoikoi’ (foreign  residents)  in  Attica,  but  a  great  number  of  mercenaries  and  allies  from  various  maritime  Aegean  cities  were  also  employed.  Apart  from  this  fleet,  Athens  had  under  its  control  the  180  triremes  and  the  crews  of  its  subject  naval  allies,  namely  the  islands  of  Chios,  Lesbos  and  Samos.  So  the  final  number  of  triremes  at  its  disposal,  was  480.  When  the  Athenians  were  eventually  defeated  in  the  Peloponnesian  War,  Sparta  have  allowed  them  to  keep  only  12  triremes  as  a  coastguard  of  Attica  against  pirates  or  other  threats  (404  BC).  Perhaps  the  Spartans  believed  that  thus  they  undermined  the  Athenian  navy,  but  if  they  did,  they  were  wrong.  The  sea  power  of  Athens  was  not  identified  with  the  amount  of  its  warships.  As  it  turned  out,  even  if  the  Athenians  have  been  losing  their  vessels  by  the  hundreds,  the  shipyards  of  Piraeus  (the  main  harbor  of  Athens)  could  replace  them.  The  naval  power  of  Athens  was  identified  with  the  shipbuilding  and  seafaring  abilities  of  its  men,  but  also  with  the  perseverance  of  its  people.

Plan
Plans  of  a  trireme  by  J.F. Coates.

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CONFRONTING DESPERATELY THE INVADER: A strategic analysis of Memnon’s war plan against Alexander the Great (334 BC) (IN MEMORIAM PETER CONNOLLY)

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In  memory  of  PETER  CONNOLLY  (1935-2012),  one  of  the  foremost  modern  scholars,  archaeologists  and  illustrators  of  the  ancient  world.

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Alexander  and  his  Companions  are  crossing  the  river  Granicus.  The  greatest  adventure  of  World  History  is  just  beginning (artwork  by  Peter  Connolly).

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By  Periklis    Deligiannis

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The  main  problem  of  the  Persian  army  at  the  Battle  of  Granicus  against  Alexander  the  Great  (334  BC),  was  its  polycentric  leadership.  The  Persian  leadership  consisted  of  five  Iranian  satraps,  a  Rhodian  Greek  mercenary  officer  called  Memnon,  and  several  other  generals  and  commanders.  It  seems  that  Arsites,  the  satrap  of  Hellespontic  Phrygia,  was  the  official  general  commander,  but  the  other  Iranian  satraps  and  generals  were  generally  unruly  and  disobedient,  and  not  influenced  by  his  office. Memnon  was  probably  the  ablest  general  in  the  Persian  headquarters,  as  it  is  evidenced  by  Darius’ (the  Persian  Great  King/Emperor)  appreciation  for  him.  Moreover  he  had  lived  for  a  decade  in  Macedonia  and  probably  knew  all  about  the  Macedonian  Greek  army,  while  he  had  confronted  the  Macedonians  for  two  years  (337-335 BC)  as  a  general,  fighting  the  first  invading  army  of  Parmenio  and  Kalas  in  Asia  Minor.  Memnon  was  certainly  a  very  capable  commander,  but  his  commanding  ability  and  the  value  of  his  proposal  to  the  Persian  council  of  war  in  Zeleia  (see  below)  have  been  probably  exaggerated  by  some  ancient  Greek  authors  (Arrian,  Diodorus  etc.)  who  preferred  their  mercenary  fellow-countryman  as  a  protagonist  in  the  Persian  war  effort,  than  the  Iranian  commanders.  But  despite  Memnon’s  strategic  ability,  Darius  could  not  appoint  him  high  commander  of  the  Persian  amry  against  Alexander,  because  he  was  not  Persian  or  Median.  The  proud  and  rebellious  satraps  and  “relatives  of  the  Great  King”  (a  honorific  title  of  the  most  powerful  Iranian  nobles)  would  never  obey  a  “barbarian”  (from  the  Iranian  point  of  view).

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ΤA ΞΙΦH ΤΩΝ ΕΛΛΗΝΩΝ ΟΠΛΙΤΩΝ

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Κοπις

Σύγχρονη  ανακατασκευή  μίας  κοπίδας  και  ενός  οπλιτικού  δερμάτινου  θώρακα. (ευγενική    χορηγία    του    Συλλόγου    Ιστορικών    Μελετών    ‘Κορύβαντες‘ )

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Το  ελληνικό  οπλιτικό  ξίφος  ήταν  αμφίκοπο.  Η  λάμα  του  ήταν  πλατύτερη  στο  μέσον  του  μήκους  της  έτσι  ώστε  το  βάρος  της  να  συγκεντρώνεται  σε  αυτό το  σημείο  κάνοντας  το  θλαστικό  κτύπημα  στον  εχθρό  ακόμη  πιο  συντριπτικό.  Το  ελληνικό  ξίφος  χρησιμοποιείτο  εξίσου  και  για  διατρητικό  κτύπημα.

Το  ξίφος  ήταν  επικουρικό  όπλο  για  τους  Έλληνες  οπλίτες, που  το  χρησιμοποιούσαν  συνήθως  όταν  έσπαζε  το  δόρυ  ή  όταν  το  τελευταίο  δεν  μπορούσε  να  χρησιμοποιηθεί  λόγω  περιορισμένου  χώρου.  Ωστόσο  δεν  υστερούσαν  στη  ξιφομαχία, συγκριτικά  με  τη  δορυμαχία.  Διάφοροι  μελετητές  υπονοούν  συχνά  ότι  οι  Ρωμαίοι  λεγεωνάριοι  της  εποχής  της  μεγάλης  ακμής  τους, ήταν  καλύτεροι  ξιφομάχοι  συγκριτικά  με  άλλους  λαούς  που  δεν  προτιμούσαν  την  χρήση  του  ξίφους, ανάμεσα  στους  οποίους  βρίσκονται  οι  αρχαίοι  Έλληνες.  Όμως,  πρέπει  να  παρατηρηθεί  ότι  οι  Ρωμαίοι  χρησιμοποιούσαν  το  βαρύ  ξίφος  τύπου  «γκλαντιους» (gladius  italiensis  και  αργότερα  το  ισχυρότερο  gladius  hispaniensis) που  δε  χρειαζόταν  ιδιαίτερη  επιδεξιότητα  στην  χρήση  του. Οι  Ρωμαίοι  χρησιμοποιούσαν  το  βάρος  και  το  σχήμα  του,  το  οποίο  επέτρεπε   την  πλήρη  εκμετάλλευση  αυτού  του  βάρους, προκειμένου  να  πετύχουν  συντριπτικό  κτύπημα  έναντι  του  αντιπάλου  τους, καταστρέφοντας  και  την  ασπίδα  του  αν  αυτή  δεν  ήταν  μεταλλική (όπως  συνέβαινε  συνήθως  με  τις  ασπίδες  των  εχθρών  της  Ρώμης).  Αντίθετα, τα  ελληνικά  ξίφη  ήταν  σχετικά  ελαφρά,  με  την  εξαίρεση  της  κοπίδας (ή  «μάχαιρα»  ή  falcata, falx  όπως  ήταν  γνωστή  στην  δυτική  Μεσόγειο)  και  λίγων  άλλων  τύπων.  Αυτό  το  στοιχείο  δείχνει  ότι  οι  Έλληνες  χρησιμοποιούσαν   ειδική  τεχνική  στη  χρήση  του  ξίφους  προκειμένου  να  τραυματίσουν  ή  να  σκοτώσουν  τον  αντίπαλο  τους.  Εξάλλου  αυτός   ο  αντίπαλος  ήταν  συνήθως  Έλληνας  οπλίτης  και  δεν  υπήρχε  ξίφος  που  θα  μπορούσε  με  άτεχνα  δυνατά  κτυπήματα,  να  συντρίψει  τη  στιβαρή  ορειχάλκινη  οπλιτική  ασπίδα  του.  Επιπρόσθετα, ο  οπλίτης  ήταν  καλά  θωρακισμένος  με  κράνος  και  θώρακα  διαφόρων  τύπων.  Ο  μόνος  τρόπος  που  ο  Έλληνας  οπλίτης  μπορούσε  να  κτυπήσει  με  το  ξίφος  του  την  σάρκα  του  ομοεθνούς  αντιπάλου  του  ήταν  η  ανάπτυξη  της  δεξιότητας  του  στην  χρήση  αυτού  του  όπλου.  Συμπερασματικά, οι  Ρωμαίοι  απλά  προτιμούσαν  τη  χρήση  του  ξίφους  περισσότερο  από  τους  Έλληνες, χωρίς να  είναι  καλύτεροι  ξιφομάχοι  από  τους  τελευταίους. Συνεχίστε την ανάγνωση

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