"At least he makes it safe for travellers"

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sean_m
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"At least he makes it safe for travellers"

Post by sean_m »

My man Xenophon has this to say about Cyrus the Younger (Anabasis 1.9.13):
Xenophon the son of Gryllus wrote:in Cyrus' province it became possible for either Greek or barbarian, provided he were guilty of no wrongdoing, to travel fearlessly wherever he wished, carrying with him whatever it was to his interest to have.
Now, that is a very old and very young way of praising a ruler. There are a few examples in the Near East, including a Šulgi hymn (ETCSL 2.4.2.01) and one from the upper Euphrates a few years ago:
'Bilal' http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/22/world/middleeast/isis-transforming-into-functioning-state-that-uses-terror-as-tool.html?_r=0 wrote:“You can travel from Raqqa to Mosul, and no one will dare to stop you even if you carry $1 million,” said Bilal, who lives in Raqqa, the Islamic State’s de facto capital in Syria, and, out of fear, insisted on being identified only by his first name. “No one would dare to take even one dollar."
I am sure that I saw some examples in a 18th or 19th century writer talking about the aftermath of the '45 in Scotland and saying that at least the English had made it safe to travel in Scotland for the first time in 400 years. Putting the question of whether the surviving locals felt safe aside, can you think of the passage, or find other recent examples of this trope?
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sean_m
Pezhetairos (foot soldier)
Posts: 247
Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2014 4:00 pm

Re: "At least he makes it safe for travellers"

Post by sean_m »

Also, I guess there is an Alexandrian connection! He dutifully marched into the Zagros and subdued various tribes of 'bandits' although not forever. That seems to have been one of the things that a king was expected to do, just like a Babylonian king was expected to rebuild some temples and record the event in cuneiform, or a modern prime minister is expected to change the tax system.
My blog (Warning: may contain up to 95% non-Alexandrian content, rated shamelessly philobarbarian by 1 out of 1 Plutarchs)
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