Hypocrisy

Discuss the culture of Alexander's world and his image in art

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Semiramis
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Post by Semiramis »

alejandro wrote:At the same time, it is interesting to notice that the same kind of policy would have been employed by the Persians. We know that Alexander may have been despised for being short (for Persians, it seems that the taller the better), ruddy (or at least that is what Mary Renault suggests, especially when combined with a bad tan :) ) and young and inexperienced (until Issos at least). Now there you have several ingredients for a political cartoon in "The Babylonian Times" or "Persian News"! :) What about a baby-conqueror, very small compared to Darios and with a pale/sunburnt face? Now THAT is news! :D
Hi Alejandro,

Mmm... not to mention his eunuch-like beardless face... drinking habits... the pretensions of these barbarian upstarts to the empire when they can't tell a coronation ceremony from a wedding. Don't the even know how to prostate themselves in front of the Great King? What's with calling him by his name, like he's a common foot soldier? :D

I think the Achaemenids generally had a non-interference policy with their subjects in terms of cultural practices. Local authorities were allowed their hand. I imagine tribute and loyalty was the only thing that was of real concern to the Great King. The highest positions of the empire were occupied by the Persians but overall it was a very multicultural and multilingual affair. Cyrus the Great in particular gets a pretty good rep from Jewish sources for his decent treatment of displaced Jews. There was the declaration by Cyrus... what to call it... human rights charter? Sadly, the closest parallel, Alexander's Opis speech doesn't seem to be historically authentic.

Take care

Semiramis :)
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Paralus
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Post by Paralus »

Semiramis wrote:[ The highest positions of the empire were occupied by the Persians but overall it was a very multicultural and multilingual affair. Cyrus the Great in particular gets a pretty good rep from Jewish sources for his decent treatment of displaced Jews. There was the declaration by Cyrus... what to call it... human rights charter? Sadly, the closest parallel, Alexander's Opis speech doesn't seem to be historically authentic.
Indeed, Alexander's "prayer" for brotherhood, democracy for the oikoumene all over, et al is ahistorical.

Much is made of Cyrus - his cylinder especially - and his treatment of subject peoples, the Jews especially. I have this inkling that Cyrus - like George W - had his ancient "Foxtel". His propaganda has worked well. Which is not to say that he he wasn't tolerant. At least while he was firmly in control.

With eyes firmly afixed Nilewards, a happy and recently returned Jewish population was unlikely to object to either a transiting army of invasion or its supply.
Paralus
Ἐπὶ τοὺς πατέρας, ὦ κακαὶ κεφαλαί, τοὺς μετὰ Φιλίππου καὶ Ἀλεξάνδρου τὰ ὅλα κατειργασμένους;
Wicked men, you sin against your fathers, who conquered the whole world under Philip and Alexander.

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Semiramis
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Post by Semiramis »

Paralus wrote: Indeed, Alexander's "prayer" for brotherhood, democracy for the oikoumene all over, et al is ahistorical.

Much is made of Cyrus - his cylinder especially - and his treatment of subject peoples, the Jews especially. I have this inkling that Cyrus - like George W - had his ancient "Foxtel". His propaganda has worked well. Which is not to say that he he wasn't tolerant. At least while he was firmly in control.

With eyes firmly afixed Nilewards, a happy and recently returned Jewish population was unlikely to object to either a transiting army of invasion or its supply.
Paralus,

Many of your posts smack of thoughtcrime. The relevant authorities have been notified. :P
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Paralus
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Post by Paralus »

Well this is a site devoted to Alexander: War is peace.
Paralus
Ἐπὶ τοὺς πατέρας, ὦ κακαὶ κεφαλαί, τοὺς μετὰ Φιλίππου καὶ Ἀλεξάνδρου τὰ ὅλα κατειργασμένους;
Wicked men, you sin against your fathers, who conquered the whole world under Philip and Alexander.

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Vergina Sun
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Post by Vergina Sun »

Semiramis wrote:
jasonxx wrote:It goes without saying the Hoplite Demonstration in 300 is about the best scene of battle Ive seen.
Hi Kenny,

OK! Sold! Paralus mentioned something about a bottle of wine to go with the DVD. Who am I to ignore the advice of one so wise? :)
jasonxx wrote:You make a very good and valid point about good guys bad guys and how one would interprit an Enemy Invader etc. And the point in my opinuion is relevent to 300.

Its been critisized for Orcs. Disfigured and monstrous Persians. Ok its not true but in the eyes mind it probably is. A people would paint a similar picture of those who intend to over run and conquer your land.

I just think the whole concept is symbolic of what war really is. And as far as the Deformed Monstrous Persians its basically adding to the Ancient Greek Concept that all apart From Greeks are Barbarians only these Barbarians are monstrous to boot.
Brilliant observations about the monsters in the mind's eye. I find it interesting that Alexander during his pan-Hellenic campaign of revenge is said to have thrown his spear onto Asia in emulation of Achilles. But Xerxes too, during his Greek invasion, also invoked Homer. Revenge for the previous Greek invasion apparently. :)

What I find fascinating about Homer is how human both sides of the war are.. how nuanced, flawed and justified all the main characters are in their own way. To the point where it's possible to identify with either side. I wish this type of narrative would come back into fashion. :) Is that too much to ask for from Hollywood? Or maybe we should just be happy to get Brad/Orlando/Eric et al. in pretty costumes? ;)
I completely agree with your point on how human characters used to be. There was no perfect side or completely just side. You could pity both of them. There was no hatred for the other side, but perhaps sorrow. Honestly, movies are getting so "good vs. bad" nowadays. I mean, I don't mind "Brad/Orlando/Eric et al." in pretty costumes :wink: , but if only Hollywood could add flaws to the characters! (Perhaps then they can also get a pity factor?)
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Paralus
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Post by Paralus »

Vergina Sun wrote:[ Honestly, movies are getting so "good vs. bad" nowadays. I mean, I don't mind "Brad/Orlando/Eric et al." in pretty costumes :wink: , but if only Hollywood could add flaws to the characters! (Perhaps then they can also get a pity factor?)
They cast Brad Pitt as Achilles didn't they? How many flaws can one movie-goer stand?!

Orcs as Ephors. Silly.
Paralus
Ἐπὶ τοὺς πατέρας, ὦ κακαὶ κεφαλαί, τοὺς μετὰ Φιλίππου καὶ Ἀλεξάνδρου τὰ ὅλα κατειργασμένους;
Wicked men, you sin against your fathers, who conquered the whole world under Philip and Alexander.

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Semiramis
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Post by Semiramis »

Paralus wrote:They cast Brad Pitt as Achilles didn't they? How many flaws can one movie-goer stand?!
They wanted Brad Pitt as Hephaistion too but apparently that role wasn't too good for Brad's image. :roll: Did anyone else laugh out loud when Helen said to Paris in Troy "Last night was a mistake."?
jasonxx

Post by jasonxx »

I think the labels etc and the conceptions people. Apposing enemies are just a few step up from Steriotypes.

I wonder just what the main piss take of Alexander went round the Persian dinner tables. I guess theres plent a Persian could deride a mere semi barbaric yob from the uncouth Macedonian plains.

A silly 5.6 Blonde haired wierdo streaking round Troy with his equaly wierd mates pretending to be Achilles. I guess theres many put downs initially. I would wager when this little object of derision started mopping up Asia Minor and Persian Armies i would gues the images got a bit more sinister and monstrous images.

Its ok to deride the symboliosm of 300 but id say its very much close to the mark. Even in some Asian Sates following Alexander was derided as a boogie man. The Persians in 300 are basically depicted as bogie men.

As far as the story been a no brainer go under the fighting and look at the trechery and undermininhg politics its much more than abloody war film. The symbolism was not only about the Persiansit also made out the Oracles and readers as semi twisted monsters and junkies. Drunk on the moneys they were bribed with.

Kenny
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Post by Semiramis »

jasonxx wrote:I would wager when this little object of derision started mopping up Asia Minor and Persian Armies i would gues the images got a bit more sinister and monstrous images.
Hi Kenny,

IMHO,You wager correctly. Sounds like the ''Alexander the Accursed" of Zoroastrian texts. An honorific title previously reserved only for the Devil in Zoroastrian religion. Then again, it is written that he was sent down by this Evil Spirit to destroy everything good. Zoroastrian tradition is pretty insistant that Alexander killed many priests and destroyed Zoroastrian temples. So, perhaps it was appropriate from their point of view. The devil is still represented with horns in modern day Iran (Europe too), stemming from the son of Amun's representation of himself with Ram's horns in coinage. It seems that emoticon is another legacy of Alexander's! :twisted:
jasonxx

Post by jasonxx »

Semira Hail

I think wereon the same path. So as long as you watch the 300 with these points in mind Im sure you will like it. See the movie not as an exact but as representations.

See the Persians and see if you as a Spartan would see them asd Pleasand mild mannered people or monstrous animals set on destroying you.

With regard to some peoples problems with inacuracies I would say there were not as many as Alexander. Ok the film chose to skip over Greek contributions.

see the film for a good old goodies baddies with the best battle scenes for decades. A great point was it gave a real feel of Hoplite Spartan war tactics.

Plus for the ladies the guys dressed apropriate. its been ridiculed that the Spartans ware no armour again in the movie. Once again Symbolic of the Spartan Ideal Im sure which is why the word Spartan has such a definition in the Dictionary.

Film Critics can go swivel they only talk bull for bull sake. If movies were rated by the studio Audiences this movie im sure will be in the top five. Not based on some Anorak trying to be clever with words and calling it a no brainer. The movie told the story very simplistically what it was about. If no brainer then it effected my son to the point of tears that a hero died.

Better than the stupid cartoons and unfunny comedies.

just see the movie and tell me if im wrong.

Kenny
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Post by Semiramis »

Hehe.. I will .. I will see 300 when it's out in my neck of the woods... Absolutely LOVED the Alexander movie. Never really expect too much historical accuracy from Hollywood, so whatever's there is usually a pleasant surprise. Both these movies had slightly unfortunate timing though. Alexander with conquerers marching off to Babylon... Now 300 highlighting the Persian threat. You see where I'm coming from?
jasonxx

Post by jasonxx »

Semari

I give you a challenge once you see 300. Decide whick king/// Stones Alexander or Butlers Leonidas would be believable to inspire great feats from his soldiers.

Kenny
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Post by Efstathios »

Kenny, hi.

I do not think that Alexander talked like Leonidas anyway. Especially like Leonidas in the movie. Surely Leonidas would talk somewhat like Butler, when he wanted to inspire his soldiers before or during the battle. But 300 was filmed in a studio. Butler's voice is more supreme in a close space, as it is heard in the movie. It wouldnt be like that if the movie was filmed outdoors.

Furthermore, lets not forget that the real Leonidas, as well as Butler, was more robust in looks and behaviour than Alexander. Alexander was a 20 year old young man, blond, or dark blond, with light skin and an image that generally doesnt remind robust. Except from the fact that he had a well trained body of course.

That of course doesnt mean that he didnt have these skills to inspire his army in battle.The main reason though why his soldiers and friends were inspired by him and followed him and loved him was that he was at the front line of the battle fighting fiercely. Thus his soldiers seeing him in front of anyone else, they appreciated him tried to emulate him.

By what Plutarch said, Alexander had a deep sounding voice, maybe like Butlers, but it was the other things too, that made him a leader and loveable amongst his army.
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Post by Paralus »

Efstathios wrote:The main reason though why his soldiers and friends were inspired by him and followed him and loved him was that he was at the front line of the battle fighting fiercely. Thus his soldiers seeing him in front of anyone else, they appreciated him tried to emulate him.
Unlike the Spartans with their kings; unlike the Athenians led by Kimon or Perikles and unlike Epaminondas and Pelopidas.

Not to mention the fact that Alexander spent a goodly part of his life outdoing his father, Philip II, in this regard.

Again, there is nothing unusual in Alexander's behaviour here.
Paralus
Ἐπὶ τοὺς πατέρας, ὦ κακαὶ κεφαλαί, τοὺς μετὰ Φιλίππου καὶ Ἀλεξάνδρου τὰ ὅλα κατειργασμένους;
Wicked men, you sin against your fathers, who conquered the whole world under Philip and Alexander.

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Post by jasonxx »

Efts

I think your missing the point .As you correctly said Alexander was only 20 but still he inspired his troops to nearly the ends of the earth. I would say a lot of Alexanders oration was outdoors and he still inspired or cojoled his troops.

Indoors or out doors Butler with the way he delivered would inspire. Compared to farrels week weapy River Speach. Going on that performance Id say the macedonians would be tempted to stuff him in a wicker basket and set fire to him. I doubt he could inspire his Macedonians to get the drinks in.

Kenny
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