Paralus, my use of numbers is telling? Yet it is the numbers that you are using to point out the cruel and heinious nature of Alexnader's Indian campaign. I was pointing out that I have a problem with the the numbers, as I have a problem with all the numbers in the sources. Curtius, using Gaugamela as an example had a much more conservative number, 250K, but having reread Engels again the other day, I wonder quite rightly if even that number is not vastly inflated.
I don't need to defend them. It happened in some form or other.. Finding out what really happened is what interests me.
Amyntoros, yes Plutarch did say from youth on upwards, yet not a few months later, Peucestas shows up with a herd of them "little kids". I am well aware of the other sources regarding this, but my point was that by taking the sources, only one in this case, we can create any scenario we want.
I'm not cherry picking, because I don't care either way, really. Paralus does have a certain POV that I may or may not agree with. Listen, I don't excuse ALexander of anything. It would be pointless. Nor do I think historians should use him to beat their own political modern POVS (not saying this is you Paralus). I want to find that middle that might actually approximate the real man and his times.
As to the Lane Fox crack, I never got the impression that Alexander was a gentleman conqueror from that book. But then he didn't try to compare Alexander to the Greek junta or Nazi stormtroopers so he is an apologist. I went into Green's and Fox's books before I started talking about ATG to anyone. I, too drew my own conclusions.
What I got from Fox was a desire to learn more and I started reading the sources. And read other modern writers. What I got from Green was a book thick with anachronistic POV shoving. All of Alexander's motives MUST be suspect! Say something good about Alexander or attempt to see his actions through his own POV and you are an apologist. Good grief, I'm so leftwing I'm a redneck, but I don't want it in my history. Nor do I want Tarn, who I have never read. I never bought that brotherhood of man malarky. Dr. Pal has interesting ideas, but I certainly disagree with his "UN" idea of ATG.
Semiramis, thank you. That's the point I'm trying to make. There was slaughter in war then. Conquest was the norm. Again I don't excuse it, but I do not need to. Those long dead victims do not need my defense. But I am not going to use their dead shades to advance my modern views either. But I do want to know IF the Macedonians telling their history inflated the numbers of their enemy dead because that would have been their cultural expectation to do so, or vice versa, never admit the heavy toll it was taking on them.
By the same token, I do not view Alexander as some glorious leader shining the blessings of Greece onto a barbarian world. He was a product of his family's, his kingdom's and his own expectations. He was not a product of middle platonists like Plutarch or Roman historians with their own POV to advance. Peeling away those later expectations or value judgements is what I want.
He is not the product of an Oxford don who grows flowers or of other professors who seem to only be able to view him through tthe lens of our own painful, recent totalitarian past.
I run into this elsewhere, where, sadly, the nationalists and "there is no way that Alexander could have had sexual relations with men and here's PROOF!!!!". Oddly enough, there I come off sounding like Green and have been accused of such. I am apparantly only interested in anything that puts a negative light on Greece and Alexander.
I do always get a chuckle out of the Spartan struggle for freedom, though. And Athens as well. The actual events of Thermopylae and Salamis, and earlier at Marathon are fascinating as a small dysfunctional group of city states whooping the great Persian invasion, but as far as freedom goes...though, and I may get accused of moral relativism, I'm sure the slave owners DID see it as a fight for their way of life.
Using these events as a standard for modern freedom movements is a bit of a stretch, though, to put it kindly. It's like some politcial blogger who favourably compared George Bush to Alexander the Great. Some things are just best left in the distant past. I was laughing so hard I never could respond to that comparison. How could one with a straight face?