what is the origin of this proverb

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kenduit

what is the origin of this proverb

Post by kenduit »

Hi
Was AlexanderThe Great the origin of this proverb?? Not sure how territorial fits in.
any info much appreciated.
Thanks Ken


"an army of sheep led by a lion defeating an army of lions led by a sheep"

what is the origin of this proverb i ask territorial it is
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Efstathios
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Post by Efstathios »

an army of sheep led by a lion defeating an army of lions led by a sheep
This sentence needs reversing in all parts. The Persian army, an army of lions? Dont think so. More like lambs, led by a sheep. Without wanting to diminish some of the Persian army warriors, there isnt any other word in that sentence that can be used instead. And of course the Macedonians werent an army of sheep. More like an army of lions, led by a lion.

And of course, there were Persians that were like lions, but they were few. Most of them didnt want to fight anyway, they were also conquered and couldnt care less about the Persian Empire. And that was obvious once Darius fled.
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Post by amyntoros »

Variations of this quote are all over the web. Wikipedia on this page lists many of the variations under an "Unsourced" Heading. There's only one which the author believes might conceivably be attributed to Alexander - the one supposedly quoted from Polybius. I say supposedly because I searched Polybius the last time this came up and the quote doesn't exist in the extant material.
An army of sheep led by a lion is better than an army of lions led by a sheep.
Attributed to Alexander, as quoted in The British Battle Fleet: Its Inception and Growth Throughout the Centuries to the Present Day (1915) by Frederick Thomas Jane, but many variants of this statement exist and have been attributed to others, though in research done for Wikiquote definite citations of original documents have not yet been found for any of them:

An army of sheep led by a lion are more to be feared than an army of lions led by a sheep.
Attributed to Chabrias, who died around the time Alexander was born.

It is better to have sheep led by a lion than lions led by a sheep.
Attributed to Polybius in Between Spenser and Swift: English Writing in Seventeenth Century Ireland (2005) by Deana Rankin, p. 124, citing A Contemporary History of Affairs in Ireland, from 1641 to 1652 (1880) by John Thomas Gilbert Vol. I, i, p. 153 - 157; but conceivably this might be reference to Polybius the historian quoting either Alexander or Chabrias.

An army composed of sheep but led by a lion is more powerful than an army of lions led by a sheep.
"Proverb" quoted by Agostino Nifo in De Regnandi Peritia (1523) as cited in Machiavelli - The First Century: Studies in Enthusiasm, Hostility, and Irrelevance (2005) by Mathew Thomson, p. 55

Greater is an army of sheep led by a lion, than an army of lions led by a sheep.
Attributed to Daniel Defoe (c. 1659 - 1731)

I am more afraid of one hundred sheep led by a lion than one hundred lions led by a sheep.
Attributed to Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord (1754 – 1838) Variants: I am more afraid of an army of 100 sheep led by a lion than an army of 100 lions led by a sheep.
I am not afraid of an army of one hundred lions led by a sheep. I am afraid of army of 100 sheeps led by a lion.

Variants quoted as an anonymous proverb:
Better a herd of sheep led by a lion than a herd of lions led by a sheep.
A flock of sheep led by a lion was more powerful than a flock of lions led by a sheep.
An army of sheep led by a lion would defeat an army of lions led by a sheep.
It were better to have an army of sheep led by a lion than an army of lions led by a sheep.
An army of sheep led by a lion, will defeat an army of lions led by a sheep.
An army of sheep led by a lion would be superior to an army of lions led by a sheep.

Unsourced attribution to Alexander: I would not fear a pack of lions led by a sheep, but I would always fear a flock of sheep led by a lion.

As one lion overcomes many people and as one wolf scatters many sheep, so likewise will I, with one word, destroy the peoples who have come against me.
This slightly similar statement is the only quote relating to lions in The History of Alexander the Great, Being the Syriac Version of the Pseudo-Callisthenes (1889) as translated by E. A. Wallis Budge, but it is attributed to Nectanebus (Nectanebo II).
Best regards,
Amyntoros

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jasonxx

Post by jasonxx »

If my mind serves me correct I think the quote also relates to Napoleons Description of the English.... Lions lead by sheep wich would be pretty accurate relating to British Soldiers.

Its always been the regular Tommy Behind Spear long bow and Rifle. Ordered by bought commisioned spoon fed pussies. With the odd exeption. Oliver Cromwell and Horatio Nelson. Who to be fair was pretty much resented by the aristocratic money masters. More so they ignored his dying wish too look after his love Lady hamilton.

Kenny
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Post by Vergina Sun »

jasonxx wrote:If my mind serves me correct I think the quote also relates to Napoleons Description of the English.... Lions lead by sheep wich would be pretty accurate relating to British Soldiers.
Maybe I'm incorrect, but I was taught that the phrase for the British soldiers during that time was "lions led by donkeys". They're both very similar, though.
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Post by derek »

Yes, the quote was "Lions led by Donkeys", because of the stupidity of the British generals. They were incapable of original thought and tried to fight a mechanized war the same way they'd won Waterloo. Their solution to every problem was to throw men at machine guns.

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Re: what is the origin of this proverb

Post by iamfullawesome »

I believe this quote means that Alexander was not afraid of being opposed by a pack of strong soldiers led by a weak leader, but he was afraid of facing an opponent who had weak soldiers and a strong leader, since the soldiers do whatever their leader does.
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Re: what is the origin of this proverb

Post by Persian »

@Efstathios, I can't believe people have made a site about Alexander a guy who was a one hit wonder. He inherited Macedonia, attacked Persian empire at the point that it was already week. Then couldn't control it and it all fell apart.

I think this is a forum for losers who are sticking to the past where they had some victory and can't get over it. Persians are not lambs. Persians united 44% of world population under one government. We set up the first federal government in the world and our emperor's name is in Bible as the Messiah because he was just.

To this day Persian empire in terms of population percentage is still a world record. Even to to this day, Iran is still 14th most powerful country in the world while "Mass"edonia is 133:

https://www.globalfirepower.com/countries-listing.asp

The reason for Alexander to win was because Cyrus was a new emperor and he had no experience in warfare and he had to execute his top advisor because he poisoned the previous king.

I don't blame Alexander when he wanted to be called a Persian king, as that has a lot of prestige, but we don't call savages like him our king. He is famous in Persia as Alexander the damned, as he was also damned graveless.

You want to know what great is? Go to United Nations and you will see Cyrus's Cylinder as the first charter of human rights in the lobby.

Seriously I can't believe a bunch of losers have created this stupid site to talk about some idiot war monger who could never rule.

You want to see how great Alexi boy was? have a read here MR. lion:

http://www.iranchamber.com/history/arti ... ander1.php

And this post is another indication how pathetic Macedonians are trying to take credit for some African proverb. :D :D :D :D
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Re: what is the origin of this proverb

Post by Persian »

Even the mediator is a fucking loser. lol.
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Re: what is the origin of this proverb

Post by Alexias »

Persian wrote: Tue Feb 02, 2021 10:41 am Even the mediator is a fucking loser. lol.
Excuse me? You might not have noticed that this is a global site with different time zones I have moderated your posts as soon as I was able. Some of us have lives.

You might want to ask yourself which is the dominant world culture, the European as represented by Alexander, or Persian culture? So who was the winner?
The reason for Alexander to win was because Cyrus was a new emperor and he had no experience in warfare and he had to execute his top advisor because he poisoned the previous king.
I think you mean Darius.

Please watch your language or I will moderate or delete all your posts.
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Re: what is the origin of this proverb

Post by sikander »

Greetings Persian,

It is unfortunate that you made a decision to post on this site in the manner you did.

You might have tried opening a discussion comparing various Persian kings before and during the time of Alexander; that would have been interesting, considering the beginnings and contributions of the Persian empire and its development from Deioces through the Achaemenid kings; even introducing some of the aspects of Persian governance that Alexander adapted to and was integrating into his own kingship, and would have enabled you and others to introduce some of the richness of Persian culture.

It could have been a good teaching moment; and, as Cyrus once suggested, mutual respect and courtesy could have opened doors to a wider understanding. Perhaps in future you could approach the discussion from a more generous mindset, and in doing so, introduce elements of Persian history and perspectives to the discussion?

Regards,
Sikander
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Re: what is the origin of this proverb

Post by sean_m »

All the peoples of Iran are great and creative and kind, and I don't know anyone who had to fight them who said they were not tough, but ...
Persian wrote: Tue Feb 02, 2021 7:59 amPersians are not lambs. Persians united 44% of world population under one government.
according to an anonymous Wikipedia editor in 2013.
My blog (Warning: may contain up to 95% non-Alexandrian content, rated shamelessly philobarbarian by 1 out of 1 Plutarchs)
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