Eugene Borza on Stone's "Alexandar"

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f9bob

Eugene Borza on Stone's "Alexandar"

Post by f9bob » Fri Dec 03, 2004 6:51 pm

Eugene Borza, a historian regarded as one of the world's leading experts on ancient Macedonia, derailed Stone's new film with relish Thursday when he spoke in a crowded Stahr Auditorium at Franklin & Marshall College.
Borza, a retired Penn State professor, prefaced his criticism by describing the many ways Alexander has been mythologized since the day he died in 323 B.C.
But to make a good film, a director needs to understand his subject. That's not easy when your subject is a legend. Borza said Stone doesn't understand Alexander, but then, neither do historians.
"Movie critics have complained that the movie lacks coherent vision. The fault may not be Stone's," Borza said. "We know what (Alexander) did, and it continues to astonish us, but we don't know how or why he did it."
Alexander, son of Philip II of Macedonia, was respected as a military commander by age 18, crowned king of the Greek city states at age 20 and conquered much of the world, from Athens to India, before he died of an infectious disease at age 32.
"That's a stunning career," Borza said.
Some historians, and Stone, argue that Alexander's goal was spreading the gospel of Greek culture, the so-called Hellenization of the ancient world. That was never Alexander's policy, Borza said. The general was a talented commander out to test himself and his men for no good reason.
"Stone suggests some noble purpose for Alexander's mad, bloody tromp across Asia," Borza said, "He and his historical consultant shared a need to give meaning to a meaningless conquest."
Borza argues that ancient Macedonia - present-day northern Greece and the Republic of Macedonia - should be studied as a nation distinct from ancient Greece. The Greeks never liked Alexander in his day. It was only after he became a respectable legend that they laid claim to him as their own, heterosexual, hero.
Borza asserted that Alexander was bisexual. In addition to his liaison with Hephaiston, the historian suspects the general had a close relationship with a eunuch. He also had three wives. The historian reminded his audience that Alexander lived in the 4th century B.C., and was by no means bound to the mores of Orthodox Christianity.
However, he said Stone's use of sexuality in the film is explotive and unnecessary.
Among the films merits, Borza noted that the drinking implements and jewelry are modeled after artifacts discovered 25 years ago in Macedonian tombs. He also approved of several battle scenes.
"The bad news is t

F9bob

Eugene Borza on Stone's part two

Post by F9bob » Fri Dec 03, 2004 6:55 pm

"The bad news is that errors abound, and it is not historical nit-picking to suggest these could have been avoided," Borza said.
The film uses "Greek" and "Macedonian" interchangeably and refers to Alexander as "the Great" even though the moniker wasn't added for several centuries.
Borza said he could go on, but he needed time to criticize the film's artistic merits, or lack thereof. He called Farrell's acting "amateurish" and the script "incoherent."
The only person the professor thought might like the film, because he liked publicity, is Alexander himself.
"I cannot help but think that, wherever he is, he is looking down on us enjoying this whole spectacle," Borza said.

stavros

Re: Eugene Borza on Stone's

Post by stavros » Sat Dec 04, 2004 2:11 am

if borza is an expert on ancient macedonia then Alexander is really screwed! as far as stone goes ($$$), the world over knew he was a joke from word go to initiate a film on ATG.

f9bob

Re: Eugene Borza on Stone's

Post by f9bob » Sat Dec 04, 2004 3:15 am

"if borza is an expert on ancient macedonia..."?The Archaeological Institute of America Eugene N. BorzaProfessor Emeritus of Ancient History at the Pennsylvania State University, Gene Borza was a member of the university history faculty from 1964 to his retirement in 1995. He earned his M.A. and Ph.D from the University of Chicago under Stewart I. Oost. He is the author of more than 40 articles and over 200 lectures and papers given at American and foreign universities and scholarly meetings (including Greece, Australia, Canada and Britain). His most recent monographs include In the Shadow of Olympus: The Emergence of Macedon, one of three primary recent texts in English on Macedonian history. Also Makedonika. Essays by Eugene N. Borza, and Before Alexander: Constructing Early Macedonia. He has also been a distinguished visiting professor at the University of Washington (1990), Trinity University (1996), and Carleton College (1997), as well as the Charles Eliot Norton Lecturer for the Archaeological Institute of America. He was president of the Association of Ancient Historians from 1984 to 1990, and he was the historical advisor for the 1980-81 "The Search for Alexander" exhibition at the National Gallery of Art.
At the 1999 annual meeting of the American Philological Association, while introducing Gene Borza to the session audience, Martin Ostwald called him "Mr. Macedonia." A jest perhaps, but a fitting title nonetheless. He is without doubt among the leading scholars on Macedonia and Alexander the Great in the US today.

stavros

Re: Eugene Borza on Stone's

Post by stavros » Sat Dec 04, 2004 7:19 am

thats all good, im really happy for him. however reading your post on bozra his opinion sticks out like a sore thumb.'Borza argues that ancient Macedonia - present-day northern Greece and the Republic of Macedonia - should be studied as a nation distinct from ancient Greece.'for starters, macedonia was never a nation and there isnt anything 'distinct' in Fyrom today that can be related to ATG or the ancient macedonians. the ancient greek city of Heraklea founded by king phillipos is the only thing in Fyrom today that can be related to the ancient macedonians.
stavros

Petros_Houhoulis

Borza should learn first that there were no nationalities no

Post by Petros_Houhoulis » Sat Dec 04, 2004 11:03 am

...And then come back and tell us of what he thinks.

jan
Strategos (general)
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Re: Borza should learn first that there were no nationalitie

Post by jan » Sat Dec 04, 2004 1:42 pm

The difference between Alexander as told by the movie and Alexander as told by a historian is simply a matter of entertainment and a matter of instruction. Stone should have thought what he wanted to impart to his audience about Alexander. As a moviemaker, he should have had one central idea to convey to his audience and stuck with it. Instead, he has a kaleidoscope of many different parts and pieces, tumbling together thoughtlessly and carelessly. Nobody really knows what the heck he is trying to say about Alexander except that he is a good looking hunk who is screaming at an army on how to conquer their fear. He is trying to create a teen idol out of Colin Farrell, and failed to do so.The movie is a debacle in the art of entertainment. As far as history goes, nobody expects a movie to be historically correct except in educational films. The idea was to make Alexander known to the general public, and this movie does make a laughing stock out of him. He is a joke, as he cannot possibly be so bad as this, we can probably forgive it. But the Alexander that Stone paints is not an Alexander that any can do but mock and pity. That is not Alexander by any stretch of the imagination.His lines are so dull and so poorly delivered that I cringed half the time. It is an insult! No doubt about it. But that is Stone's fault, and he is supposed to be an experienced professional who has always loved Alexander. I wonder what in Alexander he loved after seeing this feature. Just that he was able to travel widely, and slaughter the foe. I could not find anything good to say about this movie except the children. It was a waste of money and time for someone who wanted to see a good flick! But I was forewarned! I honestly wonder about anyone who likes this movie at all.

f9bob

Re: Eugene Borza on Stone's

Post by f9bob » Sat Dec 04, 2004 6:17 pm

"Borza argues that ancient Macedonia - present-day northern Greece and the Republic of Macedonia - should be studied as a nation distinct from ancient Greece."
It is his opinion that Ancient Macedonia have nation dinstinct from Ancient Greece and cleary he is pointing out where have to be found that nation.And in that area specialy Republic of Maceddonia or Firom it is not only Heraclea,but with new findings from last 5-6 years there are near a half of teritory with Macedonian findings in wich are Idomenae,Gortinija ,Atalanta,Lychnidos,Astrayon,
Tiveriopol,Stobi,Styber(MacedonianPompeia),Trebenista,Alkomenai,Bryanion,
Gurbyta,Eudarist, Bylazora(And many,many others) and half with Paeonian-Astibo,Isar... people who are regarded to be part of Macedonians and Macedonian kingdom in the time of Philip II and Alexander.
"A golden postmortem mask and a golden glove with a golden ring were discovered at the Samoil Fortress
During the extensive work on systematic archaeological excavations and restoration of the Samoil Fortress in Ohrid, beside the North Wall, we discovered a number of graves and tombs with different structures that belonged to people in antique Lichnidos, todayGÇÖs Ohrid. The chronological span of those funerals was 5th B.C. to 5th A.D. Most graves belonged to the Macedonian-Hellenic period and are rich in various archaeological material: ornamental pottery dishes; iron, bronze, silver and golden items, which according to their features belonged exclusively to Macedonian oldest ethnicity,GÇ¥ says Kuzman, head of the archeological excavations at the Samoil Fortress."

stavros

Re: Eugene Borza on Stone's

Post by stavros » Sat Dec 04, 2004 8:20 pm

thats a good cut and paste job. overall, i think what your trying to say here is that the ancient greek cities in todays fyrom where heavily influenced by the reign of king phillip II after conquering illyrian tribes. hence, these discoveries you refer too are discoveries of ancient greek artifacts during the reign of King Phillip II.and later of course the domination of the roman empire over fyrom.stavros

f9bob

Re: Eugene Borza on Stone's

Post by f9bob » Sat Dec 04, 2004 8:52 pm

"these discoveries you refer too are discoveries of ancient greek artifacts during the reign of King Phillip II."
Not at all,in fact most of the discoveries are much older.But bear in mind that most of the exavations are to rich in time line.Richest ones are of 6-5 century BC.Regarding the "Ilirian" that have gone with the wind.With the last exavations we can cleary define what is what.In Lychnidos it is Macedonian from 5 BC .You can see that with your eyes,long before Philip II on this link are some findings from citadel burial .I hope you would recognise something...http://www.nepokor.org/Nepokor/Arhiv/casisamoil.html

matz
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Re: Eugene Borza on Stone's

Post by matz » Sat Dec 04, 2004 10:15 pm

"overall, i think what your trying to say here is that the ancient greek cities in todays fyrom where heavily influenced by the reign of king phillip II after conquering illyrian tribes. hence, these discoveries you refer too are discoveries of ancient greek artifacts during the reign of King Phillip II.and later of course the domination of the roman empire over fyrom."I don't think anyone is in a position to say anything with great certainity at the moment. Due to political circumstances, some peoples in the region were unable to research the ancient sites before. For example, Macedonians have only recently started to research ancient Macedonian sites.Regarding the golden masks in Macedonia, so far they have been discovered in the geographic triangle of Greece to the South, Macedonia to the West and Bulgaria to the East, which is pretty much ancient Macedonia (inclusive of various conquered tribes) from the time of Philip + Thrace. I have heard suggestions of similar findings in Albania, but at the moment could not include Ilyria in this group. All findings indicate civilisation of similar culture and quite high level of technological and cultural development, contrary to the information from some historical sources.If they were influenced by the Helenic city states, then one would expect that similar culture be found in those areas. But there is no trace of that on the mainland. There are some dubious explanations by the Greek archaeologists/historians, so more work is required until the real facts are revealed, whatever that may be.

yiannis
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Re: Eugene Borza on Stone's

Post by yiannis » Sun Dec 05, 2004 4:08 am

Golden masks, remarkably similar to the ones that were found in these excavations were found also in Thrace, Asia Minor and (of cource) Mycenae... these come to mind, perhaps there're more that I'm not aware of.

stavros

Re: Eugene Borza on Stone's

Post by stavros » Sun Dec 05, 2004 7:00 am

can you please tell me who was there
pre phillipos II?

stavros

Re: Eugene Borza on Stone's

Post by stavros » Sun Dec 05, 2004 7:41 am

if they are the artifacts found in trebenista, ancient heraclea and SamoilGÇÖs Fortress in ohrid, they are definately greek objects. as yiannis said, gold masks similar to mycanean etc.. objects with greek mythical figures like dionysus and medusa have been found etc... objects that are evident all over the ancient greek world.

f9bob

Re: Eugene Borza on Stone's

Post by f9bob » Sun Dec 05, 2004 8:21 am

I dont agree with simplification for other use.Greece and Greek is unfamiliar term for time before Roman influence.It is unfamiliar term for Alexandar or PhilipII or anyone in Macedonia or Hellada in those periods.Masks and many other things can be in fact influence of or autohton culture of older people than Hellenes.Conection with Micean mask is out of question because of different timing of near 1000 years and special visual forms of these burial masks,sandals,hand covers etc.It is dificult to give final conclusions based on simplyfing of findings.What is more there are real religius connection with Tracian,Ilyrian and Phrygian culture what have been seen in way of burial in tombs,with golden ornaments.Ancient Macedonians can be traced to be
People from
A.from neolitic migrations 1.Pelasgian,2Micean,3Brigean(Not migrated)B.1.Paleolitic(from Balcan refuge)
C.1.Late Hellenes migrated(Dorians)
Each one have + and -.

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