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Forum LockedAlexander the great vs Porus?

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khshayathiya View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote khshayathiya Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Apr-2009 at 22:07
There were more types of victories in the Ancient World. In most cases the defeated army would flee the battlefield and take refuge in the semi-fortified camp, taking advantage of the fact that the victors would be exhausted after a long day's battle and would not have the energy to pursue a very vigorous and potentially costly assault. The defeated would then take advantage of the night and slip away with whatever they could. Only in relatively few cases would the winner, with renewed energy, take the camp of the defeated and sources usually take the trouble of mentioning if that was the case (which demonstrates this is the exception rather than the rule).

Just because Porus' camp was not plundered does not exclude his defeat in the field. Even allowing such a crushing defeat and subsequent loss of the camp and the riches therein, the amount Alexander could plunder would be limited: the war treasury, which would be a limited fraction of the overall treasury of the kingdom. Given that Porus was left in a position of authority, his resources would soon be replenished. So just because Porus later has plenty of gold does not demonstrate anything.

Regarding the fact that Porus was left as the ruler, this is not exceptional: Alexander had done the same with many Persian satraps, whom he appointed to positions of authority as soon as they acknowledged him as the ruler. Such an example is Mazaeus, governor of Babylon and an important military commander at the Battle of Gaugamela. As soon as Mazaeus changed allegiance, he was confirmed in his governorship by Alexander.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ruffian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Apr-2009 at 06:00
Athenas,
Originally posted by athenas owl athenas owl wrote:

Ruffian, there is a reason why it is called the PSEUDO-Callisthenes.   No serious scholar considers it to be the work of Callisthenes, who, by the way, was dead or at least in chains by the time of the Indian invasion, c. 327.  He may have been executed in the Kabul Valley before the invasion or some months later, after being chained and caged the entire time.

Let us remember that it is possible other contemporaries of Callisthenes finished his work. Scholars have a consensus what we know as "Alexander Romance" was created by Callisthenes and perhaps filled in by others at a later time. These syriac tranlsations of budge are part of that corpus only.

Originally posted by athenas owl athenas owl wrote:


The pseudo-callisthenes doesn't show up until centuries later,  like 700 years later.   Some of the PC may be based on Onesicritus, who served Alexander, but even that early, he wrote a rather fanciful story about Alexander and the Amazon Queen which when being read to Lysimachus, a king who has also been very close to Alexander, caused Lysimachus to remark, ‘And where was I at the time?’...being as he was with Alexander at the time and would have known about some tryst with an Amazon Queen.


Not true. Alexander romance is ascribed to Callisthenese and parts of it extant from the time of Alexander.

Originally posted by athenas owl athenas owl wrote:


As for the difficulty in paying his troops in India, that was a logistics problem in actually transferring the very heavy talents, etc from the treasuries in the west..   And he had 125,000 troops  and a fleet to pay for then.    Note that it was Alexander personally who was short of dosh.   When one of his aides, Eumenes pleaded poverty when outfitting the fleet, his tent "accidentally" caught fire..revealing that he was sitting on a 1000 talents  (at c. 57 lbs each) of gold and silver.   Alexander had asked for 300 talents, but Eumenes, pleading poverty, had coughed up only 100.   

Alexander came from a palace culture that required largesse from it's ruler.   He gives Porus a lot of gold, but Alexander still has thousands of talents elsewhere (in Iran).   And as has been shown, his commanders certainly had ready cash.   Hence the funding by 33 of them of his fleet.   



This is not logical. Porus taking away alexander's gold and alexander having severe difficulty in paying salries to his troops cannot be explained as an oversight of the greeks. Remember they had been campaigning for many years. And such silly mistakes if they had kept committing they would have not made the journeys they made.

So using occam's razor the complex explanations of what could have been would have been are discarded and the simplest explanation is accepted that alexander lost the war. Following it his troops revolted and he had to retreat. On his retreat Porus did not help him with money or men ( not a sign of vassal ).


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ruffian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Apr-2009 at 06:30
Originally posted by khshayathiya khshayathiya wrote:



 So just because Porus later has plenty of gold does not demonstrate anything.


Porus got alexander's gold so is a bit different. It could mean that he snatched this gold from Alexander and thus alexander had trouble paying the salary to his troops.

Originally posted by khshayathiya khshayathiya wrote:


Regarding the fact that Porus was left as the ruler, this is not exceptional: Alexander had done the same with many Persian satraps, whom he appointed to positions of authority as soon as they acknowledged him as the ruler. Such an example is Mazaeus, governor of Babylon and an important military commander at the Battle of Gaugamela. As soon as Mazaeus changed allegiance, he was confirmed in his governorship by Alexander.


Same happened to the ruler of Taxlia, Ambhi. But that is different. Relevant question is the ones who actually fought alexander bitterly how were they treated?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote athenas owl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Apr-2009 at 06:41
Ruffian, quite simply, you need to prove this, because what you re saying runs counter to pretty much everyone else.

Some of the real Callisthenes was included, as were many other sources and stuff just made up as it grew.   But the name Callisthenes was ascribed much, much later.

Quote  Not true. Alexander romance is ascribed to Callisthenese and parts of it extant from the time of Alexander.

To hang your hat on the Alexander Romances as a better source of history than others, because parts of it seem to agree with your very minority view, is weak tea.

As for the money issue in India, have you actually read any of the modern historical sources aside form the ancient ones (which were based on Ptolemy or Nearchus or Onisecritus or Aristobulus..all of whom were with Alexander...to the end and beyond)...I might add that for balance read someone besides Peter Green, who has his own special axe to grind.   There are a lot of modern texts that deal with Alexander each differing in their opinion of him...

I realise you have a certain viewpoint, however using the Pseudo-Calllisthenes as your source and discarding the others because it fits your POV will not get you any closer to the truth.  It would be like me using Le Morte d'Arthur  as an historical source for 5th century Britain.

You don't happen to edit the Porus article at wiki do you?   I recognise a similarity in the preference for the PC over other more factual sources.


Edited by athenas owl - 23-Apr-2009 at 07:08
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote khshayathiya Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Apr-2009 at 07:32
So your point is that Porus has beaten Alexander so thoroughly as to take his gold. That implies he captured his camp. That can only mean Alexander's troops were utterly scattered.

What does a soldier do when his army is scattered? Run for cover. Where? In the nearest allied territory. Where is that? Taxiles' land. Do Alexander's soldiers do that? Nope...

Do many commander afterwards have loads of cash? Yes, as demonstrated by the Eumenes anecdote. If the camp was plundered, how come their riches are intact? Is it credible that Porus was careful enough to plunder exclusively Alexander's war chest? Nope...

Therefore your conclusion that
Quote "Porus got alexander's gold so is a bit different. It could mean that he snatched this gold from Alexander and thus alexander had trouble paying the salary to his troops."
doesn't exactly hold water. You argue experienced logisticians such as Alexander's officers should have encountered no problems paying up the salaries. Well, Alexander's personnel were by no means accustomed to handling troops as numerous as those taken along for the Indian expedition. Also, they may have been prepared for a much shorter campaign.

To address your second point,
Quote Relevant question is the ones who actually fought alexander bitterly how were they treated?
I will again mention Mazaeus, who obstinately opposed Alexander up until the battle of Gaugamela. The Macedonian king was not a persistent murderer. He took a very calculated approach to reprisals (when he was sober, that is), distributing death to some who opposed him and generosity to those who had opposed him but afterwards recognised his authority, achieving a "stick-and-carrot" balance that would make his dominion easier to accept in the vast territories conquered in the East. Alexander's approach as he moves Eastward transforms from displacing existing administrative structures to merely making the existing structures work for him. In that framework, his allowing both Taxiles and Porus to remain (subordinate) kings in their lands makes perfect sense.


Edited by khshayathiya - 23-Apr-2009 at 07:35
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ruffian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Apr-2009 at 16:44
Originally posted by athenas owl athenas owl wrote:


To hang your hat on the Alexander Romances as a better source of history than others, because parts of it seem to agree with your very minority view, is weak tea.


Nah. Court historians are far worse.  Callisthenes, later on in life, had a falling out with alexander and became critical of him or it could mean he became honest and gave up flattery of his patron. So alexander romance maynot be off the mark just because it disagrees with court historians whose job is to sing praises.

Another interesting reference here is of General Zhukov who liberated Europe from the clutches of Nazis. He was once invited to deliever a lecture at Indian Millitary academy and he said that Porus defeated alexander. He was saying this based on what history was known in russia.

Originally posted by athenas owl athenas owl wrote:


As for the money issue in India, have you actually read any of the modern historical sources aside form the ancient ones (which were based on Ptolemy or Nearchus or Onisecritus or Aristobulus..all of whom were with Alexander...to the end and beyond)...I might add that for balance read someone besides Peter Green, who has his own special axe to grind.   There are a lot of modern texts that deal with Alexander each differing in their opinion of him...

I realise you have a certain viewpoint, however using the Pseudo-Calllisthenes as your source and discarding the others because it fits your POV will not get you any closer to the truth.  It would be like me using Le Morte d'Arthur  as an historical source for 5th century Britain.

You don't happen to edit the Porus article at wiki do you?   I recognise a similarity in the preference for the PC over other more factual sources.


What axe does Peter Green have to grind? Have you read the book? We cannot dismiss minority viewpoint just because it disagrees with the held majority view. All evidence needs to be evalutaed scientifically.

What is POV? I dont edit wikipedia.
Please tell more about arthur you mention above.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ruffian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Apr-2009 at 17:47
Originally posted by khshayathiya khshayathiya wrote:

So your point is that Porus has beaten Alexander so thoroughly as to take his gold. That implies he captured his camp. That can only mean Alexander's troops were utterly scattered.

What does a soldier do when his army is scattered? Run for cover. Where? In the nearest allied territory. Where is that? Taxiles' land. Do Alexander's soldiers do that? Nope...

We are not sure of where they ran or if they ran. On surrender Porus and his troops would not have harmed them. Hindu kings fought very ethical wars. Strict rules existed on what to do with surrendering enemy. We have such bizzare examples where in the heat of the battle the enemy ran out of water and the hindu king allowed the opposing muslim army to get water from the pond near where his army was camped!

Mohammed Ghori was captured by Prithviraj Chauhan and let go after getting his wounds sutured up.

Many such examples exist.

Originally posted by khshayathiya khshayathiya wrote:



Do many commander afterwards have loads of cash? Yes, as demonstrated by the Eumenes anecdote. If the camp was plundered, how come their riches are intact? Is it credible that Porus was careful enough to plunder exclusively Alexander's war chest?
Nope...

Nope see above. Alexander is the only one who would have to give up his gold because of his aggression.

Originally posted by khshayathiya khshayathiya wrote:


Therefore your conclusion that
Quote "Porus got alexander's gold so is a bit different. It could mean that he snatched this gold from Alexander and thus alexander had trouble paying the salary to his troops."
doesn't exactly hold water. You argue experienced logisticians such as Alexander's officers should have encountered no problems paying up the salaries. Well, Alexander's personnel were by no means accustomed to handling troops as numerous as those taken along for the Indian expedition. Also, they may have been prepared for a much shorter campaign.

What is the difference in number of men brought to Guagemela versus India? What you are saying is hard to agree with. Running out of supplies only happens when unforeseen things take place as in what you had brought with yourself is taken away by somebody else. If Persians had won similar thing would have happened. Alexander travelled thousands of miles and if he was so bad at planning he would not have gone more then a few hundred miles because without pay men dont follow you.

Originally posted by khshayathiya khshayathiya wrote:


To address your second point,
Quote Relevant question is the ones who actually fought alexander bitterly how were they treated?
I will again mention Mazaeus, who obstinately opposed Alexander up until the battle of Gaugamela. The Macedonian king was not a persistent murderer. He took a very calculated approach to reprisals (when he was sober, that is), distributing death to some who opposed him and generosity to those who had opposed him but afterwards recognised his authority, achieving a "stick-and-carrot" balance that would make his dominion easier to accept in the vast territories conquered in the East. Alexander's approach as he moves Eastward transforms from displacing existing administrative structures to merely making the existing structures work for him. In that framework, his allowing both Taxiles and Porus to remain (subordinate) kings in their lands makes perfect sense.

This is a modern sugar coaty explanation of his behavior and is not logical. For the stick and carrot approach to have been the main tenet of his policy *no* greek settlement should have existed in Bactria, Gandhara etc. because everywhere he was opposed bitterly and according to the policy that you ascribe to him he should have esatblished the locals whom he plundered as the future rulers. This did not happen. To do a scientific analysis please tell us

a) how many wars he won,
b) how many were hard fought,
c) and after winning in how many places he did not cause destruction
d) in how many places he allowed the guy he defeated to continue.

Once we know the answers to these questions we can come up with what his policy really was.

Regarding Mazaeus only mercenary sources mention that he was present at guagemala. Arrian is silent on it and so is ptolemy. Why?

Even if we ignore the above it is still apples and oranges when we compare Mazaeus and Porus. The right comparison would have been darius and Porus. Also we should not forget that at Babylon Mazeus surrendered to Alexander without a fight.

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Originally posted by ruffian ruffian wrote:

Nah. Court historians are far worse.  Callisthenes, later on in life, had a falling out with alexander and became critical of him or it could mean he became honest and gave up flattery of his patron. So alexander romance maynot be off the mark just because it disagrees with court historians whose job is to sing praises.



What axe does Peter Green have to grind? Have you read the book? We cannot dismiss minority viewpoint just because it disagrees with the held majority view. All evidence needs to be evalutaed scientifically.

What is POV? I dont edit wikipedia.
Please tell more about arthur you mention above.

Again, Callisthenes did have a faling out, as was told in the sources you want to dismiss.  But to make this clear...the falling out happened BEFORE the Hydaspes...at which time he was most likely dead.   He was THE court historian.   If the other writers had wanted to "spare" Alexander, they would not have mentioned the Gedrosian disaster.   Again, the writing on that was based on first hand knowledge.  People who were actually there.   

Same with Sangala...it was a bloody mess and probably the last straw for Alexander's men.   The admitted Macedonian casualities were very high.   Oh, by the way,  this was AFTER the Hydaspes.   So if Alexander had "lost" to Porus, why would Porus not have destroyed Alexander, who instead was advancing further east, until his men stopped him at the Hyphases.

Peter Green is an anti-imperialist (which is a great thing today) who pushes that anachronism back into the past thousands of years.   He, and others, can not separate they modern day views from the past.   He also simply does not "like" Alexander.   Yes I have read his work, I own pretty much ALL the contemporary scholarship on Alexander.

There are minority viewpoints and there are fringe viewpoints.   I won't get into the way nationalism now clouds the subject...on all sides.    Choosing to use a source that is newer and much altered to fit the fancy of it's readers, like the Alexander Romance, is not the way to go.   You have to ignore every other source, which says something different.   

Arthur?   As in King Arthur and the Knights of the Round table.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote khshayathiya Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Apr-2009 at 22:19
Everyone is entitled to have an opinion and I respect the fact that you hold on to yours. Perhaps with more obstinacy than sense, but that should not get in the way of a good debate, should it?

That one army scatters another, captures its camp and is afterwards so polite as to allow the defeated to regroup, continue their march and even return some of the gold because only the capo dei tutti capi is to be held responsible for the aggression, not his immediate subordinates and collaborators is perfectly sensible. I can almost see it happen.

You speak like a knowledgeable man in these matters - indeed, you seem to know more than most, be they ancient or modern -, so I'm sure you know exactly what huge difference there was between Alexander's army at Gaugamela and Alexander's army in India.

I'm equally certain you are fully aware that Alexander lacked access to GoogleMaps (an unfortunate slip caused by some airhead in his staff...) so he could no longer calculate exactly how many days it would take him to get from point A to point B. Silly man, not knowing exactly what difficulties he would encounter and how long his campaign would be...

Fortunately for himself, though he had forgotten to pack the maps, he did remember to get his charisma. That's why his men followed him. That's why his men followed him into what they saw as essentially mythical land. I've made this comparison elsewhere, but it may be useful here as well. Compare Alexader's men with modern humans. We know our planet fairly well and have had some intercourse with the Moon. Alexander comes along and he says he will conquer Mars. Sure we'll go with him. We conquer Mars. There he gets word about another planet, Jupiter. Off we go and Jupiter is ours. Then Saturn, then Pluto. But this guy just won't stop. He wants us to go beyond! So if the Macedonians mutinied, it wasn't because lack of money, it's because they had had to swollow whole too much myth.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Apr-2009 at 02:33
Originally posted by ruffian ruffian wrote:


Mohammed Ghori was captured by Prithviraj Chauhan and let go after getting his wounds sutured up.

Off topic, but that is a highly disputed point. So it doesn't help your argument at all.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ruffian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Apr-2009 at 06:42
Originally posted by athenas owl athenas owl wrote:

Again, Callisthenes did have a faling out, as was told in the sources you want to dismiss.  But to make this clear...the falling out happened BEFORE the Hydaspes...at which time he was most likely dead.   He was THE court historian.   If the other writers had wanted to "spare" Alexander, they would not have mentioned the Gedrosian disaster.   Again, the writing on that was based on first hand knowledge.  People who were actually there.   

Precisely because Callisthenes had a falling out won't the history attributed to him be more reliable then the court historian's version? We should be aware that *entire history of alexander* is from greek sources only. So any contradictory evidence from similar greek sources has to be given good weight. Just as an analogy from science, in genetics, the biggest break throughs have occured when the most contradictory data related to gene transmission was delved into. Enough data exists which disputes alexander's victory.

Originally posted by athenas owl athenas owl wrote:

 
Same with Sangala...it was a bloody mess and probably the last straw for Alexander's men.   The admitted Macedonian casualities were very high.   Oh, by the way,  this was AFTER the Hydaspes.   So if Alexander had "lost" to Porus, why would Porus not have destroyed Alexander, who instead was advancing further east, until his men stopped him at the Hyphases.

Contradiction here. Do we have a record of Porus or his troops accompanying alexander further east after he supposedly became a vassal of alexander as was done by Ambhi of Taxila?

Originally posted by athenas owl athenas owl wrote:


Peter Green is an anti-imperialist (which is a great thing today) who pushes that anachronism back into the past thousands of years.   He, and others, can not separate they modern day views from the past.   He also simply does not "like" Alexander.   Yes I have read his work, I own pretty much ALL the contemporary scholarship on Alexander.

I did not get the sense that Green does not like alexander. He is pretty kind to alexander.

Originally posted by athenas owl athenas owl wrote:


There are minority viewpoints and there are fringe viewpoints.   I won't get into the way nationalism now clouds the subject...on all sides.    Choosing to use a source that is newer and much altered to fit the fancy of it's readers, like the Alexander Romance, is not the way to go.   You have to ignore every other source, which says something different.   

Alexander's side of the story as we know has been repeated so often that it seems as gospel to us. If we trace back in time it may have its origin in a very small fragment of history writing just as the "alexander romance" is. The only difference is that "official version" has been repeated ad nauseum so it seems like the majority view and anything else seems like a fringe view.

Originally posted by athenas owl athenas owl wrote:


Arthur?   As in King Arthur and the Knights of the Round table.

You mentiond a book in the previous page saying english history if read from that source would not be credible.


Edited by ruffian - 24-Apr-2009 at 06:44
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ruffian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Apr-2009 at 06:54
Originally posted by khshayathiya khshayathiya wrote:

Everyone is entitled to have an opinion and I respect the fact that you hold on to yours. Perhaps with more obstinacy than sense, but that should not get in the way of a good debate, should it?

That one army scatters another, captures its camp and is afterwards so polite as to allow the defeated to regroup, continue their march and even return some of the gold because only the capo dei tutti capi is to be held responsible for the aggression, not his immediate subordinates and collaborators is perfectly sensible. I can almost see it happen.

Hmmm. What you are saying:
a) Alexander wins in Persia and other places and he has plundered their treausries and has lots of gold
b) He wants to conquer India
c) He starts on a campaign and brings some gold with him
d) He defeats Porus but is very generous so he gives all his gold to Porus.
e) He still wants to march east and conquer rest of India so he keeps marching east
f) He realises he has been too generous with Porus and is now severely strapped for money to pay his troops.
g) Troops mutiny for lack of pay and they all return home.

Do you see a problem with this view?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ruffian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Apr-2009 at 06:58
Originally posted by Omar al Hashim Omar al Hashim wrote:

Originally posted by ruffian ruffian wrote:


Mohammed Ghori was captured by Prithviraj Chauhan and let go after getting his wounds sutured up.

Off topic, but that is a highly disputed point. So it doesn't help your argument at all.


It is not disputed. Nationalism tendencies sometimes get in the way.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote khshayathiya Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Apr-2009 at 08:32
Originally posted by ruffian ruffian wrote:


Hmmm. What you are saying:
a) Alexander wins in Persia and other places and he has plundered their treausries and has lots of gold
b) He wants to conquer India
c) He starts on a campaign and brings some gold with him
d) He defeats Porus but is very generous so he gives all his gold to Porus.
e) He still wants to march east and conquer rest of India so he keeps marching east
f) He realises he has been too generous with Porus and is now severely strapped for money to pay his troops.
g) Troops mutiny for lack of pay and they all return home.

Do you see a problem with this view?



Indeed, I do. That's because from point a) you seem to imply Alexander would have carried ALL his gold with him at all times, which he obviously did not. What he had with him on campaign was the war chest, which is a small fraction of the total wealth he possesses.

Why do you insist that there was a trade of gold between the two parties? Just because Alexander was in a tight spot financially and Porus was not so pressed, does NOT mean Porus got Alexander's money. I will not bore everybody else to death repeating the same thing over and over (treasuries, war chest, unexpectedly long campaign...)

His troops - to my mind - did not rebel for lack of pay. I have already given my interpretation as to why that mutiny happened.


Originally posted by ruffian ruffian wrote:

Precisely because Callisthenes had a falling out won't the history attributed to him be more reliable then the court historian's version? We should be aware that *entire history of alexander* is from greek sources only. So any contradictory evidence from similar greek sources has to be given good weight. Just as an analogy from science, in genetics, the biggest break throughs have occured when the most contradictory data related to gene transmission was delved into. Enough data exists which disputes alexander's victory.


As mentioned by him already, Callisthenes was THE court historian. The other - more credible sources - were memoires, Ptolemy's for example. While these are not devoid of manipulative intentions, it is usually not to flatter Alexander (who was dead and buried at the time), but to put the author in a closer relation to the Conqueror.


Originally posted by ruffian ruffian wrote:


You mentiond a book in the previous page saying english history if read from that source would not be credible.


And that is exactly his point. PS-Callisthenes is to Alexander history what the Arthurian legend is to English history.




Edited by khshayathiya - 24-Apr-2009 at 08:39
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ruffian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Apr-2009 at 09:15
Originally posted by khshayathiya khshayathiya wrote:

Originally posted by ruffian ruffian wrote:


Hmmm. What you are saying:
a) Alexander wins in Persia and other places and he has plundered their treausries and has lots of gold
b) He wants to conquer India
c) He starts on a campaign and brings some gold with him
d) He defeats Porus but is very generous so he gives all his gold to Porus.
e) He still wants to march east and conquer rest of India so he keeps marching east
f) He realises he has been too generous with Porus and is now severely strapped for money to pay his troops.
g) Troops mutiny for lack of pay and they all return home.

Do you see a problem with this view?



Indeed, I do. That's because from point a) you seem to imply Alexander would have carried ALL his gold with him at all times, which he obviously did not. What he had with him on campaign was the war chest, which is a small fraction of the total wealth he possesses.

Why do you insist that there was a trade of gold between the two parties? Just because Alexander was in a tight spot financially and Porus was not so pressed, does NOT mean Porus got Alexander's money. I will not bore everybody else to death repeating the same thing over and over (treasuries, war chest, unexpectedly long campaign...)

Did not read bullet c) of my message. I said Alexander brought some of his gold with him and not ALL as you misread.

So fundamental problem is that if alexander indeed did miscalculate how much gold he would need for India campaign his gold would not have crossed over to Porus through a gesture of benevolence.

If you still insist that alexander gave his gold to porus to uphold his "stick and carrot" policy then that would make him very stupid which I dont think he was. Any general who is planning a further campaign into India would not part with precious metal contrary to what you are suggesting.

Thus data clearly shows that court historians like ptolemy just got it plain wrong because they did not want to show alexander lost in the east. Evidence from the aftermath of the war with Porus paints a different picture.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote khshayathiya Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Apr-2009 at 14:43
I never said Alexander "gave his gold to porus to uphold his "stick and carrot" policy". It's not a bad idea to read posts rather than skim them.

In my opinion, Alexander's "carrot" to the defeated Porus was allowing him to continue his rule. The "stick" was a potential new confrontation in case Porus refused to behave, which, given the result of the first engagement, would have been quite unpleasant for the Indian ruler.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ruffian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Apr-2009 at 15:23
Originally posted by khshayathiya khshayathiya wrote:


In my opinion, Alexander's "carrot" to the defeated Porus was allowing him to continue his rule. The "stick" was a potential new confrontation in case Porus refused to behave, which, given the result of the first engagement, would have been quite unpleasant for the Indian ruler.


This is your imagination only. Let us see what curtius says about Mazaeus and his town:

(In Babylon after Mazaeus had surrendered the city to Greeks and Alexander had promised no reprisals on the cityfolk): For an entire night the men broke into homes and dragged the women, and even little girls, from their beds and raped them in the streets. The men attempted to fight off the attackers, but they were cut down as they tried. By  the time it was all over, the city was not only strewn with flowers (which the city folk had showered on alexander as he rode into the town thru the Ishtar gate), but with ravaged women and the bodies of their slain husbands and fathers. (Curtius 5: 2)

So how in the earth raping and killing the surrendered and helpless a stick and carrot policy?

Now let us  move on to  persepolis. Alexander is opposed bitterly .  And what does he do? No granting of mercy or keeping the commander who opposes him as the future satrap instead he tells his men to do what they liked. It seems that greeks had acquired a taste for rape and pillage and alexander did not care. Only the royal palace and necropolis was spared and for three days it was a nightmare for the inhabitants of what had been once the capital of one of the largest empires in the ancient world. The houses were plundered and the temples were looted and many of the citizens chose to commit suicide rather then face the appalling horrors inflicted by the Greeks. Diodorus 17: 20

Now contrast why this could not happen in Porus's kingdom?


Edited by ruffian - 26-Apr-2009 at 15:25
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote khshayathiya Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Apr-2009 at 16:32
Oh, I have a wild imagination, me... But could you please provide some more appropriate references? Curtius 5:2 covers a completely different topic. As for what Alexander did when he entered Babylon, you can read it here. In particular the fragment

Quote Alexander was pleased at his <Mazaeus'> coming, for besieging so well-fortified a city would have been an arduous task and, besides, since he was an eminent man and a good soldier who had also won distinction in the recent battle, Mazaeus' example was likely to induce the others to surrender. Accordingly Alexander gave him and his children a courteous welcome.


which in Latin sounds like this:

Quote Gratus adventus eius regi fuit: quippe magni operis obsidio futura tam munitae urbis. Ad hoc vir inlustris et manu promptus famaeque etiam proximo proelio celebris et ceteros ad deditionem suo incitaturus exemplo videbatur. Igitur hunc quidem benigne cum liberis excipit


sounds like typical "stick-and-carrot" approach to me.

As for what happened in Babylon, this is what Curtius has to say (5.1.36-39):

Quote Diutius in hac urbe quam usquam constitit rex, nec alio loco disciplinae militari magis nocuit. Nihil urbis eius corruptius moribus, nihil ad inritandas inliciendasque immodicas cupiditates instructius. 
Liberos coniugesque cum hospitibus stupro coire, modo pretium flagitii detur, parentes maritique patiuntur. Convivales ludi tota Perside regibus purpuratisque cordi sunt, Babylonii maxime in vinum et, quae ebrietatem sequuntur, effusi sunt. Feminarum convivia ineuntium in principio modestus est habitus, dein summa quaeque amicula exuunt paulatimque pudorem profanant, ad ultimum - honos auribus habitus sit - ima corporum velamenta proiciunt. Nec meretricum hoc dedecus est sed matronarum virginumque, apud quas comitas habetur vulgati corporis vilitas. Inter haec flagitia exercitus ille domitor Asiae per XXXIIII dies saginatus ad ea, quae sequebantur, discrimina haud dubie debilior futurus fuit, si hostem habuisset


The content is indeed, of a sexual nature, but it's the Macedonians who are seduced and mollified, not the Babylonian women.

How about that imagination, heh?

Edited by khshayathiya - 26-Apr-2009 at 16:43
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ruffian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Apr-2009 at 18:53
Originally posted by khshayathiya khshayathiya wrote:



sounds like typical "stick-and-carrot" approach to me.


That is the problem. Here another reference for the rape of babylonian women.
http://www.livius.org/aj-al/alexander/alexander_t45.html

The rape of the Babylonian women

Ancient-Warfare.com, the online home of Ancient Warfare magazine
Detail of the Alexander mosaic, found in Pompeii. National Archaeological Museum, Naples (Italy). On 21 or 22 October 331, Alexander entered Babylon, the old capital of the ancient Near East. He had promised that the houses of the city would be left intact, but this did not mean that the women of Babylon were safe, especially since the Greeks believed that the people of Babylon were obsessed with sex.

And for you to believe that women of babylon were sex obsessed and that is why alexander's army had a free pass to rape them is akin to believing Nazi propaganda that Poland attacked them first in world war 2.

Facts are all this stick carrot policy is modern fiction to make alexander appear as a great hero. Data shows a different a rather dismal picture.

Babylon, Persepolis were treated identically. Rape and Pillage. No difference. Though in Babylon the commander suurendered without a fight but in persepolis they did not.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote khshayathiya Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Apr-2009 at 20:59
Your accusing me of "believing Nazi propaganda that Poland attacked them first in world war 2" just because I have pointed out I could not locate in the Latin text your supposed quote from Curtius (I'm not saying you have invented it shamelessly, merely that I could not locate it) is inelegant.

You quote a source for a supposed behaviour of Greek soldiers. That author simply does not say that. The takeover of Babylon was entirely peaceful, as demonstrated by a Babylonian chronicle (if you follow the link to the previous post you will see it). That soldiers billeted in cities abuse women is a tragedy, but it has always happened, from the ancient to modern times (see the numerous accusations of rape perpetrated by American soldiers in Japan, long after the war was over). It does not demonstrate Alexander was hypocritical and treated Babylon harshly.

Please, for the future, make sure you do not assign modern interpretations to an ancient source, because it makes you look very, very bad.
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