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Alexander the Great against the assyrians.Hypothetical scenario.

Kublai-Khan

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I was talking with a friend about the movie that is being prepared about the life of Alexander the Great (Leonardo Di Caprio will be Alexander the Great:mad: ) and we started to discuss about the battles between the persians and the macedonian/greek army during the campaign of Alexander.
He said that the Persians were defeated because their infantry sucked,according to him (And I agree) the persian forces were mostly archers and jabalinmen totally unarmored. When the phalanx got within reach, the persians broke and ran.


But after that he claimed this:

Have you never wondered how weird it is that the Persians were on the whole unarmoured (Herodotus IX, 63), while their predecessors on the Near East, the Assyrians, were all very well armoured?

And then he said that if the near east region would have subsisted under assyrian rule and not persian rule, Alexander the Great would have never defeated the "Assyrians" so easily.

So, what do you think, I am completely ignoranmt about the assyrian military, as far as I know they improved a lot the military science with the first siege machines and that in their armies the infantry was the preeminent force, not the cavalry like in the persian armies.

So, what do you think?
Some middle-east expert here who can give an opinion about this subject?
 
Persian Infantry was made of of various groups from the differient
cultures in the Empire (including Good Greek Heavy Infantry).

"He said that the Persians were defeated because their infantry sucked"

I think he is wrong, their generalship sucked (it can be argued, Darius didn't take the good advice of his generals), Alexander had good generals, i don't think he himself was a good general, but he was certainly a good leader inspiring his men by his personnal courage in leading them personally into battle, while Darius sat in the back row safe and sound. Throw in a highly disciplined body of Macadonian troops and you do get a pretty unstoppable combination.
 
Originally posted by Ozz
Persian Infantry was made of of various groups from the differient
cultures in the Empire (including Good Greek Heavy Infantry).

"He said that the Persians were defeated because their infantry sucked"

I think he is wrong, their generalship sucked (it can be argued, Darius didn't take the good advice of his generals), Alexander had good generals, i don't think he himself was a good general, but he was certainly a good leader inspiring his men by his personnal courage in leading them personally into battle, while Darius sat in the back row safe and sound. Throw in a highly disciplined body of Macadonian troops and you do get a pretty unstoppable combination.

Yes, I know that ironically the best troops of the persian empire were the greek mercenaries.
But Im talking about the "persian" infantry, not the greek mercenaries.
 
I don't think the persian infantry was built to go shield to shield
with heavy infantry. They were more tactically designed as
skimishers.

It is all in how you use them, if they go shield to shield they
are going to lose and break. They are made to hit from range
and stay at range. Also their mobility is made to cut supply lines.
and attack places were there is no Heavy Infantry.

Good generalship is in how you use your troops. Heavy Troops
can be defeated by skimisher tactics (ie Roman Legions vs Huns).
(the Crusades Knights vs Muslin Horsebowman etc.)

The Persians were on the whole unarmoured (Herodotus IX, 63), while their predecessors on the Near East, the Assyrians, were all very well armoured?

I would guess (I don't know)
The Persians used good mobile tactics and generalship to defeat/resist the assyrians.

I don't think any group of troops suck, I think that bad
tactics can make them look like they suck, when it's
really the general who sucks.
 
Alexander's forces had other unseen advantages.

First and foremost, disapline under fire, the abilty and training to maintain formation after enemy contact.

Many of the Persian forcese were hastily assembled conscripts poorly equiped.

The two armies also had different approches to war, Greek hoplite tactics are to advance on the right against the enemy left, while attempting to break enemy unit cohesion with calvery flank attacks, while Persian tactics were based on mobilty (cavalery and chariots) and archery to disrupt an enemy, and using it's Immortals and mercenary hoplites to smash a demorilized enemy worn down from archery and horse attacks.
These tactics proved ineffective vs the disaplined Macedonians.

I doubt the more primitive Assyrians would have done any better vs a Macedonian formation, only India and Rome ever had any real sucess vs them in ancient times.
 
The Assyrians had the first recognizable army in history, with disciplined regular forces, efficient orginization, combined arms, specialty troops like engineers, siege engines, and heavy shock troops (chariots). They were also the first to use iron in most of their weapons and armor. Chain mail was first used by the Assyrians, and iron swords were lighter and more durable than bronze weapons. However, it was expensive to mantain such a force, and Assyrian kings knew that they needed to engage in war constantly to pay for the army's weapons and satisfy the soldier's lust for plunder. Often, if a king was too dove-ish, he would be overthrown and replaced by someone more willing to meet the troops' needs.

Having said this, I don't think it is possible to predict the outcome of a war between Alexander's Macedonians and the Assyrians. The Assyrian Empire reached it's peak around the mid 700s BC, and Macedon would not become a major power for 400 years. The territory it controlled included Mesopotamia, the Levant, Palestine, Egypt, and some of Anatolia. After the decline of Assyria, control of the whole middle east region passed to the revived Babylonian Empire under Nebuchadnezzar, then the Persians under Cyrus. Each new empire built on the succeses of its predecessor, but by the time Alexander invaded, the Persian army was no longer Persian, but a mass of conscripts from vassal states. The only troops that were effective were the Medean cavalry and the Immortals. The Persians also made good use of Greek mercenaries, and these were easy to get because of the resentment most greeks felt against their Macedonian overlords. But in the end, Alexander's highly trained, motivated, and diciplined forces proved superior.
 
I agree with napoleon526 that the Persian army wasn't entirely Persian anymore at the times of Alexander the Great. I disagree with AoA's point that the Persian army was hastily assembled conscripts poorly equiped, but that's a thing I've discussed a while ago in another thread somewhere in this forum (I think that's the comparrison between Alexander and Caesar).
The Persians in the Great King's army (to put it that way) made up only a tiny fraction, in the immediate surrounding of Darius himself, and hardly saw any actions at Issus and Gaugamela.
It's not entirely correct to claim that the Persians were entirely unarmoured. Herodotus hasn't seen a persian army with his own eyes, so let's listen to Xenophon (Anabasis, I,8,8):
"It was already noon, and the enemies [the army of the Great King, Artaxerxes II.] have not yet appeared. But when it became afternoon, they [the army of Cyrus the Younger] saw much dust that at first appeared like a white cloud, later like a dark one. When they came nearer, here and there ore and lance tips flashed, and the formation of the troop bodies showed. Horsemen in white armour [chainmail] shirts stood at the left wing of the enemy, under the command of Tissaphernes, as was told..."

In Persepolis, thousands of iron scales have been found that historians believe belonged to an armour of such scales and linen. Strabo (XV,3,19) states:
"They [the Persians] equipp themselves with a rhombus-shaped shield made of willow-reed (?), and carry bows, swords and knives; on their heads they wear tower-shaped hats (Bashlik, still to be seen in Afghanistan, greek tiara), and their breast plates are made of iron scales ..."

The exact quote of Herodotus (IX, 63) mentioned by Kubilai goes like this: "Where Mardonius [the general at Plataeae] stood himself and fought from a horse, surrounded by the one thousand bravest Persians [most likely Mardonius' personal body guard, and propably not a thousand men; Herodotus could confuse this, because Mardonius carried the title Hazarapatish, meaning "leader of thousand"], the Lacedaemonians [Spartans] pushed hardest at. And as long as Mardonius lived, the Persians stood fast and killed many Lacedaemonians in brave defense. But when Mardonius got killed, as well as the core [elite?] troops, that surrounded him fell, the rest of them turned around and left the battlefield. They were in disadvantage because they were not equipped with an armour. Without an armour, they had to fight the Hoplites."

Herodotus' statements here are proven wrong, especially by the aforementioned causes. The Persians were defeated because their leader got killed. Had Mardonius survived, the Persians might even have won the battle.
Finally, Persian sources (clay tablets from Babylon) that name the equippment of a Persian soldier, also name an iron armour for the soldiers, and also for the horses.
The Persians propably didn't wear helmets. There is a helmet at the Archaeological Museum of Olympia which is from the loot of Marathon, but to me, this helmet is clearly Babylonian (thus proving that the "Persian" army consisted of different ethnical contingents from early on).

So much for the Persian armouring :)
 
Nooooooooooooo! Leonardo Di Caprio as Alexander the Great??? Heaven help us!!! :eek:
 
Originally posted by Stefan Haertel
I think Joaquin Phoenix would make a perfect Alexander.

I agree, he would be perfect for that role.
 
Stefan, except for his Imortals and Mercanaries, all of Darius' army was conscripted, leveed from each satrap.

The forces assembled could not have been kept together long, if only for logistical reasons if nothing else.

I wouldn't put any faith in the training of such a force, rebuilt after the defeat at Issus, except to say that it was haphazardly assembled, dubiously lead and poorly equiped.
 
Hmm. I guess it just reinforces how the nadir of an empire is accompanied by a decline in the quality of their military forces (Persia, Rome, etc.)

And Di Caprio as Alexander is quite horrific, but I will be interested how they portray, or rather don't portray some of the more "interesting" characterisitics of Alex's life...
 
Originally posted by Simon Darkshade
Hmm. I guess it just reinforces how the nadir of an empire is accompanied by a decline in the quality of their military forces (Persia, Rome, etc.)

And Di Caprio as Alexander is quite horrific, but I will be interested how they portray, or rather don't portray some of the more "interesting" characterisitics of Alex's life...

"Interesting'" is an understatement, I'm sure they will make the
film as low and crass as possible. I don't think they could get
Bobcat to play the role, it would tarnish his image. In Hindsight,
Joaquin Phoenix would make a perfect Alexander.
 
Originally posted by Ozz
"Interesting'" is an understatement, I'm sure they will make the
film as low and crass as possible. I don't think they could get
Bobcat to play the role, it would tarnish his image. In Hindsight,
Joaquin Phoenix would make a perfect Alexander.

With DiCaprio playing Alexander, I dare say they won't be giving a lot of coverage to his alcoholism, and his extremely bisexual and promiscuous personal affairs, as it would alienate the audience they are aiming at.
I know not this Bobcat, but J. Phoenix would be alright based upon his little turn in Gladiator. It will be interesting to see how Alexander is painted by the screenwriter; it has the potential to be a great dramatic role, but I hold little hope. They could always get Frodo to play him :D
 
Originally posted by Simon Darkshade


With DiCaprio playing Alexander, I dare say they won't be giving a lot of coverage to his alcoholism, and his extremely bisexual and promiscuous personal affairs, as it would alienate the audience they are aiming at.
I know not this Bobcat, but J. Phoenix would be alright based upon his little turn in Gladiator. It will be interesting to see how Alexander is painted by the screenwriter; it has the potential to be a great dramatic role, but I hold little hope. They could always get Frodo to play him :D

If think they will give full play to all Alexanders vices, especially
his extremely bisexual and promiscuous personal affairs. I would
bet more than 50% of the movie time is spent of this. Got to have
some nudity somewhere for the rateings.

Bobcat is the guy with a voice that sounds like he drinks
battery acid every day (College Nerd Movies, Police Academy
Movies), his acting talents almost rival Barney Rubbles.

Frankly I think Gladiator sucked. The story sucked, the actors
sucked too.
 
I think the Assyrians would have given the Greeks a serious run for their money as they were far more mobile and adaptable than the Persians.

I hope and pray that something happens and the Supreme Wimp Leonardo Di Caprio does not play somebody like Alexander the Great;)

It will be like getting Pee Wee Hermann to portray the Life Story of The Rock:lol:
 
Originally posted by Ozz
If think they will give full play to all Alexanders vices, especially
his extremely bisexual and promiscuous personal affairs. I would
bet more than 50% of the movie time is spent of this. Got to have
some nudity somewhere for the rateings.

Bobcat is the guy with a voice that sounds like he drinks
battery acid every day (College Nerd Movies, Police Academy
Movies), his acting talents almost rival Barney Rubbles.

Frankly I think Gladiator sucked. The story sucked, the actors
sucked too.

I personally think they will downplay the bisexuality a bit, as it would turn off all the little teenage girls who watch it just for DiCaprio:p And a whole lot of the rest of the conventional blockbuster audience, rather than the arthouse viewers who are familiar with that.;)
Me thinks they will just have a few hetero affairs, probably with a princess, and a close buddy buddy friendship that gets no more physical that getting drunk together. Or if something else is portrayed, it will be shown as horribly twisted, completely decadent and solely physical. That is the standard Hollywood formula.:D

Don't know who ye are talking aboot with this Bobcat fellow still; haven't seen any of those movies ye speak of.

And Gladiator was not a masterpiece, but it was alright, and preferable to some bloody teen slasher flick. At least it sort of bought back the old days of sword and sandal movies.

And in answer to the question of who "Frodo" is; well, who played Frodo Baggins in a recent film?:D
 
1.Alexander the Great as a boy
2.Alexander the Great fooling around with maid.;-)
3.Alexander the Great successfully rides Bucephalus.:goodjob:
4.ATG successfully *rides* 20 maidens in equally short time;-)
5.King Philip dies.
6.ATG comforted by friends with an orgy of drinking and sex.
7.ATG beats the Spartans and their elite gay troops.
8.ATG constructs a memorial to his ole' pals.
9.ATG marches out to take out Persia.
10.ATG takes a long hot tub with Generals to decide course of Action.
11.ATG defeats Darius and gives him parting kiss before death.
12.ATG marches into India and defeats Porus.Victory celebrations
13.ATG captures Porus' harem. Ecstatic victory celebrations.
14.Greek soldiers wanna go home as wives have'nt written for sooooo long.


I cant get any further, can anyone help

P.S. this is only a joke I am not a pervy hobbit fancier, oops that was Aragorn, errr... am not a pervy depraved lunatic
 
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