Skip to comments.Xenophon, Anabasis [Xen. Anab. 3.4; Xenophon describes the ruins of two Assyrian cities]
Posted on 10/18/2021 2:27:50 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
After faring thus badly the enemy departed, while the Greeks continued their march unmolested through the remainder of the day and arrived at the Tigris river. Here was a large deserted city; its name was Larisa, and it was inhabited in ancient times by the Medes. Its wall was twenty-five feet in breadth and a hundred in height, and the whole circuit of the wall was two parasangs. It was built of clay bricks, and rested upon a stone foundation twenty feet high... Near by this city was a pyramid of stone, a plethrum in breadth and two plethra in height; and upon this pyramid were many barbarians who had fled away from the neighbouring villages.
From this place they marched one stage, six parasangs, to a great stronghold, deserted and lying in ruins. The name of this city was Mespila, and it was once inhabited by the Medes. The foundation of its wall was made of polished stone full of shells, and was fifty feet in breadth and fifty in height. Upon this foundation was built a wall of brick, fifty feet in breadth and a hundred in height; and the circuit of the wall was six parasangs. Here, as the story goes, Medea, the king's wife, took refuge at the time when the Medes were deprived of their empire by the Persians. To this city also the king of the Persians laid siege, but he was unable to capture it either by length of siege or by storm; Zeus, however, terrified the inhabitants with thunder, and thus the city was taken.
(Excerpt) Read more at perseus.tufts.edu ...
Xenophon. Xenophon in Seven Volumes, 3. Carleton L. Brownson. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA; William Heinemann, Ltd., London. 1922.
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One of the all-time great adventure stories.
...Nabopolassar, the Chaldean, was allied with Cyaxares, the king of the Medes and the prince of Damascus; Assurbanipal and after him Sin-shar-ishkun of Assyria were aided by Pharaoh Seti and for some time by the king of the Scythians. Egyptian troops are mentioned for the first time in Napopolassar’s year 10 (-616). For many years the fortunes of war changed camps. Then Nabopolassar and Cyaxares, the Mede, brought the Scythians over to their side. Their armies advanced from three sides against Nineveh. In August of the year -612 The dam on the Tigris was breached, and Nineveh was stormed. In a single night the city that was the splendor of its epoch went up in flames, and the centuries-old empire that ceaselessly carried sword and fire to the four quarters of the ancient world—as far as Elam and Lydia, Sarmatia and Ethiopia—ceased to exist forever.The End of Nineveh, Immanuel Velikovsky
Love the Anabasis and admire Xenophon. His name makes me wonder if he murdered (xenos) the Greek language (sound). I love how one of his fellow chieftans sneezed during one of their last battle planning meetings where he once again emerged as the de-facto general, and the sneeze was taken as an omen of the ‘gods’ communicating their blessing.
Oddly, it's one I've never been particularly familiar with. The only remark about that comes to mind from the fadiing memories of youth is, that Xenophon's knack for self-congratulation rivaled that of Julius Caesar's. ;^) Since Xenophon's only triumphs were that he escaped with his life and wrote famous memoirs that survived, I'd say, his knack was greater than Gaius'. :^D
Try that now, and some mask bullies would start screaming at ya. ;^)
Learned a new word...
An ancient Persian unit of distance, usually estimated at 3.5 miles (5.6 kilometers).
BTW, credit where credit's due -- this came to my attention due to a YouTube vid. I'm still listening to it, and really don't like the narrator's voice/accent/mispron., and the Sea Peoples reference was standard insanity, but anyway, worth a listen. I'll just link the rest of the vids that came up in search because I plan to try them out later.
In the lowlands of Northern Iraq, a series of enormous cities lies crumbling in ruins...
In this episode, find out about one of the most remarkable ancient civilizations: the society known today as the neo-Assyrian Empire. Discover how the Assyrians built their empire out of the ashes of the Bronze Age, and built an empire of iron that lasted for centuries. Explore the extraordinary flourishing of art and technology that they fostered. And finally, discover what happened to cause their final, devastating collapse.
Sound engineering by Alexey Sibikin
Hebrew - Rabbi Yaakov Wolbe
Ancient Greek - Pavlos Kapralos
Historical consultant - Dr. Ellie Bennett
Lou Millington13. The Assyrians - Empire of Iron | June 14, 2021 | Fall of Civilizations
[X’s visit to ruins] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUOKgjMY8so
[quick survey] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLZruOzsmHc
A unisang is probably half that. ;^)
It’s really a great story. And I didn’t think the Anabasis had all that much bragging. He gave a lot of credit to others, and didn’t claim to be the guy in charge. The scene where they finally arrive at the coast is just incredible.
Some of my earliest Greek translating was from this work. Couldn’t see the forest for the trees, though. IMO a good many ancient texts could use a colloquial translation. One that irks the purists but enlightens the layman.
a) the pedestrian: does a decent job without too many odd or archaic terms (or uses notes), but loses quite a bit of nuance and detail;
b) overly literal and technical, where it's almost as though you're looking at a palimpsest of the Greek;
c) the rarest, where the translator knows both the source and English very, very well and can capture and convey just about all the detail and nuance.
It's very hard to find anything like (c). What's shocking to me is how easy it is to find sloppy translations. I was looking recently at a translation of Phaedrus where Phaedrus responds to Socrates' initial criticisms of Lysias' speech by stressing its completeness or comprehensiveness. Somehow that slipped by the translator and got turned into something else like just "full," which just blurs up the point being made terribly. What I detected is that the translator was much more careful with Socrates' speeches, which strikes me as sloppy because the whole dialogue was written by Plato, not just Socrates' parts.
The texts lend themselves to complicated, lengthy, sentence structure ample in subordinate clauses, so that a translator interested in holding the interest of a 21st Century common reader may easily indulge in what a more exact translator would call butchery. I wonder how E B. White would deal with this.
If these physical descriptions were given to 50 different English readers with instructions to draw an illustration based upon the same, how many would come up with the same result?
Nice one. 👍
Remind anyone else of the "climate change" narrative's influence on people today???
I love ancient history because Man doesn't change. He is always such a fool. (Though Christ did cause some improvement.)
Not one bit.
I thought that was Captain Parmenter.
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