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The Numenorean Kingdoms, part XI - bridge-film material?
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Feb 8 2009, 4:13am

Post #176 of 183 (1256 views)
"The poison was water" [In reply to] Can't Post

The most interesting theory about his death to me is the one that quotes one of the manuscripts as saying, "The poison was water." In other words, yes, he did die of a fever, but it might still have been an assassination, from someone deliberately serving him water from a well known to be infectuous. The perfect crime. On the other hand, he did spend some time camped on the wrong side of the Euphrates shortly before falling ill, exposed to malaria-bearing mosquitos.

Is it true that his dying words might have been a grotesque misunderstanding? By legend, when asked who should succeed him, he said, "The strongest," which occasioned a massive succession-war and subsequent divvying up of his empire among various warlords. But I have heard that in fact the name of his regent back in Macedonia had a name very similar to the Greek word for "Strongest". Can you shed any light on that?

(As for the horns, the legend might have spun out of his having two crests on his helmet, to make him easier to identify by his men on the battlefield from a distance.)

Life is beautiful and dangerous! Beware! Enjoy!

Grey Havens

Feb 8 2009, 5:01am

Post #177 of 183 (1224 views)
I can't think of such connection [In reply to] Can't Post

About the name of the regent, I'm not sure which regent it would be. Alexander didn't have legitimate successor at the time of his death, so first Philipp II Aridei, half-brother of Alexander is pronounced a king. The born short after that son of Alexander and Roxana is pronounced a king too. His name was also Alexander. However, the true power is in the hands of Perdika (Perdiccas) - one of the generals. He played the role of a regent of both kings. And representative of the kings in Macedonia and Greece remains Antipater. Now, I can't think of a Greek word to show clear connection with any of these names. My son's name - Petar means "stone" or "hard as stone" in the ancient language which was not Greek but still close to it. May be if we look at the name of Antipater this way it could work although he was a representative while Alexander was alive as well. I was a little surprised to see in some Internet sources Antipater pointed as the first appointed regent. He was not as Perdika was appointed first. Then Antipater took the regency by war. Also, Antipater was among the suspects of killing Alexander.The name of Antipater literally means "like the father".

You are right that Alexander was exposed to malaria but the sources don't offer any trust worth proof that the king had fever for a while. Malaria doesn't develop in one night and one can't die of it in one night. While some sources (Plutarch ) mention Alexander did have fever after the celebrations in Midia, others don't mention anything similar. On the other hand, Diodorus Siculus writes that Alexander drank a glass of wine and right after that screamed and wept, and died. The question remains open if it was wine or water, and if it was malaria that developed for a long time or poison, or a disease of another kind. There were theories once that Alexander had a genetic disease. It was not rare in the kings' families. The faces of Philipp and Alexander, as we know them, could also point to some genetic changes or hormonal diseases (I'm paraphrasing here what I remember of that theory). Still, I can't imagine such a sudden death caused by a long term disease. Which answers your question - I don' think Alexander had any last words spoken. As far as I know he died suddenly and his death caused absolute chaos among the people present at the time.

I like the theory for the water! It's very poetic and symbolical even if it's not true Smile And the horns explanation is very interesting and most probably true. Of course, people prefer legends and tales, me included Wink

Culinary journey through Middle Earth continues! Join us on January 30 on the Main board for a visit at the "Prancing pony"!

I believe


Feb 8 2009, 12:10pm

Post #178 of 183 (1232 views)
Just trying to [In reply to] Can't Post

bring the thread back on topic, half in jest. I admit it's a stretch.

I do think, though, that Alexander has been incorporated into a several-thousand-year-old European mindset of West against East (Asia) and South (Africa). I also think LotR, for better or worse, picks up on that mindset.

Oddly, even today the "West" identifies with the ancient Greeks and the "East" identifies with the ancient Persians, as we can see in reactions to the movie "300." Present-day people have more in common with each other than with ancient peoples, yet we still take sides in those ancient battles.

Why, for example, don't Westerners know as much about Cyrus the Great of Persia as about Alexander the Great of Macedonia? Unlike Alexander, Cyrus created an empire that lasted long after he died. The Iranians revere him still.

(This post was edited by Curious on Feb 8 2009, 12:11pm)


Feb 8 2009, 1:19pm

Post #179 of 183 (1246 views)
We study Alexander, not Cyrus, because [In reply to] Can't Post

The state legislatures that dictate our school curriculum in the U.S. derive their authority originally from the King of England, who got his from the Holy Roman Emperor or the Pope (take your pick), both of whom claimed to be the successor of Caesar Augustus of Rome, who studied Greek history from birth, adored the legends of Alexander the Great, and fought endless wars over the eastern boundaries of his Empire with his mortal enemies the Persians/ Parthians: i.e., the descendants of Cyrus.

As Tolkien knew, the divide between "West" and "East" in western Eurasia, which he evoked through his legendarium, goes back a very long way.

squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Footeramas: The 3rd TORn Reading Room LotR Discussion; and "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
squiretalk introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


Feb 8 2009, 2:25pm

Post #180 of 183 (1233 views)
Is adding to that mythology [In reply to] Can't Post

of the divide between East and West (and North and South) another mark against Tolkien and LotR? It's akin to racism, but different as well; I'm not quite sure what to call it. Ethnicism, perhaps? Eurocentrism? Westernism? But we still fight wars at least in part because of it. It's a powerful cultural or social mindset which gives LotR resonance deep down in our psyches -- but it's dangerous, too.

(This post was edited by Curious on Feb 8 2009, 2:31pm)

Grey Havens

Feb 8 2009, 4:15pm

Post #181 of 183 (1214 views)
I don't know about the education you describe but... [In reply to] Can't Post

we had to study equally the South (thracians, Macedonia, Ancient Greece), Far South (Africa), North (Scandinavian tribes, Brits, Celtic culture and history), West (romans, normans, franks) and East - divided into Middle and Far, including not only Perisa but north to the empires in the Russian lands and all the way to China and Japan. It was much later - in the university, when I had to choose what particular direction I will focus. In high school the ancient history took more than a year to study, it was huge. of course, studying in different countries meant studying most extnsively the history related to the particular country but it wasn't much of an emphasize. I guess it's a different scheme of education. I can't say I've studied Alexander's deeds more than Bazaltar's doings, for example.

As about incorporating Alexander, you may be right that LOTR picked up on particular separation of the world but I don't think for Tolkien Greece was West. I assume the education hasn't changed that much when it comes to ancient history and maybe Tolkien shared the vision of Ellada as South (which brings some thoughts about the Southern people he described and I think there are certain parallels that can be done between the popular diplomacy in Ancient Greece and the behaviour of Tolkien's southern people Wink )

Culinary journey through Middle Earth continues! Join us on January 30 on the Main board for a visit at the "Prancing pony"!

I believe


Feb 8 2009, 5:09pm

Post #182 of 183 (1229 views)
In regards to Tolkien and Greece... [In reply to] Can't Post

I would say without contradiction that Tolkien considered Greek thought as the foundation of Western philosophy. He did, after all, specialize in Greek Philology at Exeter.

Read the ongoing serialization of MONTY PYTHON'S 'The HOBBIT', found here:

Grey Havens

Feb 8 2009, 9:47pm

Post #183 of 183 (1474 views)
Most probably [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, most probably he did. Even those who did not specialize it, were taught (in my days at school) that Greek thought, inherited and further developed by Roman thought, was the foundation of the western culture. Of course, there was influence from Celtic, Norman, Brits', etc. culture, especially in Britain and the northern cultures. When I was living in England I noticed their education considered this fact.

Culinary journey through Middle Earth continues! Join us on January 30 on the Main board for a visit at the "Prancing pony"!

I believe

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