Monday, November 10, 2008

Nimrod The Rebellious King pt 3

Who is Sargon? Is he Nimrod? This name was mentioned three times in different timeline, Sargon of Agade (Akkad), Sargon I of Assyria, and finally Sargon II of Assyria. Some scholars believed that there is only one Sargon truly existed which is Sargon of Agade, they believed Sargon II of Assyria had all the ancient texts collected and had it rewritten to his liking based on the original Sargon. If you look at the list of king you will only find this name (Sargon) mentioned once in the Agade (Akkad) dynasty. Moreover no ancient text about Sargon of Agade that was written in his own time was found, supports this theory.

Putting that aside, Sargon profile doesn't match with Nimrod. During his reign Sargon managed to destroyed U'rua, Elam and Mari. He was more of a battle warrior than a rebel. In the Genesis, Old Testament and Quran, Nimrod was said to have dreamed a boy would later overthrow him. Sargon on the other hand, believed to be the adopted son of a gardener and later overthrow his King and reign for 56 years. Sargon was (according to scholars) not his real name. After succeeding the throne he renames himself Sargon which means "The True King". It's pretty common in the past that a king would rename himself. In Sargon's case he probably need it since he was originally a cupbearer and he depose his king and claimed the throne. What better name than "The True King"? Hehehe... Moreover, Agade dynasty was way before Babylon existed, whereas Nimrod was supposed to be the ruler of Babel (Babylon). So I would put Sargon aside as well.

What about Gilgamesh? He was a famous fictional character in the 12 tablets found. "Epic of Gilgamesh", is one of the best work of early literature in the Mesopotamian mythology, but that's about it. There are no other records that could confirm his existence, however scholars didn't ruled out that he might be one of the great King in Uruk dynasty. So is he Nimrod? Uruk dynasty was during the Sumerian era so I would ruled out his connection with Nimrod since the timeline doesn't fit. However his chronology was quite fun to read, Gilgamesh was believed to be demi-god-human and the son of the goddess Rilmat Ninsun. On the 11th tablet recorded stories that somewhat related to the big flood. So if his existance was real, he couldn't be Nimrod whose empire existed after the great flood.

Well, what about Enmekar? Well I'll tell you about him in later post. I'm hungry.. I can't write when I'm hungry and I almost couldn't finish writing about Sargon... Hehehe...Until then, have a good day / night / rest. Ciao~

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Nimrod The Rebellious King pt2

Nimrod! Is he one of the evil Pharaoh? Gilgamesh? Enmerkar? If you read my previous post I've stated that Nimrod was linked to these big shots. Other names also said to have similarity with Nimrod are Sargon and Apil-Sin. Wow! I wonder if these great people are even happy to be linked with Nimrod, other than his great success building a great empire, tales tells that Nimrod died in a horrible death.

In the Old Testament another name was mentioned, that some scholar thinks is referring to Nimrod, this character was Amraphel. However later on they dismissed that Amraphel was a name of a person as this name was never mentioned in other records outside the Old Testament (Bible). They come to the conclusion that Amraphel (a.k.a. Ammirapaltu) was not a real name but an appellation. Many scholars believed that he was probably Hammurabi. According to the scholars phonetacilly the two names are identical thus believed to be the same person. This is just a theory that is still open for debates and I would like to discuss more in later post.

If you look a the Babylon list of Kings, you will not be able to find Amraphel name, which supports the debates that it's not a real name. Unfortunately, most of the ancient texts have missing parts or illegible writings therefore is not easy to make any further reference on this character. Now including Amraphel there were six names linked with Nimrod. So which one is he? Let's look at the bits of information that we have.

In the Old Testament (Bible), in Genesis (the first part of Torah), etc he was said to be the founder and king to the first empire after the great flood. His reign including the towns of Babel (Babylon), Erech (Uruk), Accad (Akkad), and Calneh in the land of Shinar. In the Quran he was referred as King Namrud, the ruler of Babylon whom later challenged by Abraham (Ibrahim a.s).

Lets look at Apil-Sin profile. Now after reading the record of his achievements I don't see anything that hint any rebellious act unto his GOD. Most of the records tells of what he did during his reign, which he had (his people to) dig canals, restore temples, building city walls/gate, making throne dais made of silver and gold, etc... He even built a throne made of gold for the god Marduk. *one of the records are about he shaved and clean himself... either the decipherer had gone mental translating everything... or this record hold a significant meaning in the Babylonian culture, probably a great holy thing in the past. I wonder what they feel about shower.. *

As stated in the Genesis and Old Testament, Nimrod was the king of a great empire after the great flood. According to the Quran Nimrod was the king of Babylon. However during Apil-Sin reign, he was the 4th king of Babylon that was not yet an empire. So I would dismiss him as the rebellious Nimrod.

What about Sargon? Aaa... I'll tell in the next post if anyone interested to read or if I’m in the mood. Hahaha.. Ciao.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Nimrod The Rebellious King - pt 1

It's been a long time since I've post anything at all. I was caught up with a lot of interesting researches that revolves around ancient cultures and at the same time I was following an interesting read on Nibiru by Aiso in his blog Midnight. Originally, I was planning to write about the battle between Alexander versus Cyrus after posting Who Built The Caspians Gates? (posted in a different blog). I was going to reveal that Alexander was not so great after all (blaahh I'm writing from my own perspective after reading materials about him and his battle with Cyrus... so if you are a fan of Alexander, you'll be glad that I didn't write it at all). However I came upon Nimrod. No I'm not talking about the song by Green Day, I'm talking about the king that built a great empire after the great flood, and just so you know he is the first to have a crown on his head which he claimed sent to him from Heaven *chuckle... If that's the case I might as well ask heaven to deliver me some pizza right now coz I'm hungry* and according to many articles he called himself God. I also plans to write about Gugoryeo, a heavenly kingdom in Korea or so they claimed, which is now part of China... and many more tales including the great astrologer of the Mah family who invented the 1000 years Calendar and the globe thingy, he might originated from Middle East.. I'm a mess ooooooo~! I want to tell you everything that I've learned..So you see, I can't make up my mind on which to write next. So I toss a coin and viola!!! Nimrod it is!!... hehehe..

First of all, who is Nimrod? Nimrod aka Nimrud aka Namrud was mentioned in the Bible, in the Quran, and other records including ancient tablets. However, Nimrod is not a name, Nimrod came from a hebrew word that means the rebel or we will rebel. However if you type in Wiki he was said to be the Mesopotamian King known as the 'Mighty Hunter'. He is the son of Cush who is the son of Ham who is the son of Noah. However in Sumerian geneology he was known as Enmeker, the son of Meskiagkasher, who is the son of Ham, who is the son of Utnapishtim... phew such a difficult name to pronounce and remember >.<"""

Why is he known as the rebel, this great king? There are so many reasons behind it, and the one famous reason that many different religious teachings shared in common is that he refused to follow the way or teachings of God. He taught his men not to fear God but to worship him as he is as great as God. Some scholars believed that he was responsible for the construction of the Babel Tower, which in some text said to revenged God, that if another great flood happens again God will not be able to drown him and his people. Well, maybe he was sulking because he lost everything dear, or maybe he actually fear there will be another great flood coming which makes sense since the Sumerian already depicted another catastrophe that might cause another big flood. He might have thought he still lives by that fateful day since *ahem* he is going to live forever and since he is after all as he claimed himself to be *ahem ahem* GOD. If you wanna know about the catastrophe that I mentioned, you can read it in Aiso blog, it's really fun and easy to follow.

Some scholars link Nimrod with one of the evil Pharaoh, another famous bad ass link to him is Gilgamesh. Which is true? If you look at the Sumerian list of king, Gilgamesh and Enmeker were two different person. I'll write about this in the next post and lets us ponder and discuss it together. Though it is not entirely facts proven, there is no denying - until scientist/scholars/researchers proven otherwise - that it could be TRUE! It might be added a little spice to make the story not bland, imagination is the only thing they had besides other numerous desires I'm sure you all know *ehem*, so exaggeration was a necessity since there was no tv to entertain back then. Hahaha.... I'm just being sarcastic and making wild guesses here so don't take me word for word. Oh well, look at the time it's already past 5 and I have guests coming over for NO-DINNER. Maybe if I asked heaven, my guess WILL bring pizza to my place lol... just kidding. Next post, hopefully it will be anytime soon..

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The truth behind 300 movie - Final

It's been a long time, as I promised here is the continue or second part to the Truth Behind 300 Movie. I will tell you the story of Xerses and why he starts a war with the Spartans. We have seen Xerses in the 300 movie, portrayed as an ugly man sitting on his throne while hundreds of men become his mobile. He also brings with him a special skilled warrior known as the Immortal. In my previous post I have stated that the 300 movie was concentrating more to the Spartans as the movie is about their battle and how they fought to protect their land, therefore it didn’t include the other historical parts of why the war started. I have also mentioned that Spartans are excellent warriors, hoplites to be exact and are used to battles since at a very young age.

In my previous post I have mentioned that Xerxes is a man of pride who wishes to install the teachings of Ahuramazda thought by Zarathustra (Zoroastrians), and demolish the sanctuary of demons. This have been stated in the “Daiva Inscription”, an old Persian text from three slabs of stone found from Persepolis and Pasargadae. To prove my point, I quote parts of the translated text as follow:

  • I am Xerxes, the great king, king of kings, king of countries containing many kinds of men, king in this great earth far and wide, son of king Darius, an Achaemenian, a Persian, son of a Persian, an Aryan, of Aryan stock.
  • King Xerxes says: when I became king, there was among these countries one that was in rebellion. Ahuramazda bore me aid. By the grace of Ahuramazda I smote that country and put it down in its place.
  • And among these countries there was a place where previously demons (daiva) were worshipped. Afterwards, by the grace of Ahuramazda I destroyed that sanctuary of demons, and I proclaimed: 'The demons shall not be worshipped!' Where previously the demons were worshipped, there I worshipped Ahuramazda at the proper time and in the proper manner. And there was other business that had been done ill. That I made good. That which I did, all I did by the grace of Ahuramazda. Ahuramazda bore me aid until I completed the work.

In the beginning of his reign, Xerxes have no desire to march his army to attack the Athens as he was already in a war with the Egypt. It is his cousin Mordoniu (Marduniya) who approached him and persuade him to go into war with the Greek, this was later supported by Alueadea, the princes of Thessaly who came to the city of Susa, and Pisistratidae from Athens, who urged Xerxes to the attack. All three appears to have a personal selfish interest. After his campaign in Egypt, Xerxes was ready to attack Greek. You might have wondered why Xerxes brought along with him a large number of troops to battle with a small number of Spartans. Well as I have mentioned, Xerxes was out to battle the Athens in general not Sparta, and prior to his defeat in Marathon city where his 25,000 Persians army lost to a mere 10,000 Athenians, he had to be cautious. The Greeks have miraculously managed to overcome their struggles in battles, however they understood that if they wanted to survive the invasion, they first had to annihilate the Persian transport fleet. Therefore, the Greek navy made a stand at Artemisium while the Spartans and their allies were to keep the coastal road at Thermopylae. This is how Xerxes came into contact with Leonidas as seen in the movie.

Xerxes brought along with him his best Persian army, the Medes and The Royal Guard. The Royal Guard were magnificently equipped, wearing a coat of scales mails and trousers, carrying a light wicker shields, powerful bows with cane arrows and short swords swinging from their belts. They came in big number around 10,000 men. Scholars believe they were called Immortals because during battle if a man was killed or fell sick, the vacancy he left was at once filled, never to allow any weakness. Regardless of how skillful these troops were, they were no matches to the Spartans’ hoplites who equipped bronze longer spears and armor (headgear and shield), especially in the narrow pass. This army was not living corpses as often stated in books and movies. Logically if they were a living corpses they would not need to be replace in battle as they would not die or fell sick. These needs proven that they are humans. Scholars believes that Herodotus' informant has confused the name Anûšiya ('companions') with Anauša ('Immortals'). They also suspect that this is the same army mentioned by historians in the Alexander the Great chronicles based on the similarity in description of their armor and weapons.

Leonidas in my personal opinion was a great leader and a king who never abandoned his country and his people and fought to his death for Greek. He went ahead with his 300 men to Thermopylae, later joined by the 400 Thebans. This action was taken by Leonidas to ensure that his allies might join in the campaign, and not to side with the Persians if Sparta put off their action. It is because the Greeks naturally do not unite to meet an enemy in battle, this have been foreseen by Leonidas. The Greek however, promised to sent allies everyday but only a few appears and in such small number. It was believed the Thermopylae Battle to be coinciding with the Olympic festival that was held. They have kept the festival and sent only the forerunners of their force. Some article are saying that including the allies he gathered Leonidas managed to have around 4000 men, while some said it was about 7000 men. However in his book Herotodus stated that including the Spartan 300 hoplites the allies were as follows:

500 men of Tegea and 500 of Mantinea;
120 from Orchomenos in Arcadia;
1000 from the rest of Arcadia;
400 from Corinth;
200 from Phlius;
80 from Mycenae;

These were they who came from the Peloponnese, and from the Boeotians

700 Thespians,
400 Thebans.

In addition to these, the Locrians had been summoned to come in their full force, while the Phocians a thousand men. However when Xerxes army had come near to the pass, the Leocrians and Phocians began to dread and thought of retreating. Leonidas however voted to stay while at the same time sending a messenger to a several states for aid. Staying with them was the 700 Thespians, 400 Thebans and some of the Greeks warrior. The battles as you know it resulted in Leonidas death. After the death of Leonidas and the end of Thebans resistance, the surviving Spartans and Thespians retreated to a small hill where they were killed by Persian archers. Modern archaeologists have also found several arrowheads on the particular hills.

Sometimes I wonder if the Greeks purposely send only a few of their forces to aid Sparta, as they could still be seen as a threat. Sparta was after all have the dominant military power in the region, and was once the principal enemy of Athens in the Corinthian War. Moreover the Spartans were not saints after all, they would mistreat, humiliate and slaughtered the Helot, the unfree peasants under feudalism that work their land whom economically supported the Spartans. What a great ploy to rid Sparta by having their king Leonidas and his men killed at war and put the blame to Xerxes who was expected to attack. This will make great sense why Epialtes would reveal the secret path to the Persian. He was a Malians tribe, which was under the hegemony of Sparta. This is however merely my personal toughs on the subject.

The story of the 300 Spartans and their usually forgotten allies have become famous worldwide and made into a movie and books. Two monument was built one dedicated to Leonidas and another to the Thespians. On one of them a memorable words were written:

"Ω ξείν αγγέλλειν Λακεδαιμονίοις, ότι τήδε κείμεθα,

τοις κείνων ρήμασι πειθόμενοι".

"Oh stranger tell the Lacedaemonians, that we lie here,

obedient to their laws".

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The truth behind 300 movie (part I)

To most of us who never really pay attention to history, 300 is just one of those many great epic movies based on historical events. 300 however is not entirely 100% accurate and the story is written from the Spartans point of view. Imagined watching 300 without the existence of the so-called Immortals, or if Xerxes appears in his pants and decent clothing? Then the battle would be a typical pre-historic war movie, and where is the fun or humor in watching Xerxes nipples got cut off? Oh wait a minute, that was Meet the Spartans Movie. What I am saying is without all the exaggeration and bluffs, it is as good as as watching a documentary, accurate, educational, but without the spice of entertainment. I must admit that I also enjoy the movie despite its inaccuracy. One thing that viewer keeps forgetting when watching a movie that it is a creative storytelling aimed to viewers with exaggeration. This has been practiced from the past and still practiced nowadays, the purpose: to make a story entertaining and it sells. Thus I believe Xerxes also deserve a spotlight, a movie from his point of view perhaps? Although I doubt there would be anyone interested to make that anytime soon.

Who is Xerxes? After the death of The Great King Darius I (522 – 486 BC), he took over power and have his coronation in Apadana, palace of Susa which in his reign become the capital of Achaemenid Empire. Although both follow the teachings of Zoroastrians, King Darius I never forced his belief to the people of his empire. Unlike Darius, Xerxes have strong religious beliefs that he felt it is his role to set things right especially to those who worship demons and thus set his war campaign to force his beliefs unto others which lead his campaign to Greece and eventually Sparta.

What about the Spartans? Their ideology and education; where the military and city-state itself become the center of their existence; produce the greatest military of the ancient Greek worlds. As they view themselves as the true inheritors of the Greek tradition, they did not live in luxury as it was often seen as bringing disorder, enervation, weakness, and a decline in moral values. I guess that explains why are they wearing almost nothing in the movie.

The throwing babies over the cliff? Well, according to some legend, the Spartans will leave their infants on a cliff and only the ones that survive is considered strong enough to be part of Sparta. Exposing weak or sickly children was a common practice in the Greek world. Glad I wasn’t born in that time and place. Unless, I was born as the great Leonidas himself, I’ll be undefeated until Xerxes men killed me, otherwise no thanks.

When a boy has reached seven years old, he was taken from his mother and given to the state where he have to go through rigorous discipline and mainly military type education, the so-called Agoge, that lasting for twelve years. Well, aren’t you glad that you only have to go and be in the National Service for 3 months? Imagine if you had to go back to nature, wear only banana leaf-woven garments that is almost not there and live like a prehistoric barbarian. Not to mention the mosquitoes and dengue fever!! Well, aren't you glad you are not born as Spartans?

Next I will discuss about the 300 people versus Xerxes's thousands army. How the battle started, why and how it ended?

A word from Kopitumbuk

I have to admit that although this is not the first time I've created a blog, I’m still wordless when it comes to introduction. I don't feel obliged to introduce myself, as I’m not building this blog to talk about me but to share my interest on general things. I would like to point out that I'm not starting out a flame war on the net, but put it simply I would like to make a healthy argument on certain issues be it on past events or recent. I welcome any argumentative comments on any of my article. As I am not a profesional writer I might make a few mistakes here and there and any correction or personal view are welcome.

In my previous blog I've written an article about Derbent and Caspian Walls and made an argument on who actually build it either it's the so famously claimed Alexander the Great or Cyrus II the Great. However my friend commented that I should write it in English so it would be more accessible to non-Malay readers as my original article was written in Sabahan Malay which is not quite similar to the Malay language in Peninsular or Indonesia. Of course I was reluctant at first since I'm not flair with English language and prone to Sabahan Malay. After giving it some thinking I decided I might as well try, by doing so I hope I will not only improve my English but also share my knowledge (limited as it may) and thoughts.

So if you come across in my blog, I do hope that you enjoy it as much as I am writing it, and I hope my limited vocabulary does not makes it less interesting or incomprehensible.

yours truly,