By A. B. Bosworth
During this research, Bosworth seems at Alexander the Great's actions in crucial Asia and Pakistan, drawing a bleak photograph of bloodbath and repression similar to the Spanish conquest of Mexico. He investigates the evolution of Alexander's perspectives of empire and thought of common monarch, and files the illustration of Alexander by means of historians of antiquity. The e-book is directed to experts and common readers alike.
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Extra resources for Alexander and the East: The Tragedy of Triumph (Clarendon Paperbacks)
At that Cortes sent a small company of men with crossbows and arquebuses to occupy the higher of the hills, while he himself led the attack on the fortress proper. Once he reached the level of the defenders they surrendered, and sent an embassy to the first rock, which was promptly surrendered in its turn. So far I have used Cortes' letter, which is expressed in a deceptively straightforward style. The details, however, are not as straightforward as would first appear. perhaps significant that the five subordinate commanders who led the abortive attack on the first rock are singled out by name.
12. 7-9. 70 Thucydides underlines the general inexperience of war among the younger generation before the Peloponnesian War (Thuc. 2. 8. 1; cf. 1, 80, 1). For the Spartiates the Archidamian War hardly proved a learning process. Apart from desultory skirmishes during the invasions of Attica, the only real fighting they engaged in was the abortive attack on Pylos and the minor engagements after the occupation of Cythera (Thuc, 4. 55. 1-2, 56. 1). Many Spartiates will have had no experience of 69 26 The Shield of Achilles average citizen soldier might have seen actual combat between hoplite phalanxes a handful of times, perhaps even never, in his lifetime.
It is a trial which fails, and the Spaniards retreat without intervention from Cortes. The difference in perspective is more marked in the attack upon the second fortress. Here Cortes' own participation is minimal. He takes advantage of the Indians' confusion to occupy the elevated crag overlooking the fortress. However, it is the small occupying force which does the damage; the crossbow and arquebus fire demoralizes the Indians, who immediately surrender. 21 The message is reinforced in the next sentence, when the Indians accept Cortes' invitation to treat with the defenders of the first rock.