Did Nepos rated Darius above Alexander?

#11
Actually, looking at the Latin, what Nepos says is that he thought the most eminent were: "Persarum Cyrus et Darius, Hystaspi filius." Does this not mean: "Of the Persians, Cyrus and Darius were the best?" This changes the meaning a bit.
I think it could be interpreted either way. It seems to me that either he is saying that they were the greatest among the Persians, or he is saying that they, who are of the Persians, are the greatest. If we interpret the statement the latter way, then as you previously noted, it seems that he rates them above Alexander ostensibly because they relied more than Alexander on merit to take power. But then again, you may be right that he is merely comparing them to other Persians.
 
#12
I was under the impression that Romans idolized Alexander. Iirc he was Caesar's role model.
The Romans had a complicated relationship with Alexander. Some imitated him in certain respects, especially those involved in campaigns in the east (e.g. Pompey, Trajan, Caracalla, Galerius). Others derided him as a drunken tyrant who killed his friends and/or downplayed his achievements as having been won against soft easterners (e.g. Julian in his satireThe Caesars, who regardless respects Alexander as a great warrior).

The fact that he was a king wouldn't have won him great favour, since even after the end of the Republic Roman emperors weren't meant to be kings, but it is notable that the representation and self-representation of Roman emperors drew influence from Hellenistic concepts of kingship. Indeed, Hellenistic kingship provided the most contemporary model for Roman dynastic rule.

Livy speculates on what would have happened should Alexander have campaigned against the Romans. Unsurprisingly, his assessment favours Rome, and from what he says one gets the impression that some Romans had a chip on their shoulder about not having overthrown the Parthian Empire.
 
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Likes: Openminded
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#13
Kickstarted as in a compilation of YT motivational videos on steroids. It most likely boosted his ambitions, deciding he will one day be spoken in the same breath as Alexander.
Most likely boosted? According to whom? Suetonius? Plutarch? Appian?

It wasn't like suddenly Caesar got it into his head to run for politics in his mid 30s. Caesar had already started the cursus honorum at the time he cried over Alexander. He was already a member of the Senate, and either serving as a quaestor in Spain when he saw the statue.

Based on his ancestry and position in life, he was essentially guaranteed at least being elected Praetor (as his father had been), if not a Consul. He was a Patrician, which gave him a huge leg up, especially with Sulla's laws, and although not exceedingly rich as his peers and heavily in debt, he was still in a very good situation to be successful in life.

Alexander was the son of a king who himself became a king and general while still a teenager. The Roman system, nobody was commanding armies until they arrived at praetor rank, which was typically in the mid-late 30s. Larger armies were commanded by consuls, the minimum rank was typically 39-42. There were the occasional youngsters that took command at much younger ages. Scipio Africanus in Spain in the 2nd Punic War, Marius the Younger, and of course Pompeius Magnus, but they were rare and in national emergencies or civil wars. But in Caesar's day, by and large, he had to punch his tickets going up the steps of the cursus honorum before he could ever see any level of power of a national leader and general of a large army.
 
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#14
Most likely boosted? According to whom? Suetonius? Plutarch? Appian?

It wasn't like suddenly Caesar got it into his head to run for politics in his mid 30s. Caesar had already started the cursus honorum at the time he cried over Alexander. He was already a member of the Senate, and either serving as a quaestor in Spain when he saw the statue.

Based on his ancestry and position in life, he was essentially guaranteed at least being elected Praetor (as his father had been), if not a Consul. He was a Patrician, which gave him a huge leg up, especially with Sulla's laws, and although not exceedingly rich as his peers and heavily in debt, he was still in a very good situation to be successful in life.

Alexander was the son of a king who himself became a king and general while still a teenager. The Roman system, nobody was commanding armies until they arrived at praetor rank, which was typically in the mid-late 30s. Larger armies were commanded by consuls, the minimum rank was typically 39-42. There were the occasional youngsters that took command at much younger ages. Scipio Africanus in Spain in the 2nd Punic War, Marius the Younger, and of course Pompeius Magnus, but they were rare and in national emergencies or civil wars. But in Caesar's day, by and large, he had to punch his tickets going up the steps of the cursus honorum before he could ever see any level of power of a national leader and general of a large army.
And what are you trying to prove exactly? That Caesar can't go back in time and attempt to be a prodigy?

No matter how you interpret this account, I think it's entirely plausible(if not almost certain) that one of it's lessons is how Caesar realized he isn't young anymore and the chances of him securing a place among historical titans grow thinner every day.

Call it a crackpot interpretation but I view it as one of the more obvious morals of the story. How Alexander's image instilled a sense of urgency.
 
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#15
And what are you trying to prove exactly? That Caesar can't go back in time and attempt to be a prodigy?

No matter how you interpret this account, I think it's entirely plausible(if not almost certain) that one of it's lessons is how Caesar realized he isn't young anymore and the chances of him securing a place among historical titans grow thinner every day.

Call it a crackpot interpretation but I view it as one of the more obvious morals of the story. How Alexander's image instilled a sense of urgency.
A sense of urgency for what? Caesar was elected praetor and consul exactly at the required age for a patrician. He did not advance any faster than anyone else.

You really ought to actually read about Caesar's life instead of just assuming.
 
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#16
A sense of urgency for what? Caesar was elected praetor and consul exactly at the required age for a patrician. He did not advance any faster than anyone else.

You really ought to actually read about Caesar's life instead of just assuming.
Exactly what did I assume? I don't need historians to explain me the significance of anecdotal accounts. Unless Caesar made further comments on this incident, it's free for interpretation(although I do appreciate different takes on it).

You don't seem to believe that Caesar was an exceedingly ambitious man(or at least that's what I get from your posts). Either way, I'm fine with dissenting views :yes:
 
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#17
Exactly what did I assume? I don't need historians to explain me the significance of anecdotal accounts. Unless Caesar made further comments on this incident, it's free for interpretation(although I do appreciate different takes on it).

You don't seem to believe that Caesar was an exceedingly ambitious man(or at least that's what I get from your posts). Either way, I'm fine with dissenting views :yes:
LOL. You don't need historians to explain to you the life of Caesar. Such ego!

For the sake of the history forum called Historum, I beseech you to drop the ignorance and read the actual sources about Caesar, which are the ones that are the only reason we know that individual existed. At that point, feel free to state your educated opinion. Until then, its one founded on ignorance only.
 
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#18
LOL. You don't need historians to explain to you the life of Caesar. Such ego!

For the sake of the history forum called Historum, I beseech you to drop the ignorance and read the actual sources about Caesar, which are the ones that are the only reason we know that individual existed. At that point, feel free to state your educated opinion. Until then, its one founded on ignorance only.
I need them to relate important events of his life of course. But we are both able to speculate what impact certain happenings had on his mentality.
 
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#19
I need them to relate important events of his life of course. But we are both able to speculate what impact certain happenings had on his mentality.
You don't know the important events of his life. Alexander became king at 20, and had done his greatest achievements by the same age that Caesar was in Spain. But Caesar was the right age to be a quaestor in Spain. And then he was the right age to be praetor. Then he was the right age to be consul. He never aspired to jump the cursus honorum. He was already ambitious before he was a quaestor in Spain, which is why he was pursuing the cursus honorum.

Caesar made a giant splash in Rome before he even left for Spain, when he gave the eulogy for his aunt Julia, wife of Marius, and then took the opportunity to raise the statues of Marius back up. Before that even was the famous pirate adventure.
 
Feb 2019
306
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#20
You don't know the important events of his life. Alexander became king at 20, and had done his greatest achievements by the same age that Caesar was in Spain. But Caesar was the right age to be a quaestor in Spain. And then he was the right age to be praetor. Then he was the right age to be consul. He never aspired to jump the cursus honorum. He was already ambitious before he was a quaestor in Spain, which is why he was pursuing the cursus honorum.

Caesar made a giant splash in Rome before he even left for Spain, when he gave the eulogy for his aunt Julia, wife of Marius, and then took the opportunity to raise the statues of Marius back up. Before that even was the famous pirate adventure.
That's quite the CV, but apparently not enough as far as Caesar was concerned.
 

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