Did Nepos rated Darius above Alexander?

Feb 2019
625
Thrace
Because the cursus honorum doesn't end at quaestor...

You really out to learn this stuff if you're going to post that much about it...
You're either putting words in my mouth or disregarding everything I told you. Either way, you're getting cheeky so best let things as they are. Regards!
 
Nov 2011
1,120
The Bluff
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.
Yes, he saying that of the Persians Kyros and Dareios (I) were the best. This made the more plain when Nepos earlier says that he has narrated the lives of the Greek generals except for the kings which he will treat separately. This he does from Nep.Reg II where he treats the Macedonian kings and III their successors.
 
Nov 2011
1,120
The Bluff
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.
That long passage of Livy is emblematic of a certain attitude in Rome. Every silly trope is retailed from Alexander beating effete easterners to Alexander leading a polyglot army of worthless slaves from the east and everything in between. Roman virtus is all.
 
Nov 2011
1,120
The Bluff
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.
If I recall correctly, Flamininus was not yet thirty when he took command of the consular army against Philip V.
 

Duke Valentino

Ad Honorem
Jul 2017
2,340
Australia
All Roman generals were likely familiar with the campaigns of Alexander and other Greeks. But of course that doesn’t mean we can draw definite lines as to where Caesar had Alexander as a role model.
 
Nov 2011
1,120
The Bluff
In relation to Flamininus' age, which I mentioned above, Plutarch, Flamininus, 2.1-2:

This success more than anything else so exalted his ambition that he ignored the intervening offices which young men generally sought, the offices of tribune, praetor, and aedile, and thought himself worthy at once of a consulship; so he became a candidate for that office, with the eager support of his colonists. But the tribunes Fulvius and Manius opposed his course, and said that it was a monstrous thing for a young man to force his way into the highest office contrary to the laws, before he had been initiated, as it were, into the first rites and mysteries of government. The senate, however, referred the matter to the votes of the people, and the people elected him consul along with Sextus Aelius, although he was not yet thirty years old.