All posts for the day October 15th, 2018

Also a Seleucid and more battles of Thermopylae

Published October 15, 2018 by amaic

Image result for seleucid thermopylae

Not so ‘Hot Gates’ of Thermopylae


Part Two:

Also a Seleucid and more battles of Thermopylae



 Damien F. Mackey


Thermopylae is a mountain pass near the sea in northern Greece

which was the site of several battles in antiquity, the most famous being

that between Persians and Greeks in August 480 BCE”.

 Mark Cartwright

The OTHER Battles of Thermopylae:

are given here as follows:


  • 353 BC Battle of the Thermopylae. It took place during the Third Sacred War. Phocis and Thebes clashed over Delphi’s control. The Phocians made heroic resistance in the Thermopylae against the ally of the Thebanians, King Philip II of Macedonia, father of Alexander the Great.


  • 279 BC Battle of Thermopylae. An alliance of the Greeks (Beotians, Phocians, Etholians, Megarenses and Athenians) defended the passage against the invasion of the Breno’s Celts. Breno tried to use the hidden path used by Persian army two thousand years earlier, but the Greeks were prepared this time. A garrison defends the rough road, so Breno deviates to Delphi. In a second attempt, he succeeds in passing thanks the fog. However, the Greeks had been evacuated in the Athenian ships. Every one of the contingent goes to defend their city.


  • 191 BC Battle of Thermopylae. In this battle, the Seleucids clashed Romans, who came to Greece as allies of Macedonians. Marco Acilio Glabrio surrounded with his troops the army of King Antiochus III. They used the old mountain pass, and thus won the battle.


  • 267 AD Battle of Thermopylae. Several barbarian tribes assaulted the Roman Empire. First, they looted the Balkans, and then they extended their raid for Greece. One of these people, the Heruli, arrived at Thermopylae passage, where they tried to stop them without success. As a result, they devastated the entire Attica and the Peloponnese peninsula. Even the city of Sparta was plundered.



Regarding the supposed Seleucid one of Antiochus (so-called) III, we read:


The battle of Thermopylae of 191 B.C. ended the Greek phase of the war between Rome and the Seleucid emperor Antiochus III. Antiochus had crossed into Greece from Asia Minor at the head of small army, hoping to find allies amongst the Greeks. He had been disappointed in this expectation – only the Aetolian League, who had invited him into Greece in the first place, offered him troops, and even then not as many as he had hoped.


Regions of
Ancient Greece


The Romans responded by sending an army to Greece, commanded by the consul M. Acilius Glabrio. He was more successful in finding allies, most notably gaining the support of Philip V of Macedonia, who only a few years before had been crushingly defeated by the Romans at Cynoscephalae (Second Macedonian War). Between them Philip and the Romans quickly recaptured all of Antiochus’ conquests in Thessaly.

Antiochus decided to defend the pass of Thermopylae, where the greater Roman numbers would not be so telling. This position allowed him to remain in communication with Aetolia, and protected the crucial naval base at Chalcis. Antiochus defended the pass himself, with his 10,500 men, posting his slingers on the heights above the pass and his phalanx behind strong earthworks. The Aetolians were given the task of guarding his left flank, leaving 2,000 men at Heraclea in Trachis and posting 2,000 men in the forts that guarded the Asopus gorge and the mountain tracks that the Persians had used.


Unfortunately for Antiochus the Romans had read the history books. They may have had as many as 40,000 men, and so on the night before the Roman attack they could afford to send 2,000 men around his western flank. On the day of the battle the Romans began with a frontal assault on his position. The first attack failed under a hail of missile weapons from the heights, and even when a second attack broke through the first Seleucid line, they were held off by Antiochus’ dug-in phalanx.


The turning point of the battle came when the Roman flanking force appeared behind Antiochus’ position, and defeated the Aetolian troops guarding the col of Callidromus. The Seleucid army in the pass broke and fled, suffering heavy losses in the retreat. Antiochus was only able to rally 500 men at Elatea. He then retreated to Chalcis, before setting sail for Ephesus and Asia Minor.


The war in Greece continued across the summer of 191, and saw Philip V recover some of the areas he had lost to the Aetolians after the Second Macedonian War. The Aetolians were then given permission to appear to the Senate, effectively suing for peace. At the same time the Romans turned their attention to an invasion of Asia Minor, winning a major naval battle at Corycusbefore winter ended the campaign of 191.



Queen Elizabeth 1 as Judith

Published October 15, 2018 by amaic
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World Renowned Judith of Bethulia


Part Six:

Queen Elizabeth 1 as Judith



“While I do not argue that Elizabeth was the first English monarch to be paralleled

with Judith … Elizabeth was both the first monarch to be compared to Judith in a sustained and systematic way for religio-political purposes, and also

the first monarch to affirm the analogy in her own words”.

 Aidan Norrie



Taken from:


Elizabeth I as Judith: reassessing the apocryphal

widow’s appearance in Elizabethan royal




Historians and literary scholars have long noted and analysed the appearance of biblical analogies as part of Tudor and Stuart royal iconography. Using the example of a biblical figure, monarchs demonstrated the divine precedent for their decisions, and subjects in turn could counsel their monarch to emulate the actions of a divinely favoured biblical figure. Queen Elizabeth I of England was the subject of the greatest number of biblical analogies drawn in the early modern period: analogies were drawn both by apologists and by Elizabeth herself throughout the entire span of the queen’s reign, and for almost a century after her death. …. Elizabeth’s comparisons with Deborah the Judge, Queen Esther, Daniel the Prophet, King Solomon, and King David have all received varying levels of attention in the existing scholarship: but the analogy to Judith, the chaste widow of the Apocrypha, has generally escaped detailed analysis. …. Judith was invoked in various ways throughout Elizabeth’s reign, and the diverse analogies reflect the changing religio-political climate of the time. This article offers a re-examination of the comparisons drawn between Elizabeth and Judith during the queen’s life. In doing so, I argue that contrary to claims in some of the existing scholarship, Judith was routinely and consistently offered to Elizabeth as biblical precedent for dealing with Roman Catholics – with violence, not just diplomatic rhetoric – and for the providential sanctioning of female rule; and that Elizabeth, in drawing the parallel to Judith herself, inserted her own voice into these debates. ….


Judith’s story can be found in the eponymous book of the Apocrypha. A prophecy was brought, foretelling that Bethulia, Judith’s city, would be lost to the invading Assyrians because of the Jews’ disobedience. Judith attempted to prevent this happening, and prayed to God that he would give her a ‘sworde to take vengeance of the [invading] strangers’. …. She and her handmaiden allowed themselves to be captured by the Assyrians, claiming that they had deserted. The Assyrians took her to Holofernes, the General of the Army. Judith lied to Holofernes that God had forsaken the Jews because they ate his offerings before the requisite time had past, and that he would not defend them until the sacrifices were re-offered, which would take many days to organize. Holofernes was pleased with this news, and allowed Judith to stay in the camp. On the fourth night at the camp, after a banquet, Holofernes passed out, drunk. His servants left the tent, and Judith remained inside, alone. She picked up Holofernes’ sword, grasped his hair, prayed, ‘Strengthen me,

O Lord God of Israel, this day,’ and then ‘shee smote twise upon his necke with all her might, and she took away his head from him.’ …. She stowed the head in her handmaiden’s bag, and the two left the camp. She returned to Bethulia, and showed the head, saying, ‘Beholde the head of Holofernes the chiefe captaine of the army of Assur . . . the Lord hath smitten him by the hand of a woman.’ …. Without their general, the Assyrian army fell into disarray, and the attack was abandoned.


In the existing scholarship, the most comprehensive study of Elizabeth as Judith remains England’s Eliza, by Elkin Calhoun Wilson. The first chapter of Wilson’s book is called ‘Judith in the Broadsides’, which, despite its title, focuses on ‘the concept of Gloriana taking form’ throughout Elizabethan literature, including pamphlets and dramatic productions. …. Rather than systematically analysing Elizabeth as Judith, Wilson used the concept of the widow Judith – the chaste, God-fearing woman who saved her people – and attempted to trace this theme in depictions of the queen. Wilson ends his discussion of Judith, however, by noting the familiarity the English felt for Judith: ‘in the study of Elizabeth idealized as Elisa [sic], Diana, and Gloriana, it is always to be remembered that the Judith . . . is an elder cockney cousin of these court ladies; in her homely style she testifies to their honest English stock.’ ….


John N. King’s study of Tudor iconography remains the key work that argues for Judith’s potency and longevity. King observes that, ‘Judith, in her victory over Holofernes (now considered a type for militant Catholicism) . . . embodies triumphal power conventionally relegated to kings.’ …. By arguing that Judith’s gender did not prevent her from saving the Israelites, Elizabeth’s apologists were able to assert that God’s defence of England would continue, even with a female king on the throne. …. The analogy to Judith thus asserted Elizabeth’s position as England’s providential monarch, who would be given the necessary strength by God to overcome England’s enemies.


While I do not argue that Elizabeth was the first English monarch to be paralleled with Judith … the examples assembled here demonstrate that Elizabeth was both the first monarch to be compared to Judith in a sustained and systematic way for religio-political purposes, and also the first monarch to affirm the analogy in her own words. The importance of these two facts is often sidelined in the scholarship that does discuss the Judith analogy. Helen Hackett’s study of Elizabeth and the cult of the Virgin Mary is excellent, but dismisses Judith’s longevity by claiming, ‘biblical heroines like Deborah and Judith dominated early Elizabethan royal iconography.’ ….