Xerxes Is Whipping the Uncouth Sea by Gerd Maximovič


What relation does man have to the weather? Is it neutral or indifferent for him? Or, shouldn't you better think, our planet, Earth, is kind of a super organism, as esoteric peoplepretend (namng this giant organism, "gaia"). An organism to react on wishes, intentions, and behaviour - and with a vengeance!

Let's have a look into the history book. Because, in our highly developped technical age, they are ridiculing these ideas nowadays. In our times being utmost limited in certain other respects. So the writings of Herodotus, and what he tells us there about, are helping us hereby very much."

Herodotus: born after 490 BC in Halikarnassos, died in Athens after 430 BC. - Herodotus had to leave his home after conspiracy against the tyrant Lygdamis, he travelled to Egypt,Mesopotamia as well as to the Scythian territories. Later he lived in Athens where he was close to Pericles and Sophocles. Likely he took part in the colonization of Thurii (442); in the following he presented his writings on festivals; later divided up into 9 books, therein you find the developement of the relation between East and West (= Persians and Greeks), from the beginning to the battle of Plataea (479).The description is supplemented by self-contained reports (Logoi) on ethnology and geography, due to the example of predecessors, and by own observations, by speeches, anecdotes,and reflections. Herodotus' effort, to gather a metaphysical sense from what happened, marks the end of preclassic thinking, but at the same time it leads to later historiography. Historical events are subject to divine power,the arrogance of single persons being regarded as high spirits, and will be punished; history teaches us this insight. Cicero called Herodotus 'father of history writing'."(Meyers Großes Taschenlexikon, a German encyclopedia)

I am quoting: "Herodot: Historien. Alfred Kröner Verlag, Stuttgart 1971. Kröners Taschenbuchausgabe Band 224." (Herodotus: History. German edition.)

So, we learn, history is subject to metaphysical reasons, there is a "divine power" directing it. Please, remember, metaphysics are philosophical teachings on the last reasons and connections of being, which you cannot live or learn so easily. This way, Herodotus is the right man for us. Here we are dealing with"Xerxes I., 'the ruler over heroes', called 'Ahasverus' inthe Old Testmanet, born about 519, died 465. Great King (since 486) from the Old Persian dynasty of the Achemides. He tried to conquer Greece, but failed in spite of using all means available, due to his defeats at Salamis (480) and at Plataea (479).

During the later years extensive construction works (especially further extension of Persepolis). Xerxes was murdered during a revolution at the palace." (Meyers Großes Taschenlexikon)So, Xerxes tried to subjugate Greece in vain. This in spite of the immense power available to him. Here is of \Art\DokE05.RTF, S. 1 interest the role being played by the sea (that's the part of nature, of course); Xerxes punishing the sea:

"Whilst that time they put up a bridge over the Hellespont, connecting Asia with Europe. ... The Phoenicians constructed one of the bridges using a sort of hemp, the Egyptians erected the other one with papyral raffia. ... When the bridge was ready there arose a tremendous storm destroying and annihilating all of the work.

Xerxes hearing this, he was annoyed with the fact, and he ordered to punish the Hellespont with three hundred strokes ofthe whip; a couple of shackles he also let sink into the sea. Yes, they report, he should have sent servants for the hangmanin order to impress brands on Hellespont. We only know for sure, he gave order to whip the Hellespont with rods, and he let speak the rough godless words:

You bitter water! This way your master is punishing you, because you hurt his feelings, he who never offended you. King Xerxes will move atop of you, if you do like it or not. It is all right, no man is offering sacrifices to you, you dirty, salty stream!

So he had punished the sea, and the supervisors of the building of the bridge were chopped off their heads." (Herodotus, p. 477)

Now, would the sea be guilty of Xerxes' failure to keep the necessary bridge? And if yes, who was clever enough to use the sea? 'Cui bono?' they use to ask at such occasions: who can profit from it?

Let's first have a look at the enormous army of Xerxes, and also it's following is giant:

"... I am guessing ... and you get the bulk of the army of two million six hundred and forty seventy thousand six hundred men. - But the rear and the team of the ships transporting food, as well as other vehicles accompanying the soldiers, were to my belief, no less numerous, but, yes, even more numerous than the original armed forces. ... and Xerxes ... this way ... he was directing an immense mass of people of five million twohundredeightythreethousandtwohundredandtwenty men." (Herodotus, p. 536)

Therefore Xerxes did muster a giant army to fight against the Greeks. However, how do you judge him, someone to take on God? What do you think, dear reader, has someone (turning against God) at least any chance?

Secondly, the Persians under Xerxes are marching for the subjugation of Greece. But a storm arises to help Athens. The fleet of the Persians:

"The fleet arrived at the coast of Magnesia between the city of Kasthanaia and the promontory Sepias, there the first arrived ships were moored tight to the beach, the later arriving anchored at sea. The beach was not wide, and so always eight ships anchored in one line, the beaks turned towards the sea. So they were laying the first night. But early in the morning, whilst there was fine weather, and the wind still, the sea began to move, and a tremendous North-Eastwind broke out, a wind the population there calls >Hellespontier. He who registered the growth of the storm in time, and having a favourable place, pulled his ship to the beach before the storm broke loose, and so saved himself together with his ship. But those ships caught in open sea, partly ended up at the so-called Ipnoi at Pelion, partly they were thrown upon the beach. Other vessels again failed at the promontory Sepias itself or they were driven to Kasthanai. Theforce of the storm was irresistible." (Herodotus, p. 536 f)

Who profits from it? And, please tell me again, do you think anybody would have a chance fighting against God?"

They say, due to a prophecy the Athens would have called Boreas to come; because an oracle did advise them to call their cousin to help them. Now, referring to Hellenic legend,Boreas is married to an Athens woman, named Oreithyia, daughter of Erechteus. After this relation by marriage the Athens, so they tell, considered him as their cousin, and when they now felt the growing of the wind on ship's guard in Chalkis on Euboia, maybe even before this time, then they made sacrifices for Boreas and Oreithyia, and they called on them to help them and to destroy the barbaric fleet, as once has happened at Athos. I don't know, if Boreas for this reason really had been moved to fall upon the anchored fleet of the barbars; but the Athens pretend, he already stood themby in former times, and he also heard them then, and when they returned home, they built Boreas a shrine at river Ilissos."

(Herodotus, p. 537

Luck and mishap at the same time:"By this thunderstorm perished not less than four hundred ships, least counted, furthermore countless people, and immeasurable treasures. But to the Magnetian Ameinokles, son of Kretines, who was in possession of an estate near Sepias, this naval disaster brought much luck. Afterwards he collecteda lot of pay and silver cups having been driven on land, he found Persian money chests, and yet he acquired other precious objects." (Herodotus, p. 537)

And here once more the same question: if one party (the Greeks) are able to conjure to the weather, in this case to the wind, ain't the others unable to do the same?

"You even cannot count the number of provision ships and other transportation vessels to have had an accident. The leaders of the fleet, fearing an attack of the Thessal soldiers against their unlucky crowds, erected a high fence, consisting of ship wreckage, around the camp. For three days lasted the thunderstorm. Finally the magicians sacrificed to the wind, and alleviated it by magic songs. They also sacrificed to Thetis and to the Nereids, and the storm subsided the fourth day; but, well, maybe it subsided on its own.“ (Herodotus, p. 538)

Oh yes, oh yes, the wind, heaven's child. Don't we also use these words - without ever thinking?

"So, on fourth day the storm had subsided. But Hellenic outlookers the second day of the storm already hurried down from the hills of Euboea to report everything on the ships wreckage to their fellow citizens. When the people of Hellas learned the news, they prayed to their saviour Poseidon, they offered drinks as a sacrifice to him, and hurriedly they returned to Artemision, because they thought there would be left over only a few enemy ships. So, for the second time they took up position near Artemision, and even today Poseidon's epithet is the saviour." (Herodotus, p. 538)The war of conquest of Xerxes goes on, with ships and with his soldiers, on land:

"When it got dark, a tremendous rain poured down during all of the night, this, although it was midsummer, and muffled thunder sounded from Pelion. The bodies and wreckage of the ships were driven to Aphetai, they thronged around the beaks of the Persian ships and crashed against the rudder blades. The crew, listening to the noise, feared the worst, and they believed, after all of their disaster, finally they must perish totally. Because before they could recover from their wreckage and the storm at Pelion, there raged the bitter battle, and now, after the battle, the terrible rain poured down, masses of water fell into the sea, and muffled thunder roared. So they spent a sad night." (Herodotus,p. 561) How often do we read in the history book - without further consideration of the author - about the weather, especially about terrible rain to affect complete battles."But for the ships sailing around Euboia this night became even more horrible; for the thunderstorm attacked them on open sea and caused them a miserable end. For storm and rain attacked them near the Eubolic cliffs, and they failed at thecliffs, being pushed around by the wind, and not knowing the way. All this was the deed of the deity, in order that the Persian fleet should look alike that of Greece, and not beingso much larger. So, these ships perished at the Eubolic cliffs." (Herodotus, p. 561)

The Persians, lead by Xerxes, conquer amongst other citiesthe empty city of Athens, and they destroy the Acropolis by fire. Xerxes' war of conquest, therefore, goes on. Artabazos is a renowned and merited Persian, he turns against the city of Poteidaia; Pallene (today Cassandra) was the name of the southermost peninsula of the Chalkidike. We notice in this connection especially the falling and rising of the sea:

"After Artabazos had anchored in front of the city for three months, there occurred a deep low tide lasting for a long time. When the barbarians realized how shallow the water had become, they went alongside the coast through to Pallene. Having made two fifths of the distance you must manage in order to reach Pallene, the water rose to such a height, as had happened never before, the population confirms, although high tides there are frequently observed. The Persians were doomed; those of them who couldn't swim, they drowned, and those who were able to swim, they were killed by the Poteidaians who rushed over hurriedly on boats. The Poteidaians think the reason for the high tide and thedisaster of the Persians lies in the fact that the Persians, having perished at sea, did blaspheme against Poseidon's temple and his image; and if they reasoned like this, they areright, to my belief. The survivors were led back to Mardonios at Thessalia. That's what happened to the troops accompanying the king." (Herodotus, p. 607)

Oh yes, everything being a stroke of luck, what we are learning here? May I remind you of Schopenhauer, the great German philosopher, who says there is no chance, we just don'tcomprehend the connections. And that brings us back to the phenomena we are experiencing today. Nowadays there are also suddenly changing currents of the sea (like for instance tsunamis). And we witness earth quakes beside volcanic eruptions as well. And there arises always the question: all this happening by chance, or doesn't it? Or just don't we understand the connection between us and an organism like thatof our earth? An earth quake happens before the sea battle near Salamis occurs:

"So, after such arguments they were preparing for naval battle by order of Eurybiades. When the day arrived and the sun was coming up, there occurred an earth quake:

Land and sea, both were trembling. They decided to pray to the Gods andto implore the Aiakides for protection. So it happened; they prayed to all of the Gods..." (Herodotus, p. 579)

He who is fighting against the Gods, say the supporters ofesotericism, never will win. But God's ways are mysterious, and oftentimes hard to see through. Anyway, nobody, no matter in what form, should ever dare, to pick a fight with Him. Because God always is stronger.