Thursday, April 30, 2020
Pay homage to the great god Sobek. And to Panthera leo [the Asiatic lion] too. Or else.
Came across this one quite by accident. Even the wild animals [Asiatic lions] of ancient Greece in response to the invading Persian army of Xerxes, exacting a toll on the baggage train animals of the invader.
"Xerxes and his army marched from Acanthus through the interior to Therma; and while he was on his way through the Paeonian and Crestonian territories to the river Echidorus, his camels, which carried corn, were attacked by lions. These animals, leaving their usual haunts came at night and preyed on the camels but touched no man and no other beast. It appears marvelous that the lions should have abstained from other animals, and should have selected the camel, which they had never seen or tasted. In this region there are numerous lions, as well as wild oxen, whose horns of immense size, are imported into Greece. The country in which the lion is found, is bounded by the river Nestus, which runs through Abdern and the River Achelous in Acarnania. Lions occur between these two rivers; but they are never see in the portion of Europe to the east of the Nestus, or on the continent west of the Achelous (vii, 124-126)" - - Herodotus.
HARDLY THE THREE-HUNDRED SPARTANS ALONE IN THEIR DEFENSE OF THE GREEK HOMELAND. THE ASIATIC LION FOUND IN SOME PARTS OF THE BALKANS WELL INTO HISTORICAL TIMES.
Military forces having to fear attack by wild animals not unheard of. Large critters such as the great cats, polar bears, sharks and crocodiles well within their ability to stalk, kill and devour even soldiers or sailors.
Think from the era of World War Two the sinking of the USS Indianapolis and the horrendous loss of life from shark attack. Also the Ramree Crocodile Massacre as it is deemed.
Lastly consider the experience of another Persian army of antiquity as was the subject of another prior blog entry. The Persians attempting a river crossing of the river Nile having not propitiated the crocodile god of the Egyptians, Sobek, also set upon by prodigious numbers of the beasts, soldiers devoured in the process. Sobek the patron god of the Egyptian army, a god of strength and power.!!
Indeed!! Sobek when properly mollified his presence benign.