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NIHIL NOVUM SUB SOLE

1001 deeds, sayings, curiosities and anecdotes of the ancient world

Europe versus Asia: an eternal rivalry

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It is known that the Trojan War, which Homer sings in his poem "The Iliad", was triggered because the Trojan prince Paris, visiting Greece, kidnapped the blonde Helen, wife of Menelaus, and took her to the court of his father, Priam, in Troy

Greek peoples united under the command of Agamemnon, "shepherd of the people " (ποιμὴν  λαῶν, poimen laôn)  , and besieged the city to destroy it after ten years of struggle. This is the issue that gave rise to a literary cycle as productive in the Greek literary and artistic creation, and in the present days too because of the cultural importance of the classical world.

Herodotus, in the beginning of his "Stories", cites several precedents of kidnap of women as the source of secular confrontation between Asia and the Greeks, between East and West: the kidnap of "Io" by Phoenicians, the kidnap of “Europe” by the Greeks, the abduction of “Medea” by Greeks ..... So this myth of kidnap has been very productive in the history of mythology and literature, in antiquity and beyond to justify the secular confrontation between East and West, between the Europe of freedom and Asia of tyranny.

But below the literary story, there is a historical reality that explains the clashes between Greeks and Trojans in the present case as the result of competition for colonization of the Mediterranean between different peoples, as the Phoenicians.

It is worth recalling that the Phoenicians are culturally Semitic (Phoenician and Hebrew are two languages that can understand each other) as opposite to the Indo-European Greeks. Although these nationalists concepts should be extremely relativized, because the excessive importance given to the Indo-European or Aryan component in the origins of Greece was forged in a scientific context contaminated by German nationalism.

It isn’t inappropriate to recall how this part of the world was and still is of great geostrategic importance, and thus this is the seat of permanent conflicts until today. To the geostrategic importance now attaches its oil wealth, the source of energy and raw materials indispensable nowadays and a new point of contention.

Read these articles as well:

greco persian greco median wars

history had a father

 

   
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