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That will probably be the case. I'm not too sure of the differences between the two dynasties in terms of military, architecture, technology, but I'd be interested if someone were willing to explain, especially the military. For example, did the Sassanids rely on light infantry like the Achaemenids did?

Edited by Fionn
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I'm almost certain that Parthia is one of the planned factions for part two. But I'm not sure if Pontus or Armenia were ever a huge problem for any of the big empires (ie Rome and Persia), compared to the Parthians.

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  • 2 weeks later...

My understanding is that the Hellespont is named Helles Pontos, Pontos meaning "a sea."

Right you are. As far as I know, the element "Helle" has nothing to do with "Hellas", either, but with the mythological figure of "Helle", a girl, who drowned in that sea.

And I have never heard that Mithridates was Persian, so the myth can't be that common ...

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True. But the myth of Helle, like many etymologizing myths, may just be a folk etymology constructed after the original derivation of the name was forgotten. So it could still be related to Hellas. In any case, where would Helle's name have come from, if it wasn't ultimately related to Hellas?

Edited by Aldandil
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My Greek dictionary says absolutely nothing about the etymological derival of both Hellas and Helle. Just that "Hellas" in origin was a part of Thessaly (whose name derived from another mythological figure, Hellen) and later was adopted on the whole people. In fact, there are "Hellenes" in Homers' epics, but that term relates to the people of that particular landscape, not to the whole Greeks, who may be described as "Achaioi" or "Danaoi" at this time. I don't know why and when Hellas and Hellenes became the common term, though.

And for the etymology of names: That is one of the most difficult matters in etymology, especially in ancient languages, simply because of missing sources. It would be much easier to derive "Alandil" from Sindarin than Helle from pre-classical Ancient Greek.

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Well of course, Aldandil is Sindarin! ;)

I've never heard of the etymological origin of the Greek names/words in Hell-. But I think that the reason Hellenes became the name for all Greeks was because some folks in Italy, who lived near a Greek colony founded by Greeks from Hellas, started using Hellenes indiscriminately for all Greeks. Some other Greeks living near an ethnic group named Italoi, started using Italoi indiscriminately for all "Italians." As time passed and Greeks compared themselves more often to "barbarians" and people they had colonized, they started to think of themselves as in some limited way a single group. "Hellenes" must have caught on in Magna Graecia and then spread to Greece.

I think "Greeks" comes from another Greek group that formed a colony in Italy, the Graikoi.

Edited by Aldandil
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Italoi is a modern term Italiotes was the term used for the Greek colonists on the Italian Peninsula. Graikos means commoner, the Greeks were the usual people you found in Southern Italy ie Grecos. Most of the Italian tribes mentioned by the Greek Historians were Greek colonists. The Roman Historians emphasised on the Latin tribes that invaded the region during the Latin League. Anything written during Julius Caesar's time and Nero's were Latin biased views because they were the only two emperors of Rome that didn't speak Greek. All of the Five Good Emperors and everyone else conducted affairs in council and elsewhere using Greek. The Memoirs of Marcus Aurelius one of the best five is written in ancient Greek indicating it was his first language and favoured or strongest language. But at the same time he uses terms like Athenian and Macedonians when referring to other Greeks.

The term ΕΛΛΗΝΕΣ Ελληνες, Ellhnes - Ellines was a term used by Heroditos and numerous others 800BC onwards. The origin of the word is speculative in Greek mythology Ellhnas was one of the descendants of Zeus. Accoriding to the theogony each tribe of Greeks is a descendant of the Gods. It is also possible the term came into popularity following the battle of Troy, "We are the ones who fought for Hellen".

About the Persians: The Histories tell us that the Persians resorted to using Thematic armies instead of standing armies. They recruited soldiers from their cities and villages to face the Greeks at the Battle of Thermopolae. Heroditus makes this clear when he describes the caravans and messengers sent forward to alarm the cities that they should provide rations, cavalry, men. The Greeks always trained and maintained a standing army and reluctantly recruited civilians but often had a support unit made of servants. The servants usually were few in number by proportion to the bulk of the army. Chariots and Phalanxes were the most prestigious classes of soldiers. The kings or village leaders normally had chariots, but this changed as they approached 340BC and they became more ceremonial symbols of glory than anything practical. The Persians kept their chariots and focused heavily on mounted soldiers which made them very expensive and hard to maintain over long campaigns. Simply riding from Persia to the borders of Greece was a massive feat in itself. Feeding, watering and restocking dying horses added greatly to the logistics needed. And in the end the Persians relied on cities near the Greeks providing horses and rations. I can't remember exactly but the standing army of the Persians never exceeded 100k. But it was their ability to pickup troops on the march that inflated this to massive amounts ~600k?

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