Assholes, that is what they eventually called us Greeks
The soldiers of the Persian army were not smart. Lets tell the truth, they were idiots. They were raised and breed to take orders and die. Entire cities were created just for breeding them and the leaders did not want any intelligence at all. Their average IQ was in the low's 80's and the officers did not want them to be any brighter than about 90 IQ. They breed them to keep them low. They gave them drink so they would stay drunk night and day until they were killed in battle or died of alcoholism.
God did not like that misuse of humans by other humans. To breed men for stupidity and meanness is just not spiritually progressive anybody's book.
Those men had a preoccupation with death but not the mental facilities to even begin to resolve the issues. They must have wanted to die, I know I would have if I were one of them.
The first time we met on the battlefield I found myself in a state bordering disbelief.
To prepare for battle both armies squared off about 50 yards apart. Then the strangest thing happened. Each division of the Persian army had their colors. The first color bearer walked out 10 meters and sang out: 'We the soldiers of King Darius of the city of---- the home of the warrior--- and ---- are prepared to die in battle to the God of earth----as our great legend is added to that of our city which was settled first by the great general---- in the -----wars and--- and on and on it went.' The entire 200,000 Persian army was at attention listening to this and while our officers tried to keep our men quiet. But they talked and checked their weapons.
It was great, I thought, let the Persians all get ready to die and then we won't have convince them.
After the one finish another color bearer stepped up and said the same exact words but substituted their own city, gods and generals. After a half an hour four of these color guards had done this and that was about 1/10 the opposing force.
The fifth color guard had just said 'and we are prepared to die' and I heard a 'whooshclunk' and from on of my officers came: 'then die you son of a bitch'.
'Oh, no' I thought. 'He wasn't supposed the shoot that arrow.'
One of my officers had taken a bow from a nearby archer and shot an arrow completely through the man's chest armor and through his chest. (It was the heaviest plate armor the Persian Army had. I guess it came to rest against the armor on his back.)
The officer had come by three arrows of phenomenal hardness and heft that could penetrate any armor that we had and he was like a kid on the 4th of July with a big skyrocket. He could not wait to use one of those arrows.
In four seconds I could see the color bearer start to die and I knew he would never make it back to his lines. The arrow seemed to have pierced a chamber of his heart. Since his thinking went way down you could tell the blood flow was immediately cut in half or less. Then the enitirity of the 'held together person' just 'feel apart'. (The term 'held together' is a real thing that exists but a person can only see it's presence when it leaves another person real quickly when they 'fall apart' while dying on the battlefield.) The tension left his face and body as the color in his face started to lighten. I knew his time on earth would expire before the breath I was holding needed to be exhaled. There were at least 50,000 other men who were holding their breath at this point. (It still makes me shiver to recall this.) The man turned around with something that was maybe a Persian 'never mind' and walked a couple of steps towards his line. Then he dropped to his knees. You could have heard a pin drop. It was an incredible drama that went on forever it seemed in front of both armies. His only goal was to keep the colors in the air and make it to his own lines where he could disappear into the crowd. Then Persians could pretend he didn't die. He tried to get up but stumbled and went down on his knees a second time and dropped to colors to the ground. He breathed hard and coughed blood several times and then he fell on the ground too. Everyone knew he was dead and everyone was silent.
I was expecting the Persian hoard to just overwhelm us then but they didn't. We were about the farthest thing from their minds at that time. My own officer who shot the arrow had 'out thought' me.
The officer was one of the strongest men we had (though he did not look it) and the bow was double the pull of the average bow. He had gotten those three very hard arrows with strange points and he was aching to shoot one of them. They may have come from China or from outer space for all I know. (This being the bronze age I don't know what they were made of.) They were the color of bronze but I thought it was just colored to look like bronze. We took one of the arrows and found the hardest rock we could find and grinding it would not dull the point. It seemed to bend the metal a bit though. (Gabriel says on the hardness scale it was almost 14.)
That officer was only supposed to challenge a Persian officer to a one on one if possible and then nail him with an arrow from afar! Instead the armies had squared off and he had lost his opportunity. The archer was just there to carry the bow and pretend it was his own.
There was one thing that he remembered that I had forgotten. The Persian officers had told all their men that the Greeks had nothing that could pierce the great armor their armies were known to have. They insisted and even showed the men how good their armor was by using supposedly captured Greek bows and arrows. The arrows they chose to use would just bounce right off the armor.
This was true. We had nothing that could penetrate their good armor. This information about how they showed their men got back to us but we thought it was pretty useless information except for that one officer.
The color bearer was the most important foot soldier since he had to protect the colors (flag) so after the officers he got the best armor, it was solid plate armor. Here on the field of battle suddenly an officer of mine appeared to get upset and randomly pick up one of our 40,000 bows and an equally random arrow and shoot it through the armor of the color bearer.
There was no communication between us so the officer took the initiative on his own.
My worry was that they would come right at us full on and overwhelm us with their superior numbers but they directed their anger at their officers for lying to them.
It took ten minutes for them to think through what had happened, what it meant to them and they were quiet the entire time. With that one arrow the entire Babylonian army completely lost their trust in their officers and then turned inside-out with fear. 50,000 wanted to leave and go home which is what we wanted. It did not sit too well with the intelligent Persian officers either.
I made that officer one of my advisors. Every time I made a battle plan I would ask him what he thought of it and then go hide for awhile and let him figure out everything. Hopefully with the guy that actually came up with idea to use the arrow on the color bearer. The officer was great at defense and was the strongest archer who was also an officer. He saw holes in defenses and how to shore them up or penetrate them if they were the oppositions defenses but he was not the really assertive person that would have come up with the idea of using that arrow in that situation.
He would find me later when he was ready and we would go over the plan and then compile this info with that of about three other officers and sometimes we would spend the whole night working through all the possibilities so we would not be killed in our next battle.
I'm pretty sure that was the first time we were called 'assholes' and I was quite elated because it meant we had won in the enemies mind. That word meant you had won and they stuck with trying to make you lesser so that your victory did not sting them as much. That kind of statement only made them lessen in our eyes. It has other ramifications but the pimary thing was that we had won that day on the field of battle.
© 2003 John Pinil