I'm writing from the road again - this time in Tampere Finland. This is a wonderful country, and one that has many answers to world problems. I was surprised to learn how different the culture is here in comparison to all of their neighbors, not only in terms of language. Look for more good things to come from these honest, intelligent, hard-working people in addition to their Nokia cell phones and Linix operating systems for computers. They have created a self-sustaining economy here - an excellent model for other nations. It is not based on exploitation of nature or human beings. They also of course make an subperb Finlandia vodka, which I have harvested from my hotel mini-bar! ... And this has in turn led to thoughts of the infamous drinker Alexander.
Before leaving home I went to see the new Oliver Stone movie about Alexander and have a few thoughts to share with you. Alexander it seems was the victim of "Eldest Son Syndrome". As we have seen in Archaeology & the Patriarchs, the firstborn child of an ancient woman was customarily born "out of wedlock" and then "redeemed" by her future husband. In the case of Alexander, he would have been the firstborn of his mother Olympias and only an adopted son of Phillip of Macedon by his marriage to Olympias. One of Alexander's epithets was "Last of the Achemenids" (Achememid is the designation for the Persian dynasty founded by Cyrus and Darius). This implies that Alexander's pedigree was Persian through is biological father. His title "Son of Zeus" (Son of God) further implies that his true father had been a Great King of Persia, and more particularly one of the predecessors of his main rival Darius II. Certainly, after his defeat of Darius II, Alexander wanted to be viewed as a proper Persian king and a continuation of the Persian line. Ironically, it was his premature death without an heir that made it possible for Greek culture to supplant that of Persia throughout the Near East.
© Charles N. Pope, US Library of Congress. All rights reserved.