Herodt's Vision of the Concept of War

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    UNIVERSITATEA DE STAT DIN MOLDOVA FACULTATEA RELAŢII INTERNAŢIONALE, ŞTIINŢE POLITICE ŞI ADMINISTRATIVE   DEPARTAMENTUL RELAŢII INTERNAŢIONALE ARMAŞ MARIA   Herodot's vision of the concept of war Essay   Autorul: ______________ (semnătura)   Conducător ştiinţific:  _____________ (semnătura)   Nicolaescu I.,lector   CHIŞINĂU, 201 8    Herodotos, the father of lies and history, was interested in many aspects of the Persian War: its beginning, the motivations of both the Greeks and Persians and much more. While Herodotos did not explicitly say what he considered made a war just or unjust, by examining how he describes the srcins of the Persians' wars of conquest, I will argue that Herodotos considered wars of conquest unjust and wars of defense just. The reason for this difference  between the wars has to do with Herodotos' cosmology. For Herodotos described the Persians' expansionist wars as failing in some way because they were wars of expansion. Because these political wars were the object of his  Histories , we know that Herodotos had some understanding of total war. But the way   that Herodotos described honorable actions suggests that he continued to look at war through the lens of creative warfare. Total war, and also improper gender roles, for Herodotos, were imbalances of the cosmic order. Herodotos differs from the other writers I will examine because he believed that the Greek gods or fate must be credited as the first cause of all major events. Because of his belief in divine oversight, Herodotos believed that the unjust would be punished. The stories that Herodotos told about Persian wars suggest that he felt that wars for the sake of conquest were unjust and contrary to the nature of the cosmos. My reasoning behind this logic is not so much Herodotos' sympathy for those that the Persians attack, but that he always described the Persians' works of conquests failing in some way. As a follower of the Greek gods, Herodotos  believed that the cosmos had a balance of justice. Fate would ensure that justice would be restored if the balance had been disrupted. The srcins of war for Herodotos have to be understood in terms of gender as well as honor. Herodotos' condemnation of wars of conquest can be seen as a judgment of total war  practices through the lens of creative war, with which he was more familiar. His chronicle of Median and Persian kings provides ample evidence of what he considered unjust and unjustified wars. These stories all implicitly conclude that Herodotos considered wars that had the telos  of conquest were unjust. We could see this as a prototype of one of the fundamental ideas of Just War Theory: Wars of aggression are always unjust. This position is not surprising, for the Persian War was an important turning point for Greek warfare. During the Archaic Age, wars were primarily fought over land disputes and were not fought as a means of conquest. Therefore, we can understand Herodotos as reacting against the shift in Greek warfare towards total war and away from creative war.    Bibliography 1.   Walzer, Michael.  Just and Unjust Wars: A Moral Argument with Historical     Illustrations, Fourth Edition . Basic Books, New York NY, 2006. pg. 22 2.   Sealey, R. Thucydides, Herodotos, and the Causes of War. The Classical Quarterly  7.1/2 (1957): 1-12. <http://www.jstor.org/stable/637567>.   
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