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In 200 B.C. Analysis

Author: poem of C.P. Cavafy Type: poem Views: 3

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"Alexander son of Philip, and the Greeks except the Lacedaemonians--"

We can very well imagine

that they were utterly indifferent in Sparta

to this inscription. "Except the Lacedaemonians",

but naturally. The Spartans were not

to be led and ordered about

as precious servants. Besides

a panhellenic campaign without

a Spartan king as a leader

would not have appeared very important.

O, of course "except the Lacedaemonians."

This too is a stand. Understandable.

Thus, except the Lacedaemonians at Granicus;

and then at Issus; and in the final

battle, where the formidable army was swept away

that the Persians had massed at Arbela:

which had set out from Arbela for victory, and was swept away.

And out of the remarkable panhellenic campaign,

victorious, brilliant,

celebrated, glorious

as no other had ever been glorified,

the incomparable: we emerged;

a great new Greek world.

We; the Alexandrians, the Antiocheans,

the Seleucians, and the numerous

rest of the Greeks of Egypt and Syria,

and of Media, and Persia, and the many others.

With our extensive territories,

with the varied action of thoughtful adaptations.

And the Common Greek Language

we carried to the heart of Bactria, to the Indians.

As if we were to talk of Lacedaemonians now!


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