An old samurai castle lot...
Though called the Imperial Palace Park today.
Une grande guerre, mais scandaleuse
Mencius, an ancient great Chinese philosopher said:
"There are four types of subjects among the people in a kingdom:
The first is the one who is only content with his service to the kingdom as needed by the king, without an ideal.
The second is the one who has an ideal to make the kingdom peaceful and prosperous.
The third is the one who has an ideal to make the world peaceful and prosperous, so that he would start to serve the kingdom only once he becomes confident of the prospect of the nation going to contribute to this ideal about the world.
And above the third, there is a great soul who is only devoted to keeping the right way of living for himself, by which he will influence all the people so that they will come to keep the right way of living."
CHAPTER I: Hannibal
Around 216 B.C., the future Roman Empire might have become impossible, since Rome was about to be besieged and destroyed by a maritime state who sent its genius general to the Italian Peninsula over the Alps.
Hannibal, son of Hamilcar Barca (248–183 or 182 BC) was a Carthaginian military commander and tactician who is popularly credited as one of the most talented commanders in history...
One of his most famous achievements was at the outbreak of the Second Punic War, when he marched an army, which included war elephants, from Iberia over the Pyrenees and the Alps into northern Italy. In his first few years in Italy, he won three dramatic victories -- Trebia, Trasimene, and Cannae -- and won over several allies of Rome. Hannibal occupied much of Italy for 15 years, but a Roman counter-invasion of North Africa forced him to return to Carthage, where he was decisively defeated by Scipio Africanus at the Battle of Zama...
Plutarch states that, when questioned by Scipio as to who was the greatest general, Hannibal is said to have replied either Alexander, Pyrrhus, then himself, or, according to another version of the event, Pyrrhus, Scipio, then himself.
In the spring of 216 BC, Hannibal defeated 86,000 troops of the Romans at Cannae in the Apulian plain with his troops just half of the Romans'.
After the victory, killing or taking hostages of 70,000 Roman soldiers, Hannibal sent a messenger to his homeland Carthage, asking for reinforcement needed for invasion of the city Rome. But, leaders in Carthage, in response to his urgent request, delivered only 4,000 cavalries and 40 elephants. This reinforcement was ten times smaller than Hannibal expected. Accordingly, Hannibal and the sea port nation Carthage lost the chance to replace the Romans forever.
But, why would not leaders in Carthage fully meet the request from Hannibal?
It is because they did not want Hannibal to be a great hero conquering Rome. They envied Hannibal. They were afraid of Hannibal's rise in the domestic hierarchy of Carthage. They just wanted to Hannibal to give grave damage to Romans so that they could control the Mediterranean Sea. They did not want Hannibal to become a king. From the beginning, Carthage was well know for deplorable social climate of treachery and betrayal. It was a stark contrast to the strong bond of solidarity of Romans.
The Romans used troops consisting of its citizens; Carthage used mercenaries and elephants.
What Hannibal should have been engaged in was his conquest of Carthage, in order to make it a true kingdom of citizens, if mostly consisting of merchants, sailors, and pirates, in addition to North Africans.
From a religious point of view, it is very interesting that Israelites or Hebrews had among themselves no rivals or equals to Hannibal. Ancient Israel never threated the Romans in terms of military power and talent, like Carthage did. But, 2000 years later, it is Judaists that have survived the history due to their religion from which even Christianity emerged to conquer the Roman Empire and its successor modern Europe eventually.
This is a great lesson we should learn.
CHAPTER II: Consideration of Carthage
If I had been a leader of Carthage, I would have rather adopted a bidirectional invasion of the Italian Peninsula: one from the Alps by Hannibal and another from Sicilian by another general. I could also have Macedonians join the campaign toward Rome.
In other word, the historical fact that leaders of Carthage did not take this strategy means that they were not firmly determined to take on Rome. They did not believe that they could finish the Romans. They had no ambition to establish a great empire around the Mediterranean.
With trade over the sea, Carthaginians could be rich enough. They did not have to rule the Italian Peninsula whose major industry was agriculture. But, for the Romans already with the agricultural hinterland in the Peninsula as their base for subsistence, the trading nation Carthage could be a reasonable target for simple military occupation. And, for further prosperity, the Romans needed access to overseas agricultural areas without obstruction by Carthage.
So, the best policy for Carthaginians seems to have been allied with the Romans so as to concentrate on commerce around the Mediterranean. However, as proven by the fact that they could not keep peace with Greeks prior to the wars with Rome, they must have been destined to collide with the Romans. But why?
It is because they were descendants of Phoenicians: roughly speaking relatives of ancestors of current Arabs.
Phoenicia was an ancient civilization centered in the north of ancient Canaan, with its heartland along the coastal regions of modern day Lebanon, Syria, and northern Israel. Phoenician civilization was an enterprising maritime trading culture that spread across the Mediterranean during the period 1550 BC to 300 BC.
This issue must be considered together with a question why ancient Israelites would not advance to the west in the Mediterranean to be a trading state if it had had to make war with Greeks like Carthage. Did not King David and King Solomon have such a potential in their heyday?
Put extremely, ancient Israelites or Hebrews should have replaced Phoenicians and Carthaginians so as to establish another Carthage or Israelite Carthage. Then, Israelite Hannibal should have conquered Rome. They would have moved their capital from Jerusalem to Rome. The whole Mediterranean should have been under power of Israel. Accordingly, Christ Jesus must have been born in Rome.
But, the history tells that no such a glorious scenario had been prepared for Israelites and Judaiats. But why?
It is because their prime ancestor is Abraham, a man from Mesopotamia in the era of the final stage of the Sumerian Civilization. Ancient Israelites must not have been originally relatives of ancestors of current Arabs. It is unthinkable that descendants of Sumerians to have established a maritime empire in the Mediterranean though they would stay on the ground around Jerusalem between Egypt and Mesopotamia.
Conversely, if King David and King Solomon had tried to be another Carthage, they must have been completely destroyed by Romans like real Carthaginians. For Hebrews and Judaists to survive in history, they must not have had an ambitions to conquer the Mediterranean, avoiding a fatal collision with the Romans.
So, we might say that the real fate of Carthage is a once-possible fate of ancient Israel: They could threaten the Romans, pushing them at the brink of total collapse, but it must have been the best they could have achieved in the history.
*** *** *** ***
Taiwanese are kind to Japanese.
A Japanese man living in Taiwan wrote:
"When I ask the police the way to a certain place, they usually drive me to the destination by police car, since they find that I am Japanese.
When I ask the way to a certain place to local people, they often drive me to the destination by their car, since they find that I am Japanese."
Another Japanese man who traveled to Taiwan wrote:
"In an island annexed to Taiwan Island, I was waiting for a bus at a stop. Then a taxi came in, and the driver asked me in Chinese if I would like to take it. So, I said that I am Japanese in Chinese. Then, he said in Japanese to get in his car as he would take no charge. He also drove me around the island, speaking Japanese, since he was studying Japanese. He asked me whether or not his Japanese sounded strange. His Japanese was a little old fashioned, since he was learning Japanese by watching Japanese TV programs broadcast there. He said that he liked watching a Japanese samurai story. Anyway, he guided me all day long without charge. This is just one of good experiences in Taiwan."
Indeed, Taiwan was under Japanese sovereignty from 1895 to 1945. As the Empire of Japan introduced various modern systems into Taiwan, including modern administrative systems, modern education systems, modern industrial systems, and the Japanese language, the Taiwan people have still genuine respect for Japanese.
And, it is not the Chinese Communist Party that introduced various modern systems into Taiwan, including modern administrative systems, modern education systems, modern industrial systems, and the Japanese language, though nowadays only very old Taiwanese could speak genuine Japanese which sounds so polite and proper even to Japanese of today.
Mar 1:21 And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught.
Mar 1:22 And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes.