Were the ancient Persians and easterners in general more superstitious than Greeks and Romans?
Why did Eastern troops always flee once their king or commander was killed whereas western troops could rally and keep fighting
no real source but standing and fighting after the kings has fallen seems like a very western thing to do wearers fleeing at every chance of misfortune or bad omen seems to be an eastern thing to do
Well, grossly inaccurate generalizations aside, you have to remember the character of the Persian army.
Achaemenid Persia was less a homogeneous empire and more a collection of relatively autonomous kingdoms paying tribute to the Persian king. When levying forces, there was no standardization, so the forces levied by individual kingdoms generally reflected the local culture. That meant that who exactly you're fighting could vary greatly. Just look at battles like the River Granicus. Through a combination of recruiting mercenaries and relying on the Ionian Greeks, the Persians had fielded a decidedly Greek force, consisting primarily of hoplites and peltasts.
Such a heterogeneous, foreign force is generally going to be less motivated and disciplined than a homogeneous force fighting for "their" people. Morale will be lower, and there's generally less drive to stick things out as things get bad.
That being said, most of Alexander's campaigns are embellished. An army, especially on the size he claims to have fought at Issus and Gaugamela, does not dissolve purely because their commander died or fled the field, regardless of how superstitious they may have been. However, panic can set in incredibly fast, particularly in poorly disciplined forces, and a rout is hard to stop once it begins.
>to be less motivated and disciplined than a homogeneous force fighting for "their" people.
Eastern empires have always been ridiculously multicultural. This sort of ehtnic fragmantation within states is generaly not seen in Western Europe. I hate /pol/ as much as the next guy, but it does raise an interesting question.. can the success and superiority of western europe be attributed to having a singular "nation-state' like entity whereas eastern empires were always liable to quick fragmentation and irredentist revolts due to incorporating so much mulitcultutralism?
Rather than Eastern troops fleeing, it's instead the petty kings, tribal chieftains, or regional governors withdrawing from the field. The Middle East was almost always ruled by a series of empires rather than nation states, which means these armies tended to be a mustering of disparate vassal cultures who were subjugated under a distant and usually foreign bureaucracy. So with the death of a commander, the subordinate commanders in a battle usually have no reason to continue fighting. Most times they're not defending their homelands or their fellow countrymen anyway, and their fellow soldiers outside of their regiment are often times just as foreign to them as the enemy.
Man for man, however, easterners were no better or worse than westerners. When an eastern force predominantly made up of soldiers from a single tribe, civic organization, etc, they could and usually did hold their ground.
ehh kinda. Multiculturalist empires tend to succeed when you can convince the various groups to look past cultural boundaries and convince them that staying together is ideal. Through proper application of decentralization, you can keep cultural tensions low, and, if you apply propaganda right, you can preserve local loyalties while also fostering a sense of working for the greater good.
What made Eastern empires so susceptible to separatism was the fact that member kingdoms weren't exactly there under their own free will. They were generally subjugated and kept in place through threat of violence, so it didn't take much to convince them to break away.
A good example of where multiculturalism could have worked was Austria-Hungary in WW1. Though nationalistic sentiments were endemic, the various cultural groups were generally very pro-Central powers at the outbreak of war, even with the slavs in Cisleithania and Italians in Tyrol. At least at the outbreak of the war, those groups were all very pro-Austria-Hungary, and only after the combined efforts of the Austrians and Hungarians doing everything in their power to agitate the various different ethnic groups did they really start to turn against them.
>Such a heterogeneous, foreign force is generally going to be less motivated and disciplined than a homogeneous force fighting for "their" people.
This isn't true for the greek hoplites that Alexander faced however, who knew they'd be punished if captured. In such situations, where expatriates are fighting in another country with only the success of the battle determining wether they live or die, it's usually the opposite.
On the other hand, Alexander had for his part a great group of Hoplites along him. These were rarely used in battle and often held as a reserve force because they were not trusted for the reasons you state.
Why did the faggot OP talk out of his ass?
>t's instead the petty kings, tribal chieftains, or regional governors withdrawing from the field.
Its uncanny how little they've changed
Yes, it's not so different from how the nation-state doesn't garner that much loyalty for many of these nations that were patched together by colonial powers. When you have a more homogenized ethnic army however, like the Kurds, things turn out different on the battlefield.
>Why did Eastern troops always flee once their king or commander was killed whereas western troops could rally and keep fighting
They were more centralized. Control of Mesopotamia and Persia depended on who controlled a highly mobile offensive army that could project force throughout the region, as opposed to Greece where city states could maintain their independence even against a larger force (although they might lose ground). The king could recruit a huge number of troops, chariots, cavalry and whatnot from all across the empire, but it was just an obligation to him personally, if he died they had no reason to be there, if it was demonstrated that he was no longer the dominant force they might switch up on him.
Dude where do you even get your informations at lmao. Greek and Roman troops where superstitious as fuck, the greek oplite usually fought better than persian mercenaries because he was literally fighting with his mates and relatives in the phalanx. Think about it, if you fight and your father and brothers are fighting with you you'd turn into a beast.
Eastern armies were retarded? Did the Persians actually think they can bunch together a bunch of goatherds and give them shields made of reed and throw them into formations of professional soldiers they could win?