“Up and above keeps its head while green is the wheat;
It is capable of bowing only after ripe and ready to reap.”
“People, like wheat,” my father told me, “must reach maturity in order to understand, appreciate, and accept. They must learn to see, to hear, and to behave. Behave not like the green wheat, a poorly educated man or an impolite person, but like the ripe wheat.”
One of the oldest cities in the world, Damascus was already 2,000 years old at the time of Homer’s Trojan War (1200 BC). In order to understand the present, we have to place it within the context of the past. However, there is a caveat that only the winners write history and so the challenge to historians is to read between (and behind) the lines. Historians must also deploy their judgement of the various human factors in the events recorded, by whom recorded and why; they must also be aware of their own biases which inevitably influence their vision i.e. what they choose to see or ignore.
War may be defined as the deployment of mass violence to acquire resources of the many to benefit the few. Homer would have us believe that many thousands of Greek heroes left their homes and families for ten years so…