Is our sources on the Russian army any less bias than the sources used by Herodotus?I'd argue that the basis of every historian's training to is to analyze the audience and bias of the source.
And the Perians and Greeks don't? Does the fact that the Russians propagandise about some times devalue the official documents meant for Russians's generals?Except we know the Russians lied about things for propaganda, they were writing in the official capacity.
So even if we assume Herodotus put together the most accurate picture he could paint, should we ignore the accuracy of his sources?Likewise I don't necessarily take the Egyptian records as seriously as Greek and Roman scholars. Whereas Herodotus appears to be trying to get the most accurate account together and his own contemporaries critiqued and ridiculed his work. Who was he trying to convince? Certainly not us. Kind of a stretch to assume he was writing for an audience 2,400 years later. Was he writing down what he reasoned and put together or for a patron?
Let's say Herodotus managed to get the size of the Persian army from official sources in the Persian Empire. Does this meant we should not scrutinised the reliability of that source?
Just because Herodotus is smart enough to question some of his sources does not meant we should accept everything he argued for blindly.By and large it seems he wrote down what he heard from his sources and then throws in the occasional acknowledgement to the reader how crazy it sounds. He seems like a reasonable man for the period.
Which does not necessary indicate the Perisan have a million man army!I'm sorry, but if Xenophon had 10,000 crack hoplites and that was a trapped and dreadfully outnumbered behind enemy lines action thriller scenario you do have to suppose the Persians had vast reserves of manpower.
Herodotus himself is a secondary source!That's entirely speculation. The sources which suggest smaller numbers than Herodotus gives don't seem to have any idea what they're talking about.
No. Available manpower does not meant you can afford to mobilise all of them at once for the war effort.The Persian army to my understanding was organized into 30 divisions/corps. These were at least 10,000 strong as we see in the Royal Division, the Immortals. The Line Corps may have been up to 60,000 strong, swollen for the expedition. That's 1.75 million combatants. Double that for the support infrastructure and we can assume the Persian mobilization was about 3.5 million army soldiers, plus naval forces.
How on earth does this prove your point in any way? Industrialisation still manage to free more manpower because less people are required to work in the fields. What is the point of having such a big army if your nation cannot feed so many men?However you have to consider that the Soviet War machine had to produce a lot more war material than the Persian Empire would per person. How much mechanical advantage was counteracted upon by the differences in war material are hard to say. The Persians were raising extra livestock and storing extra food supplies, the armies were . The Russians were building Main Battle Tanks and heavy artillery, Bombers and Fighters. Uniforms, bullets, bayonets, boots, bombs, shells, rifles, helmets, rations, transportation, gasoline.
You need to prove that pre-industrialisation societies can consistency muster million man army without much problem and deploy them for a far flung expedition. Almost every available source we have on pre-industrialised societies argue against that.
There is more reason to argue against the numbers stated by Herodotus than the reasons that arguing for him.