Bas-relief in Persepolis - a symbol Zoroastria...

Image via Wikipedia

We may find it easier to feel angry than sad.  At other times,  sadness comes more easily than anger. (It is an interesting question whether men are more commonly in the first group and women in the second.)

Feeling anger more readily than grief is illustrated in epic vividness by an account in Herodotus, the ancient historian:

On his march to Babylon, Cyrus [the Persian king] came to the river Gyndes. . .Cyrus was preparing to cross this river, for which boats were needed, when one of his sacred white horses, a high-spirited creature, entered the water and attempted to swim across but was swept under by the rapid current and drowned.  Cyrus was so furious with the river for daring to do such a thing, that he swore he would punish it by making it so weak that even a woman could get over it in the future without difficulty and without wetting her knees.  He held up his march against Babylon, divided his army into two parts, marked out on each side of the river a hundred and eighty channels running off from it in various directions, and ordered his men to set to work and dig.  Having a vast number of hands employed, he managed to finish the job, but only at the cost of the whole summer wasted.  Then, having punished the Gyndes by splitting it into three hundred and sixty separate channels, Cyrus,  at the beginning of the following summer, resumed his march to Babylon.

Personalities are so different.  Another person may have wept, entered a prolonged period of withdrawn grief over the beloved companion’s death by drowning.  But  in Cyrus the Persian king, his horse’s death sparked a surge of testosterone, a volcano of aggressive energy that had to be discharged, whatever the cost.  The soul  of a conquerer.