Bagoas in "Alexander's Lover" of Andrew Chugg

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Re: Bagoas in "Alexander's Lover" of Andrew Chugg

Post by agesilaos »

Beaten to the punch but in the sentence
‘Audieram,’ inquit, ‘in Asia olim regnasse feminas: hoc vero novum est regnare castratum!’
Do you initially 'force the translation' to 'were rulers' and then render the same verb as 'exercise Royal authority' ? Inconsistency of translation is no cause to sneer and as I have said before post-Augustan Latin uses regnare more loosley
II. Act., to rule, sway, govern (only in pass., and poet. and in postAug. prose); part. perf. with dat. of agent: “terra acri quondam regnata Lycurgo,” Verg. A. 3, 14: “Latio regnata per arva Saturno quondam,” id. ib. 6, 794; Ov. M. 8, 623; 13, 720; id. H. 10, 69; Hor. C. 2, 6, 11; 3, 29, 27; Sil. 14, 7: “si unquam regnandam acceperit Albam,” Verg. A. 6, 770: “trans Lugios Gotones regnantur, paulo jam adductius quam ceterae Germanorum gentes,” Tac. G. 44: exceptis iis gentibus quae regnantur, id. ib 25; cf. id. A. 13, 54: “quae (gentes) regnan tur,” id. H. 1, 16 fin.; Mel. 2, 2, 24: “gens reg. nata feminis,” Plin. 6, 20, 23, § 76.
You also seem unwilling to accept Curtius' own explanation of Bagoas' mighty power to which his willingness to accept the Royal Sceptre! Something the Latin makes very plain; this is not the influence of an important person but the wheedling of a despicable one.

Nor is this incident supported by Arrian where it is the Persians who complain of Orxines (unless your faith in greek rendering of Persian names makes this a different Satrap of Persis) he is guilty of temple-robbing, looting Royal Tombs and illegal executions VI 30 1-2
καὶ μὲν δὴ καὶ κατὰ Ὀρξίνου πολλοὶ λόγοι ἐλέχθησαν πρὸς Περσῶν, ὃς ἦρξε Περσῶν ἐπειδὴΦρασαόρτης ἐτελεύτησε [2]καὶ ἐξηλέγχθη Ορξίνης ἱεράτε ὅτι σεσυλήκει καὶ τάφους βασιλικούς, καὶ Περσῶν πολλοὺς ὅτι οὐ ξὺν δίκῃ ἀπέκτεινε. τοῦτον μὲν δὴ οἷς ἐτάχθη ὑπὸ Ἀλεξάνδρου ἐκρέμασαν, σατράπην δὲ Πέρσαις ἔταξε Πευκέσταν τὸν σωματοφύλακα,
That Curtius adapts his material is easily shown by his treatment of the Charidemos incident, which makes the details of this story suspect; I don't doubt Bagoas was biting his pillow for Alexander I just don't see Alexander, striving to get the Persians onside (hence the Susan weddings), condemning an innocent Persian on the say-so of his catamite.
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Re: Bagoas in "Alexander's Lover" of Andrew Chugg

Post by amyntoros »

Taphoi wrote:
amyntoros wrote:And Bagoas doesn't execute the Satrap Orxines. According to Curtius he lies and deceives, as at 10.1.28-29
Curtius 10.1.37 wrote:Non contentus supplicio insontis spado ipse morituro manum iniecit. Quem Orsines intuens: ‘Audieram,’ inquit, ‘in Asia olim regnasse feminas: hoc vero novum est regnare castratum!’
Not satisfied by the punishment of an innocent, the eunuch manhandled him as he went to his death. Staring at him, Orsines said, "I had heard that women once were rulers in Asia, but this is really something new - a eunuch exercising royal power!"
Hopefully, you can see from this how wrong you are. Curtius actually makes Orsines accuse Alexander's Bagoas of exercising royal power or ruling (if you prefer - though it is forcing the Latin verb) in dragging him to his execution using the very same verb regno, which Pliny defines as the special activity of eunuchs who bear the title/name of Bagoas. The ancient evidence all makes Alexander's Bagoas a senior courtier and lover of the king. The mistake that you are making is to use speculation from modern writings and opinions as to Bagoas's unimportance as the basis for your stance. But it never had any basis in the actual evidence from the ancient sources in the first place, so your argument is circular: you are saying that Bagoas was unimportant because some modern opinion has considered that he was unimportant.
Just have to separate some of the above statements, however I'll leave the full quote above so the context can be seen.
Taphoi wrote:Hopefully, you can see from this how wrong you are.
How wrong I am? Hmm. I may disagree with you Andrew on the interpretation of the sources, but that doesn't make you right and it doesn't make me wrong. We simply have a difference of opinion. If you can convince me of something, using the ancient sources, and I change my mind, then all well and good. If you fail to convince me then we must agree to disagree. But as for being "wrong" - how many times have I written on this forum that there is no right and wrong, no black and white? That all we can do is express opinions and try and support those opinions by using the sources? I know this is not the first time I've said this ... and it looks like it won't be the last.
Taphoi wrote:The ancient evidence all makes Alexander's Bagoas a senior courtier and lover of the king.
Isn't this what we've been discussing in this thread? Debating about whether or not the evidence does prove that Bagoas was a senior courtier? Why would you make a statement like this in the middle of the debate, as if there is nothing more to discuss? Is this the Pothosian version of "I'm taking my ball and I'm going home"?
Taphoi wrote:The mistake that you are making is to use speculation from modern writings and opinions as to Bagoas's unimportance as the basis for your stance. But it never had any basis in the actual evidence from the ancient sources in the first place, so your argument is circular: you are saying that Bagoas was unimportant because some modern opinion has considered that he was unimportant.
My favorite quote ... seriously ... more entertaining than Netflix. Where are my references to modern writings and opinions in this debate? Do you seriously believe that you can read my mind? That you truly know how my opinion was formed or influenced? I'd be impressed if you were even 10% correct, but as it stands you're a miserable failure as a mind reader so it looks like I don't need an aluminum helmet after all!!! Frankly, this feels like an attempt to divert the debate from the subject matter at hand - that you would prefer me to defend myself from absurd accusations, once again. Yes, we've been here before, so I find myself saying again, please discuss the subjects posted, not the members themselves and how (you believe) their minds work. But while we're here ... let's talk about modern writings and opinions. You do realize that your Alexander's Lovers which you published is also a modern writing and opinion, don't you? That anyone who has your Alexander's Lovers book may find themselves influenced by modern writings and opinions? Just felt the need to check on this, that it's not just everyone else's book which you feel falls into that category.

Enough said. Let's return to the debate on Bagoas.
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Re: Bagoas in "Alexander's Lover" of Andrew Chugg

Post by agesilaos »

It is a curious fact that when Bagoas the Chiliarch is first introduced by Diodorus XVI 47, no mention is made of his being a eunuch nor in any of the references in Book XVI it is only in Book XVII that this ‘fact’ is introduced . The source in XVI is probably Theopompos who would have no reason not to mention the fact, and whose moral bent would probably have pointed up the agonadal nature of a commander whose bad faith has his troops attacked by his allies 49 ivff, and is even captured in another failed act of treachery in chapter 50.

Yet in Book XVII he is clearly denoted ‘ho eunichos’. Diodorus has changed sources and is now using Kleitarchos, no doubt dependant upon his father Deinon’s Persika; a strong clue to this being Diodoros use of ‘Ochus’ in this aside rather than the Artaxerxes found consistently in Book XVI (save only in the contents list where the epithet is noted as being what Artaxerxes is ‘commonly called’

ὡς Ἀρταξέρξης ὁ ἐπικληθεὶς Ὦχος ἀνεκτήσατο Αἴγυπτον καὶ Φοινίκην καὶ Κύπρον.

Diodoros’ own gloss). Aelian’s story of Ochus’ murder by the Eunuch Bagoas could simply derive from the same source or at least tradition, the real Bagoas seems to have been the victim of black propaganda, some of his alleged victims clearly surviving into Alexander’s time. Aelian calls Bagoas an Egyptian whose murders Ochus (after serving him for twelve years!) for slaying the Apis, hacking the body into, quite literally, catfood. VI 8; Diodoros has Bagoas despoil Egyptian temples and sell the sacred records back to the priests for a great profit.

Theopompos’ is the earlier tradition and lacks the sensationalism found in Aelian; it is also much more likely that the chiliarchy with its military command would not be given to a eunuch; evidence is slim but Ctesias names influential eunuchs without ever giving them the rank of chiliarch, Nabarzenes and Artabanos are clearly full men, it is through the agency of Artabanos’ wife that Themistokles acts, Plut. Them 27 v.

But Bagoas is the archetypical eunuch; it should surprise no student of Alexander that a more sensational tradition should find favour over a wordy yet more accurate one.

Heresy?
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Re: Bagoas in "Alexander's Lover" of Andrew Chugg

Post by 110gr010 »

"As for him being nearly naked - that's how they painted in those days".
Marcus, thank you very much for answering my question. Because i had seen some painting of Alexander, and yes, i can agree with you that "that's how they painted in those days". But i am afraid that i do not think it is the same case for Aetion's painting. As i read Lucian's description about the painting in Andrew's book the same with which Agesilaos gave us in this forum, for me it is seem like that all the things in the painting has its own meaning. For example "another obsequiously draws off her sandal, suggesting bed-time","On the other side of the picture, more Loves playing among Alexander's armour; two are carrying his spear....he is hinting that Alexander has also another love, in War; though he loves Roxana, he does not forget his armour". So i do not think that nake or not naked is not the problem in this painting.

I think that if the handsome boy is clothed, then i can agree with Andrew that "Bagoas fits the context far better (than Hymenaios) and all the other main characters in the painting were real people". But if the handsome boy were naked or semi-naked, then i really doubt that he is Bagoas or Alexander's another boy lover.If the handsome boy were naked, i think it is like Marcus said "the fact that he is nearly naked would suggest that he is Hymenaios. He would be representing that fact that Roxane and Alexander, now that they are married, are going to be sleeping together, and as such he represents the erotic side of marriage".

Unlucky for us that from Lucian's description we just know that the boy is very handsome, and never know that he were clothed or not. I think maybe Sodoma choose to paint the boy naked in his painting because Lucian thinks he is Hymenaios. But, i wonder why Lucian thinks the handsome boy were Hymenaios? I think if the boy were clothed in Persian or Greek, so it is must be clearly for Lucian to guess his identify, just like Amyntoros said "Now, if the figure in Aetion's painting wasn't naked, then surely it would have been obvious if it were Bagoas, simply because of the Persian clothing?". I think that Lucian would not guess the boy were a God (Hymenaios) if he is not naked from the begining. In other word, i think because the handsome boy were naked in Aetion's painting, so Lucian think he is a God while other clothed are all people "because gods were often portrayed as such".

But, Andrew said that "Hymenaios, is the Greek of marriage, who was traditionally depicted as a winged cupid-like figure bearing a torch and bringing a man together with his future wife. why, therefore, does Hephaistion bear the torch in the painting and why does he lean on the youth, thus making the latter a mere onlooker?" Because i never seen a painting of Hymenaios, so i do not know if he is depicted in another way different with what Andrew said. But i think, if Hymenaios has that special appearance (traditionally depicted like that), Lucian could easy to differentiate Hymenaios with a normal people. Or because Lucian never seen a painting of Hymenaios, just like me :shock:

Can someone please help me on some quesion ? who is Aelian? I know there is 4 main ancient historian: Curtius, Diodoros, Arrian and Plutach. Is Aelian is another historian who wrote about Alexander? In Andrew book, Aelian had mentioned that Alexander had dinner with a Bagoas at his house. Is this Bagoas is the Eunuch? And in some websites and some book, they told that Bagoas is still beside Alexander until he died in Babylon (also in the movie 2004). Is there any where in the ancient source mentioned something about that? Or is that just a result of the influence by Mary Renault's book?

And i never read Diodoros's book, but my friend told me that, Diodoros and Arrian never mentioned Bagoas in their book. Not only Andrew but also some people told me that Arrian write Bagoas out of his book because he is afraid that Bagoas's existence damages his Alexander's character. So how about Diodoros? Why is Diodoros write the Eunuch out of his book :?:
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Re: Bagoas in "Alexander's Lover" of Andrew Chugg

Post by agesilaos »

Aelian was a second century AD collector of stories designed to illustrate moral points, as he tells us in his preface to the Varia Historia which the Loeb translates as Historical Miscellany. He is available online at Lacus Curtius, Bill Thayer's very useful site (as is Diodoros, it is his Book XVII you will be most interested in).

That Arrian omitted Bagoas out of prejudice is a quite unecessary modern supposition, likely as not he found nothing about him in his main sources, as they were not concerned with Alexander's sexual appetites, other than that they were modest; Tarn certainly was embarassed by the Bagoas stories as he saw ATG as an Englishman conquering the world for its own good! The ancients were not so scandalised by active homosexuals (passive ones were another matter). Arrian had certainly read Kleitarchos, although he never mentions him by name, but all he would have found was a notice that Bagoas was taken over by ATG from Darius and that ATG had kissed him in public at the army's behest ie. trivia.

The same will account for Diodoros' silence, he is condensing a much longer work and so has no space for the inconsequential, unless it is really salacious! Curtius found the character full of possibilities, to point up Alexander's increasing decadence (traditional Romans liked to pretend horror at sodomy while practicing it) and to hint at recent undue influence in the Palace of the Caesars (Curtius is a very complicated author who moulds the sources at his disposal to his own ends rather than slavishly summarising them).

The House of Bagoas belonged to the Chiliarch of Artaxerxes III Ochus, who may have been a eunuch (see my post above) but had never slept with ATG unless the latter fancied some homosexual necrophilia, as he died or was killed before ATG crossed into Asia.
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Re: Bagoas in "Alexander's Lover" of Andrew Chugg

Post by Taphoi »

agesilaos wrote:The House of Bagoas belonged to the Chiliarch of Artaxerxes III Ochus, who may have been a eunuch (see my post above) but had never slept with ATG unless the latter fancied some homosexual necrophilia, as he died or was killed before ATG crossed into Asia.
You appear to be confused. Aelian, VH 3.23 states that Alexander dined with Bagoas and that the distance from the palace to Bagoas's dwelling place (oikos) was ten stades and that this took place in the Month of Dios (i.e. at Ecbatana in late 324BC.)

Very many source references make Bagoas the Chiliarch a eunuch. None says otherwise, so it is a fiction (no basis in the evidence) that he was not.

Best wishes,

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Re: Bagoas in "Alexander's Lover" of Andrew Chugg

Post by marcus »

Taphoi wrote:Very many source references make Bagoas the Chiliarch a eunuch. None says otherwise, so it is a fiction (no basis in the evidence) that he was not.
It is very antagonistic to call it a "fiction", Andrew. It would be much better to say something like, "the weight of evidence suggests that he was". Sometimes - and as has already been demonstrated in this thread - the discussion could be very much tempered with a more considered use of language.

Just saying ...

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Re: Bagoas in "Alexander's Lover" of Andrew Chugg

Post by agesilaos »

Very many source references make Bagoas the Chiliarch a eunuch. None says otherwise, so it is a fiction (no basis in the evidence) that he was not.
There simply are not 'very many sources' who mention Bagoas at all, that is fiction No1, throughout book XVI Diodoros makes no mention of his being a eunuch despite this being the main source for his story; he does not mention he had balls, other than in the sense of courage, but it is the abberant that warrants a mention not the normal so this source (Theopompos, in all likelihood did not mention a fact that would have supported his moralistic outlook instead Bagoas is described as 'courageous and impatient of the laws').

The sources that mention him being a eunuch may well stem from the same ultimate source towhit Deinon's Persika most scholars would recognise Theopompos' superiority.

There is no reason to place Aelian's Dios in Ecbatana in the text perhaps you would care to elucidate; nor is Aelian careful enough not to be capable of conflating the Bagoas with whom Alexander dines with the synonomous owner of the oikos. Assertion is not argument, especially when it is incorrect (Even when I do it! :oops: )

I am not confused, I was just too lazy to look up the reference, for that I do accept censure. :roll:
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Re: Bagoas in "Alexander's Lover" of Andrew Chugg

Post by Paralus »

Taphoi wrote:None says otherwise, so it is a fiction (no basis in the evidence) that he was not.
Generally one would weigh the evidence. On the evidence of this thread, your scales are incapable of such a duty.

To mangle Justin Hayward (more in reference to previous unanswered posts):

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Thoughts they cannot defend,
Just what you want it be
It will be in the end..
Taphoi wrote:Very many source references make Bagoas the Chiliarch a eunuch.


It might be interesting to list these sources. Perhaps you might do so for us?

Meantime the classic source is, of course, Diodorus (17.5.3):
the chiliarch Bagoas, a eunuch in physical fact but a militant rogue in disposition
As has been noted, Bagoas has already appeared in Diodorus' narrative (book 16) where at no stage is he identified as a eunuch nor "a militant rogue". Indeed in book 16 Bagoas leads armed forces against Egypt along with Artaxerxes who is, clearly, an energetic Great King. Diodorus is very capable of anticipating his material yet, in this instance, he finds nothing to say of this "mongrel" in book 16 even when supposing that Bagoas took control of the "upper satrapies" (an extremely doubtful occurrence). I would agree with Agesilaos that this is a product of his source material. It would appear, to my mind, that Diodorus' source for stretches of book 16, whilst having much to say about Thebans in Persian service (Ephorus?), had little to say of Bagoas, the supposed mass-murdering "eunuch", that was out of the ordinary. We must, then, suppose that Bagoas, by book 17, has become the most egregious filth after having divided the Empire with a Rhodian. Now there is Greek fiction.

The issue remains that Greek sources - particularly in the Septuagint - consistently mistranslate certain words. One of the most persistent is sa res sarri or saris. This term ("stationed at the head of the king") is consistently rendered by Greek sources as "eunuch". It means nothing of the sort. What it denotes is a title of one near to the King. The Wadi Hammamat inscriptions use this term of Persians.

I would add to the "very many source references" (not, as usual, presented above) that of the Babylonian Dynastic Prophecy (BHLT 35) which states that Arses will be murdered by "a sa resi". Bagoas was, if nothing else, a sa res sarri or saris. Something the Greeks consistently rendered, incorrectly, as "eunuch". For, if they rendered it correctly, we must emasculate the bulk the Assyrian and Persian courts.
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Re: Bagoas in "Alexander's Lover" of Andrew Chugg

Post by Taphoi »

Paralus wrote:Generally one would weigh the evidence...
Taphoi wrote:Very many source references make Bagoas the Chiliarch a eunuch.
It might be interesting to list these sources. Perhaps you might do so for us?...if they rendered it correctly, we must emasculate at least half the Assyrian and Persian courts.
There is no evidence to the effect that Bagoas the Chiliarch was not a eunuch, so there is simply nothing to be weighed against the copious source evidence that he was. Apart from the multiple statements in Diodorus, Aelian VH 6.8, Strabo 15.3.24, Plutarch Moralia 337E and Curtius 6.3.12 all explicitly state that Bagoas the Chiliarch was a eunuch.

As for those that say that there are too many high ranking Persians identified as eunuchs in our sources for it to be true, they have consummately failed to find any trace of wives or children for any of these individuals. Thereby they ironically undermine their weight of numbers argument with the sheer weight of numbers. It is obvious that if you cannot find some mention in the sources of wives or children for so great a number of important individuals identified with the title of eunuch, then they must indeed have been incapable of procreation. Any other conclusion is statistically impossible, given the huge number of source references to wives and children of other prominent Persian individuals not identified as eunuchs.

Best wishes,

Andrew

P.S. It is the very wise conclusion of AB Bosworth, From Arrian to Alexander 170-172 that Aelian VH 3.23 must have taken place at Ecbatana in Oct-Nov 324BC.
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Re: Bagoas in "Alexander's Lover" of Andrew Chugg

Post by Paralus »

Taphoi wrote:As for those that say that there are too many high ranking Persians identified as eunuchs in our sources for it to be true, they have consummately failed to find any trace of wives or children for any of these individuals.
And so you might provide a list of these "high ranking" Persians who are clearly eunuchs?

Either way, perhaps you might address previous questions other than the solace of your current distraction?
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Re: Bagoas in "Alexander's Lover" of Andrew Chugg

Post by agesilaos »

The multiple statements in Diodoros? Just this one 17 5 3
3 As our narrative is now to treat of the kingdom of the Persians, we must go back a little to pick up the thread.14 While Philip was still king, Ochus15 ruled the Persians and oppressed his subjects cruelly and harshly. Since his savage disposition made him hated, the chiliarch Bagoas, a eunuch in physical fact but a militant rogue in disposition, killed him by poison administered by a certain physician and placed upon the throne the youngest of his sons, Arses. 4 He similarly made away with the brothers of the new king, who were barely of age, in order that the young man might be isolated and tractable to his control. But the young king let it be known that he was offended at Bagoas's previous outrageous behaviour and was prepared to punish the author of these crimes, so Bagoas anticipated his intentions and killed Arses and his children also while he was still in the third year of his reign.16 5 The royal house was thus extinguished, and there was no one in the direct line of descent to claim the throne. Instead Bagoas selected a certain Dareius, a member of the court circle, and secured the throne for him. He was the son of Arsanes, and grandson of that Ostanes who was a brother of Artaxerxes, who had been king.17 6 As to Bagoas, an odd thing happened to him and one to point a moral. Pursuing his habitual savagery he attempted to remove Dareius by poison. The plan leaked out, however, and the king, calling upon Bagoas, as it were, to drink to him a toast and handing him his own cup compelled him to take his own medicine.
Aelian 6 8
They say that Artaxerxes surnamed Ochus, being by Bagoas the Eunuch, who was an Aegyptian, slain and cut into pieces was thrown to cats, and some other buried in his stead was laid in the Regal Momuments. The sacrileges which are reported of Ochus are many, especially those committed in Aegypt. Neither was Bagoas satisfied with killing Ochus, but he also made hilts for swords of the bones of his thighs: thereby signifying his bloudy disposition. He hated him, because when he came into Aegypt he slew Apis as Cambyses had done before.
Strabo 15 3 24
Cyrus was succeeded by his son Cambyses, who was deposed by the Magi. The Magi were slain by the Seven Persians, who then gave over the empire to Dareius, the son of Hystaspes. And then the successors of Dareius came to an end with Arses. Arses was slain by Bagoüs the eunuch, who set up as king another Dareius, who was not of the royal family. Him Alexander deposed, and reigned himself for ten or eleven years.


Plutarch De fort Alex 5
The eunuch Bagoas took up the kingship of Persia and bestowed it upon Oarses and Darius.
Curtius 5 3 12
Even Darius did not inherit his rule of the Persians: he owed his succession to the throne of Cyrus to the benefaction of the eunuch Bagoas.

The question is are these secondary sources using independent primary ones or are they ultimately dependent on just one. That Diodoros Book XVII is based on Kleitarchos is not exactly a given but it is certain that he used him, Strabo quotes him (V 2, VII 2, XV 1) as does Curtius and Plutarch had used him too nor do their perfunctory notes that Bagoas arranged the succession require them to have read any more than the retrospective notice preserved in the Diodoros quote. Aelian is another matter as his farrago is too detailed to have come from an Alexander History so we should look for a Persika one of which was written by the father of Kleitarchos one Dinon whom Aelian quotes twice (VH VII 1, Nat Animal. XVII 10). It is certainly possible that the fact of Bagoas’ emasculation stems from this one source.

Against which we have the connected and detailed narrative of Diodoros XVI 47ff, where no mention is made of his enuchhood nor his alleged Egyptian ancestry which IMHO militates against the accuracy of Aelian’s sensationalist source.
47 Then on the next day, as the king divided the Greek army into three contingents, each contingent had a Greek general, and stationed along beside him a Persian officer, a man preferred above the others for valour and loyalty. 2 Now the forward position was held by the Boeotians, who had as general the Theban Lacrates and as Persian officer Rhosaces. The latter was a descendant of one of the seven Persians who deposed the Magi;19 he was satrap of Ionia and Lydia, and he was accompanied by a large force of cavalry and no small body of infantry composed of barbarians. 3 Next in line was the Argive contingent of which Nicostratus was general and with him as Persian colleague Aristazanes. The latter was an usher20 of the King and the most faithful of his friends after Bagoas; and assigned to him were five thousand élite soldiers and eighty triremes. 4 Of the third contingent Mentor was general, he who had betrayed Sidon, having the mercenaries that were formerly under his command; and associated with him on the expedition was Bagoas, whom the King trusted most, a man exceptionally daring and impatient of propriety; and he had the King's Greeks and an ample force of barbarians and not a few ships. 5 The King himself with the remainder of the army held himself in reserve for the whole operation.21 Such being the distribution of the army on the Persian side, the king of the Egyptians, Nectanebôs, was dismayed neither by the multitude of the enemy nor by the general disposition of the Persian forces, though his numbers were far inferior. 6 In fact he had twenty thousand Greek mercenaries, about the same number of Libyans, and sixty thousand Egyptians of the caste known amongst them as "The Warriors", and besides these an incredible number of river-boats suited for battles and engagements on the Nile. 7 The bank of the river facing Arabia had been strongly fortified by him, being a region crowded with towns and, besides, all intersected by walls and ditches. Although he had ready also all the other preparations which were adequate for the war, yet because of his own poor judgement he met with complete disaster.
48 The reason for his defeat was chiefly his lack of experience as a general and the fact that the Persians had been defeated by him in the previous expedition. 2 For he had then had as his generals men who were distinguished and superior both in valour and in sagacity in the art of war, Diophantus22 the Athenian and Lamius the Spartan, and it was because of them that he had been victorious in all respects. At this time, however, since he supposed that he himself was a competent general, he would not share the command with anyone and so, because of his inexperience, was unable to execute any of the moves that would have been useful in this war. 3 Now when he had provided the towns here and there with considerable garrisons, he maintained a strict guard there, and having in his own command thirty thousand Egyptians, five thousand Greeks, and half the Libyans, he held them in reserve to defend the most exposed approaches. Such being the disposition of the forces on both sides, Nicostratus, the general of the Argives, having as guides Egyptians whose children and wives were held as hostages by the Persians, sailed by with his fleet through a canal into a hidden district and, disembarking his men and fortifying a site for a camp, encamped there. 4 The mercenaries of the Egyptians who were keeping a strict guard in the neighbourhood, observing the presence of the enemy, straightway made a sally in number not less than seven thousand. 5 Cleinius the Coan, their commander, drew up his force in line of battle. And when those who had sailed in were drawn up opposite, a sharp battle ensued in the course of which the Greeks serving with the Persians, fighting brilliantly, slew the general Cleinius and cut down more than five thousand of the rest of the soldiers. 6 Nectanebôs the Egyptian king, on hearing of the loss of his men, was terror-stricken, thinking that the rest of the Persian army also would easily cross the river. 7 Assuming that the enemy with their entire army would come to the very gates of Memphis, he decided first and foremost to take precautionary measures to protect the city. Accordingly he returned to Memphis with the army he had retained and began to prepare for this siege.
49 Lacrates the Theban, who was in command of the first contingent, hastened to begin the siege of Pelusium. First he diverted the stream of the canal to other directions, then when the channel had become dry he filled it with earth and brought siege engines against the city. When a large portion of the walls fell, the garrison in Pelusium quickly built others to oppose the advance and reared huge towers of wood. 2 The battle for the walls continued for several days running and at first the Greeks in Pelusium vigorously warded off the besiegers; but when they learned of the king's withdrawal to Memphis they were so terror-stricken that they sent envoys to arrange for a settlement. 3 Since Lacrates gave them pledges backed by oaths to the effect that if they surrendered Pelusium they would all be conveyed back to Greece with whatever they could carry on their backs, they delivered over the citadel. 4 After this Artaxerxes dispatched Bagoas with barbarian soldiers to take over Pelusium, and the soldiers, arriving at this place as the Greeks were issuing forth, seized upon many of the articles they were carrying out. 5 The victims of this injustice in their anger called loudly upon the gods who were guardians of their oaths, whereupon Lacrates became incensed, put the barbarians to flight, slaying a number of them, thus standing by the Greeks, the sufferers from the broken pledges. 6 But when Bagoas fled to the King and brought accusation against Lacrates, Artaxerxes decided that Bagoas' contingent had met with their just deserts and put to death the Persians who were responsible for the robbery. So it was in this fashion that Pelusium was delivered over to the Persians.
7 Mentor, who was in command of the third contingent, captured Bubastus and many other cities and made them subject to the King by a single strategic device. For since all the cities were garrisoned by two peoples, Greeks and Egyptians, Mentor passed the word around to the soldiers that King Artaxerxes had decided to treat magnanimously those who voluntarily surrendered their cities, but to mete out the same penalty to those who were overcome by force as he had imposed on the people of Sidon; and he instructed those who guarded the gates to give free passage to any who wished to desert from the other side. 8 Accordingly, since the captured Egyptians were leaving the barracks without hindrance, the aforementioned word was quickly scattered amongst all the cities of Egypt. Immediately, therefore, the mercenaries were everywhere at variance with the natives and the cities were filled with strife; for each side was privately endeavouring to surrender its posts and nursing private hopes of gain in exchange for this favour; and this is what actually happened in the case of the city of Bubastus first.
50 When, namely, the forces of Mentor and Bagoas were encamped near Bubastus, the Egyptians, without the knowledge of the Greeks, sent an envoy to Bagoas offering to deliver the city if he would consent to their safety. 2 The Greeks, having knowledge of the mission, overtook the envoy and by dire threats extracted the truth, whereat they were much enraged and attacked the Egyptians, slew some, wounded others, and herded the rest into a quarter of the city. 3 The discomfited men, having notified Bagoas of what had taken place, asked him to come with all speed and receive the city from themselves. But the Greeks had been privately treating with Mentor, who gave them secret encouragement, as soon as Bagoas should enter Bubastus, to attack the barbarians. 4 Later on, when Bagoas with the Persians was entering the city without the sanction of the Greeks and a portion of his men had got inside, the Greeks suddenly closed the gates and attacked those who were inside the walls, and, having slain all the men, took Bagoas himself prisoner. 5 The latter, seeing that his hopes of safety lay in Mentor, besought him to spare his life and promised in future to do nothing without his advice. 6 Mentor, who now prevailed upon the Greeks to set Bagoas free and to arrange the surrender through himself, won credit himself for his success, but, having become responsible for Bagoas' life, he made an agreement with him for common action, and after an exchange of pledges on this matter kept the agreement faithfully till the end of his life. 7 The result of this was that these two by their co�operation in the service of the King attained later on to the greatest power of all the friends and relatives at Artaxerxes' court. In fact Mentor, having been appointed to the chief command in the coastal districts of Asia, performed great services to the King in gathering mercenaries from Greece and sending them to Artaxerxes, and in the course of his activities administering all his duties courageously and loyally. 8 As for Bagoas, after he had administered all the King's affairs in the upper satrapies,23 he rose to such power because of his partnership with Mentor that he was master of the kingdom, and Artaxerxes did nothing without his advice. And after Artaxerxes' death he designated in every case the successor to the throne and enjoyed all the functions of kingship save the title. But of these matters we shall record the details in their proper chronological sequence.
51 At the time under consideration, after the surrender of Bubastus, the remaining cities, terror-stricken, were delivered to the Persians by capitulation. But King Nectanebôs, while still tarrying in Memphis and perceiving the trend of the cities toward betrayal, did not dare risk battles for his dominion. So giving up hope of his kingship and taking with him the greater part of his possessions, he fled into Aethiopia. 2 Artaxerxes, after taking over all Egypt and demolishing the walls of the most important cities, by plundering the shrines gathered a vast quantity of silver and gold, and he carried off the inscribed records from the ancient temples, which later on Bagoas returned to the Egyptian priests on the payment of huge sums by way of ransom. 3 Then when he had rewarded the Greeks who had accompanied him on the campaign with lavish gifts, each according to his deserts, he dismissed them to their native lands; and, having installed Pherendates as satrap of Egypt, he returned with his army to Babylon, bearing many possessions and spoils and having won great renown by his successes.
I think forum members can draw their own conclusions about the weight of evidence.
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Re: Bagoas in "Alexander's Lover" of Andrew Chugg

Post by agesilaos »

, given the huge number of source references to wives and children of other prominent Persian individuals not identified as eunuchs.
Well I was too lazy to trawl through Herodotos so I looked through Plutarch's Artaxerxes: of 26 named Persians three were Kings and I am excluding them, of the other 23 three are given wives two sons and one, Cyrus the Younger a mistress, At 13% that's not a huge number. Wives and sons are only going to warrant a mention when they do something, in fact two of the wives are only incidental and the two sons are mentioned in relation to Artaxerxes rewarding the son of Artagases since Artagases was killed attacking Cyrus and the son of Tiribazus is mentioned concerning his father's embassy to the Cadusians and named when he becomes Ochus' assassin.

Oops! Four of the named Persians are eunuchs so it out of nineteen Cyrus has a mistress (Aspasia), Antagases a son (unamed), Orontes and Pharnabazos wives (Apamea and Rhodogune, both princesses) and Tiribazus a wife (Amestris) and a son (Harpates):- five from nineteen just over 25% discounting all the royals would reduce it to two from fourteen. As is usual with statistics it depends what you count but even a quarter leaves three-quarters whose family are not mentioned.
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Re: Bagoas in "Alexander's Lover" of Andrew Chugg

Post by marcus »

agesilaos wrote:
, given the huge number of source references to wives and children of other prominent Persian individuals not identified as eunuchs.
Well I was too lazy to trawl through Herodotos so I looked through Plutarch's Artaxerxes: of 26 named Persians three were Kings and I am excluding them, of the other 23 three are given wives two sons and one, Cyrus the Younger a mistress, At 13% that's not a huge number. Wives and sons are only going to warrant a mention when they do something, in fact two of the wives are only incidental and the two sons are mentioned in relation to Artaxerxes rewarding the son of Artagases since Artagases was killed attacking Cyrus and the son of Tiribazus is mentioned concerning his father's embassy to the Cadusians and named when he becomes Ochus' assassin.

Oops! Four of the named Persians are eunuchs so it out of nineteen Cyrus has a mistress (Aspasia), Antagases a son (unamed), Orontes and Pharnabazos wives (Apamea and Rhodogune, both princesses) and Tiribazus a wife (Amestris) and a son (Harpates):- five from nineteen just over 25% discounting all the royals would reduce it to two from fourteen. As is usual with statistics it depends what you count but even a quarter leaves three-quarters whose family are not mentioned.
You could also extend that to the Persians mentioned in the Alexander sources. Quite a few of them do have mention of wives and sons, but only when they are notable in some way. The various satraps of Asia Minor; and Bessus, Nabarzanes and Satibarzanes, for example, are not credited with families, as far as I recall - although I haven't checked and will feel foolish if they are! :P

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agesilaos
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Re: Bagoas in "Alexander's Lover" of Andrew Chugg

Post by agesilaos »

Indeed, but my idleness aside, such analysis would be bringing a sledge-hammer to bear on the most fragile of nuts (is that a happy phrase in a thread about eunuchs?). But thought it necessary to avoid assertion without the supporting facts.

It is interesting that Bessos’ family in particular is not mentioned as one might expect them to have either shared his fate, as in the Macedonian system of ‘collective guilt’, or their sparing to have been contrasted with the barbarity of Bessos’ fate.

Plutarch’s life also has a royal eunuch (eunichos basileon) called Mesabates and another called Satibarzanes just like the satrap of Areia putting the lie to any Persian not wishing to be called by a eunuch name, they shared the same pool of names and there was not a special set of ‘eunuch names’ nor, pace Plinius, any name actually meaning Eunuch.

Further the life demonstrates quite clearly the sort of historian Dinon was, an innaccurate nit-picker not beyond fabrication inferior to the self-promoting gossip Ktesias! Plutarch’s judgements not mine
:lol:
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