When did Cassander leave Babylon?

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adisciplus
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When did Cassander leave Babylon?

Post by adisciplus »

Cassander arrived in Babylon shortly before Hephaestion's funeral (May 323).

In the settlement of Babylon, "Cassander, the son of Antipater, was made commander of the king’s guards and attendants." (Justin, Epitome of the Philippic History of Pompeius Trogus, 13.4) This suggests that he remained in Babylon (in contradiction of the Alexander Romance, which states he immediately left for Cilicia). It would make sense for Antipater to be represented by one of his three sons in Babylon (Philip, Iolas or Cassander) to ensure his place in the new order.

In the early winter of 322, Iolas and Archias escort Phila to Perdiccas, perhaps suggesting that Cassander is not in Pella. Cassander is back in Pella in 319, having been with Antigonous as commander of the horse as designated by his father at Tripardisus in 320.

Has anyone come across any theories as to why Antipater was given precedence over Krateros at Babylon or when Cassander left Babylon?
agesilaos
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Re: When did Cassander leave Babylon?

Post by agesilaos »

A touching faith in Justin, adiscipulus; this appointment appears only here and is most likely a confusion with his later appointment as 'chiliarch' at Triparadeisos, At the initial settlement that post seems to have been Perdikkas' but it passed to Seleukos at the final one when Perdikkas became Regent. It is quite likely that Kassandros had left Babylon before Alexander's death as the Romance and Liber de Morte have it. Given that the latter had its origins in a propagandist pamphlet, I would think it more likely that the author took advantage of Kassandros' absence, probably on his way back to Antipatros with new instructions from Alexander, to paint that circumstance in sinister colours, to whit fleeing the scene of the crime. There would be plenty to attest had Kassandros been at Court, and whilst truth and possible witnesses is not really a sound criterion for History (witness the talking snakes) its approximation makes good sense in propaganda.

Kassandros plays no part in the subsequent negotiations in any source and obtains no portion, unless we ought to read Kassandros for Asandros, and he obtained Karia (I doubt we should). Antipatros was already ruling as Regent in Macedon and merely has his powers confirmed with the added complication of Krateros' unclear status, neither were at Babylon but their armies ensured that they could not be ignored.

I would think that Kassandros returned to Macedon in 323, he would have returned to Asia and been with Antipatros' army in 320 and having reconciled Antigonos and his father returned to Europe in 320/19 and was with his father when Demades came as envoy, Plutarch Phokion 32 iv, just prior to Antipatros' death in 319/8.
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adisciplus
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Re: When did Cassander leave Babylon?

Post by adisciplus »

Thanks for the detailed reply and likely what happened.

I'm still puzzled why the commitment at the initial settlement to prefer Antipater to Krateros. Antipater's Macedonian army (absent the Thessalians) was not very experienced, as evidenced by Lamia. The Companions that had traveled and fought together for over a decade could rely on the previous orders from Alexander, the preference of the Alexander's mother, and the presence of the kings who could issue new dictates to prefer Krateros, and his quite experienced troops aching to return home, to the "old rope".

Since there was no discussion that either Krateros or Antipater's troops would have a say in the election of the new king, the troops in Babylon representing a sufficient majority of the "voting class," this downplays a potential concern that either army would be decisive if the settlement was not to the liking of either absent general.

Yet without strong representation at the meeting, the Companions prefer an aged man they hadn't seen since their youth to their longtime fellow warrior. Assuming Cassander had left Babylon prior to Alexander's death, it suggests either some earlier correspondence or Cassander's in-person political skills prior to Alexander's death (thus lending weight to the existence of the poison plot).
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Paralus
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Re: When did Cassander leave Babylon?

Post by Paralus »

I think, adisciplus, your puzzlement results from not quite understanding the politics of what is known as the Babylonian Settlement. This was a three stage process that resulted in an agreed arrangement for the 'central government'. Here Perdikkas, in the final stage, became regent (ἐπιμελητὴν δὲ τῆς βασιλείας, Diod. 18.2.4 see also the Heidelberg Epitome) and Seleukos the chiliarch. Krateros - again in the final stage - was appointed to Europe along with Antipater; they could work it out between themselves. Perdikkas, his position not yet absolutely secure, sought alliance with Antipater via marriage. Agreement to this secured Antipater's support for Perdikkas' moves in Asia. The new kings were not about to be making any dictates that Perdikkas did not approve of. Krateros had some 11,000 Macedonians and Perdikkas had the royal army and the actual court.

Too much is made of the "Macedonian assembly" and the notion of ancient Macedon being a "constitutional monarchy" has been taken too far. It was as far removed from such modern concepts (England for example) as we are in time from Alexander. Roisman gives a good summation in his "Alexander's Veterans".

The "companions" - Alexander's somatophylakes, close hetairoi and generals - were in Babylon save those with Krateros. These people participated in the Babylonian Settlement. Nothing supports Kassandros being in Babylon for this compromise (I agree with Agesilaos' words above). That the senior people in Babylon settled on Perdikkas has little to do with Antipater or Kassandros and more to do with the political machinations of the movers involved - especially Perdikkas. Krateros, in Kilikia, could choose to challenge this or march to Macedonia. In the end he chose the latter after pleas for help from Antipater. None of this lends support to a poisoning theory.

The three must read modern treatments (with full earlier bibliography and, of course, source references) are:
  • Errington - From Babylon to Triparadeisos (Journal of Hellenic Studies, Vol. 90 (1970), pp. 49-77)
    Bosworth - The Politics of the Babylonian Settlement (The Legacy of Alexander, Oxford, 2002)
    Meeus - The Power Struggle of the Diadochoi in Babylon 323 BC (Ancient Society, 38, 39-82)
All of which I have should you wish to pursue them.
Last edited by Paralus on Thu Jun 25, 2015 2:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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agesilaos
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Re: When did Cassander leave Babylon?

Post by agesilaos »

Paralus, you tease, you say four and give three; and it's Errington not Erskine! Did you mean to include Boiy? Just hope your bowlers are as accurate :lol:
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Paralus
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Re: When did Cassander leave Babylon?

Post by Paralus »

Reads perfectly to me!! There is a fourth but it deals with the matter of terminology rather than the Settlement per se so I left it out. Left "four" in though. Always mix up Errington and Erskine. Don't ask me why.... Mad Cow disease maybe...
Paralus
Ἐπὶ τοὺς πατέρας, ὦ κακαὶ κεφαλαί, τοὺς μετὰ Φιλίππου καὶ Ἀλεξάνδρου τὰ ὅλα κατειργασμένους;
Wicked men, you sin against your fathers, who conquered the whole world under Philip and Alexander.

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agesilaos
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Re: When did Cassander leave Babylon?

Post by agesilaos »

Meeus on the meaning of epimeletes and chiliarch? I have read it but do not have the title to hand, a sound fellow but I recall I did have the usual qualm or two, hell I generally have that when I've written the darn thing!

I disagreed with Bosworth's quellenforschungen on this, as I have written elsewhere, probably on a thread about the colour of AtG's eyes knowing how thread diverge :shock: He thinks that the story of Ptolemy proposing the empty throne gambit in Curtius is genuine and later influenced Eumenes' use of the same device, for my part I would see Curtius re-modelling his source based on the story of Eumenes' ploy (which lay outside the scope of his own work), certainly it is far from the story preserved in Justin and there are instances of clear re-modelling in Curtius; numbering the troops a la Xerxes; the Charidemus/Damaratos parallel (pace AB who wanted to reconcile this and Diodoros).

As a spiritual Kraut I would not mix Errington up with anyone (he was German, at least he wrote in that tongue), whenever I see Erskine, however, I think 'Riddle of the Sands' by Erskine Childers; it's in the synapses :roll:
When you think about, it free-choice is the only possible option.
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