The occupant of Tomb III

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Xenophon
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Re: The occupant of Tomb III

Post by Xenophon »

Paralus wrote:
Hardly. The trial was conducted so as to provide legitimacy for the murder to follow........Instead Kassandros felt the need to have these relatives, in mourning garb, lay the charges while refusing Olympias any defence whatsoever.
Of course.....I said so earlier. Kassander did not wish to attract the opprobrium that Olympias had accrued for being personally responsible for putting Royalty to death, especially with memories of Olympias' shocking ( to the Macedonians) atrocities so fresh. As well as fulfilling the relatives desire for revenge, he was personally distancing himself from reponsibility. [ BTW: I rather suspect that the 'mourning garb' is another embellishment by Justin or Trogus]
Allowing Olympias a 'defence' was a waste of time, from Kassander's point of view - she was guilty of the murders without doubt - and her conviction was certain.
Seven years after the events described (or six if one is accepts the 'low'). Hardly a realistic or germane comparison. Kassandros was nowhere near as certain in his position at the time of Olympias' murder as you would claim and the sources demonstrate this.
I was not making any comparison or 'claim', merely pointing out how the circumstances were vastly different. So soon after the 'Royal murders' that had played a part in Olympias' swift downfall, Kassander was hardly likely to make the same mistake.

At the time of the trial, she had no armies, no allies, virtually no support, no hope of rescue from overseas allies. It was not lack of certainty about his position that made Kassander circumspect.

Overall, I don't believe we, or our sources, have any means of gauging the exact extent of support for Olympias, but 'res ipsa loquitur/the facts speak for themselves'. After Euia, Olympias'/Polyperchon's support declined very rapidly, and within a few short months she found herself besieged in Pydna, (and her only territory Pella and Amphipolis, both garrisoned by her supporters), deserted by both troops and allies, while Kassander's fortunes waxed as rapidly as his those of his enemies waned.

As I said earlier, one may suspect that the bulk of the Macedonians waited to see which way the power struggle went before declaring for whomever they thought would be the winning side ( and various other factors too) - and that was Kassander.
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Re: The occupant of Tomb III

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Xenophon wrote: Allowing Olympias a 'defence' was a waste of time, from Kassander's point of view - she was guilty of the murders without doubt - and her conviction was certain.
I'm not one who believes her conviction was certain had she been able to speak for herself at a trial, or that Kassander believed her defence would have been a waste of time. The Macedonians showed their emotions and were seemingly easily swayed from one side to the other if/when Alexander spoke. Of course that was because of his position and his charisma, however Olympias was his mother!! Diodoros (XIX.51.3) writes of Kassander earlier "acting with caution both because of her rank and because of the fickleness of the Macedonians." Had she spoken before the assembly about her convictions of who was responsible for Alexander's death, and her actions thereby, I'm not convinced she wouldn't have been spared the death sentence. As much as revenge was a factor on Kassander's part, this trial was really about politics and the need to eliminate all rivals for power. Although Olympias had lost support at this point in time there's no guarantee she wouldn't have regained some in the future, and Kassander knew that. (As did Alexander when he eliminated relatives and others at the beginning of his reign.) However, as far as the assembly would have been concerned, the trial was genuinely about Olympias behavior. With enough emotion shown over the death of her son, I do think she might have swayed them. Not a good thing for Kassander who wasn't about to put his fate/future plans in the hands of the Macedonians. He needed her out of the way and he achieved this by denying her a chance to speak and manipulating the families of those she had killed.

All my own opinion, of course.

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Re: The occupant of Tomb III

Post by agesilaos »

All my own opinion, of course
One shared by Diodoros' source, however! The assembly cannot have consisted only of Kasandros' troops, otherwise the relatives would have been irrelevant, it would seem that Olympias had support even within the town she had put through a long siege and possibly even within the ranks of Kassandros' army; the country had only just gone over to him and it was Eurydike's fate he was mindful of not Olympias' regicide, hence the parrallel descriptions of the Macedonians' respect for Olympias by virtue of her connections

11 ii
When, however, the armies were drawn up facing each other, the Macedonians, out of respect for the position of Olympias and remembering the benefits that they had received from Alexander, changed their allegiance.
and
51 iv
Cassander, fearing that the crowd might change its mind if it heard the queen defend herself and was reminded of all the benefits conferred on the entire nation by Alexander and Philip,
There was nothing unusual in trial in absentia, but I will reserve the discussion for the appropriate thread. :D
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Re: The occupant of Tomb III

Post by Zebedee »

Just a by-the-by, but always seemed curious to me that the 'strongholds' for Olympias are the capital, and then two cities really at the fringes of Macedon and with attested cults related to Philip.
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Re: The occupant of Tomb III

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I think that this is more accident than design, after all Pydna had to stand with her as she was in it! She had to garrison Pella as the capital but it surrendered when the time came and that is down to its commander, Monimos. Amphipolis, on the other hand was under Aristonous who had a high opinion of himself and so declined to surrender he also expected help from Alexander, who remained in the Peloponnese and Polyperchon, who must have still had an army or at least have been thought to have one. He had also defeated one of Kassandros' columns himself and expected Eumenes to gallop in from the east.

It was not a case of the cities themselves making the decision to stick with Olympias it was rather forced upon Pydna and down to the attitudes of the commanders on the spot at Pella and Amphipolis.
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Re: The occupant of Tomb III

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Xenophon wrote:To paraphrase Mandy Rice-Davies ( of Profumo trial fame): "Well 'e would say that wouldn't he?" As you say, it was no more than propaganda by Kassander's enemies.
Mandy Rice-Davies... yet again? No, I did not say that. What I actually said was that "this is, of course, part of Antigonos’ great “freedom of the Greeks” propaganda assault". Now, the "freedom of the Greeks" is clearly aimed at the oligarchies and garrisons installed by Kassandros and his father and it must be acknowledged that Antigonos generally made good on this policy (if not so much his son). The imprisoning of Alexander IV and his mother is palpable fact and follows behind the charge of Olympias' murder. As I've related, there is no point in claiming such if there weren't a significant number of Macedonians who viewed it this way. Had this been all 'business as normal' there would be "nothing to see here". Instead Antigonos had returned west to find his ally had imprisoned the king and murdered his grandmother. Now neither of these will have bothered Antigonos overly but they clearly meant something to the Macedonians.
Xenophon wrote:As stated above, at this time in Macedonian history there is no such thing as a ' regular and properly constituted Macedonian trial' - all was at the whim of the Kingdom's absolute monarch, in this case by 'de facto' Kassander.
Nothing that we would recognise as such by our standards. That there was a recognised procedure in ancient Macedonia is reasonably clear though. Exactly what that procedure was cannot be securely recovered from our source evidence. Telling is that Diodorus' source makes the point of stating that Olympias was neither allowed to be present at the 'trial' nor that anyone was allowed to speak in her defence (as opposed to Alexander's similarly contrived 'trial' of Philotas who was allowed to defend himself). This is a clear indication that this was not usual for were it so there is no need to so clearly note it. Contra your view, Kassandros' utilising of the relatives to make a case, disallowing Olympias any voice in defence and then the chance to defend herself before "all the Macedonians" speaks to the serious concerns he had regarding the Macedonians' views of Olympias and the Royal family. He seems to have less certainty in his status as " 'de facto' Head of State in Macedon, with no challenger for the title" and his word being "literally law" than do you.

On the favour in which the Macedonians held Olympias and the Royal family, this is clear in the sources and, as I've shown, goes back to a shared source of Trogus and Diodorus in which it was a repeated theme. Arguing that I've confused this favour or "popularity" with "abhorrence of regicide" is not correct. This regard for Olympias and the Royal family does not only appear at Olympias' death and there are no concerns relating to regicide beforehand. The theme is the same when Perdikkas convenes his syhedrion (though this, like much else, you might likely dismiss as "embellishment") and at Euia for example. The same description is used at Olympias' trial. It is little to do with views of regicide.
Last edited by Paralus on Wed Aug 12, 2015 10:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The occupant of Tomb III

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agesilaos wrote:I think that this is more accident than design, after all Pydna had to stand with her as she was in it! She had to garrison Pella as the capital but it surrendered when the time came and that is down to its commander, Monimos. Amphipolis, on the other hand was under Aristonous who had a high opinion of himself and so declined to surrender he also expected help from Alexander, who remained in the Peloponnese and Polyperchon, who must have still had an army or at least have been thought to have one. He had also defeated one of Kassandros' columns himself and expected Eumenes to gallop in from the east.

It was not a case of the cities themselves making the decision to stick with Olympias it was rather forced upon Pydna and down to the attitudes of the commanders on the spot at Pella and Amphipolis.
Definitely take your point, just one of those curious things. I guess there's also an argument that Pella and Amphipolis were sufficiently important to have the most loyal of the loyal placed in command of their garrisons, as well as all three ports being much more difficult to take by force etc.

Do wonder about some things though. Did Pydna have to stand with Olympias? Although she had forces there, many are supposed to have died, a large chunk deserted etc.? Just looking at using Eurydice as a counter-example - army vanishes, is it too much to suggest that she's captured making a hasty exit with no (one companion?) escort on her way to Amphipolis? Aristinoos at Amphipolis is perhaps understandable in his reluctance to surrender at Kassandros' say-so just purely from the Sicilian's given reasons (local success and hopes). Trying not to overstate what I mean, and of course any 'acropolis' could hold out long after a city itself had been taken. It's really the extent of support for Olympias in spite of everything seeming to go wrong which is intriguing to me.
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Re: The occupant of Tomb III

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Well, Zebedee, I'd love to tell you how it was but that is all part of the forthcoming chronology thread that I promised Paralus he could start unmolested :D But seriously Diodoros tells us that Olympias lost her support when the deserters from Pydna had spread news of her dire straits. The defeat of Kratevas supports this, in that Aristonous had left Amphipolis to fight him which implies at least a neutral populace. But, like I said, more in the forthcoming thread, though it will only be my interpretation, of course.

I suggest you keep re-re-reading that part of Diodoros, if you go to lacuscurtius you can copy the passages into word and put all the European narrative together; that makes certain synchronisms and chronological dependencies stick out more, not to mention repetitions :D
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Re: The occupant of Tomb III

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I shall wait patiently, and read as and when you guys post then. Interested in the various interpretations. There's something unsatisfactory about the accounts which have survived, an itch which won't be scratched if you like. :wink:
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Re: The occupant of Tomb III

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Indeed Zebedee - an itch which can't be scratched more likely. One would dearly love to have the ultimate source(s) for Diodorus and Justin as the ideal 'back scratcher'. What comes through strongly is the regard that the royal family and, as 'head', Olympias received. That passage from Trogus/Justin providing the extra details of the discussion in Perdikkas' synhedrion is enlightening. Many believed that taking the war to Macedonia would see the Macedonians rise in support of their (the kings') cause via their regard for Olympias as the wife of Philip, mother of Alexander and grandmother to Alexander IV - exactly what occurred at Euia. It also needs to be remembered that Olympias was stoking this via the offer of Kleopatra's hand in marriage to the regent.

More to your point, we'd dearly love to know just what was going on outside of the epitomators' fixation on Olympias and Kassandros. Summary phrases such as Olympias "designated Aristonoüs general, ordering him to fight Cassander" and "Cassander had gained possession of the rest of the elephants (that is, Polyperchon's) in his previous expedition into Macedonia" tell us nothing of what was going on in wider Macedonia. There is an entire encounter of some sort indicated by the latter (and 18.75.1). Army columns were certainly operating within Macedonia before and at the time of the Pydna siege. Of these we here nothing other than Aristonous defeating Kratevas. Certainly nothing of Polyperchon's movements other than him being by-passed. Many events transpiring on the mainland in 318/17 are simply relegated to the cutting room floor and some are simply alluded to. Just like the wonderful morality tale involving the Perdikkan generals locked up by Antigonos (19.16) that Diodorus devotes an entire chapter to, we'd rather love to be regaled with the political goings on in the world outside of these people!
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Re: The occupant of Tomb III

Post by Zebedee »

Interesting. Have some time this weekend so will take up the advice offered on reading events as related. Look forward to reading the proposed chronology thread when people have time to do it. Nothing I'll be able to usefully contribute, but then that goes without saying :D
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Re: The occupant of Tomb III

Post by agesilaos »

Never put yourself down, Zebedee, there will be plenty people eager to do it for you! (a New Model Army lyric). You may not feel confident with the mass of cuneiform and papyrological evidence, but I am sure you can tell whether a proposed reconstruction is based on more than supposition. I do not know the parameters of Paralus' forthcoming opus but I have something brewing for the date of Eumenes and Olympias' deaths.
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Re: The occupant of Tomb III

Post by Xenophon »

Amyntoros wrote:
Xenophon wrote:Allowing Olympias a 'defence' was a waste of time, from Kassander's point of view - she was guilty of the murders without doubt - and her conviction was certain.

I'm not one who believes her conviction was certain had she been able to speak for herself at a trial, or that Kassander believed her defence would have been a waste of time.
From Kassander’s viewpoint it was a waste of time, because he had no intention of allowing even the faint outside chance that Olympias might talk her way out of execution.
The Macedonians showed their emotions and were seemingly easily swayed from one side to the other if/when Alexander spoke. Of course that was because of his position and his charisma, however Olympias was his mother!! Diodoros (XIX.51.3) writes of Kassander earlier "acting with caution both because of her rank and because of the fickleness of the Macedonians." Had she spoken before the assembly about her convictions of who was responsible for Alexander's death, and her actions thereby, I'm not convinced she wouldn't have been spared the death sentence. As much as revenge was a factor on Kassander's part, this trial was really about politics and the need to eliminate all rivals for power. Although Olympias had lost support at this point in time there's no guarantee she wouldn't have regained some in the future, and Kassander knew that. (As did Alexander when he eliminated relatives and others at the beginning of his reign.) However, as far as the assembly would have been concerned, the trial was genuinely about Olympias behavior. With enough emotion shown over the death of her son, I do think she might have swayed them. Not a good thing for Kassander who wasn't about to put his fate/future plans in the hands of the Macedonians. He needed her out of the way and he achieved this by denying her a chance to speak and manipulating the families of those she had killed.
Let us remind ourselves of just whom this “Assembly” consisted of. The Macedonian Assembly consisted of ‘politikoi stratiotai/citizen soldiers’. At Pydna that meant Kassander’s army, including many relatives, friends, retainers and so on of the 100 or so victims of Olympias.Her supporters had been scattered to the four winds and in any event don’t seem to have included any actual Macedonian soldiers.( it speaks volumes that, apart from the troops who went over to Polyperchon/Olympias at Euia, they don’t seem to have been able to raise many, if any Macedonian troops according to our sources – the garrisons of Pella and Amphipolis presumably already existed, likely coming from Polyperchon’s army). It is also noticeable that Olympias apparently did not have much, if any, personal popularity – contra Paralus’ assertion. Her ‘kudos’ came purely from her position as representative of the Royal family, wife of Philip, and mother of Alexander. It was the institution of the monarchy that was respected and venerated by the Makedones, not Olympias ‘per se’, which comes across in our sources:
(Just.13.6.11-12):
Some were of opinion that it [the war] should be transferred to Macedonia, to the very head and metropolis of the kingdom, where Olympias, the mother of Alexander, was, who would be no small support to their party, while the good will of their countrymen would be with them, from respect to the names of Alexander and Philippus.
Diodorus11 ii
When, however, the armies were drawn up facing each other, the Macedonians, out of respect for the position of Olympias and remembering the benefits that they had received from Alexander, changed their allegiance.
[at Euia, when deserting Philip/Euridike]
And
51 iv
Cassander, fearing that the crowd might change its mind if it heard the queen defend herself and was reminded of all the benefits conferred on the entire nation by Alexander and Philip,
This latter is supposition and speculation on the part of Diodorus/his source, likely Hieronymous, propagandist for Antigonus !! One should bear in mind the source for this, and their likely agenda. [ digression: another example is the accusation that Kassander already intended to murder Alexander IV as early as 316 or so - not terribly credible. The thread of pro-Antigonus; anti-Kassander propaganda is clear – something Paralus might remind himself of from time to time.].

Paralus wrote:
Diodorus plainly states that Kassandros had to urge these relatives to come forward and lay charges.
Would the relatives of Olympias’ victims really need “urging” to come forward and accuse her? Hardly! Kassander did not, of course, explain his thoughts for posterity. This is therefore more propaganda.Still, let us suppose this possibility played a part in Kassander’s thinking. More likely, Amyntoros’ surmise that he feared that a live Olympias might stir up trouble in the future ( as she had done for his father Antipater in the past) was more important, so that he ensured her end would be certain, distancing himself personally from a distasteful Royal execution at the same time. Incidently, the fact that our sources record no outrage, or even outpouring of grief at her death, is another pointer to her lack of ‘popularity’. As to accusing Kassander and his family of murdering Alexander before an assembly, I don’t think that was a starter at Pydna in front of his troops, supporters and vengeful relatives ! But again, your speculation that she might make such accusations would provide another reason to silence her. All in all, I think Amyntoros makes a good case as to why Olympias was never going to be allowed the opportunity to defend herself, nor survive her ‘trial’ for long! [ and I share Agesilaos’ view, that there were precedents enough for ‘in absentia’ trial as to not make it that unusual.]

Paralus wrote:
Such a certain case could clearly have been brought by Kassandros himself especially if the assembly "must have consisted solely" of Kassandros' men. Instead Kassandros felt the need to have these relatives, in mourning garb, lay the charges while refusing Olympias any defence whatsoever.
See above for the reasons for this – Kassander prudently distanced himself from Royal murder – ‘judicial’ or not. In any case if Olympias had supporters, no amount of judicial window-dressing would convince them. Nor was he going to run any chance that Olympias might publicly accuse his family of murdering Alexander, so ‘in absentia’ and no defence. And the assembly could not have consisted of any save Kassander’s men – the only Makedone citizen/soldiers around. Olympias was doomed and must have known it.

Paralus wrote:
Kassandros was nowhere near as certain in his position at the time of Olympias' murder as you would claim and the sources demonstrate this.
I have already pointed out how he held all the cards, including a stranglehold on Macedon which by the time of the trial was wholly in his power. Hieronymous, mouthpiece for Antigonus –later to accuse Kassander of murdering Olympias - might like us to think Kassander still feared a popular rising in support of Olympias, but the evidence is otherwise. In fact he had every reason to be certain of his position ( see previous posts). In any case, how could Hieronymous know what Kassander thought ?

Paralus wrote:
The imprisoning of Alexander IV and his mother is palpable fact and follows behind the charge of Olympias' murder. As I've related, there is no point in claiming such if there weren't a significant number of Macedonians who viewed it this way.
.....yet the execution of Olympias raised not a ripple of protest, apparently. Perhaps there were many even who thought Kassander and the relatives entitled to their vengeance. As to ‘imprisonment’ of the boy Alexander IV, that can be seen as simply placing him in ‘safe custody’ – and he did indeed live safely enough for the next six or seven years, until circumstances changed again. The detail of Kassander removing Alexander’s ‘paides’ is another piece of propaganda. ‘Paides’ entered service around age 14 or so. At age 6 or 7, Alexander wouldn’t have had ‘paides’.

Paralus wrote:
Arguing that I've confused this favour or "popularity" with "abhorrence of regicide" is not correct.
A ‘straw man’ since I argue no such thing. Olympias was not “popular” in any modern sense of the word. And the murders of Philip and Eurydike were a bad mistake – for the regicides and other savage murders certainly were abhorrent to the Makedones, especially bearing in mind their veneration of the monarchy . “ But by glutting her rage with such atrocities, she soon caused many of the Macedonians to hate her ruthlessness;” [D.S.XIX.11.8]
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Re: The occupant of Tomb III

Post by Paralus »

It’s difficult to know just where to begin with Xenophon’s most recent post. Perhaps with Olympias and the royal family.
Xenophon wrote:It is also noticeable that Olympias apparently did not have much, if any, personal popularity – contra Paralus’ assertion. Her ‘kudos’ came purely from her position as representative of the Royal family, wife of Philip, and mother of Alexander. It was the institution of the monarchy that was respected and venerated by the Makedones, not Olympias ‘per se’, which comes across in our sources:
Before we progress to the sources, it might be well to correct that last statement. It is not simply the institution that is respected in these cases, but the royal family – that of Philip including his son Alexander III and his wife Olympias as the sources explicitly relate .

On those sources, Xenophon fails to note the two clear factors our original source continually noted: Olympias and the benefits conferred by her husband and son. The first passage adduced, from Perdikkas’ synhedrion of winter 321/20, marks this out clearly and indisputably and this is echoed in the following two more summary statements. The import of the original source is plain.
Xenophon wrote:
Cassander, fearing that the crowd might change its mind if it heard the queen defend herself and was reminded of all the benefits conferred on the entire nation by Alexander and Philip
This latter is supposition and speculation on the part of Diodorus/his source, likely Hieronymous, propagandist for Antigonus !!
Two points here. Firstly, this is hardly supposition and speculation “here” as these same reasons are given throughout. Why it must be “supposition and speculation” in this notice is difficult to see.

Secondly, we have the claim that Diodorus’ source here is “likely” Hieronymus who is a “propagandist for Antigonos”. Now, “likely” means the Kardian might very well be the source but he also might not. It would seem from what follows though that, for Xenophon, he most certainly is Diodorus’ source:
Xenophon wrote:Would the relatives of Olympias’ victims really need “urging” to come forward and accuse her? Hardly! Kassander did not, of course, explain his thoughts for posterity. This is therefore more propaganda.
Xenophon wrote:The detail of Kassander removing Alexander’s ‘paides’ is another piece of propaganda.
Xenophon wrote:One should bear in mind the source for this, and their likely agenda. [ digression: another example is the accusation that Kassander already intended to murder Alexander IV as early as 316 or so - not terribly credible. The thread of pro-Antigonus; anti-Kassander propaganda is clear – something Paralus might remind himself of from time to time.].
So the thread of “pro-Antigonus; anti-Kassander propaganda is clear”; something I should keep in mind. Hieronymus has already been identified as a “propagandist for Antigonos” and so the source for this propaganda must be Hieronymus. Confirmation, were it needed, comes by way of the following:
Xenophon wrote:Hieronymous, mouthpiece for Antigonus –later to accuse Kassander of murdering Olympias - might like us to think Kassander still feared a popular rising in support of Olympias, but the evidence is otherwise [...] In any case, how could Hieronymous know what Kassander thought ?
The argument is as simple as it is unconvincing: Diodorus is, here, a mirror for Hieronymus, the certain source for Diodorus, or in the very least a mirror of Hiernoymus' biases. Thus "Diodorus/Hiernonymus" is pro-Antigonos and therefore anti-Kassandros. Elsewhere, material in Trogus/Justin is set aside as "fiction" and "embellishment" and here accusations of murder and claims of support for Olympias in Diodorus are to be set aside as the product of Hieronymus’ bias.

Kassander, in fact, comes out quite well in Diododus' narrative. His campaigns (those described -especially here) are presented as decisiveand successful operations. In fact Diodorus, unlike the later imperial Roman sources, all of whom carry a consistently negative and hostile portrayal of Antipatros’ son, reports Kassandros’ activities without comment. He is, in fact, consistently described as an effective and successful commander who wins allies and acts decisively (18.74.4, 75.1-2; 19.35.1-3, 36.ff, 53.1-2, 54.3-4 being indicative). One might compare this portrayal to that of Polyperchon.

One might ask, given the certain nature of these claims, just how well does the evidence support them? The notion of an “anti-Kassandros” bias has been dealt with above, how does Antigonos fare in the pro-Antigonos “Diodorus/Hieronymus”? The answer is, oddly enough, not very well at all. Just as Kassandros is consistently portrayed and successful and decisive, Antigonos is consistently portrayed as overly ambitious (18.41.4-5, 47.5, 50.1-2 & 5, 54.4, 58.4; 19.55.4-6, 56.2). He is often referred as being “arrogant” or “harsh” (18.52.4; 19.56.2; 20.106.3) – the opposite of the ‘proper’ king and in stark contrast to the consistent encomiastic portrayal of his enemy, Ptolemy (18.14.1, 28.6, 33.3; 19.55.5, 56.1, 86.2-5 for example). Far more condemnatory is the constant description throughout period of Antigonos as a rebel against the kings (18.55.2; 57.3; 62.3; 63.4; 20 pr.2). Hieronymus, the “propagandist for Antigonos”, would seem quite happy to describe Antigonos as a traitor to the "venerated" and "respected" monarchy as well as wishing to take over the entire empire while refusing to obey the kings and behaving in an arrogant or harsh manner.

As well, while failing singularly in his pro-Antigonos bias, Hieronymus, in a supposed display of anti-Kassandros bias, manages to exaggerate the loyalty and regard in which Olympias and the royal family were held. As Antigonos is a rebel to this king and family, one wonders just how overemphasising the Macedonians’ regard for them helps Antigonos’ portrayal. As a propagandist this will hardly do and one wonders why Gonatas didn’t have the old boy lynched. The entire edifice is rather more than unsound.
Xenophon wrote:As to ‘imprisonment’ of the boy Alexander IV, that can be seen as simply placing him in ‘safe custody’ – and he did indeed live safely enough for the next six or seven years, until circumstances changed again. The detail of Kassander removing Alexander’s ‘paides’ is another piece of propaganda. ‘Paides’ entered service around age 14 or so. At age 6 or 7, Alexander wouldn’t have had ‘paides’.
“Safe custody” can only be considered a euphemism at the very best. It was nothing of the sort as the sources relate. There is no reason to doubt that boy was being brought up with ‘paides’. Diodorus notes Kassandros ensured “that he should no longer have royal treatment”. Alexander IV was thus denied anything relating to his royal status. He was a prisoner of Kassandros pure and simple.
Xenophon wrote:Paralus wrote:
Kassandros was nowhere near as certain in his position at the time of Olympias' murder as you would claim and the sources demonstrate this.
….In any case, how could Hieronymous know what Kassander thought ?
I fail to understand this. No one has suggested that Hieronymus knew what Kassandros was thinking. Diodorus relates the actions and decisions of Kassandros and it is these actions and decisions which demonstrate the security or otherwise of his position.
Xenophon wrote:Paralus wrote:
Arguing that I've confused this favour or "popularity" with "abhorrence of regicide" is not correct.
A ‘straw man’ since I argue no such thing. Olympias was not “popular” in any modern sense of the word.
Hardly. But in fairness, the advice was on another thread and the word was “loyalty” but the import is the same.
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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Re: The occupant of Tomb III

Post by Xenophon »

Xenophon wrote:It is also noticeable that Olympias apparently did not have much, if any, personal popularity – contra Paralus’ assertion. Her ‘kudos’ came purely from her position as representative of the Royal family, wife of Philip, and mother of Alexander. It was the institution of the monarchy that was respected and venerated by the Makedones, not Olympias ‘per se’, which comes across in our sources:
Before we progress to the sources, it might be well to correct that last statement. It is not simply the institution that is respected in these cases, but the royal family – that of Philip including his son Alexander III and his wife Olympias as the sources relate .
....that is not “correcting” anything, because it is simply wrong! What I have said is “correct” and it is your addition of “and his wife Olympias” that you have slipped in which is incorrect. Nowhere is Olympias ‘respected’ on her own account, or for her own deeds or qualities, but only on account of her position. She simply basks in the reflected glory of her husband King Philip and her son King Alexander, and it is the ‘benefits’ to Macedon that they have brought that are the basis of the Macedonians honouring their glory and reknown, as the quotations above ( and others) are careful to make clear. One gains the distinct impression that Olympias was not at all well-liked, and not just by the numerous supporters of the Antipatrids. Contrast the reaction to the death of Philip and Eurydike with the non-reaction to her death, for example.
On the sources, Xenophon fails to note the two clear factors our original source continually noted: Olympias and the benefits conferred by her husband and son. The first passage adduced, from Perdikkas’ synhedrion of winter 321/20, marks this out clearly and indisputably and this is echoed in the following two more summary statements. The import of the original source is plain.
Indeed it is – Olympias is only noted for her ‘position’ i.e. as wife and mother of the real benefactors, Philip and Alexander.It is they, not her, who are venerated.

Xenophon wrote:
Cassander, fearing that the crowd might change its mind if it heard the queen defend herself and was reminded of all the benefits conferred on the entire nation by Alexander and Philip


This latter is supposition and speculation on the part of Diodorus/his source, likely Hieronymous, propagandist for Antigonus !!

Two points here. Firstly, this is hardly supposition and speculation “here” as these same reasons are given throughout. Why it must be “supposition and speculation” in this notice is difficult to see.
You misunderstand. The supposition and speculation is that Cassander fears that the crowd might change its mind. What could the original source know of the contents of Kassander’s mind, or the prospects of those present [Kassander's own men! ]changing its collective mind?
Secondly, we have the claim that Diodorus’ source here is “likely” Hieronymus who is a “propagandist for Antigonos”. Now, “likely” means the Kardian might well be but he might not. It would seem from what follows though that, for Xenophon, he most certainly is Diodorus’ source:................
It has been ‘communis opinio’ that Hieronymous is the most likely source of Diodorus for Books XVIII-XX inclusive, but not absolutely certain, for the best part of 100 years, hence my conservative ‘likely’. If thereafter I say ‘Hieronymous’, that is merely for convenience. Should I have continually written “Diodoros’-source-who-was-almost-certainly-Hieronymous” ? Are you inferring that there was some other source for this section?
.........The argument is as simple as it is unconvincing: Hieronymus, the certain source for Diodorus here, is pro-Antigonos and therefore anti-Kassandros. Thus accusations of murder and claims of support for Olympias are to be set aside as the product of Hieronymus’ bias. In fact Diodorus, unlike the later imperial Roman sources, all of whom carry a consistently negative and hostile portrayal of Antipatros’ son, reports Kassandros’ activities without comment. He is, in fact, consistently described as an effective and successful commander who wins allies and acts decisively (18.75.1-2 being indicative). One might compare this portrayal to that of Polyperchon.
Are you saying that Diodoros’-source-who-was-almost-certainly-Hieronymous is unbiased because he reports Kassander’s doings “without comment”? A source doesn’t have to comment or criticise to be biased or even downright hostile, or to report untruths. You forget to mention that ‘Hieronymous’ was in the service of Antigonus around this time, and that Antigonus was the enemy of Kassander from not long after these events (315 BC). Antigonus dispatched money and agents to Greece, including offering Polyperchon a commission as his general in Europe - which was accepted. Then Antigonus called an assembly of his own army, before which he denounced Kassander for the murder of Olympias and the incarceration of Roxane and Alexander IV among other things. Failure to submit to Antigonus’ authority and surrender the royal family meant that Cassander would be declared a public enemy - incidently none of which had any impact at all in Macedonia. Unsurprisingly Kassander is denigrated by a writer in the service of Antigonus.

There are plenty of examples of “anti-Kassander”propaganda and I have alluded to a number of them where Kassander is painted in a poor light. The way in which Aristonous was disposed of, the alleged need to‘urge’ the relatives to accuse Olympias, his supposed plan to murder her at sea [ again, how could anyone know of such a supposed secret plan?], his supposed fear of Olympias when she was hopelessly without support and helplessly within his power, his treatment of her corpse, his supposed early ambitions to be King, and early plans to kill little Alexander IV and his mother, his supposed removal of the non-existent ‘paides’ and royal privileges of Alexander [something of a giveaway of an intent which still lay far in the future, one might imagine] – the list goes on.
“Safe custody” can only be considered a euphemism at the very best.It was nothing of the sort as the sources relate. There is no reason to doubt that boy was being brought up with ‘paides’. Diodorus notes Kassandros ensured “that he should no longer have royal treatment”. Alexander IV was thus denied anything relating to his royal status. He was a prisoner of Kassandros pure and simple.
How can you, or Diodorus, or Hieronymous for that matter, know under what conditions Alexander lived, especially if it was behind closed doors in Amphipolis ? In fact, controlling the legitimate King was one of Kassander’s trump cards so he would have been well looked after, and he would continue to do so down to 311, when the Diadochi entered a peace treaty which confirmed the status quo, namely Kassander as General of Europe, Ptolemy in Egypt, Lysimachus in Thrace, and Antigonus as ‘first in Asia’, all until Alexander IV reached his age of majority. And there was the rub, as they all had much to lose in that event. Probably over the winter of 311/10,Kassander, acting for all – it may even have been a secret term of the treaty - killed Alexander IV in secret, which finally brought the Argead Dynasty to an end. Interestingly, in the light of Diodorus accusations as to Kassander's supposed early ambitions to be King, he is the last of 'the big four' to call himself "King", even after the others refer to him as such, according to Plutarch.

As to ‘paides’, this institution was a form of ‘Royal’education for the teen-aged nobility of Macedon 14-18. To suggest that a 6 or 7 year old boy would be surrounded by such is pretty unlikely, perhaps even an absurdity.
One might ask, given the certain nature of these claims, just how well does the evidence support them? The notion of an “anti-Kassandros” bias has been dealt with above, how does Antigonos fare in the pro-Antigonos “Diodorus/Hieronymus”? The answer is, oddly enough, not very well at all. Just as Kassandros is consistently portrayed and successful and decisive, Antigonos is consistently portrayed as overly ambitious (18.41.4-5, 47.5, 50.1-2 & 5, 54.4, 58.4; 19.55.4-6, 56.2). He is often referred as being “arrogant” or “harsh” (18.52.4; 19.56.2; 20.106.3) – the opposite of the ‘proper’ king and in stark contrast to the portrayal of his enemy, Ptolemy. Far more condemnatory is the constant description throughout period of Antigonos as a rebel against the kings (18.55.2; 57.3; 62.3; 63.4). Hieronymus, the “propagandist for Antigonos”, would seem quite happy to describe Antigonos as a traitor to the monarchy as well as wishing to take over the entire empire while refusing to obey the kings and behaving in an arrogant or harsh manner.
.......in fact for each of these criticisms of Antigonus, one can find praise as well – he is described as a military genius for example. Diodorus' treatment of Antigonus is generally sympathetic, even if Antigonus is never presented as a hero as are both Eumenes and Demetrius whom Hieronymous also served.
Xenophon wrote:
Paralus wrote:

Kassandros was nowhere near as certain in his position at the time of Olympias' murder as you would claim and the sources demonstrate this.
….In any case, how could Hieronymous know what Kassander thought ?

I fail to understand this. No one has suggested that Hieronymus knew what Kassandros was thinking. Diodorus relates the actions and decisions of Kassandros and it is these actions and decisions which demonstrate the security or otherwise of his position.
Simple enough. You claim that the sources demonstrate that Kassander was not certain of his position, and somehow feared Olympias. [“Cassander, fearing that the crowd might change its mind if it heard the Queen defend herself....” DS XIX.51.4] Hieronymous-or-whoever-the original-source was had no way of knowing Kassander’s thoughts or fears or motives for a swift execution, and it doesn’t seem very likely that his soldiers – many of them connected to Olympias’ victims – would mutiny and go over to her, even if some of them balked at actually killing her, as I pointed out in the passage you reference......
Guessing/speculating as to the motives for "Actions and decisions" is not evidence of anything. Maybe Kassander had her killed quickly simply out of hatred. Or simply to get the whole thing 'over with'.
Xenophon wrote:Paralus wrote:

"Arguing that I've confused this favour or "popularity" with "abhorrence of regicide" is not correct."

A ‘straw man’ since I argue no such thing. Olympias was not “popular” in any modern sense of the word.

Hardly. But in fairness, the advice was on another thread and the word was “loyalty” but the import is the same.
Xenophon wrote:One should not confuse a natural abhorrence to the crime of regicide with ‘loyalty’.
..........quite correct too!! Refusal to carry out cold-blooded murder, and of Royalty to boot, didn’t make Kassander’s troops any less loyal to him !!

Nice of you to link to the reference so it can be read in its correct context. :)
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