Phoebus wrote:You can call what Alexander claimed he wanted to do "piffle", but let's not try to differentiate between him and his predecessors in such designs.
can Phoebus. I did not. If you care to re-read the post you might note that “what piffle” related to the notion of “freedom of the Greeks” as propounded by the panhellenists and those that appropriated it. Alexander was hardly the first. His father before him had established the “league” as the framework for this overlay.
The Spartan king Agesilaos had similar pretensions back in 396. That is until the Great King rudely disabused Agesilaos' Spartan masters of notion that Sparta could hold its hegemony without Persian money and support for the “Spartan” navy.
Again, if you re-read the post, you’ll likely note that Alexander is not
differentiated from his “predecessors”. The whole point being addressed is panhellenism not simply Alexander’s use of it. The Greek city-states’ actions indicate anything but a devout belief in the liberty of the Greeks of Asia. As I wrote, Alexander might have questioned Sparta as to how it was those Greeks were in the position of having to be “liberated” – again.
Phoebus wrote:The movers and shakers of Athens had no one else's best interests at heart when conducting their own political and military games.
I fail to understand the argument you are raising. As I said, reduced to its minimum, Isokrates’ view is the transfer of all those vagabonds getting about Greece and selling their services as mercenaries as well as the poorer masses overpopulating his own city. They were to be placed into settlements over Asia Minor and the Persian east thus relieving the civilised city-state elites of their presence.
Ironically this is what Alexander did – just not quite in the fashion Isokrates will have been thinking – more with a view to garrisoning the fractious and uneasy eastern regions of the empire. Isokrates, though, will not have agreed with the “exiles decree” one might have thought.
Of course the “movers and shakers” of Athens, Thebes and – especially – Sparta had no interest at heart other than their own. As I pointed out, it was Spartan perfidy that placed the Greeks of Asia Minor in a position to have to be “re-liberated”. It was a sinking Sparta, desperately clutching at the flotsam of its shattered fleet off Cyzicus (“Ships gone; Mindarus dead; the men starving; at our wits' end what to do.” Xen. Hellenica, 1.1.23), which contracted an alliance with the Persians the price of which was the freedom of the Greek cities of Asia. A price the Great King exacted in full and restated in the Royal Rescript of the “Kings’ Peace” of 387.
My view of “panhellenism” is not Alexander-centred. It is also not something simply related to this particular thread. You are new to the forum and will not, I suspect, have read any of the older material. Perhaps this will indicate
my position more fully.
Alexanthros I doubt, something severely, that the Greek alliance defeated at Chaeronea ever – for a moment – thought they were fighting a “civil war”.
I doubt that many ancient Hellenes saw the struggle between Athens and Lacedaemon as a "civil war."
Well of course not. That being the point of the above sentence to Alexanthros.
Phoebus wrote: The main difference between them and Phillip/Alexander was one of capacity. The latter possessed capabilities and an army the former didn't. The main difference where casualty figures are ones of scale--directly related to the capabilities possessed by said leaders. Or do you think less Hellenes would have died regardless had Epaminondas or Agis dreamed up Phillip's military model?
The main difference is attitude. Epaminondas invaded the Peloponnese with near to 70,000 if we are to believe a mortified Xenophon. I don’t recall wholesale slaughter taking place. Philip, having suffered a defeat in the “Sacred War” at the hands of the Phocian general Phayllus, returned in 352. In the battle of the Crocus Field he defeated the Phocians and slaughtered some 3,000 of them after the battle’s end. More a matter of attitude. The normally excusatory Plutarch sums it up:
…the mercenary Greeks, who, making a stand upon a rising ground, desired quarter, which Alexander, guided rather by passion than judgment, refused to grant, and charging them himself first…
In any case, there seems to have been no shortage of Greeks prepared to line up against Alexander.
With respect to the Spartan disaster at Leuktra, what makes you think that the number of dead here was anything like that at the Granicus? Even if we halve Arrian’s figures, some 8,000 Greeks have been killed at this battle. If we reduce by a factor of four we still have 3,000 (according him the 2,000 prisoners). At Leuktra, the Theban right wing was “refused” and, aside from the opening cavalry actions, played little or no part in the battle. The activity was all on the Theban left. Here the Spartan homoioi
were routed and, when that was obvious, the Peloponnesian left retired – along with the Spartans – to their camp. My best recollection is of some 1,000 dead. The figures that do stick are 400 homoioi
of 700 who took the field.
This battle is remembered as a disaster, not so much for the number of dead, but for Sparta and the fact that the Spartan homoioi
had retired from the field, essentially surrendering. Just as disastrous were those dead homoioi. They were irreplaceable and will have represented something like a third of the remaining population.