Alexander the Great...Good or Bad King, or neither? An Essay

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Re: Alexander the Great...Good or Bad King, or neither? An Essay

Post by Paralus » Sun Mar 05, 2017 9:29 am

Xenophon wrote:To suggest that he habitually dated by so-called 'campaigning seasons' is untrue, and nonsense. As for Diodorus, we have discussed his annual dating system ( which he occasionally gets wrong), and he never refers to 'campaigning seasons' either, AFIK.
Plainly Thukydides structures his narrative winter-summer-winter and thus counts the years of the war. The intervening period – spring, summer to autumn – was, without any doubt, the campaigning season for the ancient Greeks. No one has suggested Thukydides “habitually dated” by campaigning seasons (that is your term), though he certainly structured his history that way. Diodorus, too, structures his narrative (Books 18-20) via campaigning seasons – noting the combatants going into winter quarters and the actions which then began the following spring. Comparing this with other books, it becomes apparent his source reckoned by these seasons. Saying that neither refer to “campaigning seasons” is sophistry at its best.
Xenophon wrote:Regarding 'Barsine', you are comparing apples and pears. The quotations you refer to are totally taken out of context. […]That is not having one's cake and eating it too, because they are two completely different circumstances and two different subjects. The one is a purely hypthetical contrast of modern and ancient attitudes to rape and the commonly told story of the wife of Memnon, whilst the other is a discussion intended to unravel historical fact from fiction, as I'm sure every reader understands :roll:
One man’s fruit is another’s cake and fruit is in the eye of the beholder to mangle the expression… “eye roll”…
Xenophon wrote:I am not going to enter into sophistic arguments about , who, how and when an interpolation was made, or who had read whom. I don't , and can't know how this contradiction came about - and neither can Paralus. Nor does it really matter.
Of course not. A simple assertion that Justin used Curtius suffices. The textual / source argument is sophistry and matters not only to one who will not, or cannot, engage it.
Xenophon wrote:Paralus distorts what he says at [XII.15]in any event :

"When his friends saw him dying, they asked him “whom he would appoint as the successor to his throne?” He replied, “The most worthy.” Such was his nobleness of spirit, that though he left a son named Hercules, a brother called Aridaeus, and his wife Roxane with child, yet, forgetting his relations, he named only “the most worthy” as his successor; ....... On the sixth day from the commencement of his illness,[Plutarch and Arrian give a different length of time of his last illness] being unable to speak, he took his ring from his finger, and gave it to Perdiccas, an act which tranquillized the growing dissension among his friends; for though Perdiccas was not expressly named his successor, he seemed intended to be so in Alexander’s judgment."
I rather think not. Perdikkas was not designated Alexander’s successor. No one was and that is the entire reason for what we know as the Babylonian Settlement.
Xenophon wrote:On Photius summary of Arrian "Events after Alexander", you described it as the " briefest of epitomes" and "practically uninformative about the events ". Both these statements are manifestly untrue - Photius and associated fragments run to around 4,000 words and offer a clear narrative of events, even if we don't get as much detail as we would like
Again, I think not. Those were Bosworth’s words. For the record, his description is correct:
Paralus wrote: As I've said, summarising, by definition, leaves matters out - here whole tranches clearly. Ditto for Diodorus as Bosworth observes(Legacy of Alexander, p 34):
Most of the sources are the briefest of epitomes. Photius' excerpts of Arrian and Dexippus are dominated by the catalogue of satrapal appointments; they are practically uninformative about the events which led to the settlement. The same can be said of Diodorus, who is at his most laconic when describing the political conflict at Babylon...
In any case, the question was what detail did Photios / Arrian supply regarding the subject under discussion – the settlement in Babylon? I see you chose to discuss the entire epitome instead of addressing it.
Xenophon wrote: Paralus wrote:
The “low” is certainly correct for Perdikkas’ death.
Doubtless Paralus will be as pleased as I am that we find ourselves in accord regarding this. :D :D
Indeed.
Xenophon wrote: (Incidently, Diodorus has him killed by his cavalry commanders in his tent, whilst Photius/Arrian says they killed him in a battle against Ptolemy.)
Yet again and indication that Arrian worked from sources other than that for Diodorus. In this instance, if the murder comes, ultimately, from Hieronymus, Arrian’s story does not.
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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: Alexander the Great...Good or Bad King, or neither? An Essay

Post by Xenophon » Wed Mar 08, 2017 5:04 am

Xenophon wrote:To suggest that he habitually dated by so-called 'campaigning seasons' is untrue, and nonsense. As for Diodorus, we have discussed his annual dating system ( which he occasionally gets wrong), and he never refers to 'campaigning seasons' either, AFIK.
Plainly Thukydides structures his narrative winter-summer-winter and thus counts the years of the war. The intervening period – spring, summer to autumn – was, without any doubt, the campaigning season for the ancient Greeks.
It is disappointing that Paralus either doesn’t read posts properly, or perhaps doesn’t comprehend Thucydides words, especially when I have gone to the trouble of searching out and quoting Thucydides himself on the subject [see my previous post foot of page 5 Sunday 5 March]
I will re-quote the pertinent part:

But by reckoning the same by summers and winters, as I have done here, each of these being equivalent to half a year, that this first war was of ten summers and as many winters ."

Quite obviously he does NOT count by ‘campaign seasons’ – and never uses the term – and Paralus is simply repeating an oft repeated, but totally incorrect cliché. He uses a system of half-years, which he arbitrarily calls ‘summer’ and ‘winter’, as he specifically says and describes.

Traditionally, the Greek ‘campaigning season’ had been Spring, Summer, Autumn in centuries past, ( a simplification, it actually depended on the agricultural seasons of planting and harvesting) but by the Peloponnesian Wars which Thucydides chronicles, the expression was obsolete anyway. Campaigns could occur in Winter too – i.e. all year round, and Thucydides refers to a number of winter campaigns.

[Digression: He had a personal and painful reason to recall a particular winter campaign. In 424/423 the Spartan Brasidas mounted a winter campaign to capture Amphipolis. At the time Athens was embroiled with Boeotia, and could not afford to send many troops, but Eucles was sent to be ‘Strategos’ of the city, and Thucydides was ‘Strategos’ of the small naval contingent of just seven Triremes, and was at the island of Thasos, Athens main naval base in the North Aegean. When Eucles heard that Brasidas was 'forced marching' to the city, he sent to Thucydides for help. Thasos was just 6 hours sailing time away, and Thucydides set off straight away. Meanwhile Brasidas had reached the city and captured a bridge across the river Strymon by a ‘coup de main’ and the city’s position was hopeless. Brasidas offered generous terms and the city capitulated immediately. As Brasidas was marching in, Thucydides reached Eion, the city’s port at the mouth of the river – too late to save Amphipolis, though he did successfully defend Eion. [Thuc IV.102 – 108]. He was subsequently blamed for failing to save the city – rather unfairly – lost his command, and was tried and exiled.[Thuc V.26]

Demosthenes too complained [Third Philippic] that Philip II of Macedon habitually campaigned all year round.( thanks to his 'new model' professional army and the use of mercenaries.)
No one has suggested Thukydides “habitually dated” by campaigning seasons (that is your term), though he certainly structured his history that way.
Paralus wrote: “ It is absolutely clear and unarguable that the Athenian reckoned in campaigning seasons (noting winter – summer- winter) using this to number the years of the war.”

I think my expression accurately reflects your (incorrect) assertion.

Diodorus, too, structures his narrative (Books 18-20) via campaigning seasons – noting the combatants going into winter quarters and the actions which then began the following spring. Comparing this with other books, it becomes apparent his source reckoned by these seasons.
That is an over simplification at best, and another cliché at worst. Alexander Meeus, with whom you are acquainted, points out the problems with Diodorus, who continues to reckon by archon years, but gets into a muddle. As Meeus tabulates in “Chronology of the third Diadoch War”, Diodorus’ source was reckoning by seasons, much as Thucydides had done. He refers to single seasons such as ‘Spring’ or ‘Autumn’ or ‘Winter’in parts, and double seasons, such as ‘Spring/Summer’ or Summer/Autumn’, and doesn’t neatly end each year with ‘Winter’ as you suggest. Like Thucydides, Diodorus documents a number of winter campaigns also..... [I recommend Meeus for more high jinks with ‘Low’ and ‘High and ‘mixed chronologies...... Diodorus never mentions ‘campaigning seasons’ either, AFAIK.]


Saying that neither refer to “campaigning seasons” is sophistry at its best.
Sophistry is defined as “ fallacious argument, esp. one intended to deceive” and I have gone to considerable trouble in both this post, and my last one to state the true facts regarding Thucydides and Diodorus time-reckoning, and offer proof as well. The only fallacious arguments are your assertions that both Thucydides and Diodorus measured years by fictitious ‘campaigning seasons’, which neither did.



Xenophon wrote:I am not going to enter into sophistic arguments about , who, how and when an interpolation was made, or who had read whom. I don't , and can't know how this contradiction came about - and neither can Paralus. Nor does it really matter.
Of course not. A simple assertion that Justin used Curtius suffices. The textual / source argument is sophistry and matters not only to one who will not, or cannot, engage it.
As so often, you distort what I actually say. I asserted no such thing and would not. I merely mentioned the possibility that Justin might have read, or been aware of Curtius’ work.
In any event the subject was the authorship of the probable interpolator, and the fact of the direct contradiction in Curtius.
Xenophon wrote:Paralus distorts what he says at [XII.15]in any event :

"When his friends saw him dying, they asked him “whom he would appoint as the successor to his throne?” He replied, “The most worthy.” Such was his nobleness of spirit, that though he left a son named Hercules, a brother called Aridaeus, and his wife Roxane with child, yet, forgetting his relations, he named only “the most worthy” as his successor; ....... On the sixth day from the commencement of his illness,[Plutarch and Arrian give a different length of time of his last illness] being unable to speak, he took his ring from his finger, and gave it to Perdiccas, an act which tranquillized the growing dissension among his friends; for though Perdiccas was not expressly named his successor, he seemed intended to be so in Alexander’s judgment."

I rather think not. Perdikkas was not designated Alexander’s successor. No one was and that is the entire reason for what we know as the Babylonian Settlement.
The words you quote are Justin’s , not mine! Take it up with him! He evidently thought that Perdiccas was intended to succeed Alexander, contra what you said....

Xenophon wrote:On Photius summary of Arrian "Events after Alexander", you described it as the " briefest of epitomes" and "practically uninformative about the events ". Both these statements are manifestly untrue - Photius and associated fragments run to around 4,000 words and offer a clear narrative of events, even if we don't get as much detail as we would like
Again, I think not. Those were Bosworth’s words. For the record, his description is correct:


Paralus wrote:As I've said, summarising, by definition, leaves matters out - here whole tranches clearly. Ditto for Diodorus as Bosworth observes(Legacy of Alexander, p 34):


Most of the sources are the briefest of epitomes. Photius' excerpts of Arrian and Dexippus are dominated by the catalogue of satrapal appointments; they are practically uninformative about the events which led to the settlement. The same can be said of Diodorus, who is at his most laconic when describing the political conflict at Babylon...


In any case, the question was what detail did Photios / Arrian supply regarding the subject under discussion – the settlement in Babylon? I see you chose to discuss the entire epitome instead of addressing it.
. I took it that you meant Photius in toto for events post-Alexander. You did not make it clear that you were quoting Bosworth, nor that he/you were referring to the Babylon settlement only. That only becomes clear when you now quote Bosworth properly in context. For that Photius/Arrian devotes 500 words, even if half is to do with the appointments – rather more than Curtius and Justin say about the supposed Heracles!

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Re: Alexander the Great...Good or Bad King, or neither? An Essay

Post by Paralus » Thu Mar 09, 2017 12:21 pm

Xenophon wrote:Quite obviously he does NOT count by ‘campaign seasons’ – and never uses the term – and Paralus is simply repeating an oft repeated, but totally incorrect cliché. He uses a system of half-years, which he arbitrarily calls ‘summer’ and ‘winter’, as he specifically says and describes.
One might list a plethora of scholars who refer to this chronological scheme as "campaigning seasons" or "campaigning years" from Smith to the CAH, to Errington, Hauben, Landmark Thucydides (Martin), Wheatly, Meeus and others in between. I would appear to be in good cliche utilising company.

Incidentally, Errington (Diodorus Siculus and the Chronology of the Early Diadochoi, 320-311 B.C., Hermes, 105. Bd., H. 4 1977, p 479) writes the following of Manni's notion that the source of Diodorus Books 18-19 utilised Macedonian regnal years:
[Manni] introduced the new principle, which he asserted rather than argued, that Diodorus' source -- Hieronymus of Cardia8 - reckoned his chronology in Macedonian years [...] Manni's assertion that Hieronymus used Macedonian years and that this has confused Diodorus has rightly been rejected by all subsequent writers; for such evidence as we have about Hieronymus' chronological method suggests
strongly that he used a Thucydidean-stvle chronology, and made the natural progression of summers and winters the chronological basis of his narrative.
Going on to say (p 500):
There is some truth in this [Smith's claim that Diodorus' archon years are campaigning years], in so far as Diodorus seems to have tried to follow the principle of equating a campaigning year with the name of the archon who took office in that year, and indeed he does seem to have followed it reasonably successfully from the archonship of Simonides (3II/3IO) onwards...
Xenophon wrote:Demosthenes too complained [Third Philippic] that Philip II of Macedon habitually campaigned all year round.( thanks to his 'new model' professional army and the use of mercenaries.)
And his whole point is wasted were the regular campaigning season not well understood by his audience.
Xenophon wrote:
Paralus wrote:Diodorus, too, structures his narrative (Books 18-20) via campaigning seasons – noting the combatants going into winter quarters and the actions which then began the following spring. Comparing this with other books, it becomes apparent his source reckoned by these seasons.
That is an over simplification at best, and another cliché at worst. Alexander Meeus, with whom you are acquainted, points out the problems with Diodorus, who continues to reckon by archon years, but gets into a muddle. As Meeus tabulates in “Chronology of the third Diadoch War”, Diodorus’ source was reckoning by seasons, much as Thucydides had done. He refers to single seasons such as ‘Spring’ or ‘Autumn’ or ‘Winter’in parts, and double seasons, such as ‘Spring/Summer’ or Summer/Autumn’, and doesn’t neatly end each year with ‘Winter’ as you suggest. Like Thucydides, Diodorus documents a number of winter campaigns also..... [I recommend Meeus for more high jinks with ‘Low’ and ‘High and ‘mixed chronologies...... Diodorus never mentions ‘campaigning seasons’ either, AFAIK.]
Alexander Meeus also notes: "See e.g. Manni 1951: 70-73 who claims that Diodorus’ source used the Macedonian year rather than the
campaigning year of the traditional view"
(The Chronology of the Third Diadoch War, p 76, n 19). Cliche's abound. Diodorus does miss two winters (Book 19). This is not unusual as he misses two complete archon years in Book 18. It is clear that his source noted these and used campaigning years which Diodorus eventuall worked into his chronographic scheme.
Xenophon wrote:As so often, you distort what I actually say. I asserted no such thing and would not. I merely mentioned the possibility that Justin might have read, or been aware of Curtius’ work.
In any event the subject was the authorship of the probable interpolator, and the fact of the direct contradiction in Curtius.
Xenophon wrote:Curiously too, Heracles is not mentioned by most of our sources in connection with the Babylonian crisis - only briefly by Curtius [X.6.10] and the late author Justin[XIII.2], who may well have got the anecdote from Curtius, or else both found it in a Hellenistic source.
Has since become:
Xenophon wrote:I made it quite clear that I believe the interpolation was made in Curtius, writing in the 1st century, not Justin writing in the 3rd. It is well known that Justin permitted himself considerable freedom of digression by producing an idiosyncratic anthology rather than a proper epitome, frequently inserting his own words [hence the many errors]. He most likely was familiar with Curtius, and this is where he got the references to Heracles. Consequently everything you say above is not relevant.
Because Justin lifted his references to Herakles from Curtius (and his unproven interpolator), everything I say is irrelevant. Fairly dogmatic I'd say.
Xenophon wrote:
Paralus wrote:In any case, the question was what detail did Photios / Arrian supply regarding the subject under discussion – the settlement in Babylon? I see you chose to discuss the entire epitome instead of addressing it.
I took it that you meant Photius in toto for events post-Alexander. You did not make it clear that you were quoting Bosworth, nor that he/you were referring to the Babylon settlement only. That only becomes clear when you now quote Bosworth properly in context.
Perhaps I should quote your own words: "it is disappointing that Xenophon either doesn’t read posts properly, or perhaps doesn’t comprehend". For the sake of completeness, the complete Bosworth quote in context:
Paralus wrote:There is a disconnect here. It is a matter of whether an author actually relates the Babylonian Settlement and, if he does, in what amount of detail, if any. Xenophon disparages this an "argument from words"; it is, in fact, an argument from detail. The rude fact is that Diodorus and Photios have reduced a serious affair which covered near a week (possibly more) to little more than a paragraph. Photios has produced no more than a collection of headlines and Diodorus is just as bad. Curtius has treated it fully and even Justin does it justice. The amount of material available to each of the former (particularly Photios) was far, far more as Curtius shows - whether or not he (they including Justin!) found it in some conveniently conjectured "Hellenistic source" (just which source is this?). Arrian covered 323- 319 in ten books: far more detail than his Anabasis Alexandrou. One can only imagine the extent of his treatment of this episode. This has been cut to ribbons by Photios. As I've said, summarising, by definition, leaves matters out - here whole tranches clearly. Ditto for Diodorus as Bosworth observes(Legacy of Alexander, p 34):
Most of the sources are the briefest of epitomes. Photius' excerpts of Arrian and Dexippus are dominated by the catalogue of satrapal appointments; they are practically uninformative about the events which led to the settlement. The same can be said of Diodorus, who is at his most laconic when describing the political conflict at Babylon...
As can clearly be seen, the words are clearly those of Bosworth (citation provided) and I was just as clearly writing in relation to the treatment of the Bablyonian Settlement, as was Bosworth. How it could ever be seen otherwise passes my comprehension (embarrassed emoticon). Perhaps we might cease the gratuitous commentary?
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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: Alexander the Great...Good or Bad King, or neither? An Essay

Post by Xenophon » Sat Mar 11, 2017 2:53 am

Paralus wrote:
Xenophon wrote:Quite obviously he does NOT count by ‘campaign seasons’ – and never uses the term – and Paralus is simply repeating an oft repeated, but totally incorrect cliché. He uses a system of half-years, which he arbitrarily calls ‘summer’ and ‘winter’, as he specifically says and describes.

One might list a plethora of scholars who refer to this chronological scheme as "campaigning seasons" or "campaigning years" from Smith to the CAH, to Errington, Hauben, Landmark Thucydides (Martin), Wheatly, Meeus and others in between. I would appear to be in good cliche utilising company.
I notice that significantly no ancient authors are in your list. Modern authors ( including you) who equate a “campaigning season” defined as Spring-Summer-Autumn (equals three quarters of a year) with Thucydides “Summer” and “Winter” ( equals half a year) are obviously WRONG!
Incidentally, Errington (Diodorus Siculus and the Chronology of the Early Diadochoi, 320-311 B.C., Hermes, 105. Bd., H. 4 1977, p 479) writes the following of Manni's notion that the source of Diodorus Books 18-19 utilised Macedonian regnal years:


[Manni] introduced the new principle, which he asserted rather than argued, that Diodorus' source -- Hieronymus of Cardia - reckoned his chronology in Macedonian years [...] Manni's assertion that Hieronymus used Macedonian years and that this has confused Diodorus has rightly been rejected by all subsequent writers; for such evidence as we have about Hieronymus' chronological method suggests
strongly that he used a Thucydidean-stvle chronology, and made the natural progression of summers and winters the chronological basis of his narrative.
A Thucydidean- style chronology is NOT a “campaigning season” one, but is difficult to distinguish from an ordinary Macedonian year ( not regnal years) which began in October, and in Thucydidean seasonal terms would run “winter” and “summer” [c.f Athenian years, commencing after the summer solstice in late June aprox which would run “summer” then “winter” – this is how Diodorus runs into difficulty with his dating system of Athenian archon years, contra Errington, who dismisses Manni too easily, for how can one tell at second –hand (via Diodorus) whether Hieronymous is using simple seasons, or a Macedonian year commencing with winter?

Going on to say (p 500):


There is some truth in this [Smith's claim that Diodorus' archon years are campaigning years], in so far as Diodorus seems to have tried to follow the principle of equating a campaigning year with the name of the archon who took office in that year, and indeed he does seem to have followed it reasonably successfully from the archonship of Simonides (3II/3IO) onwards...
This is untrue. No ancient author dated their history by “campaigning seasons” for reasons I have expounded previously. Apart from anything else, the word “campaign” comes from the French for open fields, and hence “campaigning season” meant the season when armies took the field. The word and expression are relatively modern, first coming into use in the 16-17 C. How could ancient authors date by something which didn’t exist then ? No more than they could count our way without a ‘zero’ !


Xenophon wrote: Demosthenes too complained [Third Philippic] that Philip II of Macedon habitually campaigned all year round.( thanks to his 'new model' professional army and the use of mercenaries.)
And his whole point is wasted were the regular campaigning season not well understood by his audience.
The concept of 'campaigning season' did not exist at that time. You’ve missed Demosthenes point entirely. He is saying that Philip has a military advantage because he can take the field all year round, thanks to having paid professional mercenaries – something the largely citizen army of Athens could not do, and he is urging them to ‘fight fire with fire’ and prepare for year round warfare with Philip:
....You hear of Philip marching where he pleases, not because he commands troops of the line[hoplites/citizen militia], but because he has attached to him a host of skirmishers, cavalry, archers, mercenaries, and the like. When with these he falls upon a people in civil dissension, and none (through mistrust) will march out to defend the country, he applies engines and besieges them. I need not mention that he makes no difference between winter and summer, that he has no stated season of repose.”
Xenophon wrote:
Paralus wrote:Diodorus, too, structures his narrative (Books 18-20) via campaigning seasons – noting the combatants going into winter quarters and the actions which then began the following spring. Comparing this with other books, it becomes apparent his source reckoned by these seasons.
That is an over simplification at best, and another cliché at worst. Alexander Meeus, with whom you are acquainted, points out the problems with Diodorus, who continues to reckon by archon years, but gets into a muddle. As Meeus tabulates in “Chronology of the third Diadoch War”, Diodorus’ source was reckoning by seasons, much as Thucydides had done. He refers to single seasons such as ‘Spring’ or ‘Autumn’ or ‘Winter’in parts, and double seasons, such as ‘Spring/Summer’ or Summer/Autumn’, and doesn’t neatly end each year with ‘Winter’ as you suggest. Like Thucydides, Diodorus documents a number of winter campaigns also..... [I recommend Meeus for more high jinks with ‘Low’ and ‘High and ‘mixed chronologies...... Diodorus never mentions ‘campaigning seasons’ either, AFAIK.]

Alexander Meeus also notes: "See e.g. Manni 1951: 70-73 who claims that Diodorus’ source used the Macedonian year rather than the
campaigning year of the traditional view" (The Chronology of the Third Diadoch War, p 76, n 19). Cliche's abound. Diodorus does miss two winters (Book 19). This is not unusual as he misses two complete archon years in Book 18. It is clear that his source noted these and used campaigning years which Diodorus eventually worked into his chronographic scheme.
See above. Diodorus could not use a dating system which did not exist. He could refer to “summers” and “winters, like Thucydides, or “winters” then “summers” if his source Hieronymus was using either Macedonian years, or a simple Thucydidean one, starting with “winter”.....
Paralus wrote:
Xenophon wrote:As so often, you distort what I actually say. I asserted no such thing and would not. I merely mentioned the possibility that Justin might have read, or been aware of Curtius’ work.
In any event the subject was the authorship of the probable interpolator, and the fact of the direct contradiction in Curtius.
Xenophon wrote: Curiously too, Heracles is not mentioned by most of our sources in connection with the Babylonian crisis - only briefly by Curtius [X.6.10] and the late author Justin[XIII.2], who may well have got the anecdote from Curtius, or else both found it in a Hellenistic source.
Has since become:

Xenophon wrote [Tue 21 Feb]: I made it quite clear that I believe the interpolation was made in Curtius, writing in the 1st century, not Justin writing in the 3rd. It is well known that Justin permitted himself considerable freedom of digression by producing an idiosyncratic anthology rather than a proper epitome, frequently inserting his own words [hence the many errors]. He most likely was familiar with Curtius, and this is where he got the references to Heracles. Consequently everything you say above is not relevant.
Because Justin lifted his references to Herakles from Curtius (and his unproven interpolator), everything I say is irrelevant. Fairly dogmatic I'd say.
As so often, you take my words out of context. That last quotation was in the context that you were speaking as if I had written of an interpolation in Justin, when in fact I was referring to Curtius. [Your post of Feb 18, in which you also falsely claimed I had referred to interpolators in both Curtius and Justin!] BTW, your whole reference to an interpolation in Justin is a classic example of the false reasoning called a"straw man argument", whereby the proponent sets up his own target - one easily knocked down - rather than argue with what was actually said.

The above remark of yours regarding dogma is pure sophistry. I didn’t assert it as fact, simply 'most likely', and as a result your lengthy passage regarding an interpolation in Justin was not relevant, which of course it wasn’t.

Also, your entire argument IS largely irrelevant, because despite several reminders, you blithely totally ignore all the evidence against 'Heracles' existence before 310 - and there is a great deal of it.

Paralus wrote:
Xenophon wrote:
Paralus wrote:In any case, the question was what detail did Photios / Arrian supply regarding the subject under discussion – the settlement in Babylon? I see you chose to discuss the entire epitome instead of addressing it.
I took it that you meant Photius in toto for events post-Alexander. You did not make it clear that you were quoting Bosworth, nor that he/you were referring to the Babylon settlement only. That only becomes clear when you now quote Bosworth properly in context.


.......As can clearly be seen, the words are clearly those of Bosworth (citation provided) and I was just as clearly writing in relation to the treatment of the Bablyonian Settlement, as was Bosworth. How it could ever be seen otherwise passes my comprehension (embarrassed emoticon). Perhaps we might cease the gratuitous commentary ?
That quote from you comes from your post of Jan 21, back on page 2! We were discussing a rather different aspect of the matter toward the end of February and early March on page 5! There, you did not give an attribution for Photios being the “briefest of epitomes”, nor allude to Bosworth, nor that you were only referring to the Babylon settlement part, not Photios as a whole)

I believe that the discussion regarding the reality or otherwise of ‘Heracles’ being the son of Alexander, was to all intents and purposes concluded back in January ( see my post Jan 26, summarising most of the evidence, and Paralus’ post the same day stating he was resting his case.)

FWIW, it doesn't really matter whether the 'Heracles' story at Babylon is an interpolation ( which I think probable), or whether it really is Curtius relating contradictory evidence from two different sources - ancient historians sometimes do that - the result is the same. 'Heracles' almost certainly did not exist then, purely based on all the other overwhelming evidence, as well as the contradiction in Curtius.

If I may speculate a little, this tale is possibly ultimately derived from the propaganda spread by Polyperchon in 310, for he would certainly have had to explain why a 'son' of Alexander was overlooked at Babylon. It may then have been transmitted by someone like Duris of Samos, a rather untrustworthy historian who liked 'tragic history', to be interwoven into Alexander folklore, where later writers like Curtius ( or an interpolator, given the sudden contradiction) found it.....

Yet on and on Paralus went, introducing nothing much new, totally ignoring the overwhelming evidence against the existence of ‘Heracles’ prior to 310, and simply repeating Curtius and Justin as if they were gospel, or devising nit-picking arguments by taking things I posted out of context, raising red herrings and other fallacious arguments in order to try and ‘score points’ in an argument for argument’s sake, and digressing into chronological arguments about Thucydides and Diodorus measuring time by “campaigning seasons” – a concept which didn’t exist when our sources wrote, and which is wrong anyway since campaigns were fought all year round on occasion in both Thucydides and Diodorus’ Histories.

[Digression : There are scholars who debate “high” and “low” chronologies in Thucydides too ! Furthermore, there are a number of Athenian epigrahical stelae from the 5 C BC which record various decrees, but often because of damage etc, we don’t know the date of them. Previously therefore, they were often dated to events and subject by their lettering style. This has turned out to be incorrect, and now Athenian 5C epigraphy has had to be completely revised !!!

Did I mention that ancient chronology is almost always problematical ??!! :twisted: ]

Paralus has the unhappy knack of turning discussion into argument, in which he can never be ‘wrong’, and I have tried to end this one several times now. I am now no longer a young man, and I can see myself shuffling off this mortal coil before this argument is concluded !

So I shall try to write “FINIS” to discussion about ‘Heracles’ and chronology once more.........

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Re: Alexander the Great...Good or Bad King, or neither? An Essay

Post by Paralus » Fri Mar 17, 2017 11:53 am

Xenophon wrote:I notice that significantly no ancient authors are in your list. Modern authors ( including you) who equate a “campaigning season” defined as Spring-Summer-Autumn (equals three quarters of a year) with Thucydides “Summer” and “Winter” ( equals half a year) are obviously WRONG! ....

This is untrue. No ancient author dated their history by “campaigning seasons” for reasons I have expounded previously. Apart from anything else, the word “campaign” comes from the French for open fields, and hence “campaigning season” meant the season when armies took the field. The word and expression are relatively modern, first coming into use in the 16-17 C. How could ancient authors date by something which didn’t exist then ? No more than they could count our way without a ‘zero’ !....

See above. Diodorus could not use a dating system which did not exist. He could refer to “summers” and “winters, like Thucydides, or “winters” then “summers” if his source Hieronymus was using either Macedonian years, or a simple Thucydidean one, starting with “winter”.....
This "argument" is surely the haymaker of strawmen. No one, myself included, has claimed that Thukydides (or Diodorus' source for Books 18-20) refer to "campaigning years/seasons" as their dating method. This is, and always has been, a modern descriptor of the method used. Just as no ancient Greek ever referred to Philip's arrangements post Chaironeia as the "Corinthian League" or "League of Corinth" nor an ancient source ever refer to a unit of the phalanx as a "brigade" for those, too, are modern descriptors. The point is that both Thukydides and Diodorus' source for Books 18-20 utilise a reckoning which equates to the campaigning year. Thus Diodorus' source is at pains to locate the combatants in their winter quarters and their actions commencing the following spring. Constantly claiming that neither of these sources (or any other ancient source) states they are reckoning by campaigning years/seasons is as illogical as asking for them refer to Koinos' "brigade" or the "Corinthian League".

As for Hieronymus using "Macedonian years", whomever was Diodorus' source clearly used the campaigning year as can be (and has been) demonstrated. The Sicilian struggled with this and eventually reconciled matters by commencing his narrative of events in the spring prior to the summer in which his archon year began. Tracking matters across two and then three theatres confused the issue on occasion but the method is clear. Documenting the occasional winter campaign (Iran 317/16, Tyre 315/14 and Gaza for example) is irrelevant to the point.
Xenophon wrote:That quote from you comes from your post of Jan 21, back on page 2! We were discussing a rather different aspect of the matter toward the end of February and early March on page 5! There, you did not give an attribution for Photios being the “briefest of epitomes”, nor allude to Bosworth, nor that you were only referring to the Babylon settlement part, not Photios as a whole)
I didn't ever mention Photios being the "briefest of epitomes". Nor did I mention anything being "practically uninformative". Yet you quoted both phrases; phrases which only appear on page two as I pointed out. Why would I need to give an attribution - on page five - for something I did not write or "allude to" in any post on that page? This is somewhat embarrassing.
Xenophon wrote:Also, your entire argument IS largely irrelevant, because despite several reminders, you blithely totally ignore all the evidence against 'Heracles' existence before 310 - and there is a great deal of it.
Since you are "no longer a young man" and fear "shuffling off this mortal coil before this argument is concluded", I shall be brief. Your argument, sorry, Tarn's argument, relies on discrediting Aristobulos who provides Plutarch's information. Tarn rejected Aristobulos as a reliable source though he had to modify that in later years and decide that Plutarch must then have "misunderstood" Aristobulos. Curtius (3.13.14) tells us that Memnon's widow was captured at Damscus and Diodorus (17.23.5) tells us Memnon sent his wife to Darius. Plutarch describes her as the daughter of Artibazos and thus of royal descent. Tarn also has to then dismiss Artibazos' lineage to remove this evidence. Artibazos and his family lived at the court of Philip from c351 to c342 when Mentor, having successfully campaigned on the Great King's behalf, obtains their pardon and they return. It is now, as Carney rightly says, that Barsine marries Mentor ("Alexander and Persian Women", AJP, 117 [4], 1996). Mentor dies some short time later and Barsine passes to his brother as Plutarch has it.

The fact is that in neither Curtius nor Justin / Trogus is Herakles' descent from Alexander ever challenged; only his half Asian status. His filiation is never challenged at any stage in Diodorus either. Tarn makes much of Diodorus claiming Alexander died "childless", etc. This same Tarn has no answer to the fact that Diodorus (Hieronymus) claims Herakles as Alexander's son other than speculating that this is Diodorus inserting own view. That seems particularly lame. One might just as well claim that it is Diodorus' own view that Alexander, dying without any recognised issue, thus died "childless" or without a son.If pretender he was it was certainly in Kassandros' interest to expose him as such. It never happened. As for your (Tarn's) contrary evidence in Curtius, the passages you both cite simply put the view of the infantry that Arrhidaios was the only remaining Argead. They were not privy to the discussions of the principes and were unlikely to know of a child Alexander had expressly not recognised and had been away form court (if born) likely since the marriage to Roxanne. The Athenian inscription you cite far more likely mentions a son of Artibazos. But all this and more could have been found in the forceful rebuttal of Tarn's views in P A Brunt's Alexander, Barsine and Heracles (RFIC 103, 1975). To quote Brunt's conclusion:

To conclude, the difficulties in believing that from 332 to c327 at least Alexander had a mistress Barsine, daughter of Artibazos and widow of perhaps Mentor and certainly of Memnon, and that her child (and as everyone at the time assumed Alexander's), Herakles, was proclaimed king by Polyperchon in 309, are less than those which ensue from Tarn's scepticism. The story comes from good sources, Aristobulous and probably Hieronymus, and is no more discredited than many historical facts, if it appears in a context where errors can be detected. It is doubtful if it would ever have been denied by a scholar who was less bent than Tarn on turning Alexander into a proto-Christian hero.
The same, if not more, could be said of his similar whitewashing of Bagoas from Alexander history.
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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: Alexander the Great...Good or Bad King, or neither? An Essay

Post by Xenophon » Wed Jul 05, 2017 6:21 am

Paralus Fri mar17
This "argument" is surely the haymaker of strawmen. No one, myself included, has claimed that Thukydides (or Diodorus' source for Books 18-20) refer to "campaigning years/seasons" as their dating method. This is, and always has been, a modern descriptor of the method used.
That “campaigning season” is a relatively modern concept ( c.16/17 C) is a point I made – see earlier posts, and I’m glad you now agree. Prior to that you were adamant that Thucydides and Diodorus “reckoned in campaigning seasons”, as here......

Paralus Sat Mar 4
“Xenophon wrote:In addition, many claim that later Diodorus is talking in terms of 'campaigning seasons' i.e. from winter to winter. That is unlikely for there was no such method of reckoning time in that way.
You’d best set about re-writing all the literature on Thuykidides. It is absolutely clear and unarguable that the Athenian reckoned in campaigning seasons (noting winter – summer- winter) using this to number the years of the war. ........It is generally accepted and demonstrable that Diodorus’ source for Books 18-20 utilised a campaigning year method as did Thukydides.
....and here.....
Sun Mar 5
"Diodorus, too,
structures his narrative (Books 18-20) via campaigning seasons
– noting the combatants going into winter quarters and the actions which then began the following spring.”
....which is incorrect, as I said. They reckoned in half-years labelled ‘summer’ and ‘winter’ not “campaigning seasons” of Spring-Summer-Autumn. I am quite certain you can tell the difference, and what I said previously is correct, namely.......

Xen Mar 11
I notice that significantly no ancient authors are in your list. Modern authors ( including you) who equate a “campaigning season” you defined as Spring-Summer-Autumn (equals three quarters of a year) with Thucydides “Summer” and “Winter” ( equals half a year) are obviously WRONG!
Paralus Fri Mar 17
Your argument, sorry, Tarn's argument, relies on discrediting Aristobulos who provides Plutarch's information.
Of course it is Tarn’s argument, as I clearly attributed when I first mentioned it, and even quoted him earlier as you are well aware. Plutarch only mentions Herakles in Eumenes para 1, and his source for that as he clearly tells us is that notoriously unreliable “tragic historian” Duris of Samos, ( not Aristobulos, as Brunt seems to claim) and Plutarch in his works several times remarks on his untrustworthiness. Duris is also criticised by Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Photios, and Cicero.
Nor is the claim that ‘Heracles was a ‘pretender’, which also goes back to Tarn and many scholars take this view, including Pearson, Jacoby, Berve, Beloch, Hamilton and many others. Only Brunt and Errington have argued that ‘Heracles’ really was the son of Alexander.
To which you added Heckel, Bosworth and Meeus as agreeing with Brunt’s view. Frankly, I am not a fan of Brunt, and find his arguments which you paraphrase unconvincing. And it is the respective arguments and evidence of the two we should consider, not their character or moral attitude –and the evidence Tarn presents is clearly correct,whilst Brunt makes slips. Also Brunt's attempts to down-play and explain away the evidence Tarn refers to seem to me somewhat forced. Brunt was scathing of Tarn in dreadful ‘ad hominem’ terms – an illogical type of argument. He was not a nice man. Normally one “does not speak ill of the dead” but even Brunt’s official obituary had this to say :-
As a historian, Brunt was one of the last great English positivists, believing that every question had an answer (and only one), which could be discovered by collecting all the evidence. Like most positivists he was also a revisionist, preferring to work from positions established by others, which he proceeded to demolish with fearsome erudition. Consequently his many articles were fundamental and mainstream, with not a spark of theory: they made up in finality what they might have lacked in originality of thought.
"Brunt by name and Brunt by nature," said Ronald Syme, his predecessor; another colleague urged him to be "more eirenic" with his colleagues. He never learned the importance of diplomacy,......
..............He was often right and even more often wrong, but had the disarming quality of forgetting between meetings what he had said at the last one, and just as dogmatically expounding the opposite view. The truth was that he preferred contradiction to agreement.”


That last paragraph could also have been written of the late lamented Agesilaos, who also often contradicted his own postings, for the sake of argument. Perhaps he took Brunt as a model.

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Re: Alexander the Great...Good or Bad King, or neither? An Essay

Post by Paralus » Thu Jul 06, 2017 10:00 am

Xenophon wrote:....which is incorrect, as I said. They reckoned in half-years labelled ‘summer’ and ‘winter’ not “campaigning seasons” of Spring-Summer-Autumn. I am quite certain you can tell the difference, and what I said previously is correct, namely.......

Xen Mar 11
I notice that significantly no ancient authors are in your list. Modern authors ( including you) who equate a “campaigning season” you defined as Spring-Summer-Autumn (equals three quarters of a year) with Thucydides “Summer” and “Winter” ( equals half a year) are obviously WRONG!
It seems overly important to you that I admit that no ancient source refers to "campaigning years/seasons". I can gratify that by agreeing that such is the case. This, again, is a modern description of the method used just as the "League of Corinth" is a modern description of the symmachia Philip attached to the koine ereine following Chaeroneia that the ancients also never once used.
Xenophon wrote:Plutarch only mentions Herakles in Eumenes par 1, and his source for that as he clearly tells us is that notoriously unreliable “tragic historian” Duris of Samos, ( not Aristobulos, as Brunt seems to claim) and Plutarch in his works several times remarks on his untrustworthiness. Duris is also criticised by Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Photios, and Cicero.
It's intriguing that this thread has reactivated after near on four months. I assume you've read Brunt's paper and, if so, you've misunderstood a few things. The merits of Duris as an historian have no bearing on the subject under discussion. Brunt's comments on Tarn's dismissal of Aristoboulos relates to Plutarch, Alexander, 21.4:
But Alexander, as it would seem, considering the mastery of himself a more kingly thing than the conquest of his enemies, neither laid hands upon these women, nor did he know any other before marriage, except Barsiné. This woman, Memnon's widow, was taken prisoner at Damascus. And since she had received a Greek education, and was of an agreeable disposition, and since her father, Artabazus, was son of a king's daughter, Alexander determined (at Parmenio's instigation, as Aristobulus says) to attach himself to a woman of such high birth and beauty.
Here, as can be seen, Aristoboulos is clearly Plutarch's source not Duris. Tarn initially claimed that Aristoboulos was not a trustworthy source and could be ignored. In later years, having had to rely on Aristoboulos for other notices, Tarn reversed his position and claimed that Plutarch hopelessly misunderstood the now rehabilitated Arisoboulos. One too many back flips with pike...

As far as "Eumenes par 1" is concerned, I really think you need to take another look. For the sake of demonstration the complete paragraph is below.
EUMENES of Cardia, according to Duris, was the son of a man whom poverty drove to be a waggoner, in the Thracian Chersonesus, but received a liberal education in literature and athletics. While he was still a boy, Duris says further, Philip, who was sojourning in the place and had an hour of leisure, came to see the young men and boys of Cardia exercising in the pancratium1 and in wrestling, among whom Eumenes had such success and gave such proofs of intelligence and bravery that he pleased Philip and was taken into his following. [2] But in my opinion those historians tell a more probable story who say that a tie of guest-friendship with his father led Philip to give advancement to Eumenes. After Philip's death Eumenes was thought to be inferior to none of Alexander's followers in sagacity and fidelity, and though he had only the title of chief secretary, he was held in as much honour as the king's principal friends and intimates, so that on the Indian expedition he was actually sent out as general with a force under his own orders, and received the command in the cavalry which Perdiccas had held, when Perdiccas, after Hephaestion's death, was advanced to that officer's position. [3] Therefore when Neoptolemus, the commander of the Shield-bearers, after Alexander's death, said that he had followed the king with shield and spear, but Eumenes with pen and paper, the Macedonians laughed him to scorn; they knew that, besides his other honours, Eumenes had been deemed worthy by the king of relationship in marriage. For Barsiné the daughter of Artabazus, the first woman whom Alexander knew in Asia, and by whom he had a son, Heracles, had two sisters; of these Alexander gave one, Apama, to Ptolemy, and the other, also called Barsiné, to Eumenes. This was at the time when he distributed the other Persian women as consorts among his companions.
Plutarch cites Duris as his authority for several facts. In order these are: he was the son of a waggoner (where's Agesilaos?!); he received a liberal education; Philip, while visiting Kardia, was impressed by Eumenes and took him into his entourage. That's where it ends as Plutarch makes plain by stating that other historians tell a more probable story (that a relationship of proxenia led to this). Thus Plutarch has dealt with Duris' claims and then moves on to events after Alexander's death for which he cites no source (unless we are to suppose it is "those historians tell a more probable story"). We might, with some some degree of confidence, speculate that his source for Eumenes 1.3 was Aristoboulos (for he cites him for the fact that Alexander had a relationship with her at Parmenion's suggestion above), but we are not told. What he clearly does not do is claim Duris as his source for this information.
Xenophon wrote: Frankly, I am not a fan of Brunt, and find his arguments which you paraphrase unconvincing. And it is the respective arguments and evidence of the two we should consider, not their character or moral attitude...
Not a "fan"? Hardly surprising. And I 'Diodorised' rather than paraphrased; there is much more in the paper.

Moral attitude certainly plays its part. As Peter Green observed (including himself) no historian cannot fail to see history through the prism of his times. Thus Bosworth's cannon of work on Alexander paints a far different picture of that conqueror than Tarn. For Tarn, Alexander was the "philosopher in arms" who brought civilisation to the east as well as attempting to establish a "brotherhoood of man" throughout his empire. For Tarn, such an admirable, civilsing conqueror could surely not engage in casual buggery with a eunuch and so Bagoas is expunged from history as just the most obvious example.
Xenophon wrote: –and the evidence Tarn presents is clearly correct,whilst Brunt makes slips. Also Brunt's attempts to down-play and explain away the evidence Tarn refers to seem to me somewhat forced.
Which are these "forced" arguments and what particular "slips" do you see?
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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