ATG Geography: WHERE IS NORA? + FORCED MARCHES

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ATG Geography: WHERE IS NORA? + FORCED MARCHES

Post by amyntoros »

As I'm sure every member realizes, debates on Pothos tend to grow organically, branching out into different areas of interest as various points are discussed. The following is one particular and exceptional example - a detailed and well-researched topographical and geographical discussion in the "Alexander's Remains" thread which brought up the question "Where is Nora?" Responses to this question are interspersed within the original thread so it is not possible (nor desirable, really) to move them to a thread of their own, so I have decided to copy them here so that the parties involved may continue the debate without having to search for previous posts, and any future participant or interested member will be able to find the topic without difficulty.

Please note, I haven't edited any of the following posts but have copied them in their entirety, so there may be parts which don't make sense to a new reader because they refer to other issues in the original thread. If any of the owners of the original posts wish me to make any edits, add an explanation, or if I have missed any relevant posts, please send me a PM and I will make the changes.

XENOPHON WROTE
Xenophon wrote:Agesilaos wrote:
What you are missing, and I must confess to have forgotten too, is that the Royal army contained elephants;they figure prominently in the battle at Camel fort. They mean that the army can only travel at nine miles per day, fortunately I reckoned Perdikkas at moving only ten per day then added the rests so my calculations are not badly effected.
It is always a risky business to base time calculations on "march speeds", because these are based on 'average' speeds that were almost never adhered to in reality. The terrain, how many hours per day were 'marched', movement from one water supply to the next, how many hours per day were needed to feed the animals and men ( less in good forage country, more in bad) were all factors to conspire against an 'average' march speed being consistently maintained, even over the long term. Reality was inevitably faster or slower.

Ancient armies were quite capable of 'sprinting' 40-50 miles/64-80 km per day, for several consecutive days when necessary - even faster if un-encumbered (latin; expeditos, Greek; kouphos), and there are a number of well-attested Roman marches to this effect.

For a Hellenistic example, consider the march prior to the battle of Pisidia 320 BC. Antigonos Monophthalmos marched to this battle against Alketas with an army of about 47,000 for seven consecutive days, at around 40 miles a day.
Diodorus [XVIII.44-46]says ;
"Making a forced march that strained the endurance of his men to the utmost, he traversed 2,500 stades(285 miles, 457 km ) in seven days and the same number of nights, reaching Cretopolis as it is called."
This gives an average of a little over 40 miles, 64 km per day, and was evidently considered sufficiently noteworthy that the distance was recorded.
Bearing in mind that the larger the size of the army, the longer it takes the 'tail' to complete the march, this feat is all the more outstanding ! It consisted of 40,000 infantry, 7,000 cavalry, and up to 70 elephants. ( so much for 9 miles per day !! :wink: )

Of course, marching at this rate can have dire effects, with the number of 'straggler' casualties going up markedly.....

This took place in Lycia, the area of the southern coast of Turkey opposite the Dodecanese islands and Rhodes. The exact location of Cretopolis ( the city of the Cretans) is unknown, but was probably a Neo-Cretan colony on the coast, and the march itself probably took place along the coast (inland are rugged hills up to 3,000 ft,1,000 m high)

Antigonas' army took their foes by surprise,( Duh ! ) and fought and won a battle at the end of their march !!
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Re: ATG Geography: WHERE IS NORA?

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AGESILAOS WROTE
agesilaos wrote:I shall address Xenophon's comments first, though the only real difference i have with Paralus is when Perdikkas moved to Damascus; I also wonder if Polemon was not a local supporter of Perdikkas rather than being sent from the army in Cilicia, but to the matter in hand.

You have to go back to Diodoros XVIII 40, then you will see that Antigonos is moving from Nora to Kretopolis i.e. from the Cappadocian to Pisidia, there is no coastal route and much of the route is mountainous. There is also something suspect about the numbers given for his troops.

Photios preserves the numbers of troops left with Antigonos by Antipatros just prior to this campaign towhit 8,500 macedonians the same number of foreign, probably meaning mercenary, cavalry and 70 elephants (sect 43); now, the cavalry figure does seem suspect but let's leave that for now.

Diodoros XVIII 40 gives the number of troops with Antigonos at Orcyniia (Plut. Eum 9 ii) as 'more than 10,000 infantry of whom half were Macedonians...2,000 cavalry and 30 elephants' so Antigonos is shy 3,500 Macedonians 40 elephants and, potentially 6,500 cavalry, pretty remarkable when he was moving against the 20,000 foot and 5,000 cavalry of Eumenes . His motive for splitting his forces was the need to cover his rear against Alketas and his forces, 16,000 foot (possibly including 3,000 Macedonians) and 900 horse . The 3,500 Macedonians left behind would off-set Alketas’ and would undoubtedly have mercenary support perhaps as many as 10-15,000; the previous season had seen Asandros defeated by Alketas so Antigonos would have wanted to leave rough parity to discourage any attack. But the 6,500 cavalry would have given the subordinate great offensive power, certainly enough to preclude Alketas’ advance from Termessos. It would seem that the 8,500 cavalry is in error. Taking the 2,000 that Antigonos had at Orcyniia and the 5,000 that deserted from Eumenes yields the 7,000 attested at Kretopolis, however allowance must be made for losses in the forced march and cavalry left to besiege Nora (despite Diodoros’ statement that Antigonos left with all his forces). The 1,000 cavalry initially charged by Alketas may be the force Antigonos had left with the corps d’observation.
It is more likely that Antigonos left the elephants with which he had attacked Eumenes to follow him to Pisidia along with his baggage and most of his infantry. The 41 mpd stated for the forced march is attested for such a force under Alexander when in pursuit of Darieos, the whole army never moves faster than 15 miles per day. He will then have led the troops he had left to cover Alketas into action against him including the forty fresh elephants. This makes more sense than an elephant sprint through the mountains of Cappadocia. Diodoros has muddied the waters by citing the total of Antigonas’ forces after the battle as those engaged in it.
Antigonos fights Eumenes with 10,000 inf and 2,000 cav kills 8,000 of Eumenes’ 20,000inf, thus gaining 12,000 more infantry and 5,000 more cavalry which deserted as a body, add 10,000 inf from Alketas and we get 32,000 infantry and the 7,000 cavalry, the force left to watch need only have 8,000 foot to reach the 40,000 stated; I tend to think that the observation force was c. 15,000 and the 12,000 foot from Eumenes’ army are not counted here.
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Re: ATG Geography: WHERE IS NORA?

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XENOPHON WROTE
Xenophon wrote:Paralus wrote:
In that latter example we might add another word to Xenophon's lexicon above (Diod.18.73.1):

For this end he selected from his entire army twenty thousand lightly equipped infantry (εὐζώνους πεζοὺς) and four thousand cavalry and set out for Cilicia...

This is similar to the force (the best from all his army, twenty thousand infantry and three thousand cavalry) which he "flew" to Cyzicus with. I agree with Bosworth that here euzonos means "unencumbered" and equipped for the march.
"Xenophons lexicon" indeed ! LOL! I too agree that 'euzonous' here is an adjective describing the foot/infantry ( as opposed to ‘euzanoi/psilo’/gymnetes ‘etc – noun forms meaning ‘ the light armed/light troops.’

Agesilaus has referred to a 'normal' march of 15 miles per day, which is rather slow. Roman armies expected to cover closer to 20 miles, but were less of a caravanserai than Alexander's army. Ancient armies typically arose at first light, quickly breakfasted, and marched for 5 or 6 hours only ( depending on how far a day's 'stage' was) then set up camp, and usually spent the afternoon foraging - for water, fodder, food and firewood. A large army on the march should be thought of more as a 'mobile city' especially when it was 'encumbered' with a 'tail' of sutlers and merchants and carts and wagons, and prostitutes and washerwomen and servants and slaves and baggage animals, and 'booty' both human and animal etc. The rearguard would usually arrive at the destination many hours after the vanguard.

Naturally, when just fit soldiers encumbered with only arms and a couple or three days hard tack rations, marched 12 hours a day and did not set up a formal camp, the distance could be readily tripled.

Also, I'm not sure whence came the idea that elephants can only cover 9 miles per day. Savannah elephants in the wild typically cover a lazy 20-40 miles per day, stopping to graze and drink en route ( the lower figure with calves in tow) and can cover over 50 when waterholes are a long way apart.

....Nor the idea that mules and horses necessarily need 'rest days' - they do not, any more than men do. In fact, under 'forced march' conditions, they too can be 'force marched' 12 hours per day for a week or so, and they will then graze at night, and since cavalry walk at a faster rate than infantry ( when mounted - again contrary to popular belief, cavalry often dismount on the march), there is ample opportunity for them to stop and graze from time to time, while the infantry catch up.

Which adds to my original point, namely that trying to calculate when an army was in a particular place by using 'average march rates' is fairly futile, because there are just too many variables ( and I haven't even mentioned weather! ). Any such calculation can be weeks, even months, out.

Agesilaos wrote:
You have to go back to Diodoros XVIII 40, then you will see that Antigonos is moving from Nora to Kretopolis i.e. from the Cappadocian to Pisidia, there is no coastal route and much of the route is mountainous. There is also something suspect about the numbers given for his troops.
A most interesting post and analysis regarding the troop numbers. Lots of food for thought there.

However, I disagree about the route taken. The problem is that for a long time the site of Cretopolis was unknown. A number of sites have been proposed as Cretopolis, all subsequently being discredited. Nor is the site of Nora known, other than in the vicinity of the Taurus mountains. Fairly recently, the archaeologist Stephen Mitchell has plausibly identified Cretopolis as modern Yuregil Turkey ( Stephen Mitchell: Three Cities in Pisidia. In: Anatolian Studies Vol 44 (1994), pp. 129-148 ).

Now bear with me a little. Go to Google Earth, and locate Yuregil, Turkey. You will find it located beside a lake, with the requisite plain referred to by Diodorus beside it, in Turkey's "Lake District". Now go to the vicinity of the Taurus mountains a little above the word 'Mersin', where you can have a little fun, without waiting for your 'opisomiter' to arrive ! :)

Google Earth has a built in 'electronic' opisomiter. Better yet, it flows over the ground in '3D', unlike a 2D map and opisomiter ( though whether this is taken into account in calculating distances, or just a visual display, only the programmers know !! ). You can also 'zoom in' and out, check out heights, 'fly' over the terrain etc.

If you use the opisomiter/path tool, and go 'as the crow flies' straight across country, the distance is only circa 200-220 miles ( depending on how far east you start from). Worse still, it is 'cross-grain' over the mountains - a nightmarish route that no sane military commander would even contemplate. Nor a 'backpacker' on a hiking trip - each mountain range you cross is aprox 3,000 ft high ! Logistics would be impossible for a large army on such a route. 'Fly' over the terrain yourself and see. Zoom in and fly down the valleys, and up over the ridges.

Now instead, head south or south-west down any of the watershed river valleys to the coast - 40 to 50 miles. Follow the fertile coastline , filled with villages and crops, and conveniently adjacent to a coastal seaborne supply route, to the coastal plain to the east of modern Antalya, and continue on N-W in pretty much a straight line to Yuregil/Cretopolis, crossing but one 3,000 ft mountain range. Check out some of the photos too - there is a very nice reasonably intact theatre at the east end of the Antalya plain, at Aspendos....

The distance, surprise, surprise, is 285 miles aprox as per Diodorus. ( and depending on where the unknown Nora is exactly, and where you come down onto the coast ).

I submit that this exercise will demonstrate that the likely probability is that the march took place along the coast because:-
1. The distance involved fits a coastal route better. ( an inland route would have to be a very meandering one to get to the right order of distance)
2. The terrain is extremely difficult - especially for a rapid forced march - on any feasible overland route.
3. A coastal route solves all logistic problems - otherwise all but impossible for a large army overland.
4. Apart from one 3,000 foot ridgeline to cross, the coastal route is flat - the best 'going' for a rapid march.
5. Any inland route is subject to getting lost, every time you take the wrong route out of a valley - ask Hannibal !

This is a game that all Pothosians are welcome to play - hours of fun! :lol:

Once you know the location of any ancient battlefield, or march route, Google Earth can answer many questions.....and you don't need vast numbers of clumsy sheet maps and an opisomiter either :wink:

compliments of the season to all !!

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Re: ATG Geography: WHERE IS NORA?

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AGESILAOS WROTE
agesilaos wrote:As you might suppose I have been messing around with Google Earth; I am still looking forward to my stone-age opisometer, though :D

I have considered your suggestion of starting near Mersin but that is too far south and west. But the location of Nora is unknown you cry! Well, spurred by your post I went to the sources and Strabo has this interesting tidbit XII ii
Neither do the other prefectures, except two, contain cities; and of the remaining prefectures, Sargarausenê contains a small town Herpa, and also the Carmalas River, this too emptying into the Cilician Sea. In the other prefectures are Argos, a lofty stronghold near the Taurus, and Nora, now called Neroassus, in which Eumenes held out against a siege for a long time. In my time it served as the treasury of Sisines, who made an attack upon the empire of the Cappadocians. To him also belonged Cadena, which had the royal palace and had the aspect of a city. Situated on the borders of Lycaonia is also a town called Garsauira.
Now Sisines rang bells, he was the Persian stitched up in the Alexander Lynkestes affair, but it is also the sobriquet or sibling of Archelaos whom Marcus Antonius made King of Cappadocia in 34 BC This seems confusing as a King of Cappadocia ought not to want to attack his own kingdom! And despite being Anthony's appointment Archelaos did not just keep his kingdom on Octavian's victory he saw it dramatically expanded and was never ousted.

The key to the conundrum is supplied by Cicero Letters to his Friends XV 4, where we find Archelaos' father another Archelaos supporting rebels in Cappadocia with troops and money; interestingly he was not the king of an extensive realm but the priest of Bellona at Comana which is the modern Turkish village of Şar, Tufanbeyli district, Adana Province. And later in XVII Strabo tells us that Pompey had added to the temple's territory
34 Now in the times of the kings the affairs of Comana were administered in the manner already described, but when Pompey took over the authority, he appointed Archelaüs priest and included within his boundaries, in addition to the sacred land, a territory of two schoeni (that is, sixty stadia) in circuit and ordered the inhabitants to obey his rule. Now he was governor of these, and also master of the temple-servants who lived in the city, except that he was not empowered to sell them. And even here the temple servants were no fewer in number than six thousand.


So Nora should be within 1.5 miles of Sar.
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Re: ATG Geography: WHERE IS NORA?

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XENOPHON WROTE
Xenophon wrote:Agesilaos wrote:
So Nora should be within 1.5 miles of Sar.
Nice reasoning, but it seems to me that there are a couple of missing links in your deductive logic chain.
1. Sisines ( sobriquet or sibling of King Archelaos) used Nora as a treasury.
2. Their/his father, also Archelaos began as a priest of Bellona, and ruled an area only afew miles in diameter, based at Sar.
3. Therefore Nora must be within 1.5 miles of Sar
(??)

We are not told when Sisines used Nora as a treasury, nor is there any reason to suppose it was in the ancestral territory. So the links are far from complete.

More importantly, that area lies in a river valley, and there are no mountains within 1.5 miles of Sar. Furthermore, the distance from Cretopolis - as the crow flies - is 350 miles/565 km, and any route must be much longer, so that Sar and its vicinity is way too far East to plausibly be Nora. Incidently, Mitchell suggests a 'plausible' location for Nora of Gelin Tepe, Sivrihisar, on the northern slopes of Melendiz Dag, some 34 km ESE of modern Aksaray. ( following earlier suggestions- see his paper)
This is more or less 100 miles due west of Sar, and it is presumably 'plausible' because there are some ruins of hellenistic fortifications there, and it is about the right distance. I would reject this site, on the grounds that Anatolia is dotted with 'castles' from all sorts of eras, plenty of them originating in Hellenistic times, and because any route for the march from such a location does not overcome the 'cross graining' and logistic problems. Indeed when one looks at Mitchell's sketch map, Antigonus follows no known route to get to Cretopolis, which is firmly identified by surviving inscriptions.
As well, neither location is anywhere near the Taurus mountains.

Still, the 'interesting tidbit' is indeed interesting for it provides, I think, some valuable clues. We are in the Taurus mountain region apparently, and south of the Taurus watershed, for the Carmalas ( a.k.a Melas) river empties into the Mediterranean. He also mentions 'the borders of Lycaonia'. Plutarch too places Nora in that area:
"Taking refuge at Nora, a place on the confines of Lycaonia and Cappadocia, with five hundred horse and two hundred heavy-armed foot, he again dismissed as many of his friends as desired it, through fear of the probable hardships to be encountered there...." (Life of Eumenes) The implication too, of Archelaos senior supplying Cappadocian rebels with troops and money is that it is being done from outside Cappadocia, and similarly with 'Sisines'. All this points to a location in the Taurus mountains somewhere west of Cappadocia, probably along the rugged border country between the two. [BTW: the 'Mersin' I was referring to is the area to the SE of the words 'Taurus Mountains', not the coastal town of Mersin]

That is the area I used as a starting point.....
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Re: ATG Geography: WHERE IS NORA?

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PARALUS WROTE
Paralus wrote:
Xenophon wrote:Incidently, Mitchell suggests a 'plausible' location for Nora of Gelin Tepe, Sivrihisar, on the northern slopes of Melendiz Dag, some 34 km ESE of modern Aksaray. ( following earlier suggestions- see his paper)
This is more or less 100 miles due west of Sar, and it is presumably 'plausible' because there are some ruins of hellenistic fortifications there, and it is about the right distance. I would reject this site, on the grounds that Anatolia is dotted with 'castles' from all sorts of eras, plenty of them originating in Hellenistic times...

Still, the 'interesting tidbit' is indeed interesting for it provides, I think, some valuable clues. We are in the Taurus mountain region apparently, and south of the Taurus watershed, for the Carmalas ( a.k.a Melas) river empties into the Mediterranean. He also mentions 'the borders of Lycaonia'. Plutarch too places Nora in that area
The location is likely never to be settled. It has to be north of the Taurus range for if it were the Mediterranean side it will have been identified as being in Cilicia. Eumenes can hardly be said to have departed Nora for Cilicia if it were the seaward side of the range.

The most likely location for mine has always been that of Ramsay (Military Operations on the North Front of Mount Taurus Continued; The Journal of Hellenic Studies, Vol. 43, Part 1 [1923], pp. 1-10) who places it some 10 kilometres east of Eregli (Konya, Turkey). Here there are ridges of the Taurus and several 1200-1400 metre high "rocks" on the road to Ulukisla (which leads on, eventually, to the Cilician Gates).

Now onto geographical matters pertaining to Thapsacus and Damascus relevant corteges, corpses, hijackings and "loving half brothers" of negligible territorial ambition interested only in the wishes of a dead king. Also a road to Damascus moment...
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Re: ATG Geography: WHERE IS NORA?

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XENOPHON WROTE
Xenophon wrote:Paralus wrote:
The location is likely never to be settled. It has to be north of the Taurus range for if it were the Mediterranean side it will have been identified as being in Cilicia. Eumenes can hardly be said to have departed Nora for Cilicia if it were the seaward side of the range.

The most likely location for mine has always been that of Ramsay (Military Operations on the North Front of Mount Taurus Continued; The Journal of Hellenic Studies, Vol. 43, Part 1 [1923], pp. 1-10) who places it some 10 kilometres east of Eregli (Konya, Turkey). Here there are ridges of the Taurus and several 1200-1400 metre high "rocks" on the road to Ulukisla (which leads on, eventually, to the Cilician Gates).

Can't agree that Cilicia extended as far as the watershed of the Taurus mountains. In ancient times it consisted of Cilicia Trachea ("rugged Cilicia"— Greek: Κιλικία Τραχεία) - the western part, formed by the spurs of Taurus coming down to the sea, often terminating in rocky headlands with small sheltered harbors, a feature which made the coast a string of havens for the infamous Cilician pirates. The Eastern plain formed Cilicia Pedias ("flat Cilicia"— Greek: Κιλικία Πεδιάς) and included the rugged spurs and foothills of Taurus and a large coastal plain, known to the Greeks for its abundance. Many of the spurs running into the plain were fortified. Through the rich plain of Issus ran the great highway that linked east and west, on which stood the cities of Tarsus on the Cydnus river, Adana on the Sarus river, and Mopsuestia on the Pyramus river.
Thus neither Cilicia extended into the mountains, only the spurs and foothills. From pretty much anywhere in the actual mountains, Eumenes could be said to 'come down into Cilicia'.
Do you perchance have a latitude and longitude forRamsay's location ? I visited the only Konya in Turkey, and went 10 km east. The whole area, to the horizon and beyond is as flat as a pancake !! A vast plain with only the occasional low hillock...

Agesilaos wrote:
It is clear, to me at any rate that an army of the numbers claimed cannot move as quickly as is claimed; Mitchell (Three Cities) agrees and posits propagandist exaggeration but the point seems obscure, the forced march was successful why exaggerate its speed? And then there is that statement that Antigonos took 'all his troops' when we know he left a garrison to besiege Nora.
I don't know why you think armies cannot move at these speeds, other than reading armchair pundits who claim it "impossible". However, I could give you half-a-dozen examples of similar forced marches of up to 40-50 miles a day by Greek and Roman armies and dozens if we extend military history down to the steam age. Even thereafter, smaller brigades and divisions regularly carried out marches like these down to the Korean War. For that matter, in my younger service days I have done it myself on a number of occasions, leading a company of infantry in a Dutch-style 'marching' event annually. The company completed 3 consecutive days of 50 miles per day, with no man falling out, each time - the biggest problem being blisters.....

If you want proof with your own eyes, travel to Holland one July where you can see the annual Nijmegen or Apeldoorn marches.Participation at Nijmegen is limited to 47,000 marchers, most of whom are untrained civilians. Nowadays there are a number of distance categories, the most popular, especially for the 5,000 or so soldiers from many countries taking part, is the 50 km/31 miles per day for 4 consecutive days category - and this is often done by the soldiers with marching packs, rather than 'unencumbered' !!

If completely untrained modern people can do this in similar numbers to Antigonus' army, then I trust you will agree that tough peasant soldiers, inured to walking long distances, could readily do so......provided they didn't have a train of 'impedimenta', which is the real cause of 15 mile per day marches.

I think that postulating a preceding 'ordinary' march when there is not so much as a whiff of evidence in our sources is 'drawing a long bowshot' to say the least ! There is no need to make such a supposition, and I am of the school that thinks we should generally take our sources at face value, unless there is a good reason not to, which doesn't seem to be the case here. I believe we can exclude any preceding 'approach march', which you only postulate in order make your preferred location of Nora feasible, it would appear. Rather than that approach, is it not more logical to conclude that Nora must be within a radius of 2,500 stadia or less from the known location of Cretopolis ?

I also agree with Paralus that we cannot make too much of Diodorus' "all his forces". It would be a pedantic Diodorus were he to have added "save for a couple of thousand left to watch Nora". ( it wouldn't take many, Nora was walled in by the besiegers.) The context makes it clear the siege continued, and any reader, ancient or modern, would readily appreciate this. Diodorus is making the point that Antigonus took a large hammer to crack the nut of Alketas. He might equally have said "in full strength" or similar.

Now then, Paralus, I believe you were about to tell us something about a coffin cavalcade and chronology, not I trust based on theoretical ( and highly variable) march distances ??
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Re: ATG Geography: WHERE IS NORA?

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PARALUS WROTE
Paralus wrote:
Xenophon wrote:Can't agree that Cilicia extended as far as the watershed of the Taurus mountains.
Your description of "Rough Cilicia" and Cilicia" I do not disagree with: the Greeks clearly made these distinctions. That Cilicia did not extend into the Taurus Range I cannot see. We really do not have any clear idea of what "boundaries" marked ancient "provinces" and modern maps of these satrapies are best ever guesses. The source that Diodorus relied upon had a very good idea though:
Diod. 18.5.2-4
Now from the Cilician Taurus a continuous range of mountains extends through the whole of Asia as far as the Caucasus and the Eastern Ocean. This range is divided by crests of varying heights, and each part has its proper name. Asia is thus separated into two parts, one sloping to the north, the other to the south. Corresponding to these slopes, the rivers flow in opposite directions [...] The satrapies likewise are divided, some sloping toward the north, the others toward the south.
This source clearly places Cilcia to the south of the "Cilician Taurus". The boundary is, if we take Diodorus literally, the watershed where rivers flow north or to the south (the Med.). Thus Diodorus can describe Eumenes, still in Cappadocia, to have crossed the Taurus into Cilcicia
Immediately, therefore, Eumenes bade his men break camp and departed from Cappadocia with about five hundred horsemen and more than two thousand foot soldiers. Indeed, he did not have time to wait for the laggards among those who had promised to join him, for a considerable army was drawing near, sent from Antigonus under the general Menander to prevent Eumenes from staying in Cappadocia now that he had become an enemy of Antigonus. In fact, when this army arrived three days later, although it had missed its opportunity, it undertook to follow those who had gone with Eumenes; but since it was not able to come up with them, it returned to Cappadocia. Eumenes himself quickly passed over the Taurus by forced marches and entered Cilicia.
Now, Eumenes "retreated" from Nora - to where we are not told. This, though, is irrelevant as Eumenes had to "pass over" the Taurus to enter Cilicia. The natural interpretation here is that the passing of the "Cilician Gates" sees one entering Cilicia. Thus, as Diodorus' source states, the demarcation is the watershed that divides north flowing from south.
Xenophon wrote:Do you perchance have a latitude and longitude forRamsay's location ? I visited the only Konya in Turkey, and went 10 km east. The whole area, to the horizon and beyond is as flat as a pancake !! A vast plain with only the occasional low hillock...
No. Quickest way to find it is to go to Google Maps, key in "Eregli, Konya" and the town will come up. Select "terrain" and the "rocks" of some 1,400m will appear to the east and a little south. You can then use the locale for Google Earth.
Xenophon wrote:Now then, Paralus, I believe you were about to tell us something about a coffin cavalcade and chronology, not I trust based on theoretical ( and highly variable) march distances ??
It is a work in progress - interrupted by "these here" postings. Rest assured it is on the way and halfway written. Halfway due to the constant re-writing and the need to refute pervasive modern views...
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Re: ATG Geography: WHERE IS NORA?

Post by amyntoros »

AGESILAOS WROTE
agesilaos wrote:Well, the reason I think that 14 mpd is a good rate of march is the fact that when you analyse Alexander's marches and Xenophon's and even Dareios' approach to Thapsakos that is the top figure you get. But please give your half dozen only would you mind starting it on another thread? It is certainly germane to our discussions but may get missed by others who would normally be interested... might stop Para getting distracted too :D

I don't think I said Nora is definitely near Comana, only that it may be; if I am amplifying the evidence (which I readily confess) you still have to explain how Sisines could use Nora as treasury to fund actions against the realm of the Cappadocians during Strabo's lifetime, or stand accused of ignoring his testimony to suit your position for Nora; these things always cut both ways :twisted: I would have expected the site to be identifiable through archaeology, there should be remains/signs of Antigonos' double wall for instance and the site described seems unlikely to have provided prime building land. A major reason for not finding a thing is not looking in the right place!

Para's site is about 50m south of Gelin Tepe, if I understand him right.
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Re: ATG Geography: WHERE IS NORA?

Post by amyntoros »

PARALUS WROTE
Paralus wrote:
agesilaos wrote:Para's site is about 50m south of Gelin Tepe, if I understand him right.
Actually, Ramsay puts it "about" six miles east of Eregli and four north of Ibriz. This latter village no longer exists or has changed name. Ramsay describes it (prior to his identification) in "Luke the physician and other studies in the history of religion":
WHERE the mountains of Taurus rise sharp and high from the southern edge of the level plains of the great central plateau of Asia Minor, and near the point vague and never strictly defined on that flat, featureless land where Lycaonia and Cappadocia meet, there is a narrow well-wooded glen which runs up two or three miles southwards into the mountains. It ends in a theatre-shaped hollow, at the back of which the rocky sides of Taurus tower almost perpendicularly for some thousands of feet. At the foot of the cliffs is the source of a stream which gushes forth in many springs from the rock with a loud noise that almost drowns the human voice. Strangers find it difficult there to converse with one another, and the speaker has to put his mouth near the ear of his auditor. The people of the tiny village of Ibriz, near the head of the glen, when they come to the springs, talk in a high-pitched voice, which is heard across the continuous, monotonous roar of the tumbling water. A river flows rapidly down the steep glen from the source, and out into the plain, where it transforms this tract of the arid, bare, burnt-up plateau into a garden, as rills of its water are diverted into hundreds of little irrigation channels. It turns north-west and west, watched over by a great ruined castle perched high on a hill two miles north of the mouth of the glen, a hill at the western end of a long spur of Taurus. This is the "strong Castle of Hirakla," as the Arabs called it, Herakleia of the Greeks...
This in 1890s and, so, much seemingly has altered since. On Google Maps there is a resevoir which might likely be this stream impounded. I rather suspect one would have to travel there as I can get little from Google Earth.
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Re: ATG Geography: WHERE IS NORA?

Post by amyntoros »

CHRIS_TAYLOR WROTE
chris_taylor wrote:
Xenophon wrote: Your description of "Rough Cilicia" and Cilicia" I do not disagree with: the Greeks clearly made these distinctions. That Cilicia did not extend into the Taurus Range I cannot see. We really do not have any clear idea of what "boundaries" marked ancient "provinces" and modern maps of these satrapies are best ever guesses."
They are more than best guesses. Watersheds (= mountains & rivers) are natural borders: for peaceful / administrative purposes, they are practical because they facilitate communication and travel within a region. Basically, officials don't need to cross mountain passes and rivers to collect tax - that's the duty of the satrap on the other side of the mountain / river.

For warring parties, watersheds are easy to defend. If one or the other side chooses to invade across a natural border, they have to find a new frontier line that it defensible.

So unless there's evidence to the contrary, it is safe to assume that, in the eyes of the ancients, the border to the next province was the river and mountain ridge that separated them.

Chris.
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Re: ATG Geography: WHERE IS NORA?

Post by amyntoros »

PARALUS WROTE
Paralus wrote:It's actually me that you're quoting there Chris rather than Xenophon.

I agree: the watershed - that division between north and south flowing rivers - is the demarcation. I think that Diodorus (I haven't bothered checking others) is indicating that clearly in describing Eumenes "passing over" the Taurus. That can only mean passing the "Cilician Gates" and thus entering Cilicia.

My observation regarding "best guesses" relates more to boundaries guessed at where no such striking and defining natural feature exists. For example, the boundary of Coele-Syria and Cilicia is a guess. One logical argument is that the mouth of the Orontes marked this as well as the road through to Thapsacus.

Now you only need to securely locate the (in)famous Thapsacus. Seleucia-Zeugma anyone? Suits me...
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Re: ATG Geography: WHERE IS NORA?

Post by amyntoros »

AGESILAOS WROTE
agesilaos wrote:Strabo XII 6 i
The boundary between the Lycaonians and the Cappadocians lies between Coropassus, a village of the Lycaonians, and Garsaüra, a town of the Cappadocians. The distance between these strongholds is about one hundred and twenty stadia.
That's a three mile wide border, probably drew their maps with marker pens. It also has to be said that the boundaries were not immutable,Cappadocia encompassed Cicilia Tracheia under the Romans and what Strabo would call Pontus under Ariarethres I.

I wonder if Plutarch or his source has misread Strabo or his source when he says Eumenes 6 i
Moreover, after he had taken refuge in Nora, a stronghold on the confines of Lycaonia and Cappadocia
Compare Strabo XII 2 vi
In the other prefectures are Argos, a lofty stronghold near the Taurus, and Nora, now called Neroassus, in which Eumenes held out against a siege for a long time. In my time it served as the treasury of Sisines, who made an attack upon the empire of the Cappadocians. To him also belonged Cadena, which had the royal palace and had the aspect of a city. Situated on the borders of Lycaonia is also a town called Garsauira.
In this reading Nora is neither 'near the Taurus', that applies to Argos, nor 'Situated on the borders of Lycaonia' that applies only to Garsauira, which is confirmed at XII 6 i above.
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Re: ATG Geography: WHERE IS NORA?

Post by amyntoros »

XENOPHON WROTE
Xenophon wrote:Phew!! .....you go away, play with electronic Opsimeter armed with new clues regarding Antigonus march, and the thread moves on at lightning speed !!

Since I've done the research, I'll post my findings anyway.........
Paralus wrote:
(Ramsay) “This is the "strong Castle of Hirakla," as the Arabs called it, Herakleia of the Greeks...”
I've now located this place, but it is too far east distance wise ( see post) and has the wrong name in any event ! (Nora's name did change, but not, apparently, to Herakleia)
Chris Taylor wrote:
They are more than best guesses. Watersheds (= mountains & rivers) are natural borders: for peaceful / administrative purposes, they are practical because they facilitate communication and travel within a region. Basically, officials don't need to cross mountain passes and rivers to collect tax - that's the duty of the satrap on the other side of the mountain / river.

For warring parties, watersheds are easy to defend. If one or the other side chooses to invade across a natural border, they have to find a new frontier line that it defensible.

So unless there's evidence to the contrary, it is safe to assume that, in the eyes of the ancients, the border to the next province was the river and mountain
Paralus wrote:
I agree: the watershed - that division between north and south flowing rivers - is the demarcation. I think that Diodorus (I haven't bothered checking others) is indicating that clearly in describing Eumenes "passing over" the Taurus. That can only mean passing the "Cilician Gates" and thus entering Cilicia.
My observation regarding "best guesses" relates more to boundaries guessed at where no such striking and defining natural feature exists. For example, the boundary of Coele-Syria and Cilicia is a guess. One logical argument is that the mouth of the Orontes marked this as well as the road through to Thapsacus.
Theoretically, I have no doubt that what has been said is correct. The ‘official’ border may be the river or watershed, but in the latter case the reality is that in practical terms, the ruler’s sway usually extends no further than the foothills, because population/villages to tax peter out, and the highlands are invariably the home of wildly independent pastoralists. In our case, the Isaurians for example, who maintained their independence from all comers.

Agesilaos makes some interesting points:-
Strabo XII 6 i
The boundary between the Lycaonians and the Cappadocians lies between Coropassus, a village of the Lycaonians, and Garsaüra, a town of the Cappadocians. The distance between these strongholds is about one hundred and twenty stadia.

That's a three mile wide border, probably drew their maps with marker pens. It also has to be said that the boundaries were not immutable ,Cappadocia encompassed Cicilia Tracheia under the Romans and what Strabo would call Pontus under Ariarethres I.
Boundaries do indeed change over time, and the marker pen is even thicker than Agesilaos says, for I make 120 stadia =120 x 200 yds =24,000 yds = 13.63 miles !! ( A 1903 map I’ve seen places these two towns, just south of the white salt lake Tatta /Tuz Golu on Google Earth even further apart – 25 miles! ) With such uncertainties, one simply cannot declare a watershed a ‘real’ boundary, more a nominal one.
Paralus wrote:

Diod. 18.5.2-4
Now from the Cilician Taurus a continuous range of mountains extends through the whole of Asia as far as the Caucasus and the Eastern Ocean. This range is divided by crests of varying heights, and each part has its proper name. Asia is thus separated into two parts, one sloping to the north, the other to the south. Corresponding to these slopes, the rivers flow in opposite directions [...] The satrapies likewise are divided, some sloping toward the north, the others toward the south.


This source clearly places Ciilcia to the south of the "Cilician Taurus". The boundary is, if we take Diodorus literally, the watershed where rivers flow north or to the south (the Med.). Thus Diodorus can describe Eumenes, still in Cappadocia, to have crossed the Taurus into Cilicia
“...(Antigonus’ army) undertook to follow those who had gone with Eumenes; but since it was not able to come up with them, it returned to Cappadocia. Eumenes himself quickly passed over the Taurus by forced marches and entered Cilicia. “
Now, Eumenes "retreated" from Nora - to where we are not told. This, though, is irrelevant as Eumenes had to "pass over" the Taurus to enter Cilicia. The natural interpretation here is that the passing of the "Cilician Gates" sees one entering Cilicia. Thus, as Diodorus' source states, the demarcation is the watershed that divides north flowing from south.
See above regarding boundaries and watersheds and uncertainties.
That said, I would not disagree with the above. Where Eumenes retreated to is plain enough. Antigonus lay to the west, so he “retreated” east, into Cappadocia, which is where we find him next, and from there he indeed ‘passed over’ the Taurus range from Cappadocia to Cilicia via the Cilician gates, to enter Cilicia. But the pass is over 70 miles/115 km long, and takes several days to cross. One naturally would ‘enter Cilicia’ on emerging from the southern end of the pass (and I doubt anyone, then or now, would describe themselves as ‘in Cilicia’ whilst at the mid-point of the pass). The boundary here between Cappadocia and Cilicia seems to have been drawn with a particularly thick marker pen, creating a ‘no-man’s land’ of the mountain range itself, inhabited by fiercely independent peoples such as the Isaurians and the Lycaonians. These ‘marker pen boundaries’, often many miles wide as we have seen, just make locating the real Nora all the more difficult. I have located Ramsay’s candidate for Nora, which I find unconvincing also – it is too far east, and is only 20 miles or so west of the Cilician gates.
Equally, after looking into the matter further, I now agree with Agesilaos that my initial approximate location is mistaken and likely too far west. However, I do believe that Nora is somewhere between that location and Ramsay’s location some 50 miles to the Northwest. More on that anon.
Agesilaos wrote:
I don't think I said Nora is definitely near Comana, only that it may be; if I am amplifying the evidence (which I readily confess) you still have to explain how Sisines could use Nora as treasury to fund actions against the realm of the Cappadocians during Strabo's lifetime, or stand accused of ignoring his testimony to suit your position for Nora; these things always cut both ways I would have expected the site to be identifiable through archaeology, there should be remains/signs of Antigonos' double wall for instance and the site described seems unlikely to have provided prime building land. A major reason for not finding a thing is not looking in the right place!
To take up your first point, it is a fact that throughout history, down to the present day, that if a revolt or rebellion is to succeed, it must have external help – a well-known military axiom - for otherwise the powers that be hold all the cards and invariably win. ( c.f. North Vietnam’s support for Vietcong down Ho Chi Minh trail; Nato support of Libyan rebels; various outside support for Syrian rebels; Allies support of French resistance; Ptolemaic support of Pyrrhus coup in Epirus; German support of Russian revolutionaries and many more, ad nauseum )
The high probability is that Sisines was supporting the Cappadocian rebels from ‘across the border’ with supplies and treasure, for anywhere within Cappadocia his base would have come under immediate attack by the government forces.

As to finding traces of archaeology, it is a fact that far more remains in every country are unexplored than gets funding for exploration. In Egypt alone, for example, there are over 1200 identified sites of towns, villages, temples and even pyramids that haven’t even been looked at yet. Then there’s the thousands of mound tombs/tumuli in plain sight in Bulgaria/Thrace that are similarly unexplored. The same applies to sites in Turkey. Antigonus’ works weren’t that permanent; “double walls, ditches and amazing palisades.” ( DIOD. XVIII41.6 ). Today the timber palisades have long since rotted, the ditches fallen in, and the (probably) dry stone walls collapsed to mere piles of loose stones, if not robbed to form pastoralists enclosures – c.f. siege of Numantia’s walls and towers for example, unrecognised until Schulten in 1912 or so, and that in populous Spain, not some Turkish mountain wilderness.....

[digression: Diodorus does in fact refer to Antigonus leaving a guard on Nora [XVIII. 41.7] before setting out on his march [XVIII.44.1-2]

And I think Agesilaos is right about not looking in the right place !! Nora, I believe, remains yet to be found....
Agesilaos wrote:
I wonder if Plutarch or his source has misread Strabo or his source when he says Eumenes 6 i
"Moreover, after he had taken refuge in Nora, a stronghold on the confines of Lycaonia and Cappadocia..."

Compare Strabo XII 2 vi
In the other prefectures are Argos, a lofty stronghold near the Taurus, and Nora, now called Neroassus, in which Eumenes held out against a siege for a long time. In my time it served as the treasury of Sisines, who made an attack upon the empire of the Cappadocians. To him also belonged Cadena, which had the royal palace and had the aspect of a city. Situated on the borders of Lycaonia is also a town called Garsauira.

In this reading Nora is neither 'near the Taurus', that applies to Argos, nor 'Situated on the borders of Lycaonia' that applies only to Garsauira, which is confirmed at XII 6 i above.
“The Taurus” here will be specifically Mt Taurus itself, rather than the range, and it sounds to me that all these places were broadly along the Lycaonian border. ( having referred to the other places, Strabo says “Situated on the borders of Lycaonia is ALSO....” so I don't think 'borders' applies only to Garsaura - subject to further analysis of the Greek LOL! ). The Hellenistic border between Lycaonia and Cappadocia, to be drawn with a thick marker pen 13 miles wide, ran more or less due south from the white salt lake on the Google map ( Tuz Golu/L. Tatta). In which event Plutarch and Strabo are consistent with one another. Nora does appear to lie between Ramsay’s placement and mine, along the border between Lycaonia and Cappadocia, somewhere in the Taurus mountains. Unfortunately for my postulated coastal route though, it turns out that there is a viable inland route other than ‘cross graining’ the Taurus mountains, that can be taken by armies, namely the one Cyrus and Xenophon took going the opposite direction.

Starting from due south of Tuz Golu, where it intersects the Taurus range, ( a postulated Nora) the route runs more or less due west for 75 miles give or take, avoiding the barren, salty Anatolian plateau and its desert-like conditions, then the route turns north to Konya ( ancient Iconium), which is in the middle of a fertile area ( 130 miles or so), then south-west for 60 or so miles, to south of the large blue lake, then another 94 miles, via Isparta, to Cretopolis. Total distance, the necessary 285 miles aprox !!

Conclusion : Nora would seem on the face of all the gathered evidence – thanks to Agesilaos and Paralus - to be close to the Lycaonian/Cappadocian border, somewhere in the Taurus range yet unidentified, and there is a viable known route which necessarily doglegs north to Iconium, and is the correct distance, and so I now think that 'northern detour' inland route more likely ( a coastal route from the vicinity of a border location for Nora in the Taurus range is 20 - 25 miles or so too long – not impossible, but doesn’t fit as well as the inland route)
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Re: ATG Geography: WHERE IS NORA?

Post by agesilaos »

I would only say that it is the starting place of the forced march that was situated on the border of Lycaonia and Cappadocia; that may or may not be Nora. I think we have to accept that the forced march occurred over the stated distance but must doubt the troop numbers and those elephants; given these doubts we can reserve judgement on whether the start of the march was at Nora and take the hints in Cicero on board. The concomitant being the location of Orkynia since Eumenes moved from there towards Armenia.
When you think about, it free-choice is the only possible option.
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