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The only alternative to the formation and drill shown above was put forward by the late Agesilaos, and his version proved to be impractical, in fact all but impossible.[ see page 1]
You should add your own "in my opinion" here. The fact that the Taktike thread is 16 pages long should be enough for anyone to see that Agesilaos did not agree with your statement above, hence the debate and the "hairsplitting" which Agesilaos certainly felt was relative.
Firstly, as I have just pointed out, it is not just an 'opinion', but widely accepted as fact, especially by experts in the admittedly small world of the subject. Moreover, even if it was only 'opinion', not all opinions are equal. I have considerable military experience, including drill in detail. Agesilaos, as was evident from his suggested mechanics, had never experienced drill in his life, otherwise he would have readily appreciated why his suggested mechanics were impractical in real life ... ... ...
You have responded to something I never wrote. I did not mention your own formation and drill. I quoted your remark about Agesilaos and HIS version of formation and drill. You brought it up. You offered a diminishing opinion of it as if you were stating a fact. It was not a fact, it was your opinion of something Agesilaos wrote .I said you should add "in my opinion". Had you done so, it might have taken the sting out of your words. Or it might not.
Xenophon wrote:What tosh! The thread moved on to all sorts of subjects, including terminology as you say, but there was NO 'debate' over the question of files and half-files being the way hoplites fought according to Xenophon, because Agesilaos and I were in complete agreement that this was the case ( along with most knowledgeable experts).
Agesilaos did continue to argue about the phalanx. On this thread you said: Each file is led by a 'dekadarch'/generic file leader, and each half-file by a 'pampadarch'/half-file leader.
On page 14 of the Tactike thread, Agesilaos said (referencing something you wrote): It would be hard to imagine why, given the total lack of new evidence that four years ago the dekadoi were ten deep but now they have become a ‘generic’ file of whatever strength you like.
Don't see any "complete agreement".
Amyntoros and Paralus undoubtedly got their facts w..wrong ( yes, that thing that Paralus can never admit to
) in making their false accusations, and anyone who cares to ( which I suspect will be no-one) can check what I say by reading the thread.
I did not make any accusations, false or otherwise. I did not get my facts wrong. No Tosh.
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Xenophon wrote:I have no intention of re-running the 'Taktike' thread here. And certainly not the issue over the meaning of 'paragoge'.
That is just Paralus attempting a 'red herring' [...] The thread moved on to all sorts of subjects, including terminology as you say, but there was NO 'debate' over the question of files and half-files being the way hoplites fought according to Xenophon, because Agesilaos and I were in complete agreement that this was the case ( along with most knowledgeable experts).
Agesilaos admitting that his reconstruction of Xenophon's "fantasy files" was incorrect (dekadarchs counted outside the ranks, etc., explained here
) is not the same as Agesilaos agreeing to your reconstruction of hoplite mechanics. As can be seen in the linked post (and those which follow), Agesilaos took issue with your view of file insertion for the "dinner drill" (and the Greek you base it on) and the debate, with digressions, continued for the rest of the thread. Anyone reading what you have written here would believe that Agesilaos had agreed fully with the view of hoplite mechanics and file structure which you argued throughout that thread. That is demonstrably not the case.
I am disappointed that you do not have the grace to apologise. I expect better of you, old friend.
I find that one of the more ironic statements from you on this forum old friend; though I'm certain it wasn't made in that vein.
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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Drifting closer to the original topic, when I was reviewing the passage of Cassius Dio about the Macedonian phalanx of Caracalla
, I noticed that Caracalla owned "hopla
(equipment, military 'kit') of Alexander" and "potêria
(drinking vessels) of Alexander." The vast majority of artefacts associated with a famous name have nothing to do with them, and 500 years is a long time, but it shows that at the beginning of the third century CE some people wanted to own things which had belonged to Alexander, and that other people could provide things which made the first group happy.
Edit: Bill Thayer has an English translation here
, but my interest was in exactly what Dio said Caracalla armed his phalanx with, so I needed to see the Greek.
(Warning: may contain up to 95% non-Alexandrian content, rated shamelessly philobarbarian by 1 out of 1 Plutarchs)