Philip II of Macedonia: Greater than Alexander

Discuss Philip's achievements and Macedonia pre-Alexander

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amyntoros
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Re: Philip II of Macedonia: Greater than Alexander

Post by amyntoros »

the_accursed wrote:As for the rest of this discussion...if you don't mind, I'm just going to drop out of it. Needless to say, I still think Alexander was a half-wit. But from now on, I'm only going to think it.
A difficult family situation has meant that I'm unable to participate in lengthy debates at the current time, although I've been able to read everything with great interest - which leads me to the following:

I sincerely hope that you change your mind about not contributing further to this particular debate. I may not (do not) agree with everything that you've said but you have raised interesting points and argued exceedingly well for your opinions. I'm sorry that you (and probably some other Pothosians) feel that the discussion is causing "dissension". Yes, there are posts earlier in the debate which could accurately be described as such, but there is more than one party to any debate and I regret that things were taken personally on both sides. I only ask that you do not think of us only as a "fan site" even though there are members who may appear to you and others to be fans of Alexander. And I ask that you do not dismiss them outright just because they are "fans". They do have a right to participate and I would actively encourage them to do so, just as I'm trying to encourage you right now. I would never dismiss your opinions just because you don't like the man. Your views about Alexander may be extreme as regards this forum, but they're as welcome as any input from someone who has great admiration for the man. Yes, admirers will likely receive more positive reinforcement from others but that's because they have the greater numbers, something I think is to be expected. I'm sure you feel you stand alone, which I can understand because of the extremity of your views (on Pothos) about Alexander and other leaders throughout history, but, as it has been said before in this debate, there are members who do not consider themselves fans. If we all focus on discussing Alexander rather than each other - and I do mean WE - then there's the potential for some increasingly fascinating debates, much as this thread has been for the greater part.

I am hoping to contribute to the discussion of Alexander's intelligence as soon as more time presents itself and I really do hope you are still participating.

With best regards,
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Re: Philip II of Macedonia: Greater than Alexander

Post by Paralus »

Nicator wrote:I forget where I read that...Fuller maybe?
Read which?
Nicator wrote: Regardless, there is 'perhaps' some bit of truth behind it as the phalangytes appeared to be relegated to 2nd class roles with the elevation in status given to the cavalry under ATG. This I would qualify by pointing out that this is how the rank and file foot soldier likely came to see themselves after a time.
The notion that Alexander "elevated" the cavalry is a nonsense. It is clear that Philip, over many years, had expanded the hetairoi to the numbers of 336/5. In exactly the same way he'd expanded the numbers of the pez-hetairoi. It was a good part of this army that took the field (with allies and mercenaries) at Chaeroneia. The fact that Philip deployed only some 2,000 cavalry on the day of battle has little to do with his available numbers and much to do with the battlefield and the strategic deployment of the Greeks. The Greeks deployed the classic hoplite army in a line that anchored both wings on natural features which denied the Macedonian king the use of his cavalry: Philip would need to frontally assault and dislodge them. The result is known.

Yes, in Asia on wider plains, the cavalry was the "assault arm", but never forget it was always accompanied by infantry in combined attack. Thus one might utterly dispense with Stone's headlong charge to the right and then switch to the centre at Gaugamela.



Nicator wrote:ATG is attested to having utilized archers and slingers extensively. I haven't read that concerning Philip, though, my knowledge of Philip is not nearly as extensive as ATG.
Aside from the stones recovered at, for example, Methone. Don't mistake the poor source tradition for absence of such troops.
Last edited by Paralus on Sat Jul 09, 2011 2:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Wicked men, you sin against your fathers, who conquered the whole world under Philip and Alexander.

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the_accursed
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Re: Philip II of Macedonia: Greater than Alexander

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Paralus wrote:You said similar many, many posts ago. I know what it is that you refer to. Trust me: there really are only the few or the one here to whom "it has all been revealed". The rest of us actually tend to discuss and not hold grudges.
I'm glad to hear it Paralus. I think I've got to add, for the record, that I'm not sure I understood you correctly regarding Chaeronea. Perhaps you were thinking of another discussion? The one I was referring to had to do with Philip's decision to let Alexander participate in the battle, and Alexander's role in the battle.
amyntoros wrote:
the_accursed wrote:As for the rest of this discussion...if you don't mind, I'm just going to drop out of it. Needless to say, I still think Alexander was a half-wit. But from now on, I'm only going to think it.
A difficult family situation has meant that I'm unable to participate in lengthy debates at the current time, although I've been able to read everything with great interest - which leads me to the following:

I sincerely hope that you change your mind about not contributing further to this particular debate. I may not (do not) agree with everything that you've said but you have raised interesting points and argued exceedingly well for your opinions. I'm sorry that you (and probably some other Pothosians) feel that the discussion is causing "dissension". Yes, there are posts earlier in the debate which could accurately be described as such, but there is more than one party to any debate and I regret that things were taken personally on both sides. I only ask that you do not think of us only as a "fan site" even though there are members who may appear to you and others to be fans of Alexander. And I ask that you do not dismiss them outright just because they are "fans". They do have a right to participate and I would actively encourage them to do so, just as I'm trying to encourage you right now. I would never dismiss your opinions just because you don't like the man. Your views about Alexander may be extreme as regards this forum, but they're as welcome as any input from someone who has great admiration for the man. Yes, admirers will likely receive more positive reinforcement from others but that's because they have the greater numbers, something I think is to be expected. I'm sure you feel you stand alone, which I can understand because of the extremity of your views (on Pothos) about Alexander and other leaders throughout history, but, as it has been said before in this debate, there are members who do not consider themselves fans. If we all focus on discussing Alexander rather than each other - and I do mean WE - then there's the potential for some increasingly fascinating debates, much as this thread has been for the greater part.

I am hoping to contribute to the discussion of Alexander's intelligence as soon as more time presents itself and I really do hope you are still participating.

With best regards,
I appreciate this post, Amyntoros. I think it's very balanced. But in this particular discussion, I'm not going to participate any more. Not a snowball's chance in hell, frankly.
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Re: Philip II of Macedonia: Greater than Alexander

Post by spitamenes »

Well I would have to consider myself a 'fan' of Alexander. I've read too much on him with fascination to try to convince myself otherwise. I'm also a 'fan' of Philip. I do not believe Pothos is a 'fan site' though. I've asked so many questions here and received so many good answers that many of my views on Alexander (good and bad) have changed just from being involved in this website. My (limited) knowledge on this topic did not come from a classroom. (As many of you can probably already tell). But from being in some of the same places and situations that the Macedonians were at one time. I love being able to ask a question and get an unbiased answer here.

Accursed, I've said it before, and Ill say it again, I very much enjoy reading your side of things, no matter how far they are away from my own views on the subject. If we don't hear from you in this thread then I truely hope to hear from you in another. And I hope you have a good time on your vacation. Be safe.
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Re: Philip II of Macedonia: Greater than Alexander

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the_accursed wrote:[I'm glad to hear it Paralus. I think I've got to add, for the record, that I'm not sure I understood you correctly regarding Chaeronea. Perhaps you were thinking of another discussion? The one I was referring to had to do with Philip's decision to let Alexander participate in the battle, and Alexander's role in the battle.
I remember that quite well: a long conversation to do with the placement of Alexander on the left surrounded by his (Philip's ) generals. There was no "cavalry charge".

I have the papers if you want them (Rahe and another).
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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: Philip II of Macedonia: Greater than Alexander

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spitamenes wrote:Well I would have to consider myself a 'fan' of Alexander. I've read too much on him with fascination to try to convince myself otherwise. I'm also a 'fan' of Philip. I do not believe Pothos is a 'fan site' though. I've asked so many questions here and received so many good answers that many of my views on Alexander (good and bad) have changed just from being involved in this website. My (limited) knowledge on this topic did not come from a classroom. (As many of you can probably already tell). But from being in some of the same places and situations that the Macedonians were at one time. I love being able to ask a question and get an unbiased answer here.

Accursed, I've said it before, and Ill say it again, I very much enjoy reading your side of things, no matter how far they are away from my own views on the subject. If we don't hear from you in this thread then I truely hope to hear from you in another. And I hope you have a good time on your vacation. Be safe.
Thanks. I suspect there will be much rain (as there is now) but it's still 4 weeks of freedom.
Paralus wrote:
the_accursed wrote:[I'm glad to hear it Paralus. I think I've got to add, for the record, that I'm not sure I understood you correctly regarding Chaeronea. Perhaps you were thinking of another discussion? The one I was referring to had to do with Philip's decision to let Alexander participate in the battle, and Alexander's role in the battle.
I remember that quite well: a long conversation to do with the placement of Alexander on the left surrounded by his (Philip's ) generals. There was no "cavalry charge".

I have the papers if you want them (Rahe and another).
Thanks for the offer. Maybe I'll take you up on it another time. Right now though, the thought of reading about Alexander and the Macedonians doesn't particularly appeal to me.
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Re: Philip II of Macedonia: Greater than Alexander

Post by marcus »

the_accursed wrote:I'm going to have to do that. I have written what I believe is a reasonably good post about the Maedi revolt and Alexander's first battle. I think there's a good reason - based on a source - to believe it never happened. Hopefully that discussion will not cause any dissension. Will have to wait until after my vacation, though.
I look forward to it - but please don't worry about causing dissent - isn't that what we're all about, as the long continuation of this thread shows? Otherwise we'd all be slavishly agreeing with the romanticised view of Alexander that you dislike (and which many of us do) and Pothos would be extremely boring!
the_accursed wrote:Even so, I really don't like this kind of dissension. Stays with me in an unhealthy way.
It shouldn't. Remember that none of the disagreement (I hope) is personal, but exercised in the spirit of enjoyed debate.

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Re: Philip II of Macedonia: Greater than Alexander

Post by marcus »

Paralus wrote:
the_accursed wrote:[I'm glad to hear it Paralus. I think I've got to add, for the record, that I'm not sure I understood you correctly regarding Chaeronea. Perhaps you were thinking of another discussion? The one I was referring to had to do with Philip's decision to let Alexander participate in the battle, and Alexander's role in the battle.
I remember that quite well: a long conversation to do with the placement of Alexander on the left surrounded by his (Philip's ) generals. There was no "cavalry charge".
I too remember that discussion - it was a goody! :D

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Re: Philip II of Macedonia: Greater than Alexander

Post by Nicator »

the_accursed wrote:
Nicator wrote:
the_accursed wrote:Yes...Alexander made some good decisions too. But how many ancient leaders that most people would recognize as "great" made as many comparably disastrous decisions as Alexander?
How many leaders were able to bring their empire to the level that ATG brought his and consequently 'had' to make as many decisions as Alexander? Certainly, Philip's accomplishments loomed large but ATG's even larger. And with large quantities of decisions and decisions that require new and untried innovations, experiments and mistakes are par for the course. Few other's were forced to improvise with such regularity just to keep the whole thing together, let alone moving forward. You talk a lot of smack about ATG and twist much of what he did into bunglings & failings when knowledge of the full context of those decisions would reveal quite another matter. Why don't you take a moment to grace us all with your knowledge of ATG's 'good decisions'? Or are you here just to create problems and dissension?
You and others give Alexander credit for the Macedonian victories, and I don't. That's the difference. I don't think it's unreasonable to think that Alexander was intelligent if one thinks he was crucial to the Macedonian victories. But myself I've made very clear that I don't think he was. I'm very well aware that most disagree with that opinion, and I have no problem with it. As I've said myself, I do not believe I will be able to convince a single one of here that Alexander wasn't particularly intelligent.

As for dissension, that's an unfortunate consequence in a forum where some people take criticism of Alexander personally. I was asked to justify why I don't think Alexander was particularly intelligent, and that's what I did. Had I expressed similar opinions about Cassander, there might have been discussion, but not dissension.
Marcus, Alexias, Spitamenes, and myself have all contributed reasons why ATG was NOT just a cheerleader. We have provided more than adequate examples relating our points...or rather, counterpoints to your original post. You, however, have done nothing but disparage ATG at every turn. I don't necessarily give ATG full credit for all the victories. But his full grasp of military command cannot be taken lightly nor simply disregarded as irrelevant. If you insist on giving full credit to his marshals, you should be able to back it up with something. So far, you've done nothing of the sort.

Though, I don't disagree with your accusation that too many take negative comments about ATG personally, I disagree with your assertion that you don't. As Paralus already noted, it's obvious that you do...And this can jade your viewpoint and prevent you from seeing the relevancy of important counterpoints.
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Re: Philip II of Macedonia: Greater than Alexander

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Nicator wrote:Marcus, Alexias, Spitamenes, and myself have all contributed reasons why ATG was NOT just a cheerleader. We have provided more than adequate examples relating our points...or rather, counterpoints to your original post. You, however, have done nothing but disparage ATG at every turn. I don't necessarily give ATG full credit for all the victories. But his full grasp of military command cannot be taken lightly nor simply disregarded as irrelevant. If you insist on giving full credit to his marshals, you should be able to back it up with something. So far, you've done nothing of the sort.

Though, I don't disagree with your accusation that too many take negative comments about ATG personally, I disagree with your assertion that you don't. As Paralus already noted, it's obvious that you do...And this can jade your viewpoint and prevent you from seeing the relevancy of important counterpoints.
You're right. It's a too extreme position to take. I can't reasonably hold Alexander's decision to lead the army into the Gedrosian desert against him if I don't also credit him with having made other, better decisions of a military nature. It will never be possible to know for sure where an idea for a certain tactic came from, but the sources should only be mistrusted if there are good specific reasons to do so.
marcus wrote:I look forward to it - but please don't worry about causing dissent - isn't that what we're all about, as the long continuation of this thread shows? Otherwise we'd all be slavishly agreeing with the romanticised view of Alexander that you dislike (and which many of us do) and Pothos would be extremely boring!
the_accursed wrote:Even so, I really don't like this kind of dissension. Stays with me in an unhealthy way.
It shouldn't. Remember that none of the disagreement (I hope) is personal, but exercised in the spirit of enjoyed debate.

ATB
Nothing too look forward too. I should not even have mentioned it. I think I just wanted to express that not all my arguments are extreme. That is, I'm questioning a source in an entirely traditional manner. It's what I'm going to do from now on. I hope you're right. If I can't participate here in a normal manner, then I won't. Another discussion like this and that's it. Thanks for your as usual civilized reply.
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Re: Philip II of Macedonia: Greater than Alexander

Post by spitamenes »

Wasn't there a few different theories behind the whole Gedrosian fiasco? I remember one stating that it could have been a way for Alexander to punish the Army for wanting to turn around. And another about the fleet needing a land army to gather supplies. Or am I getting stories mixed up as usual?
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Re: Philip II of Macedonia: Greater than Alexander

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spitamenes wrote:Wasn't there a few different theories behind the whole Gedrosian fiasco? I remember one stating that it could have been a way for Alexander to punish the Army for wanting to turn around. And another about the fleet needing a land army to gather supplies. Or am I getting stories mixed up as usual?
No, you're not getting them mixed up.

The first is unlikely, the second definitely the case - and part of the problem was that the army wasn't able to keep to the sea shore and therefore couldn't keep Nearchus supplied, and so Nearchus' fleet almost came unstuck. The other explanation, given by Curtius, is that Alexander wished to emulate (and surpass) Cyrus and Semiramis (again).

Perhaps this should be a new thread?

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Re: Philip II of Macedonia: Greater than Alexander

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marcus wrote:Perhaps this should be a new thread?
I say go for it, Marcus.

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Re: Philip II of Macedonia: Greater than Alexander

Post by marcus »

amyntoros wrote:
marcus wrote:Perhaps this should be a new thread?
I say go for it, Marcus.

Best regards,
After you, Spitamenes - I'm not sure what question we might pose to get the discussion going ... (plus I'm extremely busy at the moment) :(

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Re: Philip II of Macedonia: Greater than Alexander

Post by Nicator »

Paralus wrote:
the_accursed wrote:[I'm glad to hear it Paralus. I think I've got to add, for the record, that I'm not sure I understood you correctly regarding Chaeronea. Perhaps you were thinking of another discussion? The one I was referring to had to do with Philip's decision to let Alexander participate in the battle, and Alexander's role in the battle.
I remember that quite well: a long conversation to do with the placement of Alexander on the left surrounded by his (Philip's ) generals. There was no "cavalry charge".

I have the papers if you want them (Rahe and another).
Interesting...I'd like to see the papers if you don't mind.
Later Nicator

Thus, rain sodden and soaked, under darkness cloaked,
Alexander began, his grand plan, invoked...

The Epic of Alexander
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