Antigonid : Play misty for me: Kynoskephalai

Discuss the wars of Alexander's successors

Moderator: pothos moderators

agesilaos
Strategos (general)
Posts: 2180
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2002 2:16 pm
Location: LONDON

Re: Antigonid : Play misty for me: Kynoskephalai

Post by agesilaos »

This may help; transcription from library copy

On page 575
19.11 Eupolemon: cf 21.5; deported to Rome in 170 as leader of the anti-Roman faction in Aetolia (cf xviii 4. 6); Livy xxxviii 4. 8, xli 25.3.f; Wissowa, RE, ‘Eupolemos (8a)’ col 2878 (Nachtrag). Can he have been one of P.’s verbal sources for this battle (cf 21.5 n) and especially those parts where the Aetolians appear in a very favourable light (cf.22. 4)?
Walbank clearly thought that there could be contemporary witnesses, unless one is to suggest that Aetolians lived longer than Macedonians.

P580
21.5 Archidamon kai…Eupolemon: on the later cf 19.11n; Archdamos also appears as a leader of the anti-Roman party (cf xx9.2 ff, xxviii.4.8). It is significant for P.’s sources on the battle that he knows the name of the two Aetolians, but not that of the Roman military tribunes: see 19. 11 n for the possibility that Eupolemos, who had been deported to Rome three years before P., was an informant about the battle. Livy (xxxiii. 7 .7) mentions only the military tribunes.
P581
22. 2. Herakleiden…ton Gyrtonion…Leonta ton…hipparchen:….Clearly P. here draws on a Macedonian informant, directly or indirectly.
10. oudamos hermozeto pros agona: P. is clearly interested in how the experienced Philip let himself be persuaded into accepting battle. His informants were probably Macedonians anxious to mitigate Philip’s error of judgement.
P582
24. 1.Nikanora ton…elephant: perhaps the Nikanor who ravaged the land outside Athens in 200 (xvi. 27.1n): the reference to the nickname here may derive from an eye-witness source on the Macedonian side, to whom part of P.’s narrative clearly goes back.
Not really support for the position on which you are standing, rather the opposite; if I can get a scan of the relevant part I’ll e-mail it (I do not have my own copy either).
When you think about, it free-choice is the only possible option.
User avatar
Xenophon
Hetairos (companion)
Posts: 847
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 2:16 am

Re: Antigonid : Play misty for me: Kynoskephalai

Post by Xenophon »

Not at all sure why Paralus has chosen to resurrect this thread, especially on a matter so trivial - though one might guess it is in connection with an article on the battle he is writing/written.......

There is probably little more that needs to be said in any event. However, I was quite correct about Walbank....

Agesilaos wrote:
Not really support for the position on which you are standing, rather the opposite; if I can get a scan of the relevant part I’ll e-mail it (I do not have my own copy either).
A strange comment, the more so as the contrary is true. To recap, we were discussing the likelihood of Polybius 'quoting' Philip's actual orders. I wrote:
Thurs May 15 p.3
Firstly, I need hardly state the obvious – that Polybius wasn’t there and couldn’t know just how Philip’s demi-phalanx ended up in close order 16 deep – i.e. “double depth” - on half its original frontage. He cannot be ‘quoting’ the original order ( not least because he doesn’t seem to have had a Macedonian source who was there) and in reporting the various ‘orders’ he is describing the result, not the actual words – e.g. his reference to the light infantry being ‘ordered to place themselves on the flank’ or or ‘he placed them all, both foot and horse, on his right wing’ both orders which occur in the same section as the reference to the phalanx’s move [XVII.24.8-10]. Nor are Polybius’ words couched in the way actual orders were given - see the manuals for examples.

Far better, then, to follow the physical facts and use Occam’s razor to suggest how they came about than to slavishly follow Polybius’ words as being literal, when they quite plainly aren’t and cannot be.....
...and also....
May 19 p.4
As to 'Macedonian sources' for Cynoscephalae, you may have noted I said “contemporary” Macedonian sources, for obviously it is POSSIBLE that Polybius consulted the Macedonian exiles of his own era, some 40 years later, for matters Macedonian, but he does not appear to have done from the evidence of his writings, as Walbank points out.
This is entirely consistent with the quotations you have posted - none of them suggest that Polybius had a CONTEMPORARY Macedonian source. The closest is a comment that knowledge of Nicanor's nickname "goes back" to a Macedonian source, and reference to a Macedonian informant "directly or indirectly" i.e through some other writer.

The only possible contemporary source Walbank refers to is the Aetolian Eupolemos, and even that is uncertain. The Eupolemos referred to was General and co-commander of the Aetolian forces at Kynoskephalae ( along with Archidamos) [Polyb XVIII.2.4]. As such he was probably in his forties or older at the time in 197 BC. He is probably the same Eupolemos recorded [Polyb XXVIII.4] leading the fighting against the Romans in 189 BC, along with Nicander.[Livy XXXVIII.4.10] The Aetolian hostages on this occasion following Roman victory were all to be between 12 and 40 years old, and 'praetors' and cavalry commanders were excluded, therefore this Eupolemos did not go to Rome as a hostage.

We hear of a Eupolemos ( a popular and common name) who was 'strategos' in 176-175 BC and chief of the city in 174 BC. He was deported to Rome in 170 BC, as Walbank notes. It would seem unlikely, though possible, the two are one and the same since the first would be in his late sixties or early seventies in 170, and as we have seen the Romans preferred younger hostages. This person would also be around 90 years old in order to have spoken to Polybius circa 150 BC !! ( as Walbank reckons Polybius was researching/writing this).

More likely the second is probably the son of the first, hence not a contemporary witness....

As to Walbank's comments, the composition of the "Commentaries" was a long process, and during this time he also wrote a biography "Philip V of Macedon" . There he repeats much of what I said earlier. In his appendix,' survey of the sources' [p.281] he writes:
"The ideas of the Greek and Achaean world he was familiar with from childhood, and he learnt to appreciate the Roman attitude from associating with Scipio Aemilianus and his circle; but of the Macedonian standpoint he has no inkling." [ again referring to the Andriscus affair in a footnote]

Whilst on the subject of Walbank, I was pleasantly surprised to note something I had long forgotten. In his account of Kynoskephalae in the above book [p.171] he shares my view on the depth of Philip's phalanx:
"Posting his retreating forces on the right, he commanded his main force of phalangites and peltasts to double its depth to sixteen men...."

On another trivial point of just who the Macedonian foragers were Livy adds detail to Polybius' account[ Livy XXXIII.7.8] "...having sent most of his troops of every sort [magna parte hominum omnes generis] out to forage", specifically for fodder [pabulatum].

As one would expect, and as I said, the foragers came from the whole army, not just the left wing of the phalanx.
agesilaos
Strategos (general)
Posts: 2180
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2002 2:16 pm
Location: LONDON

Re: Antigonid : Play misty for me: Kynoskephalai

Post by agesilaos »

…from an eye-witness source on the Macedonian side, to whom part of P.’s narrative clearly goes back
Sounds like Walbank is saying that the narrative is definitely based on a Macedonian eye-witness ie contemporary, to me.

Polybios gives us his view on sources

Book IV 2 iff
I thought this was the best point; first, because it is there that Aratus leaves off, and I meant my work, as far as it was Greek history, to be a continuation of his; and, secondly, because the period thus embraced in my history would fall partly in the life of my father, and partly in my own; and thus I should be able to speak as eye-witness of some of the events, and from the information of eye-witnesses of others. To go further back and write the report of a report, traditions at second or third hand, seemed to me unsatisfactory either with a view to giving clear impressions or making sound statements.

As to Eupolemos’ age, Polybios born c.204 was Hipparchos of the Achaean League in 169, ie at 34. This was probably a much higher rank than Eupolemos’ at Kynoskephalai, but even assuming he was 35, then in 189 when defending Ambrakia he would be 42. It is highly likely that the two men are the same, and that Polybios could have interviewed a sexagenarian Eupolemos.

Livy XXXVIII 11 vi
[6] they shall deliver to the Romans forty hostages, acceptable to the5 consul, none younger than twelve years nor older than forty, provided that no hostage shall be a praetor, a commander of cavalry, a public secretary, or one who has previously been a hostage at Rome; Cephallania shall be excepted from the terms of peace.”
Despite the translation, the Aetolian Praetor, Nikandros, did become a hostage according to Polybios so the clause should be read as excluding the State officials from the age restriction, the confusion being Livy’s rather than the translator’s.

Polybios XXXVII survives only in fragments so any judgement on his knowledge of Andriskos’ adventure is supposition and not pertinent to his treatment of Kynoskephalai.

You have your chronology of Walbank's works confused; he won the Hare Prize in 1939 with his monograph on Philip V, the first volume of the commentary was released in 1957 and the second with which we are concerned in 1967, so the commentary reflects his mature thoughts.

edited to put quotes in quotes :roll:
When you think about, it free-choice is the only possible option.
User avatar
Xenophon
Hetairos (companion)
Posts: 847
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 2:16 am

Re: Antigonid : Play misty for me: Kynoskephalai

Post by Xenophon »

As I expected, a response that is needlessly argumentative. I did say it was possible, if somewhat unlikely that Eupolemos could be one and the same person in 197 and 170 BC.

As to Polybius' statement, he is simply justifying why he chose the period to write about that he did with an unconvincing rationalisation - obviously not all his information, nor even a minor part of it, comes from first-hand eye witness accounts. Of course he used these 'primary sources' whenever they were available, and the point is that no contemporary Macedonian source is referred to, so obviously there wasn't one.

Your quotation is also rather selective, for Polybius also wrote [Polybius XII ] that there were three prerequisites to writing history - a critical study of memoirs and documents, 'seeing for yourself' - visiting places and carrying out personal research and enquiry to determine the facts and come at the truth, and he must have experience, so as to be capable of assessing events. For the wars of Philip V and Perseus, Walbank suggests Polybius used Rhodian records ( hence indirect) such as Straton when he wasn't relying on Roman sources.

The original question was whether Polybius had a contemporary Macedonian source who might have informed him of exactly what Philip's orders to the peltasts and right-wing phalanx were. The answer is a resounding NO. If there was such a well-informed source close to Philip, that source would have been able to tell Polybius much more about the situation in Macedon generally, and contemporary Macedonian attitudes, than Polybius in fact knew. As Walbank says, it is manifest that "but of the Macedonian standpoint he has no inkling."

As so often in these debates, you simply argue for the sake of argument - here for example you produce not one scintilla of evidence to support the view that Polybius spoke to an eye-witness Macedonian, confining yourself to arguing with what I have posted, and un-necessarily at that.

Agesilaos wrote:
Sounds like Walbank is saying that the narrative is definitely based on a Macedonian eye-witness ie contemporary, to me.
This is the best you can come up with to support your argument ? The meaning of "goes back to" and "based on" is clear. The ultimate source may have been Macedonian, but Polybius derived this second or even third-hand ( see above). He clearly didn't speak to a Macedonian eye-witness, and that cannot be altered by mere sophistry.
As to Eupolemos’ age, Polybios born c.204 was Hipparchos of the Achaean League in 169, ie at 34. This was probably a much higher rank than Eupolemos’ at Kynoskephalai, but even assuming he was 35, then in 189 when defending Ambrakia he would be 42. It is highly likely that the two men are the same, and that Polybios could have interviewed a sexagenarian Eupolemos.
A 'hipparchos'/lit:leader of horse was a mere cavalry commander, and even the leader of Achaea's cavalry arm is roughly equivalent to a Colonel or Brigadier and commanded only a few hundred men. Eupolemos was co-commander of the whole Aetolian army together with Archedamus - a 'Strategos'/General commanding thousands of both cavalry and infantry - a post which Polybius, had he remained in Achaea, might have aspired to be promoted to sometime in his forties.

It is possible ( as I said ) that they were one and the same, but unlikely on balance of probability for the reasons I gave. Your arithmetic is also wrong, for even on your basis, the original Eupolemos would have to have survived to 82 or more, and still be a hostage (unlikely) for Polybius to have spoken to him in Rome in 150 or later.

While the subject of Eupolemos is mildly interesting, it must be pointed out that the original was an Aetolian ally of Rome, not a Macedonian, and seems to be the only possible non-Roman eye-witness Polybius might have consulted, and only then on the unlikely assumption that the two Aetolian 'Eupolemi' are an incredibly long-lived single person. Drawing a rather long bow, wouldn't you say?
Despite the translation, the Aetolian Praetor, Nikandros, did become a hostage according to Polybios so the clause should be read as excluding the State officials from the age restriction, the confusion being Livy’s rather than the translator’s.
Completely wrong again - unless you are referring to more than one Nikander ! (Another popular name - I'm aware of over a dozen 'famous' Nikanders in Greece. You didn't give a reference). You seem to be confusing events.
Livy XXXVIII.11 is giving the terms of the peace treaty of c.189 BC. The Nikander, 'Praetor'/ztrathyos of Aetolia, at Polybius XXVIII.4 is with reference to a completely different event, the aftermath of Pydna c. 168 BC. Nor does Polybius refer to him as a hostage, merely saying that the Achaeans, including Polybius, should not "allow themselves to be reduced to the same state as Nicander, who even before he experienced the weight of the Roman power, found himself in the utmost distress.", which in any event does not sound as if he was a well treated hostage for good behaviour , but more like a criminal or prisoner, quite a different thing. This Nikander was sent as ambassador to Rome, with Phaeneas, to settle and ratify the terms of peace c.189 BC. [Plb. XXII.13.] We hear no more of him, but that, as he was ever afterwards favourably inclined towards the royal family of Macedonia, because of Philip's kindness to him, he fell under the displeasure of the Romans on that account during their war with Perseus, 171-168 BC, and that he was summoned to Rome, and died there. [Plb. XX.11; XVII.13; XXVIII.4-6.]
Polybios XXXVII survives only in fragments so any judgement on his knowledge of Andriskos’ adventure is supposition and not pertinent to his treatment of Kynoskephalai.
What a feeble rationalisation and excuse to try and discredit Walbank !! Polybius says enough in the extant portions of Books XXXVI and XXXVII, to show that he knew little of Macedonia and its affairs, in this case about Andriscus, the faux-'Philip' imposter son of Perseus ( the real one was dead, but Andriscus resembled Perseus). In any event this is but one of a number of examples given by Walbank to demonstrate Polybius' general ignorance about matters Macedonian - other examples are his rather thin and caricature-like pictures of Philip V and Perseus and Macedonian affairs. At the risk of repeating myself, Walbank said "but of the Macedonian standpoint he has no inkling."

The 'pertinence' to Kynoskephalae is that Walbank, and others, demonstrate that Polybius had but a vague notion of affairs in Macedonia and hence did not have a knowledgeable, direct, informant. Anyone who was close enough to Philip to accurately report his orders at Kynoskephalae ( some senior courtier or General) would also have informed Polybius about many other things. Since this did not occur, ergo no such direct, contemporary, Macedonian source was among Polybius' informers/eye witnesses - and I know of no credible historian who suggests otherwise.
You have your chronology of Walbank's works confused; he won the Hare Prize in 1939 with his monograph on Philip V, the first volume of the commentary was released in 1957 and the second with which we are concerned in 1967, so the commentary reflects his mature thoughts.
That is as may be, but "Philip V of Macedon" ( the book based on the monograph) was published in 1940, and it is around that time that he commenced work, or shortly after, on his commentaries that he would work on for the next 30 years. He did not, contrary to your implication, change his views on Polybius' knowledge of matters Macedonian - as is proven by your failure to produce a single shred of evidence that Walbank ever referred to a direct eye-witness contemporary Macedonian that Polybius might have spoken to !! ( Of course ultimately all information about matters Macedonian must "go back to" a Macedonian source, but that is not the same thing at all.)

If I come across as rather impatient, I apologise, but that is because it is undertandable when having to correct false and wrong facts, selective information and a weak case, especially when it is about a trivial point - mere argument for the sake of it.

Can we close this thread, or as Paralus put it, must it go on interminably, argument without end ? :( :roll:
User avatar
Paralus
Strategos (general)
Posts: 2846
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 7:13 am
Location: Sydney, Australia
Contact:

Re: Antigonid : Play misty for me: Kynoskephalai

Post by Paralus »

Xenophon wrote:Not at all sure why Paralus has chosen to resurrect this thread, especially on a matter so trivial - though one might guess it is in connection with an article on the battle he is writing/written.......
Only that having read Walbank's HCP I could not reconcile your statement with what I'd read. Thus the question as to which part of that commentary you'd found Walbank's veiw that Polybius had no knowledge of Macedonian matters. That it was in Walbank's Philip V and not the Commentaries explains that for the latter definitely posits a Macedonian source (whether 'contemporary' or not).

Xenophon wrote:The 'pertinence' to Kynoskephalae is that Walbank, and others, demonstrate that Polybius had but a vague notion of affairs in Macedonia and hence did not have a knowledgeable, direct, informant. Anyone who was close enough to Philip to accurately report his orders at Kynoskephalae ( some senior courtier or General) would also have informed Polybius about many other things. Since this did not occur, ergo no such direct, contemporary, Macedonian source was among Polybius' informers/eye witnesses - and I know of no credible historian who suggests otherwise.
Yet the clear fact remains - as Walbank points out more than once - that Polybius is far better informed on the Macedonian side for Kynoskephalai than he is for the Roman. There is far more detail in the narration of Macedonian matters at the Dogs' Heads than for the Roman. The most notable being, of course, the lack of any names for the tribunes - including he that leads the twenty maniples. The Aetolians are so named (and praised more than once) hence the argument for an Aetolian source. That Aetolian cannot have known the 'ducks guts' of the Macedonian army, its commanders and movements though.

You may enjoy parts of the article though I'm certain you'll disagree with others...
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.

Academia.edu
User avatar
Xenophon
Hetairos (companion)
Posts: 847
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 2:16 am

Re: Antigonid : Play misty for me: Kynoskephalai

Post by Xenophon »

Paralus wrote:
Only that having read Walbank's HCP I could not reconcile your statement with what I'd read. Thus the question as to which part of that commentary you'd found Walbank's veiw that Polybius had no knowledge of Macedonian matters. That it was in Walbank's Philip V and not the Commentaries explains that for the latter definitely posits a Macedonian source (whether 'contemporary' or not).
I drew on both the Commentaries and "Philip V" when writing my original post, and as I said it is obvious that any information on matters Macedonian must ultimately go back to a Macedonian source. In his works, Walbank suggested that Polybius may have drawn on Rhodian sources, as I noted above. The fact is, there is absolutely NO evidence that Polybius drew on, or had, a direct contemporary Macedonian source that he could have spoken to, and Walbank DOESN't suggest otherwise in any of his works. Polybius therefore did not, and could not have known what orders Philip gave for ANY phase of the battle.
I don't understand why you and Agesilaos have latched onto this one ambiguous phrase and decided it is literally true, especially when the consequent manouevres then become impossibly complex ( in Agesilaos' case) or impossible unheard of drill manouevres ( in Paralus' case) that Paralus has made up. The pair of you don't do this for other similar orders/manouevres, This is the more so when a simple single move straight out of the drill manual would take the phalanx from the formation they most likely arrived in, viz open order 16 deep ( a standard formation, and which must have been the case for Philip to "receive" his light troops through them before sending them to the right flank) to 16 deep in close order ("double depth" which Walbank also believed was 16 deep), by a simple right turn and closing up. Anything else makes no sense militarily, or practically from a drill perspective, and there is neither the time nor the space for your invented 12 ft intervals and 32 deep formation, not to mention that a 32 deep formation could not have the frontage to face two Legions and drive them back, being at most the equivalent of one legion's frontage. Your reconstruction hypothesis simply falls down at every hurdle, and is quite impossible.

....But we've been through all this, and of course you may believe whatever you want, but in this instance you are categorically, absolutely WRONG without any possible shadow of a doubt !! ( and so says that doyen of matters Polybian, namely Walbank, as I mentioned above who concluded the same as me, that Philip "commanded his main force...to double its depth to 16 men, close up and charge..." ) He too clearly believed the 'usual' close order formation was 8 deep.
Xenophon wrote:The 'pertinence' to Kynoskephalae is that Walbank, and others, demonstrate that Polybius had but a vague notion of affairs in Macedonia and hence did not have a knowledgeable, direct, informant. Anyone who was close enough to Philip to accurately report his orders at Kynoskephalae ( some senior courtier or General) would also have informed Polybius about many other things. Since this did not occur, ergo no such direct, contemporary, Macedonian source was among Polybius' informers/eye witnesses - and I know of no credible historian who suggests otherwise.
Yet the clear fact remains - as Walbank points out more than once - that Polybius is far better informed on the Macedonian side for Kynoskephalai than he is for the Roman. There is far more detail in the narration of Macedonian matters at the Dogs' Heads than for the Roman. The most notable being, of course, the lack of any names for the tribunes - including he that leads the twenty maniples. The Aetolians are so named (and praised more than once) hence the argument for an Aetolian source. That Aetolian cannot have known the 'ducks guts' of the Macedonian army, its commanders and movements though.
That is a dubious assertion, to say the least. It is completely untrue to say that "Polybius is far better informed on the Macedonian side" or "there is far more detail" etc He describes almost equally the deployment of both sides and their subsequent manoeuvres and the detail, as in his other battle accounts - on the Macedonian side, Philip's shortening of his front and subsequent charge; on the Roman side the deployment, the elephant charge and the pursuit, with the peeling off of the 20 maniples which destroys Philip's right-wing phalanx. In fact excluding the preliminary skirmishes, Flamininus' speech, and actual 'battle narrative' involving both sides he devotes around 350 words to Macedonian deployment/manouevres and roughly 450-500 words to Roman ones.

The point about the lack of Roman names of subordinate officers is also invalid. A quick check of 16 or more Polybian battle descriptions reveals that subordinate officers are practically NEVER named, only commanders and allied commanders ( such as Archedamus and Eupolemus the Aetolian commanders, or Eumenes of Pergamum.) A rare exception is Gaeus Laelius, Scipio Africanus' second-in-command in Africa, and that likely because on occasion he acted independently. From memory only ( too tiresome to check) the same is also true of Livy, and it is not until Caesar's commentaries that subordinate officers start to be named. On the Macedonian side, we hear of only four named officers. Two are Thracian and Thessalian allied commanders, named like the Aetolians, and one is Nicanor, Philip's second-in-command and commander of the Left wing of the phalanx, and the last the Macedonian cavalry commander....in short, much the same as on the Roman side except we aren't told the Roman cavalry commander's name ! These could easily have been learnt by the Romans and/or Aetolians from prisoners, or from the Rhodian secondary documentary sources that Walbank suggests comprised Polybius' non-Roman sources. Nor need there have been an Aetolian source, let alone a contemporary one, for the same reasons - that is an assumption. Do we assume a Pergamene source for Livy because Eumenes is named and praised at Magnesia? If there was a Macedonian source available to Polybius circa 150 BC, why are only Perseus and his Thracian ally Cotys named at Pydna (via Livy) and only the sketchiest details of Macedonian moves referred to ? That was only 18 years before. There were plenty of Macedonian exiles available, but Polybius does not seem to have consulted any, as Walbank points out. Perhaps it was because of the enmity the Achaean felt for Macedon?

Your invented version of Philip's manoeuvres, supposedly supported by a non-existent contemporary Macedonian source, is pure fiction. ( Even if such a source had existed how credible is it that he would remember exactly what happened and the orders given in the confusion and chaos of a battle fought around 50 years before?). It amounts to the most specious of special pleading.

Moreover, all the Macedonian moves described would have been visible to the Romans at the various stages of the battle - Philip's arrival on the ridge, the driving back and deployment on the right of the light troops, the closing up to the right and subsequent charge, the defeat of the left-wing phalanx largely in column and undeployed by the elephants, the subsequent pursuit back to the Macedonian camp etc. No need for any ASSUMED Macedonian source, contemporary or not. Or an Aetolian one for that matter.
You may enjoy parts of the article though I'm certain you'll disagree with others...
I shall doubtless enjoy reading your article - being an admirer of your style, and mastery of "le mot bon", even if parts of it are the purest fiction, as your postings here lead me to expect.
User avatar
Paralus
Strategos (general)
Posts: 2846
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 7:13 am
Location: Sydney, Australia
Contact:

Re: Antigonid : Play misty for me: Kynoskephalai

Post by Paralus »

Xenophon wrote: The fact is, there is absolutely NO evidence that Polybius drew on, or had, a direct contemporary Macedonian source that he could have spoken to, and Walbank DOESN't suggest otherwise in any of his works.


Please read what I wrote: "whether 'contemporary' or not". I don't believe I've stated that Walbank claims a contemporary Macedonian source, only that he posits a Macedonian source.

Xenophon wrote:I don't understand why you and Agesilaos have latched onto this one ambiguous phrase and decided it is literally true, especially when the consequent manouevres then become impossibly complex ( in Agesilaos' case) or impossible unheard of drill manouevres ( in Paralus' case) that Paralus has made up [...] and there is neither the time nor the space for your invented 12 ft intervals and 32 deep formation [...] Your invented version of Philip's manoeuvres, supposedly supported by a non-existent contemporary Macedonian source, is pure fiction.


I'd rather not complain about attacks on integrity but these constant charges of invention to support a reading of the text have worn far more than thin. Again, I have not invented anything. One more time: I do not state that Walbank claims a contemporary Macedonian source.

Xenophon wrote:....But we've been through all this, and of course you may believe whatever you want, but in this instance you are categorically, absolutely WRONG without any possible shadow of a doubt !! ( and so says that doyen of matters Polybian, namely Walbank, as I mentioned above who concluded the same as me, that Philip "commanded his main force...to double its depth to 16 men, close up and charge..." ) He too clearly believed the 'usual' close order formation was 8 deep.


Well let's see what the "doyen of matters Polybian, namely Walbank", says:

HCP, V II, 582
(24) 8 διπλασιάζειν τὸ βάθος καὶ πυκνοῦν ἐπὶ τὸ δεξιόν: They were to change from the marching depth of eight men to the battle line of sixteen men (cf 30.1), and to reduce the space occupied by each man from 6 ft (xii. 19.7) to 3 ft (29.3);

Xenophon wrote:That is a dubious assertion, to say the least. It is completely untrue to say that "Polybius is far better informed on the Macedonian side" or "there is far more detail" etc He describes almost equally the deployment of both sides and their subsequent manoeuvres and the detail, as in his other battle accounts...

The point about the lack of Roman names of subordinate officers is also invalid.


The "doyen of matters Polybian, namely Walbank" (aside from those already quoted):

(22) 10. οὐδαμῶς ἡρμόζετο πρὸς ἀγῶνα: P. is clearly interested in how the experienced Philip let himself be persuaded into accepting battle. His informants were probably Macedonians anxious to mitigate Philip’s error of judgement.

(26) 1 […] It is significant that, as in 21.5, P. does not know the name of this remarkable tribune…

(21) 5 Ἀρχέδαμον καὶ τὸν Εὐπόλεμον: It is significant for P’s sources on the battle that he knows the names of the two Aetolians but not those of the Roman military tribunes…


What is "invalid" or "dubious" to you seems significant to the doyen.

Xenophon wrote: Polybius therefore did not, and could not have known what orders Philip gave for ANY phase of the battle.
This is the nub: the two orders given. Walbank clearly sees it as such and so do others dealing with the battle. Thus Walbank (above) explains the two actions the orders required - not "a result". On this logic, Polybius "could not have known what orders" Antigonos Doson "gave for ANY phase of the battle" at Sellasia and so we may dispense with "Antigonus ordering the Macedonians to close up in the peculiar formation of the double phalanx" just as easily.
Last edited by Paralus on Wed Nov 05, 2014 9:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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.

Academia.edu
agesilaos
Strategos (general)
Posts: 2180
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2002 2:16 pm
Location: LONDON

Re: Antigonid : Play misty for me: Kynoskephalai

Post by agesilaos »

It's worse than that, if we can only trust eye witness testimony give first hand we are left with only bits of Herodotos, Thukydides, Xenophon and Caesar, and we all know how dodgy they are! This site may as well close since none of our sources for Alexander could have spoken to a contemporary of his, we would be reduced to about five letters and numismatics; did someone not mention sophistry earlier?

But I have to confess I did err grossly over Eupolemos and the date of his exile, though not his age, this was because I thought Xenophon's comments on the Romans taking only those between 10 (LIvy) 12 Polybios) and 40 was pertinent to his case and this proviso refers to the hostages taken in 189 rather than those of 170; there is no reason to consider these general terms, they certainly did not apply when the Romans took 1000 Macedonians hostage in 168.

That you wish to adopt a specious position to support a wilful mistranslation of the source cannot be allowed to go unchallenged Paul, call me crass, sophisticated (in the original perjorative sense of course, I would have to object to the modern meaning, I'm a pleb and proud of it!) etc all you like, it only serves to demonstrate that your character analysis is as flawed as your historical interpretation.

Maybe you do not see how you are twisting the facts so I'll point a few examples out. You repeatedly mention 150 as when Polybios has to interview any witness, yet he was in Rome in 167, the only reason to force him to begin gathering info in 150 is to push the age of any witness to breaking point; similarly with Eupolemos' age. You know full well that the Hipparch of the Achaean League stood to the Strategos as the Magister Equitum did to a Roman Dictator, ie second in the state, which rank Polybios attained in 169 BC when he was about 34; Eupolemos is not the second in the Aetolian League in 197 but a minor commander, they had only sent 400 cavalry and Archidamos, named first, seems to have been above him, so making him 40 is just another manipulation which one is honour bound to point out lest any tiros take these assertions seriously. Now you are claiming that Walbank supports a fighting depth of eight and your views on the deployment, which the quotes above plainly show he does not, HE posits a marching file of eight (which is unattested elsewhere) doubling depth and closing to a 'battle line of sixteen deep' so as lies go that's pretty bare-faced, pause for indignation.....unless, of course you really do not understand what he is saying, a distinct possibility on past evidence.

To pretend that the second hand testimony of an eye-witness has no value sets an almost impossible standard of evidence and is therfore pure 'sophistry', it is perfectly feasible that the 'eye-witness' on the Macedonian side to whom Polybios' account'clearly goes back' would remember the orders and it is patent nonsense to suggest that Polybios would say Philip 'ordered A and B' when he meant he only ordered B.

Since, on the Taktike thread you insist that grown men cannot form files of set depth without drill I really cannot credit your appreciation of what is 'impossibly complicated'; lying straight in bed? :lol:
When you think about, it free-choice is the only possible option.
User avatar
Paralus
Strategos (general)
Posts: 2846
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 7:13 am
Location: Sydney, Australia
Contact:

Re: Antigonid : Play misty for me: Kynoskephalai

Post by Paralus »

Xenophon wrote:[...] and so says that doyen of matters Polybian, namely Walbank, as I mentioned above who concluded the same as me, that Philip "commanded his main force...to double its depth to 16 men, close up and charge..." ) He too clearly believed the 'usual' close order formation was 8 deep.
Again, in your own quote, Walbank latches on to this unambiguous phrase and proceeds on the basis of two clear orders and thus movements. Further...
[ b]Walbank, HCP, V II, 582, 588[/b]
(24) 8 διπλασιάζειν τὸ βάθος καὶ πυκνοῦν ἐπὶ τὸ δεξιόν: They were to change from the marching depth of eight men to the battle line of sixteen men (cf 30.1), and to reduce the space occupied by each man from 6 ft (xii. 19.7) to 3 ft (29.3);

30.1 ἐφ᾽ ἑκκαίδεκα τὸ βάθος οὖσαν: Sixteen ranks was the normal depth for the Macedonian phalanx, but variants were easily achieved (cf ii 66.9; 8 ranks at Issus, xii 19.6; Ael Tact. 4.3; Asclep 2.1
On the doubling of depth:
Asclep. 2.1:
[...] so that the phalanx will be symmetrical both for doubling the depth of its units, in circumstances to be described later, so that it may consist of thirty‑two men, and also for reducing it by one‑half, i.e., to eight men...

Ael. 4.3:
Let the file here contain sixteen men. For that number is proportionate to the length of the phalanx, and if we want to do so for any reason, we will be able to double the depth, so as to make it thirty-two men, or to reduce the depth to eight.
If I come across as rather more than irritated it is because I am. If I am a purveyor of "fiction" (A belief or statement which is false, but is often held to be true because it is expedient to do so) or have recourse to "invention" (Something fabricated or made up) in order to sustain a reading of a text - and this is the charge, make no mistake, leveled multiple times - then so are the above authors. Both, as Asclepiodotus says, describe exactly this later in their 'manuals'. Plainly it must be invention or fiction though.
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.

Academia.edu
User avatar
Xenophon
Hetairos (companion)
Posts: 847
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 2:16 am

Re: Antigonid : Play misty for me: Kynoskephalai

Post by Xenophon »

Paralus wrote:
Xenophon wrote:The fact is, there is absolutely NO evidence that Polybius drew on, or had, a direct contemporary Macedonian source that he could have spoken to, and Walbank DOESN't suggest otherwise in any of his works.
Please read what I wrote: "whether 'contemporary' or not". I don't believe I've stated that Walbank claims a contemporary Macedonian source, only that he posits a Macedonian source.
My apologies....in fact it was Agesilaos who insistently claimed “contemporary Macedonian source”.....When the two of you are ‘double teaming’ me, it is easy to mix you up or treat your views as the same.....


Paralus wrote:
Xenophon wrote:I don't understand why you and Agesilaos have latched onto this one ambiguous phrase and decided it is literally true, especially when the consequent manouevres then become impossibly complex ( in Agesilaos' case) or impossible unheard of drill manouevres ( in Paralus' case) that Paralus has made up [...] and there is neither the time nor the space for your invented 12 ft intervals and 32 deep formation [...] Your invented version of Philip's manoeuvres, supposedly supported by a non-existent contemporary Macedonian source, is pure fiction.

I'd rather not complain about attacks on integrity but these constant charges of invention to support a reading of the text have worn far more than thin. Again, I have not invented anything. One more time: I do not state that Walbank claims a contemporary Macedonian source.”
Yes, yes....you qualified your viewpoint, saying “whether contemporary or not..” [your post Nov 5] see above.
Xenophon wrote:....But we've been through all this, and of course you may believe whatever you want, but in this instance you are categorically, absolutely WRONG without any possible shadow of a doubt !! ( and so says that doyen of matters Polybian, namely Walbank, as I mentioned above who concluded the same as me, that Philip "commanded his main force...to double its depth to 16 men, close up and charge..." ) He too clearly believed the 'usual' close order formation was 8 deep.

Well let's see what the "doyen of matters Polybian, namely Walbank", says:
I used that phrase with my tongue firmly in my cheek, which seems to have escaped you....


HCP, V II, 582
(24) 8 διπλασιάζειν τὸ βάθος καὶ πυκνοῦν ἐπὶ τὸ δεξιόν: They were to change from the marching depth of eight men to the battle line of sixteen men (cf 30.1), and to reduce the space occupied by each man from 6 ft (xii. 19.7) to 3 ft (29.3);


Walbank is clearly in error here, for we are told without shadow of a doubt that the 'open/normal/natural formation 16 deep and at 6ft intervals was used generally, including on the march [Aelian XI.1-6; Asclep IV.3-4; Onasander X.2; Polybius XII.5 ff] Eight deep at 3 ft intervals was close/battle formation, and Paralus must be well aware of this. To therefore quote Walbank here without qualification regarding his obvious error is equivocal and seems to be deliberately misleading.

Paralus wrote:
Xenophon wrote:That is a dubious assertion, to say the least. It is completely untrue to say that "Polybius is far better informed on the Macedonian side" or "there is far more detail" etc He describes almost equally the deployment of both sides and their subsequent manoeuvres and the detail, as in his other battle accounts...

The point about the lack of Roman names of subordinate officers is also invalid.



The "doyen of matters Polybian, namely Walbank" (aside from those already quoted):


(22) 10. οὐδαμῶς ἡρμόζετο πρὸς ἀγῶνα: P. is clearly interested in how the experienced Philip let himself be persuaded into accepting battle. His informants were probably Macedonians anxious to mitigate Philip’s error of judgement.

(26) 1 […] It is significant that, as in 21.5, P. does not know the name of this remarkable tribune…

(21) 5 Ἀρχέδαμον καὶ τὸν Εὐπόλεμον: It is significant for P’s sources on the battle that he knows the names of the two Aetolians but not those of the Roman military tribunes…



What is "invalid" or "dubious" to you seems significant to the doyen.


....and the “doyen”[tongue in cheek again! ] is clearly in error once again, for as I pointed out back on 5 Nov, in 16 or more Polybian battle descriptions, subordinate commanders are never named– it is not ‘significant’, but rather the norm.


Paralus wrote:
Xenophon wrote: Polybius therefore did not, and could not have known what orders Philip gave for ANY phase of the battle.

“This is the nub: the two orders given. Walbank clearly sees it as such and so do others dealing with the battle. Thus Walbank (above) explains the two actions the orders required - not "a result". On this logic, Polybius "could not have known what orders" Antigonos Doson "gave for ANY phase of the battle" at Sellasia and so we may dispense with "Antigonus ordering the Macedonians to close up in the peculiar formation of the double phalanx" just as easily.”
Not a logical argument at all, but an example of ‘reductio ad absurdam’! Polybius doesn’t purport to tell us exactly what specific orders were given by Antigonus to achieve this formation, merely in general terms. [Poly II.9] Similarly with Kynoskephalae, Philip orders the right wing phalanx “to double their depth and close up toward their right.” Again this is in general terms.[ the actual orders in order to achieve this are given in Asclep XII.8 and Aelian XXXIII.1].

However, as I point out elsewhere, if you had any experience of, or knowledge of, drill you would be aware that multiple or complex orders can be carried out by a single manoeuvre ( or strictly speaking, two, in this instance) and a single or simple order may require several manoeuvres to carry out. Two orders most assuredly do not necessarily mean two manoeuvres, and you are wrong to assert so. Here, Philip's orders could be carried out by a simple right turn, close up on the right-most file, and turn to the front (left) again, leaving the phalanx both closed up and 16 deep..
User avatar
Xenophon
Hetairos (companion)
Posts: 847
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 2:16 am

Re: Antigonid : Play misty for me: Kynoskephalai

Post by Xenophon »

Agesilaos wrote:
“It's worse than that, if we can only trust eye witness testimony give first hand we are left with only bits of Herodotos, Thukydides, Xenophon and Caesar, and we all know how dodgy they are! This site may as well close since none of our sources for Alexander could have spoken to a contemporary of his, we would be reduced to about five letters and numismatics; did someone not mention sophistry earlier? “
No-one suggested that we could only trust eye witness testimony given first-hand, only that such testimony is highly unlikely to be contained in Polybius’ account of Kynoskephalae. This is simply you pushing a ‘reductio ad absurdum’ fallacy.
“But I have to confess I did err grossly over Eupolemos and the date of his exile, though not his age, this was because I thought Xenophon's comments on the Romans taking only those between 10 (LIvy) 12 Polybios) and 40 was pertinent to his case and this proviso refers to the hostages taken in 189 rather than those of 170; there is no reason to consider these general terms, they certainly did not apply when the Romans took 1000 Macedonians hostage in 168.

That you wish to adopt a specious position to support a wilful mistranslation of the source cannot be allowed to go unchallenged Paul, call me crass, sophisticated (in the original perjorative sense of course, I would have to object to the modern meaning, I'm a pleb and proud of it!) etc all you like, it only serves to demonstrate that your character analysis is as flawed as your historical interpretation.”
More personal abuse and “flaming”? You are now entering the realm of ‘trolldom’. Nor do I call you anything, and never have! I may take issue with a person’s views and arguments but I don’t resort to personal insults or name-calling. I also do not indulge in ‘wilful mistranslation’, unlike you, as has been shown in the past.
“Maybe you do not see how you are twisting the facts so I'll point a few examples out. You repeatedly mention 150 as when Polybios has to interview any witness, yet he was in Rome in 167, the only reason to force him to begin gathering info in 150 is to push the age of any witness to breaking point; similarly with Eupolemos' age.”
You seem to have a short memory. I explained earlier in the thread where the date of 150 comes from. It is the approximate date Walbank gives for Polybius researching and writing his ‘universal history’ (Philip V of Macedon Appendix I : short survey of sources p.279) “Finally, after 151 [when he returned to Greece] came his wider researches; but by now the majority of his [Greek and Macedonian] informants on the years prior to 179 would be dead” [i.e. no contemporary Macedonian/Greek witnesses]. Thus Walbank concludes that Polybius’ knowledge regarding Philip V must have been garnered second-hand during his time at Rome.
Agesilaos wrote:
“You know full well that the Hipparch of the Achaean League stood to the Strategos as the Magister Equitum did to a Roman Dictator, ie second in the state, which rank Polybios attained in 169 BC when he was about 34; Eupolemos is not the second in the Aetolian League in 197 but a minor commander, they had only sent 400 cavalry and Archidamos, named first, seems to have been above him, so making him 40 is just another manipulation which one is honour bound to point out lest any tiros take these assertions seriously.”
This assertion is incorrect.What makes you think that a Roman political institution applied in Achaea ? So far as I can recall, it did not. The Hipparchs in Sparta and Athens were relatively junior posts, and I can’t think of any Greek poleis/state that had an equivalent institution of the Roman ‘Master of Horse’ as second-in-command of the army. There is no evidence that Polybius was “second in the state” when he was 34, and it is highly improbable. Once again, a mountain of conjecture built on the foundation of a false premise.
“Now you are claiming that Walbank supports a fighting depth of eight and your views on the deployment, which the quotes above plainly show he does not, HE posits a marching file of eight (which is unattested elsewhere) doubling depth and closing to a 'battle line of sixteen deep' so as lies go that's pretty bare-faced, pause for indignation.....unless, of course you really do not understand what he is saying, a distinct possibility on past evidence.”
You go too far with your unwarranted personal abuse!! I don’t tell lies. I have previously explained I no longer have access to Walbank’s commentaries, and haven’t for some time. If you refer to my actual post, you’ll see I quoted Walbank’s comments from “Philip V” in good faith: p.171 “Posting his retreating forces on the right, he commanded his main force of phalangites and peltasts to double its depth to sixteen, close up and charge the approaching enemy.” It follows that if sixteen deep in close order is double depth, then single depth must be eight deep. I did not have the benefit of Walbank’s later thoughts in his commentaries until Paralus made his post – and it seems we agree Walbank was wrong in his later postulation that eight deep was ‘marching order’. ( and see above)
Since you are mistaken, perhaps you would have the good grace to apologise for your totally unjustified offensive comments and accusations ? ......I shan't hold my breath, though. :P
“To pretend that the second hand testimony of an eye-witness has no value sets an almost impossible standard of evidence and is therefore pure 'sophistry', it is perfectly feasible that the 'eye-witness' on the Macedonian side to whom Polybios' account 'clearly goes back' would remember the orders and it is patent nonsense to suggest that Polybios would say Philip 'ordered A and B' when he meant he only ordered B.”
It is this assertion which is nonsense. I ‘pretend’ no such thing, nor do I suggest that Philip ordered ‘only B’. My position is that in ordering his phalanx to close up to the right in double depth, this was accomplished in a single manoeuvre, or more correctly a double one. The phalanx was standing in open order, 16 deep. Right/spearward turn, and close up on the rightmost file, followed by a left/shieldward turn to face front again. [This is described for example at Aelian XXXIII.1; Asclep XII.8]
A small digression. Many years ago I worked with a first class classicist, who unfortunately did not have military knowledge to match. Consequently he insisted that unlike other Greeks, Spartans must have used oblong or rectangular shields, on the strength of the “Come back with this shield or on it” aphorism. He asserted that this was proof that Spartans used their shields as biers, and hence must have been oblong/rectangular !! Despite all the contrary evidence otherwise, he could not be persuaded that this was not the case. Sound familiar?
I find myself in a similar position with you and Paralus. Neither of you has any military experience, let alone experience of large scale drill, as I have. If you did, you might know that multiple orders can be carried out by single manoeuvres, and that a single order can sometimes require multiple manoeuvres to execute. The likeliest way in which Philip’s order was carried out is described at Asclep XII.8 and Aelian XXXIII.1 ff, with the addition that Philip ordered his men to close up in ‘double depth’ i.e. form ‘close’ order in their current 'double depth' 16 deep. Confirmation that this was so comes from checking the resulting frontages, which must match that of two Roman Legions. Paralus’ 32 deep postulation does not work for reasons I have set out – the intervals become too large, and nowhere are we told of such large files, and furthermore the resulting formation does not fit Polybius’ narrative, being on far too short a frontage – as I believe you and I agree ( as well as others). Your postulation involves unnecessary complexity, and would take too long to perform in the circumstances. Occam’s razor should surely apply.
User avatar
Xenophon
Hetairos (companion)
Posts: 847
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 2:16 am

Re: Antigonid : Play misty for me: Kynoskephalai

Post by Xenophon »

Post by Paralus » Fri Nov 07, 2014 1:04 pm
“Xenophon wrote:[...] and so says that doyen of matters Polybian, namely Walbank, as I mentioned above who concluded the same as me, that Philip "commanded his main force...to double its depth to 16 men, close up and charge..." ) He too clearly believed the 'usual' close order formation was 8 deep.

Again, in your own quote, Walbank latches on to this unambiguous phrase and proceeds on the basis of two clear orders and thus movements. Further...”
See above. Two orders do NOT necessarily mean two separate movements !! If you had any experience or knowledge of massed drill, you would know multiple orders can result in a simple manoeuvre, or that a single order may have to be carried out by several moves.....


[ b]Walbank, HCP, V II, 582, 588[/b]
(24) 8 διπλασιάζειν τὸ βάθος καὶ πυκνοῦν ἐπὶ τὸ δεξιόν: They were to change from the marching depth of eight men to the battle line of sixteen men (cf 30.1), and to reduce the space occupied by each man from 6 ft (xii. 19.7) to 3 ft (29.3);

30.1 ἐφ᾽ ἑκκαίδεκα τὸ βάθος οὖσαν: Sixteen ranks was the normal depth for the Macedonian phalanx, but variants were easily achieved (cf ii 66.9; 8 ranks at Issus, xii 19.6; Ael Tact. 4.3; Asclep 2.1
As I have mentioned elsewhere, not having access to this I was not aware of Walbank’s comments in the HCP, only what I accurately quoted from “Philip V”.
See above. I don’t agree Walbank’s comment that marching depth was eight, and if the normal ‘battle line’ was sixteen deep, then where is the ‘double depth’here ?. He is plainly wrong, and has the formations back to front, as is quite evident from the manuals.


“On the doubling of depth:


Asclep. 2.1:
[...] so that the phalanx will be symmetrical both for doubling the depth of its units, in circumstances to be described later, so that it may consist of thirty two men, and also for reducing it by one half, i.e., to eight men...

Ael. 4.3:
Let the file here contain sixteen men. For that number is proportionate to the length of the phalanx, and if we want to do so for any reason, we will be able to double the depth, so as to make it thirty-two men, or to reduce the depth to eight.”
In fact nowhere does Asclepiodotus, nor Aelian, nor Arrian describe files as 32 deep, other than hypothetically and briefly here, where it is qualified by “if we want to do so for any reason”[Asclep above and Aelian IV.3] “should it be necessary” [Arrian V. ] who also adds that 16 is “the maximum depth”.‘Doubling’depth is described in detail later,, but not to 32 deep. Indeed, there is a clear statement that it is used to return to the original 16 deep formation from ‘pyknosis’/close order. [ Aelian 29.3; Asclep X.19-20]

Such a formation 32 deep is s imply impractical, since it necessitates impossible 12 foot intervals between files. Here we have one of many examples of our ‘lucid dreamers’ referring to something hypothetically possible , as evidenced by Asclepiodotus and Aelian’s “if we want to do so for any reason” and Arrian’s “should it be necessary..

Furthermore, as I have said previously, there is no reference in any of the manuals to files actually 32 deep – indeed Arrian tells us that 16 is the “maximum depth”, and only 3 intervals of 18 inches, 3 feet, and 6 feet are ever referred to corresponding to ‘synaspismos/locked shields’, ‘pyknosis/close or compact order’ and natural/open/normal order which had no specific name. Intervals of 12 ft are never referred to, because they would cause the phalanx to lose all cohesion, which is difficult enough at intervals of 3 or 6 ft, and must be frequently ‘dressed’, as anyone who has watched a ‘Trooping of the Colour’ ceremony knows ( and dressing is referred to in the Manuals). This reference to 32 is likely to be a gloss found in the common source. Thirty- two is likely mentioned purely because they knew of phalanx formations of this overall depth, from historical writings, not realising that where these depths are referred to, of necessity they must consist of two 16 deep formations, one behind another ( I’ll let you work out why ) – which is what happened at Issus, Sellasia and Magnesia.

Paralus wrote Fri Nov 7 2014:
“If I come across as rather more than irritated it is because I am. If I am a purveyor of "fiction" (A belief or statement which is false, but is often held to be true because it is expedient to do so) or have recourse to "invention" (Something fabricated or made up) in order to sustain a reading of a text - and this is the charge, make no mistake, leveled multiple times - then so are the above authors. Both, as Asclepiodotus says, describe exactly this later in their 'manuals'. Plainly it must be invention or fiction though.”
I don’t understand why you are being so sensitive about this, or "more than irritated", nor why you persist in seeing it as an attack on your integrity. I take your integrity as a ‘given’. If I refer to your 32 deep file as an invention or fiction, it is merely to emphasise that there is no evidence that Philip did this ( and excellent reasons to think he did not, on frontage grounds inter alia), or any reference to such a file formation in our historical sources. ( as opposed to formations 32 deep).

You might have some cause to see an attack on your integrity if I described your posts as “bullsh*t”, or openly called you a “liar” (totally without cause, I may add), as has been done to me.

None of the technical writers describe forming files 32 deep, despite your quotations, which as I say are a likely gloss,(probably ultimately derived from Poseidonius) and such files are in fact nowhere described ‘later’ in any of the manuals. The only ACTUAL reference to ‘doubling of depth’ is to return to open order 16 deep from close order 8 deep. [ Aelian XXIX.2 and 3; Asclep X.19 and 20.] Only three ‘orders/formations’ are described [16,8 and 4 deep], with appropriate intervals. There is no mention of a merged file 32 deep with 12 ft intervals between files. How many times must I point this out ? A phalanx formation consisting of files 32 deep is never referred to in any of our sources, technical or general, and is hence a “fiction” you have made up to support your misunderstanding of Philip’s formation – and perhaps, not having military experience, of Asclepiodotus and Aelian who may also be guilty of invention, if this is what they believed, though I don't think this is so. [and no, I am not attacking their integrity either ! ]
Hypothetically of course, one could go on doubling to 64 etc.....but this is impossible in practise, as is 32.
That these writers in Roman times did not fully understand the ‘forgotten’ long ago Hellenistic systems they admit – as Agesilaos commented on, back on page one of this thread.

edited to add quotation boxes
Last edited by Xenophon on Mon Jan 19, 2015 7:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Paralus
Strategos (general)
Posts: 2846
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 7:13 am
Location: Sydney, Australia
Contact:

Re: Antigonid : Play misty for me: Kynoskephalai

Post by Paralus »

Xenophon wrote:If you refer to my actual post, you’ll see I quoted Walbank’s comments from “Philip V” in good faith: p.171 “Posting his retreating forces on the right, he commanded his main force of phalangites and peltasts to double its depth to sixteen, close up and charge the approaching enemy.” It follows that if sixteen deep in close order is double depth, then single depth must be eight deep. I did not have the benefit of Walbank’s later thoughts in his commentaries until Paralus made his post – and it seems we agree Walbank was wrong in his later postulation that eight deep was ‘marching order’. ( and see above)
No. It follows that Walbank proceeds on the basis that Philip ordered his phalanx to double its depth to sixteen and then close up. It follows that Walbank sees the original deployment as eight deep.

Xenophon wrote:My position is that in ordering his phalanx to close up to the right in double depth, this was accomplished in a single manoeuvre, or more correctly a double one. The phalanx was standing in open order, 16 deep. Right/spearward turn, and close up on the rightmost file, followed by a left/shieldward turn to face front again. [This is described for example at Aelian XXXIII.1; Asclep XII.8] by single manoeuvres, and that a single order can sometimes require multiple manoeuvres to execute. The likeliest way in which Philip’s order was carried out is described at Asclep XII.8 and Aelian XXXIII.1 ff, with the addition that Philip ordered his men to close up in ‘double depth’ i.e. form ‘close’ order in their current 'double depth' 16 deep. Confirmation that this was so comes from checking the resulting frontages, which must match that of two Roman Legions.
And so your "fiction" of convenience, to skirt the explicit text, continues. Every modern historian who has written of the battle in any detail follows what Polybius wrote. That is, Philip ordered his phalanx to double its depth and to then close to the right. Even the 'first' (extant) historian from antiquity (Livy) explained it to his Roman audience in exactly the same fashion (33.8.14). Clearly Livy, like the rest of us, was completely ignorant of any military drill and should have left well enough alone. NGL Hammond also follows Polybius' description. Serving in the British army from 1940 to the end of WWII he also seems to share this complete ignorance. This complete ignorance of military drill also pervades the West Point Military Academy who, one might have thought, would know at least something. It is well, therefore, that we have you to shine the light of singular experience upon this dark art of military drill!!!

The passages from the 'manuals' in no way aid your argument; they simply describe the one action: closing to spear or to shield. Philip's phalanx performed this after it had doubled depth.
Xenophon wrote:In fact nowhere does Asclepiodotus, nor Aelian, nor Arrian describe files as 32 deep, other than hypothetically and briefly here, where it is qualified by “if we want to do so for any reason”[Asclep above and Aelian IV.3] “should it be necessary” [Arrian V. ] who also adds that 16 is “the maximum depth”.‘Doubling’depth is described in detail later,, but not to 32 deep. Indeed, there is a clear statement that it is used to return to the original 16 deep formation from ‘pyknosis’/close order. [ Aelian 29.3; Asclep X.19-20]

Such a formation 32 deep is s imply impractical, since it necessitates impossible 12 foot intervals between files. Here we have one of many examples of our ‘lucid dreamers’ referring to something hypothetically possible , as evidenced by Asclepiodotus and Aelian’s “if we want to do so for any reason” and Arrian’s “should it be necessary..
The two authors have, self evidently, just done so but it would seem this is simply a product of lucid dreams or a 'gloss'. I must really sort out the fact from the dreaming and /or the glosses it seems.
Xenophon wrote:I don’t understand why you are being so sensitive about this, or "more than irritated", nor why you persist in seeing it as an attack on your integrity. I take your integrity as a ‘given’.
Then it appears you are rather confused for following this comes...
Xenophon wrote: A phalanx formation consisting of files 32 deep is never referred to in any of our sources, technical or general, and is hence a “fiction” you have made up to support your misunderstanding of Philip’s formation...
You may dress it up in whatever sophistry makes you feel more comfortable about your slights but, yet again, the accusation is that I have "made up" - your exact words - something to justify my view. You might please explain just how accusing someone of invention of "fiction" to support an argument is not an attack on that person's integrity.This is Taphoi-esque where "intrepid" epigraphers "invent" whole text. The passages - from the 'manuals' you so evidently hold dear - that I've quoted are set aside as 'glosses', the product of lucid dreams, or possible invention of those without the insight informed by your experience. Most convenient.

I will let others judge judge that for themselves.
Last edited by Paralus on Mon Jan 19, 2015 12:37 am, edited 2 times in total.
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.

Academia.edu
agesilaos
Strategos (general)
Posts: 2180
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2002 2:16 pm
Location: LONDON

Re: Antigonid : Play misty for me: Kynoskephalai

Post by agesilaos »

The simple fact is that διπλασιάζειν does not mean what you want it to mean; it means 'to double' pure and simple LSJ has
διπλα^σι-άζω ,
A. [select] double, Pl.Lg.920a, Hierocl. in CA20p.465M., etc.: —Pass., Prodic.7, X.Ages.5.1, Ph.2.534; “δ. λέγεται διχῶς: ἢ γὰρ τόπον . . μένοντος τοῦ πλήθους τῶν ἀνδρῶν, ἢ τὸν ἀριθμόν” Ascl.Tact.10.17; so “δ. τὸ βάθος” Plb.18.24.8.
2. [select] Gramm., reduplicate, A.D. Pron.62.23, al.:—Pass., Id.Synt.237.23.
b. [select] double a consonant, Hdn.Gr.2.932, etc.
3. [select] repeat a metrical phrase, in Pass., Aristid. Quint.1.24.
II. [select] intr., to be twice the size of, “τινός” D.S.4.84; to be doubled in value, Lys.32.25.
Including this very instance, it never has, does or will mean 'to move to a notional double standard depth' and that is where the bluster falls and your interpretation fails. The Macedonians doubled their existing depth, and since I agree that the relative frontages make a final depth of sixteen likely, that means that they started eight deep. But you can continue believing in oblong hoplite shields if you choose.

Arrian Taktike V 5 does not say that sixteen was the deepest formation only that in his opinion it was the deepest useful as the light troops could shoot over sixteen ranks, he immediately goes on to say that it allows one to double to thirty-two should it be desired.
κείσθω δὲ ἡμῖν τὸ βαθύτατον αὐτοῦ ἐς ἑκκαίδεκα. σύμμετρον γὰρ τοῦτο πρός τε τὴν ἐπὶ μῆκος τάξιν καὶ
πρὸς τὴν ἐς βάθος τῆς φάλαγγος καὶ πρὸς τὸ ὑπερτοξεύεσθαί τε καὶ ὑπερακοντίζεσθαι πρὸς τῶν
ψιλῶν τῶν ἐφεστηκότων. [6] καὶ εἴτε διπλασιάσαι δεήσειεν τὸ βάθος ἐπὶ τριάκοντα δύο ἄνδρας, ἡ
τάξις σύμμετρος ἔσται
The parallel passages in Asklepiodotos and Aelian, II i and 4 respectively are enlightening, neither intrudes into the exposition as Arrian does with his 'δὲ ἡμῖν' 'for my part' - the former is ambiguous but Aelian is explicit that the psiloi can shoot over thirty-two ranks. It is most likely that this is Arrian's precis of the note that Aelian gives as 'For this exercise we will base the file upon sixteen men which is proportionate to the different configurations of the phalanx..etc'
When you think about, it free-choice is the only possible option.
User avatar
Xenophon
Hetairos (companion)
Posts: 847
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 2:16 am

Re: Antigonid : Play misty for me: Kynoskephalai

Post by Xenophon »

Paralus wrote:
No. It follows that Walbank proceeds on the basis that Philip ordered his phalanx to double its depth to sixteen and then close up. It follows that Walbank sees the original deployment as eight deep.
But you know that Walbank's 8 deep in 'marching formation is completely wrong, and if you did not, then all doubt should have been removed by my last post. Such a postulation runs contra ALL the ancient evidence of our sources, which I referenced for your convenience. You are playing ostrich, and being disingenuous, if you are postulating that Walbank was right - and I trust you are not. Moreover, your inability to even envisage these manoeuvres 'on the ground', due to your total lack of massed drill experience is showing again. What you suggest is not practical. Eight deep was a formation in 'close order'/pyknosis, 3 ft intervals, or shoulder to shoulder. But Polybius tells us that just before Philip's closing up, he received his light troops and cavalry through his phalanx, and then sent them to his right wing [Poly XVIII.24.7]. Since troops in close order could not 'receive' light troops and cavalry through their ranks, ( for those who do not understand why, Onasander XIX.1 explains:
"1 There should be intervals within the ranks, so that, when the light-armed troops have discharged their weapons while the enemy is still advancing, before the two armies come to close quarters, they may about-face, pass in good order through the centre of the phalanx, and come without confusion to the rear. For it is not safe for them to go around the whole army, encircling the flanks — since the enemy would quickly anticipate them in this manoeuvre, coming to close quarters and intercepting them on the way — nor is it safe for them to force their way through the closed ranks, where they would fall over the weapons and cause confusion in the lines, one man stumbling against another.)

It follows that they were in 'open/natural/normal order at this time. Aside from the fact that Walbank is undoubtedly wrong regarding an 8 deep open order 'marching formation, it is also not possible for the same reason your imaginary 32 deep formation is not. To 'double depth' to 16 would require forming with 12 ft intervals between files - losing all cohesion. ( Yes, I am suggesting Walbank's formations are his 'invention', but I am not attacking his integrity either !! :wink: )

Paralus wrote:
Xenophon wrote:My position is that in ordering his phalanx to close up to the right in double depth, this was accomplished in a single manoeuvre, or more correctly a double one. The phalanx was standing in open order, 16 deep. Right/spearward turn, and close up on the rightmost file, followed by a left/shieldward turn to face front again. [This is described for example at Aelian XXXIII.1; Asclep XII.8] by single manoeuvres, and that a single order can sometimes require multiple manoeuvres to execute. The likeliest way in which Philip’s order was carried out is described at Asclep XII.8 and Aelian XXXIII.1 ff, with the addition that Philip ordered his men to close up in ‘double depth’ i.e. form ‘close’ order in their current 'double depth' 16 deep. Confirmation that this was so comes from checking the resulting frontages, which must match that of two Roman Legions.
And so your "fiction" of convenience, to skirt the explicit text, continues. Every modern historian who has written of the battle in any detail follows what Polybius wrote. That is, Philip ordered his phalanx to double its depth and to then close to the right. Even the 'first' (extant) historian from antiquity (Livy) explained it to his Roman audience in exactly the same fashion (33.8.14). Clearly Livy, like the rest of us, was completely ignorant of any military drill and should have left well enough alone. NGL Hammond also follows Polybius' description. Serving in the British army from 1940 to the end of WWII he also seems to share this complete ignorance. This complete ignorance of military drill also pervades the West Point Military Academy who, one might have thought, would know at least something. It is well, therefore, that we have you to shine the light of singular experience upon this dark art of military drill!!!
It is not I who "skirts the explicit text" but you, for your hypothetical 32 deep formation ( based on an incorrect supposition and interpretation of what Polybius wrote) could not frontally take on the two Roman right wing Legions, a physical impossibility ( a point you don't answer, despite repeated requests, for the simple reason that it is unanswerable, and your postulation is impossible on that ground alone. Ergo you contradict what Polybius wrote, in a major way, in fact in several ways. ( so does Agesilaos, in having the Phalanx 8 deep in close order prior to Philip's manoeuvre - see above for why this is not possible). The hypothesis I put forward at least has the virtue of being entirely consistent with Polybius throughout, and is also the likeliest on the grounds of probability.

Livy never, to our knowledge, performed any military service, or even public service of any kind. Even if he did, he would have no knowledge of Hellenistic drill. He simply followed Polybius' text as best he could - and made various errors, as Hammond points out. As a civilian with no experience he was indeed "completely ignorant of any military drill", just as you say .He interpreted Polybius wrongly at this point (just like you), and famously went on to mistranslate the phalanx "lowering its spears" to it "dropping its spears" and tackling the Legions with swords!! Your knowledge of modern military history also seems deficient, for N.G.L. Hammond did not serve in the British army at all ! Because of his local knowledge of Greece and Albania, in 1940 he joined the S.O.E ( Special Operations Executive) which was a CIVILIAN organisation of "spooks", on a hostilities only basis direct from University. He is most unlikely to have ever set foot on a parade ground, let alone acquired any knowledge of drill, or any other military knowledge beyond that needed to liaise with partisans. So he does indeed "share this complete ignorance." Your attempted scorn and sarcasm ironically turns out to be entirely correct. :lol:
I have no idea what you are trying to convey by your vague allusion to West point academy .
It is not enough to simply have participated in drill, like West point cadets, or for that matter British guardsmen. One has to have practical experience of organising massed drill and the difficulties involved AND knowledge of the ancient drills as described in the various 'Taktike'. "Knowing something" of drill is simply not enough.
As the Duke of Wellington once famously said on the subject: "If 30,000 men were marched into Hyde Park, there are not ten men in Europe who could get them out again."
The passages from the 'manuals' in no way aid your argument; they simply describe the one action: closing to spear or to shield. Philip's phalanx performed this after it had doubled depth.
That is not correct - it is only your mistaken interpretation of Polybius. There is no actual evidence that Philip's phalanx doubled its depth as a separate manoeuvre, only closing up "after" this. As I have repeatedly pointed out 'doubling depth' to 16 in 'close', or fighting order, could best be achieved as I say. We know they began 16 deep in 'open' order' ( see above), and also because of the frontages involved, and we know they charged 16 deep in 'close order', having closed up to their right, also because of the frontages, and because Polybius specifically says they did, for immediately after his description of Kynoskephalae, he digresses on the advantages and disadvantages of the phalanx [XVIII.28-30] " and I will, now that we see them both in actual practice [at Kynoskephalae], endeavour to fulfill this promise." He tells us, inter alia, that each man "occupies a space three feet in breadth" i.e 'close'order. He also says[XVIII.28.30] " From this we can easily conceive what is the nature and force of a charge by the whole phalanx when it is 16 deep." Since we know from the manuals that 16 deep was normally in 'open order', closing up to 8 deep in 'close order', Polybius must be describing the specific formation and charge at Kynoskephalae - which we know took place at 'double depth' i.e. 16 deep.

So let us hear no more of your imaginary 32 deep, for which there is no evidence that Philip did this, and which not only does not and cannot work, but actually contradicts what Polybius says took place.

Paralus wrote:
Xenophon wrote:In fact nowhere does Asclepiodotus, nor Aelian, nor Arrian describe files as 32 deep, other than hypothetically and briefly here, where it is qualified by “if we want to do so for any reason”[Asclep above and Aelian IV.3] “should it be necessary” [Arrian V. ] who also adds that 16 is “the maximum depth”.‘Doubling’depth is described in detail later,, but not to 32 deep. Indeed, there is a clear statement that it is used to return to the original 16 deep formation from ‘pyknosis’/close order. [ Aelian 29.3; Asclep X.19-20]

Such a formation 32 deep is simply impractical, since it necessitates impossible 12 foot intervals between files. Here we have one of many examples of our ‘lucid dreamers’ referring to something only hypothetically possible , as evidenced by Asclepiodotus and Aelian’s “if we want to do so for any reason” and Arrian’s “should it be necessary..
The two authors have, self evidently, just done so but it would seem this is simply a product of lucid dreams or a 'gloss'. I must really sort out the fact from the dreaming and /or the glosses it seems.
Yes, you really should. The manual is a mixture of 'theoretical' and 'practical' as we all agreed, and one should sort the wheat from the chaff, as I have explained on the 'Taktike' thread. Clinging to a postulation based on a false premise ( doubling to 32 deep) then leads you into impossibilities - such as a formation on a frontage of 5-600 yards at most taking on and successfully driving back a Roman formation 1,000-1,200 yards long, and also directly contradicts what Polybius says, namely that Philip's phalanx charged 16 deep ( at which depth their frontage would be much the same as the Roman one, which at least makes military sense ).

Paralus wrote:
Xenophon wrote:I don’t understand why you are being so sensitive about this, or "more than irritated", nor why you persist in seeing it as an attack on your integrity. I take your integrity as a ‘given’.
The it appears you are rather confused for following this comes...
Xenophon wrote: A phalanx formation consisting of files 32 deep is never referred to in any of our sources, technical or general, and is hence a “fiction” you have made up to support your misunderstanding of Philip’s formation...
You may dress it up in whatever sophistry makes you feel more comfortable about your slights but, yet again, the accusation is that I have "made up" - your exact words - something to justify my view. You might please explain just how accusing someone of invention of "fiction" to support an argument is not an attack on that person's integrity.This is Taphoi-esque where "intrepid" epigraphers "invent" whole text. The passages - from the 'manuals' you so evidently hold dear - that I've quoted are set aside as 'glosses', the product of lucid dreams, or possible invention of those without the insight informed by your experience. Most convenient.

I will let others judge judge that for themselves.
I have explained that I take your 'integrity' -uprightness and honesty - as a given. One can obviously make honest mistakes, such as inventing a postulation unsupported by the evidence. What may challenge that integrity is clinging to it after you become aware it is wrong, but that is entirely up to you. I have explained in detail why the references to doubling files to 32 are purely hypothetical, for there is no further mention in the manuals (or the general histories) of such files, and it is directly contradicted because there is ONLY reference to three formations - 'open/normal/natural', 'close/pyknosis', and 'synaspismos' locked shields and ONLY three corresponding sets of intervals - 6 ft,3ft and 18 ins. No reference throughout the entire manuals to a formation 32 deep at 12 ft intervals, or what purpose such a formation might serve. Thus even if it were not impossible in practice, such a formation didn't exist and belongs to the realm of theory of what is hypothetically possible. If you refuse to see this, it can only be wilful blindness, and that very well known human trait to cling to irrational beliefs rather than accept overwhelming weight of evidence to the contrary. (Admiral Kimmel at Pearl Harbour being a famous case in point, or Linus Pauling and vitamin C as cure-all).

Here you cling to your invented hypothesis on a subject of which you have no experience or knowledge, and refuse to accept what I say, despite the fact that I DO have such experience. Illogical, surely, especially when - as I have shown again and again with references - what I say is fully supported by the evidence in the sources.

I do not attack your integrity, yet you attack mine by alleging that what I say is for 'convenience', rather than being fully evidence based, which it is. It is also insulting, not to mention irrational, to assume that you, with no experience of the subject, know better than I, who do have direct experience.

I don't think there is anything more to say on the subject of this thread, unless we choose to explore further the likely location of the battlefield.
Post Reply