Antigonid : Play misty for me: Kynoskephalai

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Paralus
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Re: Antigonid : Play misty for me: Kynoskephalai

Post by Paralus »

Xenophon wrote: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.


That is precious considering you accuse me of "invention" and "pure fiction" to support "an incorrect supposition and interpretation of what Polybius wrote" - an absolute academic and debating no,no. Your softening of those terms to "hypothesis", which even then cannot be let stand without the qualifier of "invented", indicates you well know what your terminology infers.

I have, in the past, had the grace to acknowledge and apologise for what you have perceived as crossing that line (even if I did not intend such). My expression of offense has, though, elicited no such grace. What it has elicited is wordy dissembling without ever an acknowledgement of how those terms have been read. It is apparently all my fault.
Xenophon wrote: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.
On which I have my view but I see little point in discussing that. Why would anyone attempt such with someone who has already appointed himself the only one qualified to discuss the subject? There is nothing I and others (at least one other) can contribute. Just as there is little point in discussing the passages of the Manuals you've listed (again) because we've already done this yet you continue to simply post the same material as if no discussion or alternate view has been canvassed.
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Wicked men, you sin against your fathers, who conquered the whole world under Philip and Alexander.

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Re: Antigonid : Play misty for me: Kynoskephalai

Post by agesilaos »

Xen
in fact it was Agesilaos who insistently claimed “contemporary Macedonian source”.
In fact it is Walbank who insists on this when he says Comm II p582 ‘…the reference to the nickname [elephanta] here may derive from the eye-witness source on the Macedonian side, to whom part of P.’s narrative clearly goes back.’ Care to explain a non-contemporary eye-witness?

Posted here on 28th Oct, conveniently at the top of the preceding page, so you can hardly plead ignorance of this.

Xen
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.
No depth for the file when marching is ever stated in the manuals, although Alexander marched 120 deep at Pelion, and at Issos moved from 32 deep to 16 and finally to 8 (Kallisthenes ap Polybios XII), good job he pre-dated all the manuals. None of these changes represent changes in density as Polybios doubles the putative length of the line at each indicating that in his mind the intervals between the files were maintained. No ancient source associates a density with a depth, they vary. Walbank need not therefore have erred, although, I think he has, but not in giving Philip’s phalanx a depth of eight only in assuming that it arrived marching in files eight deep.

What is deliberately misleading, is your continued purblind denial that Polybios describes two orders being issued, ‘τοῖς δὲ πελτασταῖς καὶ τοῖς φαλαγγίταις παρήγγελλε διπλασιάζειν τὸ βάθος καὶ πυκνοῦν ἐπὶ τὸ δεξιόν’ is perfectly clear in both Greek and English, ‘he ordered the peltasts and the phalangites to double their depth AND close up to the right.’ Far from remaining true to Polybios you are totally distorting him and rather than Paralus aping the ostrich… well .

The misrepresentation by omission and addition does not end there but I will leave others to discern the manipulations for themselves.

One that I won’t let pass, however is the quote from Onasandros. You ought to be aware, as a self-proclaimed expert on matters ancient and military, that Onasandros is writing for the Romans about the Romans. The movements described in XIX are those Polybios describes occurring at Kynoskephalai, XVIII 24
[10] κατὰ δὲ τὸν αὐτὸν καιρὸν καὶ Τίτος, δεξάμενος εἰς τὰ διαστήματα τῶν σημαιῶν τοὺς προκινδυνεύοντας, προσέβαλε τοῖς πολεμίοις.
At the same time Flamininus also, having received his advanced party into the intervals between his maniples,
When you think about, it free-choice is the only possible option.
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Re: Antigonid : Play misty for me: Kynoskephalai

Post by Paralus »

agesilaos wrote:No depth for the file when marching is ever stated in the manuals, although Alexander marched 120 deep at Pelion, and at Issos moved from 32 deep to 16 and finally to 8 (Kallisthenes ap Polybios XII), good job he pre-dated all the manuals. None of these changes represent changes in density as Polybios doubles the putative length of the line at each indicating that in his mind the intervals between the files were maintained. No ancient source associates a density with a depth, they vary. Walbank need not therefore have erred, although, I think he has, but not in giving Philip’s phalanx a depth of eight only in assuming that it arrived marching in files eight deep.
I think Walbank's view is that Philip occupied the range of the high ground and to do so - with half or less of the phalanx - necessitated a depth of eight' rather than sixteen as per your suggestion earlier (though not in close order). This as the left was yet to be assembled properly from camp and would follow when it was. That it was not near ready is evident from the fact that the right has pushed the Romans back toward their camp by the time the left is beginning to crest the hills.

Polybios is clearly describing Alexander's army as advancing in line, with six foot intervals, rather than any column of march for the near 40 stades. His statement "allowing for the distances which must be kept on a march" serves only to indicate that he considers Alexanders deployed battle line to be advancing with these spacings. A spacing which, as you rightly point out, he keeps for a depth of eight.
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Wicked men, you sin against your fathers, who conquered the whole world under Philip and Alexander.

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Re: Antigonid : Play misty for me: Kynoskephalai

Post by Xenophon »

agesilaos wrote: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.
No-one said that it means ' to move to a notional double standard depth'. Those are your words. "Straw man alert" as someone here is fond of saying ( invariably wrongly! ) and any bluster is by those who put forward postulations which cannot be so, being contradicted by the evidence ( as I have now posted repeatedly).

I quite agree the meaning. However, Polybius does NOT say that the Macedonians doubled their existing depth at all. Nor does he tell us the literal orders of how the manoeuvre was to be accomplished, simply what King Philip ordered in general terms : "..to double their depth and close up toward the right."

The actual drill orders will, of course, have been given by the junior officers and NCO's. In the normal course of events 'closing up' would have meant forming close order ( 3ft intervals shoulder to shoulder ) eight deep. In this instance, Philip wanted to contract his frontage ( by half) from roughly 1,000-1,200 yards [ depending on his actual numbers] to 500-6oo yards for two reasons, firstly to match the frontage of the advancing Roman left wing, and secondly to make room for his own left wing who were arriving on the battlefield. To do this necessitated 'doubling' the normal close order depth from 8 to 16.
The existing depth of the phalanx cannot have been eight, because if they were in close order, the cavalry and light troops could not have successfully withdrawn through them [which immediately preceded Philip's order] for the reasons set out in Onasander XIX, which I quoted previously above. Nor can they have been 8 deep in open order ( which was not a normal formation, though hypothetically possible), for 'doubling' to 16 would have left the files at 12 ft intervals - not ever described in the manuals and impractical in any event, as for Paralus' 'doubling' from 16 to 32. You each get it half wrong and half right from your irrational insistence that to achieve double depth AND close order required two separate manoeuvres, when in fact it doesn't at all, and nor does Polybius say that it did. In this instance it is both you and Paralus who insist on "oblong hoplite shields", because neither of you have experience of drill nor can you interpret the manuals correctly.
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
I have two separate translations of Arrian's which differ somewhat but they read in the relevant part:
"...Let our deepest one[file] be sixteen. The latter is proportionate to the formation's length, the phalanx's depth, both for shooting arrows and for throwing javelins from the lightly armed of those standing[in formation].
If it is necessary to double the depth the depth to 32 men, the formation will still be proportionate...."


...and the other....

"Let the maximum depth[of a file] be 16. This gives a good proportion to the arrangement of the phalanx in length and in depth, and for the light troops posted near to to throw or shoot over it. And should it be necessary to double to double the depth to that of 32 men the arrangements will be in proportion....."

Your translation would appear to be inaccurate, for Arrian does say that the maximum depth is 16, and says "should it be necessary" rather than "should it be desired", clearly implying such a thing is hypothetical.

As I have said, there are no further references to these hypothetical files 32 deep, or to 12 ft intervals, throughout any of the manual versions.
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'
...Which again highlights the admitted lack of knowledge of past Hellenistic practices by our later Roman authors, or more properly, by the likely original, the philosopher Poseidonius, even if he was drawing on the writings of Polybius and other military writers. The overall depth of a phalanx when 16 deep is 15x6 ft, or 30 yards.[Asclep IV.1;Aelian XI.1]. Throwing javelins over this would be hazardous for the 'sarissaphoroi', to say the least, for the inevitable 'drop-shorts' would skewer them in the back ! [ as described by Onasander XVII :"The general will assign his light-armed troops — javelin-throwers, bowmen, and slingers — to a position in front of the phalanx, for if placed in the rear they will do more damage to their own army than to the enemy, and if in among the heavy-armed, their peculiar skill will be ineffectual because they will be unable to take a step backwards in throwing their javelins or to charge forward and cast them, as other soldiers are in front of them and at their heels, nor will the slingers be able to execute the whirling of their slings, as their fellow-soldiers stand at their side and, in their turn, are caused to stumble in trying to avoid the whirling slings. If the bowmen are placed in front of the army, they will shoot their arrows at the enemy as at a target; but drawn up behind the ranks or in among the heavy-armed they will shoot high, so that the arrows have impetus only for their upward flight, and afterwards, even if they fall on the heads of the enemy, will have spent their force and cause little distress to the foe." ]. This posting of light troops in the rear, or amongst a phalanx in open order, is another example of something hypothetical only, and extremely unlikely to have been done in practice, unless the light troops were on higher ground (Xenophon describes such an instance, for example). A moment's thought will reveal the physical impossibility of throwing javelins over a phalanx twice that deep (32) at double the depth - 60 yards !
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Re: Antigonid : Play misty for me: Kynoskephalai

Post by Xenophon »

Paralus wrote:
Paralus wrote:
Xenophon wrote: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.


That is precious considering you accuse me of "invention" and "pure fiction" to support "an incorrect supposition and interpretation of what Polybius wrote" - an absolute academic and debating no,no. Your softening of those terms to "hypothesis", which even then cannot be let stand without the qualifier of "invented", indicates you well know what your terminology infers.
LOL! :lol: :lol: Curiously enough, "precious" was the word I had in mind to describe your rather artificial indignation in my last post. I altered it to "sensitive", to avoid giving possible offence. You, I see, have no such compunction !!

As for academic no-no's, it is not done to put forward an assertion unsupported by evidence - and there is no evidence in Polybius that Philip 'doubled' files of 16 to '32', and when a valid objection is raised to the possibility of such - here that it would result in an impossible frontage and is not a practical drill manoeuvre, for example. Then one either produces a valid defence and counter to the objection, or concedes the point. What is not done is to ignore the point, pretending ostrich-like that it doesn't exist, and then draw a red herring of artificial and unjustified indignation across the subject in an attempt to disguise the fact that your postulation, the product of your own mind only, is an emperor without clothes.
I have, in the past, had the grace to acknowledge and apologise for what you have perceived as crossing that line (even if I did not intend such). My expression of offense has, though, elicited no such grace. What it has elicited is wordy dissembling without ever an acknowledgement of how those terms have been read. It is apparently all my fault.
I try, not always successfully, to avoid giving offence, and don't resort to name-calling or profanities for example, no matter how frustrated I may get - for that is the nature of on-line exchanges, as opposed to a lively discussion over a pint of black, or a glass of red.
In the past I too have offered you genuine apologies whenever I may have given unintended offence. In this instance I don't believe that offence could reasonably have arisen, or do you think I should also apologise to Ascepiodotus, Aelian and Walbank for stating a plain fact - that they have 'invented' a particular assertion, as you have also ? There is nothing to get offended about.
Xenophon wrote: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.
On which I have my view but I see little point in discussing that. Why would anyone attempt such with someone who has already appointed himself the only one qualified to discuss the subject? There is nothing I and others (at least one other) can contribute. Just as there is little point in discussing the passages of the Manuals you've listed (again) because we've already done this yet you continue to simply post the same material as if no discussion or alternate view has been canvassed.
I don't claim any such thing, I have not "appointed myself", nor am I the "only one qualified" - those are your words, an unnecessary jibe calculated to give offence, as is your earlier use of "wordy dissembling". I simply happen to have a better knowledge and understanding through experience of this particular subject than you or Agesilaos, but there are doubtless many who are so ! To suggest "There is nothing I and others (at least one other) can contribute. " is a risible exaggeration. On the other hand, if someone has expertise in something which you do not, then it should be acknowledged, not ignored because it doesn't agree with your pre-conceived opinions. After all, you just might be wro..., wron...you know, that word you can't bring yourself to accept, on your own admission. ( At least I generally acknowledge possible error, openly and happily )

We are all here for the same reason, to carry on an exchange of views in a civilised manner, and hopefully learn something. There is no point in coming here if you hold ironclad opinions, and are not at least open to the possibility of persuasion. Another's viewpoint usually sheds light of some sort, even if that viewpoint is inherently unlikely - such as yours or Agesilaos' hypotheses regarding Philip's manouevre and the formations involved. Neither is likely on balance of probability, and because both involve contradictions with Polybius' narrative as it has come down to us. Yet for me, it has been interesting to consider those hypotheses. To quote the Duke of Wellington again; "At least I learnt what not to do, and that is always worth something."
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Re: Antigonid : Play misty for me: Kynoskephalai

Post by Paralus »

Xenophon wrote:LOL! :lol: :lol: Curiously enough, "precious" was the word I had in mind to describe your rather artificial indignation in my last post. I altered it to "sensitive", to avoid giving possible offence. You, I see, have no such compunction !!
That you see it as "artificial" say much about what you do and do not understand. That both about myself and what has been written on this thread - much of which you continue to ignore on the basis of your absolutely correct view. There is crass error in some of your statements on the sources but what, pray tell, is there to gain in revisiting any of that (again)?

You really need to read what you've written:
Xenophon wrote: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....

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.
And you claim not to have declared yourself the authority on this subject? It is "irrational" to hold a counter view to your own?
Xenophon wrote: We are all here for the same reason, to carry on an exchange of views in a civilised manner, and hopefully learn something. There is no point in coming here if you hold ironclad opinions, and are not at least open to the possibility of persuasion. Another's viewpoint usually sheds light of some sort, even if that viewpoint is inherently unlikely - such as yours or Agesilaos' hypotheses regarding Philip's manouevre and the formations involved. Neither is likely on balance of probability, and because both involve contradictions with Polybius' narrative as it has come down to us. Yet for me, it has been interesting to consider those hypotheses.
Really? You've come to this topic (and the "Taktike" thread) with an absolutely unshakeable dogma. Anything posted that is counter to it has been considered only long enough to construct a dismissal of same. You have been utterly unmovable from start to finish and we have now reached the stage that any view expressed by Agesilaos or myself is dismissed because of our complete lack of drill experience - either participation therein or organising thereof. Just on which...
Xenophon wrote: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..
"Vague allusion"? That would be to the academy's Department of Ancient History. Which, funnily enough, sees these movements exactly the same as every other historian who has considered the battle. You, as far as I my research tells me, are the only person who does not see Philip doubling the depth of his phalanx. It would seem a "product of your own mind".

Apparently the drill masters / instructors at West Point have no idea of massed drill either. Any wonder Iraq devolved into a mess!
Last edited by Paralus on Thu Jan 22, 2015 12:59 pm, edited 2 times 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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Re: Antigonid : Play misty for me: Kynoskephalai

Post by agesilaos »

I quite agree the meaning. However, Polybius does NOT say that the Macedonians doubled their existing depth at all. Nor does he tell us the literal orders of how the manoeuvre was to be accomplished, simply what King Philip ordered in general terms : "..to double their depth and close up toward the right."
So just what are you saying it means? 'Double' what 'depth' precisely? Or do you simply wish to ignore this order? These are the 'literal orders' the manoeuvres do not need detailing as the troops will have understood what evolutions were involved, that was why they trained and these are the cream of the phalanx.
When you think about, it free-choice is the only possible option.
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Re: Antigonid : Play misty for me: Kynoskephalai

Post by agesilaos »

Perhaps you think you have answered the question already? But it is clear that you do NOT agree the meaning; Paralus, myself and every scholar do say that it means 'the Macedonians doubled their existing depth', indeed the Manuals, which I do not understand, use the command in exactly this way, viz Arrian 5 vi '[6] καὶ εἴτε διπλασιάσαι δεήσειεν τὸ βάθος ἐπὶ τριάκοντα δύο ἄνδρας,' and if it is required to double the depth to thirty-two men...the same usage and example is in Aelian 4, and Asklepiodotos II i, '... ἕτεροι δὲ ἑξκαίδεκα πρὸς τὸ συμμέτρως ἔχειν τὴν φάλαγγα εἴς τε τὸ διπλασιάσαι πρὸς τὰς ῥηθησομένας χρείας ἐπὶ δύο καὶ τριάκοντα ἄνδρας καὶ εἰς τὸ συναιρεῖσθαι εἰς ἥμισυ ἐπ̓ ἄνδρας ὀκτώ...' and yet others of sixteen men, so that the phalanx will be symmetrical both for doubling the depth of its units, in circumstances to be described later, so that it might consist of thirty-two men, and also for reducing it by one half, ie. to eight men.' As all these are describing evolutions from the standard file of sixteen διπλασιάζειν τὸ βάθος clearly means 'to double the existing depth'.

From this everything else flows, but if you think it means something else and that is the impression I get, let us in on the secret and do remember you have already denied that it means ' to move to a notional double standard depth'. Presumably you have thought about what is meant here so an answer should be ready enough, surely?
When you think about, it free-choice is the only possible option.
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Re: Antigonid : Play misty for me: Kynoskephalai

Post by agesilaos »

I will take the continued silence as eloquent of grudging acceptance of eight deep actually doubling to sixteen and move on to the question of the interval or density of the troops. If, like our Xenophon, you believe that only those intervals mentioned in the Taktikeis are allowable even during evolutions then it is clear that the eight deep line MUST have been in close order at 3ft intervals since otherwise, when they double their depth, by whatever method, the interval will become the allegedly disallowable 12 feet.

I do not hold with this reasoning but the fact is demonstrable by considering the ground. We can all agree that the phalanx fought in close order (pyknosis) so that when Philip attacks with his wing it is at 3ft intervals and that his frontage roughly matches that of the Roman left with which he engages and drives before him (had the Roman line been longer it could have attacked his flank, but rather the whole force is forced back). The actual numbers are fraught but it is clear that Philip had doubled his depth and by doing so halved his frontage. We may also assume that his original frontage occupied the whole of the ridge as when the Roman right attacks it is initially straight forward and not with a right hook flanking movement, although that develops due to Philip's left failing to establish itself or, indeed, even reach the ground vacated by the compacting right wing. The broken ground which interfered with the deployment of the left must initially have anchored that flank when the ridge was fully occupied as Philip leaves it unsupported by cavalry or light infantry. It follows mathematically if a space is half occupied by a body of close order troops sixteen deep these same must also be in close order to fill it when eight deep, there is no room for a larger interval.
When you think about, it free-choice is the only possible option.
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Re: Antigonid : Play misty for me: Kynoskephalai

Post by agesilaos »

Hmmm, coming up to a week and no reply I assume that you have no answer which puts the posturing somewhat into perspective methinks :lol:
When you think about, it free-choice is the only possible option.
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Re: Antigonid : Play misty for me: Kynoskephalai

Post by agesilaos »

Tick...
When you think about, it free-choice is the only possible option.
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Re: Antigonid : Play misty for me: Kynoskephalai

Post by Xenophon »

Agesilaos wrote on 20 Jan:
Xen
in fact it was Agesilaos who insistently claimed “contemporary Macedonian source”.
In fact it is Walbank who insists on this when he says Comm II p582 ‘…the reference to the nickname [elephanta] here may derive from the eye-witness source on the Macedonian side, to whom part of P.’s narrative clearly goes back.’ Care to explain a non-contemporary eye-witness?

Posted here on 28th Oct, conveniently at the top of the preceding page, so you can hardly plead ignorance of this.
Another "straw man" from you? Kindly point out where I pleaded "ignorance of this"? Nor does this even make sense ! Of course ultimately Polybius' narrative must ‘go back’ to a contemporary account, most probably Roman, as has been said earlier.[must we go round in circles yet again?]
But this was not what you were alleging. You claimed he had a contemporary Macedonian eye-witness, for which there is no evidence whatever, and considerable evidence he did not. We dealt with all this, and the possibility that Eupolemos of Aetolia might have been an informant, on the preceding page, and I'm certainly not going to rehash it all again - anyone remotely interested has only to read page 8.
The question was whether Polybius consulted a contemporary Macedonian eye witness, and the weight of evidence is that he did not. As I said on the previous page, Walbank said; “Finally, after 151 [when Polybius 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]. Also, "..but of the Macedonian stand-point he has no inkling." Thus Walbank concludes that Polybius’ knowledge regarding Philip V must have been garnered second-hand during his time at Rome, and almost certainly did not directly include Macedonian sources, contemporary or not.



Agesilaos wrote:
Xen
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.
“No depth for the file when marching is ever stated in the manuals, although Alexander marched 120 deep at Pelion, and at Issos moved from 32 deep to 16 and finally to 8 (Kallisthenes ap Polybios XII), good job he pre-dated all the manuals. None of these changes represent changes in density as Polybios doubles the putative length of the line at each indicating that in his mind the intervals between the files were maintained. No ancient source associates a density with a depth, they vary. Walbank need not therefore have erred, although, I think he has, but not in giving Philip’s phalanx a depth of eight only in assuming that it arrived marching in files eight deep”.
That is simply untrue. 'Pyknosis'/close order was used for the purpose of assaulting the enemy [i.e. hand-to-hand combat], and 'synaspismos'/locked shields was intended as a defensive formation, and as I said 'open/normal/natural' formation was used generally, which obviously included on the march - see the references referred to. Furthermore, Polybius specifically tells us in the very passage we both refer to that “..with the proper intervals for marching order a stade, when the men are 16 deep will hold 1600, each man being a distance of 6 feet from the next...” i.e. ‘marching order’ is open/normal/natural order. How you could state “No ancient source associates a density with a depth,” presumably having just read this, I find baffling, since Polybius is plain enough.

To argue otherwise because 'marching' isn't explicitly referred to in the manuals is a fallacy of the 'ad ignorandium' type. (It can’t be true because we aren’t specifically told it is so.) Besides which, there are a number of accounts of armies on an approach march, then deploying into 'close order' [obviously from 'open' order] in order to fight.

Your attempted sarcasm unfortunately falls rather flat . At Pelion [Arrian I.6], Alexander was about to enter a narrow gorge, identified by Hammond as the Gryke e Ujkut in modern Albania, with the enemy Illyrian Autariates and Taulantians holding the wooded heights above. Arrian’s narrative is somewhat truncated in this passage, though quite a lot is happening. The phalanx, each taxis some 2,000 strong (16 X 120) is marching to its flank, i.e. in column and thus technically in ‘files’ 120 deep , and ‘ranks’ 16 wide. Its sarissas are held vertically, as is necessary in order to make turns [c.f. Connolly’s experiments in this regard].
Arrian goes on to describe how the battle-line could be instantly formed by turning and lowering the sarissas to right or to left as needed ( and each taxis would then be formed in ranks of 120 and files the usual 16 deep, which could then swiftly ‘close up’ for action if necessary).Impressed by the disciplined drill, and the speed with which the marching column became a battle-line ready for instant action, the Illyrian Autariates abandoned the foothills. Alexander ordered his troops to about turn the other way and to raise the war-cry and clash their spears menacingly on their shields [obviously in the vertical position, which they would have to have adopted in order to about turn], and this un-nerved the Taulantians on the other side sufficiently that they withdrew back to Pelion.
At Issos, Alexander will have moved through the narrow pass in column [ Arrian Anabasis II.7.3], and as the terrain opened out, formed phalanx the usual 16 deep. At first the left wing will have been deployed behind the right wing, giving the formation an overall depth of 32, but as the terrain opened out still further, the left wing gradually deployed one taxis at a time beside the right wing, until the phalanx was fully deployed in its normal 16 deep formation.[Arrian II.8.2; Kallisthenes via Polybius XII.19-20; Curtius III.8.16 ff] “..finally as he approached the enemy, to eight deep.” i.e. the phalanx closed up to normal battle order, ‘pyknosis/close order’ 8 deep, once close to the enemy.
All this is exactly “by the book”, or perhaps we should say ‘Manual’.
“What is deliberately misleading, is your continued purblind denial that Polybios describes two orders being issued, ‘τοῖς δὲ πελτασταῖς καὶ τοῖς φαλαγγίταις παρήγγελλε διπλασιάζειν τὸ βάθος καὶ πυκνοῦν ἐπὶ τὸ δεξιόν’ is perfectly clear in both Greek and English, ‘he ordered the peltasts and the phalangites to double their depth AND close up to the right.’ Far from remaining true to Polybios you are totally distorting him and rather than Paralus aping the ostrich… well .”
More personal insults? It is not I who is dim-witted. The ‘and’ does not necessarily have to mean two separate and distinct movements, as I have repeatedly explained. If you go to a restaurant and order “Fish AND Chips” does that mean you have ordered two separate meals ? LOL!
More pertinently perhaps, a common modern command is “Advance and be recognised!”, but the “and” in the order does not connote two distinct actions, only one. Conversely the single order “Form Square!” involves several complex drill movements. To dogmatically insist that Polybius’ words can only mean two distinct and separate movements is illogical. This is the more so when ALL our evidence suggests otherwise.
Furthermore, consider that Asclep XII.8 and Aelian XXXIII both specifically describe this closing up to the right manoeuvre and how it is performed, but many other possible drill manoeuvres are not described. The obvious reason why this particular move is included, but not other drill/formation possibilities, must be that the original author knew of just this manoeuvre being used by Philip at Kynoskephalae, uniquely as far as we know, and hence described how it was performed in detail.
In fact from ‘open’ formation 16 deep, closing up to a flank can ONLY be done by a turn, closing up and then facing front again, and ending in close order at ‘double depth’, still 16 deep - it could not, for example, be carried out so as to end up in the usual 8 deep ‘close order/pyknosis’, or from a hypothetical 8 deep ‘open’ order.

“One that I won’t let pass, however is the quote from Onasandros. You ought to be aware, as a self-proclaimed expert on matters ancient and military, that Onasandros is writing for the Romans about the Romans. The movements described in XIX are those Polybios describes occurring at Kynoskephalai, XVIII 24
[10] κατὰ δὲ τὸν αὐτὸν καιρὸν καὶ Τίτος, δεξάμενος εἰς τὰ διαστήματα τῶν σημαιῶν τοὺς προκινδυνεύοντας, προσέβαλε τοῖς πολεμίοις.
At the same time Flamininus also, having received his advanced party into the intervals between his maniples,
I am no ‘self-proclaimed expert’ – just another sneering insult that is patently untrue. I do however hold a PhD on the basis of my work on Greek and Roman military matters, and incidently, another in Law – and my skills as a trained forensic investigative lawyer ( in two different jurisdictions) are also useful when sieving and analysing evidence. For almost 40 years off and on since then, I have been published on the subject both in books and magazine articles, including the biggest selling ancient military book ever, “Warfare in the Classical World” by John Warry [Salamander 1980], which outlasted its original publisher and was in print in many editions, off and on, for over 25 years. It still sells briskly both new and second-hand, and is widely lauded as the best general book on the subject, and still unsurpassed! ( just look at the many reviews – though 35 years on, there are a number of revisions I’d like to make ! ). Of course qualifications and expertise are no guarantee that one is correct regarding a particular matter [ the ‘argument from authority’ fallacy] – but they do increase the probability.
What are your qualifications on the subject of Greek and Roman military history ? Could your ill-intentioned jibe be about to rebound – a case of the ‘biter bit’ ? LOL!

Onasander was a platonic philosopher, who wrote in the middle of the first century AD. His “Strategikos”/generalship treatise sets out in some 42 sections a series of general precepts and guidance in generalship, and many of these guiding principles still have relevance today, and have been used by military commanders down the ages. Onasander modestly does not claim these are original, but compiled from earlier sources. As Agesilaos notes, he dedicates his work to the Romans. However, there were very few Roman military writings on the subject to draw on, with the possible exceptions of Cincius Alimentus’ and Cato’s lost works both entitled ‘De Re Militari’. It is quite clear that Onasander’s sources were Greek and Hellenistic, going back to Homer, just like the versions of the ‘Taktike’ manual discussed on another thread. For example, a couple of precepts are drawn directly from Xenophon’s works, such as training by sham battle [Onasander X.4 drawing directly on Xen Cyro II.3.17-18], and the use of sentries [Cyro III.3.25]. In addition X.10 taking the omens before battle refers to the largely Greek General’s habit of sacrificing animals, whereas the Roman General tended to take the auspices, observing birds etc, for omens.
Whilst it is true that light troops could fight in front of the main body, and then withdraw through ‘open order’ intervals, or intervals between units, from any era and army, from hoplites and before ( see e.g. Tyrtaeus’ poetry) through to the 19th century, there is no evidence whatever to suggest Onasander was referring to Roman velites at Cynoscephalae, ( why specifically the passage from Kynoskephalae? There are plenty of other references in Polybius and Livy to Roman light troops withdrawing through the Legions e.g. Zama, or Livy VIII.8 ), and plenty of evidence that he wasn’t drawing on Romans at all, but general Greek/Hellenistic practice.

Firstly, Onasander refers to ‘the Phalanx’ throughout his work, and as all our writers make clear, the Romans did not fight in a monolithic phalanx, but had abandoned the Etrusco-Roman phalanx some time in the pre-history of the fourth century BC, adopting a much more flexible arrangement of a line made up of sub-units of maniples [lit:’handfuls’], each capable of fighting independently if necessary.[ Livy VIII. 8. 3 ]. No Greek writer refers to the Roman battle line as ‘the phalanx’ ( save for a couple of rare exceptions, which I’ll come to.)

Secondly he is making a general observation in XIX, not referring to a specific instance or battle.

A digression on the word ‘phalanx’ may be useful. [ lit: log or roller – an apt metaphor for what it was supposed to do to the foe ! ] It first occurs in Homer, to refer to the main body of infantry drawn up in a battle-line. The word in this context is not apparently used by Herodotus or Thucydides. Xenophon uses it frequently to refer to the heavy infantry in a battle-line or array, particularly a Greek hoplite phalanx, and in addition to its generic meaning of ‘heavy infantry battle line’ the word came to acquire a specific meaning of referring to the Greek or Macedonian phalanx, whose characteristic was a formation of files which manoeuvred in ‘open order’ generally, but fought in ‘close order’. ( see LSJ for full definition details for phalanx. In the manuals it is also used of chariots and elephants too, but only there).

For example, Polybius uses the term some 37 or so times, almost invariably of Macedonian type phalanxes, save that he uses the word a couple of times loosely in its original generic sense to refer to a clash of phalanxes, where one of them is Roman [e.g. III.73. Trebia; XI.22 Ilipa; and XV.12 Zama]. Polybius generally uses a variety of words to describe a Roman battle line, most commonly ‘stratopedon’, which can also sometimes mean the whole army, and a variety of words to refer to Roman sub-units to translate maniple, ordines, cohort, or vexilla [ ‘speira’ for cohort and sometimes maniple, ‘tagma’ which can also mean Legion, and ‘semaia’ for vexilla and sometimes maniple]. In fact in his famous passage on Kynoskephalae, he specifically contrasts ‘the phalanx’ and its characteristics with the Roman formation [XVIII.29-32]

Other Greek writers – Dionysius, Arrian, Appian, Cassius Dio, Plutarch, Josephus ( yes, I know, he’s Jewish, but he wrote in Greek ! ) use a variety of words, but none describe a Roman battle line as ‘the phalanx’ and nor does Livy, who also refers to phalanxes, for this era.

Onasander only refers to ‘the phalanx’ throughout, and refers to files that ‘open’ and ‘close’ etc [X.1] The Romans operated in ordines/lines/ranks, not files, so his source for the use of light troops at XVII and XIX cannot be Roman, or refer specifically to Romans, but must be Hellenistic and ‘the phalanx’ must be a Macedonian type phalanx.

(note: At XX, Onasander briefly refers to what is clearly a Roman-type testudo, as does Arrian’s ‘Taktike’ version of the Hellenistic manual [11], and while Onasander predates Arrian, they may share a common source, or Arrian might be drawing on Onasander).
Onasander, then, was writing a work for Commanders generally, dedicated to the Romans, but his technical references [such as XIX on light infantry withdrawing through ‘the phalanx’] were drawn from Greek and Hellenistic sources, not Roman ones and there is no evidence that he was referring to Roman velites [though such a tactic could apply to them], and certainly not by reference to Polybius’ remark regarding Kynoskephalae in particular since he is stating a general principle.
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Re: Antigonid : Play misty for me: Kynoskephalai

Post by Xenophon »

Paralus wrote on 20 January:
agesilaos wrote:No depth for the file when marching is ever stated in the manuals, although Alexander marched 120 deep at Pelion, and at Issos moved from 32 deep to 16 and finally to 8 (Kallisthenes ap Polybios XII), good job he pre-dated all the manuals. None of these changes represent changes in density as Polybios doubles the putative length of the line at each indicating that in his mind the intervals between the files were maintained. No ancient source associates a density with a depth, they vary. Walbank need not therefore have erred, although, I think he has, but not in giving Philip’s phalanx a depth of eight only in assuming that it arrived marching in files eight deep.
“I think Walbank's view is that Philip occupied the range of the high ground and to do so - with half or less of the phalanx - necessitated a depth of eight' rather than sixteen as per your suggestion earlier (though not in close order).”
This is patently incorrect for reasons I have given over and over. Eight deep in open order might be appropriate for a hoplite phalanx, but was not the way a Macedonian one worked – it would mean a depth of four in close order, and a mere two in ‘synaspismos’/locked shields. You still don’t seem to understand that ‘the Macedonian system’ was an integrated one and the weaponry [sarissias/pikes] dictated what formations and drill were practical and efficient, and vice versa, and it worked properly in only one way. Hence hypothetical formations such as files 32 deep in close order, or eight deep in ‘open’ order are inefficient and impractical, which is why we never hear of them.
Moreover, if Philip’s 8-10,000 men were formed up in this way, they would have had a frontage of 2,000-2,500 yards, more than twice that of the entire Roman infantry battle formation ! Once again, you don’t think your suggestion through [ or Walbank’s if you prefer], and consequently end up with a military absurdity.
“ This as the left was yet to be assembled properly from camp and would follow when it was. That it was not near ready is evident from the fact that the right has pushed the Romans back toward their camp by the time the left is beginning to crest the hills.”
This is rather a simplification, and slightly incorrect. The head of the left wing of the phalanx would have been not far behind Philip’s right wing. Philip delayed his advance until “the greater part of his army were drawn up outside the entrenchment.” XVIII.24.1 [ presumably foragers were still trickling in] and Nicanor was “to see that the rest of the army followed him at once.” When Philip charged, the head of the left wing had reached the crest and were in touch with the right wing, but would have been waiting for the remainder of the column, some 1,000 yards long, to deploy. This would have taken at least ten minutes or more to occur, and in the meantime they were charged by the Roman elephants followed by the Legions. ,[Flamininus observes that “the left had only just surmounted the ridge” and “others had halted on the heights.” XVIII.25 and he immediately attacks]. Caught in marching order, and not deployed in line they give way before the elephants alone.
“Polybios is clearly describing Alexander's army as advancing in line, with six foot intervals, rather than any column of march for the near 40 stades. His statement "allowing for the distances which must be kept on a march" serves only to indicate that he considers Alexanders deployed battle line to be advancing with these spacings. A spacing which, as you rightly point out, he keeps for a depth of eight.”
Same error again ! When eight deep, the phalanx MUST be in ‘close order/pyknosis’ – unless you want to postulate that they attacked the Persians in ‘open’ order ! ( we are not told they went to 4 deep), and the final depth is ALWAYS ‘close order’ or ‘fighting order’ if you will, or occasionally ‘synaspismos/locked shields’. All this is as plain as a sarissa staff, and I really don’t understand why you can’t seem to comprehend this.

Alternately, frontages again demonstrate the physical impossibility of a phalanx in ‘open’ order eight deep at Issus. Alexander’s 15,000 or so Macedonian heavy infantry phalanx in such a formation would have a frontage of some 3,750 yards or more.......on a battlefield not much more than 2,500-3,000 yards wide! No room for the flanking cavalry or light infantry then ! This sort of calculation is basic stuff, and no amount of ‘fudging’ will make this postulation possible !!
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Re: Antigonid : Play misty for me: Kynoskephalai

Post by Xenophon »

Paralus wrote 21 Jan:
Xenophon wrote:LOL! Curiously enough, "precious" was the word I had in mind to describe your rather artificial indignation in my last post. I altered it to "sensitive", to avoid giving possible offence. You, I see, have no such compunction !!

“That you see it as "artificial" say much about what you do and do not understand. That both about myself and what has been written on this thread - much of which you continue to ignore on the basis of your absolutely correct view. There is crass error in some of your statements on the sources but what, pray tell, is there to gain in revisiting any of that (again)?”
I don’t ‘ignore’ anything, either in the sources or what fellow pothosians post in this thread or any other – the point of my coming here is to read and consider what others have to say, and then discuss and debate it. Nor do I make ‘crass errors’ as a rule, and have not made any on this thread. I have simply weighed up the evidence on balance of probability, and rejected that which is intrinsically impossible or unlikely – such as the interpretations of you and Agesilaos regarding Philip’s manoeuvre.
I agree there is nothing to gain from revisiting matters for the ‘nth’ time – the evidence is not going to change, and one definition of stupidity is doing the same thing over, and expecting a different result
“You really need to read what you've written:

Xenophon wrote: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....

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.
And you claim not to have declared yourself the authority on this subject? It is "irrational" to hold a counter view to your own?
I certainly have NOT declared myself “the authority” on the subject of drill, merely pointed out that I do have experience of drill, and you two do not, which adds the weight of experience to what I have to say. Nor do I say it is ‘irrational’ to hold a view contrary to mine – you can believe what you like for all I care. Read my words again. I simply say that in this particular case where you have little knowledge of a subject ( drill), it is irrational to claim to know better than, and ignore, the views of someone who does have experience and knowledge of the subject. Are you claiming that is NOT irrational ?
Furthermore, I see you are reduced to making false personal attacks – a sure indication that you have lost the debate !! You cannot answer many of the points I have raised, nor do you have any more relevant new points of your own to raise. I’m afraid I’ve no time for such, and I am sure our fellow Pothosians are not interested in reading your personal criticisms either.

Xenophon wrote:We are all here for the same reason, to carry on an exchange of views in a civilised manner, and hopefully learn something. There is no point in coming here if you hold ironclad opinions, and are not at least open to the possibility of persuasion. Another's viewpoint usually sheds light of some sort, even if that viewpoint is inherently unlikely - such as yours or Agesilaos' hypotheses regarding Philip's manouevre and the formations involved. Neither is likely on balance of probability, and because both involve contradictions with Polybius' narrative as it has come down to us. Yet for me, it has been interesting to consider those hypotheses.

“Really? You've come to this topic (and the "Taktike" thread) with an absolutely unshakeable dogma.”
Indeed I have not – the only ‘dogma’ here is to insist that “to double their depth and close up to the right” can ONLY mean that two manoeuvres MUST have been performed – when quite obviously that needn’t be so, and which goes against the weight of evidence anyway. Need I remind you, that ignoring all the other evidence, Polybius actually tells us that Philip’s phalanx charged SIXTEEN deep? [XVIII.30]
“ Anything posted that is counter to it has been considered only long enough to construct a dismissal of same. You have been utterly unmovable from start to finish and we have now reached the stage that any view expressed by Agesilaos or myself is dismissed because of our complete lack of drill experience - either participation therein or organising thereof.”
What rubbish !! It is not just on drill matters that yours and Agesilaos’ postulations founder. Taking out everything I have to say on the subject of drill, your respective views are still wrong, because they run contrary to the literary evidence, and are not consistent with what Polybius actually wrote, as I have been at pains to point out.
“Just on which...

Xenophon wrote: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..

Vague allusion"? That would be to the academy's Department of Ancient History. Which, funnily enough, sees these movements exactly the same as every other historian who has considered the battle. You, as far as I my research tells me, are the only person who does not see Philip doubling the depth of his phalanx. It would seem a "product of your own mind".
Apparently the drill masters / instructors at West Point have no idea of massed drill either. Any wonder Iraq devolved into a mess!”
...and earlier wrote...
This complete ignorance of military drill also pervades the West Point Military Academy who, one might have thought, would know at least something.
I did wonder why you did not give a specific reference, and still do not [ the error of unidentified research]. You are also making the classic fallacy error of “the argument from authority”, not to mention confusing association with causation. The name “West Point” means nothing in itself, and the people who prepared the material on Kynoskephalae from the Ancient history section are just ordinary academics, the same as any other tertiary institution. They are certainly not “drillmasters”, though West Point undoubtedly has some real army drillmasters. Furthermore, the frontages shown on their map are clearly wrong, nor do they say that the depth ‘doubled’ from 16 to 32, as you postulate – I could not find a reference to any stated depth, so if you have one, please produce it. They merely say Philip ‘doubled his depth’, as we all agree, without giving specific depths. What is on the West Point website in no way supports your case. That ‘double depth in close order’ was in fact sixteen, as the physical facts and measurements, Polybius, the manuals and I all agree. Your allegation that I don’t see Philip’s phalanx as in double depth is a completely twisted falsehood, as anyone reading this thread can testify.

And just what has ceremonial drill as performed at West Point to do with U.S. military expertise in Iraq ? Your attempted joke is rather stretching a point, to a ridiculous extent......a completely false analogy in fact.
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Re: Antigonid : Play misty for me: Kynoskephalai

Post by Xenophon »

Post by agesilaos » Wed Jan 21, 2015 7:23 pm
Xenophon wrote:I quite agree the meaning. However, Polybius does NOT say that the Macedonians doubled their existing depth at all. Nor does he tell us the literal orders of how the manoeuvre was to be accomplished, simply what King Philip ordered in general terms : "..to double their depth and close up toward the right."

So just what are you saying it means? 'Double' what 'depth' precisely? Or do you simply wish to ignore this order? These are the 'literal orders' the manoeuvres do not need detailing as the troops will have understood what evolutions were involved, that was why they trained and these are the cream of the phalanx.”
Do you really not understand what I have been saying over pages and pages of this thread? ‘Close order/pyknosis’ was 8 deep normally, and HAD to be so if the prescribed drills were to work. 8 deep in ‘open’ order of 6ft intervals does not allow the other formations of ‘open/normal/natural order’, or ‘synaspismos/locked shields to be properly formed, nor do files 32 deep work. ‘Double depth in close order’ refers to a depth of 16, and can ONLY be the formation adopted, as described in Aelian 33 and Ascepiodotus XII.8 in detail, and as Polybius specifically tells us was the case at Kynoskephalae [XVIII.30]. “to double their depth and close up toward the right” does not, and cannot, mean what you and Paralus postulate, because it contradicts everything else Polybius says and doesn’t fit the physical facts, such as size of the battlefield and frontages.


Postby agesilaos » Thu Jan 22, 2015 8:42 pm
Perhaps you think you have answered the question already? But it is clear that you do NOT agree the meaning; Paralus, myself and every scholar do say that it means 'the Macedonians doubled their existing depth', indeed the Manuals, which I do not understand, use the command in exactly this way, viz Arrian 5 vi '[6] καὶ εἴτε διπλασιάσαι δεήσειεν τὸ βάθος ἐπὶ τριάκοντα δύο ἄνδρας,' and if it is required to double the depth to thirty-two men...the same usage and example is in Aelian 4, and Asklepiodotos II i, '... ἕτεροι δὲ ἑξκαίδεκα πρὸς τὸ συμμέτρως ἔχειν τὴν φάλαγγα εἴς τε τὸ διπλασιάσαι πρὸς τὰς ῥηθησομένας χρείας ἐπὶ δύο καὶ τριάκοντα ἄνδρας καὶ εἰς τὸ συναιρεῖσθαι εἰς ἥμισυ ἐπ̓ ἄνδρας ὀκτώ...' and yet others of sixteen men, so that the phalanx will be symmetrical both for doubling the depth of its units, in circumstances to be described later, so that it might consist of thirty-two men, and also for reducing it by one half, ie. to eight men.' As all these are describing evolutions from the standard file of sixteen διπλασιάζειν τὸ βάθος clearly means 'to double the existing depth'.
We have discussed the meaning of all this ‘ad nauseum’, and I don’t propose to go through it all again. Leaving aside practical drill objections, you and I agree that on the physical evidence – the likely battlefield size and respective frontages – Philip’s charge was carried out 16 deep in close order i.e. double the normal close order depth of 8. If confirmation were needed, Polybius, discussing Philip’s charge, specifically states the phalanx was 16 deep.[ XVIII.30] The references to 32 deep in the Manual are clearly hypothetical, as I have explained previously.
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