This is but another example of Paralus’ oft-used method of trawling ( note: not ‘trolling’, which has another meaning altogether
) through the thread looking for supposed inconsistencies as a means of personally attacking the poster, invariably me.
I rather think not. Nor is this a "character assassination" but that does go a way to explaining Xenophon's 'from the bunker' view. Nor is pointing out a stark inconsistency "personal attack"; it attacks the argument though Xenophon seemingly now sees the two as one and the same.
Oh yes it is! You have used this form of personal attack on me before. How is criticising someone (falsely) with an accusation of alleged 'inconsistency' not a personal attack ? You don't 'attack the argument', the position I've taken, in the slightest, not one word from start to finish of your previous post putting an alternate view, or presenting evidence, or even any assertions about 'the argument'. Just personal criticism that I am 'inconsistent', relying on dredged up statements taken out of context, from a debate about a different subject on a different forum almost 6 years ago !
Nor is there any 'inconsistency', let alone 'stark', in my views. If you go back to 1980 "Warfare in the Classical World" you can see that I postulated the phalanx fighting in half-files [e.g. p 34 and p.73] when in 'close order/pyknosis', and that at p.126 I describe the phalanx against the Legion as being 16 deep in 'close order' ( i.e. in double depth) as at Kynoskephalae and Pydna. This allows for the second possibility [close order] for Polybius' ambiguous 16 deep formation at XVIII.30. My views have been 'consistent' since the 1970s, as I said. If I only discussed the first possibility on the RAT thread 5 years ago, that was because there were enough digressions on that thread about the general Macedonian phalanx depth, not to muddy the waters with another digression. There I was arguing that this passage did NOT provide evidence for the usual Macedonian formation depth being 16 in 'close order'.
Xenophon has stated more than once that Polybios' description of phalanx v legion is informed by his description of Kynoskephalai. More to the point, Xenophon has claimed that the phalanx example - sixteen deep - actually is that of Kynoskephalai. No debate entered into. Thus Polybios describes a phalanx sixteen deep in close order. As much was fully argued on page four. The other possibility was simply that: "possible".
That is just the 'spin' you choose to put on it. Evidently you didn't read my previous post properly. I wrote:
Polybius does not specify an order here, and ambiguously says both “advance” and “charge”, so could mean either 16 in ‘normal/open’ order, which would close up to 8 before contact, or he could mean 16 deep in close order, which would be ‘double depth’ or ‘double phalanx’, as he has just described for Kynoskephalae. This is the only occasion Polybius specifies depth, and for this reason we might infer it was not the norm. As Paralus’ quotations show, I canvassed both possibilities.
No long held conviction overturned or ‘lost in the wind’, no ‘new’ position – that is merely Paralus’ interpretation, bolstered by quotations taken out of their context, in order to manufacture an ‘ambiguity’ which is in reality non-existent.
Indeed, as you pointed out, here I referred to both possibilities - that Polybius meant 16 in the usual 'open order' ( which would then have closed up to half-files of 8 in 'close order), or alternately was referring to the 'double depth' of 16 in 'close order', as exemplified by Kynoskephalae, which Polybius has just finished describing. Neither possibility supports the idea that 'close order' was usually 16 deep.
The inconsistency in argument is, to me, clear. Initially (and over quite some years of discourse) Xenophon's firm view of 18.30.1-4 was that Polybios knew and expected his readers to know that the phalanx would close up by half file. It was never the specific phalanx of Kynoskephalai. His current view is that Polybios did indeed describe a phalanx sixteen deep in 'close order' at 18.30.1-4; the phalanx of Kynoskephalai........
Not just 'current view' -see above reference to "Warfare in the Classical World". The two possibilities are entirely consistent with one another.Polybius is either discussing the 'usual' phalanx of 16 deep in 'open order', or else he means the 16 deep 'double depth'
phalanx utilised against the Romans at Kynoskephalae and Pydna. He cannot, however, mean that 16 deep in 'close order' was the usual fighting order, for that would contradict both what he says elsewhere and the manuals.
( digression : Do you know why the Macedonians employed a 'double depth' phalanx, despite its disadvantages, against the Romans ? Hint! I have alluded to the reason in this thread.)
..... The rationale being Philip charged sixteen deep at Kynoskephalai. How do we know this? Because Polybios tells us at 18.30.1-4, which passage describes Philip's phalanx because it was sixteen deep at Kynoskephalai. Hermeneutic circle and a different position.
What balderdash! No 'circular argument' at all. The reason we know that Philip charged 16 deep is NOT the ambiguous passage at XVIII.30, but because we know the respective frontages of the Macedonian right wing, and the Roman left, as both Agesilaos and I have referred to earlier in the thread, and as you now also agree !!
That is the clincher.
Are you suffering from short-term memory loss, a.k.a 'old-timers disease'?
...is now, in a general comparison, comparing the specific formation of Kynoskephalai to a general Roman system.
Incorrect. Polybius' example describes the Macedonian actions at Kynoskephalae, and also the Roman ones - the attack in the rear etc, not "a general Roman system" .
...[the Macedonian phalanx] quit the rest of their forces: and when this takes place, the enemy's reserves can occupy the space thus left, and the ground which the phalanx had just before been holding, and so no longer charge them face to face, but fall upon them on their flank and rear.
which only occurred at Kynoskephalae, when the un-named Tribune led 20 maniple from right to left along the ridge, and then charged down into Philip's rear.
Xenophon wrote:Since I was having to rely on memory, it is hardly to be wondered at that I did not recall every word of Walbank’s huge ‘magnum opus’.With only “Philip V of Macedon” to check, it was an obvious inference that since Walbank stated “double its depth to sixteen men”, that he meant single depth to be 8 men.
A huge magnum opis[sic] it is. As such I, and I would assume Xenophon, consulted the section dealing specifically with Kynoskephalai and phalanx v legion which immediately follows in the HCP as well as in Polybios. Walbank, as the earlier quoted sections show, is quite specific here and does not cohere with Xenophon.
You are not paying attention. I used to have access to the HCP online, but it is no longer there and I don't have a hard copy. Accordingly I couldn't check it, and hence only quoted from Walbank's source commentary from "Philip V". I explained this w..a...y back - see quotation below.
Paralus wrote:The basis for this rejection was Walbank's Commentaries on Polybios (HCP) as the Italics show.
This is quite incorrect – you’ll notice the lower case ‘commentaries’. If I had meant just his “Commentaries on Polybius”, I’d have capitalised it, just as you have, and as I did in your second quotation.I meant his commentaries generally, both those on Polybius and his commentary on sources in his “Philip V of Macedon” - as I clarified in that second quotation.
Yet Xenophon's immediate reply at the time was:
Xenophon wrote:I stand by my comments. Unfortunately my reference was a full online version, which has since been taken down/removed, and I don't have a hard copy, so can't give exact references..........
Which can really only indicate that the Historical Commentary on Polybios was meant unless an online version of Philip V is being referred to but Xenophon's statements indicate he has a hard copy of that. Further, there is this:
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.
Capitalised and clearly indicating that the Historical Commentaries are meant.
Yes, in the first case I was referring to the HCP. I originally referred collectively to 'commentaries'[lower case] meaning both the HCP and Walbank's commentary on sources in the "Philip V" - as is clear from this:
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...."
...from which I inferred that to Walbank, 8 deep was the usual 'single' close order depth. You then quoted the HCP to refute my inference, in which Walbanks refers to 8 deep in 'open order' - plainly he's incorrect about 'marching' depth, but nevertheless you have adopted his view as your "new" position.
Was there a point? Yes: the inconsistency in argument.
.....Except there's no inconsistency in any of your 'exampla', that you've spent so much time and effort marshalling your personal accusations of such. Like a said, a sad waste of time and effort.....
Still, since you like to criticise 'inconsistency', even where there is none, perhaps you'd like to try a genuine example of inconsistency, nay, say rather self-contradiction:
Paralus wrote 5 years 11 months ago on Roman Army Talk:
“Polybios’ remarks on the phalanx are framed by, indeed relate to, the just described battle of Cynoscephalae. It matters little that he precedes them by stating that “as promised here is my description” to paraphrase. The battle just described is the palate for painting the manifest drawbacks – as Polybios sees them – of the formation. “
....which is totally inconsistent with your criticisms of me for making exactly the same comparison as a possibility now ! It would seem that then you agreed with this possibility, that Polybius was using Kynoskephalae as his example, which you now deny.
Paralus wrote march 8:
Before that, though, there is the notion that Polybios' discourse on phalanx and legion is based solely on this battle which has been raised most recently. I disagree with that entirely and will get around to posting on same eventually.
note: I did not, of course, say "solely", since Polybius is generalising.
postscript: Paralus wrote:
The implication of ‘backflip’, akin to the Australian politician(s) I was equated with earlier in the thread,
Another example of short-term memory loss ? I did not refer to a 'backflip'. The comparison I actually made [ on 19 May] was:
".... just avoidance of the question - you could have been an aussie politician."