The Probable site of Kynoskephalae battlefield 197 BC

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Efstathios
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Re: The Probable site of Kynoskephalae battlefield 197 BC

Post by Efstathios »

Xenophon, going in circles was a wrong choice of words, both armies were changing their positions, and going westwards in general. As for the positions of the ancient sites of Melamvion and Thetidion (it is "to Thetidion" Agesilaos, neutral gender, "ton" refers to the male gender) I'll see if i can find the research and translate some parts, as I think it's in Greek only. But it is only logical for the sites to be near the modern towns, as the region there is not that big, and as Agesilaos pointed out Krini is further west into Pharsala and Palaiopharsala territory.

I know that your suggested site seems to fit a lot of the descriptions, but it doesn't others, and that would also be the case in several sites in the area. And Khalkodounion mountain as stated by the Greek encyclopedia is also a hypothesis. Of course the armies didn't go all the way up to the mountains, but there are several hills and slopes next to them.
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Re: The Probable site of Kynoskephalae battlefield 197 BC

Post by Xenophon »

Agesilaos wrote:
Now, how to explain such an explicit ad hominem attack upon M. Decourt?
It seems that you don’t understand the meaning of the Latin phrase ‘ad hominem’/lit: against the man. In modern English it has come to refer to the logical fallacy of attacking someone’s character, personality, or personal traits to discredit an argument or point of view rather than engage with the actual argument or assertion itself. To say that a statement made by someone can not to be relied on as accurate is not an attack on that person’s personality or character, nor to say that one or more statements of that person are erroneous. This is all the more so because what I said is true, as I went on to demonstrate specifically. Hence no ‘ad hominem’ attack on M’sieur Decourt.
You have not spent ten years on the ground surveying the Enipeus valley, as he has, you speak neither modern nor ancient Greek, I doubt Latin, he does and has been a respected academic, respected enough for the editors of the Barrington atlas to accept his interpretations;
A classic example of another logical fallacy, the ‘argument from authority’! Decourt is an authority on the Enipeus valley therefore everything he says on the subject must be true – which is illogical. How does spending ten years surveying somewhere ( which he didn’t do anyway) prevent him from making assertions about locations without evidence, or make plain incorrect statements such as “ We learn from Polybios and Livy that it [the Thetideion]was not a city but a village, kome in the territory of Pharsalos” ?

nor do I think you have read his works, since, by your own admission your French is poor.
That is patently untrue, since I have quoted his work in several places, and so have obviously read it. For the avoidance of doubt, the translations I have posted are my own, and are entirely accurate. You would appear to have carelessly misquoted what I said about my French, surprising considering it is here on the thread, along with the fact that I had read the whole work.[ see my post page 2 , April 6, where I said my French "was a little rusty", meaning I was a little out of practice, and not at all that it was 'poor'.]
‘Unreliable and error ridden’ ? Were you in a position to judge, it would remain ad hominem, but should a legalistic defence appear, please remember that that will allow everyone to apply the same terms to you and escape any complaint of ad hominem attacks.
See above for the correct definition of what constitutes an ‘ad hominem’ attack. Even if what you say is true, it is illogical to assert that such would exculpate someone from future ‘ad hominem’ attacks were they to be made against me.Two wrongs don't make a right.
Both Paralus and I have mentioned that, for whatever reason, we cannot upload the attachments we want, hence the excision of the title to the map. Of course, I also assumed that the members of the forum had sufficient intelligence to work out for themselves that the straight lines and concentric circles represented a model, rather than absolute reality; seems that, in one case, I was mistaken.


The caption, had you not decided to omit it, would have clarified the matter for everyone admirably.....
Now, that said, it does not mean one can assume the cities’ territories extended however far one finds convenient; Skotussa was never the paramount city in Thessaly, as Pherai, Pharsalos (providing Parmenion’s guard ile) Larissa or Krannon. The ‘we cannot know’ card is not a trump suit when there is evidence from which we can deduce things; otherwise we may as well just give up. To stretch Skotussan territory so far west that Krini might be on its borders despite the prescence of more powerful cities closer by strains credulity, ‘as a little thought would demonstrate’.
This is an illogical and contradictory assertion. You agree that we do not know the extent of Scotussan territory with reference to the location of ‘Melambium’. What is the evidence from which you ‘deduce’ that it could not, say, be within a few kilometres to the east of the battle site I postulate ? Such a possible location would be a mere 8 km/5 miles or so from Scotussa – hardly a ‘stretch’. Especially if, as I suggested as a possibility, such territory did not have terribly specific borders, or that Polybius was using the term ‘Scotussan territory’ in a vague general sense ? Which ‘more powerful cities’ north of the range are you referring to ? The nearest possibilities are Crannon or Larisa, both considerable distances away, assuming that these were ‘more powerful’ at the time ( something else unknowable).
That you do not find any evidence is not surprising; but, consider the situation Morgan posits in 48 BC, and you presumably follow; Caesar is explicit that the only Thessalian city loyal to Pompey was Larissa, where Scipio had stationed his army. This following Caesar’s sacking of Gomphi and good treatment of Metropolis (which had admitted him), De Bello Civile, III 81. Pompey is camped by Krini and is supplied from Larissa, BUT Krannon, loyal to Caesar, is actually on that road, according to Morgan and you; and close enough for interdiction according to Decourt. Since the battle MUST be in the west that only leaves the supposedly non-proven central route for Pompey to receive his supplies. Military probability…
Military probability indeed. The cities of Thessaly pledged loyalty to whoever they thought was in the ascendant, first Caesar, then after Caesar’s defeat at Dyrrachium they went over to Pompey and Gomphi and Metropolis went so far as to shut their gates, send to Pompey for help and defied Caesar’s army, with the results you recited, whereupon, according to Caesar, the cities all came back to him except Larissa, occupied by Pompeian forces. Assuming that is true (unlikely), why do you assume Crannon had a Caesarian garrison ? Even if it did, when Pompey’s large army advanced south, they would have withdrawn or risked being ‘bottled up’ in the town. That would have been rather more ‘militarily probable’ than your assumptions. As it happens, we don’t have to make assumptions at all. Caesar had concentrated his inferior forces in one place, and moved to the Pharsalus area to await Pompey “and make that his sole area of operations.” In addition, at III.73 after Dyrrachium, he tells us he “withdrew all the garrisons” and “mustered all his army in one place” before setting off for Thessaly. So definitely no Caesarian troops in Crannon to ‘interdict’ Pompey’s supply lines. You are also mistaken in asserting that a central route for which we have no evidence was the sole possible supply route. No doubt the main road from Larissa via Crannon-Palaepharsalus was used. Once again however, we need make no assumptions. Appian ‘Civil Wars’ II.10.66 tells us that in his camp at Palaepharsalus :
[66] Pompey's supplies came from every quarter, for the roads, harbors, and strongholds had been so provided beforehand that food was brought to him at all times from the land, and every wind blew it to him from the sea. Cæsar, on the other hand, had only what he could find with difficulty and seize by hard labor. “
[small digression: It would appear the Thessalian cities did not, as Caesar claimed, return to him. They evidently still expected Pompey with his larger army, to win; for according to Appian, they supplied Pompey willingly enough, but not Caesar]

Agesilaos wrote:
Of course, that should never interfere with a confirmation bias; Krini can be described as between Pharsalos and Pherai, only if one starts at Pharsalos and moves west to circumnavigate the globe, otherwise one moves east from Pharsalos towards Pherai, leaving Krini irrelevantly to the northwest.
You seem to have missed the point, to whit that just because Alexander started from Pherae, and Pelopidas from Pharsalus does not mean the battle took place at some hypothetical mid-point. The Krini/Palaepharsalus area was clearly of considerable strategic importance as controlling the main route north/south, and the earlier battle could have been fought there for similar reasons as the later ones, or for some other unknown reason. Your sarcasm is entirely unwarranted.
In Greek Proper nouns all take the definite article, so it is not Alexandros, but ho Alexandros, and similarly ton Thetideion, whether it is a shrine or a city, but Euripides and his scholia together with Strabo, indicate that we should understand a town, here; unless one wishes to ignore the ancient evidence, which even Morgan does not here , as Strabo’s statement that Palaipharsalos and Thetideion were equidistant from Pharsalos is part of his argument.
See Efstathios' reply regarding your incorrect Greek.
Euripides implies just the opposite! Eur. Andromache 17-20 says “Thetis of the sea lived there in wedlock with Peleus, apart, shunning the company of mankind.” Definitely not a town, then. Strabo, writing in the early 1st C AD, simply says “in this district also is Thetideum[Temple of Thetis] which is near to both the Pharsaluses, the old and the new.” Again there is no inference of a town/city/village. Also, by Morgan ( no reference given) I take it you mean Hammond?
Krini is too far west and leaves Flamininus a lovely route to Philip’s supply base at Larissa while he sits on an irrelevant hill, it is a single feature rather than part of a range(as described by the sources) and cannot be where the earlier battle occurred; the battle of 48BC is not relevant, as neither Palaipharsalos nor Pharsalos are mentioned in Polybios’ account of the 197 battle and only Pharsalos, Pelopidas’ base, in Plutarch’s account of the earlier battle. Caesar actually mentions neither, indeed he only mentions Larissa by name even the Enipeus has to be inferred: all in all it is better to collate the two battles explicitly named Kynoskephalai.
These unsupported assertions are, I would suggest, mistaken. Krini/Palaepharsalus and the ancient route north were the objective and hence this locale is not “too far west”. Your route to Larissa that you refer to is presumably the central one?I would suggest that the fact that there is no reference to such a route at that time implies it didn't exist. Strabo, in his description of Thessaly, says much of that area was inundated ( as I suggested might be the case earlier). Left to themselves rivers periodically burst their banks, creating 'flood plains', and since neolithic times men have steadily reclaimed land by bolstering river banks and digging drainage ditches. Hence by the 19 c a route was practical, but in ancient times the area was inundated. One obviously can't build a road, or even a decent track across a bog or swamp!

The feature I propose is not a single feature, having some three summits, and is clearly part of the Karadog range. The earlier battle can definitely have occurred there. The third photo I posted on page 2 April 6 matches Plutarch’s “steep and lofty hills jut out into the plain” [Pelopidas XXXII.2] admirably. The location of Palaepharsalus, lying as it does on the ancient North-South route is relevant. Caesar may not have mentioned many place names, but other historians of the battle did, and Caesar is sound enough on the topography. See Morgan for full details.
And finally the Nikanor in the room (that’s the ‘Elephant’ in the room), if the battle is at Krini and Krini is Palaipharsalos, why is it (they) not the battle of Palaipharsalos???
Very simple. The battle of Palaepharsalus in 48 BC took place on the plain near that town. The two earlier battle involved the nearby heights known as Kynos Kephalae.
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Re: The Probable site of Kynoskephalae battlefield 197 BC

Post by agesilaos »

I have not used Decourt as ‘an argument from authority’ nor have I even implied that ‘therefore everything he says on the subject must be true’; he is nonetheless, an authority whose work deserves to be addressed and credited. You might reflect on your own attitude to Morgan.

He is however, ‘unreliable and error ridden’; two examples are produced; that he uses the scholia on a mythological story to make Thetideion more than a simple shrine…but wait you use the same evidence to try to show that it was…sorry you use a snippet of that evidence,
Euripides, Andromache
I live now in the lands that border on Phthia here and the city of Pharsalia, lands where the sea-goddess Thetis, far from the haunts of men and fleeing their company, dwelt as wife with Peleus. The people of Thessaly [20] call it Thetideion in honor of the goddess's marriage. Here is where Achilles' son made his home, and he lets Peleus rule over the land of Pharsalia, being unwilling to take the sceptre during the old man's lifetime. In this house I have given birth to a manchild, [25] lying with Achilles' son, my master.
D Kovacs
So, clearly, the evidence works if it is clipped to suit you argument, is this erroneous or deceitful?

Only one other ‘error ‘ is put forward from the ‘error-ridden’ Frenchman, that we do not learn from Polybios or Livy that Thetideion ‘was not a city but a village, kome, in the territory of Pharsalos.’ Let us look at what each actually says
Polybios XVIII 20 vi
[6] τῇ δ᾽ ὑστεραίᾳ προελθόντες ἐστρατοπέδευσαν, Φίλιππος μὲν ἐπὶ τὸ Μελάμβιον προσαγορευόμενον τῆς Σκοτουσσαίας, Τίτος δὲ περὶ τὸ Θετίδειον τῆς Φαρσαλίας,
Livy XXXIII 6 xi
[11] ne postero quidem die, cum Philippus ad Melambium quod vocant Scotusaei agri, Quinctius circa Thetideum Pharsaliae terrae posuisset castra,
The significant thing her is that both τὸ Μελάμβιον and τὸ Θετίδειον are described as being in the territory of a city, the former that of Skotoussa and the latter that of Pharsalos, which is not how cities are distinguished, and an example is in the very same chapter
ὁ μὲν Τίτος ἐπὶ τὴν προσαγορευομένην Ἐρέτριαν τῆς Φθιώτιδος χώρας, ὁ δὲ Φίλιππος ἐπὶ τὸν Ὀγχηστὸν ποταμόν
Eretria, a city, is described as within a region, here Phthiotis. So, we do in fact learn from Polybios and Livy that they are not cities, poleis, but komai; Decourt knows more than this because he has surveyed the ground and there are no traces of cities (poleis are walled cities, with the sole exception of Sparta of whom Thukydides famously says [I 10 ‘Suppose the city of Sparta to be deserted, and nothing left but the temples and the ground-plan, distant ages would be very unwilling to believe that the power of the Lacedaemonians was at all equal to their fame. Their city is not built continuously, and has no splendid temples or other edifices; it rather resembles a group of villages, like the ancient towns of Hellas, and would therefore make a poor show’]).

Appian, of course tells us nothing of Pompey’s ‘camp at Palaepharsalos’, as at II 10 65 he clearly states,
Accordingly he advanced and pitched his camp opposite to Cæsar's near Pharsalus, so that they were separated from each other by a distance of thirty stades.(Horace White 1899)
καὶ ἀντεστρατοπέδευσε τῷ Καίσαρι περὶ Φάρσαλον, καὶ τριάκοντα σταδίους ἀλλήλων ἀπεῖχον
.

Further, at II 11 75
Pompey drew up the remainder between the city of Pharsalus and the river Enipeus opposite the place where Cæsar was marshalling his forces.
παρέτασσε τοὺς λοιποὺς ἐς τὸ μεταξὺ Φαρσάλου τε πόλεως καὶ Ἐνιπέως ποταμοῦ, ἔνθα καὶ ὁ Καῖσαρ ἀντιδιεκόσμει
If we can trust Appian’s account of Pompey’s supply arrangements then surely we can accept his location for the battle? No? Appian is very poor here, he goes so far as to have Pompey supported by Spartans ‘under their own kings’! II 10 70, Λάκωνες ὑπὸ τοῖς ἰδίοις βασιλεῦσι τασσόμενοι despite the demise of the Spartan monarchy about 150 years earlier. Appian is safer ignored.

You have also confused Philip’s itinery it is Onchestos on day one Melambion (‘the dark and dreary life’) on day 2 and a short distance on day 3, that of the battle. Flamininus has two 20km stages to Eretria and then on to Thetideion. The first of Philip’s stages is short, possibly about 7km or 2 hours marching, but we have a good reason for this; Flamininus stole a march, quite literally, Paralus is sceptical but if as we posit the Romans marched first, Philip has to receive the news, confirm it is not a feint and then organise his march. So it is not surprising that he did not get far. The second day is a more normal march, allowing for foraging of about 14 km. On the third Philip is stopped by the weather and Flamininus had determine to halt (this is no dash for a pass, then, rather, as Polybios says an attempt to hamper Philip’s re-victualing). Once the enemy has appeared ‘advancing’ can mean ‘moving toward the enemy’ rather than continuing on a set line of march.

There is ,of course, no requirement for a Caesarian garrison for Krannon to hamper Pompey’s supplies. Each city had armed forces, it was these that failed to keep Caesar out of Gonnoi after all, they requested, but did not get, military help from Pompey.

The sarcasm was fully warranted, you stated that Krini was between Pharsalos and Pherai, that you now wish to say that a route to Larissa would be crucial to Pelopidas in Pharsalos or Alexander from Pherai, which sits on a good road to Larissa, the one Philip V sped down in 197, is equally ridiculous. In 197 two armies were shadowing each other and blundered into battle, in 364 the two armies were advancing towards each other, for Alexander to march passed Pharsalos unmolested and uncover his line of supply to Pherai is no likely in my opinion, he gains no advantage in squatting by Krini.

I did get the wrong article and I thank Efstasios for the correction, but that does not invalidate the actual point that ‘to Thetedeion’ is precisely how a village would be termed.

Onto Strabo, this is what he says at IX 5 ii
2 These plains are the middle parts of Thessaly, a country most blest, except so much of it as is subject to inundations by rivers. For the Peneius, which flows through the middle of it and receives many rivers, often overflows; and in olden times the plain formed a lake, according to report, being hemmed in by mountains on all sides except in the region of the sea-coast; and there too the region was more elevated than the plains. But when a cleft was made by earthquakes at Tempê, as it is now called, and split off Ossa from Olympus, the Peneius poured out through it towards the sea and drained the country in question. But there remains, nevertheless, Lake Nessonis, which is a large lake, and Lake Boebeïs, which is smaller than the former and nearer to the sea-coast.
thessaly.jpg
thessaly.jpg (181.4 KiB) Viewed 6897 times
As can be see there are very few rivers crossing the plain of Larissa, so this would be one of the ‘most blest’ lands; if this was a bog then each plain must have been. The central route was not a quagmire but a practical route between Larissa and Pharsalos all along.
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Re: The Probable site of Kynoskephalae battlefield 197 BC

Post by Xenophon »

Forgive the delay in responding on this thread, due to my computer 'dying', including frying my hard drive! It has taken quite a while to rebuild my system! ( Damned built-in obsolescence ! )

Agesilaos wrote :
I have not used Decourt as ‘an argument from authority’ nor have I even implied that ‘therefore everything he says on the subject must be true’; he is nonetheless, an authority whose work deserves to be addressed and credited. You might reflect on your own attitude to Morgan.
Yes you have, and as the above demonstrates, you continue to do so. It is worth reminding ourselves that even Decourt does not support your assertion that there was definitely a ‘central’ north-south route, discarding the possibility in some instances, and merely implying that such a route might be “possible” ( not definite) in others. As we shall see, even that is to overstate the case, for as elsewhere, Decourt fails to consider all the evidence – as do you. I find Morgan’s paper credible and his hypotheses plausible, whist as I have demonstrated more than once, Decourt makes obvious errors, and fails to consider all the evidence, or give it proper consideration and thereby becomes unreliable. One does not accord one scholar’s work ‘parity’ with another’s simply because both are scholars, one has to take into account the quality and plausibility of the respective works.
He is however, ‘unreliable and error ridden’; two examples are produced; that he uses the scholia on a mythological story to make Thetideion more than a simple shrine…but wait you use the same evidence to try to show that it was…sorry you use a snippet of that evidence,
A gross distortion of the evidence I have produced. I have tried – in vain, it seems – to avoid being dragged off on a red herring on the subject of Decourt’s work. I have made it plain more than once that I am simply not interested in a general critique or discussion of his work, but only those points strictly relevant to the subject. It was you who introduced his work on page 2 of the thread, on April 6 (not so long ago), simply to support an assertion that Palaepharsalos lay at the eastern end of the Enipeus valley. This is a plain impossibility, as Morgan demonstrated, because such a location is inconsistent with our primary sources, and the assertion rests purely on the unwarranted assumption that Livy’s list of towns[XXXII.14] destroyed by Philip V is an itinerary, west to east, which it plainly is not, as we discussed previously here. Unlike you, I generally quote only the parts that are relevant to a point, not quote on for pages with lengthy and irrelevant material, as if you can’t distinguish the relevant from the immaterial, which only serves to put readers off. The evidence, of which I quoted an extract relevant to the point, does not support the existence of a town/village in Euripides day (floreat second half of fifth century ), or earlier mythological times. I do NOT use that evidence to demonstrate that it was just a shrine, rather to point out that it cannot be used as evidence of the existence of a village/town – an obvious error of Decourt which you follow.

And why would I need to quote more than the relevant ‘snippet’? Especially when you quoted the whole passage at length on page 4 as recently as April 12 – which incidently illustrates Decourt’s faulty logic admirably, in addition to this error.....
Euripides, Andromache
I live now in the lands that border on Phthia here and the city of Pharsalia, lands where the sea-goddess Thetis, far from the haunts of men and fleeing their company, dwelt as wife with Peleus. The people of Thessaly [20] call it Thetideion in honor of the goddess's marriage. Here is where Achilles' son made his home, and he lets Peleus rule over the land of Pharsalia, being unwilling to take the sceptre during the old man's lifetime. In this house I have given birth to a manchild, [25] lying with Achilles' son, my master.


So, clearly, the evidence works if it is clipped to suit you argument, is this erroneous or deceitful?
Once again, the drip, drip, drip of false ‘ad hominem’ personal attacks. In your previous post, you described me as the most ‘unintelligent’ person here on Pothos ( page 4 April 24, second paragraph) which I chose to ignore, and apparently the moderators also. Such name-calling hardly reflects credit on the site. In this post I am allegedly “deceitful” for the ‘nth’ time, supposedly because I have ‘clipped’/edited the evidence to suit my argument. This an absurd, and completely false accusation. Are you suffering from short term memory loss? As I pointed out above, the whole passage is here on the thread ( and then some). It would be pointless to post it at length again. What is more, as anyone can see, whether ‘short’ version or ‘long’ version, the passage does NOT provide evidence of a town or village, just the opposite, contra Decourt, and since you adopt his mistaken position, by extension you. This is just a clumsy attempted ad hominem ‘smear’, a personal attack because the evidence doesn’t support Decourt’s/your argument.
Only one other ‘error ‘ is put forward from the ‘error-ridden’ Frenchman, that we do not learn from Polybios or Livy that Thetideion ‘was not a city but a village, kome, in the territory of Pharsalos.’ Let us look at what each actually says.
I repeat, I am not interested in debating the merits or faults of Decourt, except where relevant to the location of the Cynoscephalae battlefield. In any case, your memory seems to have failed you again. Since you introduced the ‘red herring’ of Decourt and his erroneous work, back on page 2, I have drawn attention to his errors, failure to utilise source material, bad logic etc a number of times beginning back on Page 2 April 6, when I posted an abstract of his work at length vis-a-vis the location of Kynoskephalae, and explained his errors. I drew attention to errors and incorrect speculations again on p.3 April 8, again on page 4 and also page 5. Despite having dealt with this, we keep going around the mulberry bush because you persist in your incorrect flat assertions, unsupported by any evidence, regarding the location of Palepharsalos ( relevant to the major route to Larissa), where Caesar and Pompey fought in 48 BC, which incidently you agreed couldn’t be at the eastern end of the Enipeus valley ( thus contra Decourt!), and also a supposed central route from Pharsalos to Larissa in antiquity, for which there is no evidence, ancient or modern ( even Decourt only says such a route is “possible” on one of his maps but not others – ignoring the evidence of Strabo, see below – and even Decourt has the major north-south route to the west of Krini.)
Polybios XVIII 20 vi
[6] τῇ δ᾽ ὑστεραίᾳ προελθόντες ἐστρατοπέδευσαν, Φίλιππος μὲν ἐπὶ τὸ Μελάμβιον προσαγορευόμενον τῆς Σκοτουσσαίας, Τίτος δὲ περὶ τὸ Θετίδειον τῆς Φαρσαλίας,
Livy XXXIII 6 xi
[11] ne postero quidem die, cum Philippus ad Melambium quod vocant Scotusaei agri, Quinctius circa Thetideum Pharsaliae terrae posuisset castra,


The significant thing her is that both τὸ Μελάμβιον and τὸ Θετίδειον are described as being in the territory of a city, the former that of Skotoussa and the latter that of Pharsalos, which is not how cities are distinguished, and an example is in the very same chapter


ὁ μὲν Τίτος ἐπὶ τὴν προσαγορευομένην Ἐρέτριαν τῆς Φθιώτιδος χώρας, ὁ δὲ Φίλιππος ἐπὶ τὸν Ὀγχηστὸν ποταμόν


Eretria, a city, is described as within a region, here Phthiotis. So, we do in fact learn from Polybios and Livy that they are not cities, poleis, but komai; Decourt knows more than this because he has surveyed the ground and there are no traces of cities (poleis are walled cities, with the sole exception of Sparta of whom Thukydides famously says [I 10 ‘Suppose the city of Sparta to be deserted, and nothing left but the temples and the ground-plan, distant ages would be very unwilling to believe that the power of the Lacedaemonians was at all equal to their fame. Their city is not built continuously, and has no splendid temples or other edifices; it rather resembles a group of villages, like the ancient towns of Hellas, and would therefore make a poor show’]).
Straw man alert!! No-one, either ancient source or modern suggests that the unknown places of ‘Melambion’ and ‘Thetideion’ were cities in 197 BC. But contra Decourt and your un-evidenced assertion, neither Polybius, nor Livy following him refers to these places as villages/komai.
All this, of course, is in any event a complete ‘red herring’ for I did not utilise speculation as to the location of either (unknown) place in locating the battle-field (nor did Morgan or Hammond). It is immaterial as to what these places were in 197 BC.
Attempts to locate the Kynoskephalae battlefield from speculation as to the location of these unknown places is futile.
Appian, of course tells us nothing of Pompey’s ‘camp at Palaepharsalos’, as at II 10 65 he clearly states,

Accordingly he advanced and pitched his camp opposite to Cæsar's near Pharsalus, so that they were separated from each other by a distance of thirty stades.(Horace White 1899)
καὶ ἀντεστρατοπέδευσε τῷ Καίσαρι περὶ Φάρσαλον, καὶ τριάκοντα σταδίους ἀλλήλων ἀπεῖχον
.

Further, at II 11 75


Pompey drew up the remainder between the city of Pharsalus and the river Enipeus opposite the place where Cæsar was marshalling his forces.
παρέτασσε τοὺς λοιποὺς ἐς τὸ μεταξὺ Φαρσάλου τε πόλεως καὶ Ἐνιπέως ποταμοῦ, ἔνθα καὶ ὁ Καῖσαρ ἀντιδιεκόσμει


If we can trust Appian’s account of Pompey’s supply arrangements then surely we can accept his location for the battle? No? Appian is very poor here, he goes so far as to have Pompey supported by Spartans ‘under their own kings’! II 10 70, Λάκωνες ὑπὸ τοῖς ἰδίοις βασιλεῦσι τασσόμενοι despite the demise of the Spartan monarchy about 150 years earlier. Appian is safer ignored.
The battlefield’s general location is reasonably securely located by Morgan, and you have either not read Morgan properly, or else are being disingenuous and selective in representing his material. We have around a score of references to the battle in our various sources [ see Morgan p.27], and it is likely that by 'Pharsalus' Appian or his source meant 'old Pharsalus/Palaepharsalus' and as Morgan says “There can be no doubt that Palaepharsalus is the most precise name of the battle.

As to Appian’s account and problems associated with it, see Morgan pp28-29 and appendix 2 pp 52-53 for detailed discussion. Once Appian is analysed, he provides valuable detail, even if his account contains a number of inaccurate errors, especially when compared to other sources. However, it is unwise to “ignore” any source, albeit one containing errors.
You have also confused Philip’s itinery it is Onchestos on day one Melambion (‘the dark and dreary life’) on day 2 and a short distance on day 3, that of the battle.
I have certainly NOT confused Philip’s march itinerary, and have correctly narrated the sequence several times, beginning on page 1 and continuing throughout this thread. It is you who seem confused, for it was Pritchett and those who follow him who incorrectly placed ‘Melambion’ to the east of Scotussa – see e.g. Pauline’s post April 12 on page 4. Did you not check your facts before posting ?
Flamininus has two 20km stages to Eretria and then on to Thetideion. The first of Philip’s stages is short, possibly about 7km or 2 hours marching, but we have a good reason for this; Flamininus stole a march, quite literally, Paralus is sceptical but if as we posit the Romans marched first, Philip has to receive the news, confirm it is not a feint and then organise his march. So it is not surprising that he did not get far.
My estimate of distances, taken from Google earth is somewhat different. On Day 1 Flamininus marches roughly 15-18k/10 miles or so to the vicinity of Eritrea ( armies frequently covered shorter distances whilst ‘shaking out’ into march order on the first day of a march). Philip, intending to re-victual from Scotussa’s stores ( the crops in the fields were not yet ripe) camped by the Onchestus river there after a march of roughly 25 km/15 miles or thereabouts.
On the second day Flamininus marched roughly 24 km/15 miles or so to the ‘Thetideion’/temple of Thetis, whilst Philip must have covered around 12-15km/9 miles or so to the unknown ‘Melambium’, perhaps due to his men foraging for ‘green’ forage for their animals amongst the unripe crops in the area.
The second day is a more normal march,of about 14 km. On the third Philip is stopped by the weather and Flamininus had determine to halt (this is no dash for a pass, then, rather, as Polybios says an attempt to hamper Philip’s re-victualing). Once the enemy has appeared ‘advancing’ can mean ‘moving toward the enemy’ rather than continuing on a set line of march.
Both sides must have kept the other under observation, if only to ensure the Romans didn’t double back to Pherae. What appears to have slowed both sides is the weather, and it would be wrong to assume that both armies were not making best speed in the conditions. Despite Polybius, as Hammond points out [p.64], there is no evidence that Flamininus made any attempts to hamper Philip’s re-supply; he stayed resolutely to the south of the Karadag range, making for the western pass. Because there is no evidence that either army ‘moved toward the enemy’, Polybius “Next day they again advanced”[XVII.20.6] can only mean they continued westward, as the 'again' implies.
There is,of course, no requirement for a Caesarian garrison for Krannon to hamper Pompey’s supplies. Each city had armed forces, it was these that failed to keep Caesar out of Gonnoi[sic] after all, they requested, but did not get, military help from Pompey.
Again this is pure supposition, with no evidence whatsoever. Is it really plausible to suppose that a town’s citizen militia are going to suicidally dash out with Pompey’s vast army in the vicinity, to aid a ‘barbarian’ who was apparently clearly going to lose? If there was any doubt as to the likely result of interfering in foreigners civil wars, the fate of Gomphi was a stark reminder.
The sarcasm was fully warranted, you stated that Krini was between Pharsalos and Pherai, that you now wish to say that a route to Larissa would be crucial to Pelopidas in Pharsalos or Alexander from Pherai, which sits on a good road to Larissa, the one Philip V sped down in 197, is equally ridiculous. In 197 two armies were shadowing each other and blundered into battle, in 364 the two armies were advancing towards each other, for Alexander to march passed Pharsalos unmolested and uncover his line of supply to Pherai is no likely in my opinion, he gains no advantage in squatting by Krini.
You choose to interpret ‘between’ in a very narrow sense, whilst I meant in the broad sense, as in “Liverpool is between London and Edinburgh” or “Boeotia lies between Attica and Thessaly”. Nor is it ‘ridiculous’ that the Plaepharsalus area was not of strategic importance to the protagonists in 364 BC. Pelopidas was there to aid the rebels against Alexander, notably Larissa and Crannon, which both lay on that main route north. It would be equally natural for Alexander to advance west and cut off the rebels from Pelopidas. Both armies were on the move when they engaged, there was no ‘squatting’ by anyone. Alexander didn’t go anywhere near Pharsalus, nor, given Pelopidas march north, did Alexander ‘uncover’ his line of communications back eastwards. I suggest you examine what was happening in 364 BC more carefully.
I did get the wrong article and I thank Efstasios for the correction, but that does not invalidate the actual point that ‘to Thetedeion’ is precisely how a village would be termed.
What village? There is no reference to any such thing. Polybius’ “peri to Thetideion” means “around the temple/sanctuary of Thetis”, just as every translator agrees.
Onto Strabo, this is what he says at IX 5 ii

2 These plains are the middle parts of Thessaly, a country most blest, except so much of it as is subject to inundations by rivers. For the Peneius, which flows through the middle of it and receives many rivers, often overflows; and in olden times the plain formed a lake, according to report, being hemmed in by mountains on all sides except in the region of the sea-coast; and there too the region was more elevated than the plains. But when a cleft was made by earthquakes at Tempê, as it is now called, and split off Ossa from Olympus, the Peneius poured out through it towards the sea and drained the country in question. But there remains, nevertheless, Lake Nessonis, which is a large lake, and Lake Boebeïs, which is smaller than the former and nearer to the sea-coast.


As can be see there are very few rivers crossing the plain of Larissa, so this would be one of the ‘most blest’ lands; if this was a bog then each plain must have been.
Why on earth do you introduce a modern map rather lacking in detail, as evidence of what the terrain looked like over 2,000 years ago? The more so when Strabo TELLS us clearly what the terrain was like in antiquity, as I have previously mentioned.
so much of it as is subject to inundations by rivers. For the Peneius, which flows through the middle of it and receives many rivers, often overflows;” One of those rivers was the Onchestus, and its tributaries flowing north across the alluvial flood plain, south of Larissa. The lake shown on your map is Lake Beobeis, now much larger than of old ( due to modern damming.) – see my earlier maps for how it looked previously. The plain to the south and to the south-east of Larissa was ‘inundated’ in summer, as Strabo says, and flooded into a very large lake, Nessonis, in winter. Over the centuries, drainage works took place, and there was evidently some sort of riding track, which swung circuitously to the east in place by the eighteenth century. These drainage works continued up until the middle of the twentieth century, when large reclamation works occurred, as basic geographical and historical research reveals. Such ancient wetlands, whilst useless for crops, provided an almost ideal horse-breeding area ( for which Thessaly was famous). Compare the ‘Camargue’ wetlands in the Loire delta of southern France, famous for its horses for thousands of years.
The central route was not a quagmire but a practical route between Larissa and Pharsalos all along.
Having had his attention drawn by me to Strabo, whose description is quite unambiguous, readers may be surprised that Agesilaos continues to repeat this baseless assertion ( for which there is absolutely no evidence until the eighteenth century or thereabouts ) . Still, it is perhaps not to be wondered at. Human beings are by nature irrational creatures, giving way to conviction and opinion, and then seeking to justfiy it afterward, rather than seeking evidence, and then reaching conclusions after examining that evidence. Even trained scientists, historians etc are prey to illogical and irrational thought. This well known human characteristic has been well recognised. For example, Sir Francis Bacon [1567-1636] wrote in Elizabethan times:
"The Human Understanding when it has once adopted an Opinion draws all things to support and agree with iit. And though there be a greater number and weight of instances to be found on the other side, yet these it either neglects or despises, or else by some Distinction sets aside and rejects, in order that by this Great and Pernicious predetermination the authority of its former conclusion may remain Inviolate."

Thus Agesilaos cannot be blamed too much for clinging to his conviction of a central major road, despite there being no evidence for it, and strong evidence against it (Strabo, the sources generally, and the general geographical and historical record.) It is a truism that “no-one is ever persuaded to change their opinion on an internet forum.” – despite the evidence. ( which truism fortunately is not universally true).( For another example of Bacon's point, consider Taphoi's championing of Olympias as occupant of the Kasta tomb on the "Sphinxes thread")

Originally back on page 2 (April 6) I wrote:
It is curious that even today the modern road does not go all the way to Larissa, petering out well before it gets there at Zappio, some 20 km south of Larissa. A dirt track carries on for another 5 km to the village of Nees Karies, but beyond that nothing whatever. Perhaps the rather low-lying, flat area to the south of Larissa, which today is farmland, was marshy or swampland in antiquity, subsequently drained ?( an old river course meanders through the area).
Further research has shown that to be exactly the case. We now know with reasonable certainty that the reason there was no major road, or even a track, in antiquity is because as Strabo says, the area was subject to inundation in summer, and we also know this expanded into a large lake (Nessonis – no longer extant) in winter, which even occasionally overflowed into Lake Beobeis. One cannot build roads, or even tracks, across wetlands, and still less so across lakes !!

Therefore, contra Agesilaos' unsupported assertion, there was no major central route in ancient times. By Agesilaos' own reasoning, that makes the heights above Krini the logical location.

Agesilaos wrote on P.1 :
...on principle, however I would concede that were there no route via Zoodikos Pyrge and Chalkiades in ancient times your feature near Krini would be a good fit. Obviously I have to digest this
[edited to add quotation]
Last edited by Xenophon on Tue May 26, 2015 10:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Probable site of Kynoskephalae battlefield 197 BC

Post by Xenophon »

We have now reached a point where, rather than wrangle endlessly to no end, we can locate the most probable site of Kynoskephalae. Kromayer and Pritchett’s sites are rather vague at best, and don’t meet the criteria of the sources in the slightest – see Hammond for detailed critique. Only two specific sites have been suggested in this thread, that of Hammond ( followed in slightly amended form by Paralus), which also does not meet the source criteria as we have seen, and the heights near Krini, which seems to meet ALL the criteria of our sources. Early on there was some discussion of whether these heights were described in the singular or the plural, but a consensus of sorts was reached :
Xenophon wrotepage 3 Wed 8 April:
That ‘Kynoskephalae’/dog-heads[one dog several heads] was the name; that ‘kynoskephale’/dog head[singular] was the name – and the evidence for these two possibilities seems balanced (Polybius, Plutarch ‘Pelopidas’ for the first and Zonaras, and critically because it is contemporaneous, Alcaeus for the second). The third possibility is that both are correct – just variations on the same name, especially as it depends on just where you are looking at the feature from..... If you look at the photos I posted on Monday April 6 above, one can see that all three possibilities apply to this site, including Plutarch’s independent description for the battle of 364 B.C.
...and Agesilaos :
No force can be placed on the number in descriptions of heights, as is clear from Morgan’s description of Caesar’s usages in De Bello Civile and De Bello Gallico, that is Latin this is Greek but the attitudes were the same.
Paralus wrote p.2
A ridge possessing several high points along its length is still a ridge. .......Thus the sources in describing Kynoskephalai as the tops of hills that lie close to each other can easily be describing such a ridge and the Macedonian troops are correctly described as ascending such a ridge.
Sean M. Wrote Apr9 p3
You are right about the dog in the name; Polybius 18.22.9 and Plutarch Flam. 8.2 and Strabo Geography 9.5.20/chapter 441 do say Κυνὸς κεφαλάς so he does seem to have thought of it as “the Dog's Heads.” Presumably each of the individual peaks which Polybius and Plutarch describe was called "the Dog's Head."
Thus we have consensus that whether in Greek, Latin or English, it is clear that both singular and plural can be used of a geographical feature, thus a mountain [singular] may have several ridges[plural], and a ridge[singular] may have several summits[plural] and so on. Such would appear to be the case here.

I have already demonstrated earlier how the heights above Krini meet all the criteria in our sources, both tactical and geographical. It occurs to me however that the views I have posted so far don't really demonstrate the "Dog's Heads" features. It will be recalled that a 'Dogshead' feature is one where there is a domed 'skull', which is extended out into a 'muzzle', so as to resemble a 'Dog's head' in profile.

There are in fact two 'dog's heads' on what I have termed the 'Kynoskephale' feature, consisting of an eastern 'muzzle' and a western 'muzzle', both emanating from the same domed 'skull'. Here is the eastern 'Dog's head' from ground level, by day and in silhouette by night. The resemblance to a typical sheep-dog's head is unmistakable.
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silhoette to better illustrate typical 'dogs head' shape
silhoette to better illustrate typical 'dogs head' shape
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Kynoskephale feature showing typical Dog's head features skull to right and muzzle to left.jpg
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Re: The Probable site of Kynoskephalae battlefield 197 BC

Post by Xenophon »

.....and below is the western 'Dog's head', also unmistakable in profile.

Just for good measure, I also include a photo of the feature which I posted before, which matches the other description we have in Plutarch's "Pelopidas" 32 of the battlefield of 364 BC :
Accordingly, when he was come to Pharsalus, he assembled his forces and marched at once against Alexander. Alexander, also, seeing that the there were only a few Thebans with Pelopidas, while his own hoplites/men-at‑arms were more than twice as many as the Thessalians, advanced as far as the temple of Thetis to meet him. When Pelopidas was told that the tyrant was coming up against him with a large force, "All the better," he said, "for there will be more for us to conquer."

2 At the place called Cynoscephalae, steep and lofty hills jut out into the midst of the plain, and both leaders set out to occupy these with their infantry. His horsemen, however, who were numerous and brave, Pelopidas sent against the horsemen of the enemy, and they prevailed over them and chased them out into the plain.
As can be seen, a pretty good match to the description of Plutarch's source ( it will be remembered that the Thetideion was on the plain), with its hills jutting out....

Thus all in all, this site matches our sources ( and their two different descriptions) and all the criteria, and is the only one to do so. We can therefore be reasonably confident that this is the correct battlefield site.
Attachments
Kynoskephale feature from west showing second dog's head feature skull to left and muzzle to right.jpg
Kynoskephale feature from west showing second dog's head feature skull to left and muzzle to right.jpg (56.18 KiB) Viewed 6862 times
Kynoskephalae western dogs head in silhouette.jpg
Kynoskephalae western dogs head in silhouette.jpg (36.37 KiB) Viewed 6862 times
Plutarch's steep and lofty hills jut out into the plain"
Plutarch's steep and lofty hills jut out into the plain"
Xenophon's Kynoskephalae location from the south ( Roman) position showing multiple 'summits' and 'hills'.jpg (105.59 KiB) Viewed 6862 times
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Re: The Probable site of Kynoskephalae battlefield 197 BC

Post by agesilaos »

Clearly only part one but .
xenophon wrote
One does not accord one scholar’s work ‘parity’ with another’s simply because both are scholars, one has to take into account the quality and plausibility of the respective works.
Nor is that what I have suggested but let us examine Morgan’s ‘credible’ and ‘plausible’ hypotheses.

The length of the battle line is an important facet of the argument, Morgan rules sites out on the grounds that the Pompeian line would not fit. Firstly one might ask why the Pompeian line, the figures he uses come from Caesar so why not Caesar’s line? Surely one would expect Caesar to have fuller and more accurate details of his own forces? And if one wishes to say that he may have lowered his own total for propagandist reasons it is certainly just as likely that he increased those of Pompey (his alleged 7,000 cavalry cause problems in all reconstructions).

Morgan tells us on p.27 that a space of 250 metres was occupied by three cohorts, referencing De Bello Civile, I 45 ii-iv.
Caesar, contrary to his expectation, finding the consternation like to spread through the whole army, encouraged his men, and led the ninth legion to their assistance. He soon put a stop to the vigorous and insulting pursuit of the enemy, obliged them to turn their backs, and pushed them to the very walls of Lerida. But the soldiers of the ninth legion, elated with success, and eager to repair the loss we had sustained, followed the runaways with so much heat that they were drawn into a place of disadvantage, and found themselves directly under the hill where the town stood, whence when, they endeavoured to retire, the enemy again facing about, charged vigorously from the higher ground. The hill was rough, and steep on each side, extending only so far in breadth as was sufficient for drawing up three cohorts; but they could neither be reinforced in flank, nor sustained by the cavalry. The descent from the town was indeed something easier for about four hundred paces, which furnished our men with the means of extricating themselves from the danger into which their rashness had brought them. Here they bravely maintained the fight, though with great disadvantage to themselves, as well on account of the narrowness of the place, as because being posted at the foot of the hill, none of the enemy's darts fell in vain. Still however they supported themselves by their courage and patience, and were not disheartened by the many wounds they received. The enemy's forces increased every moment, fresh cohorts being sent from the camp through the town, who succeeded in the place of those that were fatigued. Caesar was likewise obliged to detach small parties to maintain the battle, and bring off such as were wounded
So, three cohorts occupy 250m, 480 per cohort, six deep is a frontage of 80 men which make their frontage one metre not the two Morgan claims. Of course Caesar nowhere states the strength of these cohorts nor the depth in which the stood, he does, however, state that they could not be ‘reinforced in the flank’ the implication is that the troops are in close order not six feet apart. Morgan is either stacking Caesar’s men twelve deep, deeper than Pompey at Pharsalos, or he is only allowing Caesar 240 men per cohort at the beginning of a campaign and having them spread out rather than thin the line. Thus he doubles the length of the line quite erroneously.
The line should be reckoned from Caesar’s dispositions he has eighty cohorts in the battle line (BC III 89) composed of 22,000 men. 275 per cohort averaged if we accept Frontinus’ statement that Pompey was ten deep with twice the men Caesar must have been five deep to match his frontage (which we can deduce from the emergency cohorts being able to outflank Pompey’s forces once the cavalry had fled that the lines were equal). Each cohort will have a frontage of 55 men = 55 metres, there should be 32 cohorts in the front line of the triplex acies and so a frontage of 1,760 metres for the legions, Caesar had 1,000 cavalry four deep on a two metre frontage yields another 500 metres so the battlefield should be 2, 260 metres or so.

Morgan errs again on p37 when he opines, ‘Furthermore the plain W of Pharsalus would have been far more suitable for Pompey’s numerous cavalry than the confined space between Mount Krintir and Palaikastro.’ The problem is that it was Caesar who chose the battlefield not Pompey.

Then we have the ‘evidence’ of the itineria. The Tabula Peutingerensis has ‘Larissa 15 –Grannona 38 – Falera 27 – Thapedon 27- Thermopylas.’ No Palaipharsalos here; a work derived from the same original as TP, but of which an earlier rescension has survived is the Cosmographia of the anonymous Ravennas; this lists stations but lacks the distances given in the Peutinger Table. Therein between Granona and Farsalos (4.9 -10) or Grannona and Falsariuum (5.12-13) is written Palfari and Falaphari, respectively; superficially Palfari looks like a corruption of Palaipharsalos.

The treatment of this evidence is of particular note; Morgan asserts several things; that as earlier manuscripts the Cosmographia (13th Century) and the Geographica of Guido (13th Century) ‘..are useful for controlling the spelling of names and repairing the omission of stations in the Peutinger Table.’ (Morgan p 47). But a glance at the following stemma, p48 shows that all the Manuscripts are 13th Century and that the scholarship thinks that the Peutinger Table is closest to an original Roman Itinerium (possibly plundered in 1204 from Constantinople). So one has to ask is it more likely that the author of the Peutinger Table omitted posts or that the lists expanded as errors were retained and independently corrupted?

PT gives 15 miles between Stenas and Olympu; Book 4 of the Cosmographia inserts a station Thuris, Book 5 three! Turiste, Tenus and Lubion, that is a station every three miles! Is this likely? Or did the author of Cosmographia’ source find an entry StenasTurris and make two entries of it, Tenus is a corruption of an iterative Stenas and Lubion of the prospective Olimpium, there were onlythe two termini of PT not the five stations of Cosm 5 and Guido.
Similarly Palfari and Falafari are corruptions of the original Falera, P for F is an easy misreading and the iteration of an ‘a’ is too. Morgan’s concatenation of errors is simply not necessary; this solution is simpler and thus accords with the oft quoted and equally often ignored rule of Occam’s Razor.

So Morgan does not demonstrate anything beyond the fact that he can find areas corresponding Caesar’s vague descriptions in the area he targets. Contrary to your constant assertion (an unevidenced comment) the list of towns ‘sacked’ by Philip V does cast doubt upon Morgan’s placement of the town, since it is ancient evidence and is more likely than not to be in itinerary form, Polybios does not generally put the names of places in his narrative in a petasos and pull them out at random; since this is evidenced it is not an assertion.

So do I dismiss all of Morgan? Well, it is difficult to make any comment on a possible battlefield of 48 BC at the Eastern end of the Enipeos Valley, as no one has really looked at that area besides Heuzey and A N Other whose name escapes me, both of whom place Pompey’s on Kynoskephalai, which identification Morgan does not dispute, he situates the camp not Kynoskephalai elsewhere. I think there is something to his site for the battle of 48BC but not to his insistence that ‘the most precise name for the battle is Palaepharsalos’, ‘Pharsalica acies’ ‘fuga’ etc do not imply anything other than a battle on Pharsalian territory. Caesar gets no more specific than the ‘battle in Thessaly’ Cicero is just as contemporary as Aulus Hirtius or Oppius, either of whom may have written the Alexandrian War wherein we find the lone contemporary reference to Palaepharsalus (48.i)
48 Now during the period when Caesar was besieging Pompey at Dyrrachium, and achieving success at Old Pharsalus, and was engaged at Alexandria in operations which involved great risk, though rumour made it out to be still greater, Q. Cassius Longinus had been left behind in Spain as propraetor to govern the further province.

Now the authorship of De Bello Alexandrinum is not certain, despite Morgan’s insistence that it is Hirtius; his own ‘argument from authority’ in a way. However, neither Hirtius w, who remained in Spain nor Oppius, the other potential author Suetonius (Div. Iul. 56) mentions for the extensions to Caesar’s Commentaries (Book 8 of De Bello Gallico is definitely Hirtius), was in Rome, when the battle occurred. We do not know where the name comes from; Caesar does not use it nor does any other contemporary.

The next source is Strabo (early 1st Century AD) XVII 1 xvii,
In the meantime Pompeius Magnus had come in flight from Palaepharsalus to Pelusium and Mt. Casius
There is no reason to think that he did not find this in the Caesarian corpus, the context is Pompey’s flight to Egypt, the opening of the Alexandrian War. So this is most likely dependent on ‘Hirtius’ and therefore not a supporting source.

And finally Frontinus (end of 1st Century AD) II 3 xxii
22 In the battle against Caesar at Old Pharsalus, Gnaeus Pompey drew up three lines of battle, each one ten men deep, stationing on the wings and in the centre the legions upon whose prowess he could most safely rely, and filling the spaces between these with raw recruits. On the right flank he placed six hundred horsemen, along the Enipeus River, which with its channel and deposits had made the locality impassable; the rest of the cavalry he stationed on the left, together with the auxiliary troops, that from this quarter he might envelop the troops of Caesar.
Against these dispositions, Gaius Caesar also drew up a triple line, placing his legions in front and resting his left flank on marshes in order to avoid envelopment. On the right he placed his cavalry, among whom he distributed the fleetest of his foot-soldiers, men trained in cavalry fighting. Then he held in reserve six cohorts for emergencies, placing them obliquely on the right, from which quarter he was expecting an attack of the enemy's cavalry. No circumstance contributed more than this to Caesar's victory on that day; for as soon as Pompey's cavalry poured forth, these cohorts routed it by an unexpected onset, and delivered it up to the rest of the troops for slaughter.

This is the most interesting passage as, whilst certain elements correspond to Caesar’s account, there are several additional details; the name, Palaepharsalus; the depth of Pompey’s lines, the 600 horse on the right; the name of the ‘rivuus’. The question is, where did the ultimate source get this information? Palaepharsalus may have come from ‘Hirtius’, the Enipeos could be deduced from the fact that it was a battle in Pharsalian territory, the military details could be fabrications, why would Caesar ignore the six hundred horse on the Pompeian right?
Then there are two late sources Eutropius (mid fourth century AD) VI 20
XX. Caesar, having marched into the deserted city, made himself dictator. Soon after he set out for Spain, where he defeated the armies of Pompey, which were very powerful and brave, with their three generals, Lucius Afranius, Marcus Petreius, and Marcus Varro. Returning from thence, he went over into Greece. He took the field against Pompey, but in the first battle was defeated and put to flight; he escaped, however, because Pompey declined to pursue him, as the night was coming on; when Caesar remarked, that Pompey knew not how to conquer, and that that was the only day on which he himself might have been vanquished. They next fought at Palaeopharsalus,28 in Thessaly, leading great forces into the field on both sides. The army of Pompey consisted of forty thousand foot, six hundred horse on the left wing, and five hundred on the right, besides auxiliary troops from the whole east, and all the nobility, senators without number, men of praetorian and consular rank, and some who had already been conquerors of powerful nations. Caesar had not quite thirty thousand infantry in his army, and but one thousand horse.
And OrosiusVI (late 4th Century AD), 15 xxv-xxvii
When Caesar proceeded to Thessaly by a forced march through Epirus, Pompey followed with huge forces and engaged him in battle. The lines of battle were then drawn up on both sides. Pompey stationed eighty-eight cohorts in a triple line. There were forty thousand infantrymen and six hundred cavalry on the left wing, and five hundred on the right, not to speak of many kings, a great many Roman senators and knights, and a large force of light-armed troops. Caesar in like manner drew up his eighty cohorts in a triple line. His troops numbered less than thirty thousand infantry and a thousand horse. One could moan at the sight of the concentrated strength of Rome standing on the Pharsalian fields arrayed for mutual slaughter; had harmony only reigned, no nations or kings could have withstood them.
In the first engagement, the cavalry of Pompey was repulsed and its left flank was exposed. When mutual slaughter had gone on for a long time and while the issue was still in doubt, with Pompey on one side encouraging his soldiers, saying "spare the citizens," but not sparing them, and on the other side, Caesar crying "soldier, hit them in the face," the whole army of Pompey finally took flight and abandoned their camp to plunder. Fifteen thousand of Pompey's troops and thirty-three centurions were slain in this battle. This was the result of the battle fought at Palaeopharsalus
These two later sources are clearly dependent.
When you think about, it free-choice is the only possible option.
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Re: The Probable site of Kynoskephalae battlefield 197 BC

Post by agesilaos »

Just a few more words on the itineria which can be accessed here

http://www.hs-augsburg.de/~harsch/Chron ... _pe00.html
https://ia801408.us.archive.org/28/item ... vegoog.pdf
The latter including Guido too.


The most obvious thing is that the Tabula Peuntingerensis is a map, and both the Cosmographia and Geographica, lists; Morgan opines that the last two were compiled by extracting the name from a map like the TP and, ultimately that must have been the case. However, by the time we get to the manuscripts that have survived they have been copied from lists and they display the errors one would expect from such an ancestry.

Guido 109 has an interesting note on Larissa, ‘Larisa, urbs regni Mirmidonum in qua regnavit Achilles famosissimus,… ‘ - a city in the kingdom of the Myrmidons in which the most famous Achilles ruled – which could be a surprise for those thinking that the Myrmidonum astu was Pharsalos. Fortunately, Guido seems to have been led astray by the martyr St Achilleus who had his shrine there and whom he mentions next.

What emerges is that only two roads leave Larissa, the one via Krannon and the other to Dyrrachium; yet we know there was a road to Pherai, Philip V dashed down it in 197. These itineria are not complete and exhaustive, then; nor do all the cities mentioned actually sit on the road, this can be shown archaeologically at Eleusis where the road has been discovered at a distance from the town.

One final point on this, if you look at Morgan’s illustration 4 you can see that Palaepharsalus is on the southern face of your feature (hill 385); both the advanced forces would have had to fight across this area followed by the initial Roman attack.

Turning to Thetideion, it is difficult to discern just what you think it was, you have howled against it being a kome, disowned trying to demonstrate it was a shrine with your truncated quote only to insist that the translators translate ‘To Thetideion’ as the ‘Shrine of Thetis’, and you rule out it being a city. It is not Decourt and myself who make it a kome for the hell of it, but Euripides, Hellanikos, Phylarchos, Pherecydes and Etienne of Byzantium, was there not a dig about not considering all the evidence? All of these tell us the town was named for Thetis not for a temple or shrine, translators translate what they see they do not normally research every toponym and so they see 'to Thetideion ' an make it 'the Shrine of Thetis' rather than leaving it as Thetideion, they would make Christchurch 'l'eglise du Chrete' no doubt.

Which brings us to the accusation of ‘ad hominem’ attacks; this is what I wrote
Both Paralus and I have mentioned that, for whatever reason, we cannot upload the attachments we want, hence the excision of the title to the map. Of course, I also assumed that the members of the forum had sufficient intelligence to work out for themselves that the straight lines and concentric circles represented a model, rather than absolute reality; seems that, in one case, I was mistaken.


This is how you chose to interpret it
In your previous post, you described me as the most ‘unintelligent’ person here on Pothos (page 4 April 24, second paragraph) which I chose to ignore, and apparently the moderators also.
It was the stupidity of your point that is being characterised which was clearly obvious to the moderator and everyone else…seem to have been here before. How should I take your accusations that I had deliberately omitted the title to somehow gain an advantage? The constant red-herring is the recurring double standards and self-exculpatory pleas.

That you do not recognise the linguistic argument is as unsurprising as your branding it irrelevant; it is the only plank in the constant belittling of Decourt but now it is irrelevant. What is irrelevant is Palaipharsalos, it does not figure in the narrative and Morgan does not couple it with Kynoskepalai, nor do any ancient sources mention Kynoskephalai in relation to the battle of 48BC. The problem with using Appian’s fictionalised account is that the only basis for attributing accuracy is how it fits with your current argument (I predict that the source of Pompey’s supplies will be deemed ‘irrelevant’, soon!). Morgan actually agrees with me on this, have you read him properly?
Your itinerary of 23 April
1. It has Philip reach ‘Melambium’ before Scotussa, whereas Philip marched to Scotussa the first day, and Melambium the second day. Pritchett mis-identifies the Onchestus river.[ see Hammond and Morgan in particular]

2. The distances marched are way too short for ‘a day’s march’ – a paltry 10km or so the first day, and an even more meagre 6 km or so the second, not even getting as far as Scotussa!

3. The supposed site of the Thetideion is way too far from the battlefield, [Philip could see it at the foot of the ridge from the top ] and is close to Scotussa, whereas Polybius says it was in Pharsalan territory.

4. This scenario has Flamininus turn back east when the sources say his vanguard continued west “forward.... toward the pass, over the hills” where they encounter Philip’s men.[Polyb XVIII.21.2] The pass is evidently close by. There is no plausible pass in Pritchett’s, or similar, scenarios
Skotussa is not mentioned as having been reached only the Onchestos whose position is a unsecure as that of Melambion or Thetideion . Had Philip just re-victualed, his reason for moving to Skotussa (and also that given for Caesar’s proposed move in 48 BC according to Plutarch), would he have needed to send half the phalanx off foraging?

I too use google earth for the marches using ‘get direction’ and opting for the ‘on foot’. Starting from Velestino (ancient Pherai) the Romans march about 20km (12 miles) on day 1 (there are two routes 19.2 km and 21 km) to Eretria (stated as the end of the day’s march by Polybios). This is 32 km from Krini (19.5 miles).

If Philip marches your 24km/15 miles he will reach Ano Skotussa only 17km/10.5 miles from Krini and he has his third short march to fit in. This reconstruction does not work

It is not interpreting ‘between in a very narrow sense’ at all nor is your example valid; Krini is not like ‘Liverpool is between London and Edinburgh’ rather it is like the Isle of Wight is between London and Edinburgh! Which is to say not at all. As for Krini being strategically important in 364 that is a self-serving nonsense; Plutarch (Pelopidas 31) tells us that it was Alexander’s installation of garrisons in the cities of Magnesia and Phthiotis which prompted the intervention, both regions east of Pharsalos. Pelopidas had already collected his Thessalian allies and moved first (Pel 32)
Accordingly, when he was come to Pharsalus, he assembled his forces and marched at once against Alexander.
Alexander moved in reaction once he had discovered that Pelopidas had few Theban troops with him. The battle, near Thetideion was therefore between, in the correct sense, Pharsalos and Pherai and that is where Kynoskephalai was too.

Hopefully these maps will post if not look here

http://www.archatlas.dept.shef.ac.uk/Si ... me=argissa
Argissa9.jpg
Argissa9.jpg (97.77 KiB) Viewed 6815 times
Argissa10.jpg
Argissa10.jpg (161.45 KiB) Viewed 6815 times
notice the mass of Neolithic settlements on the Larissan plain, either the land was dry or these people built on marshes (not impossible but there are no stilted houses here just normal mud huts and postholes.

As for the sermon, well, I do not worship at the church of St Xenophon the Martyr, too many contradictions in the Holy Writ for me and the high priest seems not to follow his own preaching. :lol:
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Re: The Probable site of Kynoskephalae battlefield 197 BC

Post by agesilaos »

More constructively; Melambion means 'the dark/dreary life' are there any ancient mining works near Skotoussa? Sadly the area was not covered by Decourt as it is outside the Enipeos Valley, nor did any of those discussing Pharsalos 48BC have occasion to search for it; it ought to be something like this and finding Melambion would go a long way to settling things. I have not found anything useful beyond Magnetite being named for Magnesia in Thessaly perhaps one of our Greek correspondents could find more. :?:
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Re: The Probable site of Kynoskephalae battlefield 197 BC

Post by Xenophon »

It is a pity that some people just can't recognise when a thread has reached its natural conclusion - and just go on and on for pages and pages without really advancing a discussion. I, and I am sure many others, prefer shortish threads to long, boring, interminable ones. I had considered that this thread had reached a possible natural conclusion back on May 25th. Agesilaos evidently thinks otherwise and has posted another 4,000 words or so in multiple parts (!! :shock: ) without however advancing the subject matter of this thread one iota.

Earlier in the thread I wrote on May 25:
Human beings are by nature irrational creatures, giving way to conviction and opinion, and then seeking to justfiy it afterward, rather than seeking evidence, and then reaching conclusions after examining that evidence. Even trained scientists, historians etc are prey to illogical and irrational thought. This well known human characteristic has been well recognised. For example, Sir Francis Bacon [1567-1636] wrote in Elizabethan times:
"The Human Understanding when it has once adopted an Opinion draws all things to support and agree with it. And though there be a greater number and weight of instances to be found on the other side, yet these it either neglects or despises, or else by some Distinction sets aside and rejects, in order that by this Great and Pernicious predetermination the authority of its former conclusion may remain Inviolate."

Thus Agesilaos cannot be blamed too much for clinging to his conviction of a central major road, despite there being no evidence for it, and strong evidence against it (Strabo, the sources generally, and the general geographical and historical record.)
.

Most of Agesilaos' vast verbage is an attempt to discredit Morgan's work and his sources and evidence. I am not going to respond to that save to say that his motivation for such is as per the above quotation. His posts have little or nothing to do with the location of the Kynos Kephalae battlefield. A discussion of Morgan's work is a separate subject and should be the subject of a separate thread.

This brings us to Agesilaos' maps which do have some relevance to the terrain in antiquity. Agesilaos wrote:
notice the mass of Neolithic settlements on the Larissan plain, either the land was dry or these people built on marshes (not impossible but there are no stilted houses here just normal mud huts and postholes.
It would appear Agesilaos did not study his sources thoroughly, for things are not as he states.
Firstly, those 300 plus neolithic locations date over a 2-3,000 year period, so that they represent a quite thin settlement density at any one time.
Secondly, in neolithic times when agriculture was in its infancy, it was still necessary to retain elements of the hunter-gatherer lifestyle. How do you do this without being nomadic? Adopt a fishing lifestyle, where the food comes to you ! This is the reason a majority of neolithic settlements all over the world are built on water or close to water and lakes.
Finally most of those 300 plus sites are identified by being 'magoules' - mounds varying from a couple of metres to 8 metres in height, to raise the buildings out of the surrounding inundation ( generally not much survives of the huts themselves).

It is a certain fact that the plain consisted of inundated wetlands in summer, and shallow lakes in winter, some of which were quite large (such as Lake Katsas and Lake Nessonis) and that these wetlands existed from the dawn of human settlement down to relatively modern times. That is why there could not possibly have been a road or even a track directly across the plain until long term drainage made this possible around the 18 C.

As Agesilaos wrote on page 1:
Agesilaos wrote on P.1 :
...on principle, however I would concede that were there no route via Zoodikos Pyrge and Chalkiades in ancient times your feature near Krini would be a good fit. Obviously I have to digest this
And there the matter must rest. As with other threads which have dragged on interminably, I don't intend to post any more.
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Re: The Probable site of Kynoskephalae battlefield 197 BC

Post by agesilaos »

:lol: Surely, you considered the thread to have ended as soon as you wrote it? That you choose to not answer unanswerable points and simply dismiss them as irrelevant is no surprise either; since the route from Pharsalos to Larissa was assuredly not inundated (if it ever was) at the time of the battle, your last point fails too.

When you make bold assertions - 'probable' rather than possible, site: putting it on a road due to an infatuation with another scholar's unrelated and likely incorrect restoration of an itinerium, the evidence of which sites the road about six kilometres further west , leaving Krini an unimportant spot. Philip had a garrison at Pharsalos which fails to intervene in the battle and, moreover could have just as easily been placed in Krini were it so strategically important. Maybe you ought to take the import of your little homilies on board yourself, the irony is patent.
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Re: The Probable site of Kynoskephalae battlefield 197 BC

Post by agesilaos »

Kynoskephalai.jpg
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Apologies for the late reply, I have been conducting fieldwork during the last month with scarce access to the Internet. My project on the reconstruction of the ancient landscape of Thessaly is mainly focused in the area around Karditsa (West Thessaly) and, therefore, I do not have direct data concerning your study area. However, looking at the coarse digital terrain model of Thessaly I made from satellite data I find extremely difficult for wetlands to be present around this route. Most of the route should have involved well-drained higher ground not suitable for water accumulation as you can see in the attached image.
I hope to have been of some help with your discussion.

Best wishes,
Hector
Looks like the central route is actually better drained than the route of the Roman road, I pity those poor neolithic fishermen. :lol:
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Re: The Probable site of Kynoskephalae battlefield 197 BC

Post by amyntoros »

Am back online and on the forum after a most disagreable but successful move.
Xenophon wrote:It is a pity that some people just can't recognise when a thread has reached its natural conclusion - and just go on and on for pages and pages without really advancing a discussion. I, and I am sure many others, prefer shortish threads to long, boring, interminable ones. I had considered that this thread had reached a possible natural conclusion back on May 25th. Agesilaos evidently thinks otherwise and has posted another 4,000 words or so in multiple parts (!! :shock: ) without however advancing the subject matter of this thread one iota.
Unlike many threads and posts that I recall seeing on another (mostly Roman) forum, there's no dictate here as to when a thread has reached its conclusion, natural or otherwise. If members wish to post on any thread they are free to do so, and if other members believe that the discussion is not being advanced then they are equally free to ignore the thread. Participation is not compulsary, nor is it discouraged. Threads here are not owned by anyone in particular - not the person who started the discussion nor the person who is the most active participant. If some people wish to continue a debate and others do not then, obviously, participation is up to each individual.

And as far as describing some threads (this one specifically) as long, boring and interminable ... well, that is and must remain your own opinion.

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Re: The Probable site of Kynoskephalae battlefield 197 BC

Post by agesilaos »

Welcome back, I suppose it would be some sort of ad hominem attack to point out that Xenophon expended 4,680 odd words in his opening posts, though he did declare 1,000 of these 'irrelevant' later! :D
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Re: The Probable site of Kynoskephalae battlefield 197 BC

Post by amyntoros »

agesilaos wrote:Welcome back, I suppose it would be some sort of ad hominem attack to point out that Xenophon expended 4,680 odd words in his opening posts, though he did declare 1,000 of these 'irrelevant' later! :D
Well, yes, ... it likely will be read as some sort of ad hominem attack and I wouldn't disagree. (Did you really count the number of words? :roll: ) Now, I'm assuming Xenophon's "relevant" and "irrelevant" points have already been discussed here. And vice-versa , because I'm willing to bet you've pointed out "relevance" as well although I'm not going to check right now. Well here's a point of my own. One which is directed at everyone reading this post and not just those involved in this particular thread. This relevant/not relevant business is extremely distracting for someone just trying to follow a debate. And it's very off-putting to anyone who might want to contribute but won't for fear of being told their words are irrelevant. Pothos is not like that and never has been and we've been famous, so to speak, for the organic digressions in our threads. I'd rather take the time to cut or copy digressive posts and move them to a new thread (so the subject matter can be more easily located) than have to be writing this post. If someone is interested enough in a subject to join in the debate then obviously they feel their own comments are relevant. And rightfully so.

And, Agesilaos - if you "suppose" something you've posted is ad hominem, then you know it's likely to rile. Be nice lest I have to arm the lunch room monitor with a ruler! :)

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