The Probable site of Kynoskephalae battlefield 197 BC

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agesilaos
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Re: The Probable site of Kynoskephalae battlefield 197 BC

Post by agesilaos »

Mmmmh, corporal punishment ...no I have not posted anything of the sort; you just copy the relevant posts and paste them into a word document the use the word count tool, simples! I do not intend to check the figure though!
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Xenophon
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Re: The Probable site of Kynoskephalae battlefield 197 BC

Post by Xenophon »

agesilaos wrote::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.
Not at all. I posted the thread in order to discuss the matter.I chose "probable" as a general term in the hope of discussing probable sites that fitted the criteria as opposed to every possible site. Others may well have other proposals as to "the probable site". In the event, no other plausible site emerged.
I am not aware of any "unanswerable points" posted by you - your arguments are simplistic, shallow and superficial. You have not produced a single shred of evidence for a central major route between Larissa and Pharsalos beyond that you wish it were so. That the plain was inundated in summer as wetlands, and in winter consisted of a number of shallow lakes right down to modern times is irrefutable, as anyone can readily discover with some elementary research. Your flat assertions to the contrary are meaningless considering the overwhelming literary, geographical and climate evidence.
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.
Your scurrilous accusation of 'infatuation' is completely false. The fact is that Morgan's views are widely accepted - see Hammond for a start, and I am not aware of anyone who has successfully refuted his work, or even decried it, save you, and you have an ulterior motive.
agesilaos
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Re: The Probable site of Kynoskephalae battlefield 197 BC

Post by agesilaos »

:lol: :lol: :lol: Why do you not present some of 'the overwhelming literary, geographical and climate evidence.' instead of just asserting it, I am sure that Hector would be interested. Frankly claiming Hammond as support when you reject his site? You need to sort out your argument from authority. As for the insults they are no arguments and merely demonstrate that you answer nothing. Surely you have written a homily on this problem of yours, somewhere.

Give some answers to Morgan's palaeographic fantasy, or his mis conception of roman frontage, that you can ignore a relief map that demonstrates the main road would be inundated long before the central one speaks more to your purblindness, cite your evidence, and let's hope it is better than that you cited one the 'let's kick TYaphoi thread' that was not bullying nor lazy :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
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agesilaos
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Re: The Probable site of Kynoskephalae battlefield 197 BC

Post by agesilaos »

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.

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
The evidence is rather against your impartial definition of your use of 'probable'; wading through the self serving ' simplistic, shallow and {tautologically] superficial ' verbiage of the rest of your posts will bore me too much try to address one point at least, I can no longer be bothered to go round and round with the defeated argument you fail to recognise.
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agesilaos
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Re: The Probable site of Kynoskephalae battlefield 197 BC

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pat1897.jpg
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farsala.jpg
farsala.jpg (250.85 KiB) Viewed 4906 times
Since there was a flicker of activity here I just thought I'd post proof of the 1897 Turkish advance by the central route in much the same season (May) as the Kynoskephalai campaign, these come from Cassell's 'Battles of the Nineteenth Century' Vol V 1902. Apologies for the quality of the scans.
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Re: The Probable site of Kynoskephalae battlefield 197 BC

Post by Xenophon »

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

I hesitate to re-open this thread which ended suddenly with the untimely death of Agesilaos. However, he was badly mistaken and the thread should not be left “up in the air” so to speak with points he demanded be addressed unanswered.

Agesilaos wrote:
Why do you not present some of 'the overwhelming literary, geographical and climate evidence.' instead of just asserting it, ........Frankly claiming Hammond as support when you reject his site? You need to sort out your argument from authority........

.......Give some answers to Morgan's palaeographic fantasy, or his mis-conception of roman frontage, that you can ignore a relief map that demonstrates the main road would be inundated long before the central one speaks more to your purblindness, cite your evidence.........
..

I believe that I presented literary, geographical and climate evidence from the outset of this thread, whilst Agesilaos did not - and in fact nothing to support his assertion of an ancient major 'central' road. Nor did I claim Hammond as 'support' for me, rather that Hammond agreed with Morgan.

The essence of this debate is whether or not a road capable of supporting ox-drawn wagons existed on a direct north-south route between Larissa and Pharsalus. If there was such a road, Agesilaos maintained that the battlefield could not be west of it ( quite why I am unsure) and hence the site I had suggested could not be correct. :

Agesilaos wrote Mar28 page 1
My biggest problem with this suggestion is that both Philip and Flamininus will have had to cross the major route north to Larissa in order to reach it, which makes little sense. This route is that of the modern road passed Chalkiades and Zoodikos Pyrgi [a central route], which was still the main route in 1897 when the Turks advanced from Larissa to Pharsalos along it. ............... I think the site to the east of the main road is the one.”
..... His first mistake is to refer to the modern road reaching Larissa which it does not - The Turkish army did not utilise a non-existent road. The reason for this is periodic flooding of the area south of Larissa. I first referred to this on April 6 :
“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).”
This subsequently turned out to be exactly right.
The Literary evidence begins with Greek mythology, which has its own Great Flood myth like Noah, that of Deucalion, which takes place on the Thessalian plain, indicating the plain was subject to floods ‘since time immemorial’, which is because of its geographical shape [see map below]. Next there is Strabo IX.5 :
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.


Strabo was aware then that the Thessaly plain was a giant bowl with only a single drainage point, and that it flooded in winter. THAT is the reason there is no central route, and why the two north-south routes both go around the plain more or less, one route to the east and one to the west.
Agesilaos’ next mistake was to reproduce a modern map, claiming that “As can be seen there are very few rivers crossing the plain of Larissa,”. This is true today, because of major drainage works carried out continuously over the last 2,000 years or more, perhaps beginning with Philip I of Macedon, and still ongoing. Indeed, even the mighty river Onchestus and all its tributaries has all but disappeared – large enough in 197 BC to water Philip V’s army of 30,000 or more and all its servants and animals!
Had Agesilaos done even rudimentary research regarding the Thessaly plain and wetlands, he would have discovered literally dozens of modern books on the subject which make plain the inundated nature of the plains. As an example here are some extracts from just one:

"
EUROPEAN LANDSCAPES AND LIFESTYLES: THE MEDITERRANEAN AND BEYOND
The disappearance of the’ hygrotopoi’ (wetlands) is a major feature of the evolution of the Greek landscapes during the twentieth century. Such a disappearance is tightly related to the major events of Modern Greek history and mainly to the exchange of populations (Greeks, Bulgarians and Turks) in the twenties. .......
THE GREEK PLAINS AND BASINS AT THE BEGINNING OF THE 20TH CENTURY
At the beginning of the 20th century, the plains inside the current national borders of Greece were very often flooded and marshy. Many rivers reached the sea through narrow gorges that cut coastal ranges. During the rainy season, draining off waters is difficult: rains feed lakes and their surface is temporarily larger. There are numerous examples of this situation such as the Pinios River in Thessaly and the Strymon River in Macedonia. Under these conditions, the main part of the plain is not cultivated but only devoted to nomadic herds. Besides, there is a great number of karstic plains and basins, with subterranean drainage and sink-holes or swallets. Some drawings, made for military purposes to help artillery gunners during the First World War, give a good and precise picture of these elements of the landscape. ......
...... The surface of these ‘hygrotopoi’ was very wide. In the plain of Serres (Eastern Macedonia) for example, which lies on 118000 ha, 29000 were covered with marshes in 1928, 17500 were so saturated with water that they were not fit for agriculture and 23000 were subject to seasonal floods. Only 37% of the plain was water free. .....
..... The last phase of the process began in the mid nineties and is still running in 2004. We can consider that the large projects of wetland draining are now declining, firstly because the most important lakes and marshes have already been drained; secondly because the development of irrigation and drainage created ecological problems.......
.... Karla Lake in Eastern Thessaly gives us a good example of this evolution and of the current phase mentioned above. Karla Lake exists in Antiquity. It is mentioned by Herodotes. It was then named Voiviis, and it used to cover about 25000 ha. It is fed by the rains of its basin, as well as by some important springs that fill an adjacent lake named Nessonis. In winter, water also flows from a diffluence of the Pinios River. In the town of Larissa, the Pinios river flows at 65 meters above sea level and the Karla Lake is at 49 meters above sea level. The oriental side of the Karla Lake is surrounded by the Mavrovouni calcareous range and the lake water flows through a subterranean network. Until the end of the 19th century, the surface of the lake used to vary from one year to another. The French geographer Jules Sion wrote in 1934 that “the lake was completely dried up in 1881, but covered 18000 ha in 1920-21, because of the floods from the Pinios River”. There are therefore very extensive marshes in the North West.
I expounded all this in information in my May 25 post.

And Agesilaos’ response? He launched a complete ‘red herring’ by criticising Morgan, and wrongly so in any case.( Morgan’s distances for Roman frontages are pretty much correct) He then went on to commit a real ‘howler’ regarding Neolithic settlements, not realising they were spread over 2-3,000 years and that they take the form of ‘magoules’ – raised mounds in order to avoid the regular inundations!!
Next he produced a very vague map, which far from disproving flooding, showed low-lying areas to the south of Larissa ( in blue) and further south the east-west running Karadag range which itself forms a barrier to a north-south road, being too steep for a road suitable for ox-drawn wagons! (who can generally not climb gradients more than 1 in 40, without using multiple spans)

And there the debate pretty much ended, with plenty of evidence for there being no central route, capable of supporting a road suitable for ox-drawn wagons, and none whatsoever for there being so much as a track before the 19 C.( the fact that a modern Turkish army could advance across the plain some 2,000 years plus later is evidence of nothing and utterly irrelevant, given the changes in landscape etc and not evidence of a road in any case, especially as there is still no such road even today)

One final point from our sources. In 197 BC Philip posted garrisons at Pharsalus to guard the western route north via Krini and Pthiotic Thebes to guard the Eastern route through Pherae.These would provide early warning of the Roman advance, and Philip could advance on either from Larissa, as he subsequently did. There is no mention of any ‘central’ garrison or route.

I have summarised the literary and geographical evidence I presented previously, and it only remains to say a few words about climate. Even today, despite 2,000 years of drainage, the Thessaly plain regularly floods and since “a picture is worth a thousand words” I attach some examples and a map showing areas prone to flooding.

As Agesilaos himself said:
Agesilaos wrote on P.1 :
...on principle, however I would concede that were there no route via Zoodikos Pyrge and Chalkiades [central route] in ancient times your feature near Krini would be a good fit. Obviously I have to digest this
I have produced ample evidence that there was, and is, no such route, and since Hill 325 amply fulfills all the criteria for the battlefield, right down to details such as the 'broken ground', and no other plausible site has been proposed, submit that this is the site of the kynoskephalae battlefield.
Attachments
Thessaly flood risk map in mauve.JPG
Thessaly flood risk map in mauve.JPG (133.23 KiB) Viewed 3697 times
A shallow lake on Thessaly plain
A shallow lake on Thessaly plain
Thessaly Lake Karla.jpg (47.03 KiB) Viewed 3697 times
An example of a recent inundation
An example of a recent inundation
Inundation of Thessaly Plain during Great Flood of 1994.JPG (72.43 KiB) Viewed 3697 times
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Re: The Probable site of Kynoskephalae battlefield 197 BC

Post by sean_m »

If your life permits it, maybe you could turn the research in this thread into a journal article and dedicate it to Agesilaos' memory? I would be interested in a more compact version which shows the best arguments for all the different theories and has no personal attacks and name-calling.
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Xenophon
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Re: The Probable site of Kynoskephalae battlefield 197 BC

Post by Xenophon »

Alas, there would be too much work involved to produce such an article (book?), which would take a prodigious amount of time, which I don't have.

I fear also that it would be a poor representation of Agesilaos' debating skills, since he presented no evidence for his views in this thread, and his arguments were simply mistaken.

Far better to choose a thread where his skills are better displayed, for such a project.
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