Ear - Springtime for Arrian...and Diodoros

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Ear - Springtime for Arrian...and Diodoros

Post by agesilaos »

Although I intend to await Paralus’ post on chronology for the 316/15 debate, since the date of spring became apposite I thought I might indulge in this small piece of Formicidal fornication.

Now, we really only need concern ourselves with the definitions that our sources use
Arrian I 1 i
[4] ἅμα δὲ τῷ ἦρι ἐλαύνειν ἐπὶΘρᾴκης, ἐς Τριβαλλοὺς καὶ Ἰλλυριούς
However, at the approach of spring he marched towards Thrace, into the lands of the Triballians and Illyrian.
11 iii
At the beginning of the spring he marched towards the Hellespont, entrusting the affairs of Macedonia and Greece to Antipater.
[3] ἅμα δὲ τῷ ἦρι ἀρχομένῳ ἐξελαύνει ἐφ᾽Ἑλλησπόντου τὰ μὲν κατὰ Μακεδονίαν τε καὶ τοὺς Ἕλληνας Ἀντιπάτρῳ ἐπιτρέψας,
III 6 i
Ἀλέξανδρος δὲ ἅμα τῷ ἦρι ὑποφαίνοντι ἐκ Μέμφιος ᾔει ἐπὶ Φοινίκης:
As soon as spring began to appear, he went from Memphis to Phoenicia,
IV 18 iv
[4] ἅμα δὲ τῷ ἦρι ὑποφαίνοντι προὐχώρει ὡς ἐπὶ τὴν ἐν τῇΣογδιανῇ πέτραν,
. At the first appearance of spring, he advanced towards the rock in Sogdiana,
22 iii
[3] ἐκ Βάκτρων δὲ ἐξήκοντος ἤδη τοῦ ἦρος ἀναλαβὼν τὴν στρατιὰν προὐχώρει ὡς ἐπ᾽Ἰνδούς
As the spring was now over, he took the army and advanced from Bactra towards India,
.
Plutarch Alex.16 ii ‘Some, too, thought they ought to observe carefully the customary practice in regard to the month (in the month of Daesius the kings of Macedonia were not wont to take the field with an army). This objection Alexander removed by bidding them call the month a second Artemisius;’ combined with Arrian I 11 5, which tells us that it took twenty days to reach Sestos , it would appear that both Alexander and spring began in Artemisios 334BC which began 4th April.

For Diodoros there are no notices in Book XVII but two crucial one in XIX in chapters 45 ii and 50 i. Chapter fifty concerns the emerging pressure on the besieged in Pydna,
τοῦ δ᾽ ἔαρος ἀρχομένου καὶ τῆς ἐνδείας ἀεὶ μᾶλλον αὐξανομένης συνέδραμον πολλοὶ τῶν στρατιωτῶν καὶ τὴνὈλυμπιάδα παρεκάλουν αὐτοὺς ἀφεῖναι διὰ τὴν ἀπορίαν.
Chapter forty five deals with the contemporary flooding of Rhodes and allows us to define Diodoros’ usage in these passages;
ὁ δὲ τελευταῖος ἐπέπεσε μὲν ἔαρος ἀρχομένου, καταρραγέντων ἐξαίφνης μεγάλων ὄμβρωνκαὶ χαλάζης ἀπίστου τὸ μέγεθος:
It is telling that exactly the same phrase is used in both passages as a chronological reference ἔαρος ἀρχομένου, the full story of the Rhodian flood gives the clues we need.
‘45 1 At this time occurred the third inundation of the city of Rhodes, which destroyed many of its inhabitants. Of these floods, the first did little damage to the population since the city was newly founded and therefore contained much open space; the second was greater and caused the death of more persons. 2 The last befell at the beginning of spring, great rain storms suddenly bursting forth with hail of incredible size. Indeed, hail-stones fell weighing a mina and sometimes more, so that many of the houses collapsed because of the weight, and no small number of the inhabitants were killed. 3 Since Rhodes is shaped like a theatre and since the streams of water were thus deflected chiefly into a single region, the lower parts of the city were straightway flooded; for, because it was thought that the rainy season of winter had passed, the drains had been neglected and the drainage openings through the city walls had become clogged. 4 The water that suddenly gathered filled the whole region about the Market and the Temple of Dionysus; and then, as the flood was already advancing to the Temple of Asclepius, all were struck with fear and began to follow various plans for gaining safety. 5 Some of them fled to ships, others ran to the theatre; certain of those overthrown by the calamity in their extremity climbed upon the highest altars and the bases of statues. 6 When the city and all its inhabitants were in danger of being utterly destroyed, relief of a sort came of itself; for, as the walls gave way over a long stretch, the water that had been confined poured out through this opening into the sea, and each man soon returned again to his former place. 7 It was to the advantage of those who were endangered that the flood came by day, for most of the people escaped in time from their houses to the higher parts of the city; and also that the houses were not constructed of sun-dried brick but of stone and that for this reason those who took refuge upon the roofs were safe. 8 Yet in this great disaster more than five hundred persons lost their lives, while some houses collapsed completely and others were badly shaken.
Such was the disaster which befell Rhodes.’
So the flood occurred after the normal rainy season; the Mediterranean climate is generally assumed to be much like it was in Hellenistic times so when we look at the precipitation stats for Rhodes we find at this site http://www.holiday-weather.com/rhodes/averages/ a useful graphic which shows

Oct: 60 mm, 5 days
Nov: 110 mm, 8 days
Dec: 140 mm, 13 days
Jan: 140 mm, 11 days
Feb: 130 mm, 10 days
March: 90 mm, 8 days
April: 30 mm, 6 days
May: 10 mm, 3 days

The most likely month for the surprise down pour would be April IMHO, synchronising this with the desperate straits at Pydna, so a much more precise reconstruction is actually possible, chronologically.

edited to change 'accurate' to 'precise in final sentence.
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Re: Ear - Springtime for Arrian...and Diodoros

Post by Paralus »

I'm getting there - too much work. I just need a little time (oops). With a bit of luck I'll get a post up before spring begins in Greece (late January/ early February apparently) or summer here (late October/early November on that reckoning)!!
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Re: Ear - Springtime for Arrian...and Diodoros

Post by agesilaos »

January/ February? Wot, no winter in Greece?

Even Thucydides gives April as the beginning of spring in his synchronistic exegesis at II ii
2. For fourteen years the thirty years' peace which was concluded after the recovery of Euboea3 remained unbroken. But in the fifteenth year, when Chrysis the high-priestess of Argos was in the forty-eighth year of her priesthood, Aenesias being Ephor at Sparta, and at Athens Pythodorus having two months of his archonship to run, in the sixth month after the engagement at Potidaea and at the beginning of spring,
Now we know that the archons took office in Hekatombaion, so that makes this month Thargelion the equivalent of Artemisios. Which is the month after Xanthikos when the Macedonian army allegedly mustered, a fact that may simply be reconciled with the campaigning season seeming to begin in Artemisios, if instead of mid month, on the full moon the festival of Xanthike was at the end of the month on the second new moon.
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Re: Ear - Springtime for Arrian...and Diodoros

Post by Paralus »

I imagine that Agesilaos is aiming at exploring the entire debate on early Hellenistic chronology. I’d envisioned something more attuned to the chronology under discussion on the “Olympias” or “Kasta” thread – that is the dating of Olympias’ death and Kassandos’ movements. That, I suppose, will be a focus in any wider discussion in any case. Perhaps an introduction to the state of play and how it was arrived at is a good way to begin.

The basis of the debate, for past century, has centred on two firmly entrenched positions: the ‘High’ and the ‘Low’ chronology. In dot point, the ‘high’ chronology dates Perdiccas’ death and Triparadeisos to 321 and Gaza to very early spring 312. The ‘low’dates Perdikkas’ death and Triparadeisos to 320 and Gaza early winter 312 respectively. In between these points fall the crucial dates of Antigonus’ settlement with Eumenes (317/16 or 316/15), the death of Olympias and Seleucus’ flight to Egypt (316 or 315). Except for the period winter 320- spring 318 these systems are mutually exclusive. The high was championed by the Late AB Bosworth and the low’s most vocal current proponent would be Ed Anson.

Into this, in 1994, waded P Stylianou who neatly pointed out that Kassandros could only have presided over the Nemean games of 315 (though I’m certain Agesilaos has another view on this). This being established, Seleukos’ flight to Egypt, the previous late summer, must be 316 (“The Pax Macedonica and the Freedom of the Greeks of Asia [with an Appendix on the Chronology of the Years 323- 301] Epeteris tou Kentrou Epistemonikon Ereunon 20, 1994, pp 83-84). Thus Antigonos is in Babylon in late summer of 316 and returns east in late November 316 where he goes into winter quarters in Kilikia. The death of Eumenes then dates to the beginning of this year and so Olympias dies in the spring of the same year: 316. This chronology, first expounded in detail by Tom Boiy ("Between the High and Low: A Chronology of the Early Hellenistic Period" Oikoumene, Studien zur antiken Weltgeschichte 5, Frankfurt am Main 2007) and expanded upon by Alexander Meeus (“Diodorus and the Chronology of the Third Diadoch War”, Phoenix Vol 66, 2012, 74-96) is referred to as the “mixed” or “eclectic” chronology. It is the chronology to which I subscribe as it seems the best fit for the evidence we have. Tables illustrating these various chronologies are attached below.

As with all such debates, there are agreed points. Both the high and the low agree on the period covering winter 320 to summer 318. Thus there is no disagreement on the departure of Antipatros from Asia and his death in Europe. The defeat of the “Perdikkans” (Attalos and Alketas) and the siege of Nora are all agreed. Outside of this there are several other substantially clearly datable events: the death of Perdikkas and the flight of Seleukos (as indicated above). Now, Diodorus is our main (and crucial) narrative source for this period and while the Sicilian’s dating methods tend to complicate matters (a subject to itself), he preserves some clear chronological pointers which do not come from a chronographic source but rather his ultimate source: astronomical data (‘at the time of the winter solstice’, ‘at the rising of the Dog Star’ for example) and statements of period duration. Into the latter fall the deaths of Perdikkas who died “after he had ruled for three years” (18.36.7)and Philip “who had been king for six years and four months” (19.11.5) as well as Seleukos’ flight in 316 for in 311 he returned to Babylonia where “he had been for four years satrap”( 19.91.2). Very simply this means that Perdikkas died in summer 320 (three years from summer 323); Philip died in October 317 (dated from June/July 323) and Seleukos was satrap of Babylonia from Triparadeisos (late summer 320) until late summer 316.

These pointers provide problems for both sides of the high/low debate. Ingenious creativity finds its way into explaining away such clear indicators. Thus Beloch and Errington claim that these four years mean almost five though BCHP 3 (the Diadoch Chronilce – a Babylonian tablet - line 24-5) notes the arrival of the satrap of Akkad in 320 after the battle of Memphis and Perdikkas’ death. Similarly Bosworth creatively antedates Arrhidaios' kingship to 324 making him King of Akkad (Babylon).

So, we can say that Perdikkas died in summer 320 and that Arrhidaios died in 317. Seleukos can be confidently said to have been satrap of Babylon from late summer/autumn 320 until late summer 316. What is also demonstrably clear is that Olympias and Eumenes died in the same year: Eumenes very early in January and Olympias in the spring.

Into the former (astronomical pointers) fall matters raised in the “Kasta” thread:
Xenophon wrote: The exact date of when Pydna surrendered and how long afterward Olympias was executed is not known. Neither is the date of Gabiene and when news of its outcome reached Macedon.
The surrender of Pydna and Olympias' death aside for the time being, the date of Gabiene can be retrieved with about as much certainty as many other battles of the period. Diodorus expressly notes that Antigonos set out for Gabiene at the time of the winter solstice. Further, he provided his men ten days ‘iron rations’ (there’s to be no cooking fires of a night). He clearly expected to fight ten days after setting out at the latest. In the event he was discovered after five days at which time he refreshed his army and then went afterwards into battle (19.38-39). This can hardly have been later than the first week of January 316.

Pertinent to note here is that in the autumn, prior to Paraitakene, Eumenes can concoct a letter wherein Olympias is in firm control of Macedonia having killed Kassandros and Polyperchon is on his way to Asia. The news of Philip Arrhidaios’ death had not found its way east and nor had it to Gabiene where Antigonos, after his victory, “had little faith in Eumenes' promises because of the latter's loyalty to Olympias and the kings”. Diodorus’ source here refers to the kings not king. As far as Antiogonos is concerned, Eumenes’ loyalty to both kings (and Olympias) means he cannot be trusted and will be executed. This argues for a date of Gabiene probably late in December of 317 as news of the death of Philip III and Kassandros’ subsequent ‘blitzkrieg’ has not made it to the high plateau of Iran.

Care has to be used when following Diodorus through this period. The Sicilian’s habit of using Athenian archon years (Olympiads and Roman Consular lists) leads him into awful trouble with his source for the Diadochi. This source narrated events by the campaigning year just as did Thukydides. This source then notes the combatants’ winter camps (Antigonios for example at 19.56.5: “after the setting of Orion, divided the army for passing the winter). Diodorus thus finds marrying this narrative with Archon years, beginning July, with a source who related matters from winter to winter a huge difficulty. Complicating matters is the switching between theatres: not only does Diodorus assign events to an archon before he takes office; he becomes confused as to which archon events should be under when he switches from one theatre to another occasionally. Two archons disappear altogether in book 18 and, typically, Diodorous does not always note his source’s winters – some of which seemingly head south for summer holidays.

That might do for an intro. Below are the respective chronologies. All papers referred to above are available for those interested.


That might do for an intro. Below are the respective chronologies. All papers referred to above are available for those interested.
High_Low.jpg
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Mixed _overview.jpg
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Mixed _Detailed 1.jpg
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Last edited by Paralus on Sun Aug 16, 2015 9:06 am, edited 8 times in total.
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Re: Ear - Springtime for Arrian...and Diodoros

Post by Paralus »

And the rest:
Mixed _Detailed 2.jpg
Mixed _Detailed 2.jpg (77.86 KiB) Viewed 8161 times
Meeus 1 (2).jpg
Meeus 1 (2).jpg (47.8 KiB) Viewed 8161 times
Meeus 2.jpg
Meeus 2.jpg (140.69 KiB) Viewed 8161 times
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Ἐπὶ τοὺς πατέρας, ὦ κακαὶ κεφαλαί, τοὺς μετὰ Φιλίππου καὶ Ἀλεξάνδρου τὰ ὅλα κατειργασμένους;
Wicked men, you sin against your fathers, who conquered the whole world under Philip and Alexander.

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Re: Ear - Springtime for Arrian...and Diodoros

Post by agesilaos »

Whether the deaths of Eumenes and Olympias ought to be assigned to 316 or 315 BC has been one of the contentious markers in early Hellenistic chronology. The consensus seems now to have adopted 316 as the solution but I will argue that 315 seems the better option. I am coming at this from a different direction to Paralus.

Let us first consider the dating scheme adopted in Antigonus’ possessions; both Babylonian cuneiform evidence and Idumaian ostraca demonstrate that he began dating by his own years after the second year of Alexander IV, counting his own years from his third but retrojecting his own year one to coincide with that of Alexander,(although nothing dated to Antigonos years 1 or 2 has been discovered). Something made him adopt a personal accounting system in the second year of Alexander IV.

There are three obvious candidates, his own victory over Eumenes, ostensibly the general of Alexander IV, or Kassandros’ internment of the young king, and the embassies from Kassandros, Lysimachos and Ptolemy claiming a share of the spoils; fortunately, these events will most liely have been within months of one another and within the same Macedonian year.

Alexander IV year 1 will have begun in Dios (October) 317 if we accept Diodoros’ length of six years and four months for the reign of Philip III ascended 1 Panemos 323 (12th June). Interestingly an astronomical text from Babylon (LBAT*1414) seems to record the death of Philip on 27th Audnaios/Kislimu (26th December) 317, so it is possible that Diodoros counted to his deposing by Olympias and that he was confined for two months before being murdered. This would make Kassandros move north in mid-winter 317BC, making Diodoros’ ‘very long ‘siege end after two to three months!

Diodoros calls it a ‘very long siege’ -πολιορκίαν ὑπομένειν πολυχρόνιον, XIX 35 v, he uses this word seven times in all in books XVIII-XX, although three in Book XX will derive from a separate source in all likelihood as they come in the Agathoklean narrative. XVIII 16 i concerns Ariarathes
ἀναστροφὴν δὲ πολυχρόνιον εἶχεκυριεύων τῆς Καππαδοκίας
and he had enjoyed a very long respite as king of Cappadocia
Here a period of up to ten years is indicated. XVIII 68 iii, is less clear as it only says that Polyperchon decided not to besiege Kassandros in Athens as he foresaw a very long siege which would exhaust his supplies.

XIX 35 v is the siege of Pydna and XIX 99 iii corncerns the necessity of asphalt being part of the mummification process if the bodies are to be ‘protected for a very long time’ -τὴν τῶν σωμάτων φυλακὴν πολυχρόνιον.- rendered rather freely by the Loeb as ‘the preservation of the bodies cannot be permanent’. None of these instances suggest that ‘polychronion’ refers to a matter of months.

Alexander’s second year would begin in September 316 and end in October 315, by Macedonian reckoning or run 28th March 316 to 16th April 315 in the Babylonian system (the more likely), dates which easily encompass the defeat of Eumenes around the winter solstice of 316/5 or the completion Kassandros’ counter-coup c. May 315.

There is some support for the notion that Philip III’s death either occurred or became known in the winter of 317. The last Egyptian date we have for him is year 8 Hathyr, which is Jan/Feb 316 (Bibl.Nat 219) and the earliest for Alexander IV year 01.Mecheir.2 or 10th April 316 (P.Dem.Loeb 27). Unlike in Babylon, Ptolemy seems to have switched to dating by Alexander IV as soon as the news reached him. The Egyptian year ran November to November at this period (cf Chris Bennett at Tynedale House) so Philip III’s regnal years there would run:

Yr 1. June 323-Nov 323
Yr2. Nov 323-Nov322
Yr 3. Nov 322-Nov 321
Yr 4. Nov 321-Nov 320
Yr 5. Nov 320-Nov 319
Yr 6. Nov319-Nov 318
Yr 7. Nov 318-Nov 317
Yr 8. Nov 317 -Nov316

The years must run like this as we have Alexander IV 1-13 in Egypt, the last date being in Hathyr 13 which will be Jan/Feb 304. We can see that the dating formula changed between Jan/Feb and April 10th 316. These are contemporary papyrus records and so reflect practice as it was happening. But what of LBAT*1414, according to which it would seem that news reached Babylon before Alexandria ?

Fortunately, for this theory, LBAT*1414 is not a contemporary record to 316 as it has matter for 315, so it represents a corrected date for, at least news of Philip’s death becoming known. It was this news that prompted Kassandros’ invasion it will be remembered XIX 35 I,
‘In Europe when Kassandros, who was besieging Tegea in the Peloponnese, learned of the return of Olympias to Macedonia and of the murder of Eurydike and King Philip, and moreover what had befallen the tomb of his brother Iollas he came to terms with the people of Tegea and set out for Macedonia with his army, leaving his allies in complete confusion; for Polyperchon’s son Alexander was waiting to attack the cities of the Peloponnese.’

Accepting, the Babylonian evidence that Philip died 26th December 317 we can place Kassandros’ invasion to late January/early February 316; the distance to be covered from Tegea to Pydna is about 310 miles so 20 marches and 5 rests, but given it was winter a round month should cover it. Already we can see that if LBAT*1414 is right the siege of Pydna only began in February 316, it cannot , then, have ended by April 316 and warranted the adjective ‘very long’.

It will then follow that it was the winter solstice of 316/5 which saw the defeat and death of Eumenes, about two months before things became desperate in Pydna. We can associate Antigonos’ switch to dating by himself post 21st July 315 (the last date of Alexander IV 02.04.08 on an Idumaean ostracon). At Babylon too the last preserved date for AlexIV 02 is month 3 (Simanu/Panemos) which is June/July. This is too late in the year for the first suggested reason Eumenes was dead before January was out, and probably too late for the second, Kassandros has to return to the Peloponnese and campaign and return to bury Philip Kyanane and Eurydike (Diyllos ap. Athenaios). I would therefore plump for the delegations reaching Antigonos in June 315 and the breach with his protégé, Kassandros and the other Diadochoi making him move towards his egocentric dating. This also makes the first charge of his propaganda speech at Tyre rather more pertinent, Olympias will have been dead a few months rather than over a year.

I will next try to unravel the twisted skein of event that Diodoros has left us.
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Re: Ear - Springtime for Arrian...and Diodoros

Post by Zebedee »

Just on the point of 'long' in relation to sieges, would Alexander's siege of Tyre (seven months?) stand out as being one of the longest sieges of the period? Take the point on usage elsewhere, but just wondering about the relative timescales for Pydna to be considered a 'long' siege? Siege of Rhodes abandoned after a year a little later too maybe?
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Re: Ear - Springtime for Arrian...and Diodoros

Post by agesilaos »

Of the top of my head there is the siege of Nora, incomplete after a year; Antigonos' siege of Tyre, fifteen months at least, and Lysimachos' siege of Kallatis over three years,; Athens was besieged unsuccessfully twice for a year or so and Thebes fell after a year. So Alexander's siege of Tyre was quite short in comparison, but compared to his other sieges it was a long one :shock:
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Re: Ear - Springtime for Arrian...and Diodoros

Post by Zebedee »

Thank you, yes, that's what one would expect I think. And Justin/Trogus gives us 'longus' in relation to the siege too. Intriguing. Appreciate Paralus' ab ovo to place into context very much. Even if the date of Philip's death is October, the 'and then spring' still seems a relatively short duration of time to call it a long siege. So, just to be clear in my own head, accepting this would then mean Diodorus has effectively lost a year in his recounting of events?
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Re: Ear - Springtime for Arrian...and Diodoros

Post by Paralus »

While I take the point about πολυχρόνιον, I think too much is being made of it. There is nothing peculiar to its use in books 18-20 (it is used throughout the Bibliotheke). Interesting that Trogus/Justing uses longae and, along with the list of luminaries, another indication of shared material. Diodorus has just summarised an awful lot of activity (that we are not informed about necessarily) in two chapters. His summary sentence says what it is all about for him: "Thus Olympias' hopes were humbled in a brief time". It what precedes πολυχρόνιον that qualifies it: there was a large number of people "and there was not a sufficient supply of food" for this number. Thus a siege from November through until March/April is sufficiently long for this number to consume the insufficient supplies. Again, no matter the condensation of the source, it is clear this was no planned retreat to a well stocked and preplanned redoubt; it was a bolt to a hole and one with easy access to the sea was about as far as the planning went.
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Re: Ear - Springtime for Arrian...and Diodoros

Post by Xenophon »

The problem with that deduction is that the "brief time" in which Olympias' hopes were humbled is that between Euia and the flight to Pydna - the siege itself could then have taken a considerable time.......
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Re: Ear - Springtime for Arrian...and Diodoros

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Xenophon wrote:The problem with that deduction is that the "brief time" in which Olympias' hopes were humbled is that between Euia and the flight to Pydna - the siege itself could then have taken a considerable time.......
Quite correct, though I fail to see the problem. Olympias' fall is quite precipitate. If we place Euia in the early autumn (mid-late Sept), this allows for Diodorus' walling up of the royal couple and their maltreatment which lasted "for many days" (19.11.4-5) leading to Arrhidaios' death sometime in October. While we're on the "many days" (which need be little more than a week or more), Diodorus, as he has done though this entire episode, is seriously compressing his source. We have, at 19.35.1, a classic example of the Sicilian's "summary sentences". Here Diodorus writes that "when Cassander, who was besieging Tegea in the Peloponnesus, learned of the return of Olympias to Macedonia and of the murder of Eurydicê and King Philip, and moreover what had befallen the tomb of his brother Iollas" he returned immediately to Macedonia. This is something Diodorus does frequently. It is, though, not really conceivable that Kassandros' supporters in Macedonia waited until events well subsequent to Euia to inform him of Olympias' return along with Polyperchon - something clearly important to his cause. Notice of this must certainly have been sent as well as subsequent notice of the result which followed but Diodorus is happy to have this all wrapped into one.

Kassandros moved on the notice of the 'revolution' in Macedonia (and this may have been on the earlier news from his supporters) and moved in a blitzkrieg campaign that clearly took both Polyperchon and Olympias by complete surprise. The pair are seen to be reacting rather than acting. Passes were not garrisoned in time and Polyperchon was simply skirted at which time Olympias fled to Pydna having "designated Aristonous general" of what forces remained to her in the field. The siege might well have lasted from November through until late March/ April - a siege which Olympias had never planned for. However one sees it, views that this must have been something in the order of Alexander's or Antigonos' sieges of Tyre are misplaced. Pydna was no Athens or Tyre and the comparisons are inapt. Four to five months in a not terribly large polis (if the archaeological site is correct) unprepared for siege (as Diodorus' source notes) is quite long enough.

The Idumaian osctraca I will eventually get to. The Babylonian cuneiform evidence, though, is not as sound as Agesilaos might have it. BM32238 does indeed record a date of 27th Audnaios/Kislimu (26th December) 317 and some scholars have seen this as recording the date that news of Arrhidaios' death reached Babylon. The tablet preserves only a part of Philip's name but absolutely nothing of what it said about him. We can deduce that what remains of the name almost certainly indicates Philip Arrhidaios; we have no idea what it said in relation to him.
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Wicked men, you sin against your fathers, who conquered the whole world under Philip and Alexander.

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agesilaos
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Re: Ear - Springtime for Arrian...and Diodoros

Post by agesilaos »

True LBAT*1414 is broken, but just what is there to say about Philip III by December 317 other than that he was dead or his death was reported? Agreed, Pydna was no Tyre but Kassandros' army was no 'mighty host' either, at this stage he was relying on mercenaries and Greek oligarch allies; the allies he left at Tegea so he would only have had a relatively small force, which he divides. Tegea and Pydna would be comparable and he was not successful there even with his allies.
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Re: Ear - Springtime for Arrian...and Diodoros

Post by Paralus »

We do not know the composition of Kassandros' army. We can be fairly certain it contained a good number of Macedonians though. He was made regent by Eurydike (while he was in Macedonia and Polyperchon assuredly not). We have to remember that Kassandros and Polyperchon had met post Megalopolis and here Kassandros took most of Plod's elephants (Olympias retires to Pydna with those that remain). He assuredly had numbers of Macedonians. Either way, even if his army is small, he has no problem totally cutting off Pydna which would indicate that the 'city' is not large. The siege, of a town not prepared for the extra personnel and unprepared to stand such, need not to be of Tyrian proportions.

On BM 32238, if Philip III is correct (and it near certainly is), it most likely records Philip's death at the time it reached Babylon. Regardless of the year one accepts (317 or 316), it most certainly cannot be the actual date of his death. Gabiene was fought not long after this time and Olympias' death not terribly long after that (March/early April). The result of Gabiene was unknown in the west at this time (indeed after it - but that is for later). Such constraints then make the siege last from sometime during January to March/April.
Paralus
Ἐπὶ τοὺς πατέρας, ὦ κακαὶ κεφαλαί, τοὺς μετὰ Φιλίππου καὶ Ἀλεξάνδρου τὰ ὅλα κατειργασμένους;
Wicked men, you sin against your fathers, who conquered the whole world under Philip and Alexander.

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agesilaos
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Re: Ear - Springtime for Arrian...and Diodoros

Post by agesilaos »

I think you are crediting Eurydike's bestowing of a title with too much force; we know that he scuttled off to the Peloponnese quite quickly leaving Philip and Eurydike to raise a Macedonian army to desert at Euaia, and it is likely that both Polyperchon and Alexander had a core of Macedonians, given the losses to Alexander's Asian venture and during the Lamian war, it seems generous to credit Kassandros with more than a few hundred at the most, and those probably from the nobles of his faction rather than foot-sloggers. This is only my speculation but I will see what can be gleaned.

The point is not how long we reason the siege might last but how long a siege would have to last for the sources to describe it as 'very long'- Diodoros, or 'long' - Justin; I humbly submit that January to March/April is not.

The year of Philip's death is certain, 317 and the date of Euaia is almost certainly Dios 317, when Diodoros' source deemed his reign to have ended. BM 32238/LBAT*1414 is dated to Kislimu yr 08. so still 317. I would agree that it represents when the news was discovered, rather than the date of his death, Olympias did not bruit it about, clearly; in English history one might think of Prince Arthur Duke of Brittany, Edward II, Richard II, Henry VI, Edward V (and Richard duke of York) all of whom disappeared to be murdered at dates unknown.

My point is also the change in the Ptolemaic dating formula, don't forget, it is not just based on BM 32238, similarly the Idumaean evidence dovetails with the Babylonian for the change from Alex.02 to Antig.03.

It will not surprise Xenophon that I do not agree with his interpretation; I would love to, as it is neat and would avoid much exegesis, I will even say that he may yet be right; what gives me pause is that the narrative of the thwarted invasions of both Polyperchon and Aeacides precede it.

We have to avoid the notion of 'a flight to Pydna', Olympias moved to the border with her army and delegated command to Aristonous (XIX 35 iii) who singly failed to win the race for the Perhaibaian passes with Deinias, Kassandros' vanguard general. She had already decided to make Pydna her base, she did not flee there, instead she decided to remain there, when she might have moved. We are told that she was expecting help from the sea, and by remaining she forced Kassandros to reduce her, and that is important, she clearly found that supplies were ample, at least for the winter, she might expect relief in spring. Despite Diodoros' moralising about useless and luxurious mouths, the entourage does not seem to have amounted to more than about 2,000, unless one insists that 'those soldiers accustomed to serve about the court' means the 3,000 hypaspists. It is better, I think, to present this altogether in a more joined-up post...
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