Ear - Springtime for Arrian...and Diodoros

Discuss the wars of Alexander's successors

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

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Just re-reading this thread a bit. Quite some fun at times with the Rugby World Cup intruding into sometimes dense discussions of chronolgy: Japan beating Scotland and Zebeddee's Welshmen knocking off the enemy, England. Won't be the same without Agesilaos but, as he introduced Anson's latest foray into the defence of the "Low" with the section on 314-306 (premature I'd think), best I bung up Anson's section on 318-315 as from here most things follow. The book is Alexander's Heirs: The Age of The Successors (Blackwell, 2014). I'll leave it up for a bit for digestive purposes before commenting. I have just about all of the works referred to (I think) in the event anyone requires a copy of same. To be up front and, as can be read from the forgoing discussion, my oar firmly strokes the "mixed chronology" waters rather than the high or low exclusively.
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Using Microsoft to edit images is a pain. I've a PDF version of the above if it helps.
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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Re: Ear - Springtime for Arrian...and Diodoros

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The first thing to note from Ed Anson’s exposition is that he continues to discuss the chronology of the early Hellenistic period in terms of three chronologies: the “high”; the “low” and the “mixed”. Here a little background is helpful. The “high”, which dated Triparadeisos and Perdikkas’ death to 321, was the universally accepted chronology until the publishing of BCHP 3 (the “Chronicle of the Successors”) early in the last century. It became apparent that this dating was very far from certain given that this document clearly places the forces of the king (Philip III) suffering defeat by the satrap of Egypt in June of 320 and Manni launched what has now become known as the low chronology which down dates everything by a year (in general terms). Errington, in two exhaustive papers, then cemented this as the accepted chronology until Bosworth, followed by others, restated and defended the original “high” chronology. The debate continued.

In a chronological appendix to a paper in 1994, Stylianou demonstrated that Seleukos fled Babylon in 316. While this vindicated the “high” for this incident, Stylianou also posited that neither the high nor the low was a satisfactory fit for all the evidence and so sowed the seed for another chronological scheme. This scheme was being pursued quite separately by another scholar, Tom Boiy, who eventually published his “eclectic” or “mixed” chronology in 2007 (“Between the High and the Low”). In a soon to be published dissertation (hopefully) and subsequent papers, Alexander Meeus has added to and refined this “mixed chronology”.

This mixed chronology has attracted supporters of both sides of the chronological debate and Wheatley, a former adherent of the high, is an example of same. There remain those who defend either camp, though those defending the “high” are now few and far between. The mixed chronology has found increasing acceptance and it is those who defend the “low” who are most vocal in opposition to it. Thus it is somewhat inaccurate for Anson to posit the three chronologies as, today, it really comes down to the “low” or the “mixed” chronology.

So while it might be said there exist three chronologies for this period, the real debate nowadays is between the mixed and those defending the “low” of Manni, Errington and Anson. Anson, for his part, takes issue with those parts of the “mixed” which correlate with the old “high”. His evidence is broad but it is the source – Diodrorus – which Errington dismissed in favour of his own reconstruction that is crucial. Even more so is Diodorus’ handling of his archon years and the chronological scheme of his source. Something Anson does not really deal with and which will be the subject of more scribbles forthcoming.

The papers referred to above follow….

BOIY, T. (2007b), Between High and Low. A Chronology of the Early Hellenistic Period (Oikoumene. Studien zur antiken Weltgeschichte 5), Frankfurt am Main
BOSWORTH, A.B. (1992b), ‘Philip III Arrhidaeus and the Chronology of the Successors’, Chiron 22, 55-81.
ERRINGTON, R.M. (1970), ‘From Babylon to Triparadeisos: 323-320 B.C.’, JHS 90, 49-77.
ERRINGTON, R.M. (1977), ‘Diodorus Siculus and the Chronology of the Early Diadochoi, 320-311 B.C.’, Hermes 105, 478-504.
MANNI, E. (1949), ‘Tre note di cronologia ellenistica’, Atti della Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei. Classe di Scienze morali storiche e filologiche VIII, 4, 53-85.
MEEUS, A. (2012) 'Diodorus and The Chronology of the Third Diadoch War', PHOENIX, VOL. 66 (2012) 1–2.
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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Paralus
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Re: Ear - Springtime for Arrian...and Diodoros

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Been most remiss - the "real world" has its demands...

The issue at heart is the dating method employed by Diodorus. In a world of multiple calendars commencing at disparate times, Diodorus settled on a chronological framework of Olympiads, Roman magistracies and Athenian archon years. The latter, for our purposes, are what matter for it is how Diodorus delineated successive years and it is his handling of these fixed datums which is the crucial element in the debate.

For Books 18-20, the source which Diodorus followed “arranged his history by campaigning seasons, equivalent to the years of our calendar, clearly marking the end of each season by indicating the winter quarters of the various armies” as Russell Greer noted in his introduction to Volume 9 of the Loeb. Greer went on to posit that Diodorus “gives under each archon all the events of the year during which he took office”. This was something Smith (AJP, Vol. 82, No. 3, 1961, pp. 283-290) picked up on and demonstrated though, because the “low” was the “accepted” chronology of the time and he used only select examples (316, 308, 307 and 302), his argument was largely rejected. Recently Meeus (Phoenix, vol. 66, 2012, 1–2, pp 74-96) undertook a full appraisal of Book 19 and confirmed the prescience of both Greer and Smith. The argument is detailed and fulsome and I will not detail it here as the paper is available for those who wish it. The point should be constantly in mind as one reads either argument.

Anson adduces much evidence in his essay to support his position though the one, somewhat, equivocal piece is the flight of Seleukos from Babylon (316 high; 315 low). This is understandable for, as has been mentioned, this is a crucial chronological reference and an insurmountable impediment to the low since Stylianou demonstrated back in 1993 that it occurred in 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, Annual of the Cyprus Research Centre, 20:1-84). Anson is at pains to minimise this by claiming that “it is reasonably clear” that Seleukos fled Babylon in the late spring of the given year. This allows him claim that under either chronology three and a half or four and a half (high and ow respectively) was the actuality. Conveniently Anson accepts the position of Smith and Meeus here in that Diodorus has recorded the events of spring under the archon for 315/16. More to the point, Anson is specific with Diodorus’ timing in other matters. For example, Anson is as certain as Diodorus (and his source) that Perdikkas ruled for three years (AJP, Vol. 107, No. 2 [Summer, 1986], p 212):
In the first place he [Diodorus] states (18.36.7) that Perdiccas' death occurred after he had ruled for three years. This would place his death in 320, his regency having begun in 323. Since these exact time references do not derive ultimately from Diodorus himself, but from his source Hieronymus of Cardia, who is generally considered to have been a careful and accurate historian, this particular chronological reference should be considered reliable.
Just as he is certain that Diodorus (via Hieronymus) is accurate in Arrhidaios’ taking almost exactly two years to complete Alexander’s funeral cortege. Just as he is certain Diodorus (and his ever-reliable source, Hieronymus) is correct with the rule of Philip Arrhidaios. Yet, here (19.91.2) Diodorus (and his ever-reliable source) have got it all ballsed up. Just how could it come to this? A good question and one I might address when next I get some minutes from the “real world”.

All the papers referenced above are, of course, available via PM.
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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