Macedonian Military Numbers

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Paralus
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Re: Macedonian Military Numbers

Post by Paralus »

agesilaos wrote:
Alexander senioribus militum in patriam remissis
Alexander having sent the older soldiers back to the fatherland

No ‘too old and unfit’ here nor in the whole of Curtius’ surviving text.
Diodorus, who is considered to share a main source with Curtius in Book 17, states that Alexander "released from service" (ἀπέλυσε τῆς στρατείας) the "oldest" (πρεσβυτάτους) of the "citizens" (Macedonians). This is also what he says at 18.4.1 (ἀπολυθέντων τῆς στρατείας). Arrian claims Alexander discharged those too old or unfit and this is little different. Plutarch (Alex. 71.8) has these soldiers going home to front row seats at the theatre. They, like Holkias' 3,000, were discharged to be returned to Macedon and “dispersed to their homes” from where they could take up the offer of their privileged seating.
Last edited by Paralus on Thu Dec 03, 2015 9:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Macedonian Military Numbers

Post by agesilaos »

Just one caveat, Polyainos is ambiguous and whilst the communis opinio is that the 3,000 men were sent home it is possible that only the mutinous officers were, which makes more sense to me, 3,000 is alot of Macedonians to just :oops: :shock: :o :roll: into the wind. Roisiman ('Veterans') makes the point throughout that the rank and file seem to have been led into mutiny and dissent by their officers rather than spontaneously asserting their feelings, if he is right, Antigonos would know this and separating the ring-leaders would suffice.
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Re: Macedonian Military Numbers

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I do think Roisman is correct about the men not simply departing of their own volition. Officers likely stirred the pot. It is interesting, as Roisman notes, that many of these men did not choose to go home and in fact stayed in Asia. The Argyraspides being a case in point. Roisman is also correct when he debunks the Maedonian constitutional monarchist's notion of the Macedonian assembly's supposed powers. The rank and file only have strong voice with a divided, weak or compromised leadership.
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Re: Macedonian Military Numbers

Post by agesilaos »

I didn’t ‘invent’ a rebellion in Cilicia, merely suggested it was a possible and likely reason Craterus and his army remained there so long, when they were keen to get home. Certainly more likely than Craterus supervising ship-building, which couldn’t occur along the rugged Cilician coastline, with its small coves so suitable for pirates to hide in. The nearest decent harbours were in Phoenicia, or far to the west.
When there is no textual evidence for something nor any reason to suspect it to be the case, I think it fair to call that invention. In fact, there are rather contrary indications; generally crocks fair rather badly in counter-insurgency actions, though they may rise to the occasion during a national emergency, the region had been de-stabilised post Issos but Antigonos had not just re-established but extended Macdonian authority assisted by Balakros the Kilikian satrap and probably Kilikian forces. He even remained to clear out Idarnes from Miletos, (Curt. IV 5 xiii; although he has a Sokrates appointed to Kilikia in verse ix!)
It certainly a good job no-one told Antigonos of the impossibility of ship-building in Kilikia; Diod XIX 58 iv
4 He established three shipyards in Phoenicia — at Tripolis, Byblus, and Sidon — and a fourth in Cilicia, the timber for which was brought from Mount Taurus.
One of the troubles with bad ideas is that they breed incestuously, especially when unchecked. :roll: :lol:
Philip’s conquests included a substantial part of Thrace, and a large Thracian population. (which for convenience I referred to as ‘Greater Macedonia’, a term I thought I had made up.) Seuthes rebellion did not encompass all of Thrace, or even Macedonian Thrace. It seems to have involved only his own Odrysian tribe. As I said, having crossed the Bosporus into Macedonian territory, most of the population were Thracian, and many would have likely been recruited - as many scholars postulate.
‘Greater Macedonia’ has generally been used to refer to the incorporation of Upper Macedonia into the sphere of Royal sway. Thrace never became part of Macedonia, as I have said, it was studded with military colonies (necessarily military because every Makedon owed service to the King). The Odrysian kingdom of Seuthes III was no petty tribal area, the Odrysai had held everything south of the Haemus mountains and East of the Strymon before the kingdom had splintered into three on the death of Kersobleptes and Philip had conquered them piecemeal. In 323 it probably still reached to Philippi in the west, but even so Leonattos did not have the time to head inland to recruit and Diodoros, who was ignorant of your coining of a ‘greater Macedonia’ call his troops Macedonians recruited in Macedonia and they must contribute to the 40,000 heavy armed at Krannon making Thracians, peltasts and hence light armed impossible similarly grooms servants and the like. It is tedious to ‘discuss’ things with someone who cries, ‘unevidenced’ so often to other people and yet wants to totally ignore what is evidenced – Macedonian soldiers from Macedonia. Kindly name the ‘many scholars’ who postulate the recruits were Thracian, and the works, many is more than three. :evil:

You also have another problem; we are not told much about Seuthes Revolt (certainly not whether he was alone or had allies as he did in 313 Diod XIX 73 i) but Diodoros does say he had 20,000 infantry to oppose Lysimachos, meaning a Thracian tribe could raise more men than the Macedonian kingdom, go figure.
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Re: Macedonian Military Numbers

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I don’t dispute that – indeed I referred to it myself. Except you seem to have mixed up your Macedonians, for this was Leonnatus, not Craterus. And for reasons I won’t digress into, by far the bulk of his 20,000 foot must have been non-Macedonian, with only a few thousand ‘Makedone’ phalangites.
The confusion seems to yours, viz you still ‘dispute it’, with fictional Thracians, grooms and servants rather than the ‘Macedonian soldiers’ of Diodoros; nor am I confused about which general raised them, it was where they were raised and from not by whom that is apposite. Fudge me sideways now it is a digression on a thread about potential numbers to explain the reasons why the numbers cannot be right! :lol: LOL Is everything you have no defence or real reason for going to be outside the realm of discussion? :roll:

Para, yes Roisiman is interesting, but I have not finished his book yet, I am finding it much slower going than Billows' 'Antigonos' which I am re-reading, despite the fact that I tend to agree more with Roisiman!

The next bit is about Macedonian society so I'll start a new thread for that. :wink:
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Re: Macedonian Military Numbers

Post by Xenophon »

You gentlemen seem to have far too much time on your hands !! ( not to mention that there is two of you) :lol: ........I am still struggling to answer posts on page 4 from several days ago.....a good page,15 posts and over 6,000 words ago !!

Can I ask that you agree a moratorium, at least until I have caught up ? Otherwise this thread will rapidly become too fragmented and disjointed for readers to follow, with posts being replied to days and pages after the original post..... :(
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Re: Macedonian Military Numbers

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I am only reaching the foot of page two of this five page thread in replying to your posts. Your fears of readers not being able to follow things is surely negated by the habit of quoting vast chunks of posts and commenting on them. I will trust the readership’s ability to follow things, having ‘thrown a bucket of paint in the public’s face’ I am keen to clear that up before a further deluge.
Perdiccas’ route is not specified in our sources, and I have already given good reasons why that route is unlikely, being some 20-25% longer and rather roundabout, and worse still, leading straight into hostile Armenia under Orontes, and an inevitable confrontation.
Not only is Perdikkas’ route not specified neither are the sites of either of his battles against Ariarathes, pray tell how can one measure the length of a route when one terminus is unknown? Also the Royal Road followed the best military route, ie the easiest and best supplied for an army, not only that we know that a satrap was installed in Armenia though no fight is mentioned nor did the incumbent side with Ariarathes as that too is not mentioned. What is mentioned, in at least three Alexander sources is that Mithrines was sent to Armenia as satrap after Gaugamela, Arrian III 16 v
He also sent Mithrines, who had surrendered to him the citadel of Sardis, down into Armenia to be viceroy there.
κατέπεμψε δὲ καὶ ἐς Ἀρμενίαν Μιθρήνην σατράπην, ὃς τὴν ἐν Σάρδεσιν ἀκρόπολιν Ἀλεξάνδρῳἐνέδωκεν.
Diodoros XVII 64 vi
6 He assigned p303Armenia as a province to Mithrines, who had surrendered to him the citadel of Sardes.
Μιθρίνῃδὲ τῷ παραδόντι τὴν ἐν Σάρδεσιν ἄκραν Ἀρμενίαν ἔδωκεν.
And Curtius V 1 lxiv
…Armenia was assigned to Mithrines, the man who had betrayed Sardis.
Armenia Mithreni, Sardium proditori, data est.
It would seem that Armenia was neither hostile nor under Orontes, who does not appear until Diodoros XIX 23 iii,
3 The letter, written in the Syrian writing, was sent from Orontes, who held the satrapy of Armenia and who was a friend of Peucestes. Since the letter was believed because of the previous friendship between the satraps, Eumenes ordered it to be carried around and shown to the commanders and also to most of the other soldiers.
No sign of any anti Macedonian feeling here nor any hint of independence from the satrapal system.

If you want to suggest something please check the facts that do exist and stop accusing others of want of evidence. :evil: :roll:
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Re: Macedonian Military Numbers

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The first figure (3,000) is an estimate of the possible number of annual recruits – which of course would vary year to year, so is only approximate. The second refers to the ‘net’ amount after allowing for casualties, sick and wounded etc. These are of course only estimates and again would vary year to year. Some years, e.g 359 BC when Perdiccas III, brother of Philip was killed along with 4,000 Makedones, or 197 BC when PhilipV reputedly lost 8,000 dead and 5,000 taken prisoner at Cynoscephalae, there would be ‘net’ losses which could not be replaced at once
The 3,000 figure is not an estimate but the number of reinforcements that we are told reached Alexander, 9,000 over 3 years, 333-330 and represents a minimum, we are not told if the whole age class equivalent was sent, nor whether Antipatros kept some for the home army. Your figures for natural wastage are impossibly high, if they amounted to 1,000 men annually then arriving at Babylon Alexander would have just the 10,000 he needed to send to the coast with Krateros (1,000 originals and 9,000 reinforcements) and that is ignoring battle losses and garrisons (3,000 were stationed in Persepolis according to Curtius V 6 xi, and 1,000 at Susa V 2 xvi).

Not only that we know that at least 6,000 of the men that crossed into Asia in 334 lived to return with Krateros, and 3,000 hypaspists seem to have fought throughout, potential wastage of 3,000 over eleven years from all sources or about 270 men rather than your 1-2,000, and this is assuming none of the original 12,000 remained with Alexander. :roll:
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Re: Macedonian Military Numbers

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Antipater had some 12-13,000 or so Makedones in his phalanx, as we know, and there is no evidence for ‘probably at least half Macedonian’ (i.e. 20,000), that is just a wild ( and unlikely) guess. He also had Greek allies as your quotation shows, not to mention some 3,000 Talents sent him by Alexander at the end of 331, with which he could hire as many Greek, Balkan and Thracian mercenaries as he could handle. In addition, Memnon did not command all Thrace – you are over-simplifying again.
No source states how many Macedonians were in Antipatros’ army all we are told by Diodoros is that Alexander took 12,000 Macedonian foot to Asia and left 12,000 undesignated foot with Antipatros, we are also told that prior to Agis’ War 9,000 Macedonians had gone East. Justin also tells us that Zopyrion lost and army of 30,000 when attacking Scythia from Pontos (here the Black Sea coast of Thrace). Diodoros tells us that Thrace was in Revolt led by Memnon (στρατηγὸς τῆς Θρᾴκης – military governor of Thrace- he commanded all of the Thracian territory under Macedonian rule, unless you can produce another source which says differently) in league with Seuthes whose people however seem to have not been keen (they had to be ‘driven’ Curtius X 1 lxv Qua cognita clade Seuthes Odrysas, populares suos, ad defectionem conpulerat). So the region that Antipatros might draw on for troops had been drained by Zopyrion and then erupted into revolt. Despite the hasty peace it would not be providing sound recruits.

Agis had 20,000 infantry described as the ‘best of the youth’, almost certainly all hoplites; the casualties 26.5% vs 8.75% are high and indicate a stubborn heavy infantry battle rather than skirmishing. Macedonia had few allies that could supply heavy infantry and the money sent by Alexander is a complete canard, it could not have got close to the coast before the war had been concluded. So it is not a ‘wild and unlikely guess’ it is based on analysis of the scant sources rather than convenience for an argument. If the ‘strategos of Thrace’ did not command the whole of Thrace, as in the satrapy, what did he command? Or are you going to suggest that because some Thracians were not part of the Macedonian empire they were available for recruits?
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Re: Macedonian Military Numbers

Post by Paralus »

see David Karunanithy's article in Slingshot 213, 33-40...
David Karunanithy? I recall a book of his I once had quite some while ago. Perhaps I'd only borrowed it though.
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Re: Macedonian Military Numbers

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Neither Zopyrion nor Memnon are recorded as having Macedonian troops. In fact off the top of my head, I can’t think of any Macedonian Governor or Satrap who was given command of a Macedonian army, or even substantial numbers of ‘Makedone’ phalangites in his territory. Troops allocated to such officials seem to have been invariably mercenaries or allies.( see e.g. Diod.XVII.111.1; Arrian I.17.8 ; I.23.6 and many other examples) Neither Zopyrion nor Memnon are likely to have been exceptions, but perhaps you can find evidence for ‘Makedone’ phalangites in garrisons......

Good Luck !
Curtius V 1 lxiii
43 Igitur rex arci Babylonis Agathone praesidere iusso cum septingentis Macedonum trecentisque mercede
Therefore the king ordered Agathon to take command of the citadel of Babylon with 700 MACEDONIANS and 300 mercenaries.
Diod.XVII 64 v
At this time he designated Agathon of Pydna to guard the citadel, assigning to him seven hundred Macedonian soldiers.
μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα τὴν μὲν ἄκρανπαρέδωκε τηρεῖν Ἀγάθωνι τῷ Πυδναίῳ, συστήσας αὐτῷ Μακεδόνας στρατιώτας ἑπτακοσίους
Curtius V 2 xvi
When Alexander was almost at the border of Persia, he handed over to Archelaus the city of Susa with a garrison of 3,000 men, leaving Xenophilus in charge of the citadel and ordering 1,000 MACEDONIAN veterans to serve as its garrison
Rex Persidis finem aditurus Susa urbem Archelao et praesidium III milium tradidit: Xenophilo arcis cura mandata est mille Macedonum aetate gravibus praesidere arcis custodiae iussis:
Curtius V 6 xi
The king ordered Nicharchides to assume charge of the citadel of Persepolis, and left him a garrison of 3,000 MACEDONIANS.
Rex arcem Persepolis tribus milibus Macedonum praesidio relictis Nicarchiden tueri iubet
And these come from a field army with many more miles to travel, not a province close to Macedonia studded with Macedonian cities. Perhaps you can find an instance of a Macedonian satrapal army of 30,000 with no Macedonians, good luck! :lol: :lol:
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Re: Macedonian Military Numbers

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For the purposes of this discussion, I have generally referred to the maximum possible numbers of troops.
Not a trend I have noticed in fact you seem to be depressing possible numbers whenever possible, else why not accept that all 10,000 veterans returned?
So you agree that a phalanx ‘taxis’ numbered more than 1500 ? A revised opinion!

As to the ‘Persians’, nowhere are we told that all 20,000 were incorporated into the phalanx. Assuming 8 taxeis ( the maximum possible), with 12 per file, the maximum that could be incorporated (“...enrolled in the various Macedonian taxeis..”[Arrian VII.23.3] would have been 12,000 and Diodorus [XVII.110.1] tells us :”In this year Alexander secured replacements from the Persians equal to the number of these soldiers whom he had released.” i.e. just 10,000 Persians.In either case it means just 4 -6,000 or so Macedonian phalangites remained with Alexander.
(Incidently, it also tells us the actualMacedonian phalanx was understrength)
One day you will understand what is written; since I do not believe that any ancient general was so obsessed with manuals, that were yet to be written, to fret that the numbers of his troops did not fit with a theoretical unit strength, what you persist in calling a ‘taxis’ could be over or under strength at any time by any amount of men. The building block was at a much lower organisational level the file, and even then they would put eight men in the line as a file. It is perverse to use theory to condemn reality, ‘x cannot be because it is not in a Manual’ is not a sensible approach. It is the historical narrative that has to inform an approach to the Techne Taktike, not visa versa. Thus my position is NOT ‘that a phalanx ‘taxis’ numbered more than 1500’, but that a phalanx COULD number more than 1,500 and that when Alexander crossed the Hellespont his started the campaign at a strength of 1,500.

If you actually understood how to compute the maxima you claim to ‘generally’ (nice legalistic out) refer to then you would not start from an equally unsubstantiated eight phalanges but from the attested number of Asian troops to be incorporated. Eight cannot be said to be the ‘maximum possible’ when only seven and no reinforcements are attested, if you posit eight you can have any number; poor methodology will permit all kinds of folly.

The trouble with Diodoros’ statement is that Arrian already tells us that 20,000 Persians joined Alexander under Peukestes and κατέλεγεν αὐτοὺς ἐς τὰς Μακεδονικὰς τάξεις, he enrolled these very men into the Macedonian units; so the Greek does tell us that all were absorbed as that is the implication of αὐτοὺς.

Were there only 10,000 Persians involved there would necessarily only be 3,333 Macedonian phalangites, did Perdikkas select 333 men to remain with him by lot then and send the rest with Peithon. Diodoros is paraphrasing inexactly, Alexander replaced those he had discharged with Asiatic troops, but not one for one.

Something wrong with your maths; 6,700 normal phalangites remain absorbing 20,000 Asians and 10,000 head for the coast that’s 2785 men for each of seven phalanges or 2087 in the mythical eight; not understrength at all. :roll:
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Re: Macedonian Military Numbers

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If we take the 10,000 plus dischargees and divide by 7, each phalanx lost 1,430 men (either as crocks or by promotion to the Argyraspides); 6,700 divided by seven yields 957, so one might conclude that the phalanxes had swollen to 2,500 by the time the army reached Babylon which is to say they had ten hekatostyes of 256 rather than the six with which they crossed the Hellespont (the building block of the phalanx was the square formation 16 by 16). Thus Perdikkas would have

70 x 256 = 17, 920 minus 10,000 leaving c.7,900 plus 3,000 Argyraspides; 10,900 or more Macedonians explains why Perdikkas could leave a sizeable force of them with Neoptolemos to settle Armenia.

These calculations and assumptions are unsupported by evidence – asserting phalanx ‘taxeis’ of 2,500, solely in order to swell the numbers of Perdiccas’ infantry with no evidence is hardly a logical or reasonable argument, rather on that basis one could insert any number one cares to imagine.

In fact we are told the number of ‘Makedones’ left with Alexander was less than 10,000. Curtius [ X.2.19 ] has Alexander say so: “I am dismissing more than I am intending to retain.” That is consistent with 10,000 ‘Makedones’ returning, and 4-6,000 plus the Hypaspists/Silver Shields 3-4,000 being retained. It also rules out the inflated numbers of your unevidenced assertions.

It is more logical that Perdiccas could afford to give Alcetas and Neoptolemus Macedonian phalangites after he had collected the 4,000 veterans in Cilicia, bringing his total up to 8-10,000 or so plus 3,000 or so Silver Shields.

These calculations and assumptions are unsupported by evidence
Pretty stupid thing to assert; just what is ‘unsupported by evidence’? Is it that 10,000 veterans went to the coast;

Arr. VII 12 i
THEN those of the Macedonians who were unfit for service on account of age or any other misfortune went back of their own accord, to the number of about 10,000.
Diodoros XVII 109 i
He selected the oldest of his soldiers who were Macedonians and released them from service; there were ten thousand of these.
Diodoros XVIII 4 i
It happened that Craterus, who was one of the most prominent men, had previously been sent away by Alexander to Cilicia with those men who had been discharged from the army, ten thousand in number.
That figure is well evidenced it seems, the seven phalanges? But you accepted that earlier and only differed without argumentation to fit an unevidenced assertion of Luke Ueda Sarson. Evidence for this has to be gleaned from those taxiarchs named by Arrian and the elimination of those clearly leading Hypaspists, archers, mercenaries or lights (as I have repeatedly stated ‘taxis’ is a catch all term, even horse archers are described as being in a taxis!) the result is seven units of phalangites see R D Milns ‘ Alexander’s Seventh Phalanx Battalion’

grbs.library.duke.edu/article/download/11491/4143

for full argument or Heckel ‘Marshals’.

Perhaps it is the 6,700 phalangites needed to absorb the 20,000 Asiatics of Arrian VII 23 I, not finding any lack of evidence so far; the 6,700 is the natural product of the arithmetic.
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Re: Macedonian Military Numbers

Post by Xenophon »

Well, only two dozen or so posts here to respond to!........I shall make a prodigious effort to catch up, if I'm allowed to......

Post by Paralus » Tue Dec 01, 2015 11:03 am
Xenophon wrote:That is very misleading, not to mention out of context. What I actually said at the time was: “On the contrary, I have no set viewpoint on the matter. I speak in terms of 'possibilities', 'probabilities' and 'ambiguities' and put forward what is consistent with the evidence.” Once only, in the context of showing that we don’t know what Neoptolemus was doing or where he was for a two year period, I wrote hypothetically –“There is no reason Neoptolemus could not have been archihypaspist for up to two years or so, or even a lesser period, between Alexander's death in June 323, and some time before the outbreak of hostilities, before he went to Armenia, in whatever capacity he was sent.” i.e. simply referring to a possibility.

No. You consistently argued that Plutarch's passage meant that Neoptolemus commanded hypaspists after the death of Alexander, not before as I argued. Now it is only a "possibility"?
Not at all ! The quotes above are accurate. You argued, purely on a ‘conviction’ basis, and not source evidence that Neoptolemus was appointed commander of the Hypaspists as a whole by Alexander after the death of Nicanor, son of Parmenion in 330 BC. I pointed out that not only is this not referred to in our sources, but no overall commander at all is referred to for the rest of Alexander’s reign. Further, the term ‘archihypaspist’, used once only by Plutarch was likely an anachronism, on which I seem to recall we agreed....
I said:
“It is you who are 'certain' that your views are correct, whilst I simply say that when all the evidence is viewed, on balance of probability it is unlikely that Neoptolemus ....”
....and....
“On the contrary, I have no set viewpoint on the matter. I speak in terms of 'possibilities', 'probabilities' and 'ambiguities' and put forward what is consistent with the evidence. It is you who are 'certain' that Neoptolemos was Nicanor's successor as 'archihypaspist'. (Nicanor is never referred to as such, so far as I am aware.) This 'certainty' is despite there being no evidence whatsoever for your assertion, and what there is tends to be against the proposition.”
That Neoptolemos was commander of the ‘Silver Shields’ after Alexander’s death is probable because their ultimate commander, Antigenes, was initially with Craterus in Cilicia [Justin XII.12.8].

It was thus always only a possibility, but one more probable than that Neoptolemos was appointed to overall commander of the Hypaspists by Alexander in succession to Nicanor.
Xenophon wrote:The only possible candidate for a Guard would be the 1,000 Persian Hypaspists raised by Alexander ( if they did in fact exist as an actual unit, which is doubtful, none of the other proposed Persian equivalents of Macedonian units, with Macedonian titles seem to have actually existed), that may have been part of Perdiccas' army in Egypt ( see the reference to Hypaspists at 'Camel's Fort ). Needless to say, there is no record of such a unit going to Europe, nor would we expect them to.

The Persian Guards are referred to by Phylarchus (as preserved by Athenaeus, Polyaenus and Aelian). Further more, they are depicted on the funeral cortege of Alexander. The Alexander sources also refer to them (beginning after the death of Darius - see, e.g., Olbrycht: "The Military Reforms of Alexander the Great during His Campaigns in Iran", Afghanistan and Central Asia, Miscellania Eurasiatica Crakoviensia Jrozjumiec Eurazji, Krakow, 2007). It is rather more certain than not that this Persian guard troop existed.
I don’t think so. The Persian Guards depicted on Alexander’s funeral car are called ‘melaphoroi’/ apple bearers i.e. the old Achaemenid Royal Guard of Darius, and that suggests the Persian ‘Hypaspists’ and other units to be given Macedonian titles never came into existence. ( see also Arrian VII.29.4)
Paralus wrote:
What is very, very far from certain is whether Neoptolemus, who refused service under a pen-pushing Greek, would agree to command a troop of barbarian guards. Less certain is whether the Argyraspides would simply pass off the court and its kings to Persians. It beggars belief that the Macedonians would appoint somatophylakes to a king (or kings) that they felt so undeserving of a Macedonian Guard unit.
In the ‘Neoptolemos’ thread the assumption was that Neoptolemos was commander of the ‘Silver Shields, not an enigmatic ‘Persian Guard/Agema and Hypaspists/Silver Shields’who are never heard of other than as a proposition by Alexander.

Incidently, another strong piece of evidence that the ‘Silver Shields’ did not provide any sort of personal ‘Royal Guard’ to Philip III/Alexander IV is that after the death of Alexander we don’t hear of the infantry‘Agema’ who provided the King’s personal Guard, nor is any such unit referred to in Europe....
The circumstantial evidence of other army functionaries speaks against such. Kings not requiring Macedonian guards - and supposedly below the interest of the Argyraspides - certainly did not need senior army adjutants. I'm afraid the evidence does not back your claim that the Argyraspides would not serve their kings as a guard unit. They obeyed all instructions issued in their name and it is a stretch to claim that had they been required as the kings' guards they would have refused.
Well, they evidently refused to serve Eumenes in a bodyguard capacity – he had to raise his own ‘Hypaspists’.
Not army functionaries at all, but rather Court functionaries – there’s a difference. And I’m afraid the actual evidence does indeed back my claim, and not the suppositions you make without evidence. The ‘Silver Shields’ are never referred to as ‘Royal Bodyguards’ after Alexander’s death, and are recorded as refusing to serve lesser men in that function ( see previous posts)......but that does not mean they didn’t continue to be loyal to the Kings. As I said earlier,how could they do otherwise, for it would have been open mutiny and lead to extermination.
Wh ile on these troops and Heckel's disagreement with Bosworth, that disagreement comes down to Heckel's view of what became of the Argyraspides following Opis and Babylon. I disagree with that view given the details of the Babylonian Settlement though you clearly have a different view of this.
I don’t understand what you are referring to here.
In any case you are mistaken regarding Heckel’s views. He is yet another who does not agree with Bosworth’s interpretation of the Greek( which you and Agesilaos follow) :
Heckel p.69 “ The Wars of Alexander the Great” says of Craterus’ veterans “...Some of them would indeed reach their homeland [ i.e. the 6,000 we are told of] but only to fight some more. Others would not advance beyond Cilicia [ The 4,000 not taken across by Craterus] before becoming embroiled in the Wars of the Successors.”
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Xenophon
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Re: Macedonian Military Numbers

Post by Xenophon »

Post by Paralus » Tue Dec 01, 2015 11:25 am
Xenophon wrote:However my point remains. That an army of that era would have such a high proportion of ‘hoplites’/heavy infantry would be unique I think. Almost every army included a proportion of ‘peltasts’, often tribal or mercenary, who are not mentioned here and it seems to me likely that these have been ‘lumped in’ and categorised as heavy armed....

So this notice of Diodorus, too, is to be thrown into the "cannot be right" basket. We should stick to the evidence, which is that Diodorus plainly states that the 40,000 were heavily armed. This likely goes a long way to explaining the difficulty of the battle for the Macedonians. Diodorus describes the Greeks arranging their cavalry in front of their phalanx and wishing to decide the battle with them (18.17.3). The Macedonians obliged and a cavalry battle ensued after which Antipatros led the Macedonian phalanx forward which took the advantage and the Greeks retired, in good order, to the rough and high ground, there joined by their victorious cavalry. The battle backs Diodorus: if the Macedonians had several thousands of lights (Thracians, Agrianians, etc) the Greeks surely will have had a much worse time of it than the description. All in all it is far better to accept Diodorus' description of the Macedonian infantry as correct.
Traditional‘Peltasts’ are NOT lights, who only skirmished. Peltasts were sufficiently heavily armed that they could, and did, take their place fighting in ‘close order’ in a phalanx.
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