Macedonian Military Numbers

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Re: Macedonian Military Numbers

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Post by agesilaos » Tue Dec 01, 2015 2:17 pm
Xenophon wrote: A thorough presentation, but amidst all the definitions I don’t see “retire”, which is certainly not the same as ‘dismiss’, ‘discharge’ etc. So Paralus’ usage is not what the sources say.
An interesting POV, one wonders what all the soldiers who has been ‘discharged’ would think.
I dare say they might well be indignant at any suggestion that they might be so old as to be retired. The vast majority of them were liable for service for many years yet before they reached retirement age, as their subsequent history demonstrates.


Agesilaos wrote:
Nor do many scholars, such as Hammond, already referred to, Badian, Billows and others agree with Bosworth’s interpretation of the possibly ambiguous Greek.
I presume you have the relevant references, I won't be trying to find them, they may just be a line from 'The Huffington Post', and we know where that sort of confusion leads; so, tell us where these arguments are to be found and which ones you are willing to discuss. A reply should only be a moment unless you are just throwing out names on the off chance. Hammond of course you need not bother with as you will not discuss his article.


Xenophon wrote
The source for my statement is Bosworth himself [ p.64 “Legacy...” ] “My conclusions have been
sharply challenged, by Nicholas Hammond, Ernst Badian,and Richard Billows” [N. G, L. Hammond, JHS tog ( i g S g ) (sec also ORBS 25 (1984) 51-61);E. Badian, in Ventures into Greek Historv, ; R. A. Billows, Kings and Colonists,]

If you want to know more, you’ll have to look them up yourself and start a new thread if you wish to discuss Bosworth and his critics.

Remember we are talking about the Greek, ‘the possibly ambiguous Greek’ ie XVIII 16 iv
....and I was trying to broaden the discussion ( albeit I did not make myself clear –mea culpa) by drawing attention to the fact that Bosworth’s views generally (on this subject of Macedonian numbers) as well as the translation, hence reference to p.64 as well as p.73, were not widely accepted, as Bosworth himself acknowledges on P.64 – which I alluded to earlier, and which you concurred with at the time, but apparently not now ?
So, this has nothing to do with the ‘possibly ambiguous Greek’ at all and it is his claims that Macedon was drained of men that these three ‘sharply challenged’. In fact you are citing as support three authors who would agree with Para and myself.
I don’t think so ! For a start, Hammond’s firm view, repeated in several works, was that Craterus brought 6,000 veterans only across the Hellespont ( e.g. “Alexander's Veterans After His Death” p.55) and supported by Walbank (Hammond and Walbank “History of Macedonia 336-317 BC” say Craterus brought 6,000 of his veterans across the Hellespont, and that on the march he raised 4,000 infantry and 1,500 cavalry [p.113] )

Heckel too is of this view: Heckel p.69 “ The Wars of Alexander the Great” says of Craterus’ veterans“...Some of them would indeed reach their homeland but only to fight some more. Others would not advance beyond Cilicia before becoming embroiled in the Wars of the Successors.”

The general point, that Bosworth’s view and interpretation ( which you and Paralus espouse) regarding the number of veterans who crossed with Craterus is in all likelihood a minority one, is perfectly valid.
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Re: Macedonian Military Numbers

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Post by agesilaos » Tue Dec 01, 2015 3:04 pm
OED Cite
5. To call to mind; make mention of or reference to; refer to as so and so.

When the dictionary contains a definition ‘inter alia’ which fits a usage one does not ignore it a trump another to suit ones own purpose. One wonders if you will ever cite anything fully


The definition I gave came from “The Concise Oxford Dictionary”, and was ‘inter alia’ because I did not include irrelevant meanings, such as “summon to appear in a Law Court.”
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Re: Macedonian Military Numbers

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Post by agesilaos » Tue Dec 01, 2015 6:33 pm
Xenophon wrote: There’s no point repeating what is pure supposition without source evidence, no matter how “logical” you believe it to be. 1/12/2:46am
So since there is no source evidence for any rebellion in Kilikia I take it you will be dropping that point?

Again, for the ‘nth’ time, I did not say that there was necessarily a rebellion in Cilicia, it is merely a possibility – unlike Craterus building 1,000 large polyremes whilst there, which is not.
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:
The fact that in 316 BC Antigonus had to construct a ship-building yard in Cilicia, capable of building some 30 or so ships maximum (the four together built 120 ships, which included those captured after the fall of Tyre) [Diod XIX.62.8] means that such a facility did not exist in 324/323 BC, therefore Craterus had no facility for building ships, let alone 1,000 !

What were you saying about (your) bad ideas ?! :lol: :lol:
Still let’s look at the Pisidian intifada, which you referenced, Diod XVIII. 46 ff


46 1 Since Alcetas had had no supporters in Asia after the death of Perdiccas, he had decided to show kindness to the Pisidians, thinking that he would thus secure as allies men who were warlike and who possessed a country difficult to invade and well supplied with strongholds. 2 For this reason during the campaigns he honoured them exceedingly above all the allies and distributed to them spoils from the hostile territory, assigning them half the booty. By employing the most friendly language in his conversation with them, by each day inviting the most important of them in turn to his table at banquets, and finally by honouring many of them with gifts of considerable value, he secured them as loyal supporters. 3 Therefore even at this time Alcetas placed his hopes upon them, and they did not disappoint his hopes. For when Antigonus encamped near Termessus with all his army and demanded Alcetas, and even when the older men advised that he be surrendered, the younger, forming a compact group in opposition to their parents, voted to meet every danger in the interest of his safety.
4 The older men at first tried to persuade the younger not to permit their native land to become the spoil of war for the sake of a single Macedonian; but when they saw the young men's determination was not to be shaken, after taking counsel in secret, they sent an embassy to Antigonus by night, promising to surrender Alcetas either alive or dead. 5 They asked him to attack the city for a number of days and, drawing the defenders forward by light skirmishing, to withdraw as if in flight. They said that, when this had happened and the young men were engaged in the battle at a distance from the city, they would seize a suitable occasion for their own undertaking. 6 Antigonus, prevailed on by them, shifted his camp a long way from the city, and by skirmishing with the young men kept drawing them into battle outside the city. 7 When the older men saw that Alcetas had been left alone, selecting the most trustworthy of the slaves and those of the citizens in the prime of life who were not working in his behalf, they made their attempt while the young men were still away. They could not, it is true, take him alive, for he laid hands on himself first in order not to come into the power of his enemies while still living; but his body, laid on a bier and covered with a coarse cloak, they carried out through the gates and delivered to Antigonus without attracting the attention of the skirmishers.
47 1 By thus delivering their state from danger by their own devices, they averted the war, but they could not escape the disaffection of the younger men; for as soon as these on their return from the fighting heard what had happened, they became enraged at their kinsfolk on account of their own excessive devotion to Alcetas. 2 At first they gained possession of part of the town and voted to set the buildings on fire and then, rushing from the town under arms and keeping to the mountains, to plunder the country that was subject to Antigonus; later, however, they changed their minds and refrained from burning the city, but they devoted themselves to brigandage and guerrilla warfare, ravaging much of the hostile territory. 3 As for Antigonus, he took the body of Alcetas and maltreated it for three days; then, as the corpse began to decay, he threw it out unburied and departed from Pisidia. But the young men of Termessus, still preserving their goodwill for the victim, recovered the body and honoured it with splendid obsequies. Thus kindness in its very nature possesses the peculiar power of a love charm in behalf of benefactors, preserving unchanged men's goodwill toward them. 4 Be that as it may, Antigonus set out from Pisidia and marched toward Phrygia with all his forces.


Bearing in mind that we are dealing with an epitome here, there are still many indications of the true nature of the situation. Alketas woos the Pisidians after Perdikkas’ death yet they are part of his army already which is why they receive booty from the campaigns; he does not levy them then campaign, they formed part of the army Perdikkas left for him. This army was of 16,000 foot and 900 horse, of whom 6,000 were Pisidians (ch 45). This means that roughly a third of the army took half of the booty and a barbarian third at that, there can have been very few Macedonians in the mix. Some speculative maths based on the figures in the evidence might help to illustrate this. Suppose there were 36 Talents of booty (I am not suggesting there would be so much this is purely to simplify the figures) the Pisidians get 18 T or 3T each 1,000 (I will ignore the differentiation between ranks and just work with the contingents), so there are 18T distribute, Alexander’s allied cavalry received a bonus of 2.5 times that of the Macedonian infantry at Babylon (Diod XVII 44 vi, and Curtius V 1 xlv) there are in round figures 1,000 cav but the type is not specified, let us assign them just twice the Pisidian rate, 6T this leaves 12T between some Macedonians and the rest, either mercenaries or levies. Given the premium on Macedonian troops they must have received more than the Pisidians, otherwise they would mutiny let’s give them 4T per thousand this leaves 8T between 9,000 if there were only 1,000 Makedonians (let’s fudge it to 1T per 1,000) or only 4T if they were 2,000 strong (1/2 T per 1,000). The proportions of the distribution are likely there or there abouts: per 1,000 men 6:4:3:1. On triple rate for natives (I cannot see mercenaries accepting such a low rate) it is no wonder the Pisidians loved Alketas.
So you postulate that there were some 2,000 Macedonian phalangites with Alketas? Since that is the number I suggested by different methods of estimation, I can happily agree that number !
Since they were almost certainly part of the army left with Alketas there was clearly no general movement against the central government in Pisidia under Perdikkas and only the two robbers’ nests were acted against.
‘Robber’s nests’is hardly an apt description of what were probably the two largest cities in Pisidia, both numbering populations in the tens of thousands.
But after Alketas’ death the nation rose in brigandage; well a closer reading of the text gives a different picture. It is not the young men of Pisidia who are devoted but only those of Termessos, they defy their parents, form a ‘compact group’- συστραφέντες – they are οἱ νεώτεροι – youngsters, though this can be comparative and jocular here I think it does mean youths. After Alketas’ suicide and surrender they take over part of Termessos (not a very large city but still extant, though unexcavated, apparently). They decided to burn down the city, then changed their minds, apparently during the three days of Antigonos’ mistreatment of Alketas’ corpse, and opted for the life of the brigand, a national pastime in any case. This is no national rebellion but some teenagers sulking off to the hills.
:lol: :lol: ! Presumably you would describe the Palestinian intifada, or that of I.S.I.S. [D.A.E.S.H in Arabic] in similar terms, in order to play them down?
Sagalossos was the major city of Pisidia in the north, Termessos the south and its territory extended to the sea. Arrian describes them both as ‘large cities’. Arrian [ I.28 ] says of them that Termessos successfully defied Alexander and his whole army. Of the Sagalossians, Arrian[I.28] says :
" ....and though all the Pisidians are warlike, the men of this city were deemed the most so.”
They even came out from behind their walls and challenged Alexander’s full army in the open (demonstrating that they must have had a large army) - a mistake as it turned out !
Pisidia was never fully subjugated by the Hellenistic states whose control was nominal, and remained autonomous down to Roman times. When the Pisidians weren’t fighting their nominal overlords, they fought each other, in a state of almost perpetual war ( see e.g. Arrian I.28).


edited to correct typos
Last edited by Xenophon on Thu Dec 10, 2015 3:02 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Macedonian Military Numbers

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post by agesilaos » Tue Dec 01, 2015 7:21 pm
Xenophon wrote:
One thing is all but certain though - Diodorus' figures for Polyperchon's army can hardly be correct.
I hope to demonstrate that it is certain, and in truth I was surprised that you and Paralus did not recognise this !. and Diodorus must be incorrect in this instance.
What you have suggested is all too obviously completely wrong.
At the end of the day, Polyperchon still could not have had as many as 20,000 Macedonian ‘sarissaphoroi’ in Attica in 318 BC, for all the reasons I have given in detail

And so on, no sign of any ifs or maybes.
Not in this case, no. Every factor /possibility rules out Polyperchon having such a large number of Makedones in Attica.

Xenophon wrote:For the purposes of this discussion, I have generally referred to the maximum possible numbers of troops.
Let us bear this ‘principal’[sic] in mind and work with your own un referenced or sourced guess at the number of phalangites at Krannon, viz

The Macedonian phalanx portion will have numbered something like 20-22,000 (estimated).

So in 322 there are, according to you;
22,000 phalangites at Krannon
4,000 veterans in Kilikia
4-6,000 so 6,000 phalangites (looking for maxima, remember) with the Royal army and
3,000 hypaspists
We discount the Silver Shields – Antipater/Polyperchon had no recorded ‘Guard’ units, and we are discussing the ‘ordinary’ phalanx, and its possible numbers.

Clearly too, you don’t have to be a mathematician to realise that when one talks of possible maxima, not every single one of the component numbers is going to be a maximum.
A total of 35,000 Macedonian phalangites, ..........
I have postulated a maximum of 28,000 for reasons previously stated. In fact, the key clue in the sources is the strength of the phalanx in Babylon at the end of Alexander’s reign. I have postulated 16,000, divided into 8 Taxeis as a maximum (plus 3-4,000 Guard Hypaspists/Silver Shields). This is consistent with Alexander’s statement ( as given by Diodorus) that he was "releasing (10,000 veterans) more than he retained" ( implies maximum of 4-6,000 plus 3,000 ‘Silver Shields’, and 4,000 is consistent with the numbers in Alexander’s proposed mixed phalanx.)

In order to give Perdiccas a large number of phalangites in order to feed your assertion that Alcetas’ and Neoptolemus’ troops came from the ‘rump’ of the army at Babylon, you assert that a phalanx ‘Taxis’ did not have a fixed establishment, and could be anything from 1,500 to 3,800 or who knows, more! That there was no fixed establishment for a Taxis of Makedones seems to be your unique supposition, and runs contrary to all the evidence and every scholar on the subject. ( e.g. the manual(s) explain the need for a fixed establishment, and strict organisation).It is convenient though, for it allows you to postulate any desired number – as the aphorism has it “Think of a number....”!!! :lol:

Back in 2010, on a thread concerning Alexander's mixed phalanx you wrote [8/4/2010] "....best use of the few Macedonians", and a little later quantify this as 3,000....you were evidently still of this view in 2013. Now you argue a very different case, with much larger numbers. I wonder what changed your view.
.......of these at the end of 319
Antipatros leaves 8,500 new recruits with Antigonos
3,000 Argyraspides go to Susa
Eumenes still as 4,000 of Krateros’ veterans, possibly split with Alketas,
Arrhidaios has 1,000 Macedonians

That’s 16,500 in Asia so 18,500 in Europe plus 3,000 in the new draft; 21,500 using your own figures ! Go figure
Err..rrr.....wrong ! You forgot to deduct the 8,500 left with Antigonus from Antipater’s 20-22,000, which leaves him with 11,500-13,500 in Europe ( not 18,500). That brings the total to around 28,000 or so. ( not allowing for natural ‘wastage’ due to casualties sickness and injury). Any new draft will be offset by variable wastage figures, which you never seem to allow for - not even your own modest ( and necessarily incorrect) estimates and your arithmetic is wrong in any event – the total of your 3 incorrect figures is 38,000, not 21,500. A very unconvincing muddle.
And that's without examining your claim to be referring to ' the maximum possible numbers of troops',
At least my figures are supported by, and consistent with, such evidence as we have.
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Re: Macedonian Military Numbers

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Agesilaos wrote:
Shame none of the 'careless terminology' concerns the Greek!!!!


You seem to have forgotten , for this is what I said::
“A thorough presentation, [ your analysis of the Greek]but amidst all the definitions I don’t see “retire”, which is certainly not the same as ‘dismiss’, ‘discharge’ etc. So Paralus’ usage is not what the sources say.” And used your posted translations.
You posted this quotation yourself on 1 Dec 2:17 pm [page 4]......
Looks like a case of careless and irrelevant comparison to me. Plus ca change
...in which you would be badly mistaken, as can be seen above.
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Re: Macedonian Military Numbers

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Post by agesilaos » Wed Dec 02, 2015 8:02 pm
Xenophon wrote:
Originally, Alexander’s stated aim was to retain 13,000 infantry ( and 2,000 cavalry), which would imply he intended to release only 2-3,000 infantry at most as ‘too old and unfit’.[Curtius X.2.8] This prompted the mutiny at Opis [C. X.2.12], with the whole army demanding to go home. The compromise reached was that 10,000 would go ( hence releasing more than he intended to retain, which would now be 4-6,000 or so infantry and 3-4,000 Hypaspists/Silver Shields). That all the 10,000 infantry (and 1,500 cavalry) are now described as the ‘old and unfit’ is a face-saving device for Alexander. That they were not so is proven by the fact that these men in fact continued to serve the Diadochi for another ten years or more, as many have noted

It would be simple to just say:
Xenophon wrote:There’s no point repeating what is pure supposition without source evidence, no matter how “logical” you believe it to be.
It seems rather nonsensical to quote my own words here when they obviously don’t apply, for as your quotation shows, I fully sourced my statement.

Since Curtius gives no hint at how many men Alexander had at Opis it is your guess,....
No it isn’t a “guess”, but rather a deduction from the source material, and Curtius does give us a very good hint, for as I referenced before and you quote here, he has Alexander say in his speech at X.2.19 ff “I dismissed more than I am intending to retain “. Since all agree he was dismissing 10,000, he was proposing to retain something less than this, of whom 3-4,000 were Hypaspists/Silver Shields, leaving something like 4-6,000 phalangites, of which I think the lower number more likely since it is consistent with the stated number of Macedonians in Alexander’s proposed mixed phalanx, necessary until Antipater’s 10,000 eventually joined him.
That of course also blows away your postulations for Perdiccas’ numbers, since your totals exceed 10,000, which is contrary to the source material.
Your earlier estimate some time ago of 3,000 was certainly closer to the mark.
..... but let’s go with it and accept that Curtius was using a good source. So we have to go with his story

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. Arrian has a different story with more detail and is, as usual, to be preferred.
The two sources are consistent with each other, save that Arrian leaves out Alexander’s original intention and subsequent ‘backdown’. [Arrian VII.8 ff & Curtius X.2 ff]

But let’s go with your maths, unsupported by any source as they are: you have 14-16,000 Macedonian foot, not counting the Hypaspists who clearly, were not going to be left as Babylon’s garrison. “2-3,000’ are released leaving 11-14,000 from whom Alexander intends to select 13,000 to hold Asia, while Alexander proceeds against the West with 1,000 hypaspists (2,000 will have to stay on the worst case scenario) or the hypaspists and 1,000 phalangites. Mmmh?
As I say, my numbers ARE supported by source material, unlike any of yours. Why do you assume Alexander intended to attack the West immediately ? He could either wait until Antipater arrived, or perhaps more likely, march West and pick them up ‘en route’, restoring his phalanx to its full nominal strength again.
In the event he has to release an additional 10,000 on Curtius evidence, assuming he too had 10,000 leave with Krateros and the 13,000 garisson must fall by the wayside.
You misunderstand the source material. The 10,000 are not in addition to Alexander’s original intended few thousand from the Phalanx, rather the 10,000 is the total ‘compromise figure’ after the army wants to all go home. [Curtius X.12 ff]
In Arrian those to be retired are those ‘unfit for war by reason of age or injuries’ from the start, so hardly some face saving move. Sources cannot be simply conflated to suit.
See above. No conflation, the source material in Arrian and Diodorus is consistent. Alexander’s reason for dismissing the Macedonians is simply extended from the original intended few thousand, who probably were genuinely aged or unfit, to the whole 10,000, and as we know, they are not at all unfit for further service, indeed they are prized assets in the armies of the Diadochi for many years to come.
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Re: Macedonian Military Numbers

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Postby agesilaos » Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:06 pm
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.
At time of writing this, I am some 22 posts (!!) behind. You have forced me to answer in ‘chunks’ as you put it, for if I responded one at a time, we would carry on ‘tit-for-tat’ and I would never catch up !

Not only that, but you post a whole string of posts too - see pp 4 and 5


Agesilaos wrote:
Xenophon wrote: 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?
But it is known...Cappadocia, and for comparison purposes one picks an arbitrary point somewhere near the centre.....
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
The history of Armenia is somewhat obscure for this period, and Western writers such as Diodorus don’t tell us much, but there are scattered references elsewhere, and there is other information. The Orontid dynasty ruled Armenia intermittently during the period spanning the 6th century BC to at least the 2nd century BC, first as client kings, often being appointed satraps of the Median and Achaemenid empires at the same time. They established an independent kingdom after the collapse of the Achaemenid empire, and resisted Alexander’s successors successfully.

King Orontes II (Armenian:, Yervand/Erewond II) was the son of King Orontes I,and succeeded him as King in 344 BC. After Darius Codomannus ascended the throne of Persia as Darius III of Persia in 336 BC, King Orontes was also appointed Satrap of Armenia. He was of Achaemenid descent, and closely related to Darius, who had formerly been Satrap of Armenia.

He fought at the Battle of Gaugamela in 331 BC, on the right flank for King Darius III of Persia, with allegedly 40,000 infantry and 7,000 cavalry under his command. Ironically his son, Mithranes, Governor of Sardis and perhaps Satrap of Lydia, had succumbed to Alexander at Sardis in 334 BC and surrendered it [Arrian I.17]. Mithranes then fought at the Battle of Gaugamela on the side of Alexander. (He had little choice, having been over-run, and was effectively Alexander’s hostage. Speculatively, perhaps there was also an element of that old Scottish clan custem of sending support to both sides, so that whoever was on the winning side could intercede for those on the losing side....) After the battle, Mithranes was named Satrap of Armenia by Alexander. Like many of Alexander’s appointments, it seems to have been in name only and his father appears to have continued to rule until around 317 BC or later [Diodorus XIX.23.3], when Mithranes apparently became King in turn.


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.
Incorrect. See above for Orontes present at Gaugemala commanding the Armenians, and clearly Eumenes forged letter incident shows him still ruling in 317 BC......though he disappears from recorded history thereafter. Peukestes, it will be recalled was popular with the Persians.

No sign of any anti Macedonian feeling here nor any hint of independence from the satrapal system.
On the contrary. Who do you think chased Neoptolemos and Eumenes out of Armenia? A subject our western sources unsurprisingly give no details of. For a primer on the history of the region try “The Armenian people from ancient to modern times” Richard G. Hovannisian[ St Martins press 1997 or “The Persian Empire” J.M.Cook J.M.Dent&Sons 1983 or “The Cambridge History of Iran”C.U.P in 7 volumes. The Armenians maintained their independence, whilst paying lip-service to their nominal ‘masters’ whether Achaemenids or Macedonians. In fact Pisidia, Cappadocia and Armenia pretty much maintained independence down to Roman times.....
If you want to suggest something please check the facts that do exist and stop accusing others of want of evidence.

Well given that virtually everything in this post is incorrect, it might profit you to heed your own advice ! I always/usually source my posts, and where other people’s statements are pure supposition, or surmise, and un-evidenced, then I reserve the right to say so.....
Your post represents the dangers of over-relying purely on a few western literary sources, as you have done, and not adopting a holistic approach. Those sources are themselves incomplete, and also don’t cover every subject/aspect. For example numismatics shows that the Orontid dynasty all issued their own coinage showing their independence, and just who actually ran the country ( coins can tell us much; who ran the country, how far their rule ran, the extent of their state etc) – see gold coin of Orontes II below. Polyaenus VII.14 also describes various military stratagems attributed to Orontids.
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Re: Macedonian Military Numbers

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Postby agesilaos » Fri Dec 04, 2015 5:35 pm
Xenophon wrote:
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.
In the winter of 334-333 Alexander augmented his citizen troops by a sudden recruitment of 300 cavalry and 3,000 infantry "from the land", and therefore new recruits (Arrian I. 24.2 and I.29.4). As you say, we can’t be certain that Antipater didn’t retain some, but since he had 12,000 citizen troops in 336 BC, and just 13,000 in 322 BC, some 14 years later, it would appear all the drafts were drained off by Alexander, with Antipater retaining just enough to keep up his strength. Those 3,000 represent the draft of 334,. In 332 BC Alexander sent officers 'to collect young soldiers' (Diod. XVII 49.I ; Curtius IV.6.30 ) i.e. men then coming of age to serve in the citizen forces who arrived late in 331 BC, not long after the battle of Gaugamela. These amounted to some 500 cavalrymen and 6,000 infantrymen (Diod. XVII. 65.1; Curt.V. I.4). No doubt they received training in Macedonia and on the long march to Babylonia. These represented the drafts of 333 and 332 BC, at an average of 3,000 per year.
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).
When Alexander arrived at Babylon in October 331, he had received 3,000 Makedone reinforcements, and on my estimates would have had ‘wastage’ of roughly that number too,between 334 and 331, so numbers were static, but would dramatically increase with the arrival of the further reinforcement of 6,000 around this time.

In all wars down to the Second World War, when modern medicine minimised such losses, more soldiers died of illness and disease than in battle, sometimes dramatically so. The sources are silent on this subject for the most part, save Coenus telling Alexander at the Hyphasis river in India, “...the majority have died of disease and few out of many are left” (Arr. V 27.6).
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.
A better method of estimation is to consider that Alexander’s phalanx numbered some 12,000 in 334 (not including Guards/Hypaspists), and received at least 9-10,000 replacements, plus internal recruiting – the non-citizen Macedonian archers, some 1,000 strong, disappear and are presumably recruited into the phalanx for example, and we know Greeks were recruited from disbanded units as well, so a minimum total of around 11-12,000 replacements, for a total of 23-24,000 ( aprox) between 334 and 323. We know that there were probably some 14,000 with the army in 323 ( with a possible paper maximum of 16,000), so some 10,000 ( minimum) were lost to the army, average wastage of around a 1,000 per year, and this wastage would have been low in the early years, increasing as Alexander moved east, to over a 1,000 per year in the later years.
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Re: Macedonian Military Numbers

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Pos tby agesilaos » Fri Dec 04, 2015 7:20 pm
Xenophon wrote:
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.....
I have already explained why, for textual reasons, and military necessity, these must have been Macedonian phalangites.
... we are also told that prior to Agis’ War 9,000 Macedonians had gone East.....
Who were all new drafts – see above.
Justin also tells us that Zopyrion lost and army of 30,000 when attacking Scythia from Pontos (here the Black Sea coast of Thrace).
The number is suspicious, though Thrace could indeed supply such numbers, and significantly there is no mention of any ‘Makedone phalangite’ troops or casualties. [331 BC according to Justin – though there is an alternative of mid 320’s in Curtius X.1.43, which is faulty]. After failing to capture Olbia, Zopyrion retreated back toward Thrace, harried by Scythians, and few if any made it home. This prompted Memnon, a Greek with Thracian connections and apparently related to Memnon of Rhodes, to start a revolt in 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.
The ‘hasty peace’/truce was necessitated by the the outbreak of war with Agis of Sparta..[Diodorus XVII.62-63],but you are quite wrong that sound Thracian recruits could not subsequently be found. The same Memnon ( probably) led a reinforcement of 5,000 Thracian cavalry and 7,000 Thracian infantry to Alexander in 326 BC [ Curtius IX..3.21; c.f Diod XVII.95.4; Arrian V.20.7 seems to have them taken on to Alexander by Phrataphernes to whom they had been delivered.]
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....
With which I’d agree. Diod. XVII.63.3 records 5,300 of the Peloponnesians ( from roughly 20,000 infantry and 2,000 cavalry), and 3,500 of the Macedonians and their allies ( from roughly 40,000.) Curtius VI.13.6 says 1,000 of the latter were Macedonians
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?
This is incorrect. Agis’ allies were all from the Peloponnese ( and possibly the Aetolians), except Megalopolis, Corinth and Pellene. As N.G.L. Hammond said; “...on the home front the great majority of States stayed loyal to the Common Peace and alliance with Macedon “. Athens stayed neutral. Antipater could therefore draw on many more Greek allies than Agis. I agree Alexander sent the money after the war to re-imburse Antipater, from Susa in December 331 BC. But mercenaries were cheap – Agis hired 8,000 ex-Persian greek hoplites for a mere 30 Talents of Persian gold, and Antipater would have had more resources than that, so could afford plenty of mercenaries. As well, as part of the treaty with Memnon, it would be surprising if Antipater did not ask for Thracian troops from Memnon to fight Agis.
And of course there were existing Thracian mercenaries, and plenty of "free" Thracians too...nor is it reasonable to assume that ALL the potential Thracian manpower was absorbed by the revolt.
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Re: Macedonian Military Numbers

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Agesilaos wrote:
Xenophon wrote: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 !
Agesilaos wrote:
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
We are talking permanent Satrapal armies/garrisons here, not temporary citadel garrisons of a few hundred, who were only there long enough for Apollodorus and Menes to use their 1,000 Talents to raise local troops [Diod,XVII.64.5]
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:
The 1,000 Macedonians are ‘aetate gravitas’/burdened with years, in other words ‘retirees’ ! Not active soldiers at all.The 3,000 are clearly temporary.
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
The city of Persepolis was underging pitiless sack at the time, and the 3,000 are temporary security. The bulk of the army were there, while Alexander went off with a ‘flying column’[Curtius V.6.11 ff ] for two weeks. When he returned, the Palace and city of Persepolis were destroyed by fire, according to Curtius, and the whole army moved on..... [ Curtius V.7.4 ff ; c.f Diod XVII.70]

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!
I can recall another you have overlooked. At Arrian[ III.19] Harpalus is detached to garrison the citadel at Ecbatana as guard for the captured Persian Treasury with "6,000 Macedonians, a few light troops and some cavalry." but that too is temporary, for Cleitus later collects them and marches on to Parthia.... There are probably other instances neither of us has found, but if these men were permanent as you seem to suggest, they add up to nearly 14,000 Makedones - virtually Alexander's entire Macedonian phalanx !

As can be seen from the above, you cannot ( apparently) come up with a single example, referring only to small, temporary forces, not those of a whole Satrapy. ‘Communis opinio’ is that Alexander did not waste his fit Macedonian soldiers on garrisons, and there are plenty of Satrapal armies where no Macedonian force is mentioned – those of Zopyrion and Memnon for starters !!
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Re: Macedonian Military Numbers

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Post by agesilaos » Sun Dec 06, 2015 1:08 pm
Xenophon wrote: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?
Because that is not what the text says ! To interpret it otherwise is to read too much into a possible ambiguity.

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 actual Macedonian phalanx was understrength)

One day you will understand what is written;
Given the number of occasions you have clearly misinterpreted and misconstrued texts, as I have so often to address,
....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.
Yes, the generic nature of the word ‘Taxis’/unit (as well as its more particular meaning in Macedonian usage) rather conveniently allow you to posit any number of ‘phalangites’ you like – but that the ‘Taxeis’ of the Makedones did not have an established strength is a viewpoint peculiarly unique to you.The manuals, for example, emphasise the need for a phalanx to have established unit strengths, and the need for strict organisation.
And certainly the Macedonian ‘Taxeis’ in practice would have variable numbers, usually understrength ( which occurs in every army in history).
Whilst the manual(s) were yet to be written, they did not spring up fully formed, like Athena from the brow of Zeus. The Hellenistic kingdoms, so far as we know, all used the same phalanx organisation, and the original for that can only have been Alexander’s army. Moreover, Aelian, in his preface address to Hadrian regarding his version specifically tells that the manual reflects Alexander’s army and its practices:
“6. Nonetheless, I was not confident in sending this work to you who have commanded in such great wars, lest it should prove too paltry a present on our part to put before your view. If, however, you think of it as a Greek theoretical work and a polished dissertation, the book will afford you an evocation of the dead, since in it you will observe Alexander the Macedonian's endeavours in marshalling his forces.”
To believe otherwise would show a lack of understanding of Graeco-Macedonian warfare.
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.
Eight are possible for the reasons I have set out ( and Ueda-Sarson and others also. As he points out, two 2,000 man units plus 2,000 replacements makes more sense than one, and 4,000 replacements - unless wastage was much higher than either of us estimate! ), certainly as a maximum, for there are a number of reasons why more than that are unlikely. I assume you read what I post, but then you seem to ignore it, and carry on as before! Start with seven if you like. At 16 per file that is is 14,000 divide by 16 = 875 files, which will accommodate 12 x 875 Persians in the mixed phalanx, just 10,500 men. To accommodate the whole 20,000 Persians would take 1,667 files – but the division is not exact, implying 16x 1667= 26,672 ‘Makedones’ originally, or 3,810 men per each of seven Taxeis’ !! Where did all these extra ‘Makedones’ come from ? Surely you don’t subscribe to the ‘deus ex machina’ explanation of massive unattested reinforcements ? Nor are these figures consistent with anything else!
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.
Moreover, Peukestes 20,000 ‘Persian troops’were not all Persians, there were included a ‘considerable’ number of Cossaeans and Tapurians as well,[Arrian VII.23] but it was an (unstated ) number of Persians who were incorporated into the ‘Taxeis’ of the Makedones. In addition, according to Arriaan, [VII.24] an unkown number of Philoxenus’ Carians and Menander’s Lydians were also incorporated in the “various Macedonian units”. Nowhere however are we told that ALL these troops would be incorporated, for that would clearly require an impossible number of ‘Makedones’, even at just 4 per file.

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.


More faulty methodology and arithmetic again! There are not 6,700 phalangites remaining for a start – that is just your assumption based on incorrect premises and even then the 16,700 total divided by 7 is 2385, not2785.
I suggested that the Phalanx was understrength partly because that is what we would expect, and partly because the true number of Makedones in the mixed phalanx is perhaps 3,500 (using the numbers given for the mixed phalanx and assuming 7 Taxeis), or 4,000 if there were 8 Taxeis.....giving a total number of Makedones as 13,500 – 14,000 ( compared to a paper strength of either 14,000 or 16,000 ). Then of course there is accounting for the 25,000 suits of armour the army received. As Ueda-Sarson points out:
"Let us assume then that Alexander had 4000 Hypaspists and 16000 Pezetairoi/Asthetairoi in India. Curtius (8.5.4, 9.3.21) and Diodoros (17.95.4) both record that 25000 suits of armour arrived during the Indian campaign which was disributed to the troops. Which troops? Curtius implies the Macedonians (10.2.23), and it would be strange if Alexander provided the mercenaries with such arms, given the Macedonian's complaints about their old equipment (9.3.10). In any case mercenaries normally had to provide their own equipment; similarly allied soldiers would have already had their own arms. In contrast, the Macedonians, being part of a royal army, needed to have their gear provided by their king. Since there were probably at this stage somewhat just over 4000 "Macedonian" horse (see part 2), providing these men with armour, along with 4000 Hypaspists and 16000 other phalangites would perfectly accord with 25000 suits"
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Re: Macedonian Military Numbers

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post by agesilaos » Sun Dec 06, 2015 2:00 pm
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, and then 2,500, 3,000 and finally nearly 4,,000 (!) 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.

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.
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.

Xenophon wrote: 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;
So now more name-calling ? I make ‘stupid’ assertions ? That’s a bit rich coming from you of all people.

RED HERRING ALERT!
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.
No-one disputes this, so why bring it up?
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’ .
....or eight ‘Taxeis’ see e.g. Brunt, Loeb Arrian. The 8 Taxiarchs are all known commanders of Taxeis of Makedones, not Hypaspists, archers, horse archers, mercenaries or lights. That argument simply doesn’t hold water and is false.
grbs.library.duke.edu/article/download/11491/4143

for full argument or Heckel ‘Marshals’.
Yes, I agree that 7‘Taxeis’of Makedones are attested for certain as participating at the Hydaspes in 326 BC, but that does not mean there was not an eighth with the army, perhaps occupied elsewhere, or simply not specifically referred to by Arrian ( as happens elsewhere). After all, there are 11 attested Taxiarchs, all of whom commanded Phalanx Taxeis of Makedones at various times, and after you take away the 3 who held Cavalry commands at the time ( Craterus, Coenus and Perdiccas), that leaves 8, which also happens to be the ‘idealised’ size of Alexander’s phalanx . Brunt, the latest Loeb translator of Arrian also thinks there were 8 Taxeis ( see Loeb Arrian ). Then there is the evidence of the 25,000 suits of armour ( see ante) and much more. There is plenty of other evidence in Ueda-Sarson's article. Readers, have a look and decide for yourselves which version you prefer.....
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.


See above. There were not anything like 20,000 Persian – the total includes “considerable number of Cossaeans and Tapurians" as well, but it was an (unknown) number of Persians who were incorporated into the ‘Taxeis’ of the Makedones.” So your very first assumption to arrive at 6,700 is just plain wrong – no Cossaeans or Tapurians are recorded as being incorporated into the Taxeis of the Makedones. But an unknown number of Carians and Lydians were. That can only mean that here the reference means incorporation into the phalanx as a whole of these Asians rather than literally into the Macedonian 'Taxeis'.

Bingo ! Your calculations are based on the false premise that there must have been 6,700 ‘Makedones’ at Babylon, when clearly there weren’t, not least because there weren’t 20,000 Persians to be incorporated....
There is no actual certain evidence for the exact number of Makedones remaining in Babylon and certainly not 6,700, save that it was likely 4,000 ( see ad nauseum ante). There is your totally "unsupported evidence".

And there I’m going to rest, for I’ve no wish to perpetually consider your inherently unlikely postulations on numbers.

Is it feasible that Polyperchon had 20,000 ‘Makedones’ at Athens? You have yet to explain how, other than to suggest that Macedon was a veritable cornucopia of Makedones containing ‘vast’ numbers, which it plainly wasn’t, never fielding more than 30,000 in Grand Total....... and as we have seen, we can easily account for more than 10,000 NOT being at Athens with Polyperchon...... :roll:

edited to correct quotation boxes
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Re: Macedonian Military Numbers

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Xenophon wrote:Well, they evidently refused to serve Eumenes in a bodyguard capacity – he had to raise his own ‘Hypaspists’ [...]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)......[/i]
The sole basis for this repeated claim is Justin 14.2.7:
But the Argyraspides disdained all leaders in comparison with Alexander, and thought service under other generals dishonourable to the memory of so great a monarch.
It should be noted that nowhere does this say that the Argyrapsides refused to to serve lesser men as 'Royal bodyguards'. That is simply a surmise as the passage does not mention the nature of their service at all. Nor does it (or any other source) say that the Argyraspides refused to serve under the kings - as a guards troop or otherwise. What it does say is that the Argyraspides refused to serve under other generals because it somehow dishonoured Alexander's memory. This is, of course, demonstrably untrue. They served Perdikkas and also served Eumenes.

Similarly, claiming that Eumenes "had to" raise his own hypaspists because the Argyraspides had refused to serve as Eumenes' bodyguard is nowhere stated and is simply a construct to support the same surmise. Nowhere in the entire source material relating to the Argyraspides' service under Eumenes is there anything that states these troops refused to serve as a bodyguard necessitating Eumenes' raising of his own.
Xenophon wrote:The fact that in 316 BC Antigonus had to construct a ship-building yard in Cilicia, capable of building some 30 or so ships maximum (the four together built 120 ships, which included those captured after the fall of Tyre) [Diod XIX.62.8] means that such a facility did not exist in 324/323 BC, therefore Craterus had no facility for building ships, let alone 1,000 !

What were you saying about (your) bad ideas ?! :lol: :lol:
This is, I'm afraid, incorrect. The relevant passage here is Diodorus 19.58.4:
He [Antigonos] established three shipyards in Phoenicia — at Tripolis, Byblus, and Sidon — and a fourth in Cilicia, the timber for which was brought from Mount Taurus.

ναυπηγεῖα δ᾽ ἀπέδειξε τρία μὲν κατὰ τὴν Φοινίκην, ἔν τε Τριπόλει καὶ Βύβλῳ καὶ Σιδῶνι, τέταρτον δὲ περὶ Κιλικίαν, κομιζομένης τῆς ὕλης ἐκ τοῦ Ταύρου.
Now, the key word here is ἀπέδειξε, rendered here in the Loeb as "established". So Antigonos "established" a shipyard in each of the places listed: Tripolis, Byblus,Sidon and Kilikia. If we are to believe that this means Antigonos constructed a shipyard in each of these, we must, perforce, believe that the three major Phoinikian cities named possessed no shipyards before Antigonos constructed them. It beggars belief that a city such as Sidon had no such facilities - nor the others for that matter.

What the passage does say is that Antigonos designated or appointed four shipyards for the building of these ships. He did not "construct" the shipyards. A cursory glance at the use of the word elsewhere hammers this home (18.18.5; 22.1; 39.7; 40.1; 48.4; 50.1; 19.12.2; 14.1; 18.2; 29.3; 35.4.... ).
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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Xenophon
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Re: Macedonian Military Numbers

Post by Xenophon »

Paralus wrote 11/12/2015
Xenophon wrote:Well, they evidently refused to serve Eumenes in a bodyguard capacity – he had to raise his own ‘Hypaspists’ [...]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)......

The sole basis for this repeated claim is Justin 14.2.7:

But the Argyraspides disdained all leaders in comparison with Alexander, and thought service under other generals dishonourable to the memory of so great a monarch.
It should be noted that nowhere does this say that the Argyrapsides refused to to serve lesser men as 'Royal bodyguards'. That is simply a surmise as the passage does not mention the nature of their service at all. What it does say is that the Argyraspides refused to serve under other generals because it somehow dishonoured Alexander's memory. This is, of course, demonstrably untrue. They served Perdikkas and also served Eumenes.
Yes, that is precisely the point; that they would no longer serve anyone else in the same way they had served Alexander – i.e. as Royal Bodyguards. The actual unit that performed this duty was the ‘Agema’. Further evidence as I have previously mentioned, is that we no longer hear of a Foot ‘Agema’ of the Hypaspists/Silver Shields after the death of Alexander, or any other Foot 'Agema' ( though cavalry ‘Agemas’ of Companion cavalry do continue ). The ‘Agema’/Royal Bodyguard disappears from History.
Similarly, claiming that Eumenes "had to" raise his own hypaspists because the Argyraspides had refused to serve as Eumenes' bodyguard is nowhere stated and is simply a construct to support the same surmise. Nowhere in the entire source material relating to the Argyraspides' service under Eumenes is there anything that states these troops refused to serve as a bodyguard necessitating Eumenes' raising of his own.
‘Res Ipsa Loquitur’/the facts speak for themselves, and ‘absence of (positive) evidence is not evidence of absence’. Eumenes clearly wanted an infantry Bodyguard unit. The ‘Silver Shields’ evidently would not oblige him, and he raised his own ‘Hypaspists’.
Further evidence lies in the fact that the ‘Silver Shields’ even accepted a downgrading of status, for the new ‘Hypaspists’ as a Guard unit stood on the right of the line, and took precedence over the ‘Silver Shields’, - who now served as an ‘ordinary’ line unit, albeit ‘senior’ line unit taking their position to the immediate left of the new ‘Hypaspists’. Military facts you seem to have overlooked.
Xenophon wrote:The fact that in 316 BC Antigonus had to construct a ship-building yard in Cilicia, capable of building some 30 or so ships maximum (the four together built 120 ships, which included those captured after the fall of Tyre) [Diod XIX.62.8] means that such a facility did not exist in 324/323 BC, therefore Craterus had no facility for building ships, let alone 1,000 !

What were you saying about (your) bad ideas ?!

This is, I'm afraid, incorrect. The relevant passage here is Diodorus 19.58.4:
It is NOT incorrect! As can be seen from your quotation I referred to the four shipyards, and if you had taken the full quotation instead of just part out of context, you’d have seen reference to Diod XIX.58.4 immediately above the part you have quoted, in my post of Dec 9 above.

He [Antigonos] established three shipyards in Phoenicia — at Tripolis, Byblus, and Sidon — and a fourth in Cilicia, the timber for which was brought from Mount Taurus.
Dealing first with the English translation; the Shorter Oxford Dictionary defines establish (inter alia) as to “set up or bring about permanently; to create...”. In the context of a shipyard, that means to build or construct. Both the Penguin Theaurus and Roget’s Thesaurus allow “establish” and “construct” as synonyms, which fits the context here.
ναυπηγεῖα δ᾽ ἀπέδειξε τρία μὲν κατὰ τὴν Φοινίκην, ἔν τε Τριπόλει καὶ Βύβλῳ καὶ Σιδῶνι, τέταρτον δὲ περὶ Κιλικίαν, κομιζομένης τῆς ὕλης ἐκ τοῦ Ταύρου.


Now, the key word here is ἀπέδειξε, rendered here in the Loeb as "established". So Antigonos "established" a shipyard in each of the places listed: Tripolis, Byblus, Sidon and Kilikia. If we are to believe that this means Antigonos constructed a shipyard in each of these, we must, perforce, believe that the three major Phoinikian cities named possessed no shipyards before Antigonos constructed them. It beggars belief that a city such as Sidon had no such facilities - nor the others for that matter.
Firstly, the two major Phoenician cities were Sidon and Tyre, with Tyre being paramount until Alexander destroyed it. In 316, Tyre did not succumb to Antigonus and he was forced to besiege it., so it was unavailable. Byblos/Gebal and Tripolis were minor cities with small ports (to this day).

Secondly, we turn to the Greek meaning. The word in question ‘apedeice’ has a wide variety of meanings – here is the shorter Middle Liddell version:
to point away from other objects at one, and so,
I. [select] to point out, shew forth, exhibit, make known, by deed or word, τί τινι Hdt.; τι Aesch.
2. [select] to bring forward, shew, produce, Lat. praestare, μαρτύρια τουτέων Hdt.; παῖδαςSoph.; ὑγιέα τινὰ ἐόντα ἀπ. to produce him safe and sound, Hdt.
3. [select] to produce or deliver in accounts, λόγον id=Hdt., Thuc.
4. [select] to publish a law, Lat. promulgare, Xen.
5. [select] to appoint, assign, τέμενος, βωμὸν ἀπ. τινί Hdt.:—Pass., χῶρος ἀποδεδεγμένος anappointed place, id=Xen.
6. [select] to shew by argument, prove, demonstrate, Ar., Plat., etc.; ἀπ. τινὰ οὐδὲν λέγονταto make it evident that he says nothing, Hdt.
II. [select] to appoint, name, create, ἀπ. τινὰ βασιλέα id=Hdt., Xen.
2. [select] to make, render, ἀπ. τινὰ μοχθηρόν to make him a rascal, Ar.; ἀπ. τινὰ κράτιστονXen.
3. [select] to represent as, ἀπ. παῖδα Hdt.:—Pass., οὐκ ἐν τοῖσι θεοῖσι ἀποδεδέχαται (ionic 3rd pl. perf.) have not been considered, admitted among, id=Xen.
As can be seen, it can mean “appoint” ( meaning II) – but also 'create' or 'make'. ‘Appoint’ does not really fit the context here, and to use Paralus’ pet phrase, it is “a bit of a stretch”. Oldfather and Geer, the Loeb translators, both use “establish” because of this.
What the passage does say is that Antigonos designated or appointed four shipyards for the building of these ships. He did not "construct" the shipyards. A cursory glance at the use of the word elsewhere hammers this home (18.18.5; 22.1; 39.7; 40.1; 48.4; 50.1; 19.12.2; 14.1; 18.2; 29.3; 35.4.... ).
I’m afraid I shall stick to the accepted translation. “Establish/construct” is therefore clearly the likeliest meaning.
“we must, perforce, believe that the three major Phoinikian cities named possessed no shipyards before Antigonos constructed them. It beggars belief that a city such as Sidon had no such facilities - nor the others for that matter.”
No-one suggests that “Phoenician cities possessed no shipyards.

This statement also shows a lack of knowledge of how ancient fleets were constructed,despite Diodorus' words in this very passage. As Louis Rawlinson says in “The Ancient Greeks at War”p113 :

"The costs of constructing and maintaining a navy would have been considerable, and to become a significant threat to other states was such a heavy undertaking that only the richest and most committed states and their prospective targets ( where they had the resources), ever attempted it. Initial investment in any war fleet, in dockyards and ship-sheds [ the latter essential for warships] was huge. Athens boasted ship-sheds that had cost over 1,000 Talents....The organisation needed to procure raw materials and transport them to the construction points is scarcely visible in our surviving sources, but it all had to be paid for. The craftsmen, naval architects and labourers who assembled and maintained the ships also had to be paid....Where money was plentiful, timber, woodcutters, naval architects [and shipwrights] were likely to become abundant enough to allow for the rapid construction of trireme fleets."




No state could afford to maintain construction shipyards on a permanent basis, it was too hideously expensive, and Antigonus was no different. He too:
He himself collected wood cutters, sawyers, and shipwrights from all sides, and carried wood to the sea from Lebanon. There were eight thousand men employed in cutting and sawing the timber and one thousand pair of draught animals in transporting it.” [Diod XIX.58]

As can be seen, an enormous undertaking, and hence he “established/constructed” shipyards, not ‘appointed’ existing ones.

Incidently, this is also further proof that Craterus was not building ships in Cilicia, or we should have heard of such a huge effort in our sources.
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Re: Macedonian Military Numbers

Post by amyntoros »

For the record I am making an observation as a member. Disagreements based on the translation of a single word or phrase keep happening time and time and time again in these current debates. As all parties involved seek to establish the "likeliest" meaning according to their own interpretation, then why not just leave it at that? Agree to disagree and stop with the back and forth wrong/right/incorrect/correct/guilty/innocent. I can't speak for other members (although perhaps their silence speaks for itself) but I'm certainly not "taking sides" as in each and every instance it is obvious that there are many possibilities and no one - and I mean no one - can lay claim to knowing the correct one. This and other debates would be so much more understandable if each party posts once saying that they don't agree with said interpretation and then proffering their own and explaining how it leads to their own conclusions. And then leaving it at that. There is no verdict to be proclaimed and no one to proclaim it. As it stands this kind of "debate" would be better served by PM where the parties concerned can fight it out forever if they wish.

And this brings me back to something I said earlier when I posted that a summary would be nice - I was hoping for a summary with observations such as "based on my interpretation of (insert passage, word, ref, quote, etc.) as meaning thus, then I deduce these particular figures." (Because, for the record, I have no idea why building ships or not building ships affects the figures and I've no interest in going back through the repetitive arguments regarding translations of a single word in order to find out why.)

Best Regards,
Amyntoros

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