Tetrarchy?

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Beatriki
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Tetrarchy?

Post by Beatriki » Tue Dec 11, 2007 5:56 pm

I've read that "tetrarchy" is a calvary unit formed by 60 horsemen. Isn't a tetrarchy supposed to be a form of goverment in which the territory is divided into four? Does any of the primary sources use that term to refer to the calvary? Or any famous historian? If so, which is the original, Greek term? Please, help me.

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Post by amyntoros » Wed Dec 12, 2007 2:57 pm

Hi Beatriki,

The following from a website on Macedonian Unit Organisations might help.
It is possible to object to the formation of 4 hipparchies on the grounds that not much later on (Arrian 3.27.4), only 2 hipparchs were created to command the Companions, now split into 2 portions, when we might expect four if there were four hipparchies, and Brunt does indeed object in this manner. However, it may readily be seen that the 'Susan reorganisation' did not occur overnight as our sources at first glance imply. The royal squadron for instance was still referred to as such for a short time afterwards (Arrian 3.19.6, after which he uses the term 'agema', like the senior unit of the hypaspists, e.g. 4.24.2), and significantly, in this transitional period, Arrian refers to other cavalry being organised into units called a 'tetrarchy', a word used here just once (3.18.5), for thereafter he talks about hipparchies. Clearly this tetrarchy represents a new transitional unit that has yet to acquire a formal name. A tetrarchy implies a composition of 4 sub-units, and if each of these is the newly-created lochoi of Arrian (3.16.11), this tetrarchy would be a 512-man unit - in other words the new hipparchy before it had been named as such. Thus a hipparch would not have been a commander of a hipparchy when the hipparchies were first created, because they were actually called tetrarchies instead. Hipparchies are only first attested by Arrian after the Oxus had been crossed (3.29.7), after the last of the Thessalians and old veterans had been sent home (3.29.5) - in other words hipparchies were named from the hipparchs, and not vice versa.
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Post by Efstathios » Wed Dec 12, 2007 3:40 pm

Tetrarchy, "tετραρχία" (tetrarhia), derives from number four in Greek, tessera. The rest is as Amyntoros said. This word , and words that end in -hia, and the first indicates a number, can also be used for political systems, such as dyarhia (2 leaders), and with other words in front such as oligarhia (a few leaders, which comes from the word "oligoi"=few").

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Post by agesilaos » Wed Dec 12, 2007 4:20 pm

A detachment of sixty companions is mentioned by Arrian somewhere, I'll have to look it up.
However, 59 is the number of cavalry men neeed to form a wedge whose depth is eight men. Now, Polybios says that eight is the maximum depth for cavalry to be useful and Aelian's 'Taktike' illustrates the wedge as a formation where the ranks increase by two as they proceed to the rear making it likely that this was how the Macedonians formed their wedges rather than a standard depth en echelon as the Swedes of Charles XII did.

This would mean each eile of roughly 240 would be four such units, the difference between the 'line and the 'guard' would be one more such unit. Later when it is said that Alexander split the eilai into two lochoi all he would actually be doing was introducing a new level of command - the lochagos - presumably to allow a clear chain of command when two of these tetrarchia were on detachment - which may have been frequently the case in the counter-insugency actions in Sogdiana.

Arrian uses another term 'hekakostys' or 'one hundred' which may be another name for a lochos or represent a further reorganisation. Arrian's use of terminology is vague at the best of times and the organisation of the Macedonian cavalry is fertile ground for hypotheses.

For instance, the above is all true but, as I recall, the mission for the solely attested tetrachy seems to warrent a larger force than sixty men!

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Post by Beatriki » Thu Dec 13, 2007 5:41 pm

Thank you so much for your answers. I was pretty sure that "tetrarchy" and "hipparchy" were the same unit, and I went crazy because the text mixed both terms :? And if Arrian only mentions it once, now I know why I couldn't remember it. I thought it was a mistake from the translator.

On the French wikipedia, I found another text (http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tactique_m ... e_le_Grand) where they say that the tetrarchy is a subdivision of the lochoi, and is formed by 60 men, which is, more or less, what agesilaos said. I'll copy the paragraph for you:
L'unité de base de la cavalerie est donc une ilè, l'escadron de 250 cavaliers commandé par un ilarque, et divisée en deux lochoi, eux-mêmes divisés en deux tétrarchies de 60 cavaliers, commandés par un tétrarque.

La formation tactique de base de la tétrarchie est le coin, inventé par Philippe II : le tétrarque est à la pointe de cette formation triangulaire, tandis que des cavaliers expérimentés occupent le milieu et chaque extrémité des lignes de 13 cavaliers. L'ilarque est accompagné d'un héraut relayant ses ordres, et secondé d'un hyperétès. Les quatre coins de l'ilè sont rangés en une seule ligne d'intervalle, respectant un intervalle suffisant entre eux pour leur permettre de manœuvrer. Cette formation permet une souplesse accrue dans la manœuvre avec un changement rapide de la direction de l'attaque. De deux à quatre ilai peuvent être réunies pour former une hipparchie ou brigade, sous le commandement d'un hipparque[6].
If the tetrarchy is, as we have said, a synonyme for "hipparchy", then, is this paragraph completely wrong? Or is it just assigning the name "tetrarchy" to another unit that was of 60 men? Do you know which unit could it be? Or, if it is correct, it could simply mean that the word tetrarchy disappeared in favor of the more general "hipparchy"... right?

Kisses, Beatriki

PS: Agesilaos, if you can provide the exact paragraph in which Arrian writes about the tetrarchy, I'd be eternally grateful :wink:

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Post by agesilaos » Sun Dec 16, 2007 1:03 pm

III 18 5 the reference is in Amynotoros' reply above. Off the top off my head I think the context the manouevres around the Persian Gates.

I am glad to see the French support my view but it is important to say that it is based solely on the nomenclature and the maths of the wedge. They extrapolate too much though the conclusions are reasonable.

The other version posits four lochoi or two ilai making the 'tetrarchy' Arrian's usage would suggest he would just have noted two ilai, but this sort of argument is not conclusuve. Frequently one wonders if Arrian had any idea what these terms actually meant.

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Post by Paralus » Sun Dec 16, 2007 11:18 pm

agesilaos wrote: Frequently one wonders if Arrian had any idea what these terms actually meant.
Indeed one does. The impression is that the primary sources used such terminology as a matter of course. Further, given the intended audience, they felt no need to explain in any meaningful way what it all meant. Couple that with the likelyhood that the terms evolved/changed over the terms of both Philip and Alexander and you have the recipie for gross confusion.

Diodorus did not realise the need to explain the anachronistic appearance of the Silver Shields (the hypaspists) at Gaugamela. He well knew that nomenclature was in vogue over the final years of Alexander's reign and, evidently, got a little ahead of himself. Similarly he calls the pages, at one time, "somatophylakes" and the royal hypaspists "bodyguards" or somatophylakes on one famous occasion.

Arrian has several terms for the hypaspists and royal hypaspists. One winds up with a plethora of "Guards", the King's shield- bearing Guards', the royal guards (which at one stage also has an agema - which are, in fact, one and the same thing) and the agema of the guards or hypaspists. These too he terms somatophylakes. Indeed, in one passage (can't remember, early in the Indian campaign...Aornus?) he has Alexander take with him 700 of the "somatophylakes" and the "shield bearing guard", a statement which can only really mean 700 of the royal hypaspists and regular hypaspists.

I'm sure it was just as confusing to Arrian attempting to unravel what might appear "jargon".
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Post by abm » Tue Dec 18, 2007 2:28 pm

Paralus wrote:
agesilaos wrote: Frequently one wonders if Arrian had any idea what these terms actually meant.
Indeed one does. The impression is that the primary sources used such terminology as a matter of course. Further, given the intended audience, they felt no need to explain in any meaningful way what it all meant.
This seems to be something almost everyone agrees on. I happen to have collected some quotes on this once:

C. PRÉAUX, L’ « empire » d’Alexandre, in Les grands empires (Recueils de la Société Jean Bodin pour l’Histoire Comparative des Institutions 31), Bruxelles 1973, p. 151: “Enfin, pour qui veut faire l’histoire des institutions, le caractère non technique des sources littéraires et leur dédain des termes précis (ex. hyparchos dans Arrien) sont cause d’hésitations que ne peuvent pas toujours lever les sources documentaires contemporaines, trop peu nombreuses ou pratiquement absentes (…)”.

R.S. BAGNALL, The Administration of the Ptolemaic Possessions Outside Egypt (Columbia Studies in the Classical Tradition 4), Leiden 1976, p. 41: “The attempt to extract technical terminology from Diodorus or almost any ancient historian is a difficult one.” and p. 214 n.1: “It is unfair to the nature and intentions of ancient writers to use them for technical terminology, even in the case of reputable historians like Polybius, for they did not use technical terms with any consistency, and without corroborating evidence it is impossible to tell instances when they do use technical terms from those where they are merely descriptive.”

R. ENGEL, Untersuchungen zum Machtaufstieg des Antigonos I. Monophthalmos. Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der frühen Diadochenzeit, Kallmünz (s.d.), p. 24, also remarks “[w]ie großzügig, ja leichtfertig die griechischen Historiografen, nicht zuletzt Diodor, oftmals bloße Titel wie ,Chiliarch’, ‚Epimelet’, ‚Prostates’ oder ‚Stratege’ anwenden und ggf. durch zusätzliche Bestandteile erweitern (...)”.

M.B. HATZOPOULOS, A Century and a Lustrum of Macedonian Studies, AncW 4 (1981), p. 104: “Even in cases where political prejudice was absent, poor information and lack of understanding of Macedonian institutions make those ancient writers too often unreliable witnesses of contemporary Macedonian society.”

R.D. MILNS, A Note on Diodorus and Macedonian Military Terminology in Book XVII, Historia 31 (1982), p. 123: “Diodorus [in book XVII] (…) either is little acquainted with or chooses not to display his knowledge of Macedonian military and courtly technical terminology; and on the occasions when he does mention something which is recognisably ‘Macedonian’ and ‘technical’, it is almost invariably incorrectly used”.

H. HAUBEN, Onesicritus and the Hellenistic “Archikybernesis”, in W. WILL & J. HEINRICHS (edd.), Zu Alexander d.Gr. Festschrift G. Wirth zum 60. Geburtstag am 9.12.86, vol. I, Amsterdam 1987, p. 571: “Moreover, as is generally known, the reliability of such sources in matters of titles and nomenclature is not always above suspicion (...)”.

N.G.L. HAMMOND, in id. & F.W. WALBANK, A History of Macedonia III, Oxford 1988, p. 192 n. 3: “(…)authors like Diodorus and Polyaenus, uninterested in the detail of constitutional procedures (…)”.

The only one who seems to disagree is J. SEIBERT, Untersuchungen zur Geschichte Ptolemaios’ I. (Münchener Beiträge zur Papyrusforschung und antiken Rechtsgeschichte 56), München 1969, p. 65: “(…) bei Diodor ist eine exakte Benutzung der staatsrechtlichen Termini der Diadochenzeit zu beobachten”. But he has his own axe to grind and his view clearly is inspired by the need of the Quellenforscher who can thus attribute every mistake concerning these termini to a change of source.

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Post by Paralus » Tue Dec 18, 2007 11:23 pm

abm wrote:This seems to be something almost everyone agrees on.
Almost. There are some who will state that the sources' use of such terminology is clear and concise and cannot be gainsayed. Something I think the extant record does not support.
abm wrote:[The only one who seems to disagree is J. SEIBERT, Untersuchungen zur Geschichte Ptolemaios’ I. (Münchener Beiträge zur Papyrusforschung und antiken Rechtsgeschichte 56), München 1969, p. 65: “(…) bei Diodor ist eine exakte Benutzung der staatsrechtlichen Termini der Diadochenzeit zu beobachten”. But he has his own axe to grind and his view clearly is inspired by the need of the Quellenforscher who can thus attribute every mistake concerning these termini to a change of source.
As Joe Jackson would sing: "And so there goes your proof”.

Wish I could read German!

Yes, life is much simpler when you can blame “slavish copiers” who distort their source material via sloppiness and ineptitude.

Just on which, have you read Peter Green’s translation and commentary of Diodorus Siculus, Books 11-12.37.1 ?

Flicked you a pm.
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Post by abm » Wed Dec 19, 2007 2:55 pm

A quick attempt at translating Seibert's statement in what is hopefully correct English: "(...) in Diodorus an exact usage of constitutional terminology of the age of the Successors is to be observed."

I have read part of Green's book, but to be honest, I was rather disappointed by it. The preface which could be read in advance of publication on the publisher's website promised that Green would definitively establish a new and more balanced view on Diodorus. So far I have read the introduction and part of the notes to the translation, and I haven't seen much of the promise become true. His view on Diodorus does not really seem more balanced than that of Sacks (Diodorus Siculus and the First Century) or Chamoux (in the general introduction to the Budé edition), and seems to me to be somewhat too positive toward Diodorus. Green does offer many interesting remarks on Diodorus, but his thesis that Diodorus has personally used Herodotus, Thucydides and Ephorus to create his own narrative is hardly supported with arguments. The main point seems to be: Diodorus was not as stupid as everyone thinks and consequently it is not unlikely that he intelligently blended various sources. I can agree with this (more or less), because I already held the same basic view, but I doubt anyone who sticks to the traditional view on Diodorus would be convinced by this. The introduction is not elaborate enough to really argue the point and the notes are mostly historical and not historiographical. This is to be regretted, especially because a scholar like Green who is so thoroughly acquainted with ancient history and literature will certainly have many interesting things to say here.

Someone like Stylianou who wrote a commentary on Diodorus XV, and considers Diodorus to be almost completely stupid, will not be convinced by Green's book at all. For Stylianou's view see his review of Sacks's book in BMCR (http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/bmcr/1991/02.06.19.html) and Green's review of Stylianou's commentary in the same journal (http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/bmcr/1999/1999-10-11.html). Just like Sacks, Green takes for granted that Diodorus cannot have been as stupid as most scholars think. Even if common sense can only agree with this, Stylianou's review of Sacks shows that this will not convince most scholars holding the traditional view. What a study on Diodorus, and especially a commentary, should do is to analyse his text in detail and show the traces of Diodorus' own activity instead of simply assuming that they must be there. One of the best studies in this respect still is Neubert's thin dissertation of 1890 entitled Spuren selbständiger Thätigkeit bei Diodor (Traces of Independent activity in Diodorus), but much more remains to be said. This approach alone can convince those who do not believe the logical assumption that an author who could decide to write a book that turned out to be very popular from (late?) antiquity until the 18th century was capable of independent thinking. As Stylianou's work demonstrates, Quellenforschung again plays its part here. If Diodorus was capable of independent thinking, it becomes much harder to study lost historians such as Ephorus or Hieronymus through his work. Apparently many people prefer to neglect this instead of taking up the scholarly challenge of scrutinizing what can really be said about these lost authors.

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Post by Paralus » Thu Dec 20, 2007 12:13 pm

abm wrote: As Stylianou's work demonstrates, Quellenforschung again plays its part here. If Diodorus was capable of independent thinking, it becomes much harder to study lost historians such as Ephorus or Hieronymus through his work. Apparently many people prefer to neglect this instead of taking up the scholarly challenge of scrutinizing what can really be said about these lost authors.
Personally, I do not think there is any doubt that Diodorus was capable of "independent thinking". This is not to suggest he was any Thucydides. Any man who decided to set about a "Readers' Digest" style conspectus of the extant "histories" available at his time is going to copy and, to use the current vernacular, "cut and paste".

Whilst he does, on occasion, indicate the source material he is using, he is not ever consistent in doing so. Nor is he consistent in following that which he might suggest he is using! The “method” of summarising the various authors, in various times, is always going to lead to mere “copy and paste” of sections and temporal stuff-ups with other sections and authors. This the more so as Greek “historiography” grew over the late fifth century and “blossomed” into the fourth and onwards.

Still, today, his books 18 to 20 excite within me the notion of just how well he might have been regarded had he summarised more consistent and better written source material. The obvious – and well agreed – source for the large bulk of this material is Hieronymus. What one would give for an extant copy of his “history”. The description of the Iranian campaign of the second Diadoch war is marvellous – even allowing for the serious abridging.

It is this (amongst other things) that makes me doubt his reliance upon Thucydides in his earlier books. Diodorus is nowhere near as “lucid” or, for want of a better word, descriptive.

Mind you, apart from the Sicilian expedition, Brasidas, Mantinea and – possibly – the descriptions of Phormio, casual reading of Thucydides can be a piece of work. Leaving aside, of course, the great set pieces: the Funeral Oration, Melos et al.
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Post by Efstathios » Thu Dec 20, 2007 12:27 pm

My belief is that we cannot study lost works through existing woks. Only get an idea about what was written in these lost works. We dont know in which extent the original source has been altered by the writter that used it. It's not quotes we are talking about here, but just usage of the matterial of one writter, by another writter.

Has anyone got an update concerning the Oxyrynchus papyri project? If there is anything new to be found, it will probably come from there.

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Post by Paralus » Thu Dec 20, 2007 12:31 pm

I too would be much interested Stathi. Oxyrynchus has much to say about Xenophon and, not a little about, Thucydides' thunderous silences.
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Post by Paralus » Thu Dec 20, 2007 12:41 pm

Forgot to send you those photos too....oops! Never mind. I'm on my son's computer and the photos are on mine - which Anne-Marie is using to compile a journal of our trip this time last year..almost. How quick did that go Stathi?
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Post by Efstathios » Thu Dec 20, 2007 12:47 pm

How quick did that go Stathi?
You mean since last year when you came to Greece? Very quick. Sometime you must consider arranging another trip here to visit Macedonia this time :)

I didnt have the chance to get photos from the opposition due to very cold and cloudy weather, but i have one from some days ago. I'll send it on pm in a while.

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