Xenophon wrote:It is also noticeable that Olympias apparently did not have much, if any, personal popularity – contra Paralus’ assertion. Her ‘kudos’ came purely from her position as representative of the Royal family, wife of Philip, and mother of Alexander. It was the institution of the monarchy that was respected and venerated by the Makedones, not Olympias ‘per se’, which comes across in our sources:
Before we progress to the sources, it might be well to correct that last statement. It is not simply the institution that is respected in these cases, but the royal family – that of Philip including his son Alexander III and his wife Olympias as the sources relate .
....that is not “correcting” anything, because it is simply wrong! What I have said is “correct” and it is your addition of “and his wife Olympias” that you have slipped in which is incorrect. Nowhere is Olympias ‘respected’ on her own account, or for her own deeds or qualities, but only on account of her position. She simply basks in the reflected glory of her husband King Philip and her son King Alexander, and it is the ‘benefits’ to Macedon that they have brought that are the basis of the Macedonians honouring their glory and reknown, as the quotations above ( and others) are careful to make clear. One gains the distinct impression that Olympias was not at all well-liked, and not just by the numerous supporters of the Antipatrids. Contrast the reaction to the death of Philip and Eurydike with the non-reaction to her death, for example.
On the sources, Xenophon fails to note the two clear factors our original source continually noted: Olympias and the benefits conferred by her husband and son. The first passage adduced, from Perdikkas’ synhedrion of winter 321/20, marks this out clearly and indisputably and this is echoed in the following two more summary statements. The import of the original source is plain.
Indeed it is – Olympias is only noted for her ‘position’ i.e. as wife and mother of the real benefactors, Philip and Alexander.It is they, not her, who are venerated.
Cassander, fearing that the crowd might change its mind if it heard the queen defend herself and was reminded of all the benefits conferred on the entire nation by Alexander and Philip
This latter is supposition and speculation on the part of Diodorus/his source, likely Hieronymous, propagandist for Antigonus !!
Two points here. Firstly, this is hardly supposition and speculation “here” as these same reasons are given throughout. Why it must be “supposition and speculation” in this notice is difficult to see.
You misunderstand. The supposition and speculation is that Cassander fears that the crowd might change its mind. What could the original source know of the contents of Kassander’s mind, or the prospects of those present [Kassander's own men! ]changing its collective mind?
Secondly, we have the claim that Diodorus’ source here is “likely” Hieronymus who is a “propagandist for Antigonos”. Now, “likely” means the Kardian might well be but he might not. It would seem from what follows though that, for Xenophon, he most certainly is Diodorus’ source:................
It has been ‘communis opinio’ that Hieronymous is the most likely source of Diodorus for Books XVIII-XX inclusive, but not absolutely certain, for the best part of 100 years, hence my conservative ‘likely’. If thereafter I say ‘Hieronymous’, that is merely for convenience. Should I have continually written “Diodoros’-source-who-was-almost-certainly-Hieronymous” ? Are you inferring that there was some other source for this section?
.........The argument is as simple as it is unconvincing: Hieronymus, the certain source for Diodorus here, is pro-Antigonos and therefore anti-Kassandros. Thus accusations of murder and claims of support for Olympias are to be set aside as the product of Hieronymus’ bias. In fact Diodorus, unlike the later imperial Roman sources, all of whom carry a consistently negative and hostile portrayal of Antipatros’ son, reports Kassandros’ activities without comment. He is, in fact, consistently described as an effective and successful commander who wins allies and acts decisively (18.75.1-2 being indicative). One might compare this portrayal to that of Polyperchon.
Are you saying that Diodoros’-source-who-was-almost-certainly-Hieronymous is unbiased because he reports Kassander’s doings “without comment”? A source doesn’t have to comment or criticise to be biased or even downright hostile, or to report untruths. You forget to mention that ‘Hieronymous’ was in the service of Antigonus around this time, and that Antigonus was the enemy of Kassander from not long after these events (315 BC). Antigonus dispatched money and agents to Greece, including offering Polyperchon a commission as his general in Europe - which was accepted. Then Antigonus called an assembly of his own army, before which he denounced Kassander for the murder of Olympias and the incarceration of Roxane and Alexander IV among other things. Failure to submit to Antigonus’ authority and surrender the royal family meant that Cassander would be declared a public enemy - incidently none of which had any impact at all in Macedonia. Unsurprisingly Kassander is denigrated by a writer in the service of Antigonus.
There are plenty of examples of “anti-Kassander”propaganda and I have alluded to a number of them where Kassander is painted in a poor light. The way in which Aristonous was disposed of, the alleged need to‘urge’ the relatives to accuse Olympias, his supposed plan to murder her at sea [ again, how could anyone know of such a supposed secret plan?], his supposed fear of Olympias when she was hopelessly without support and helplessly within his power, his treatment of her corpse, his supposed early ambitions to be King, and early plans to kill little Alexander IV and his mother, his supposed removal of the non-existent ‘paides’ and royal privileges of Alexander [something of a giveaway of an intent which still lay far in the future, one might imagine] – the list goes on.
“Safe custody” can only be considered a euphemism at the very best.It was nothing of the sort as the sources relate. There is no reason to doubt that boy was being brought up with ‘paides’. Diodorus notes Kassandros ensured “that he should no longer have royal treatment”. Alexander IV was thus denied anything relating to his royal status. He was a prisoner of Kassandros pure and simple.
How can you, or Diodorus, or Hieronymous for that matter, know under what conditions Alexander lived, especially if it was behind closed doors in Amphipolis ? In fact, controlling the legitimate King was one of Kassander’s trump cards so he would have been well looked after, and he would continue to do so down to 311, when the Diadochi entered a peace treaty which confirmed the status quo, namely Kassander as General of Europe, Ptolemy in Egypt, Lysimachus in Thrace, and Antigonus as ‘first in Asia’, all until Alexander IV reached his age of majority. And there was the rub, as they all had much to lose in that event. Probably over the winter of 311/10,Kassander, acting for all – it may even have been a secret term of the treaty - killed Alexander IV in secret, which finally brought the Argead Dynasty to an end. Interestingly, in the light of Diodorus accusations as to Kassander's supposed early ambitions to be King, he is the last of 'the big four' to call himself "King", even after the others refer to him as such, according to Plutarch.
As to ‘paides’, this institution was a form of ‘Royal’education for the teen-aged nobility of Macedon 14-18. To suggest that a 6 or 7 year old boy would be surrounded by such is pretty unlikely, perhaps even an absurdity.
One might ask, given the certain nature of these claims, just how well does the evidence support them? The notion of an “anti-Kassandros” bias has been dealt with above, how does Antigonos fare in the pro-Antigonos “Diodorus/Hieronymus”? The answer is, oddly enough, not very well at all. Just as Kassandros is consistently portrayed and successful and decisive, Antigonos is consistently portrayed as overly ambitious (18.41.4-5, 47.5, 50.1-2 & 5, 54.4, 58.4; 19.55.4-6, 56.2). He is often referred as being “arrogant” or “harsh” (18.52.4; 19.56.2; 20.106.3) – the opposite of the ‘proper’ king and in stark contrast to the portrayal of his enemy, Ptolemy. Far more condemnatory is the constant description throughout period of Antigonos as a rebel against the kings (18.55.2; 57.3; 62.3; 63.4). Hieronymus, the “propagandist for Antigonos”, would seem quite happy to describe Antigonos as a traitor to the monarchy as well as wishing to take over the entire empire while refusing to obey the kings and behaving in an arrogant or harsh manner.
.......in fact for each of these criticisms of Antigonus, one can find praise as well – he is described as a military genius for example. Diodorus' treatment of Antigonus is generally sympathetic, even if Antigonus is never presented as a hero as are both Eumenes and Demetrius whom Hieronymous also served.
Kassandros was nowhere near as certain in his position at the time of Olympias' murder as you would claim and the sources demonstrate this.
….In any case, how could Hieronymous know what Kassander thought ?
I fail to understand this. No one has suggested that Hieronymus knew what Kassandros was thinking. Diodorus relates the actions and decisions of Kassandros and it is these actions and decisions which demonstrate the security or otherwise of his position.
Simple enough. You claim that the sources demonstrate that Kassander was not certain of his position, and somehow feared Olympias. [“Cassander, fearing that the crowd might change its mind if it heard the Queen defend herself....
” DS XIX.51.4] Hieronymous-or-whoever-the original-source was had no way of knowing Kassander’s thoughts or fears or motives for a swift execution, and it doesn’t seem very likely that his soldiers – many of them connected to Olympias’ victims – would mutiny and go over to her, even if some of them balked at actually killing her, as I pointed out in the passage you reference......
Guessing/speculating as to the motives for "Actions and decisions" is not evidence of anything. Maybe Kassander had her killed quickly simply out of hatred. Or simply to get the whole thing 'over with'.
Xenophon wrote:Paralus wrote:
"Arguing that I've confused this favour or "popularity" with "abhorrence of regicide" is not correct."
A ‘straw man’ since I argue no such thing. Olympias was not “popular” in any modern sense of the word.
Hardly. But in fairness, the advice was on another thread and the word was “loyalty” but the import is the same.
Xenophon wrote:One should not confuse a natural abhorrence to the crime of regicide with ‘loyalty’.
..........quite correct too!! Refusal to carry out cold-blooded murder, and of Royalty to boot, didn’t make Kassander’s troops any less loyal to him !!
Nice of you to link to the reference so it can be read in its correct context.