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.
Trogus/Justin wrote:where Olympias, the mother of Alexander, was, who would be no small support to their party, while the good will of their countrymen would be with them, from respect to the names of Alexander and Philippus.
We note that Olympias is considered apart from the respect for Alexander and Philip. We also note that Olympias, herself, "would be no small support" for the Perdikkan cause.
Xenophon wrote: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?
Diodorus' source does not suggest that the contents of Kassanros' mind are known. That source relates exactly what Kassandros did: trial without any defence; the need to have the relatives make the case - a case you consider completely open and shut; denial of a second hearing where Olympias can put her case. The reason is clearly that Kassandros will not afford the Macedonians the chance to change their view. Something Kassandros knows they have done already and will do again (as I've already shown). He will have Herakles murdered for exactly the same reasons.
Xenophon wrote: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.[…] 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.
I’d note that others have disposed of this line of reasoning and add only three things. Firstly it does not do to claim that Diodorus’ source was biased for Antiogonon Monophthalmos and against Kassandros and then, on this basis, proceed to claim any action of Kassandros that does not conform to a particular view as “propaganda” to be thus set aside as untrue. One wonders what we might ever be left with if our sources were all treated in such a fashion. I might as easily claim source bias against Olympias on this line of “reasoning” citing the overturned graves and murders of Kassandros' supporters as “untruths”, exaggerated or “propaganda”.
Secondly, on the pages, I confess to not having checked the Greek whilst compiling the list of passages where Diodorus maligns Antigonos. I see that Agesilaos has posted that and what is being referred to here are the ‘brothers’ or syntrophoi. We can readily remove this from the list of supposed egregious untruths in Diodorus’ source.
Thirdly, Diodorus lists the actions of Kassandros, post Olympias death, in a thematic excursus. Those actions clearly and strongly indicate that Kassandros, as Diodorus writes, was acting as does a king. The burial of the “royal predecessor” and the foundation of an eponymus city are clearly “kingly acts”. The marriage to Thessalonike was also clearly aimed at adding Argead legitimacy to his pretensions. Denial of these matters as “untruths” or propaganda is somewhat perverse.
On the matter of “without comment”, I’d note that Diodorus does not claim that Kassandros was a “man of blood” (Perdikkas); a traitor to the kings (Antigonos); wished to rule over the entire empire (Antigonos); was regarded with contempt (Polyperchon); etc. The killing of Aristonous is done for the self-same reasons Antigonos disposed of Peithon and it might pay to consider that neither man (Antigonos and even more so Kassandros) participated in the great eastern anabasis (Antigonos being left in Phrygia). Both men had to deal with those who had received “preferment” at the hands of Alexander and both resorted to similar solutions.
Xenophon wrote: 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 ?
As easily as you can decide the king and his mother were simply in “safe keeping”. Diodorus is clear that Kassandros removed the young king’s syntrophoi
along with any other mark of royal status. The act clearly delegitimises the young AlexanderIV. The king(s) had been the wards of four regents (ἐπιμελητὴν δὲ τῆς βασιλείας): Perdikkas; Peithon and Arrhidaeus; Polyperchon) if we discount Antigonos’ several months before Antipatros removed the kings from his custody. None of these regents are ever attested to have imprisoned or, more to the point, removed all the royal trappings from the king as did Kassandros.
Xenophon wrote: 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 source(s) of Diodorus 18-20 are a matter of evolving debate. Statements such that Diodorus 18-20 are a reliable mirror of Hieronymus or that Hieronymus’ “account can be retrieved with satisfying fullness from Diodorus Books 18-20” (Hornblower, The Cambridge Companion to Herodotus
, Cambridge, 312) have been, and continue to be, challenged. An entire ‘industry’ has grown up around a non-extant historian on this basis. A basis that is largely circular. For example, Hieronymus was a serious military historian and thus Diodorus’ detailed military narratives in 18-20 are due to using Hieronymus as his source. That Hieronymus is a very competent military historian is arrived at from Diodorus detailed narrative. One gets the point.
More to the point, as I replied yesterday, if Hieronymus is the
source of 18-20, some serious problems need to be addressed. As is well known, Hieronymus wrote his history under Antigonid patronage. Hieronymus’ reputation was widely known in the ancient world as Pausanias informs us:
The account, however, given by Hieronymus the Cardian is different, for a man who associates with royalty cannot help being a partial historian. If Philistus was justified in suppressing the most wicked deeds of Dionysius, because he expected his return to Syracuse, surely Hieronymus may be fully forgiven for writing to please Antigonus (1.13.9).
But this Hieronymus has a reputation generally of being biased against all the kings except Antigonus, and of being unfairly partial towards him (1.9.8).
The first tells us that Hieronymus wrote “to please Antigonos (Gonatas)”. Writing at the Antigonid court, Hieronymus could hardly have done otherwise and so his history certainly painted the Antigonids in a rosy light. The second passage makes plain that Hiernonymus was widely known in the ancient world as being partial towards Antigonos and, by extension, the Antigonid dynasty. If any ‘bias’ exists in the original work it will have been toward Hieronymus’ patrons – the Antigonids. We could expect that their actions were described in a positive light.
It is most surprising, then, that as I wrote earlier, the founder of that dynasty is repeatedly described by Diodorus’ source as a rebel or traitor (ἀποστάτην) to the monarchy; that he is, as opposed to the other Diadochi, overly ambitious and wishing to rule all; that he is the opposite of a proper king due to his harshness/arrogance. I have discussed the the idea of Antigonos being a rebel in earlier posts and his ambitions are plain in the sources. It is the latter that requires some attention.
The proper attributes of the good king were ἐπιεικείας and φιλανθρώπως or ‘fairness’ and ‘kindness’. Antigonos’ two great enemies, Ptolemy and Seleukos, are both described as possessing these qualities (18.14.1, 18.4, 19.55.5 & 19.92.5 respectively). Ptolemy is three times so described in eulogistic passages and, at 19.55.5, is described as such while being explicitly contrasted with Antigonos. In absolute stark contrast, these terms are never used to describe Antigonos’ character. He is, as I’ve shown, described as overly ambitious, arrogant and a rebel.
19.55.5 is illuminating in another sense. Not only are Antigonos and his actions compared to Ptolemy’s more kingly nature, but it also highlights a passage where Seleukos gets a good airing. It is an instance where Seleukid propaganda intrudes. At 19.90.4 Seleukos is presaged as king and it seems that the gods and Alexander are on his side in his ventures. That Seleukos is presented as favoured by the gods and Alexander in contrast to Antigonos is very difficult to comprehend in a court historian.
It remains highly problematical to the ‘Hieronyman industry’ that a court historian of the Antigonids could actually write such material. As I’ve been at pains to point out, Hieronymus, working under Antigonid patronage, can hardly have produced such a denigratory portrait of the dynasty’s founder all the while producing such encomiastic descriptions of that founder’s great enemies.