Alexander Sisicottos and Heph

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Dr. Pal

Alexander Sisicottos and Heph

Postby Dr. Pal » Thu Sep 11, 2003 1:33 am

Dear Scott,It is a pity that your thread slipped out of the page although it was started only recently. The discussions it sparked off were truly fascinating. I agree with Nick that in those days allegiances could be very flexible and that GÇÿup to - or even during - the rise of Alexander, Macedonia behaved more or less like a Persian vassal stateGÇÖ. This brings one to a man I am almost obssessed with GÇô Bagoas the Elder. What sort of relation did he have with Phillip? Did Alexander know him too? So much has been said about Memnon but was Orontobates also in the court of Alexander?Lane Fox says Sisines was most probably a courtier of Alexander. I tend to think Sisines is the same as Sisicottos who was the same as Orontobates. I have repeated so often(see http://www.geocities.com/ranajitda) that Sasigupta was the same as Chandragupta.
Tre rightly imputes that Artabazus and Memnon may have been purely spies. I feel they may have played double roles. Did any covert understanding with Memnon/Orontobates play any role in AlexanderGÇÖs decision to go ahead with the expedition? This would explain AlexanderGÇÖs anger aimed at Memnon at Granicus. When I wrote my book Non-Jonesian Indology and Alexander I had the idea that only Moeris/Sasigupta was a master of chicanery but I later realised that Alexander also did not desist from using trickery.Finally if one notes the shadow of Moeris/Sasigupta/Tiridates behind Alexander one probably gets a better understanding of his actions after the death of Heph. Here I would disagree with Karen that his behaviour exposes an abnormal relation. It was perhaps a combination of fear and lost love that explains AlexanderGÇÖs intense reaction. No one seems to bother about the effect Calanus had on AlexanderGÇÖs mind and in this respect only Heph. was always beside him. I think Heph was poisoned by PerdiccasGÇÖ father-in-law and Alexander may have seen the noose tightening around his neck.Regards,Dr. Pal

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Re: Alexander Sisicottos and Heph

Postby nick » Thu Sep 11, 2003 11:50 am

Dear dr. Pal -I can not express what a delight it is to have you back on the Forum. Thanks for your input.I have never come across your book about Alexander. Maybe reading that would clear up many of my misunderstandings. (Sometimes I'm hardly able to follow your arguments that 'Sisines' was the same person as 'Sasanes' and the same as 'Sosones'.) Can you please tell me where I would be able to buy a copy of your book?Best regards -
Nick

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Re: Alexander Sisicottos and Heph

Postby susan » Thu Sep 11, 2003 3:04 pm

Dr Pal
How nice to hear from you again. Looking at the Susa marriages, I was struck by the fact that Eumenes & Ptolemy were married to daughters of Artabazus, and Nearchus to his grand-daughter - so obviously Artabazus' family still retained their power. Do you have any views on why this was , and how does it fit in with Atropates' plots ?RegardsSusan

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Re: Alexander Sisicottos and Heph

Postby Dr. Pal » Thu Sep 11, 2003 9:50 pm

Dear Nick,Apart from my professional work(transformer manufacturing), I was rather busy writing a paper on Asoka which has now been accepted for publication in the journal Scholia. I saw Scott's thread when I was at Bombay but by the time I returned to Calcutta it had dropped out. I have been also trying hard to find Alexander and Jesus in the Jataka stories but I have not succeeded. My book is availabale from Amazon Uk and Amazon Japan. Thanks very much for your kind words.Regards,Dr. Pal

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Re: Alexander Sisicottos and Heph

Postby ScottOden » Fri Sep 12, 2003 9:47 am

Dr. Pal,Thanks for your thoughts on the matter of Artabazus and Memnon in Macedonia. I'm still leaning toward Nick's assessment of Artabazus being accepted into Macedonian society. There was no indication that he would ever be allowed to return to Persia, at least while Ochus yet lived, so when they arrived at Pella, they arrived more as refugees seeking permanent asylum than as spies. I do agree, though, that Artabazus and Memnon both kept their eyes open and filed away tidbits of info regarding the Macedonians, just as Philip probably pressed them for info about Persia.To my knowledge, Alexander held no grudges toward either Memnon or Artabazus. His brutality toward the mercenaries at Granicus (where more Greeks were killed under the pretense of freeing the Greek cities of Asia than were slain in the whole of the Persian Wars) was more of an object lesson: "How dare they fight against me!" Diodorus puts Memnon on the extreme Persian left, commanding a body of cavalry rather than with the infantry, which was why he escaped the wholesale slaughter. Later in his reign, Artabazus becomes one of Alexander's closest Persian advisors.Something that intrigues me is what, if any, interaction did Memnon have with Bagoas the Kingmaker? Why, too, wasn't Artabazus offered the throne, since his mother was a daughter of Artaxerxes II? Or did Bagoas offer it only to be rebuffed? Every answer uncovers a dozen more questions :)All the Best,Scott Oden

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Re: Alexander Sisicottos and Heph

Postby Dr. Pal » Sat Sep 13, 2003 7:40 am

Dear Suasn and Scott,Like most of the figures around him I find it difficult to estimate Artabazus. From what we know about the nature of Ochus his rebellion against him appears pardonable. His fidelity to Darius III is also mentioned and he fought beside him at Gaugamela but Alexander is said to have GÇÿunderstood his loyalty to DariusGÇÖ and he rewarded him with the satrapy of Bactria. We may remember that his daughter Barsine was AlexanderGÇÖs mistress. I am greatly perplexed by BarsineGÇÖs presence in AlexanderGÇÖs household. Granted that she was famous for her beauty and had Greek education - in my view AlexanderGÇÖs association with her takes him close to Bagoas.Memnon had powerful influence over Bagoas. His brother Mentor who was ArtabazusGÇÖ son-in-law was perhaps the only person in the world Bagoas feared. For Mentor was the master of Mercenaries without whom the Persian empire could not function properly. Mentor freed Bagoas when he was imprisoned. Together with his master the bloodthirsty Bagoas embarked upon a killing spree. I believe this was one of the main reasons that led to the downfall of the Persian Empire. And then there was Alexander. BagoasGÇÖ preferred weapon was poison. I have often said that I do not quite trust DiodorusGÇÖ version of his death. In at least one of the reports he springs up at Babylon just before AlexanderGÇÖs death. It is possible that Diodorus gives us what the Greeks knew and the Greeks may not have known the full truth. Bagoas may just have feigned death and escaped. In the Indian texts he is said to have made Chandragupta drink small doses of poison daily to get immunity against it and he could have taken the same precaution himself. Lane Fox also writes that DiodorusGÇÖ account sounds rather flimsy. In the Sanskrit drama Mudrarakshasa Chandragupta becomes king with his assistance.Regards,Dr. Pal

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Re: Bagoas and Bagoas

Postby nick » Sat Sep 13, 2003 12:39 pm

Dear dr. Pal -How do you think about the interpretation that Bagoas who killed Arses and Ochus Artaxerxes was a different Bagoas from the one that earned Alexander's affection? After all, our sources say that Darius III killed the former Bagoas...I would really like to read your views.Best regards -
Nick

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Re: Alexander Sisicottos and Heph

Postby Dr. Pal » Sun Sep 14, 2003 12:31 am

Dear Nick,I must admit I do not have clinching evidence to discard DiodorusGÇÖ account. There isnt any unanimity in the Indian sources about Bagoas (Chanakya) aiding Chandragupta and the date of the drama Mudrarakshasa is also uncertain although I tend to think its core belongs to the fourth century BC. I have even written in my book that Vishakhadatta, the author of the drama, is Chandragupta himself. I feel Chandragupta may have been inspired by the drama Agen allegedly written by Alexander. In my opinion this very early and invaluable document has remained unexplored only due to JonesGÇÖ blunder. In the drama the physician Abhayagupta dies after he fails to poison Chandragupta and he is forced to drink his own cup. This echoes DiodorusGÇÖ story.I do not think that Bagoas who earned AlexanderGÇÖs affection was the same as Bagoas the Prime minister of Ochus. I feel certain that he was a spy but I think Mary Renault went too far about his influence on Alexander. Nick I know that you are very well versed about the Persian Empire but I think your rating of OlmsteadGÇÖs work was rather unfair. Olmstead isnt very good on social matters but I have greatly benefitted from his work. His critical analysis of DariusGÇÖ Behistun inscription denigrating Gomata was an eye-opener.Regards,Dr. Pal


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