Scientists to scan remains of King Philip II

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Re: Scientists to scan remains of King Philip II

Post by Xenophon »

Agesilaos wrote:
Once again the curse of a loose translation, this one, the Loeb. is true to the Greek and clears up many of the problems that the previous one threw up as mere artefacts of the rendering of the Greek.....
Hhh..mm..mm two conflicting translations? What makes you think it is the second that is correct? My primitive Greek is insufficient. And if the latter is correct, could the report of Diyllos as given by Athenaeus be misreported - you seem to hint at that possibility yourself? This is all the more so, since as you observe, Diodorus XIX.52-53 has the restoration of Thebes occurring AFTER the burials:-
After this, already conducting himself as a king in administering the affairs of the realm, he buried Eurydicê and Philip, the queen and king, and also Cynna, whom Alcetas had slain, in Aegae as was the royal custom.12 After honouring the dead with funeral games, he enrolled those of the Macedonians who were fit for military service, for he had decided to make a campaign into the Peloponnesus. 6 While Cassander was engaged with these matters, Polyperchon was being besieged in Azorius13 in Perrhaebia, but on hearing of the death of Olympias he finally, despairing of success in Macedonia, escaped from the city with a few followers. Leaving Thessaly and taking over the troops led by Aeacides,14 he withdrew into Aetolia, believing that he could wait there with greatest safety and observe the changes in the situation; for as it chanced he was on friendly terms with this people.

53 1 But Cassander, after assembling an adequate force, set out from Macedonia, desiring to drive Polyperchon's son Alexander from the Peloponnesus; for of those who opposed Cassander he alone was left with an army, and he had occupied strategically situated cities and districts. Cassander crossed Thessaly without loss, but when he found the pass at Thermopylae guarded by Aetolians, he with difficulty dislodged them and entered Boeotia. 2 Summoning from all sides those of the Thebans who survived, he undertook to re-establish Thebes,15 for he assumed that this was a most excellent opportunity to set up once more a city that had been widely known both for its achievements and for the myths that had been handed down about it; and he supposed that by this benevolent act he would acquire undying fame.
Agesilaos wrote:
Only three fragments of Diyllos survive so any comments about his reliability style etc are optimistic to say the least; Hammond 'Three Historians', even claims that he was fond of courtroom scenes, amazing since none of the fragments is a trial nor any of the terminology legalistic!
Xenophon wrote:
Diyllus was reckoned a competent source and authority by Plutarch and Diodorus.
...because both used him as a seemingly reliable source. In fact Wachsmuth suggested that Diyllus was a main source ( since he too wrote a 'universal' history) for Diodorus....[Curt Wachsmuth, Ueber das Geschichtswerk des Sikelioten Diodorus, Vol. 2 (Leipzig, 1892)]
Perhaps Hammond was relying, like me, on the opinion of Plutarch and Diodorus, who clearly had access to the whole work presumably, rather than the three surviving fragments.....

But we digress. The fragment of Diyllus reported by Athenaeus you found is of great importance, for it re-inforces the slightly ambiguous report of Diodorus that the three were buried together in a single funeral...
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Re: Scientists to scan remains of King Philip II

Post by agesilaos »

It is something of a leap to say that if Plutarch and Diodorus use a source that source is reliable; Plutarch is an omnivore using anything he considers that illuminates his subject's character, as he explains in the introduction to the Life of Alexander, Diodoros chose Ephoros over Herodotos for the period of the Persian Wars and Ctesias for Assyrian History rather than Berossus, not forgetting Kleitarchos over Ptolemy; reliability does not seem to have been his overriding criterion! :P

I have no trouble with the information in the fragments, which is hardly controversial; in fact I prefer Diyllos specifac timing to Diodoros' implied one. Diodoros reports things within a year according to rubrick as much as strict chronology, this is not surprising as having to repeat contextualising matter would up his word count, so when he describes Kassandros as 'already conducting himself as a king in administering the affairs of the realm' he then gives the most obvious example towhit burying his predecessor at Aigai. In all probability he took the example from his source but saw no need to repeat the notice at the correct chronological point only a chapter later, in his work.

A triple burial need not imply three corpses; Kynna had been slain five years earlier and quite probably already cremated; the Royal Army had nigh on mutinied when they heard of Alketas' 'initiative' (he certainly comes across as one of History's dolts - although that may reflect his rivalry with Eumenes rather than the facts). If Kassandros could have recovered her physical remains they may well have been scattered in the tomb robbing or, if re-cremated, completely reduced to ash.
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Re: Scientists to scan remains of King Philip II

Post by Xenophon »

Agesilaus wrote:
It is something of a leap to say that if Plutarch and Diodorus use a source that source is reliable;
I didn't say that, I cautiously said "seemingly reliable".....and since we don't have sufficient of his work to judge for ourselves, how can we do other than accept Plutarchs' and Diodorus' useage ?
A triple burial need not imply three corpses; Kynna had been slain five years earlier and quite probably already cremated; the Royal Army had nigh on mutinied when they heard of Alketas' 'initiative' (he certainly comes across as one of History's dolts - although that may reflect his rivalry with Eumenes rather than the facts). If Kassandros could have recovered her physical remains they may well have been scattered in the tomb robbing or, if re-cremated, completely reduced to ash.
"tomb robbing" ? The 'Philip' tomb was undisturbed, AFIK. Or are you referring to her original burial ? Worse still for this hypothesis of scattered ashes or complete reduction, the remains of the TWO occupants were placed in gold Larnakes, which in turn were placed in large marble sarcophagi.....where is the third one of these? Even if Kassandros had only a token handful of ashes/dust, these would have been given 'proper' burial in a larnax inside a sarchophagus.

The likelihood that this was the tomb of Philip Arrhidaeus, Eurydike and Kynna continues to diminish, with its adherents 'proof' all evaporated in dating terms, and the fact that the 'Philip' tomb held only two occupants....
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Re: Scientists to scan remains of King Philip II

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Those two larnakes contained the remains of Royals not relatives, and I am sure that it is thought thatTomb II includes recovered material from Tomb I, so that it too was violated and that the archaeological find was of the re-burial; that said I would only claim the case is still open, neither side has conclusive evidence.
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Re: Scientists to scan remains of King Philip II

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agesilaos wrote:I have no trouble with the information in the fragments, which is hardly controversial; in fact I prefer Diyllos specifac timing to Diodoros' implied one. Diodoros reports things within a year according to rubrick as much as strict chronology, this is not surprising as having to repeat contextualising matter would up his word count, so when he describes Kassandros as 'already conducting himself as a king in administering the affairs of the realm' he then gives the most obvious example towhit burying his predecessor at Aigai.
Diodorus 19.51 seems to be a little excursus on Cassander's ambition. It begins "As for Cassander, now that his affairs had succeeded according to his intentions, he began to embrace in his hopes the Macedonian kingdom" and the rest serves to illuminate this ambition. Thus he marries Thessalonice, founds Cassandreia, imprisons Alexander IV and his mother, buries Eurydice and Philip III and raises an army for a Peloponnesian campaign. All in a timeless interlude.

Some matters, though, serve to set this into a temporal context. Withing the same excursus Diodorus mentions that Polyperchon was being besieged in Azorius (51.6) and that, on hearing of Olympias' death, betook himself off to Aetolia. Also, as a part of this deporting himself as a king or aspiring to same and "since he had no news of Antigonus' success", Cassander locks away Alexander IV in Amphipolis whilst observing "what the common people would say about the slaying of Olympias" (51.4). Now, Eumenes is defeated and killed by Antigonus no later than the first week or so of January 316 and Olympias surrenders and is killed, still unaware of Eumenes' defeat (50.8), sometime in the spring of the same year (50.1). The news of Eumenes' defeat cannot have taken too many months to filter out and Olympias' death is likely early to mid spring ("As spring came on and their want increased from day to day..." 50.1). Thus Polyperchon departs for Aetolia in, say, April after Olympias dies.

Whilst the movements of Polyperchon, the killing of Olympias and the locking away of Alexander IV (after the surrender of Amphipolis by Aristonus and his consequent murder) can all fit in a timeline appended by news of Eumenes' death, the founding of Cassandreia, the royal marriage and royal burials would make an extremely busy man out of Cassander for the first part of the year. The marriage and the burial must come after the fall out of Olympias' murder and the fall of the erstwhile "royal general of Asia". If that is so, the campaign to the Peloponnese begins late in the spring and carries on over summer. At this time Cassander sets in play the rebuilding of Thebes and, on his return, marries Thessalonice and buries the expired royals.

What is certain is Diodorus' statement (54.1) that Cassander's order came "in the twentieth year" after Alexander's destruction of Thebes (316). Unlike the many time intervals and connectives resulting from his abridgements - which Diodorus covers with "after this time", "a short time thereafter" or "a short time before" - this is a clear statement and almost certainly found in his source (as with others, notably astronomical markers, Perdiccas "ruled for three years", etc). But that is another discussion.
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Re: Scientists to scan remains of King Philip II

Post by Xenophon »

Hhh..mm..mm. A longish post with some rather weak contentions, I fear. Agesilaos may be right that Diodorus is not always strictly chronological, but Paralus contradicts Diodorus' own words when he says Kassandros' actions all occur in a "timeless interlude". Nor do I think :
...the founding of Cassandreia, the royal marriage and royal burials would make an extremely busy man out of Cassander for the first part of the year.
If you refer back to the quotation of the relevant section, ( and the earlier parts of XIX.52 you refer to ) you will see that Diodorus is quite specific as to the sequence of events.
1. Olympias is besieged over winter, surrenders "as spring came on " [XIX.50] and is murdered shortly after.
2. Kassandros, with Olympias removed, marries Thessalonike, daughter of Philip and half-sister of Alexander
3. He founds a city named after himself, Cassandreia, ( and by naming it after himself, a Royal prerogative, is in effect claiming the throne). For him, it probably involved little more than making a decree, hardly a time consuming process - the actual building Diopdorus refers to, so that it "became the strongest of the cities of Macedonia."[XIX.52.4] obviously occurred over a period of years.
4. He arrests Roxane and Alexander, but awaits reaction of the Makedones to Olympias' death, so all the events so far have occurred in a short time - as spring came on.
"After this, already conducting himself as a King in administering the affairs of the realm ( i.e decreeing the foundation of a city named after himself) he buried Eurydike and Philip the Queen and King and also Cynna whom Alketas had slain, in Aegae as was the Royal custom..."
5. He holds funeral games and calls up the Army, preparatory to campaigning in the Peloponnese.[XIX.52.5]

Clearly, he hasn't left Aegae yet, but has buried the three. Plenty of time to do that, because the muster of the troops from all over Macedon must have taken weeks at least.Mustering for a campaign would naturally occur in Spring, even late Spring, for a Summer campaign. Ripening of crops is the critical timing factor here.

So I'd agree
the campaign to the Peloponnese begins late in the spring and carries on over summer.
.

6. Kassandros heads south through Thessaly to Thermopylae, guarded by hostile Aetolians
7. He fights his way past, enters Boeotia, summons the Thebans and re-establishes Thebes ( again little more than making a decree), as is implied by the fact that it is Athens and others who take up the actual rebuilding while:
"To return to Kassandros, he set out wth his army for the Peloponnesus [XIX.54.3]......" where he duly campaigns desultorily, leaves a garrison and returns to Macedonia, obviously at the end of the campaigning season. Diodorus then moves on to next year.

So the sequence of events and the chronology is relatively clear - and there's no reason at all to hypothesise that the marriage and burial took place heading into Winter - an inauspicious time for a wedding reminiscent of the fate of Persephone. Then as now Spring was the auspicious time for weddings. ( I merely mention this as an aside), and there was ample time both for the wedding, the funeral and subsequent games which could have taken place easily in the weeks/months between Olympias' death and while the army mustered - these events would have kept Kassandros from 'twiddling his thumbs'.

As an aside, it is a little surprising that news of Eumenes defeat took so long to reach Macedon. Hypothetically, a messenger could cover up to 100 miles per day, with appropriate changes of horse, and such a system existed within Persia. That being so, news could have theoretically reached Macedonia within two or three weeks or so, certainly within a month.....
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Re: Scientists to scan remains of King Philip II

Post by agesilaos »

Just to go back a bit, you asked, Xenophon, on what grounds I preffered one translation over another and I ought to explain. The Greek is
Δίυλλος δ᾽ ὁ Ἀθηναῖος ἐν τῇ ἐνάτῃ τῶν ἱστοριῶν φησιν ὡς Κάσανδρος ἐκ Βοιωτίας ἐπανιὼν καὶ θάψας τὸν βασιλέα καὶ τὴν βασίλισσαν ἐν Αἰγαίαις καὶ μετ᾽ αὐτῶν τὴν Κύνναν τὴν Εὐρυδίκης μητέρα καὶ τοῖς ἄλλοις τιμήσας οἷς προσήκει καὶ μονομαχίας ἀγῶνα ἔθηκεν, εἰς ὃν κατέβησαν τέσσαρες τῶν στρατιωτῶν.
And the rival translations
Diyllus of Athens, in the ninth book of his Histories, says that when Cassander returned from Boeotia and held the funeral of the king and queen at Aegaeae, as well as of Cynna, the mother of Eurydice, he not only honoured them with all the other fitting rites, but set up also a contest of single fighters which was entered by four of his soldiers.
And
And Diyllus the Athenian says, in the ninth book of his Histories, that Cassander, when returning from Boeotia after he had buried the king and queen at Aegae, and with them Cynna the mother of Eurydice, and had paid them all the other honours to which they were entitled, celebrated also a show of single combats, and four of the soldiers entered the arena on that occasion.


The first, and very important difference is the translation of 'epaniwn kai thapsas' ; epaniwn is a participal and takes its time from the verb which is in the aorist indicative, a simple past; the first translates appropriately timewise and uses the participle's sense to provide 'when' it is clear here that the funeral follows the return.

The other translates the participle as a present continuous not governing it by the following verb which then he throws back to the pluperfect (the aorist is flexible) but we now have the nonsense of Kassandros returning from Boeotia AFTER holding a funeral in Aigai thus placing Aigai in Boeotia!

Then we have the rival translations of 'agona' contests or shows, and 'katebhsan' entered or entered the arena. No arena is mentioned and would be innappropriate in a 4th centuryGreek text, it may be argued that katabhsan is actually 'went down' and we should think of the orchestra of a Greek theatre but it may equally well be used metaphorically in that Greek agona took place on the track of stadia so one entered by 'going down', again it could be Athenaios thinking of the arena and altering his source material by his paraphrase. This might be worth a footnote but should not intrude into the main body of a translation where the neutral 'entered' seems better to me than inserting an a textual 'arena'.

Back to replying to the post above; if you wish to have Kassandros bury the royals before departing for Boeotia then we have to ditch Diyllos, whom you wish to defend as accurate, hmmm...incidently, I am not against his accuracy per se I just think that it can only apply to his fragments one can't, as Hammond is wont to, decide something is accurate and then assign it to Diyllos! I have to agree with Paralus on this one but based on Diyllos explicit statement rather than the exigencies of time and space! I realise there are more points to address but I have to reply to Taphoi lest he mistake silence for victory :twisted:
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Re: Scientists to scan remains of King Philip II

Post by Paralus »

Xenophon wrote:Hhh..mm..mm. A longish post with some rather weak contentions, I fear. Agesilaos may be right that Diodorus is not always strictly chronological, but Paralus contradicts Diodorus' own words when he says Kassandros' actions all occur in a "timeless interlude".
Oh dear: excuse another "longish post". Couldn't seem to reduce it and I'd hope the contentions are stronger...

Whilst my choice of the words "timeless interlude" might not be quite apposite, I disagree. Perhaps this is better described as an excursus on the theme of Cassander’s royal aspirations. It might be compared with the Sicilian’s excursus on the ambitions of Antigonus at news of Antipater’s death (18.50). The purpose here, like that in question with respect to Cassander, is to describe the ambition of the One-Eye. In so doing Diodorus tells us that Antigonus had won a victory over Eumenes, had defeated Alcetas and Attalus and had been appointed “supreme commander of Asia by Antipater, and at the same time he had been appointed general of a great army, for which reasons he was filled with pride and haughtiness” (50.1). Now, were we only to have this attestation for Antigonus’ appointment, we would necessarily assume that his command as strategos autokrator of Asia was a result of his endeavours against the Perdiccan groups. Diodorus, here, is not strictly interested in chronological rectitude; it is the theme that counts. Further, Diodorus states that Antigonus summoned his synhedrion of philoi and assigned satrapies and military commands to them. Assignation of satrapies did not occur until the One Eye marched on Persis in summer 316. Diodorus, in his illustration of Antigonus’ ambitions, anticipates an event yet to occur.

For the passage under discussion we do not have a corresponding passage in an Arrian (epitome or otherwise) to light the chronological way. What we do have is an explicit statement by Dyillus (via Athenaeus) which places the funeral after the return from Boeotia. This can only logically mean after the return from the Peloponnesian campaign. Being a fragmentary citation, Dyillus might well have detailed that campaign and Cassander’s return through Boeotia where he will surely have stopped to monitor the progress of his political restoration. That speculation aside, I would argue that Dyillus’ sequence is far more logical and that Athenaeus’ citation of Dyillus would be akin to a citation of my supposed "lost Arrian" above for Antipater’s handing over troops to Antigonus and appointing him strategos autokrator in Asia.

Why the apparent conflict? Just as with 18.50, Diodorus’ object is the fleshing out of the theme of Cassander’s ambitions. In so doing it is the events which illustrate that theme rather than a chronology dictated by a 'dogmatic religious observance'. It is entirely possible that he found this little sketch in his source – the actions are repeated by Antigonus in similar terms at 19.61.1-2 possibly indicating a source not at all favourable to Cassander – and, as an epitomater, if your summary is ready made, why not adopt holus bolos? But quellenforschung is another subject.
Xenophon wrote: Nor do I think :
...the founding of Cassandreia, the royal marriage and royal burials would make an extremely busy man out of Cassander for the first part of the year.
If you refer back to the quotation of the relevant section, ( and the earlier parts of XIX.52 you refer to ) you will see that Diodorus is quite specific as to the sequence of events.
Without going through that list point by point, the important keys are Cassander's fears of the fallout from his murder of Olympias (and his ‘safekeeping’ of Alexander IV and his mother) and preventing his play for the kingship as being viewed as what, in base terms, it was: usurpation. Another is the fact that news of Antigonus' victory was yet to reach Macedonia.

The chronological pointer of the news of Eumenes’ defeat and death is significant. I’m not necessarily certain of the time factor you give for this news to travel to Macedonia but I take your point. It should be noted here that Eumenes, at the great feast in Persis and well before setting out for Paraetecene in October /November 317, can circulate letters to the effect that Olympias is in control of Macedonia with Alexander IV, that Cassander is dead and that Polyperchon, with the royal army and elephants in tow, is traversing Cappadocia. That this complete fabrication is still ‘current’ (that is, there is no attestation of it being refuted which will have destroyed Eumenes' leadership) by the Battle of Gabiene in early January 316 should tell us something of the lines of communication and their efficacy. As well, it was winter and, with respect to Gabine, the ‘dead of winter’ just into January. No matter the famous Persian communications ‘system', news will have been delayed via the Zagros and Caucasus passes and the fact that it was the non-sailing season.

Further to this, Eumenes’ army had, by and large, gone over to Antigonus after the defeat. News of this victory would, almost assuredly, come from Antigonus’ camp. I do not think Monophthalmus had any urgent desire to inform his competitors either in Egypt or Macedonia of his pre-eminent status just yet: there was booty to collect, satrapal appointments to be made and a decidedly mauled army to refresh. He would let them know in good time. In any case, there were, as I suggest, the seasonal impediments to consider.

The time of Olympias’ surrender is early in the spring and that likely means sometime in March for Diodorus says the ἀρχομένου (‘beginning’) of spring. Following this, Olympias is transported to Pella where Cassander arranges a show trial (as for Nicanor in Athens). Olympias is condemned and eventually killed. None of this occurred overnight and though both epitomators (Diodorus and Justin 14.6.12) say Cassander married Thessalonice after the murder of Olympias, the phrase “since he had no news of Antigonus' success” (52.4) would, if the passage is chronologically correct, place the imprisonment of Alexander IV and Roxanne immediately after Olympias’ death, the dynastic marriage and the synoecism of Cassandreia (which I think required more than a decree). Unless news of Eumenes’ death took until the summer to arrive (most unlikely) this means early spring (news surely arriving no later than end March/ beginning April?).

Now, I would agree that the marriage took place prior to the campaign. In fact, I would say it likely took place near to the army’s departure so that Cassander will have enjoyed the full fruits of propaganda with the marriage. Such a mustering, as you say, takes time. The arrangements for the wedding will similarly have taken time and I cannot see such an important dynastic marriage feast being as rushed as the removal of a bride’s nightie (excuse the pun). The more so as Cassander is clearly concerned over the opinion of ordinary Macedonians to the death of Olympias. This is as much a concern over being viewed as a usurper as it is the fact of the murder. The situation with the Makedones was fractious and volatile and Cassander could only court accusations of usurpation by moving with any obscene haste.

Further to this, the funeral – a far more important statement in claiming the throne than the foundation – will have been a “family” matter – thus Perdiccas’ desire to marry Cleopatra so as to return with Alexander’s body. The marriage pre-dates the burial. I would say that Cassander, the dynastic marriage feast – with the invasion army assembled – over, moves into Boeotia where he proclaims the re-foundation of Thebes. Another great propaganda set piece and sop to the Greeks done, he campaigns in the Peloponnese and returns via Boeotia to Macedon for the burial. If a wedding feast takes time and preparation so, even more so, does the funeral for what now constitutes his predecessor. Diodorus states that he honoured the dead with “funeral games” and we can imagine the whole box and dice. This was, of course, Cassander making plain his new position. Those gracing these games and contests will have needed to be invited. I cannot see this, along with everything else listed, occurring in the spring - especially before news of Eumenes' defeat - and I believe Diodorus is anticipating events (as with Antigonus above). Again, I’d suggest chronology, here, is suborned to the needs of the theme.
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Re: Scientists to scan remains of King Philip II

Post by Xenophon »

Thanks, Agesilaos....your explanation persuades me that you are likely right in preferring the first translation, and that Athenaeus likely says in his anecdote that Diyllus reports the funeral taking place after Kassandros' return from Boeotia, though there does seem to be some room for ambiguity in the Greek. Perhaps the other translator was trying to make the Greek conform to Diodorus' sequence of events, and exploiting that little room for ambiguity ?

I would certainly agree with your comments about 'agon/contest', and there being no reference to arena.

BTW, I have never defended Diyllus as 'accurate', hence no need to 'ditch' him and this is the second time I have had to refute this. Please refer to earlier posts. The funeral timing is irrelevant, really. The importance of the fragment of Diyllus referred to by you and Palagia is that it it confirms Diodorus that the three were buried together - and one can't rationalise away the absence of a third sarcophagus by saying Cynna wasn't 'Royal' - sarcophagi occur in other non-Royal Macedonian tombs.

It would appear "yer pays yer money and yer makes yer choice" as to whether to follow Diodorus' sequence, or rely on this out of context reference to Diyllus, referred to in Olga Palagia's paper regarding chronology of the tombs, in respect of the timing of the funeral.

Be that as it may, when the funeral took place is not really germane to your original point, which was that the two unburied corpses with no offerings found above the 'Philip' tomb might have been two of Athenaeus' four soldiers, rather than the two sons of Aeropus who had been found guilty of complicity and who were killed on Alexander's orders "by his father's tumulus" (Just.XI. I. 2. I).
Against this are the following facts:
1. We are not told that the 'contest'/agon was to the death, nor is it implied by Athenaeus reporting of Diyllus, so one must 'assume' this.
2. Gladiatorial fighting to the death at funerals only originated in Rome in 264 BC, but was likely first known in Campania in the middle of the 4 C BC - and was not a Graeco/Macedonian custom.
3. Even if four soldiers did volunteer to fight in honour of Philip, Eurydike and Cynna to the death, why were the two corpses dishonoured by simply being chucked on the tomb, and not properly buried ?...most un-Greek-like, considering their atitudes to the dead.

Nor, for reasons referred to earlier ( the Greek type swords, and Pyrrhus' control) is it likely that these were executed tomb-robbing Gauls. The most probable explanation must be the one that accords with Justin.....

Where do you get the idea that Tomb II was re-opened to have material from Tomb I placed in it ? I can find no reference to such a thing. Earlier you suggested that Tomb I held the corpse of Philip II and Kleopatra and little Europa, on the basis that the surviving bones were those of a man, a woman and a neo-natal, ( hence were not skeletal remains of tomb-robbers) but this is extremely unlikely because we are told that Philip II was cremated, but the occupants of Tomb I were not, having been inhumed. Nor was Europa a new-born child ( a full publication of these remains is yet to appear). If the hypothesis that items were re-buried from Tomb I in Tomb II holds any water, why would the actual skeletal remains, the most precious items, be left scattered in Tomb I and mere items re-buried ? And which items are claimed to be from Tomb I ?
This makes no sense, especially in the light of there being no evidence to suggest Tomb II was ever re-opened.

Incidently, Palagia rather skates over the silver wine strainer that had the name "Machatas" inscribed in large letters on it, dismissing it as likely the name of the maker. Firstly, a maker would not disfigure such an object by such a large signature, but be more discreet, secondly the lettering is apparently in the 'possessive' form i.e. not "Machatas made me" but rather "I belong to Machatas" and thirdly, 'Machatas' was the name of a brother-in-law of Philip II, making this wine strainer a likely wedding gift to Philip II. There is no known connection between any 'Machatas' and Philip Arrhidaeus. Circumstantial rather than conclusive, but another piece to throw in the scale favouring Philip II.....

I would submit that the weight of circumstantial evidence favours Philip II as the occupant of Tomb II, the more so when it it is remembered that the whole "it might have been Philip Arrhidaeus" thing was brought up up by a bitter rival of Andronicos from their student days, out of mischief, jealousy and rivalry. When we get down to it, there is just no strong evidence for that being the case beyond "it is possible that..." and an awful lot of circumstantial evidence in favour of Philip II.....
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Re: Scientists to scan remains of King Philip II

Post by agesilaos »

i am not sure where i read that Tomb II had been re-stocked, I may have dreamt it :shock: So I'll take your word for it not being so. I would not push the Machatas angle, at least not as a wedding present, one would not give a king something you had scratched your own name on! But you might put it in with funeral goods as a personal offering (not sure if anything comparable has been found). I was under the impression that there were only very small bone fragments in Tomb I, but if they are not cremated then it definitely cannot be Philip II.

I am unclear how the two skeletons were found in the mound, articulated with Greek swords? and uncremated? Is it not unusual for assassins to be buried with weapons? And the Lynkestians should show signs of their execution. That aside, the pendulum does seem to be swinging in favour of Philip II simply because the heroon must be associated with him, so if he was not in I he must have been in II.
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Re: Scientists to scan remains of King Philip II

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You needn't "take my word for it", Agesilaos! :) Nor did I say it wasn't so, simply that I was unable to find any reference to evidence of it being re-opened, whether in antiquity or later. In fact, on the face of it, the tomb was not re-opened when the ante-chamber for the female was finished.

Here's some of the sources for my post:
"Tomb I had been thoroughly and violently robbed.[ note: the robbers broke in through the roof beams - clearly a major task, taking time and creating noise and mess - likely the Gauls then.] A few sherds were dated by
Andronikos 'to around the middle of the fourth century', an expression which would not
exclude the date 370/369. A broken marble shell was seen as 'in all probability part of a
woman's toilette'. Bones on the floor were those of man, a young woman and a 'neonate'
baby.[note:examined by Musgrave] They had not been cremated. Several questions arise and cannot be answered as
yet. What were the ages of the man and the woman? Did the robbers remove a gold or
silver container and within it the cremated remains of Amyntas? Were the skeletons those
of secondary burials? One thing is certain, that the magnificent frescoes on the inside of
the walls of the tomb were executed by a master of his craft in honour of a king."
'The Royal tombs at Vergina' N.G.L Hammond 1991

...and...

"Tomb I had been robbed but contained a superb wall painting of the Rape of Persephone. Tombs II and III had not been robbed and contained, among other treasures, ceremonial military equipment, bronze utensils, silver tableware, gold wreaths, two gold larnakes (caskets) in Tomb II and a silver funerary urn in Tomb III. All three also contained human remains: fragmentary and inhumed in Tomb I; cremated in Tombs II and III."
'The Occupants of Tomb II at Vergina. Why Arrhidaios and Eurydice must be excluded'
Jonathan Musgrave , A. J. N. W. Prag, Richard Neave, Robin Lane Fox, Hugh White 2010 ( refuting Bartsiokas )

As to the skeletons:
"Among the burnt objects with the bricks on the top of the main chamber were some gold
acorns and oakleaves, which fitted the gap in the king's gold wreath.[note:found inside the gold larnax]
This proved that the objects had come from the pyre. There were also a spear-head set upright (probably the
assassin's weapon), two swords, horse-trappings, pieces of ivory and a bronze oenochoe.
Two sons of Aeropus had been found guilty of complicity; they were killed on Alexander's
orders 'by his father's tumulus' (Just. I I. 2. I). It was probably their skeletons which were
found with no offerings in the fill of tumulus, and it was their swords which were placed on
the pyre.[ note: the skeletons were apparently unburied, and the two swords had been placed on the pyre, along with many other objects] The assassin tried to escape to horses which were waiting ready. They were
probably killed, and their trappings placed on the pyre. The ivory may have been used for
decorating pommels or harness; and the oenochoe was used in pouring wine on the dying
embers of a pyre. On the top of the cornice of the facade 'something like a small pyre,
broken vases and small sherds' were found. These were probably the remains of a
purificatory fire. The explanation is afforded by Justin's statement that the corpse of the
assassin was hung for display and finally burnt 'above the remains of Philip' (Just. 9. 7.
I I) 'The Royal tombs at Vergina' N.G.L Hammond

Now I suggest that Hammond is leaping to conclusions on scanty evidence, and there are possible alternate explanations, but I quote him merely to put forward the evidence.

There is also, in the way of evidence found outside the tomb, the 40 plus 'gravestone slabs' found in the fill of the tumulus. Deliberately placed there, or random 'fill' ?

On reflection, it might indeed be odd to make a gift of something with one's own name (Machatas) inscribed on it in large letters - but one cannot rule out an impulsive gift by a 'tired and emotional' brother-in-law at a rollicking wedding feast. Having said which, an offering to the deceased at a funeral may well be a probable alternate explanation.

As I said earlier, all the evidence can be explained as consistent with what we know ( very little) of the circumstances of Philip II's funeral, with the 'caveat' that we know even less of the funeral of Philip Arrhidaeus.......and as I also mentioned, we cannot be conclusive until further evidence turns up......but I think we can say that on balance of probability, the occupant of Tomb II was very likely Philip II.
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Re: Scientists to scan remains of King Philip II

Post by Xenophon »

To comment on our little digression :
Paralus wrote:
Further, Diodorus states that Antigonus summoned his synhedrion of philoi and assigned satrapies and military commands to them. Assignation of satrapies did not occur until the One Eye marched on Persis in summer 316. Diodorus, in his illustration of Antigonus’ ambitions, anticipates an event yet to occur.
It is true that Diodorus XVIII.50 refers to Antigonus assigning satrapies, while speaking of events of 319/318 BC and that this ultimately did not occur until 316, but you seem to have misinterpreted what he actually says, if the Loeb translation is accurate :
"Antigonus also at once called a council of his friends and, after he had made them acquainted with his design for gaining imperial power, assigned satrapies to some of the more important friends and military commands to others; and by holding up great expectations to all of them, he filled them with enthusiasm for his undertakings. Indeed he had in mind to go through Asia, remove the existing satraps, and reorganize the positions of command in favour of his friends." [my emphasis]

In other words, he merely held out the promise of things to come in 319/318, which were eventually accomplished in 316, so he has NOT stepped out of chronological sequence to anticipate the future.
It should be noted here that Eumenes, at the great feast in Persis and well before setting out for Paraetecene in October /November 317, can circulate letters to the effect that Olympias is in control of Macedonia with Alexander IV, that Cassander is dead and that Polyperchon, with the royal army and elephants in tow, is traversing Cappadocia. That this complete fabrication is still ‘current’ (that is, there is no attestation of it being refuted which will have destroyed Eumenes' leadership) by the Battle of Gabiene in early January 316 should tell us something of the lines of communication and their efficacy. As well, it was winter and, with respect to Gabiene, the ‘dead of winter’ just into January. No matter the famous Persian communications ‘system', news will have been delayed via the Zagros and Caucasus passes and the fact that it was the non-sailing season.

Further to this, Eumenes’ army had, by and large, gone over to Antigonus after the defeat. News of this victory would, almost assuredly, come from Antigonus’ camp. I do not think Monophthalmus had any urgent desire to inform his competitors either in Egypt or Macedonia of his pre-eminent status just yet: there was booty to collect, satrapal appointments to be made and a decidedly mauled army to refresh. He would let them know in good time. In any case, there were, as I suggest, the seasonal impediments to consider.
Good, and perhaps persuasive points.......though of course, even if the true state of affairs regarding Eumenes fabrication had filtered through 'on the grapevine', no-one could have voiced such a thing, or risked acting on such information without corroborating it ( which version was true?) which would have taken another couple of months at least, even by fast courier - there and back - and that's not allowing for the exigencies of winter. And of course, Eumenes was dead just over two months later before winter had passed ( if the dating of the battle is correct). Whether Antigonus willed it or not, given that thousands of foragers must have left his camp daily, there was no way he could suppress or delay the news. Some small group would likely have sped off with the momentous news for the undoubted rich reward that the bearers would obtain, at the first opportunity.
The likely explanation then is the one you suggest, namely the winter weather. The passes etc would not be open until the Spring, or even mid-Spring - though it is not true that no sailing occurred outside the 'sailing season'. Although merchant traffic slowed to a trickle, due to prevailing winds and currents rather than fear of storms, it did take place all year round, especially rowed vessels such as trireme warships and pirate vessels. ( as evidenced by sources and documents such as customs manifests )

Couriers may thus not have been able to commute until mid-March or later, meaning the earliest the news could have arrived would have been mid-to-late April, or even May.....

Since Diodorus does not in fact anticipate events for Antigonus, and chronology is not suborned, then by your reasoning he is unlikely to be doing so for Kassandros....and it would appear there is ample time for the funerals to have taken place in the sequence Diodorus gives, and before news of Eumenes demise arrived. On balance of probability then, it would seem there is no reason to prefer Diyllus over Diodorus.
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Re: Scientists to scan remains of King Philip II

Post by agesilaos »

Something of a non-sequitur there; Paralus example is flawed, ie it does not parrallel the passage on Kassandros, and that is as far as one can go. If one can accept both Diodoros' and Diyllos' statements, which one can by contextualising Diodoros' sentence as illustrative rather than narrative, then unless there is good reason to reject one of them one should accept both. If one chooses to reject Diyllos here one ought to suggest why he would falsify the chronology. I can see no reason, no advantage to misreporting when Philip III et al was buried, indeed doubting that casts doubt on all the information therein; if he was not returning from Boeotia was Kynna actually 'given funeral rites'? Diyllos was at Athens, presumably, so distance from events would not be a factor. The only hypothesis seems to be an error, which is an explanation of last resort.

I realise that I will now have to trawl the Library of History for a parallel; so be it, the marches are stalled until my maps of Iran and Iraq arrive (none in the shops here, maybe the British Army has bought them all; that did happen in the Second Gulf War!).
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Re: Scientists to scan remains of King Philip II

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agesilaos wrote:Something of a non-sequitur there; Paralus example is flawed, ie it does not parrallel the passage on Kassandros, and that is as far as one can go.
No, it is not directly congruent with the Cassander thematic excursus which is why I wrote "It might be compared with" rather than is comparable with. But a non sequitur? More below.
Xenophon wrote:"Antigonus also at once called a council of his friends and, after he had made them acquainted with his design for gaining imperial power, assigned satrapies to some of the more important friends and military commands to others; and by holding up great expectations to all of them, he filled them with enthusiasm for his undertakings. Indeed he had in mind to go through Asia, remove the existing satraps, and reorganize the positions of command in favour of his friends." [my emphasis]

In other words, he merely held out the promise of things to come in 319/318, which were eventually accomplished in 316, so he has NOT stepped out of chronological sequence to anticipate the future.
I disagree. That view necessitates the conflation of two distinct notices. Diodorus states that Antigonus "at once" called his philioi to syhedrion and, after telling them of his plans for larger rule, "assigned satrapies to some of the more important friends and military commands to others" (my emphasis). He then says that Antigonus "by holding up great expectations to all of them, he filled them with enthusiasm for his undertakings" going on to say Antigonus would go through Asia reordering all positions of power - including satraps. These are separate points. The first refers to the more important philoi and here some of these receive the satrapies and commands at this synhedrion. The second relates back to the philoi in general - the "not so important" philoi and those of the "more important" philoi yet to receive a reward - who have great expectations dangled before them. Two distinct groups are the subject of each notice.

On a purely practical point, Antigonus cannot have assigned satrapies to some of his philoi without those satrapies under his control. The sources are replete with notices of his attempts to dislodge the commanders and satraps of Eumenes' army with promises of commands and satrapies. This is unlikely to have gone down well in the slightest with those most patient of the more important philoi. Of course, Antigonus might dispose of any who accepted such in favour of his philoi but that would not do the continued use of the gambit - used throughout his career - much good...

It is interesting to note that no real evidence exists for Antigonus actually having done this at this time (319/8): the only deposed satraps are Laomedon and Arrhidaeus (the latter, it seems, took service under Antigonus after his defeat) and they seem not to have been replaced. When Antigonus reaches Persis he does indeed consider the satrapies with his friends in council. Antigenes is replaced in Susiane having been killed; Stassander (Areia) likely for the same reason. The two standout replacements are Pithon and Peucestas. The former is killed and replaced for a supposed plan to overthrow Antigonus and Peucestas is replaced due to his immense popularity. In fact, both these somatophylakes of Alexander were replaced because of who and what they were; Peucestas' popularity in the crucial satrapy of Persis only sealed the deal. Blitor (Mesopotamia) is not mentioned by Diodorus and nor is Parthyaia. So, of those appointments made, we have Orontobates in Media, Aspisas in Susiane, Evitas (and Eugoras) in Aria, Blitor in Mesopotamia and Asclepiododtus in Persis.

As such, I would say that 18.50 is a brief account of Antigonus' imperial ambitions which anticipates the assignation of satrapies some two years hence and places Antigonus' appointment as strategos autokrator of Asia after his dealings with Eumenes, Alcetas and Attalos. This is unlike his anticipatory description of Eumenes at 18.53 which ends:
In the end, within a few days, in addition to the five hundred friends who had been besieged in the fortress with him, he had more than two thousand soldiers who followed him of their own free will. With the aid of Fortune he gained so great an increase in power that he took over the royal armies and championed the kings against those who had boldly tried to end their rule. But we shall relate these events in more detail a little later in their proper place.
Like other such descriptions, this is almost certainly, to my mind, Diodorus' own view and summary - if only for the embodiment of his favourite theme: the turns of fortune, of which, the story of Eumenes is a standout example. No such note appears in the Antigonus description and, so, I'd think this is something found in his source; a source that wished to highlight Antigonus' ambitions and regularly described him as a "rebel against the royal authority". On this ground , too, I find it similar to his description of Cassander's royal ambitions.
Xenophon wrote:The passes etc would not be open until the Spring, or even mid-Spring - though it is not true that no sailing occurred outside the 'sailing season'. Although merchant traffic slowed to a trickle, due to prevailing winds and currents rather than fear of storms, it did take place all year round, especially rowed vessels such as trireme warships and pirate vessels. ( as evidenced by sources and documents such as customs manifests )

Couriers may thus not have been able to commute until mid-March or later, meaning the earliest the news could have arrived would have been mid-to-late April, or even May.....
Yes, on this we are agreed. Agreed also on the odd "message trireme" for state business still sailing (witness the many such missions of both 'myself' - Paralus - and the 'good wife' - Salaminia) and merchantman. News, at any rate, will have got back to Celaene in some good time; Antigonus' seat of "empire" will have needed to be aware of the result. I see this news reaching Greece during April and certainly no later than the end of April.

In any case, if chapter 52 is strictly chronological, then 52.6 is very problematic. Cassander murders Olympias after her "trial" which I'd place in late March / early April. Diodorus then - if we view it chronologically - lists all the activities that Cassander undertook in the immediate aftermath of her death. At 52.6 Diodorus describes Polyperchon besieging Azorious in Perrhabia "while Cassander was engaged with these matters". Now these matters are all those he has just described: the marriage, the foundation of Cassandreia, the imprisonment of Alexander IV and his mother and the burials. Diodorus then states that Polyperchon gave up his siege on hearing of Olympias' death. Whilst we might postulate communication delays from Iran, none such can be postulated from canton to canton in Macedonia. This, as I'd argue with the burials, is clearly not noted in strict chronological sequence.

All in all, on the balance of probability, Dyillus is the preferred sequence and chapter 52 should be seen as a thematic description of Cassander's intentions or pretensions. Again, as above (Antigonus), likely from his source.
Last edited by Paralus on Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:45 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Scientists to scan remains of King Philip II

Post by agesilaos »

The non sequitur was Xenophon's not yours, Para. In effect he said if your example was not congruent then no other example could exist and Diodoros must be taken chronologically, which is clearly an untenable chain of logic. Personally, I am not swayed by your defence that Antigonos could not promise what he did not hold, political horse-trading is as old as the hills, as are empty promises swallowed wholesale. The point about Polyperchon is most telling and the whole warns us not to put too much faith in the strict chronology of these summary sweeps.
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