Scientists to scan remains of King Philip II

Discuss Philip's achievements and Macedonia pre-Alexander

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Re: Scientists to scan remains of King Philip II

Post by chris_taylor »

agesilaos wrote:Personally, I think that Tomb I held Philip II ...
In tomb I ?!? I thought there were only 3 skeletons:

1) Tomb II: male, mid forties, damaged R cheekbone
2) Tomb II: female, mid twenties
3) Tomb III: teenaged male, Alexander IV, uncontested (so far)

Is this incorrect?

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Re: Scientists to scan remains of King Philip II

Post by agesilaos »

Yes, sorry I is empty bodywise but clearly once held a burial.

Also forgot to say that Kleopatra/Eurydike only had the one child, Europe, there simply is not time for a second full term pregnancy. Karanos, who is only found in Justin is either fictional or the product of another wife, which case I made in the dim distant past in the thread 'Karanos Philippou?' Pretentious moi? :D
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Re: Scientists to scan remains of King Philip II

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Given your hypothesis that Tomb 1 is that of Philip II, and that Cleopatra had but one child , namely Europe, you will be interested to learn that whilst Tomb 1 was "empty" in the sense that it had been thoroughly pillaged in antiquity, contrary to what is stated above it did contain scattered remnants of bones - identified as an adult male, adult female, and a new-born child.

Also, you may care to note that the 'heroon' on top of the mound is actually closer to Tomb 1 than Tomb 2

Go here for a summary of 'contenders' for the various Tombs of the great tumulus;

http://myweb.unomaha.edu/~mreames/Alexa ... ssion.html

....though some of what is said on this site is a bit fanciful e.g. the "iron helmet of Alexander" being unique, when in fact there are a number of Macedonian iron helmets of 'phrygian' type extant.

A good site for anyone wishing to know more about grand Macedonian tombs is this one of Elizabeth Carney, which is fairly comprehensive :

http://people.clemson.edu/~elizab/aegae.htm

errata: I misremembered tombs in an earlier post. The 'Rhomaios' tomb and 'Euridike' tombs are two separate ones, and not the same, instead standing side-by-side........ the 'Eurydike' tomb is the one I was referring to....apologies for any confusion.
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Re: Scientists to scan remains of King Philip II

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Xenophon wrote: A good site for anyone wishing to know more about grand Macedonian tombs is this one of Elizabeth Carney, which is fairly comprehensive :

http://people.clemson.edu/~elizab/aegae.htm
Great site!
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And, whatever the late Dr. Andronikos found there, in spite of whom etc., he did an amazing deed.
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Re: Scientists to scan remains of King Philip II

Post by Xenophon »

Prompted by this thread, I have been doing a little digging, and discovered some quite important details about the Tombs not generally known.
The late N.G.L. Hammond was fortunate enough to visit the tombs in the company of the excavator, the late M Andronikos, shortly after it was excavated and again later. He also attended a number of conferences in Greece and Macedonia. In 1991 he wrote a paper on the subject of the tombs for the British School of Athens ( further to earlier ones in 1978 and 1981). In it he described, inter alia, a tomb, which was barrel vaulted ( referred to by Andronikos as the ‘Eurydike Tomb’ – after the mother of Philip II, which I referred to earlier. )

This tomb can be reasonably firmly dated, and incidently is larger than the Philip tomb :

“Among the offerings were Attic Red-Figure sherds dating from the 340s; and outside the tomb, in burnt remains which had come probably from a pyre, the handle of a Panathenaic Amphora was stamped with some letters of the name of the Attic archon for the year 344/3. The obvious candidate for so prestigious a form of burial c. 343-340 was the Queen Mother, Eurydice, who was the wife of Amyntas III and the mother of Alexander II, Perdiccas III and Philip II.”

Further evidence that barrel-vaulted tombs appeared in Macedon in or before the mid- 4th Century comes from Plato ‘Laws’ 947d, written circa 350 BC or before ( he died in 347) in which Plato describes his utopian burial rites for leading citizens:
“The tomb shall be made of poros stone, of which the strength is unaffected by age; it shall be vaulted, longer than it is wide, containing stone couches set parallel to one another, and shall be mounded over with soil in a circle.' ... 'One end [of the tumulus] shall be left free for those [later] being interred without need of [another] tumulus.”[Hammond’s translation]

This of course matches Macedonian tumuli vault graves perfectly, and since they were unique to Macedon, Plato had to have had these in mind when writing the above. Tomb I was the original tomb, Tomb II ( the ‘Philip’ tomb) fits this description perfectly, and Tomb III (generally accepted as that of Alexander’s son by Roxane) was added later, all side by side, and later covered by the Grand Tumulus. Thus we have categorical proof that barrel vaulted tombs appeared in Macedon well before Philip II’s death, and were not something ’brought back’ after Alexander’s conquests.

Hammond:”Tomb I had been thoroughly and violently robbed. 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. They had not been cremated. [my emphasis]. 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 [larnax] and within it the cremated remains of Amyntas? Were the skeletons those of secondary burials?”[ i.e. the tomb being empty was later made use of for another burial]

It should also be remembered that Tomb 1 is of the older ‘cyst’ type, that is to say, roofed over by flat stone beams, rather than an arched barrel vault. As Hammond points out, enough tumuli tombs in Macedon and neighbouring Elimeotis have been excavated to establish an architectural sequence. Some time around 350, the cyst tomb gave way to the barrel vaulted type ( see reference to the Eurydike tomb above). If this cyst tomb is pre-350, then it is likely that of Amyntas III.
In respect of Tomb II, Hammond draws attention to a number of minor details, mainly items OUTSIDE the tomb which are explicable in terms of our sources if the tomb belongs to Philip II, but not if it is Philip Arrhidaeus’ tomb - though this may be simply that we have detail about Philip II’s funeral etc, but not Arrhidaeus’ funeral by Cassander:
Hammond: “Among the burnt objects with the bricks on the top of main chamber were some gold acorns and oak-leaves, which fitted the gap in the king's gold wreath.[found in the tomb] 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. 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. 7.11)”

Then there is the manner of the construction of the tomb – the main chamber built in haste, but the ante-chamber finished properly some time later. This fits Alexander’s haste in burying his father so as to tend to pressing campaigns and rebellions etc, but there being plenty of time to prepare a consort’s tomb afterward. On the other hand, there was plenty of time to for Cassander to bury the three – Arrhidaeus, his young wife and her mother Kynna – at once, and of course there’s only two bodies in the ‘Philip’ tomb, contrary to Diodorus XIX.52.5, where Cassander buries all three at Aegae, likely together.

Hammond:“When Andronikos began to excavate at the side of the Great Mound, he found two roughly circular areas, about I m in diameter, in which burnt sherds, bones of small animals and ash were indicative of sacrifices. The sherds were datable to c. 340-320. Such circular areas of sacrifice beside a tumulus have been noted often enough (e.g. at Marathon beside a prehistoric tumulus and beside the Mound of the Plataeans). A further sign of worship appeared with the excavation of a shrine's foundations, 9.60 x 8 m, [the Heroon] which proved to be adjacent to Tomb I. Whereas the circular areas might have been evidence of worship of all or any of the tumulus' occupants, the shrine was built in honour of Tomb I. Two kings only of this line were reported to have received worship: Amyntas III having an 'Amyntaion' at Pydna (Schol. ad D. i. 5), and Philip being worshipped at Amphipolis 'as a god' (Aristides, Symmach. A(Or. 38) I p. 715 D). Thus we infer that Tomb I was the tomb of Amyntas III, who died in 370/369, and this supports our dating of the tomb on other grounds to before the late 360s.”

Hammond suggests that one of the reasons that Tomb II was adjacent to Tomb I was so that its occupant, whom Hammond believed to be Philip II, could also be worshipped in the Heroon.
The devil is in the detail, it is said, and it is interesting that the reasons the proponents of Philip Arrhidaeus put up for the Tomb not being that of Philip II melt away – the barrel vault, the salt shakers, the so-called sceptre ( why shouldn’t there have been several sceptres ?) the ‘style’ arguments etc

On the other hand, the key evidence of the bones themselves is disputed, and is unlikely, it would seem, to be resolved.
Hammond goes on to make a good case for why Tomb II could not be that of Philip Arrhidaeus, and the questions adherents of this hypothesis need to address, but so far have not. As he predicted, it turns out the ‘salt cellars’, upon whose dating to c. 300 BC much might have depended, have now had earlier examples discovered, and so do NOT rule out Philip II as occupant.

He also explains the other buildings on and near the site, and postulates why the Great Mound itself was erected over the three tumuli.

It is unfortunate that we have two potential occupants of the tomb, who died within 20 years aprox of each other. The decider might be that excavation of the remaining many tumuli reveals Cassander’s burial of Philip Arrhidaeus, Eurydike and Kynna separately ( difficult to positively identify unless the tomb is unrobbed) or another tomb that can be positively identified as Philip II’s.....
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Re: Scientists to scan remains of King Philip II

Post by Paralus »

To so extensively reference a single paper, in support of an argument, might see the paper actually referenced! I suspect this was likely an oversight by Xenophon. The reference is: The Royal Tombs at Vergina: Evolution and Identities, N. G. L. Hammond, The Annual of the British School at Athens, Vol. 86, (1991), pp. 69-82.
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Re: Scientists to scan remains of King Philip II

Post by Xenophon »

Sorry, yes, I'd been putting that post together in bits over several days, and while about to finish it got caught up in other things, and when I came back to the post, thinking I had finished it, hurriedly posted it!

I had meant to add:
" Hammond's paper has many other interesting details, not all of which I would agree with, and I hope the quotations above stimulate Pothosians further interest in this matter. The paper itself can be found here. " ( see Paralus' link in the post above )

Thanks Paralus !! :)
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Re: Scientists to scan remains of King Philip II

Post by agesilaos »

Hammond is to be congratulated that he can date the fragmentary vessels of tomb I, when the complete ones of Tomb II are inconclusive, yep, sarcasm. Hammond is often guilty of this sort of wishful reasoning, witness your own quote, Xenophon
Two kings only of this line were reported to have received worship: Amyntas III having an 'Amyntaion' at Pydna (Schol. ad D. i. 5), and Philip being worshipped at Amphipolis 'as a god' (Aristides, Symmach. A(Or. 38) I p. 715 D). Thus we infer that Tomb I was the tomb of Amyntas III, who died in 370/369, and this supports our dating of the tomb on other grounds to before the late 360s.
Basically, if anything can point to Amyntas or Philip I will declare it to be Amyntas and use that to support other tendatious dating; circular and a priori, we can only guess at the sort of person who would find that impressive :P Clearly, nothing favours the choice between the two other than Hammond's pre-conceptions; one might consider the wisdom of basing an argument on scholia alone. Consider, why was Philip's implicit claim to divinity so shocking if his father was already being worshiped? Similarly, with Alexander's divine pretensions.

Vaulted tombs are standard in Etruria, in fact Plato's ideal sounds very like an Etruscan tomb, and we know he went West after Sokrates' death, I do not recall a connection with Macedonia.

And why the enclosed cremation? Every circumstantial 'clue' has an answer from the other camp, this one will just run and run.
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Re: Scientists to scan remains of King Philip II

Post by Xenophon »

Agesilaos wrote:
Hammond is to be congratulated that he can date the fragmentary vessels of tomb I, when the complete ones of Tomb II are inconclusive, yep, sarcasm.
Actually, it is Andronikos' datings Hammond refers to, and his expertise in the field is pretty formidable, considering his record. He dated the sherds outside Tomb II, and the whole pots within, to the period 350-320 BC.
Basically, if anything can point to Amyntas or Philip I will declare it to be Amyntas and use that to support other tendatious dating; circular and a priori, we can only guess at the sort of person who would find that impressive
Oh, I agree to an extent, though this is a little harsh. Hammond bases this on Andronikos' rather vague dating of pottery from Tomb I of 'around mid fourth century', and if that can be construed as minus 20 odd years, it can also be construed as plus 20 odd years - taking it into Philip's time. His point about the armour of Tomb II
The offerings of weapons and armour do not suit Arrhidaeus, who was incapable of combat;
is another rather dubious assertion considering :
a) We don't exactly know the nature of Arrhidaeus' disability
b) As the trappings of a King, he would likely have these whether or not he could actually physically fight.
...and there are others.

Like I said, I don't agree with all Hammond's reasoning, but his paper is interesting for the detail you don't find elsewhere - like the 47 'headstones' without graves found in the tumulus, or the two skeletons, or the two swords found in the remains of the pyre above Tomb II.
Consider, why was Philip's implicit claim to divinity so shocking if his father was already being worshiped? Similarly, with Alexander's divine pretensions.
The English word 'divine' is rather black-and-white in our Judaeo-Christian context, whereas in Greek religion, there were varying degrees of 'divinity', a sort of sliding scale, so that worship or honouring the Gods could vary from the all-powerful Olympian Gods, down through minor deities such as river Gods and so on, and demi-gods such as Heracles or Asclepius through Hero cults down to ancestor worship ( the latter two or three overlapping and blurring to an extent). All of these could have temples or shrines, or a simple roadside altar erected in their honour, where libations were poured and sacrifices burnt, and 'worship' took place. By the 4th C, however, the word 'Hero' came to mean specifically a dead man, venerated and propitiated at his tomb or at a designated shrine, because his fame during life or unusual manner of death gave him power to support and protect the living. A 'Hero' was more than human but less than a God, and various kinds of supernatural figures came to be assimilated to the class of heroes; the distinction between a Hero and a God was less than certain, especially in the case of Heracles, the most prominent, whose status was higher, a demi-god who almost reached god-like status. Thus the worship of Amyntas and Philip would easily fall into this tradition. What was shocking about Philip is that by including a 13th statue of himself alongside the 12 Olympians, he was in effect claiming to be their equal - which many would see as blasphemous. 'Divine honours' was one thing, 'Godhood' quite another. Also by the 4th C, the worship of Amon-Ra had reached the point of monotheism in Egypt, where Amon, the King of the Egyptian Gods, was identified with the sun (Ra) and acknowleged as 'The creator of all' and the pantheon of Egyptian Gods were seen as mere aspects of Amon-Ra. By claiming Amon as his "real" father, Alexander too was committing blasphemy in Greek eyes, but a cynic like me might point out that in so doing Alexander was acknowledging the power of Egypt's priests, and in so 'restoring' Egypt as Son of Amon could claim to be a legitimate Pharoah, in contrast to the Persian "Great Kings' who ignored such niceties, to their peril and constant rebellion in Egypt. Alexander didn't suffer this problem, thanks to the 'priestly caste' being on-side.....
Vaulted tombs are standard in Etruria, in fact Plato's ideal sounds very like an Etruscan tomb, and we know he went West after Sokrates' death, I do not recall a connection with Macedonia.
I take it you didn't read Hammond's paper in full ? He gives a connection:
Hammond:
Such a person may have been Euphraeus, a pupil of Plato, who was influential as a philosopher at the court of Perdiccas III in the later 360s.
.
However the importance of Plato is rather moot considering there are several barrel vaulted tombs which pre-date Philip's death (e.g. the 'Eurydike' tomb and the non-royal 'Tomb of Palatitsia' )

Agesilaos wrote:
And why the enclosed cremation? Every circumstantial 'clue' has an answer from the other camp, this one will just run and run.
Actually this is not so. There is more 'circumstantial' evidence in Hammond's paper - the two skeletons found in the mound above Tomb II for example, which can be explained in the context of Philip II :-
Hammond:
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.
.....which adherents of the tomb being that of Arrhidaeus cannot explain - though caution is needed, as I said, because we simply don't have the detail about Arrhidaeus' funeral that we have about Philip II's. Another point of Hammond's is that clearly Tomb II was the focal point of the Great Tumulus - hardly likely if its occupant was Arrhidaeus. A little specious perhaps, but hard for adherents of Arrhidaeus to explain away....and there's more in the paper ( good and bad ! )
Overall, the 'circumstantial' evidence seems to fit Philip II better than Arrhidaeus. However, we are in agreement that this debate will 'run and run'...
Xenophon wrote:
It is unfortunate that we have two potential occupants of the tomb, who died within 20 years aprox of each other. The decider might be that excavation of the remaining many tumuli reveals Cassander’s burial of Philip Arrhidaeus, Eurydike and Kynna separately ( difficult to positively identify unless the tomb is unrobbed) or another tomb that can be positively identified as Philip II’s.....
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Re: Scientists to scan remains of King Philip II

Post by agesilaos »

Your right, I did not read the paper, I have not got JSTOR clearance :( I agree that Plato is moot, I merely meant it shows Hammond's method and the connection you give of Euphraios is another example of stretching the evidence, if my pupil gets a job in America it does not follow that I have any connection with the great Satan. Like you say the earlier tombs are absolutely decisive on the argument he just can't help adding weak 'corroboration'.

That Andronikos dates the shards as he does comes as no surprise, he has an investment in his interpretation, after all, but his conclusions have been doubted by equally eminent experts, and, in any case one can only get a terminus post quem, ie you can only say no earlier than such a date; this is especially so in a robbed out site with limited samples. I have Andronikos' book 'Vergina' I'll have to dig it out and see exactly what he says, I would not wish to appear to be accusing either him or Hammond of deliberate falsification only a form of 'Schliemann's Syndrome', which allows the optimistic interpretation of ambiguous evidence to support a preconceived theory. Although, that in itself does not mean the theory itself is wrong.

The trouble with the 'supporting circumstantial evidence' is that the Grand tumulus is not the original mound. So the people who wish us to believe the rotting corpse of a king would be taboo want us to accept that the corpses of traitors are not. They could equally well be Gallic prisoners sacrificed to re-sanctify the desecrated mound, or simply to punish their grave robbing.
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Re: Scientists to scan remains of King Philip II

Post by Xenophon »

Agesilaos wrote:
The trouble with the 'supporting circumstantial evidence' is that the Grand tumulus is not the original mound. So the people who wish us to believe the rotting corpse of a king would be taboo want us to accept that the corpses of traitors are not. They could equally well be Gallic prisoners sacrificed to re-sanctify the desecrated mound, or simply to punish their grave robbing.
Agreed, the Grand tumulus was erected over the three earlier tumuli, and Hammond has a hypothesis about that too.....but equally it could have been heaped up as 'extra protection' after the Gallic tomb-robbers had looted several of the Royal Tombs, though this latter explanation doesn't seem convincing......why draw even more attention to the site with a huge marker that says to the world "Important tombs buried here" ?

Did Macedonians c. 300 BC practise ritual human sacrifice ? And with Pyrrhus in complete control, capturing and punishing two of the grave robbers seems a little unlikely too, not to mention that the swords are of Greek/Macerdonian type - not Gallic......but one of the drawbacks of 'balance of probability' is that probability isn't always right - unlikely explanations are often the true one !!

As to pottery dating, that is of course always a rather inexact science at the best of times, ( with rare exceptions, such as the date stamped on one of the pots from the 'Eurydike' tomb) with dating sometimes simply to the closest century or half century, and with the two candidates a mere 20 years or so apart, it is hardly likely to be conclusive.....

I suspect answers, if any are ever to emerge, will come from the excavations of further tumuli - there are many in Vergina still completely untouched by archaeologists.

Postscript : By the way, Schliemann was not just 'optimistic', but went beyond that into the realms of fraud ( not the only archaeologist to do so). This charlatan changed his story about how the 'treasure of Priam's Palace' was found a number of times, though the 'treasure' itself seems to be genuine enough - it was lost when the Russians looted it from Berlin - along with much else - in 1945, but since the end of communism has now been found, and re-examined, in the Hermitage museum, St Petersburg, and the Pushkin museum, Moscow.
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Re: Scientists to scan remains of King Philip II

Post by agesilaos »

Agreed, at Uni we were always amazed that he had not managed to find the shattered bones of Astyanax cast some distance from the walls 'at least ten timesw further than men these days can throw.' :lol:
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Re: Scientists to scan remains of King Philip II

Post by agesilaos »

Code: Select all

 And that even men of reputation and captains fought in single combat, and did so in accordance with premeditated challenges, we have already said in other parts of this discussion. #  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. 
Athenaios IV 155, if these fights were to the death....two bodies.
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Re: Scientists to scan remains of King Philip II

Post by Xenophon »

A conspicuous feat of ant fornication indeed, to find such a titbit of pertinent information in Athenaeus' "Deipnosophistae" ( dinner of the philosophers), a lengthy discourse on dining, written toward the end of the 2 C AD ! :)

For those interested in all things Greek and Roman dining ( and many snippets of information about other things too), it can be found complete on-line here, at the Lacus Curtius site:

http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/R ... /home.html

However, I fear you are drawing something of a long bow here, for the subject under discussion is duelling generally, and not just to the death. Roman gladiatorial combat to the death is mentioned as one form of duelling along with many others, and there is no hint here that Cassander's pair of duellists fought to the death .
Besides, according to the anecdote, they go down into the arena, one might think the opposite of fighting on top of a mound ! Of course the words "enter the arena" might be meant figuratively for gladiatorial combat....

Also, it can be read that the 'celebration show of single combats' took place on the occasion when Cassander was returning from Boeotia, some time "after" the burial with full honours, and thus not connected to it.

Of more significance to me is the statement that they were definitely buried at Aegae with full honours, implying a proper tomb. Most significant is the apparent confirmation that the three were buried together. If Diyllus the Athenian is correct, that completely rules out Tomb II being that of Philip Arrhidaeus, Euridike and Cynna, for there were only two occupants.
Diyllus was reckoned a competent source and authority by Plutarch and Diodorus.
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Re: Scientists to scan remains of King Philip II

Post by agesilaos »

Some inhabitants of Campania fight duels during their symposia. F.And Nicolas of Damascus, a Peripatetic philosopher, in the 110th book of his Histories, records that the Romans have gladiatorial fights during a banquet. He writes as follows: "The Romans staged spectacles of fighting gladiators not merely at their festivals and in their theatres, borrowing the custom from the Etruscans, but also at their banquets. At any rate, it often happened that some would invite their friends to dinner, not merely for other entertainment, but that they might witness two or three pairs of contestants in gladiatorial combat; on these occasions, when sated with dining and drink, they called in the gladiators. No sooner did one have his throat cut than the masters applauded with delight at this feat. 154And there have even been instances when a man has provided in his will that his most beautiful wives, acquired by purchase, should engage in duels; still another has directed that young boys, his favourites, should do the same. But the provision was in fact disregarded, for the people would not tolerate this outrage, but declared the will void." Eratosthenes, in the first book of his Olympic Victors, says that the Etruscans accompany their boxing-matches with the flute.

In the twenty-third book of his Histories, Poseidonius says: "The Celts sometimes have gladiatorial contests during dinner. Having assembled under arms, they indulge in sham fights and practise feints with one another; Bsometimes they proceed even to the point of wounding each other, and then, exasperated by this, if the company does not intervene, they go so far as to kill. In ancient times, he continues, we observe that when whole joints of meat were served the best man received the thigh. But if another claimed it, they stood up to fight it out in single combat to the death. Others, again, would collect silver or gold, or a number of jars of wine from the audience in the theatre, Cand having exacted a pledge that their award would be carried out, they would decree that the collection be distributed as presents to their dearest relatives; they then stretched themselves on their backs over their shields, and some one standing near would cut their throats with a sword." Euphorion of Chalcis, in his Historical Notes, writes as follows: "Among the Romans twenty pounds are offered to any who will brave decapitation with an axe, on condition that their heirs receive the prize. And often, when too many are enrolled, they dispute which of them has the best right in each case to have his head cut off."

D. Hermippus, in Book I of his work On Lawgivers, declares that the Mantineans were inventors of gladiatorial combats, having been counselled thereto by Demonax, one of their citizens; and the Cyrenaeans became imitators of them. And Ephorus says, in the sixth book of his Histories: "The Mantineans and Arcadians used to practise the arts of war diligently, and, as a consequence, to this very day people call the ancient military uniform and mode of arming 'Mantinean,' since it is believed that the Mantineans are the inventors. In addition, regular courses of instruction in fighting under arms were first instituted at Mantinea, E. Demeas being the instructor in the art." And that the custom of single combat was ancient is told by Aristophanes in the Phoenician Women in these words: "Warlike fury has swooped upon the sons of Oedipus, brothers twain, and at this moment they stand ready for the match in single combat." It is plain that the noun monomáchos ("single fighter") is compounded not from machê ("battle") but from the verb machomai ("fight"). For whenever a word compounded with machê ends in -os, as in sýmmachos ("ally"), protómachos ("champion"), epímachos ("open to attack"), antímachos ("fighting against") or philómachos ("fight-loving") — Fpindar has "the fight-loving race sprung from Perseus" — in such instances it has the acute accent on the third syllable from the last; but when the compound takes the accent on the syllable next before the last, it contains the verb machomai, as in pygmáchos ("fist-fighter"), naumáchos ("Sea-fighter"). "Thyself first, thou Fighter at the gate" (pylamáchos), is found in Stesichorus. There are also hoplomáchos ("fighting under arms"), teichomáchos ("fighting at the wall"), and pyrgomáchos ("fighting at the tower").

The comic poet Poseidippus says in The Pimp: "He that has never been to sea has never seen trouble at all; 155 we sailors are more to be pitied than gladiators." We have explained in another passage also that prominent men and military leaders used to fight in single combat and that they did this in answer to a challenge. And 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.

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.
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.

The context is more of fights to the death when you read the whole passage; it moves on to dancing in arms. Though one is forced to admit that Athenaios is quite capable of mangling his sources and adding a slant that suits his agenda.

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!

Diodoros XVI 14 v
Diyllus the Athenian began his history with the pillaging of the shrine and wrote twenty-seven books, in which he included all the events which occurred in this period both in Greece and in Sicily.
And XVI 76 vi
Diyllus the Athenian began the second section of his history with the close of Ephorus's and made a connected narrative of the history of Greeks and barbarians from that point to the death of Philip
.

As well as XXI 5 I
Diyllus, the Athenian historian, compiled a universal history in twenty-six books and Psaon of Plataea wrote a continuation of this work in thirty books.
One of the three fragments refers to Herodotos receiving payment from the Athenian State (Plut:Mor_862'B (26)) so it is likely that the work was in two 13 book parts with the second part covering 357-297 or 60 years; that is about 4 1/2 years per book.

Which would suggest that Diyllos placed his comment under (357-(4.5x9)) mid 316 BC, which is just where we would expect it. Further, Diyllos' note that Kassandros was 'returning from Boeotia' suggests that the burials followed the refounding of Thebes, an inversion of Diodoros' order of reporting but not contradicted by his testimony.

As for the 'arena' not being on the mound, nothing says the bodies of the fighters (or the supposed Lynkestian brothers for that matter) were buried where they fell.
When you think about, it free-choice is the only possible option.
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