New Evidence for King Philipp II in Vergina

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Nikas
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New Evidence for King Philipp II in Vergina

Post by Nikas »

Hi all,

Been awhile, so not sure if this is old news? I believe these are the results of that detailed reexamination of the bones from Tomb II that was floating around in some background news in all the general excitement of Amphipolis last year.

http://greece.greekreporter.com/2015/05 ... n-vergina/
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Taphoi
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Re: New Evidence for King Philipp II in Vergina

Post by Taphoi »

I think that it is being raised again now, because it has actually been published in the International Journal of Osteoarchaeology.

In general this is a good piece of bone analysis that hammers a few useful nails into the coffin of the Philip-Arrhidaeus hypothesis.

However I am a bit dubious that they have gone with the historically unattested "daughter of King Atheas" instead of the much more obvious Meda. I think Nicholas Hammond was being a bit disingenuous when he postulated a "daughter of King Atheas" on the basis of no evidence at all. He seems to have done it as a backstop in case somebody was able to show that it could not be Meda. But I am not aware that anybody has shown that, so I suspect that even Hammond would still be preferring Meda, if he were still around.
Peter Green wrote:I am not including in this list [of candidates for the antechamber of Tomb II] - nor indeed did Satyrus - the putative daughter of the Scythian king Atheas, adduced as a candidate ca. 339 by Hammond PTHC 336, on the basis of Justin 9.2.1-6, a passage which offers no evidence that Atheas even had a daughter, let alone bestowed her hand on Philip. He did briefly, when hard pressed by local enemies, offer to adopt Philip in successionem... regni Scythiae (as successor to the Scythian kingdom), but when the crisis was resolved (which took very little time), quickly sent the Macedonians packing (section 3), and nuntiari Philippo iubet, neque auxilium eius se petisse neque adoptionem mandasse (ordered a message to be sent to Philip that he had neither sought his aid nor proposed his adoption), a move that would have been quite pointless if he had already given his daughter away. In any case he was now extremely old (Lucian, Macrob. 10), and unless he shared the propensity of Amyntas III for septuagenarian procreation, he must be unlikely to have had a daughter of marriageable age available. Griffith gives a sensible account of him: see Hist Mace II 557, 560-62 and 582-84.
Hard to diagree with that and almost anything that might have been true of any daughter of Atheas could have been true of Meda - their fathers' kingdoms practically overlapped.

Best wishes,

Andrew
Nikas
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Posts: 113
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2009 5:50 am

Re: New Evidence for King Philipp II in Vergina

Post by Nikas »

Taphoi wrote:I think that it is being raised again now, because it has actually been published in the International Journal of Osteoarchaeology.

In general this is a good piece of bone analysis that hammers a few useful nails into the coffin of the Philip-Arrhidaeus hypothesis.

However I am a bit dubious that they have gone with the historically unattested "daughter of King Atheas" instead of the much more obvious Meda. I think Nicholas Hammond was being a bit disingenuous when he postulated a "daughter of King Atheas" on the basis of no evidence at all. He seems to have done it as a backstop in case somebody was able to show that it could not be Meda. But I am not aware that anybody has shown that, so I suspect that even Hammond would still be preferring Meda, if he were still around.
Peter Green wrote:I am not including in this list [of candidates for the antechamber of Tomb II] - nor indeed did Satyrus - the putative daughter of the Scythian king Atheas, adduced as a candidate ca. 339 by Hammond PTHC 336, on the basis of Justin 9.2.1-6, a passage which offers no evidence that Atheas even had a daughter, let alone bestowed her hand on Philip. He did briefly, when hard pressed by local enemies, offer to adopt Philip in successionem... regni Scythiae (as successor to the Scythian kingdom), but when the crisis was resolved (which took very little time), quickly sent the Macedonians packing (section 3), and nuntiari Philippo iubet, neque auxilium eius se petisse neque adoptionem mandasse (ordered a message to be sent to Philip that he had neither sought his aid nor proposed his adoption), a move that would have been quite pointless if he had already given his daughter away. In any case he was now extremely old (Lucian, Macrob. 10), and unless he shared the propensity of Amyntas III for septuagenarian procreation, he must be unlikely to have had a daughter of marriageable age available. Griffith gives a sensible account of him: see Hist Mace II 557, 560-62 and 582-84.
Hard to diagree with that and almost anything that might have been true of any daughter of Atheas could have been true of Meda - their fathers' kingdoms practically overlapped.

Best wishes,

Andrew
Thanks Taphoi. R. Lane Fox also supports Hammond's initial suggestion of the female occupant being Meda. Here is the relevant excerpt from his chapter on the tombs:

"(b) Secondly, the age of the female who was cremated and deposed in the antechamber of Tomb II. Langenscheidt and Xirotiris in 1981 and then in more detail Musgrave in 1990, listed facts about her bones which make it “probable” that she was cremated within the age-range 20 to 30 and for Musgrave in 1990 and still in 2010, certainly not at an age below 20. How old was Eurydice when she killed herself in October 317 bc?
Answers depend on the date of the marriage of her royal parents, Kynna and Amyntas “IV.” We know a date by when their marriage had ended: early summer 335 bc. At that point, Arrian Anabasis 1. 5. 4 shows that Alexander offfered to marry her to Langaros the Agrianian when Langaros came to Pella: in fact, he died of a sickness before coming. Plutarch Moralia 327C claims rhetorically but plausibly that Amyntas was a focus of opposition to Alexander’s accession and therefore it is likely that he was put to death rapidly in the usual purging of rival kin, probably by the end of 336 bc.
When had he and Kynna married? The only evidence lies in Polyaenus 8. 60. His underlying source is used here so as to present Kynna as a manly woman, a true virago who killed a male enemy in battle and then “having married Amyntas and quickly rejected him did not put up with making trial of a second husband.” The crucial word here is quickly (ταχα): it is not a “relative” term, but it is integral to the presentation of Kynna as an independent woman. This angle has been imposed on the underlying facts of a short marriage and no remarriage, although Kynna did not “reject” her husband, so much as lose him to an assassin. Facts, however, there had to be, for the angle to be plausible. If Kynna and Amyntas had been married for several years, the presentation of her as a strong-willed virago would not have been sustainable.
From Berve to Carney, scholars have therefore dated Kynna and Amyntas’ marriage to 337/6 bc. One might expect this doubly royal wedding to have been contracted only in the presence of Philip, who promoted it. If so, his own travels are a limiting factor too, as they took him away from Macedon from winter 342/1 bc until late 338/early 337 bc. Perhaps the wedding was timed to coincide with his own, to Cleopatra in (I believe) early 337 bc. Or it may have been delayed until 336 bc. Seeing the difficulties here for supporters of Eurydice in Tomb II, W. L. Adams tried to claim that Kynna could have married Amyntas as early as 342 bc so that their daughter Eurydice could be about 24 when she died, matching the bones in Tomb II. That chronology defies the only source, Polyaenus. If Amyntas and Kynna had been married for at least six years, Kynna could not be said to have shown her independent mettle by “rejecting” her husband “quickly.” The couple were married in spring 337 or 336: Eurydice their daughter therefore cannot have been more than 18 or 19 when she killed herself in October 317. The bones in the antechamber of Tomb II show a range of features which do not fit such a young age and show none of those which require it.
The bones in the rear chamber are those of a man from c. 35 to 50 years old. The items in his chamber, above all the gold and ivory shield, show that the tomb is a king’s. Only one item is inscribed with a name: the silver strainer, with Machatas in the genitive. The name Machatas has regional links to the Elimiote royal house or districts further west: it is incon- ceivable that a local Machatas is the tomb’s occupant. However, Philip II had an Elimiote brother-in-law Machatas and Plutarch Moralia 178F–179A ascribes a witty story to Philip, slumbering while judging the case of one Machatas. The item may be a gift from Machatas to Philip II rather than an item made by a local metalworker called Machatas.
There are only two kings in the later fourth-century bc of a suitable age to match the bones: Philip III and Philip II. The tomb is not Philip III’s. Nothing in its archaeology is inconsistent with a date of 336 bc. The tomb is therefore Philip II’s. The lady in her twenties in the front chamber is one of his wives. We do not know how old Cleopatra was when she died but the statement by Plutarch that she was killed later in Alexander’s absence makes her an unlikely candidate for a place in the cremated Philip’s tomb which was built as a unity. I believe the lady is Philip’s sixth wife, the Getic–Scythian princess Meda, daughter of Cothelas, married to him c. 341–0. Her likely age, five years after marriage, fits the bones and her origin fits the Scythian–style gorytos found in the front chamber too."

Brill Companion to Ancient Macedon, pages 30-32
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