CLAS 175 Notes as of 2/22/96

XV. End as of 2/15/96

To Notes as of 2/15/96

A. The Thebans found themselves facing the Athenian army when it occupied the temple of Apollo at Delion in 424. Without Spartan help, this threat required an extravagant series of solutions that also showed that there were different ways of fighting than previously.

1. Athenians and Thebans long-term enemies: Conventional, limited warfare did not gratify their centuries-old hate for each other.

2. Athenians decided to occupy the temple of Apollo at Delion as long-term weakening measure of Thebes/Boetia, more effective than annual warfare (the Spartans later did this to them at Decelea!)

3. Seizing the temple and fortifying it made them technically temple robbers--they'd stolen the temple!

4. Bulk of Athenian army was light troops: 20,000/7,000 psiloi (unarmored)/hoplites

5. Thebans ambush returning Athenians at Tanagra, set- piece battle, BUT

6. Thebans 25 deep on right side (Leuctra, 371--also Thebans! 50 deep on Left side), Athenian line rolled up on right, and by cavalry attack from the rear

7. Athenians retreat into Stockade, ask for truce to recover their dead

8. Thebans hold dead "hostage" for evacuation of temple--temple robbers charge

9. Thebans use a flamethrower to burn stockade and seize fort. Soon other machines would be helping armies kill each other.

B. With Corinthian technology at Syracuse, Persian money all the while, and Athenian stupidity at Aegospotami, Sparta cut Athens' overseas food supply and starved the Athenians into submission behind their still-unbreached walls.

I. One thing Agesilaius's Persians and Pelopidas's Thebans agreed upon about Sparta: We've created a monster!

C. You don't hate a scorpion for what it is, it stings you because that is what scorpions do. The entire Spartan way of life was based on ruthless exploitation of those weaker.

D. After setting up governors (Harmost joke) in the occupied territories, the Spartans took advantage of the opportunity and occupied Thebes itself in 382.

1. Our boy Pelopidas was part of the coup that got rid of the Spartans and their flunkeys in 379/8. Memo: If someone hands you a note, read it, and make sure that it's a GIRL who's going to jump out that cake! (Plu. Pel. 9-13, pp. 76-81.

2. Agesilaius wasn't thrilled about THAT, nor had he been with what the Thebans did when he tried to sacrifice at Aulis in 396 (Plu. Ages. 6, pp. 3031).

3. Accordingly, laying waste to Thebes became a top Spartan priority, but there was a problem.

II. Pelopidas's friend Epaminondas was an authentic military genius.

A. Remember two things I told you earlier--armies drift to the right trying to stay shielded and the Thebans traditionally used deeper formations than anybody else.

1. Leuctra, 371. Epaminondas took the traditionally thick Theban phalanx, and aimed it at a single point in the Spartan king Cleombrotus's line, "The Oblique Line of Battle." (Plu. Pel. 23)

a) Would it interest you right now to know that Amyntas of Macedonia would soon be sending his son Philip as a hostage/for safekeeping to Thebes?

b) Would it interest you to know that Philip seems to have learned a great deal about how to build a phalanx at this time?

2. THAT DOES IT. 1000 Spartans (400 homoioi, about 1 in 4) die, and Sparta never recovers.

B. It gets worse: Epaminondas wasn't one of those generals who lets the enemy get up again.

1. Mantinea and the other cities of Arcadia are joined into the Arcadian league with a HUGE fortress capital at Megalopolis.

2. The Spartans get to watch (having barely saved their city, thanks ladies!) while Epaminondas frees their helots and REBUILDS Messenia, 370!

3. Epaminondas also KEEPS INVADING Laconia, never giving the Spartans a chance to catch their breath.

4. Pelopidas gets his (368) trying to keep Alexander of Pherae from putting Jason of Pherae's army back together, Plu. Pel. 29-34.

a) Thessaly's plains produced good cavalry in large numbers and

b) Jason of Pherae had mobilized the united armies of Thrace in 370, while Thebes was tied down--dang lucky he was assassinated.

5. Anxiety produced alliances, again, and Athens, Sparta, and others hit Thebes at Mantinea in 362. Epaminondas wins, but dies along with his staff, and Thebes becomes the headless monster.

XVI. Worrying about what was going on in the North made a great deal of sense, in truth...

I. To quote a passage involving Stalin's Russia: "Russia had always been a big, but rather awkward power, and the other nations blindly assumed that it would always be." Hillbillies aren't funny when you realize that there are a lot of them, and they can shoot better than you can...

II. The Macedonian Kingship was a funny institution, straight out of the Dorian invasion.

A. They had a king, and they had a capital/fortress, Aigai

B. To the North, on the Illyrian border were the hills of Lyncestis, Orestis, below the proper plain of Macedonia, much more Hellenized.

C. The infantry of the hills and the cavalrymen of the plains, the king's companions (hetairoi) voted to decide which male of the Argead house (starting with Alexander I Philhellene, Her. 8.137f; Thuc. 2.99f) would be the king. He got the cavalry, their favored arm, and not much besides, since the other nobles were still pretty powerful (=Scotland/Lairds).

III. Philip had been a hostage in Thebes while

A. Pelopidas and the Athenians played dynastic politics

B. As a good chunk of the Macedonian royal family killed each other, Perdiccas, the book-reading sissy being the one left standing.

IV. Perdiccas seems to have been a fairly active ruler

A. Macedonia's traditional enemies, the Illyrians, decided they'd best hit him early, which they did, wiping out him and most of the old Macedonian army in a horrible battle in 359.

B. The army made Philip regent for Perdiccas's boy Amyntas, but king very soon after. Amyntas would live until Alexander killed him in 336!

V. Philip groveled in the dust until he found his gun.

A. There'd been a big gold strike (1,000 T/year) near Mt. Pangaeus on the Strymon, where we soon hear of a fortified town called Phillipi, and whence we start finding gold coins with Philip's picture on them called "Philippics."

XVII. End as of 2/20/96

Mr. Rusch's complete notes for his presentation on 2/22 are available HERE and off our main page. You are responsible for that material (which could also be of immeasurable value for your papers!

To Notes as of 2/29/96