To Notes as of 3/21/96
A. Retreat and death, Final Plans?
1. Arabia, spice trade and route to Indian holdings
2. The legend was that he was going to head West against Carthage (another traditional enemy of the Greeks since Battle of Alalia, 535; Helorus, in 492) via Cyrene, which had surrendered itself to him, then to Gibraltar, Spain, Italy and Home.
3. You now know what Romans talked about when they had nothing better to do: Could we have beaten him? VERY tough call.
4. Supposedly (after entering Babylon, at the priests' instructions, through a malarial swamp), dying, when asked who would be his heir, he said, "the strongest."
B. Al had done such a good job of breaking the Persian Empire into its component parts that NO ONE would be able to put it back together again. Not that people wouldn't TRY.
XXVII. Life Among the Ashes of Empire: The World after Alexander
A. We're in a new area here. You've learned how people fought, and by learning that, something of the way they lived and interacted in the Greek world before the Macedonians came along.
B. "O Brave New World"--one of the most ironic lines in Shakespeare and taken as exactly that by Aldous Huxley)
C. Consider the situation:
1. An old and established empire has collapsed.
a) Alexander has destroyed the Persian Empire, and, as it was, it will never reappear, although you should remember two things on this subject:
(1) Ethnic nationalism: eventually the people of the East are going to get sick enough of being ruled by Macedonians to do something about it.
(2) "The Burden of History:" Having once BEEN a great empire, the peoples of the East will feel that they must be one again. You are STILL seeing this behavior. Saddam Hussein sank a lot of money into reconstructions of Babylon, just as Mussolini did in Rome.
2. The economy (oikumene) has changed dramatically and will change further.
a) The Persians had always looked rather suspiciously on trade; Persian definition of the agora: A place where large numbers of Greeks go to cheat each other.
b) They had also done much to suppress inflation/drain off capital by hoarding all that gold drained off in taxes. Cancel that out.
c) Alexander's heirs now have that gold, all of them (for the next 75 years or so) will be trying to reunite the world.
(1) Inventors and engineers are going to get wealthy as people remember Dionysius, Philip, and Alexander's successes with superior weaponry.
(a) Demetrius, as we're going to see, sank huge sums into larger ships, more powerful weapons systems, and immense siege towers.
(b) Rhodes ended up with the post of city engineer, supported at government expense.
(c) Ptolemy I, for some reason scared to death of Demetrius went that one better: the TRUE story of the Great Library of Alexandria, c. 306.
(d) Anybody dumb enough to think there was NO benefit to other forms of industry? Not enough, I quite agree, but you can blame military failures and slavery for that (_I_ did, and got two summa cum laude out of it).
(2) El Basico: The wars these "successsors (diadochi)" and their "followers" (epigoni) are going to involve large numbers of well-equipped professional soldiers.
(a) Again, the weapons suppliers will do very well. The great Athenian orator Lysias and his brother owned and operated a very profitable shield factory.
(b) But, on another level, money is going to be flowing from the highest level of society, the rulers, to the lowest level, the mercenaries--
(3) Make that "the next to lowest level."
(a) Who's been disarmed by first the Persian Empire and then the Macedonians? To quote that political pragmatist, Mao Tse-Tung, "power grows out of the barrel of a gun."
(b) What choice will they have but to pay taxes for wars that don't benefit them for people they didn't vote for?
(c) Just one... "You have nothing to lose but your chains" vs. the fable of the peasant and his donkey.
3. Global trade is NEVER going to be the same.
a) When Athens had an empire, it, like London, inevitably became a major trade and manufacturing center, at great profit to the Athenians.
(1) Now, Athens has no Empire, Thebes, the great agricultural center, is a smouldering crater, and the centers of power are in Macedonia, Asia, and Egypt.
(2) Worse yet, Athens goes from seat of power and commerce to military objective, as we'll discover in the life of Phocion.
b) Something had to fill the void, and that something was... Rhodes.
(1) Egypt had previously fed the Persian Empire, but the areas in between the Nile and the markets were in enemy hands.
(2) Rhodes was in an absolutely ideal place for seaborne commerce, and for the first time in centuries out from Athenian/Persian/Carian control.
(3) When three huge artificial harbors were built, overseas trade exploded, and the Rhodians were no slouches at economic planning.
(a) They stayed on good terms with the Ptolemies, who kept a hammerlock on the flow of grain from Egypt and were always looking for ways to
(i) Keep the family rich yet
(ii) Use it as a weapon.
(b) Piracy had kept the Athenians spending huge sums on a fleet to keep it down, the Rhodians sailed their grain fleets in convoys and let the pirates wipe out their competitors or come to them to be slaughtered by the finest navy in the world.
(c) Speaking of their defense system, the Rhodians worked out a brilliant one, about which you can read my dissertation or wait until we get to the siege of 305.
(d) They collected capital and became a banking center AND
(e) Had the sense to look for and develop alternate sources of supply, such as Sicily and the Black Sea, to maintain their position in the grain trade.
c) To give you an idea of what was going on, consider the story of Pergamon:
(1) The name of the place means "Fortress," near enough to the site of Troy to get the same advantage from being near the Hellespont, the gate to the Black Sea.
(2) Started out as a regional capital, Persians hadn't WANTED to develop it much.
(3) Alexander had used the place to cache a huge chunk of the wealth of Persepolis.
(4) After Alexander's death, Barsine and her son by Alexander had tried to hole up there and got nailed when they made the mistake of leaving.
(5) When the generals started fighting, Lysimachus had entrusted the site to one Philetaeurs, a eunuch, whom he reasoned wasn't planning a dynasty of his own.
(6) Philetaerus had turned over the treasure to Selecus Nicator after Lysimachus got his at Corupedion in 284, but Seleucus was assassinated right after that, and Philetaerus couldn't see the point of giving it to the assassins. Besides, even a eunuch may have a nephew...
(7) Spent some of the treasure building an absolutely horrifying network of defenses, which his heirs continued and expanded.
(8) They played the assorted powers off each other, had enough money to beat off an invasion of the Gauls in the 280's (about which more later) and to make some GREAT statuary concerning the event.
(9) Made more money as an agricultural center feeding the expanding population of Asia.
(10) Finally brought in the Romans to play them off against the Macedonian powers, allied with the Rhodians, who also didn't want the empire restored, and the kingdom finally got WILLED to Rome in 133 when the last king was out to thwart assassins.
(11) That treaure, by the way, basically set the Romans up for two centuries of civil wars.
D. So, again, the world has been turned upside down and is likely to remain that way. How do Demosthenes and Phocion fit in?
1. Demosthenes: Growing up in the ashes
a) Domestic situation
(1) Son of a weapons manufacturer who had left him in charge of unscrupulous guardians who allowed his property to decay (what they left him of it), Plu. Dem. 4-5
(2) Sick and powerless to defend himself
(3) "The Asp"--vindictive, spiteful Plu. Dem. 11)
(4) Born in 384--Athens recovering from P.W. and occupation by foreign troops, when recovery seemed possible, but difficult
b) Interesting argument for Childhood influences determining adult program
(1) Anecdote about going into court Plu. Dem. 5
(2) Education by Isaeus, political orator vs.,
(a) Isocrates the Sophist, explain term and rivalry with the philosophers (Plato's Gorgias)
(b) Brilliant writer of political analyses and educational treatises
(c) Political visionary--disenchanted with polis system and Greek disunity, problems, urged a succession of power figures to unite the Greeks against the Persians
(3) Early lawsuits against his guardians and their assortment of dirty tricks, e.g., his trierarchy
(4) Famous anecdotes of exercises, Plu. Dem. 11, inspiration to Harold Higgins, Teddy Roosevelt, wimps the world over
(5) Difficulty in getting heard: Satyrus the actor's coaching, and the Fairy Tale Story
(6) Political Innovation--charged, and guilty, of being the first to read his own speeches in the Assembly
(7) Demosthenes wanted Athens to recover Pericles' legacy, not be satisfied with what it had--Halonesus anecdote, take vs. take back
c) Effort to Recover the Thoroughly Doomed 2nd Confedracy after Mausolus seized Rhodes in 353-1--forget it!
d) Philip--Was Demosthenes identifying the King of Macedon with his plundering guardians? Rhetorician, woman, sponge anecdote--Plutarch, 2.397
(1) Does it matter?
(2) Philip DID have Athens in his sights! Struggle for Euboea, Plu. Dem. 17.
(3) Bribery by Persia to oppose Philip and Alexander (Plu. Dem. 14, 25) made political sense, if Persia would have been satisfied with the old status quo
(4) Grand coalition of Athens and Thebes to oppose Philip's invasion of 339--why is Plutarch so interested in Chaeronea? Plu. Dem. 18- 19
(5) Demosthenes vs, Philip on the personal level
(a) Philip's chant after the battle, Plu. Dem. 20
(b) Demosthenes' garland, with his daughter dead, in 336, Plu. Dem. 22.
(1) Demosthenes revives old coalition but
(2) Thebes left to face Alexander alone and get destroyed
(3) Alexander's demand and the grain response, Plu. Dem. 23-- explain)
(4) Agis and Sparta showed their own burden of history and got splatted, Alexander's 'battle of mice.'
(5) The Harpalus affair and the great joke on Athens, Plu. Dem. 26: "The Owl, the Snake, and the People."
(6) Remark after Alexander's death: "We'd surely have smelled his corpse."
(1) Last effort against the Inevitable, the Lamian War, Plu. Dem. 27- 30.
(2) Alexander's army still in Persia, while the Athenian general Leosthenes trapped him briefly at Lamia near Thermopyle over the winter of 323-2.
(3) Leosthenes killed in siege, reinforcements arrive from Asia
(4) The Athenian navy crushed by Macedonian/Phoenican fleet at Amorgos
(5) Alliance collapses after failure to keep Hellespont open at Crannon, 322, and Antipater comes down, Plu. Dem. 28. Knew how to make an exit. Did he have to? What about the people he took with him.
XXVIII. End as of 2/26/96
1. What about Phocion's Way?
a) Born in the wreckage of Athens after the Peloponnesian War.
b) As a soldier and politician he had one thing going for him: principle, and the determination to stick to it.
(1) That concept--that no matter what other people did or what happened, if you did your duty and preserved your honor--would make a ragin come back long after his death.
(2) Taught at an Athenian "stoa" by one Zeno soon after his arrival in 313.
(3) Stoicism as a philosophy did a lot to keep Hellenistic kings, such as Gonatas, and a great many Romans doing what they felt duty and honor demanded.
c) Phocion's principle seems to have been based on a soldier's primary skill: recognizing the situation in which he finds himself.(Plu. Pho. 7).
(1) Phocion would make his political and military decisions based upon pragmatic assessments of what was possible, rather than what was either desired or best. Plu. Pho. 21: "Either possess superior strength yourselves, or be on good terms with those who do so."
(2) Phocion's armies were strictly prevented from plundering--as the result, they marched through friendly territory, Plu. Pho. 11. Virtue DOES have its rewards.
(3) Mauled Philip's troops in Euboea by standing on the defensive.
(4) Note that as a soldier, that may have been the reason for his limitations: always going for the sure thing was the difference between George McClellan and Robert E. Lee. Grant could do either, much to Lee's chargrin.
d) Think of this during this ongoing election: people may vote for someone whose actions they can predict. What's the word, yet again? ANGST.
e) His failings as a soldier would kill him in 318. The Athenian democracy was getting about as grim as Carthage was on executing leaders who had failed, which certainly cost them.
(1) Demosthenes was a much better orator, but corruptible, which only got him at the end.
(2) Phocion's honor made him bullet-proof until a scapegoat was needed, and he wasn't a good enough speaker to dodge it.
(3) Example: Demosthenes faulted the Athenians for making peace with Philip after abandoning the alliance with Phocis, which Philip used to slip through Thermopylae.
(4) Phocion has pointed out that there wasn't much the Athenians could do to help Phocis, by that time. Who looked better, given the consequences?
(5) After Thebes in 335, Phocion's point was that the Athenians could save the city by surrendering these men, and that they should be proud that they could save the city by surrendering, while Demosthenes' point was that Athens couldn't spare him. You know who won.
(6) On the other hand, when Phocion pleaded with Alexander for mercy, he and Alexander were aware of certain truths:
(a) The strongest Greek navy COULD have run for Persia
(b) Athenian fortifications STILL intact.
(c) Athenian exiles to Persia
f) Going for the sure thing looked awfully good when Alexander began to flip the world over onto its back. Phocion and Demades, both moderates, were in charge of Athens before and after Demosthenes' last effort of the Lamian war.
(1) Another benefit of courage: Phocion was on record as being against it, Pl Pho. 23.
(a) You've done nothing: Peace is nothing?
(b) The sprint vs. the long haul.
(2) Antipater limited Athens' democracy to the propertied classes, more fans of going for the sure thing in trouble times, Plu. Pho. 27.
(3) Conversely, everyone would blame Phocion if he didn't keep them safe: My grandmother and Woodrow Wilson.
A. The times were dramatically troubled: Destruction of the Regency after Alexander's death:
1. Alexander's Afghani wife Roxane murders his Persian wife Stateira, gives birth to Alexander IV. The historic consequences of hormonal mood swings?
2. A version of Alexander's plans is read to the army, which makes a short answer: NO WAY.
3. Alexander had handed Perdiccas, one of his more stable generals, his signet ring, and the army voted him regent for Alexander IV.
4. Army insists on Philip IV as well, Philip's retarded mature son, supposedly poisoned by his wicked step- mother.
5. Perdiccas tries to wrest Egypt from Ptolemy, mutiny in 321 and Perdiccas's death.
B. What little system Alexander had left behind him in Greece had likewise collapsed.
1. Antipater replaced Perdiccas as regent, but died in 319.
2. Polypercheron, who had led the relieving army to him in Lamia declares himself Antipater's successor, but the army of each disagrees and fighting breaks out.
3. Remember what I said about Athens going from 'seat of empire' to 'military objective.'
4. In 318, Cassander's general Nicanor seized the Piraeus, in which Antipater had left a garrison as a condition of Athens' surrender after Amorgos, Plu. Pho. 27. Phocion was blamed for allowing that to happen, inasmuch as Nicanor was not the legal authority to which Athens had surrendered.
5. Phocion tried to reach an accomodation, Plu. Pho. 31, but Polyperchon announced that he had restored the Athenian democracy, which amde Phocion look like a collaborator
6. Polypercheron's son Alexander showed up with his army and the Athenians began to realize that they inhabited a shuttlecock.
7. The one thing they could do was to execute Phocion and others they could blame, and out came the hemlock., and after that, the deluge.
C. Cassander calls in Olympias to support him against Polypercheron in 317
1. Olympias's Rule
a) She had murdered Cleopatra (on a flaming gridiron) and Europa, her daughter, almost before Philip's body had cooled.
b) Murders Philip IV, and Wife
c) Macedonia goes over to her and Alexander IV
d) Olympias settles old scores and kills just about everyone in Macedonia whom she disliked.
e) Cassander kills both of them in 317
2. So much for the Royal Family and hope of a stable dynasty.
To Notes as of 4/4/96