XXXVIII. End as of 4/11/96
To Notes as of 4/11/96
A. Those ships the big navies couldn't catch would scatter like angry hornets and chew up your own merchant fleet
B. Not to mention your supply vessels and troop transports, if you were actually on the island trying to get through those walls.
1 High-speed maneuvers:
C. The old Athenian _diekplous_ and _periplous_ which I am NOT going to explain!
D. Oar shearing, o, the humanity.
F. The fire carrier
G. Reverse behind the line.
1 One should never sell the diplomats short.
1 Monopthalmus needed ships, and built a huge naval shipyard on Rhodes. We can cope with that:
3 The docks don't just pick and leave when the contract's filled, you know.
2 When Antigonus tried to become popular by rooting Cassander out of Greece in 314, the Rhodians joined him and cashed in on the good publicity.
3 When Monopthalmus ordered the Rhodians to stop trading with Egypt, their economic lifeline, they begged to differ.
4 When Antigonus tried to stop them, their convoys stopped him cold.
5 When Demetrius began to threaten, they offred sumission right up to the moment he wanted into their harbor--then the gates slammed shut.
6 During the siege:
1 Ptolemy pumped in grain and men, delighted to see Antigonus bleed
2 Lysimachus soon joined in.
3 Rhodes was feeding everybody, and consequently, everybody became increasingly annoyed at what Monopthalmus & Son were doing.
7 Consequent foreign policy took advantage of prevailing conditions:
1 All three of the big powers wanted, at one time or another, to put the Empire back together, and that meant Rhodes.
2 But, since the other two didn't want anyone ELSE to do it, Rhodes could expect at least one ally.
3 Egypt needed to sell its grain, and the Greek world needed to eat it. People, as in 305, get annoyed when someone slows down the line at the supermarket.
A. Rhodians offered disaster relief, when needed, and consequently got it, when they needed it--earthquake of 225.
B. They kept the pirates from starving the smaller states, and if they encountered them, kept the pirates from ever bothering anyone ever again...
C. Lived by freedom of the seas, consequently preserved it, as the Byzanties found out in 227.
4 No dummies, either, the Rhodians--they developed Sicily and Ukraine as alternate sources of supply in case the Egyptians got cute.
5 Also, since they didn't like the idea of independent states being destroyed/the market suffering, they tended to put a stop to such things whenever they could--quite often (catapults to Sinope, c. 202) covertly.
XXXIX. The Great Game:
1 Rhodes (and Pergamon's) continued existence depended upon playing off at least one of the three "superpowers" against each other. SPEAKING of Egypt, or Switzerland, or the early U.S...
2 The FIRST problem after Demetrius left was Ptolemy, I but especially II.
1 Ptolemy was delighted to keep his grain trade going and give Demetrius the bloodiest of bloody noses, but, ask yourself: does a good ally not also make a BETTER subject?
2 The Rhodians had been the first to worship Ptolemy I as a god.
1 "What more can you ask, for Pete's sake?"
2 You wouldn't turn against your own congregation, would you?--the basic reason for the Ruler Cult, here and elsewhere.
3 There were signs that Ptolemy and his son were not going to let it go at that.
1 Callimachus's hymn saying that Ptolemy II (283-246) would rule "the sea and the lands that are on the sea" was the equivalent of a red light to Rhodes.
2 Ptolemy II constructed and controlled the most powerful fleet ever to sail the ancient Mediterranean, and conquered a great deal of the Asian coast and many of the Aegean islands
4 The Rhodians, then, sometime in the 240's, launched a refreshingly modern pre-emptive strike (not all that modern, 'Copenhagen,' 1804).
1 This took place in the very darkest of the "Black Hole," while Antigonus Gonatas and his '17,' the Isthmia, was fighting his own epic naval war with Ptolemy. All those (ICK!) yecchy catapults and huge warships.
2 Battle of Ephesus, 240's--
A. In collusion with the Seleucid king Antiochus II, always fighting Ptolemy to get him OUT of Asia Minor and the Seleucids IN to Syria.
B. Ephesus was the advance fleet base.
C. The Rhodians hit the Egyptian fleet with a double reverse and captured it, while Antigonus took the town.
3 The Ptolemies would claim that Ptolemy II's Rhodian physician had tried to poison him, spies, hostility.
4 We have signs of jockeying for economic advantage:
A. Rhodian jar seals (state inspection!) all over Sicily, South Italy, and the Ukraine.
B. We also have a relief showing what looks like a Ptolemaic war fleet from the Crimea. What do you suppose it was doing there.
C. An inscription tells us of a Rhodian base on Antikythera, directly opposite Ptolemaic bases and allies on Crete.
XL. End as of 4/16/96
1 Remember what I said about war being the mother of all things?
1 Ptolemy hired a Rhodian named Timosthenes to make a detailed survey of the Mediterranean coast, and outside through Gibraltar and up the Atlantic coast. Timosthenes voyage and the account of his voyage were as well known as they were useful to Ptolemy's fleet and diplomats.
2 Gee, why would someone with the most powerful fleet around want to do THAT?
3 Apollonius, not originally "of Rhodes" gets into a fight with Callimachus, and runs to guess where, where he writes the Argonautica, with voyages, brave seafarers, and sinister kings...
4 Callimachus comes up with his own
5 novel epithet for people he despises: Telchines. ANYBODY REMEMBER THE TELCHINES?
6 One more--we have lovingly-detailed accounts of Ptolemy IV's largest vessels, all the details--taken from a book by Callixenus of Rhodes.
1 Philip V had his grandfather's ambitions, very little of his grandfather's talent, and NONE of Demetrius's humanity.
1 Had supported the pirates on Crete to keep the Rhodians busy while he snapped up old Egyptian bases and allies in the North.
2 Hired a saboteur in 205, one Heracleides, to tell the Rhodians that he had information about Philip's war plans and then burn the Rhodians' arsenal. He got 13 ships, but Philip didn't realize that "carpe diem" can also be a military axiom.
3 Philip's raids on the Aegean island forced them to huddle together under the protection of an old friend-- Rhodes!
4 When Philip offered surrender to the city of Kios and enslave the inhabitants, the Rhodians declared war--some things were not to born.
5 At Chios, in 201, the Rhodian admiral Theophiliscus and the Pergamene fleets under old Attalus II brought Philip to battle and badly mauled him.
1 Philip's losses: his flagship, a '10,' a 9, 2 8's, a 7, a 6, 25 light vessels, 10 heavier ships, 40 allied pirate vessls lost to the Rhodians, 7 by capture--3,000 dead marines and 6,000 sailors killed, 2,700 P.O.W's.
2 The Pergamene fleet of medium heavies lost the flagship, 2 5's, a 2.5, and 2 4's captured, 70 KIA.
3 The Rhodians lost at least two old 5's, (gifts from 225) and 60 KIA.
4 A battle is decisive when it wins a war. Chios wasn't.
A. Theophiliscus was killed
B. Attalus ran back to defend Pergamon, and
C. The Rhodians weren't able to get Philip out of Asia on their own, as they found out at Lade.
5 Rhodes and Pergamon needed a strong ally with a powerful army. What name screams to mind?
6 Philip had done one incredibly smart thing and one immensely stupid thing. What is the penalty for stupidity?
1 The smart thing was what I did to win the one game of 'Risk' I ever played--ally with the weaker of my two opponents to attack the stronger.
A. Philip seems to agreed with Antiochus III to leave each other alone while they helped themselves to "the spoils of Egypt."
B. Egypt had never recovered from its own stupidy at the battle of Rafia in 217
1. Their lack of Macedonian manpower had driven themto arm the native Egyptians
2. Oops--British in India--how ARE you going to keep them down on the farm, after that?
2 The really really stupid thing he did was not to do something whole-heartedly once he started it:
A. Philip had tried to help Hannibal against the Romans in 215 but hadn't done anything really helpful.
B. The Romans proceeded to ally with the Aetolian League and Pergamon and make Philip's life a living hell until he sued for peace at the end of the 1st Macedonian War.
C. When the Rhodians and Pergamenes when to the Romans for help (with clobbered Athens for the sympathy vote) the could:
1. Present themselves (truthfully) as Greeks worth an alliance.
2. Remind the Romans that both parties were friends of the Ptolemies, thanks, Timosthenes!
3. And they also helped the Senate picture Philip as a continuing threat. THAT DID IT.
2 The Rhodians fought wisely, the Romans fought hard, the Pergamenes fought for advantage, and Philip was soon fighting desperately.
1 A note about alliances: Great, but don't forget that in wartime, each nation tends to place its own interests as high as they can: Britain in WWII; the Japanese in the Cold War (again)
2 Once the alliance of 201 got going, the Rhodians used it to strike an extremely shrewd blow at Philip:
1 Philip's southernmost base was Chalcis, which was a grave threat to Athens, the weakest member of the alliance.
2 The Romans wanted to hit Philip's forces, Attalus wanted the city (FOR SOME REASON!) and the Rhodians wanted Philip's blood.
3 Romans attacked the town, the Rhodian marines headed straight for Philip's concentration camp and turned the Greeks there loose. Why did they do that?
A. People hear about things that like that--and of how invincibile Philip wasn't.
B. Who would Philip want to lock up? People who could hurt him.
C. Who hated Philip the most? Oddly enough, these same people.
4 The Romans never did help the Rhodians out in Asia Minor, where Philip had left an army, but since they made a habit of enslaving Greeks, the Rhodians seem to have chosen the lesser of evils and hired "Rent-a-Troops."
3 The Rhodian navy shadowed and watched Philip's fleet (under Heracleides) while the Roman and Pergamene fleets chopped away at Philip's outlying bases.
4 After some reasonably funny negotiations, Philip finally goes down in 196, and the Romans (all by themselves!) proclaim the "freedom" of Greece. How nice of them.
3 Meanwhile Antiochus III "the Great"--uh oh--has been merrily working his way north up the coast of Asia Minor.
1 In 197 the Rhodians drew a line at Cape Gelidonia and sent Antiochus an ultimatum--after this we stop talking.
2 Antiochus wasn't ready to have no supply ships and his entire coast exposed, and made soothing noises.
3 First he gets into a fight with the Parthians (Persia II: We don't like the West--we're up to about Persia IV these days).
4 THEN he decided that he wanted Greece and when the Romans said "Hands off," they tended to mean it--at least, where other peoples' hands were concerned. By 191 the balloon had gone up.
XLI. End as of 4/18/96
To Notes as of 4/25/96