I. Alexander III: King of Macedon
A. The immediate accession and the purge:
1. Philip had planned it well--too well? Formal accession to the kingship required the literal acclamation of the Army
a) The officer corps knew of Alexander's ability by his suppression of the Maedi revolt and his quite brilliant command of their own unit at Chaeronea
b) The phalanx and other infantry knew of Alexander's personal courage, but, more importantly, he was the acknowledged son of Philip II, whom they never stopped loving
(1) Cleitus cast his repudiation of Philip in his teeth during the quarrel (p. 308)
(2) The Army and the Ammon incident at the Oropus Munity, again
(3) Alexander's own reminder to the army that when Philip had found them, they were wearing sheepskins instead of cloaks, shepherds instead of soldiers, etc.
c) What mattered most was the support of the officer corps, namely, Antipate, who brought Alexander out, introduced him to the troops in glowing terms, and secured the acclamation
2. That done, then began the "queen bee" bit--Alexander systematically eliminated any conceivable threat to his authority. Note even Wlicken's desire to gloss over that: "The security of the throne required further sacrifices," p. 62.
a) Despite Alexander's belief that the Persians were responsible for his father's murder, the first to be executed (besides Pausanias, of course) were two sons of the former king of Lyncestis, Aeropus, Arrhabaeus and Heromenes, on a charge of complicity.
(1) Alexander, the last son, saved himself--for now--by being the first to fall on his knees before Alexander and hail him as king.
(a) It didn't hurt that he was Antipater's son-in-law.
(b) Curious thing about that--Arrian's detailed history (about which we'll talk after the break) puts off his account of who died until he finally did kill Alexander of Lyncestis during the Persian campaign.
(c) The charge (Arr. 2.14.5) was that Darius had promised him the throne of Macedon in return for murdering Alexander.
(d) Probably Ptolemy moved the story., since Arrian had no axe to grind in the matter.
b) Next to go was Attalus, murdered with the Army in Asia Minor, this clearly a personal score
(1) Attalus had tried to prove he was loyal by sending some of Demosthenes' letters trying to suborn him to Alexander
(2) That only gave an official charge of treason some weight
(3) Alexander owed Attalus more than a drinking cup in the face for that "legitimate" crack, especially when he was king.
(4) Also, when Olympias had murdered Cleopatra and Europa, that had put an obligation for Attalus to take revenge at the first opportunity. Alexander wasn't going to give him one.
c) Alexander next cleaned out his immediate family.
(1) Amyntas III had been Perdicass III's infant son, whom Philip had replaced in the kingship in 359
(a) Philip had left him alive, but his claim to the throne (whether he made it or not), was, in fact, quite a good one--he'd actually, briefly, had it.
(b) Other people might have supported him if Alexander proved vulnerable, witness the grief Philip had had with his own set of pretenders
(c) It was quietly done--Amyntas at first disappeared, and the news of the murder only came out late, Just. 12.6.14.
(2) Philip had two other sons.
(a) Arrhidaeus was safe, being an idiot.
(b) Caranus, however, who was Philip's son but not the acknowledged heir, was put to death.
3. It all worked--with the likelier candidates dead and Olympias left behind as Queen Mother to monitor the court at Pella while her son was on campaign, Alexander stayed securely on the throne of Macedon until his death.
B. Picking up the Reigns of Power
1. Alexander had all of Philip's starting assetts--Macedonia, what was left in the Mines, and the Army
2. His next move was to secure what Philip had acquired in the course of his career.
a) When the ambassadors from the Greek cities arrived, he told them that he was sure that the Greeks would give him the same loyalty they'd shown (HA!) Philip
b) Wilcken's good here--in other words, I'm the New Hegemon of the League of Corinth either
(1) Because I inherited it or
(2) Because I have the same qualifications as Philip did, and you wouldn't want me to use them, would you?
c) Apparently, they did.
(1) Athens had made a major effort to get her navy into shape and instituted the ephebia, which is worth a passing remark:
(a) At the age of 18, every Athenian free male reported to the six superintendants of the institution
(b) They spent a year in military training, and another year in garrison of Athens' own long walls and other frontier fortifications
(c) Among his training were gymnastics, javelin throwing, and (!) catapult gunnery
(d) Wore their hair short, broad-brimmed hat, immmune from taxes or prosecution
(e) At the end of the period presented with a spear and a shield and told not to dishonor them.
(f) This became a fairly wide-spread institution throughout Greek cities in the following Hellenistic Age, differing in details.
(2) Demosthenes and his garland certainly get some credit for convincing the Athenians that the death of one man had suddenly changed their prospects
(a) Honors to Pausanias in Athens
(b) Demosthenes' inexcusably wrong estimate of Alexander's character: Margites, the simpleton, suitable only for walks around Pella
(c) Perhaps he had missed Alexander's position at the front of the charge at Chaeronea while he was running like hell in the opposite direction.
(3) Thebes, the Ambraciots, and the Aetolians were expelling their Macedonian garrisons and getting ready for Round II.
3. Alexander's tactic--the most fundamental military principle of them all, and I'm giving it to you for the price of taking this class--MAKE YOUR ENEMY REACT TO YOU.
a) Advice (quiz passage) from his generals: buy them off and buy some time
b) Note, please, that this had worked for Philip and hadn't kept him from conquering everybody in the long run
c) Alexander instead hit the Greeks before THEY had a chance to get ready for him
(1) Through Thessaly quickly and archon (not tagos) of the Thessalian League, as Philip had been
(2) Through Thermopyle, sumons the Amphictyonic Council (Philip had grabbed Phocis' seats), and gets the same ambassadors to proclaim him Hegemon
(3) Blitz marches down from there into Boetia and the Cadmeia
(4) Clausewitz's dictum for avoiding war: give your enemy an out, which the Athenians and Thebans took
d) Sop to Greek dignity--formal convocation of the Leage at Corinth and a chance to renew the alliance AND
C. Alexander gets his mandate for the war with Persia
1. Philip's old title of "General with Unlimited Powers,"
2. Proclamation from the League that no Greek was to serve as a mercenary in the service of the Great King.
a) Simultaneously, this was a stroke against the best troops in the Persian Army and
b) Prevented the Greeks from doing any more conniving with the Persians on their own, such as Demosthenes and his Persian "soft funding."
3. The old mantle (going back to Homer) of all Greece/Greeks (And us Macedonians) united in a sacred crusade (the Athenian temples) to
a) Free Greeks from barbarian rule (and yes, a lot of sarcastic comments were duly made)
b) Avenge Xerxes sacrilege
c) Get even for what had happened since the P.W.
d) Loot! And loot and loot and loot! (Cimon, Xenophon, Agesilaius)
To Notes as of 3/14/95