To Notes as of 1/31/94
X. We now interrupt this Program to Bring You a Special
Announcement! A Greek Archaeologist has announced that
SHE has discovered Alexander's Tomb!
A. Read 2/2/95 Times Story--then bore in for the Kill
Notes from the Net as the Story Broke
1. "The Legacy of Howard Carter": After Tutankhamun's
Tomb, everybody's been looking for something better
a) Rider Haggard, Burroughs and Tarzan, "Atlantis"
b) Philip's Tomb at Vergina (Aigai)--but which Philip?
2. "Unique Monument"--how is anyone to know that until she
publishes the thing? We know perfectly well what a Royal
Macedonian tomb looked like--and she's not describing that!
3. Errors of fact and reporting: It's the stuff you DO catch that
makes you nervous!
a) "Carved oak leaves" bit--the emblem of Macedonian royalty was
the diadem, a headband.
b) "Eight Pointed Star" bit-- Alexander's pecuiliar insignia was a
helmet with ram's horns, the "Macedonian Star" (Draw) was the
national emblem (cinerary box at Vergina)
c) "One Version"--break out the Shuckburgh on Suet. Aug. 18
d) Souvaltzi's comment: "Never in my life"--starts with the thesis,
doesn't end with it--BAD habit for an archaeologist!
(1) Other frightening details--found the tomb with the help of
(2) Has been working on the tomb for a long time and only
NOW announces that she's always thought it was
Alexander--why hasn't she had other people help her
e) If she's looking for the body and the tomb is flooding, how can
she stop for a month?
f) Reference to "the poisoned one," the "one who drank the poison"--
Ptolemy I was IN Babylon. That's not a story he'd want to get
4. She is in effect refusing the data of Curtius, Suetonius,
Diodorus, Dio Cassius, and Pausanias--all of whom were
subject to proof by their peers.
a) "Alexander wanted to be buried in Siwa"
b) The Army (still alive) wanted him to be buried in Aigiai
c) Ptolemy hijacked the body--wanted sanction, and presumably
5. Pausanias's reference to Alexander's burial at Memphis (still
not Siwa!) by Ptolemy I and the removal to Alexandria by
6. Rice and Peter Green: The Best she can hope for is a
cenotaph. Loyalty may have provided that much!
7. Late News: Two officials from the Greek Archaeological
Service have examined her tablets and pronounced them ALL
of Roman date--that doesn't quite banish this one, but it
doesn't help it very much.
8. Rice's Caveat: It's always the wrong tomb--be alert to
professional jealousy vs. grandstanding--but let her prove her
case in an open and verifiable forum.
B. We now return you to your regularly scheduled lecture!
XI. Return quizzes--explain piranha drill. Pad the blows.
A. Now--for a few more details about the way the Greeks
1. Earliest Greek Warfare (and much later Macedonian
a) Aristocrats ride up on small horse, and throw javelins
b) Hence, javelin throwing in Olympics--archaic then, but still very
useful in cavalry warfae, and for light infantry
c) Homer's javelin-throwing charioteers, armored aristocratic
spearmen, and club-carrying mass levee
d) Bowmen there, as explained, not decisive
e) Cavalry continued, used to find enemy, guard against small
raiding parties, exploit a retreat
2. Once again, the hoplite--old as Greek recorded History (776!)
a) Name from his hopla, arms, product of improving (cheaper)
b) More effective than individual charrioteers or riders
c) Spartan/Messenian/Argive wars prompted intorduction of
carefully ordered 8 by 8 and units placed alongside
d) Order maintained by chanting of verse (Tyrtaeus) or playing of
flutes (also used in Naval warfare to keep oarsmen in line
e) Charge signaled by raising the paean--song/cheer, nationally
f) Benefits of drill--quick obedience, unit cohesion
g) Gradual improvements
(1) Helmets were made lighter and stronger
(2) Heavy bronze breastplate replaced with lighter "kevlar"
(3) Introduction of lighter units
(a) Peltasts--light shield (pelta), two light throwing-thrusting
spears (akontiai), knife
(b) Mercenary archers--Athens used Scythian archers as the local
h) Persian troops--
(1) Mounted archers--ineffective in Greece, but potentially
devastating to a infantry formation they could trap
(2) Dismounted archers--each bowmen, Assyrian-style,
protected by shield-bearer, shield of large wicker-work.
This was fine against other archers and even cavalry, but
a Greek could close and chop you up
(3) Heavy Infantry--the Immortals
(a) Elite corps of 10,000--so named because they were always
replaced to keep that number constant
(b) "The King's Own"--Royal unit, kept near the palace and
under close supervision, distinguished by the golden apples on
the pommels of their spears
(c) Allowed to take wives and children on campain
(d) STILL only that wicker shield and perhaps leather armour--
the Greeks could still get through
3. How they fought--
a) Light troops drove in enemy soldiers and farmers by roaming over
the countryside burning farms and food supplies
b) Faced with starvation, IDEALLY, the other side sends out its
heavy infantry to face yours--easier for both sides to settle this
thing outside the walls--less damage to buildings, men.
c) If you're outnumbered, they flank you with infantry, light troops,
or cavalry, so you'd better pick your spot well.
d) On a level field, where BOTH sides could keep their citizen-
soldiers in formation, the 8x8 formations placed side to side
attempt to push or poke a hole in the enemy's line.
e) Soldiers fighting constantly edge to the right, in this kind of
warfare--each soldier trying to put his unshielded right side under
the shield of the man next to him
f) When the courage or strength of someone in the other side gives
out, then ocurrs "the turn," o tropos, and the enemy's formation
begins to disintegrate.
g) Much harder to protect your back or unshielded sides, hence the
point where most casualties in ancient warfare ocurr.
h) Spot marked by severed tree with panoply--the "trophy" again,
sacred to Ares.
i) One side admits defeat by asking other side for a truce to recover
their dead, peace may be negotiated on that basis
4. Old, "Geneva" conventions collapsing under strains of total
warfare: E.g., battle of Delion in 424
a) Athenians and Thebans long-term enemies: Conventional, limited
warfare did not gratify their centuries-old hate for each other.
b) Athenians decided to occupy temple of Apollo at Delion as long
term-weakening measure of Tehbes/Boetia, more effective than
annual warfare (the Spartans later did this to them!)
c) Seizing the temple and fortifying it made them technically temple
robbers--they'd stolen the temple!
d) Bulk of Athenian army was light troops: 20,000/7,000 psiloi
e) Thebans ambush returning Athenians at Tanagra, set-piece battle,
f) Thebans 25 deep on right side (Leuctra--also Thebans! 50 deep
on Left side), Athenian line rolled up on right, and by cavalry
attack from the rear
g) Athenians retreat into Stockade, ask for truce to recover their
h) Thebans hold dead "hostage" for evacuation of temple--temple
i) Thebans use flamethrower to burn stockade and seize fort. Soon
other machines would be helping armies kill each other
j) It only got worse in the intervening years
5. We mentioned Leuctra--now here's what Philip was doing
with the Macedonian Army
a) Missed point--country farmers/peasants usually fought less than
(1) Needed to farm, for starters
(2) Not as easy to draft!
(3) Not equipped!
b) Philip's gold changed all that, but, admittedly, must have damaged
Macdonia's agricultural economy.
c) It's worth noting that Philip moved North toward the Crimea even
as he was moving South towards Greece.
d) He may have needed the grain--conquer or die
6. Philip's reform of the "Companion" (Hetairoi) .Cavalry
a) The name--refers to hostage/page sons of nobles reared at the
Macedonian court and recruited into cavalry
b) Broken into seperately recruited/commanded subunits called ilae,
levied district-by-district within Macedonia
c) Theirs or Philip's money also provided for a corselet, sword,
spear, and a new kind of lance--the long, cavalry sarissa, made of
dogwood and weighted at the end (with a spike!)
d) You could, despite the lack of stirrups, put quite a bit of
momentum behind the thrust of one of these things, if you didn't
mind strangling hour horse by pulling on the reins, or being tied
into the saddle where you couldn't get off if you needed to.
e) Macedonian horses may have been bigger (better pastured, at
least!) than either Greek or Persian animals
f) The cavalry REMAINED the prestige arm of the Macedonian
army, and through it would come nearly all of Alexander's
7. Philip's reform of the Phalanx--now the dreaded
a) "Averaged" the Hoplite and the Peltast to get the dreaded
(1) Small, metallic shield probably slung on the right arm so
that it rode above the elbow and guarded the shoulder and
(2) Standard-issue "Phrygian" skull-cap helmet, variants
(3) Metal greaves to protect the arms from swords, arrows
(4) Probably a boiled-leather or linen corselet
(5) AND the dreaded INFANTRY Sarissa--the pike (Once the
real queen of Battles--last issued in England, in 1940!
Even used by the VC!)
(a) Varied in length from 13 to 25 feet
(b) Broke into section for easy transport
(c) First section plated to prevent chopping off
(d) Weighted, again, at the end for balance
(e) Spiked end allowed continued use if severed, or could be
planted to withstand a (yecch!) cavalry charge
(6) Internal organization: dekades, lochoi, taxis (1,500 men)--
Philip using those mercenary drill sargeants!
(7) Only the very heaviest of missiles able to get through that
forest of pikes and the shielded arms and helmets beneath.
Ask the Persians.
(8) The phalanx was drawn up by taxeis in a line, say, 16 deep
(9) Gaps between phalanx and cavalry prevented by elite
infantry called hypaspists
(a) Noted for their mobility, so possibly peltasts
(b) Noted for their combat ability, so possibly hoplites
(c) Agema troops royal bodyguard in camp, in battle, companion
8. The Classic Macedonian Order of Battle (cf. Zulus, from
a) Cavalry ilae on either flank, the better troopers and the king (if
Alexander) on the flank where he intended to press home the
b) Between the cavalry and the phalanx, the hypaspists--no gaps
visible, and ready for you if you looked for one.
c) In the middle--Oh, God.
(1) Called the tactical equivalent of a Schick Razor
(2) Wilken calls the Phalanx defensive, but only because Philip
expected you to be dumb enough to attack it. If you want
to send cavalry or infantry into that forest of spears, you
were welcome to try.
(3) If you didn't attack it, however, it would attack you--
sometime after the cavalry and that damned pike of theirs
was tearing into your formation
(4) If you bunched up to meet it, the cavalry was almost
certain to find a hole in your line
(5) If they didn't, the hypaspists would
(6) And then--crunch, which usually wasn't necessary
d) Philip had integrated cavalry, light troops, medium infantry, and
heavy infantry into a single unit.
To Notes as of 2/14/95