To Notes as of 2/28/95

Notes as 3/14/95

On the Midterm--biggest problem was the essay (surprise, surprise). They need to understand how to take a topic and narrow it down, and the difference between interpretation and regurgitation. Move the pa per up a week, explain why, and warn them. No quiz, once again, "sync" the readings.

So--he's off! How do we know?

For the first half of the course, which some of you have labeled, "Philip's", what were our sources?


Isocrates and his essays, not only on Philip and Jason, but on the political sitatuation in Greece vís a vís Persia: the Peace

Demosthenes and his great rival Aeschines. We've been mining their speeches holding our noses in one hand and carrying a club in the other. Would either of them have a reason to distort what Philip actual ly did?

Theopompous's Historia Philippica--he was a pupil of Isocrates' (b. 378) and tried to explain after the fact how Philip ended up with Greece. His approach was similar to mine, in that he spent a great deal of time providing background information. Lost in primary condition, except for the great sentence "Europe has never yet seen a man the like of Philip, son of Amyntas." His fellow pupil of Isocrates, Ephorus, wrote a un iversal history to 341 (Perinthus). Tell them about Jacoby. Preserved as much as he is by encyclopedists such as

Diodorus Siculus and references in people doing other things. He may have been out to write the "Time-Life" hisotory of the Ancient World," but at least it's an early manuscript (c. 30 B.C.)

Strabo in his geography, written, and written well, c. 14 B.C.

Pausanias in his Baedeker, a reasonably honest one, c. 150 A.D., which made a point of including pertinent myths and local history.

Inscriptions and archaeology, which we've covered before

Other ancient material

Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon, for the historical background

Other writers--Plato, Aristophanes (and his joke about Macedonian catapultists), and any chance later references. Cicero read his history and made allusions, and an awful lot got into Pliny's encyclopedia. Lucian's humor put Mausolus, among other, on stage.

Now--what about Alexander? All the above, PLUS

Alexander wanted his exploits recorded, cf. the proverb: "Many an Achilles has been forgotten for the lack of a Homer." Alexander was bound and determined to have a Homer, particularly in the light of his Iliad fetish and his own descent from Achilles.

First, the official record. Arrian alludes in his account of Al's death to the Ephemerides, kept by Eumenes of Cardia, his official secretary.

Bosworth, a famous scholar, has argued, with others, that that is ALL they covered, the day to day account of Al's illness or final stay at Babylon.

Other problems

Anachronistic reference to the temple of Sarapis, a god the Ptolemies started up in later years as a hybrid of Osiris and the Apis

Eumenes himself--His Life SHOULD have been included in your Plutach, but he made a bid for the Empire after Al's death. Whatever he served up, it's quite possible that he cooked it.

And yet. . . either Ptolemy, Nearchus, and the other writers at the time had prodigious memories, kept rigorous notes, or something of the sort existed. Alexander could certainly have seen the utility of a daily record, witness

Those damnable _bematistae_, professional walker/surveyors dropping beads into holders and monitoring, day by day, how far the army traveled. Would Al stop there?

Second, the official HISTORIAN, as differentiated from the official secretary: Aristotle's nephew, Callisthenes of Olynthus.

Callisthenes was allowed personal, friendly access to Alexander and apparently some degree of privileged access to his councils and person.

He is often considered to be the source of Alexander's official line, for example, the legend of Alexander's descent from the god Zeus and the events at Siwa.

On the other hand, he not only quarrelled with Alexander in the year 327 but was EXECUTED after Alexander began instituting the _proskyneisis_ into the royal cult.

Whether that meant that Alexander's peccadilloes or other little faults (like the murder of his friend Cleitus) made into the history before Callisthenes made it to the headsman's block is uncertain.

Supposedly, for people who want to toss out ancient evidence, that made every "peripatetic" (read: influenced by Aristotle) irrevocably hostile.

It is true that Alexander and Aristotle stopped writing as politely to each other as they used to.

Finally, a book CLAIMED to be Callisthenes' has devolved into what we call "the Alexander Romance (read: historical novel) of Pseudo (read: false)-Callisthenes. This is the book, a real best seller in the Middle Ages, that has

Alexander going to the bottom of the sea in the glass barrel, supposedly to see if there were new worlds to conquer. He supposedly saw a sea-serpent 90 feet long and merfolk, and returned saying "It's just like life up here, down there."

Alexander, on a similar mission, taking his voyage to heaven in a chariot drawn by griffins, which he directed by holding out animal livers on the end of his sarissa in front of them. He was doing just fin e until some angels (YES, Angels), told him that it wasn't the time yet.

Did anybody else's ears prick up when I mentioned Callisthenes' home town?

Callisthenes was replaced by the more pliable Chares, previously Alexander's events manager, who was even more well-informed than Callisthenes about what was going on in Alexander's headquarters.

We know that OTHER students of Aristotle accompanied the army, men taught by Aristotle that to learn about the physical world one needed to pick up things and look at them and start deducing things. They c ollected samples of the new plants and animals encountered and sent them back to Greece (remember An Elephant for Aristotle?), and their notes and samples were the foundation of people such as Aristotle's and Theophrastus' s (c. 372/69-288/5) works on zoology and botany. None too useful on the surface, but perhaps the most altruistic results of Alexander's zeal for publicity).

Then, there were the "semi-official" records, memoirs written by people with a stake in what had happened.

Most famous of these was the book by Alexander's friend and commander of the companion cavalry, Ptolemy. Who he?

367-283/2, the eventual ruler of Egypt and the founder of the longest-lasting Macedonian dynasty.

The only one of the "diadochi/successors" to die in his bed. That would argue for intelligence, which is always a good thing for a historian to have.

We now that Arrian, who was an expert on military matters in his own time, approved of Ptolemy's account of the battles. He fought in every battle with his friend Alexander, but NOT in every battle fought by Alexander's armies, hence our ignorance, e.g., of Antigonus Monopthalmus's "mop-up" campaigns in Phryigia, or Antipater's efforts in Greece.

"Kings don't lie," as Arrian put it, but simply advertising what he and Alexander had done, truthfully enough, would have been an asset for him.

You can look to Ptolemy as the ultimate source, then, for the tactical and strategic details (make sure that they know the difference, again)

Not so famous: Alexander's Siege Engineer Aristobulus wrote HIS book. Where do you think we get our information on Alexander's use of military technology, catapults (our second recorded use of "field arti llery" against the Illyrians" and the logistics of keeping the army fed?

Also not so famous: Alexander's admiral and friend Nearchus wrote his account.

The details of the march through the Gedrosian desert probably were preserved by this writer, who was intimately involved

Also the details of the brief coastal survey Alexander ordered from the fleet's voyage down the Indus, along the coast of the Red Sea and up to Babylon.

Finally, there were the absolutely UN-official contemporary memoirs.

Some of the Greek mercenaries and Persians who spoke Greek did survive the war from the other side and we think they lasted long enough to write books that were later used by Diodorus (whom you know) and Cu rtius (whom you will).

Hence our knowledge of what the Persians were saying, thinking, and doing.

AND last, but not least, Cleitarchus, to whom we Ancient Historians have given the absolutely damning title of "Journalist."

Nowadays, and when people such as Tarn and Wilcken were writing their wildly-influential books, "journalist" implies Geraldo Rivera, Jenny Jones, and verminous scum such as Kitty Kelly.

When my teachers Fredricksmeyer and Graham were going to school and doing their own research, their ideas of journalists were people like Ida Tarbell, who pointed out what the U.S. Government was doing to t he Indians, or people such as Woodward and Bernstein/Redford ad Hoffman.

What do we know: Lived in Alexandria, where he had a chance to interview people who'd gone, may have gone himself (people who don't like what he says say no), wrote to sell his book.

What does that mean? He had to provide what sells, that is, sex and violence, and at least there was a lot of the latter, and he had to write in a style people could read. On the other hand, whatever axe he had to grind, it wasn't the political one of "the Captains and the Kings."

He was probably the foundation for "Pseudo Callisthenes," and Diodorus and Curtius undboutedly used him. Remember that "journalist" title.

End as of 3/16/95

To Notes as of 3/21/95