Battle Of Ipsus

BATTLE OF IPSUS WAS IN 301 BC IN THE LOCATION OF: IPSUS PHYRGIA

BEGINNING KINGDOMS

THE RESULT WAS A DECISIVE COALITION VICTORY

PAUL K. DAVIS WRITES, “IPSUS WAS THE HIGH POINT OF THE STRUGGLE AMONG ALEXANDER THE GREAT’S SUCCESSORS TO CREATE AN INTERNATIONAL HELLENISTIC EMPIRE, WHICH ANTIGONUS FAILED TO DO”

ANTIGONOUS MONOPHTALMUS

DEMETRIUS(SON)

VS

CASSANDER(MACEDON)

LYSIMACHUS(THRACE)

SELEUCUS NICATOR(BABYLON & PERSIA)

 

ANTIGONOUS&DEMETIUS          COALITION

INFANTRY: 70,000  VS                    64,000

CALVARY: 10,000   VS                      10,500

ELEPHANTS: 75             VS              400

CHARIOTS: N/A             VS               120

 

DEMETRIUS DROVE OFF ANTIOCHUS CALVARY BUT CHASED TOO FAR AND WAS UNABLE TO RETURN DUE TO 300 ELEPHANTS OF SELEUCUS BLOCKING HIS RETURN THIS ULTIMATELY LEFT ANITGONOUS’S FLANK UNPROTECTED.Battle Of Ipsus

SELEUCUS NOTICING HAD HIS EXTRA CALVARY RUN AROUND AND FIRE ARROWS FROM THE SKY ON THE IMMOVABLE PHALANX

SELEUCUS, OBSERVING THAT HIS OPPONENTS’ PHALANX WAS UNPROTECTED BY CAVALRY, TOOK MEASURES ACCORDINGLY. HE DID NOT ACTUALLY CHARGE UPON THEM, BUT KEPT THEM IN FEAR OF A CHARGE BY CONTINUALLY RIDING AROUND THEM, THUS GIVING THEM AN OPPORTUNITY TO COME OVER TO HIS SIDE. AND THIS WAS WHAT ACTUALLY CAME TO PASS….(PLUTARCH, DEMETRIUS 29, 3)

ANTIGONOUS WAS ULTIMATELY KILLED BY JAVELINS WAITING ON THE RETURN OF HIS SON. 

ATINGONID FORCES COLLAPSED AND  ANTIGONOUS SOLDIERS WERE GIVEN THE CHOICE TO RETREAT, FIGHT TO THE DEATH, OR TO RUN. AFTER THE BATTLE HAD CLEARLY BEEN LOST DEMETRIUS FLED TO EPHESUS

THIS BATTLE WAS THE ULTIMATE DECIDING FACTOR OF ALEXANDERS KINGDOM

DIODORUS SAYS THAT “THE ELEPHANTS OF ANTIGONUS AND LYSIMACHUS FOUGHT AS IF NATURE HAD MATCHED THEM EQUALLY IN COURAGE AND STRENGTH”

THE ELEPHANTS PLAYED A PIVOTAL ROLE IN THE BATTLE BY

BLOCKING THE RETURN

FRIGHTENING THE HORSES

IT IS SAID THE SELEUCUS WAS CALLED THE “KING OF THE ELEPHANTS” AMONGST HIS DRUNKEN FRIENDS.

THIS IS A IMAGE OF THE KINGDOMS AFTER ANTIGONOUS LAND WAS SPLIT.

 Kingdoms

HTTP://WWW.LIVIUS.ORG/IO-IZ/IPSUS/IPSUS.HTML

HTTP://WWW.THEARTOFBATTLE.COM/BATTLE-OF-IPSUS-301-BC.HTM

HTTP://WWW.BRITANNICA.COM/EBCHECKED/TOPIC/293298/BATTLE-OF-IPSUS

http://www.heritage-history.com/?c=read&author=guerber&book=greeks&story=ipsus

Spartan Agoge

WHAT IS IT: AGOGE IS THE RIGOROUS EDUCATION AND TRAINING REGIME THAT WAS MANDATORY FOR ALL MALE CITIZENS EXCEPT THE FIRSTBORNS OF RULING HOUSES IN ANCIENT GREECE.

WHEN DID IT START:AS SOON AS A CHILD WAS BORN IN SPARTA, THE MOTHER WOULD WASH IT WITH WINE, IN ORDER TO MAKE SURE THAT IT WAS STRONG. IF THE CHILD WAS WEAK, IT WOULD DIE SOON. LATER IT WAS BROUGHT BY HIS FATHER TO THE ELDERS, WHO INSPECTED CAREFULLY THE NEWBORN INFANT. IF THEY FOUND THAT THE CHILD WAS DEFORMED OR WEAKLY, THEY THREW IT INTO KAIDA, THE SO CALLED APOTHETAE, A CHIASM AT A CLIFF, OF THE MOUNT TAYGETOS.WHEN THE YOUNG SPARTAN BOY REACHED SEVEN HE WAS DEEMED TOO OLD TO BE CODDLED BY HIS PARENTS AND WAS TAKEN FROM THEM TO LIVE A MILITARY LIFE FOR THE REST OF HIS EXISTENCE.

IT BEGINS: HE WAS PLACED IN A COMMUNAL BARRACKS WITH OTHERS HIS AGE, SUPERVISED BY AN OLDER BOY REFERRED TO AS A EIRENA WHO HAD RESPECTIVELY BEEN THE STRONGEST IN HIS CLASS (AND WAS HIMSELF UNDERGOING SOMETHING LIKE OFFICER TRAINING). FOR THE NEXT FIVE YEARS THESE SPARTAN BOYS WERE CONDITIONED PHYSICALLY AND MENTALLY.
THEY  WERE EDUCATED ENOUGH TO COUNT SOLDIERS IN A FORMATION, READ WAR SAGAS AND SING AND RECITE WAR POETRY. INSTRUCTED IN SCHOLASTICS, WARFARE, STEALTH, HUNTING AND ATHLETICS
SUFFERING INCREASES: AT AGE 12, INITIATES WERE DEPRIVED OF ALL CLOTHING EXCEPT FOR A RED CLOAK(HIMATATION) AND FORCED TO SLEEP OUTSIDE AND MAKE THEIR OWN BEDS FROM REEDS FROM THE BANKS OF EUROTAS. THESE INITIATES WERE TAUGHT TO ENDURE PAIN,HUNGER,THIRST,COLD,FATIGUE,AND A LACK OF SLEEP AND WOULD EVEN BATHE IN COLD WATERS. THERE WAS NO ARGUING WITH SUPERIORS OR DENYING/IGNORING THE LAWS OF LYCURGUS

THE SPARTAN BOYS WERE ENCOURAGED TO STEAL FOOD. IF THEY WERE CAUGHT THEY WERE PUNISHED BUT NOT FOR STEALING BUT FOR BEING CAUGHT.A WELL-KNOWN STORY THAT PROVES THE SPARTAN TRAINING AND LOYALTY IS THIS: ONCE, A  SPARTAN BOY CAPTURED A LIVE FOX AND INTENDED TO EAT IT. ALTHOUGH BOYS WERE ENCOURAGED TO SCROUNGE FOR FOOD, THEY WERE PUNISHED IF CAUGHT. THE BOY NOTICED SOME SPARTAN SOLDIERS COMING, AND HID THE FOX BENEATH HIS SHIRT. WHEN THE SOLDIERS CONFRONTED HIM, HE ALLOWED THE FOX TO CHEW INTO HIS STOMACH RATHER THAN CONFESS, AND SHOWED NO SIGN OF PAIN IN HIS BODY OR FACE. THIS WAS THE SPARTAN WAY

TRAINING: SPARTAN INITIATES WERE TRAINING IN RUNNING,JUMPING,THROWING SPEARS, MARCH, PATROLS, AMBUSHES AND MOCK BATTLES.
THERE WAS SPECIAL ATTENTION TO CLIMB HILLS AND DESCEND SAFELY

spartan-wrestling
THOSE WHO DEMONSTRATED MOST LEADERSHIP WERE SELECTED TO PARTICIPATE IN THE KYPTERIA
EVERY AUTUMN, ACCORDING TO PLUTARCH ,THE SPARTAN WOULD PRO FORMADECLARE WAR ON THE HELOT POPULATION SO THAT ANY SPARTAN CITIZEN COULD KILL A HELOT WITHOUT FEAR OF BLOOD GUILT.

THE KRYPTES WERE SENT OUT INTO THE COUNTRYSIDE WITH ONLY A KNIFE TO SURVIVE ON THEIR SKILLS AND CUNNING WITH THE INSTRUCTIONS TO KILL ANY HELOT THEY ENCOUNTERED AT NIGHT AND TO TAKE ANY FOOD THEY NEEDED. ONLY SPARTANS WHO HAD SERVED IN THE KRYPTEIA AS YOUNG MEN COULD EXPECT TO ACHIEVE THE HIGHEST RANKS IN SPARTAN SOCIETY AND ARMY. IT WAS FELT THAT ONLY THOSE SPARTANS WHO SHOWED THE ABILITY AND WILLINGNESS TO KILL FOR THE STATE AT A YOUNG AGE WERE WORTHY TO JOIN THE LEADERSHIP IN LATER YEARS.
AT AGE 20 WAS THE END OF THE AGOGE AND MILITARY SERVICE BEGAN UNTIL THE AGE OF 60 . THE SPARTAN SOLDIER WAS HOUSED IN A PUBLIC BARRACS OF 15 OR SO TO EAT AND SLEEP. THIS WAS DONE UNTIL THE AGE OF 30 WHEN HE COULD LIVE WITH HIS WIFE.
ANY SPARTAN THAT WAS WASHED OUT OF THE AGOGE WOULD SHAME HIS FAMILY AND THE BLOODLINE WOULD MOST IKELY NOT BE PERMITTED TO CONTINUE FROM THAT SON.

WORKS CITED
HTTP://WWW.SIKYON.COM/SPARTA/AGOGI_EG.HTML
HTTP://SUITE101.COM/A/AGOGE-SPARTAN-MILITARY-TRAINING-A15311
HTTP://WWW.HISTORY.COM/NEWS/HISTORY-LISTS/8-REASONS-IT-WASNT-EASY-BEING-SPARTAN
HTTP://PENELOPE.UCHICAGO.EDU/THAYER/E/ROMAN/TEXTS/PLUTARCH/MORALIA/SAYINGS_OF_SPARTANS*/UNKNOWN.HTML
HTTP://WWW.HISTORYWIZ.COM/DIDYOUKNOW/SPARTANFAMILY.HTM
HTTP://HISTCLO.COM/CHRON/ANCIENT/GRE/CITY/SPAR/SPAR-GF.HTML
GYMNASIUM OF VIRTUE (STUDIES IN THE HISTORY OF GREECE AND ROME)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Archimedes

Arch Web  - World

Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it and I shall move the world. – Archimedes

Early Life of Archimedes

          Archimedes was born in Syracuse, Sicily in the year 287 B.C. He was a very intelligent child; never shying away from challenges, Archimedes loved to solve problems. Very little is known about his childhood other than information about his father and the fact that he studied under some of the greatest scholars of his day.

Archimedes’ father was a known Astronomer and Mathematician. This might explain why Archimedes grew up to love science so much. During his educational years Archimedes moved to Alexandria, Egypt and studied with the scholars of the day that studied under Euclid, the father of Geometry. After completing his education Archimedes returned to Syracuse, Sicily. Where he began working for King Hiero (a possible family member).

Inventions and Upgrades of Archimedes

Archimedes Screw

The Archimedes screw was initially invented to move water from low terrains to high terrains. This helped the people of Sicily irrigate their farm lands that were above the water level. The Archimedes screw was also used to move water out from the bottom of ships, so the ship would not sink.

Today there are still cases in which the Archimedes screw is used. In some small third world countries the Archimedes screw is still used for irrigation.

A version of the Archimedes screw is also used in the present day Netherlands to keep a windmill working.

The Archimedes screw is very popular with eco-friendly companies as well because the Archimedes screw uses very little energy.

The Claw or Crane

Arch Web - Myth Claw

The Archimedes Claw or Crane was a defense machine that was placed in Sicilian cities that were on the coast line. The idea was simple; use a hook to pick up enemy ships and then pull the enemy boat up in the air smashing the enemies onto the shore line.

Historians are not 100% sure this actually happened. There is enough evidence to support the fact that Sicilian cities had a large arm that would reach over the water.

Arch Web - Real version claw

A far more believable option would be the Archimedes Claw would reach over the water and drop a humungous hook through the enemy ship, and then attempt to raise the hook up. This would at a minimum put a large hole in the enemy ship that could sink it. Enemy sailors could possibly get injured as the hook grabs the ship, and finally the ship could be lifted into the air destroyed if the hook grabs the ship correctly.

The Death Ray

Arch Web  - Death Ray

The death ray was an invention where Archimedes put a bunch of mirrors in a formation that was able to focus the energy from the sun and shoot it at enemy ships. The hope was Archimedes would cause the enemy ships to light on fire.

This is very difficult to prove that it happened. But as history teaches us it is not that important if it actually happened because local enemy thought Archimedes could do it and that proved to be more important. Enemies became intimidated and choose not to mess with Archimedes city.

In 2005 a class at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) ran a test with mirrors on top of a building. They pointed over 100 mirrors at a wooden ship model and caught it on fire by focusing the suns energy onto one spot on the ship. By no means does this prove Archimedes had and used a death ray, but it does prove that it was possible.

Hydrostatics

It was said that Archimedes had been confused by a tasking given to him by the King of Sicily. The King had asked a goldsmith to make a crown for him. For some reason the King believed that the goldsmith did not use all of the gold given to him. Archimedes was tasked to prove it without harming the crown.

“Eureka, I have done it! – Archimedes”.  When Archimedes found the answer he was taking a bath, when he got into the water he noticed that the water level raised and Archimedes found the answer to his problem. Archimedes was so proud of himself that he jumped out of bathtub and ran down the street stark naked screaming “Eureka, I have done it!”

Archimedes solved this problem by getting a tub of water, the crown and an equal amount of gold that the king gave the goldsmith. Archimedes put the equal amount of gold in the water and marked the line that the water rose to. Next he took the gold out of the water and put the crown in the water. The laws of hydrostatic says if the golden crown were truly made of gold then the water level would raise to the same line as the equal amount of gold. The fact the gold is shaped into different positions doesn’t matter, the gold will still weight the same. The story ended badly for the goldsmith as the water level did not rise to the same line. The goldsmith was arrested and sentenced for stealing gold from the king. He later admitted that he filled some of the crown with silver.

Catapult

Archimedes did not invent the catapult; however he did make it more accurate for Sicily. This became very important for the Sicily because Archimedes lived through the first Punic war. The first Punic was may have been between Rome and Carthage, but a lot of this war happened in, on or around the country of Sicily. So the King Hiero II needed war materials and the ability to defend himself. A more accurate catapult would have been a very big invention of this time.

Lever, fulcrum and pulley

Again, these three things were not invented by Archimedes, but he sure loved them and used them a lot. Just about every aspect of the Archimedes Claw would have needed a lot of pulleys and possibly levers and fulcrums too. Many of Archimedes inventions centered around these inventions.

Mathematical contributions

Archimedes upgraded the value of PI. Previous mathematicians created an approximate value for PI, but Archimedes found a way to repeat specific steps of the mathematical process in an effort to create a more accurate answer for PI.

Sands of grain

Archimedes wanted to know how many grains of sand there were in the universe. He created his own numbering system based around the Greek myriad (or uncountable) and then he went to work. Archimedes finally answered his question as 8×1063 where each nomination equals 100 million.

Just really cool stuff

Archimedes enjoyed mental challenges, and is said to have written one of the toughest mathematical equations of all times or the problema bovinum. The problema bovinum asks the reader to determine how many bulls and cows are in a herd when there are four different colors of cows. The problem translated into English looks like this:

“If thou art diligent and wise, O stranger, compute the number of cattle of the Sun, who once upon a time grazed on the fields of the Thrinacian isle of Sicily, divided into four herds of different colours, one milk white, another a glossy black, a third yellow and the last dappled. In each herd were bulls, mighty in number according to these proportions: Understand, stranger, that the white bulls were equal to a half and a third of the black together with the whole of the yellow, while the black were equal to the fourth part of the dappled and a fifth, together with, once more, the whole of the yellow. Observe further that the remaining bulls, the dappled, were equal to a sixth part of the white and a seventh, together with all of the yellow. These were the proportions of the cows: The white were precisely equal to the third part and a fourth of the whole herd of the black; while the black were equal to the fourth part once more of the dappled and with it a fifth part, when all, including the bulls, went to pasture together. Now the dappled in four parts were equal in number to a fifth part and a sixth of the yellow herd. Finally the yellow were in number equal to a sixth part and a seventh of the white herd. If thou canst accurately tell, O stranger, the number of cattle of the Sun, giving separately the number of well-fed bulls and again the number of females according to each colour, thou wouldst not be called unskilled or ignorant of numbers, but not yet shalt thou be numbered among the wise.

But come, understand also all these conditions regarding the cattle of the Sun. When the white bulls mingled their number with the black, they stood firm, equal in depth and breadth, and the plains of Thrinacia, stretching far in all ways, were filled with their multitude. Again, when the yellow and the dappled bulls were gathered into one herd they stood in such a manner that their number, beginning from one, grew slowly greater till it completed a triangular figure, there being no bulls of other colours in their midst nor none of them lacking. If thou art able, O stranger, to find out all these things and gather them together in your mind, giving all the relations, thou shalt depart crowned with glory and knowing that thou hast been adjudged perfect in this species of wisdom.”

Archimedes sent this math problem to Eratoshenes of Cyrene for the purpose of having the problem investigated by the mathematicians at Alexandria, Egypt; the scholarly home of the Hellenistic era. This problem was written nearly 250 years before the death of Christ, and it was not until 1880 when the problema bovinum was even remotely answered. Without a computer a German mathematician proved the answer started out 7766. (and then went on for 206, 545 digits). Over the next 85 years mathematicians took the answer out 40 more digits. Finally in 1981 a computer “Cray-1” was given the problema bovinum and Cray-1 solved it within 10 minutes of straight processing, and the subsequent print out was 47 pages long.

The Death Ray

Greek Clothing in the Hellenistic Era

Greek Clothing: An Inspiration for the Ages

While clothes of this time did not survive, we have works that describe the clothing of this era in detail and artists depictions, such as those found in paintings and sculpture. Greek clothing was very different from Egyptian clothing, Greek style clothing influenced and inspired the masses, including but not limited to, the Romans. Clothing of this time was multifunctional, for example, it might also be used as bedding. The majority of all clothing was homemade and each article was made to get the most usage. Garments were described as either all white, or elaborate in design with bright colors.

Women’s Clothing

Women were clothed in tunics, T-shaped garments similar to a loose fitting T-shirt. Tunics originated as a linen undergarments to protect the skin against the harsh feel of wool, and were made of available fibers. Under a tunic, common practice would have been to wear a strophion, it’s function was to provide a barrier between the skin and an itchy, uncomfortable fabric and it was worn on the midsection of the body. The strophion took the place of the tunic once the tunic became an outer garment. During colder weather, the clothing of choice was a peplos, an outer garment, it was primarily made of wool. This article was adorned with clasps at the shoulders, and/or belted to form a blouse at the top. The last layer of clothing a woman wore during this era would have been an epbilema, or shawl that was draped over the shoulders and over the tunic. The epiblema was worn to public events or could also be worn to the market.

Greek women's clothing

Men’s Clothing

Men’s clothing was similar in style as women’s clothing and some mens articles became unisex. For example, a loincloth was worn by men and women alike, it was wrapped around the lower half of the body much like a diaper. If the climate permitted,  male workers would wear it as there sole outdoor garment. Another unisex garment was the chiton, much like the peplos that varied in length; it was made with a much lighter fabric than the peplos. Men wore it at the knees and women at the ankle. The article of Greek clothing that most inspired the Romans was the chlamys, a blanket sized, rectangular and usually woolen piece of fabric worn as a cloak. This garment became a military staple in dress and later inspired the dress of the Roman military. The chlamys was loose fitting; it could also be draped around the arm and could further provide light shielding. During colder weather, the himation could provide further warmth than the chlamys; it was made of thicker, or denser material to provide warmth against the elements.

Greek men's clothing

Accessories

Common Greek accessories of the era were ornamental clasps, pins, belts, sashes, and girdles. Though the style of clothing was similar amongst people, the accessories are what set them apart; the more intricate the adornment, the higher the class. Robes were also available during this era (men’s were knee length and women’s were worn at the ankle). At home, it was common to go barefoot; sandals, soft shoes and slippers were the more popular foot covering at this time but closed shoes and protective boots were worn by horsemen.

Sources:

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/113345/chiton>.                                                                            
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clothing_in_ancient_Greece

Pre-Socratic Philosophers

There are some problems with naming the Pre-Socratic philosophers.

The term was invented by Hermann Diels – He thought that the philosophy of Socrates was moral and the philosophies of the Pre-Socratics was physical/cosmological.
Historical chronology is not relevant; many were contemporaries of Socrates.
Most of their texts don’t survive – only fragments and references in other works are available.
Many didn’t consider themselves to be philosophers at all.
Thales of Miletus
Aristotle described him as the founder of natural philosophy.
He thought that the world was made out of water.
The thesis that the Earth is a sphere is attributed to him.
Much of his knowledge came out of astronomy. He predicted a solar eclipse in 585 BCE – one of the first astrological predictions in Western history.
Heraclitus of Ephesus
Instead of focusing on the cosmos, he focused on the human realm.
He thought that fire was the main substance that the world was made out of.
Nothing is stable; everything is in flux, constantly changing.
He claimed that there was a unity of opposites – they could not be separated from each other, but were instead found in the same being. An example of this is sleeping and waking. While we are never asleep or awake at the same time, we are always either awake or asleep – both our present in us, even if only as potential.
These opposites can be in conflict. It is the conflict between opposites that drives change in the world.
The alternative to this view of this world is unchanging uniformity, which Heraclitus claimed could not explain the change in the world.
Parmenides of Elea
He was a critic of Heraclitus.
Different from many Pre-Socratics – he wrote in Homeric Hexameter.
He claimed that change was impossible, since the world would have to be affected from something not in the world; however, whatever is outside of existence is nothing, so it cannot exist.
Therefore, the world is static. The perception of change is false.
We can only know what is true by distinguishing what is (reality) from what is not (appearance). This was an early version of the principle of non-contradiction.
We come to know the world through thought and reflection on the world – logos.
Democritus
One of the founders of atomist theory.
He claimed that everything in the world is matter or void.
The world is made out of a combination of elements.
The motion and qualities of elements cause sensation. For example, jagged elements cause bitterness when tasted, but they also cause heat from friction between them.
Thought and perception are changes in the body themselves – the mind is not separate from the world.
Influence.
The Pre-Socratics heavily influenced Plato and Aristotle, as well as the history of philosophy in general.
They helped create an interest in cosmology and astrology.
Parmenidies influenced the principle of non-contradiction – Leibniz and modern logic rely on this principle.
Heraclitus was a main influence on Nietzsche and much of later continental philosophy (Heidegger’s reading of Parmenidies, Deleuze’s metaphysics).

Olympias, after the death of Alexander

Olympias, the mother of Alexander the Great and Cleopatra of Epirus lived between 375-316 BCE. She was one of the first women who had the power to rule a country even though that power was not given to her. She is known for being ruthless and vindictive with an obsessive love for her son.

Olympias was the third of the four names that she was given. She also went by Polyxena, Myrtale, and Stratonice. Some sources claim that she changed her name to Olympias after Phillip of Macedon, her husband, won an event in the Olympic Games. But there are also other sources that dispute that claim. Olympias was a follower of a mysterious snake worshipping religion called The Cult of Dionysus. She was also rumored to sleep with snakes. During her lifetime, she claimed that Zeus himself impregnated her with her son Alexander.

After the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BCE, Olympias starts rumors that Alexander had not died of natural causes, but that he had been poisoned by members of Antipater’s family. She pointed out both motive and opportunity. She claimed that months before he died, Alexander had ordered Antipater to give up his viceroyalty and present himself at Babylon. This was probably humiliating and a death sentence for Antipater. He didn’t comply with Alexander’s request. She also claimed that he had the opportunity to have this done because at least two of Antipater’s sons were in Babylon at the time of his death. According to this source, Cassander supposedly had been there for a few weeks pleading for his father’s retention with his position and Iolaus, another son of Antipater, had been with Alexander for a long time. His job in the Alexander camp was the cup-bearer to the king. Alexander got sick and died after a party at which he had been served by Iolaus. Alexander’s symptoms were also similar with the effects of a slow-acting poison such as white hellebore.

After the death of Alexander the Great, the only heirs to the throne were his son, Alexander IV (a young infant) and Phillip III (Alexander’s mentally impaired brother). Perdiccas took charge of them both. To keep up with the pretence of a peaceful co-existence, Antipater’s daughter Nicaea was suppose to marry Perdiccas. Olympias offered him Cleopatra’s hand in marriage instead. Olympias invisioned Perdiccas returning to Macedon, married to Cleopatra, Alexander’s sister, welcomed by Alexander’s mother, with two kings and Alexander’s corpse. Perdiccas would be at the head of Alexander’s army. Also, Antipater would have had no future and Perdiccas would be the sole ruler of the empire until Alexander IV was old enough to rule.

Unfortunately, Olympias had not expected another Macedonian princess with just as much ambition as Olympias married Phillip III. At 16, Adea, who’s name changed to Eurydice after she became a queen.

When Antipater heard that Perdiccas married Cleopatra, he gets angry and decides to go to war with Macedon. During the war, Perdiccas gets killed by his own officers. Alexander IV and Phillip III lives were now in the hands of Antipater. He becomes the new regent of the royal family. But, then he dies in 319 BCE of old age.

The regency now went to Polyperchon and Cassander, Antipater’s son. Cassander was very upset that the regency and the power was divided in two. Cassander upset with his father’s decision, leaves Macedon and joins forces with Antigonus. Cassander eventually captures Phillip III and Polyperchon flees to Epirus. Polyperchon takes baby Alexander and his mother Roxane. During this skirmish, Olympias is not involved, but realizes that if Cassander rules, her grandson would lose the crown. She allies with Polyperchon and unites his army with the army of her cousin Aeacide and invades Macedon. She takes Cassander out of power in 317 BCE. Olympias also captures and executes Phillip III and his wife Eurydice. Some sources say that she forced Eurydice to commit suicide. The source claims that she sent her hemlock, a noose, and a sword and told her to choose her method of her execution. Eurydice is said to have chosen the noose but to spite Olympias, she hung herself with her own griddle. During this time, she also has many of Cassander’s supporters stoned to death.
Cassander eventually besieges Olympias in Pydna and forces her to surrender. He catches her trying to flee by ship. One of her terms for her surrender had been for her life to be spared. Cassander agreed, but had her brought to trial instead for the numerous and cruel executions of which she had been accused of. She was condemned without a hearing. She was murdered by the friends and family of Cassander’s supporters in 316 BCE. Some sources even claim that Cassander denied her remains the rite of burial.

Lendering, Jona. “Olympias.” Olympias. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Nov. 2013.

“Olympias.” King of Macedon. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Nov. 2013.

Wasson, Donald. “Olympias.” Ancient History Encyclopedia. N.p., 1 June 2013. Web. 5 Nov. 2013.

Waterfield, Robin. “Olympias’ Funeral Games.” History Today. N.p., 2011. Web. 5 Nov. 2013.

Phalanx Formation

Hoplites and The Phalanx Formation

Origins

As Greek city-states grew there began a need for protection from other Greek poleis and roaming bands of other civilizations. Homer was the first to describe the soldiers and how they used their formation in the Iliad with each soldier standing next to one another working together as one unit. This formation was called the phalanx where each soldier, who was known individually as a hoplite, would stand side by side one another with their shields (known as the hoplon) on their left side also covering up the right side of the soldier next to them while they held their spear on their right. Many Greek civilizations favored the ways of the phalanx and would be used by Greek city-states such as Athens, Sparta, Thebes, and later on Macedonia.

Soldiers Armor and Action in Battle

Most soldiers would be armed with a shield (the hoplon) and a spear, but because of the high cost of bronze at the time there were soldiers that could not afford to gain other assets of armor. Each army would have a series of different classes that were distinguished by the amount of armor they were wearing the lower class would only have a shield and spear and possibly a helmet. The middle class would have a cuirass, called a linothorax because it was made out of layers of leather and linens, which was and armored chest plate and the upper class had a full armored outfit which included a bronze cuirass, greaves to cover their legs, and a bronze shield and helmet. As the soldiers entered battle they stand ready with their shields holding off an opponent’s charge while the row in front held off the enemy they would attempt to jab at them with their spears. The row behind them would back them up by jabbing their spear between the soldiers trying to take out charging enemies.

Phalanx Success in Battle and Different Variations

Initially the phalanx formation was a giant pushing match where each army would continue fighting until one of the army’s lines broke. In a phalanx formation there was a large weakness to the left of the formation because the lines could not continue and there would be no one to guard the left flank. The need to make changes started in the Persian War at The Battle of Marathon (490 BCE) where the outnumbered Greek army, led by Miltiades, stretched their lines to make sure they were not outflanked by the greater Persian army. By stretching his lines Miltiades reinforced the wings leaving the center more vulnerable, but the Greek army was able to defeat the opposing Persian wings and focus on the center which led to their victory against the Persians.

Changes Over The Centuries

Many changes were made over the years in many wars from the Persian Wars to the Peloponnesian War, but it wasn’t until King Philip II of Macedonia that there were implemented changes to the formation. King Philip had grown up in Thebes where he studied the use of the phalanx formation used by the city here he would come up with ideas to better the formation in Macedonia. One issue he found was that the formation was very difficult to move because armor was made out of bronze and the shields in the original Greek armies were about the size of half their bodies each soldier carried most of the utilities which weighed about 50 to 60 pounds these maneuverability difficulties allowed for other armies to take advantage of their weakness. In case of flanking enemies from further study he made the shields in his army smaller and the spears were extended to about six meters, these were known as sarissas. By reducing the size of the shield the army was made more maneuverable and able to flank opposing armies. Alexander the Great later made his implementations the formation by adding a cavalry to cover the right flank of the army so that they were better protected from enemies attacking their flank. In the Battles of Issus (333 BCE) and Chaeronea (338 BCE) Alexander was able to use his cavalry to attack the Persian army’s wings and use the rest of the phalanx formation to attack the center many armies fell to this strategy which led to the legacy of Alexander.

End of Greek Phalanx

There were many other issues that the phalanx experienced was that it could not be used in an open plain or on hills because they would break the lines. Also if battles were to last long which most lasted from 30 to 45 minutes the Greek forces would experience exhaustion. The Battle of Heraclea the Greek army experienced this difficulty against a new opponent in the Romans. The Roman army was defeated but they were able to stretch their lines a lot more than the Greeks who had trouble in replacing their soldiers in the front line. In 197 BCE at Cyonscephalae the Roman commander Titus Quinctus Flaminius defeated King Philip V of Macedonia by using the strategy of replenishing his troops in the front line and exhausting the Greek phalanx leading to the defeat of the Greeks and superiority of the Roman army.

http://scottthong.files.wordpress.com/2007/05/800px-phalanx.jpg

http://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&docid=LWVQj0HPHrkjnM&tbnid=oHSV20XnPo1PxM:&ved=0CAUQjRw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.twcenter.net%2Fforums%2Fshowthread.php%3F185959-Phalanx-Question&ei=GTehUoqHEKic2QWI-oGoAQ&psig=AFQjCNFUD1pWeZWj38KbHK5CQNYpBECc9Q&ust=1386383478807582

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ed/Greek_Phalanx.jpg

Phalanx and hoplites. (2013, July 27). Retrieved from http://www.livius.org/pha-phd/phalanx/phalanx.html

The greek hoplite warrior. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.militaryfactory.com/ancient-warfare/spartan-hoplite.asp

The City Dionysia

Artist's Impression of Theater of Dionysus

City Dionysia

Kairete! (Greetings!) Grab your favorite festival food—nuts, dates, figs, grapes… and of course, a glass of wine, and settle in to the City Dionysia, the festival of the god of wine and ecstasy. The festival that produced some of the greatest tragedies of all time and is one of a few festivals honoring the god who is often left out of other ancient epic literature and history. The City Dionysia was a festival that began in the 6th century BCE. It was held in Athens in honor of the god Dionysus Eleuthereus. The festival was a city-wide event, attended by women, men, children, and even slaves. Many people traveled from all over Greece for the festival. (3)Neck Amphora

Who was Dionysus?

Dionysus (Bacchus in Roman mythology) is the god of wine, fertility (particularly agricultural and male), madness/drunkenness, and poetic drama. He was also connected with death and re-birth. His female followers, or cult, were called the maianades in Greek and the bacchants in Latin. (2)

Dionysus is purported to be the son of Zeus and the mortal Semele. When Hera heard that Semele was pregnant by Zeus, she appeared to her as a crone and convinced her to doubt that Zeus was the father.   Semele was killed instantaneously when she demanded to see Zeus in his full form to prove that he was in fact the father of her child. Zeus then removed Dionysus from his mother’s womb and re-made him, and placed him in his thigh, from which he was born. He married Ariadne, daughter of Minos, king of Crete. Ariadne had been previously abandoned on an island by Theseus.  There are other stories conflicting with this one, however Zeus is a constant in the other myths and this is the most well-known story of his origin.

Some images associated with Dionysus are the satyr (man-goat), the wine chalice, the ivy wreath, the thyrsus (a staff with a pine cone at top—a phallic symbol of male virility), grapes and grape vines, and the phallus itself. (2)

What was the City Dionysia?

All other sanctuaries were closed, removing access to other deities. The dead were able to roam around the city during the festival, emphasizing the link between death/re-birth and Dionysus.

At sunset of the first day Pthoigia, the festival begins with the opening of the first wine of the year. The statue of Dionysus was carried from the temple to the Theater of Dionysus at the foot of the Acropolis. During the procession, young girls carried phalloi, or phalluses.The temple was sprinkled with the blood of pigs sacrificed to Dionysus for purification prior to the performances.

The second day, called Choes included drinking contests—participants sat in silence while chugging the wine.

The third day, Chrytoi, begins at sunset of the second day. The wife of the king becomes the wife of Dionysus, copulating with him that night (or a masked person). This was also the day of tragic performance.

The worship of Dionysus was conducted in this way for a number of reasons. Firstly—to celebrate fertility and the flourishing of the vines, the first wine of the year was consumed at the festival. Secondly, the performance of the dramas was a way to encourage crowd participation in the imitations and the madness of suspending disbelief and to take part in cognitive efforts as a community by experiencing thoughtful reflections on their values and society. (1,3)

Who was involved?

Typically a political figure would sponsor the events to bring name recognition and positive rapport to his political ambitions.  The tragedians would also write and direct performances of their plays for the tragedy competitions, using male actors and chorus members. The most famous of the Athenian tragedians were Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides. (1,3,4)

What is the relevance of the festival?

The City Dionysia as a concept may at first seem an absurd combination of wine, worship, and drama but we continue to participate in community activities like this today. Concerts, movies, sporting events, even political rallies can produce the ecstatic feeling of being outside of oneself and part of the community as a whole. Not only that, but the tragedies performed served as inspiration and foundation for many classics of the Western World—including Shakespeare, Dostoyevsky, and Tolstoy, among many others.

Sources:

  1. In The Theater of Dionysos, Richard C. Sewell, 2007, McFarland & Company Publishers, North Carolina, USA
  2. Library; Apollodorus; Anthology of Classical Myth; 2004;  Hackett Publishing Company, Indianapolis, IN
  3.  The Dramatic Festivals of Athens Sir Arthur Pickard-Cambridge, 1968, Oxford University Press London, England
  4. Pomeroy, S. B., Burstein, S. M., Donlan, W., & Roberts, J. T.; 2009, Oxford University Press, 198 Madison Avenue, New York, New York, 10016

Image Sources

  1. http://www.mainlesson.com/display.php?author=tappan&book=greek&story=pericles Retrieved 12/6/2013
  2. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Neck_amphora_Dionysos_Louvre_F36bis.jpg Retrieved 12/6/2013