A blog dedicated exclusively to issues concerning historic Macedonia and the fight against Skopian pseudo-makedonism.
Ιστοσελίδα αφιερωμένη σε θέματα που αφορούν στην ιστορική Μακεδονία και στον αγώνα εναντίον του Σκοπιανού ψευδομακεδονισμού.
This article is being simultaneously published in the American Chronicle - Το παρόν άρθρο εμφανίζεται ταυτόχρονα καί στο Αμερικανικό διαδυκτιακό περιοδικό Αμερικανικά Χρονικά / Αμέρικαν Κρόνικλ:
( http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/view/244414 )
If there was ever an instance in world history where life imitated art in a theatrical setting appropriately set for the act, it would have to be Aescylus' Agamemnon true-to-the-script re-enactment in that fateful summer day of 336BC. The stage for the drama had been carefully and lavishly prepared and choreographed. Philip son of Amyntas, king of the Macedonians, Tagos of the Thessalians, Hegemon of the Greek cities of the Common Peace, was ready to enter the stage of the theater of Aegai, the revered ceremonial old capital of Macedonia.
The October festivities were underway, and Philip had invited dignitaries from all around the Greek world to be entertained and impressed at his achievements. Part of the festivities was also an important family celebration: Philip was wedding one of his daughters, Cleopatra, Alexander the Great's sister, to Alexandros, king of the Molossians, of Epeirus.
Ἰλίῳ δὲ κῆδος ὀρθ-
To Ilium, its purpose fulfilling,
Wrath brought a marriage rightly named a mourning...
Aescylus, Agamemnon, 700
The first day passed with sacrifices and the wedding ceremonies being followed by banquets well into the night.
ἰὼ γάμοι γάμοι Πάριδος ὀλέθριοι φίλων....
Ah, the marriage, the marriage of Paris, that destroyed his friends!
Aescylus, Agamemnon, 1156
The procession started with the entry into the theater of the statues of the twelve Olympian gods, followed by a statue of Philip, a deified king, the descendant of Hercules, being a son of the Argaead dynastic family himself.
μισόθεον μὲν οὖν, πολλὰ συνίστορα
αὐτόφονα κακὰ καρατόμα,
ἀνδροσφαγεῖον καὶ πεδορραντήριον.
No, no, rather to a god-hating house,
a house that knows many a horrible butchery of kin,
a slaughter-house of men and a floor swimming with blood.
Aescylus, Agamemnon, 1090
The king's Hetaeroi, his Companions, entered the theater stage first, led by the crown prince, Alexander, son of Philip. They took their seats at the front row. Seven of the king's hypaspists, his bodyguards, followed next. Philip then made his solemn entry into the theater's orchestra, alone, dressed in a white chiton. He stopped at the center of the stage. Suddenly, Pausanias, one of his own bodyguards broke ranks from the others and ran towards Philip, dagger outstretched, and mortally stabbed him.
ὤμοι, πέπληγμαι καιρίαν πληγὴν ἔσω.
Ah me! I am struck -- a right-aimed stroke within me!
The spectators were dumbfounded. This could NOT be happening!
σῖγα: τίς πληγὴν ἀυτεῖ καιρίως οὐτασμένος;
Silence! Who is it shouts "stroke" -- "right-aimedly" a wounded one?
ὤμοι μάλ᾽ αὖθις, δευτέραν πεπληγμένος.
Ah me! indeed again, -- a second, struck by!
Aescylus, Agamemnon, 1345
Philip had been mortally wounded. He died instantly, right in the middle of the orchestra.
τοὔργον εἰργάσθαι δοκεῖ μοι βασιλέως οἰμώγμασιν.
ἀλλὰ κοινωσώμεθ᾽ ἤν πως ἀσφαλῆ βουλεύματα.
This work seems to me completed by this "Ah me" of the king's;
But we somehow may together share in solid counsellings.
There was commotion, some guardsmen ran towards the collapsing king while others run to catch Pausanias, the assassin.
—ἐγὼ μὲν ὑμῖν τὴν ἐμὴν γνώμην λέγω,
πρὸς δῶμα δεῦρ᾽ ἀστοῖσι κηρύσσειν βοήν.—
I, in the first place, my opinion tell you:
To cite the townsmen, by help-cry, to house here.
Pausanias ran towards the place where the horses had been left (more than one horse, it was obviously a conspiracy), but triped on a vine and fell. Perdiccas, Attalos and Leonnatos caught up with him. He was killed on the spot.
—ἐμοὶ δ᾽ ὅπως τάχιστά γ᾽ ἐμπεσεῖν δοκεῖ
καὶ πρᾶγμ᾽ ἐλέγχειν σὺν νεορρύτῳ ξίφει.—
To me, it seems we ought to fall upon them
At quickest -- prove the fact by sword fresh-flowing!
Aescylus, Agamemnon, 1350
The army gathered on the spot, Homer's λαός/laos, the citizens in arms, congregated to decide and vote. Antipatros called the assembly and he presided. Alexandros Lyncestis, son of Aeropos, was the first to shout out whom he proposed to be the new king. It could as well have been Amyntas, son of king Perdiccas, Philip's nephew, the more legitimate claimant to the throne, since he had already been a child king before Philip deposed him. He was a few years senior to Alexander, and though he was wise enough to never challenge Philip, with Philip now gone he saw his chance. Many Macedonians saw their chance to align their fate with Amyntas too. The assembly could be persuaded to vote either way.
—κἀγὼ τοιούτου γνώματος κοινωνὸς ὢν
ψηφίζομαί τι δρᾶν: τὸ μὴ μέλλειν δ᾽ ἀκμή.—
And I, of such opinion the partaker,
Vote -- to do something: not to wait -- the main point!
The fate of the kingdom and, looking at events in retrospect, the fate of the future history of the world hung on the decision of the Macedonian laos, the men under arms, assembled at Aegai. They had to decide right there and then whom they would vote to be their king. Alexandros Lyncestis was the first to cry a name:
Αλέξανδρος Φιλίππου - Alexandros Philippou – Alexander, son of Philip!
The Army's thunderous approval came in the form of thousands of long pike sarissas clanging against the shields. Alexandros Lyncestis was the first to put on his breastplate as he escorted Philip's twenty year old son to the palace. Macedonia had a new king: Alexander III, son of Philip - Alexandros Philippou.
—χρονίζομεν γάρ. οἱ δὲ τῆς μελλοῦς κλέος
πέδοι πατοῦντες οὐ καθεύδουσιν χερί.—
For we waste time; while they, - this waiting's glory
Treading to ground, - allow the hand no slumber.
Alexandros Lyncestis' two brothers were soon executed as accomplices of Pausanias, while Alexandros Lyncestis himself not only saved his life but enjoyed for years to come the new king's favor. Attalos, Philip's friend and one of the commanders of the expedition army in Asia, at the time, came in contact with Demosthenes in Athens. Demosthenes swiftly received 300 talents of gold from Darius of Persia, to use not only for his person but also to bribe other politicians and rouse dissension against the new Macedonian king. Attalos, who had crossed Alexander only recently, was eliminated. Olympias found her opportunity to kill Attalos's niece Cleopatra and her little baby girl, Alexander's half sister, infuriating Alexander: females were never to be touched, in Macedonian royal family fratricidal murdering sprees, while males were always seen as potential threat to the king. Not only the pretender but his brothers, cousins and male children had to be eliminated.
"However, he did seek out the participants in the plot and punished them, and was angry with Olympias for her savage treatment of Cleopatra"
Plutarch, Alexander 10.4
While Attalos was being eliminated, Parmenion, on the other hand, and his sons were given virtual control of the army. His sons became commanders in both the phalanx and the cavalry. Amyntas, the pretender lost not only his life but all his male relatives, cousins of Alexander, were put under the knife. Antipater, on the other hand, the presiding head of the people's assembly that sided with Alexander was given virtually unlimited control over Macedonia in the kings absence. His son Cassandros became king of Macedonia, after Alexander's death, marrying Alexander's half sister, Thessaloniki in the process.
The circle of ruthless punishment of disloyalty on the one hand and accommodation and incorporation into the inner circle of beneficial acceptance on the other, was opening up.
The Triballoi, the Getaoi, the Illyrians and other Balkan tribesmen who resisted Alexander's striking invasion of the Balkan tribal lands were smashed and their cities burned. Langaros, the Paionian king of the Agrianes, on the other hand, who subdued the Autariatae, on Alexander's behalf, was offered the hand of Alexander's sister, making him part of the family.
Further south, we already saw Alexander, practicing moderation and avoiding unnecessary strife whenever possible by offering reasonable terms and amnesty to the revolting Thebans. He had only asked them to give up two of their anti-Macedonian leaders, and return to the Common Peace alliance. It was only after their refusal, and their insulting slurs to his person that Alexander unleashed his attack on them and made an example of political terror out of the destruction of Thebes.
Like another Philip or another Cyrus the Great, Alexander always sought accommodation and only when met with force and insult he would make an example out of his opponents destruction.
Continuing the same "carrot and stick" policy, by destroying Thebes he sent a message to all other Greeks who had signed into the Common Peace: If you go against me, you face destruction while if you join me, you get my gratitude and benevolence.
He gladly allowed his Central Greek allies to partake in the spoils of victory against Thebes whose revolt he:
"quite properly, treated"..."as an infringement of the Common Peace and handed over the decision about the fate of Thebes to the representatives of the allies" (J.R. Hamilton, "Alexander the Great", University of Pittsburgh, 1973, pg 49).
They decided for wholesale destruction. By condoning their decision allowing the destruction of Thebes he also strengthened the Phocian and Boeotian enemies of Thebes who had assisted him. Thebes we need not forget was itself a Boeotian city, and the other Boeotians were the Thebans' closest kin:
"This was done, in the main, because Alexander expected that the Greeks would be terrified by so great a disaster and cower down in quiet, but apart from this, he also plumed himself on gratifying the complaints of his allies; for the Phocians and Plataeans had denounced the Thebans."
Plutarch, Alexander 11.5
While he let all other Thebans to be sold into slavery, did not touch
"all who were guest-friends of the Macedonians"
Plutarch Alexander 11.6,
Right after he destroyed Thebes, he surprised the Athenians, rewarding them for staying on the sidelines, though their sympathies were obviously not with him:
"Furthermore, he was reconciled with the Athenians, although they showed exceeding sorrow at the misfortunes of Thebes;"
Plutarch Alexander 13.1
The carrot and the stick policy was a constant in Alexander's treatment of his perceived enemies, for he always strove to turn enemies into allies. Speaking of Athens, Plutarch explains us Alexander's motives. Here it Plutarch:
2] But notwithstanding this, whether his rage was now sated, as a lion's might be, or whether he wished to offset a deed of the most sullen savagery with one that was merciful, he not only remitted all his charges against the city, but even bade it give good heed to its affairs, since, if anything should happen to him, it would have the rule over Greece.
Plutarch, Alexander 13.2
A good teacher of Macedonian history, when faced with students that are unable or unwilling to grasp the basics of that era, and keep on emphasizing Alexander's imaginary hatred against the other Greeks and the Athenians in particular, should require of such students to repeat a hundred times on the blackboard the following sentence, in the Attic Greek of Alexander the Great's original proclamation:
προσέχειν ἐκέλευσε τοῖς πράγμασι τὸν νοῦν
τὴν πόλιν, ὡς, εἴ τι συμβαίη περὶ αὐτὸν,
ἄρξουσαν τῆς Ἑλλάδος.
Little Josif was never blessed with having such a teacher. It is no wonder that little Josif grew up to become a champion of Yugoslav pseudo-Makedonism and a leading history falsifier in his own right. Having, moreover, the misfortune of having being educated in Skopje, and not in Thessaloniki, for example, he was cut off from any contact with the language the ancient Macedonians spoke. Feeling his plight, here below we offer the English translation of Alexander 's (Hegemon of the Greeks and king of the Macedonians) thoughts on Athens, as relayed by Plutarch in the preceding quote:
"but even bade it (i.e. Athens) give good heed to its affairs, since, if anything should happen to him, it would have the rule over Greece."
All the examples above betray an unfaltering consistency in Alexander's reactions in relation to others. Depending on the situation, it was always black or white with him: he either distributed carrots or he resorted to using the stick. As for the Thebans, he did not keep a grudge for long either. It was always politics and policy that mattered to him:
"And there was not a Theban of those that survived who afterwards came to him with any request and did not get what he wanted from him."
Plutarch, Alexander 13.3
Alexander's next step was political. Philip his, father had been the first man in history to unify the Greeks. Despite "the intricate problems of the Greek city-states in the Classical period, with their almost constant strife and internecine conflicts...", professor Eugene Borza tells us that:
"The Greeks had managed to keep the Persian menace away from the Greek mainland but just barely, and had not yet begun to fulfill what Droysen later conceived as their historical mission. Eventually, however, Philip of Macedon appeared."
Eugene N. Borza's introduction: "An introduction to Alexander Studies" in "Alexander the Great" by Ulrich Wilcken, English translation, 1967
Philip II was the man who highhandedly brought all the Greek city states of southern Greece, i.e. geographic Hellas (but not those of Sicily, Magna Graecia, Ionia, the Pontus, etc) under one political and military umbrella.
Philip, N.G.L. Hammond explains us,
"decided to create the "Greek Community" (to koinon ton Hellenon), in which the states would swear to keep the peace among themselves, maintain existing constitutions, permit changes only by constitutional methods, and combine in action against any violator of the "Common Peace", whether internal or external."
"The Genius of Alexander the Great", N.G.L. Hammond, The University of South Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, 1997, pg. 20
If someone had to think in modern international terms, we can think of Philip's role after the battle of Chaeronea, as similar to that of the United States in setting the political and military affairs of Europe after defeating Germany and her allies at the end of WWII, in setting up NATO and helping usher in the EU. The similarities, to me, are quite astonishing, much more than the usually quoted but not so close similarities drawn between Athens vs Sparta during the Peloponnesian war and the US vs the USSR in the cold war. Yet I never heard or read anyone pointing them out. This is why I find the study of ancient Greek history so amazing. It never ceases on surprising us with the political analogies and the lessons it can teach a student of the modern world. But let us return to Nicholas Hammond describing Philip's work:
"The Council was a sovereign body: its decisions were sent to the states for implementation, not for discussion."
"The Genius of Alexander the Great", N.G.L. Hammond, The University of South Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, 1997, pg. 20
No wonder the Greek city state narrow minded nationalists were screaming "foul" against Macedonian infringements on the "liberties of the Greeks". All they were actually proclaiming was the right to kill, rape and enslave each other, basically, something that Macedon stopped or tried to stop once and for all. This fratricidal nationalism of the city states is what led to Greek defeat in the hands of Rome who played Greek state against Greek state like puppets in a puppet theater, then enslaved them all, having first eliminated Macedonia.
"The military forces and the naval forces at the disposal of the common Council were defined: the former amounted to 15,000 cavalry and 200,000 infantry, and the number of warships , which si not stated in our sources, was later to be 160triremes, manned by crews totalling some 30,000 men. Thus the Greek Community far outdid the Macedonian State in the size of the forces it could deploy."
"The Genius of Alexander the Great", N.G.L. Hammond, The University of South Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, 1997, pg. 20
Then, further down:
"The brilliance of Philip's political initiative, power of persuasion and effective leadership is obvious. He brought into being the combination of a newly created Greek State, self-standing and self-governing, and a Macedonian State which was unrivaled in military power. If that combination should succeed in liberating the Greek cities in Asia and in acquiring extensive territory, it would provide a cure for many of the troubles of the Greek world."
This is exactly what Isocrates the great Athenian in birth but Philhellenic and Panhellenic in outlook political writer had proposed to Philip:
μέλλω γάρ σοι συμβουλεύειν προστῆναι τῆς τε
τῶν Ἑλλήνων ὁμονοίας καὶ τῆς ἐπὶ τοὺς
16] For I am going to advise you to champion the cause of concord among the Hellenes and of a campaign against the barbarian;
Isocrates, To Philip, 5.16
And why was Isocrates the Athenian writing to Philip of Macedonia? Long before writing to Philip, long before Philip was even born, Isocrates, now an old man in his '90's, had started composing his Panygeric speech, which he published in 380BC. Philip was still a two year old baby, and Isocrates was writing trying to persuade the Athenians and the Spartans to stop fighting each other and to join forces under Athenian leadership to attack the Persian empire. Disappointed by them he turned to anyone who would listen, including the Thessalian tyrant Jason of Pherrai and finally Philip, the nemesis of his own city state, Athens:
129] Well, if I were trying to present this matter to any others before having broached it to my own country, which has thrice freed Hellas—twice from the barbarians and once from the Lacedaemonian (note: the Gandetoists and the Stefovists will rise up now and argue that the lacedaemonians, i.e. the Spartans were not Greek) yoke—I should confess my error. In truth, however, it will be found that I turned to Athens first of all and endeavored to win her over to this cause with all the earnestness of which my nature is capable, but when I perceived that she cared less for what I said than for the ravings of the platform orators, I gave her up, although I did not abandon my efforts.
Athens, in other words, was too tied up in her own struggle for supremacy over other Greeks though she lacked the means by then to achieve it. She was following the whims of her demagogues, immersed in petty squabbling, unable to see beyond Athenian city state nationalism, unwilling to grasp and accept Isocrates' Panhellenic ideas of war against the barbarian periphery. Isocrates never gave up though:
130] Wherefore I might justly be praised on every hand, because throughout my whole life I have constantly employed such powers as I possess in warring on the barbarians, in condemning those who opposed my plan, and in striving to arouse to action whoever I think will best be able to benefit the Hellenes in any way or to rob the barbarians of their present prosperity.
So, he turned to Philip, who, unlike and beyond any other Greek leader of his time, being a king of Macedonia, in a Homeric, almost absolute sense, Philip had few political restrictions, and additionally, he had seemingly unlimited wealth and power:
15] while you and you alone had been granted by fortune free scope... you, beyond any of the Hellenes, were possessed of both wealth and power, which are the only things in the world that are adapted at once to persuade and to compel; and these aids, I think, even the cause which I shall propose to you will need to have on its side.
Isocrates, To Philip, 5.15
From Isocrates we now take an abysmal meteoric plunge to the level of a Gandeto:
"From the writings of the ancient chronographers and biographers one can not possibly squeeze Greekness for the ancient Macedonians without corrupting the text. The amount of evidence is simply insurmountable and the weight of the proof too overwhelming. This should be a clear signal to anyone who attempts to manipulate the extant texts."
Here is the text, from someone who, unlike Demosthenes, had the WHOLE of Greece in mind, the Philhellene, Panhellenist Isocrates:
70] αἰσθάνῃ δὲ τὴν Ἑλλάδα πᾶσαν ὀρθὴν οὖσ
ανἐφ᾽ οἷς σὺ τυγχάνεις εἰσηγούμενος,
70] you will see all Hellas on tiptoe with interest in whatever you happen to propose;
He is Isocrates attaching Demosthenes, in support of Philip:
73] I observe that you are being painted in false colors by men who are jealous of you... and are...stirring up trouble in their own cities—men who look upon a state of peace which is for the good of all as a state of war upon their selfish interests...they keep talking about your power, representing that it is being built up, not in behalf of Hellas, but against her...
By speaking this rubbish...(they) are so far divorced from intelligence that they do not realize that...if, on the other hand, one should bring this charge against one of the descendants of Heracles, who made himself the benefactor of all Hellas, he would bring upon him the greatest opprobrium.
Isoc. 5 73-76
Isocrates urged Philip to be a presiding, military leader of a king, like the Spartans:
80] ... you fix your choice upon the kind of policy by which you can make yourself trusted by the Hellenes and feared by the barbarians - ...ἐξ ὧν τοῖς μὲν Ἕλλησιν ἔσει πιστός, τοῖς δὲ
Here is Gandeto, unabated:
"If ancient Greeks themselves did not see the ancient Macedonians as brethren; if ancient Macedonians have amply and irrevocably demonstrated their uniqueness and distinctiveness from the ancient Greeks, if..."
If "the Macedonian king Alexander the Great himself" came down from his 60 ft tall bronze statue in the middle of Skopje and told the Slavomacedonian history falsifiers that he was no barbarian, but a Greek king, like his father Philip and his mother Olympias, he would still not be able to convince those Titoist-trained hard headed yugoslavs. As it happens though, bronze statues do not talk, though they can make a powerful impression to the untrained, the brainwashed and uneducated.
Isocrates was hoping that Philip would be able to peacefully persuade the Greek city states to follow the Macedonian king and make the Panhellenic expedition to Asia:
83] ...regarding the course which you should take toward the Hellenes, perhaps no more need be said. But as to the expedition against Asia, we shall urge upon the cities which I have called upon you to reconcile that it is their duty to go to war with the barbarians, only when we see that they have ceased from discord.
He hoped that the Greek against Greek quarreling would be cured, and saw the power of Macedonia as the catalyst to achieve just that:
88] ... it is easy to draw the lesson that those who would take sane counsel must not begin a war against the King until someone has composed the quarrels of the Hellenes and has cured them of the madness which now afflicts them. And this is just what I have advised you to do.
In fact, he assured Philip, even if the states were too weak to help, he could still find tens of thousands of homeless and stateless Greeks eager to fight along the Macedonians as mercenaries:
96] Besides, you will find as many soldiers at your service as you wish, for such
is now the state of affairs in Hellas that it is easier to get together a greater and stronger army from among those who wander in exile than from those who live under their own polities.
115] ...And mark that I am summoning you to an undertaking in which you will make expeditions, not with the barbarians against men who have given you no
just cause, but with the Hellenes against those upon whom it is fitting that the descendants of Heracles should wage war.
I cannot help myself but think of Gandeto's words. The man can be so right, on occasion:
"Just a phrase or a jest, is enough to expose one´s real character. It has been amply demonstrated before that one cannot count to reach higher grounds on borrowed time. One cannot suppress and distort the truth for long by simply resorting to manipulation of the ancient text."
but with the Hellenes against those upon whom it is fitting that the descendants of Heracles (i.e. The Macedonians) should wage war."
Isocrates was telling Philip to forget his barbarian Thracians or Agrianians and to take Greeks allies only to go liberate the Asian Greeks then move to conquer Asian lands up to Halys river (in the middle of what is now Turkey, in order to settle the surplus Greek population there and solve the social and political problems of Greece. He knew that this could not be achieved by any of the narrow minded city state politicians of his time, but only a Panhellenist, a Philhellene politician someone that saw the greater good of all of Greece, someone who loved the Whole of Hellas more than his particular Athens, Sparta , Thebes of Macedonia:
122] It is therefore the duty of a man who is high-minded, who is a lover of Hellas, who has a broader vision than the rest of the world, to employ these bands in a war against the barbarians, to strip from that empire all the territory which I defined a moment ago, to deliver these homeless wanderers from the ills by which they are afflicted and which they inflict upon others, to collect them into cities, and with these cities to fix the boundary of Hellas, making of them buffer states to shield us all.
123] ...it will be well deserved if only you will make this the goal of your own efforts and urge on the Hellenes in the same course.
Gandeto is so right, as I said, sometimes: we should not be corrupting the ancient texts. They are so beautiful and powerful, and they give us a true sense of how people thought in their own times! I suppose he could try to practice what he is preaching, instead of making a buffoonery out of his kind of pseudo-history, creating a written record of books and articles in the service of the basest kind of Skopjan history falsification and Slavomacedonian ultra-nationalism...a record that will haunt his name in posterity. This, in itself is reason enough to wright using a pseudonym...it all makes sense now, Mr. Grez...ovski!
Back to Isocrates again, who was upset that in Greece of his time plenty of
124] ...men have arisen who thought themselves worthy to rule over Hellas, while among the Hellenes no one has aspired so high as to attempt to make us masters of Asia?
127] Therefore, since the others are so lacking in spirit, I think it is opportune for you to head the war against the King;...it is your privilege, as one who has been blessed with untrammeled freedom, to consider all Hellas your fatherland, as did the founder of your race, and to be as ready to brave perils for her sake...
And by ALL OF HELLAS, Isocrates is clear: Macedonia AND the rest of Greece – all of Greece - ἅπασαν τὴν Ἑλλάδα! And Isocrates did not care who was the one to lead the Panhellenic campaign, as long as he was capable and up to the task:
128] ...because I have chosen to challenge you to the task of leading the expedition against the barbarians and of taking Hellas under your care, while I have passed over my own city.
139] Now I am not unaware that many of the Hellenes look upon the King's power as invincible. Yet one may well marvel at them if they really believe that the power which was subdued to the will of a mere barbarian—an ill-bred barbarian at that—and collected in the cause of slavery, could not be scattered by a man of the blood of Hellas, of ripe experience in warfare, in the cause of freedom—and that too although they know that while it is in all cases difficult to construct a thing, to destroy it is, comparatively, an easy task.
The translation here, as I checked it, is actually lacking, in precision. It is poetic, yes, but not an exact translation. Isocrates is not saying "by a man of the blood of Hellas" when he is addressing Philip son of Amyntas, king of Macedonia, the exact words in Isocrates' text are: ἀνδρὸς Ἕλληνος / andros Hellenos = of a Greek man : of a Hellene man!
Lest we forget what the falsifiers of Greek history are saying about the Macedonians, here it is Gandeto again, speaking of Philip's son, Alexandros Philippou, Alexander son of Philip, the same Philip whom Isocrates addresses
"a Greek man", a "Hellene":
"How it is possible", Gandeto claims " for today´s Greeks to unashamedly claim something that never belonged to them? How is it conceivable for them to embark on such a treacherous and preposterous undertaking to use manipulations in order to secure and appropriate a historical figure of no less stature and magnitude than one of the most studied and the most buttressed subjects of all times, like Alexander the Great?"
"unashamedly"... "conceivable"... "treacherous"... "preposterous undertaking"... "manipulations"..."buttressed subjects of all times"...
Is anyone day-dreaming here? Greeks are not claiming Julius Caesar, Cyrus the Great or Tutanhamon, after all, we are talking about Alexander the Great here...and who is pointing the finger on "the Greeks"? Someone whose last name rhymes with that of the Polish film director K. Kieslowski, or the Russian composer P.I.Tchaikovsky, great Slavs, no doubt, in their own right, and giants of modern art, but who would never claim a Hellenic-Macedonian decent. Names ending in "-ovski" did not appear in Macedonia for at least a thousand years after Philip and Alexander had met their destiny, and those names were brought into the lower Balkans, along with Slavic language and culture, by Slavs. Let us keep our feet on the ground, therefore, when we put ink on paper, and claim to be writing history, or, rather, polemics on history, to be more specific.
It is unfortunate, but this is indeed the reason why Greeks have been lately falling on the floor holding their bellies and laughing uncontrolably, finding this whole archaeo-Makedonist circus taking place in Skopje (with supersized bronze statues of Boukephalus and all) immensely amusing. On a more serious note, the challenge facing the claimants of everything "Macedonian", as far as Greeks are concerned, is obvious:
If you have a Slavic identity, you cannot claim to be "Macedonian" in an ETHNIC sense. You can be a Macedonian in a limited, geographic sense, as everyone else who lives in historic Macedonia. Even the claim pf being Macedonian in a strictly geographic sense is debatable, since everyone accepts that the bulk -to the tune of 80%- of Ancient Macedonia (and more than 50% of Ottoman Macedoni) a lies within Northern Greece. Obviously we can talk and argue about it, since Macedonia has been a very fluid geographic entity. But claiming the EXCLUSIVITY of the names "Macedonia" and "Macedonian" in an ethnic sense, is not and cannot be debatable, no matter how many of the 135-odd countries in the world are ready to endorse it.
Greeks, for example could readily concede that the Malvidas islands belong to Argentina or that Faulklands belong to England, it is too far from them...who cares!
In the same way, who in the Republic of Cape Verde, in the Federated States of Micronesia or in the Republic of Nauru cares how Slavic speaking citizens of ex-Yugoslavia's southernmost republic call their country. The southern Balkans is an exotic locale for them. They don't know the specifics and they simply don't care. For the Greeks, it is a whole different story, it is THEIR story, their history, their culture and identity.
Despite the cries of the other side about human rights and the right to call oneself what someone pleases, there are clear limits to that "right", and Macedonian Greeks are the violated party in this dispute. They are being agresively asked told to relinquish their Macedonian culture and history to a relative late comer who is aggressively pursuing ownership rights over EVERYTHING "Macedonian":
"How it is possible for today´s Greeks to unashamedly claim something that never belonged to them?", Gandeto asks.
If that is the case, then the stakes are serious and not simply who can sell "Macedonian" wine in the EU, or who advertises "Macedonia" to the international tourist market. For the ultra-nationalists of Skopje, the acquisition of the name brands "Macedonia" and "Macedonian" is only the beginning. Claims on the land, claims on ethnic minorities, claims on culture and history and art and products of industry, anything, in other words covered under the brand name "Macedonia" come with it. The nameless, get a name to use and to live by.
Greeks are not ready to concede to such a gross violation and they have a different viewpoint:
To say that I am a Bavarian, it automatically means that I am a German. If I say that I am a Welsh, I pretty much also proclaim my British identity.
If someone is claiming to be a Macedonian, they essentially claim to be of Hellenic nature, which means that culturally at least, they are known to be part of the Greek commonwealth. The least someone in that capacity should do is to put a stop to the virulent anti-Greek hysteria emanating from Skopje and its diaspora. Someone has to decide, am I a Slav or a Macedonian? If you are Slav, be proud of it, but you have to stop calling your language Macedonian, since it bears no connection to the ancient Greek dialect the Macedonians spoke. Calling yourself a Slavomacedponian, then, that is fine, it may be a compromise that makes a break from (and entails a qualitative difference from) the so called "ethnic Macedonian" which the Greeks do not and will never accept. This includes the language too, not simply the nation, and eventually, the name of the country, if indeed it takes on an ethnic and not a general, nationality-blind name. Linguistically speaking, the Slavomacedonians are NOT a Makedonizein nation, in the ancient writers sense but a Voulgarizein nation, although not necessarily in ethnic identity but for sure in language. Is Voylgarizein or Boulgarizein not good enough, or scientifically not correct, then call it Slavomakedonizein if you prefer but for sure it is not Makedonizein, except for those who speak the Greek language the ancient Macedonians spoke, of course, on both sides of the border.
With that necessary parenthesis, let us return to Plutarch. Isocrates had given Philip a grand plan, a roadwork map to proceed in uniting all the Greek forces, attack the Persian king, liberate the Greek cities of Ionia and Aeolia, and proceed in taking half of Asia Minor up to the river Halys under Greek control and colonize it with the surplus population roaming Greece at the time, hiring themselves to the highest bidder as mercenaries.
Philip died and Alexander took over. He pacified his north and he went south, not once twice. Plutarch only mentions the second time:
1] and now a general assembly of the Greeks was held at the Isthmus, where a vote was passed to make an expedition against Persia with Alexander, and he was proclaimed their leader.
Plutarch, Alexander 14
Alexander puts together a great army and great navy, crosses the Hellespont, the Dardanelles, and moves to meet the Persian satraps who come to challenge him at the Granicus river. Plutarch, in "Alexander" tells us that:
6] While Alexander's cavalry were making such a dangerous and furious fight, the Macedonian phalanx crossed the river and the infantry forces on both sides engaged. The enemy, however, did not resist vigorously, nor for a long time, but fled in a rout, all except the Greek mercenaries. These made a stand at a certain eminence, and asked that Alexander should promise them quarter.
7] But he, influenced by anger more than by reason, charged foremost upon them and lost his horse, which was smitten through the ribs with a sword (it was not Bucephalas, but another); and most of the Macedonians who were slain or wounded fought or fell there, since they came to close quarters with men who knew how to fight and were desperate.
Of the Barbarians, we are told, twenty thousand footmen fell, and twenty-five hundred horsemen. But on Alexander's side, Aristobulus says there were thirty-four dead in all, of whom nine were footmen.
8] Of these, then, Alexander ordered statues to be set up in bronze, and Lysippus wrought them. Moreover, desiring to make the Greeks partners in his victory, he sent to the Athenians in particular three hundred of the captured shields, and upon the rest of the spoils in general he ordered a most ambitious inscription to be wrought: ´Alexander the son of Philip and all the Greeks except the Lacedaemonians from the Barbarians who dwell in Asia.´ But the drinking vessels and the purple robes and whatever things of this nature he took from the Persians, all these, except a few, he sent to his mother.
This is what Plutarch tells us. Now let us go to how Gandeto interprets the text:
"Plutarch, Alexander, 16. The battle at Granicus:
The letter that Alexander sent to the Athenians:
"Alexander the son of Philip and all the Greeks except the Lacedaemonians…."
The overwhelming majority of the bloggers on the net refer to this passage, the letter that Alexander sent to the Athenians, as a litmus test, as proof that Alexander saw himself as Greek. None of them dares to expose the rest of the episode. None of them mentions that the captured Greek mercenaries that fought against him were sent in chains to Macedonia, nor do they reveal Alexander´s real motive as Plutarch has done here:
"He wanted the Greeks to feel involved in the victory.""
In other words, if we are to understand correctly, what Josif Grez...ovski is saying, is that Alexander "wanted the Greeks to feel involved in the victory" so this is why he flattered the Greeks, by implying that he is Greek too. Good try! With arguments like that someone could convince their parrot and that's about it. The fact that Gandeto is able to sell books to the converted folk using such arguments and the fact that there are enough human parrots who buy his books and his arguments is a clear gauge and a pitiful indication of pseudo-Makedonism's intellectual bankruptcy.
I would like to make a few points found in Plutarch's text. The first is about the morale of the Greek mercenaries on Darius' pay:
6] ...The enemy..did not resist vigorously, nor for a long time, but fled in a rout, all except the Greek mercenaries. These made a stand at a certain eminence, and asked that Alexander should promise them quarter.
In other words, the Persians fought, but according to Plutarch not for a long time and not vigorously, which is probably not true, since we know that Alexander himself almost lost his life being furiously attacked by the Persian commanders and was saved from certain death by Cleitos the Black. The fact is that after a time the Persians left, leaving the Greek mercenaries alone. How and why the Persians left, it is easy: they were all cavalry, on horseback who "fled in a rout, all except the Greek mercenaries". The Greek mercenaries were infantry, stuck in the plain with no way out. They gathered on low hill, in a defensive posture. "These made a stand at a certain eminence, and asked that Alexander should promise them quarter." These people were not Leonidas' 300 Spartans ready to fight to the last for their country. They were mercenaries and they had hired themselves to the highest bidder. They had no wish to fight Alexander. All they wanted now was to get out!
"Not so easy!"...is in essence what Alexander must have replied to them. Plutarch tells us that Alexander:
7] ...influenced by anger more than by reason, charged foremost upon them...and most of the Macedonians who were slain or wounded fought or fell there, since they came to close quarters with men who knew how to fight and were desperate.
In other words, the Greek mercenaries wanted out but then they realized that Alexander would give them no quarters, they started fighting, but not for Darius or for money, they were fighting for their lives!
To say that Alexander charged at them "influenced by anger more than by reason" is not so credible. Alexander was a political animal who was calculating his every move.
Gandeto of course finds this event as "proof", somehow that Alexander and the Macedonians were not Greek. "None of them dares to expose the rest of the episode."
If Gandeto imagines in his delusion that Greeks are supposed to be scared of mentioning (or "admitting") this episode (???), where Alexander is actually punishing the traitors of Greece, the mercenaries who fought for Persian golden Darics against the interests of Hellas, let us hear it from a German then:
With subtle diplomacy, which was suggested to him by his recent troubles in Greece, Alexander in his capacity of Generalissimo of the Panhellenic war of revenge published to the world that this victory of the Granicus as a victory of the Corinthian League...In the same way it was with the intention of honouring the league and putting himself merely at the position of their elected Generalissimo that he sent the captured Greek mercenaries in chains to forced labour in Macedonia, giving as his reason, "because, contrary to the resolution of the League of Hellenes, they had fought for the barbarians against Hellas".
Ulrich Wilcken, Alexander the Great, W.W.Norton , 1967
Gandeto was so correct pointing out that "One cannot suppress and distort the truth for long by simply resorting to manipulation of the ancient text." Lincoln said the same thing150 years ago: You can fool all the people some of the time or some of the people all the time, but not all the people all the time!
So, then, why should "None of them", meaning us, Macedonian Greeks who fight Bulgarophone pseudo-Macedonism "dares to expose the rest of the episode. None of them mentions that the captured Greek mercenaries that fought against him were sent in chains to Macedonia"...?
Why should Greeks be afraid to admit that Alexander (repeating Ulrich Wilcken again):
"sent the captured Greek mercenaries in chains to forced labour in Macedonia, giving as his reason, "because, contrary to the resolution of the League of Hellenes, they had fought for the barbarians against Hellas".
I am sure we read that correctly: Not Alexander, not Macedonia, and for sure not Bulgaria, Albania, or any kind of FYROM – Dardania - Slavomacedonia, but: Hellas.
Here is the originbal text:
ὅτι παρὰ τὰ κοινῇ δόξαντα τοῖς
Ἕλλησιν Ἕλληνες ὄντες ἐναντία τῇ Ἑλλάδι ὑπὲρ τῶν
Arrian Anabasis 1.16.6
In a more word to word -unpoetic- translation:
"that contrary to the common agreements
among the Hellenes, being Hellenes themselves, against Hellas and on the side of the
barbarians they were fighting"
It does not take a genius to understand this. Anyone that has kindergarten level education and beyond, has enough brain power to comprehend this:
Who was fighting against Hellas and on the side of the barbarians, for the sake of money, who was the traitor to Greece? The Greek mercenaries.
Who was fighting for Hellas and against the barbarians and refused to compromise with the traitors to Greece? Alexander, his Macedonians and his Common Peace Greek allies.
Now let us hear the deafening echo emanating from Gandeto's hollow arguments:
"If ancient Greeks themselves did not see the ancient Macedonians as brethren; if ancient Macedonians have amply and irrevocably demonstrated their uniqueness and distinctiveness from the ancient Greeks, if the words of the Macedonian king Alexander the Great himself, are being recorded and preserved as evidence by no other than a famous Greek biographer Plutarch, then:
How it is possible for today´s Greeks to unashamedly claim something that never belonged to them? How is it conceivable for them to embark on such a treacherous and preposterous undertaking to use manipulations in order to secure and appropriate a historical figure of no less stature and magnitude than one of the most studied and the most buttressed subjects of all times, like Alexander the Great?
It seems to me that either they have grossly overestimated their literary prowess or they have greatly and contemptuously underestimated the wisdom of the rest of the world. I shall leave the verdict in your hands."
We "grossly overestimated our literary prowess"? I would not say that. A major difference between Gandeto and those who build 60ft tall bronze statues to Alexander in Skopje on the one hand, and the Macedonian Greeks who have built a life size statue to Alexander in Thessaloniki, is that the Macedonian Greeks can understand what Alexander said:
ὅτι παρὰ τὰ κοινῇ δόξαντα τοῖς
Ἕλλησιν Ἕλληνες ὄντες ἐναντία τῇ Ἑλλάδι ὑπὲρ τῶν
Arrian Anabasis 1.16.6
If they cannot understand the language the ancient Macedonian understood, I will write it in a language they can comprehend, using the Google translator services, under the grossly misnamed "Macedonian" language:
"Затоа што, спротивно на резолуцијата на Лигата на Елините, тие се бореле за варвари против Елада".
Now let us use the same service to translate it in Serbian:
"Јер, супротно резолуцији Савеза Грчке, они су се борили заварварима против Хелас".
and finally in Bulgarian:
"Защото, противно на резолюция на Лигата на елините, те сасе борили за варварите срещу Елада".
You do not need to know how to read Cyrillic script to understand that
"спротивно на резолуцијата",
"супротно резолуцији" and
"противно на резолюция"
signify closely related languages, all unrelated to the Greek of the ancient Macedonians.
The amusing part of the story is that one of the three languages above is supposed to be "Macedonian", indeed directly derived from the language of the ancient Macedonians! Why should Google care? The Greeks know better, and they happen to disagree. And it has nothing to do with whether "they have grossly overestimated their literary prowess or they have greatly and contemptuously underestimated the wisdom of the rest of the world." We simply insist on calling thinsg by their true name. You call your chicken swordfish, if you like, and even convince your family that it is fish that they are eating, but I do not see a restaurant offering chicken in its swordfish dishes lasting for too long.
If Ulrich Wilcken above was not enough, let us also hear from an equally great, British this time, historian of Alexander and Macedonia, W. W. Tarn :
"The rest of the army had crossed, and Alexander surrounded the Greeks and killed all but 2,000, whom he sent in chains to forced labour in Macedonia as traitors to the League;...and he emphasized the fact that he was general of the League by sending 300 Persian panoplies to Athens, with a dedication from " Alexander and the Greeks, except the Spartans".
"Alexander the Great", W. W. Tarn, Cambridge University Press, 1948Beacon Press, 1956-1971, page17
So, "he sent in chains to forced labour in Macedonia as traitors to the League"!
I wonder, having read this, how sure can Gandeto be that none of us dares to expose the rest of the episode? How sure can he be that none of us dares mention that the captured traitors to the League that fought against him were sent in chains to Macedonia, while at the same time lavish gifts were sent to the Parthenon in Athens proclaiming that the Granicus river battle was a great victory of all the Greeks under Alexander against the barbarians who live in Asia? We went at great lengths earlier to explain what Alexander was doing in his dealings with everyone, from his dealing with his own family and the ruling circles of Macedonia to how he dealt with both Greeks and barbarians, his usage of the time honored carrot and the stick method. He killed Alexandros Lyncestis's brothers while elevating him politically, he killed Attalus while elevating Parmenion, he destroyed the Ilyrians while offering his sister to the Paionian Langaros, he had no qualms destroying Thebes while coming to terms with Athens. Here we see Alexander being once again Alexander: He attacks Dareius' Greek mercenaries, not out of anger, but because he wants to make an example out of them. The Common peace specifically forbade any Greek person or city siding with the enemy, and Thebes had already paid her steep price with her destruction. Now it was the time of these wretched mercenaries, who could not believe their ears and eyes seeing and hearing Alexander refusing to accept their surrender, being attacked and make an example of what happens to those who oppose him, to the ones who stand to profit, paid by the Persians, to go against his will. It was not by senseless anger, as the moralist Plutarch tells us, but by sheer cold calculation that Alexander decides to refuse terms to the ones he considered traitors to the Panhellenic war on Persia. But there is a twist on this story:
"The 2,000 Greek mercenaries were sent to Macedonia to labour in chains for life (corpses so chained have been found recently in Chalcidice), because "being Greeks they had fought against Greeks in violation of the decisions of the Greeks". The Greek mercenaries who had fallen in battle and the Persian officers were given an honourable burial."
The Genius of Alexander the Great, The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, N.G.L.Hammond, Page 69
We see Alexander once again, being Alexander. On one point we see him sending the 2000 mercenaries, who "being Greeks they had fought against Greeks in violation of the decisions of the Greeks", and at the same time he is not only showing his respect to the fallen officers of Persia but, true to Greek religious tradition and commands, he spends the time to bury ALL "the Greek mercenaries who had fallen in battle". This means that Alexander had his army dig enough graves to bury eight to ten thousand corpses, corpses of his enemies! At the same time he let the Persian rank and file rot on the ground! He felt he had to do this, for he was certainly afraid of the outcry that would had been raised in Greece had he left Greeks fallen in battle go unburied. In Greek religion this was consider sacrilegious and if anything, is one more proof of the Macedonian's true identity. We only have Gandeto to thank for pointing our attention to this incident, once again.
It is noteworthy, that after making an example of these wretched prisoners, Alexander never again repeated this. From then on, and as he was becoming more and more confident of his position, he would not only offer terms to any Greek mercenaries, but he also offered them a position in his army with the same pay and benefits as they enjoyed under the Great King.
By the time he reached and took over Miletus, which fell to Alexander,
"A number of its defenders, including 300 mercenaries, escaped to a nearby islet. They were prepared to fight to the death, but Alexander, as Arrian puts it, "was moved to pity by their courage and loyalty", and came to terms with them. The fact was that Alexander saw that his policy of treating them as traitors was mistaken and, ready as always to learn from his mistakes, decided to enroll in his army 300 valuable recruits whom by now he could well afford to pay."
J.R.Hamilston, "Alexander the Great", University of Pittsburgh Press, 1974
I would argue that the points were two, not compassion and not a correction of a previous mistake either. In Granicus he could neither afford to pay the Greek mercenaries, and he was also too early in his campaign to avoid making a lesson out of them. This is in line with what we know of Alexander.
Later on, in fact he even released some of the prisoners of Granicus:
"Achilles and Diophantus were sent by the Athenians to Alexander to negotiate the release of their countrymen, who had been captured at the Granicus River and sentenced to hard labor in Macedonia. They met Alexander near Tyre as he returned from Egypt in 331 and achieved their purpose (A 3.6.2; cf. C 4.8.12-13) "
"Who's who in the age of Alexander the Great", Waldemar Heckel - 2006
Their lesson had been learned, in other words, so by then he released them. There was no reason for him to keep the Athenians aggravated. It also shows that he did not ever intended to use them as hostages, for if he did, he would not have released them even at that point. He still very much needed the Athenian navy on his side, after all.
Now, as far as the dedication on the Parthenon of Athens goes, while Gandeto sticks to his laughable claim that Alexander "...wanted the Greeks to feel involved in the victory", making himself and the Macedonians appearing Greek, supposedly just to flatter the other Greeks, Nicholas Hammond highlights the contribution of the Greek cavalry and the Greek fleet to Alexander's campaign.
"Similar dedications may have been made in other states; for Alexander "wished to make the Greeks partners in the victory", rightly since the Greek cavalry had won on the left wing and the Greek fleet had mounted the invasion of Asia."
The Genius of Alexander the Great, The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, N.G.L.Hammond, Page 69
We know about the allied Greek cavalry, to which Alexander owed one third of his victory at Granicus, the Macedonian cavalry having won the right flank, the Macedonian phalanx the center, and the Thessalian and other Greek allied cavalry having carried victory at the left flank.
"Thus the king by common consent won the palm for bravery and was regarded as the chief author of the victory, and next to him the Thessalian cavalry won a great reputation for valour because of the skilful handling of their squadrons and their unmatched fighting quality"
What about the rest of the Greeks in Alexander's army, why should Alexander want to show gratitude and make "the Greeks to feel involved in the victory"?
A quick look at Alexander's army at the onset of his Asian campaign, will help us gauge the contribution of his Greek allies.
As to the number of his forces, those who put it at the smallest figure mention thirty thousand foot and four thousand horse; those who put it at the highest, forty-three thousand foot and five thousand horse. To provision these forces, Aristobulus says he had not more than seventy talents; Duris speaks of maintenance for only thirty days; and Onesicritus says he owed two hundred talents besides.
Plutarch Alexander 15.1
Plutarch immediately explains to us that Alexander was in dire economic straits. He had no more than 70 talents when, to put it in context, Macedonia's annual income (derived from the Pangaeon mines was no more than 1,000 talents and Dareius after Issus offered Alexander 10,000 talents as ransom for his family. In other words, Macedonia was broke.
According to N.G.L.Hammond, Alexander planned to leave behind in
Macedonia only 12,000 infantry phalangites, 1000 Companion cavalry and
500 light-armed cavalry, along with a small number of light-armed
infantry, reinforced by the militias in the cities.
He took with him 12,000 phalangites and 1,800 Companion cavalry.
The Greek Community allies brought to Alexander 7,000 Hoplites heavy infantry and 2,300 cavalry (I am using NGLHammond's numbers, The Genius of Alexander the Great, page 60). Alexander was also able to hire 5,000 Greek mercenaries.
Therefore, out of a total of 5,100 cavalry and 32,000 infantry Macedonian troops were less than half (12,000 and 1800).
Agrianes and other Paeonians, Ilyrians, Tribalian and Odryssian Thracians and other assorted Balkan tribesmen were about 7,500. This number includes both infantry and cavalry.
Diodorus gives us a similar numbers:
"making up a total of thirty-two thousand foot soldiers. Of cavalry…making a total
of forty five hundred cavalry. These were the men who crossed with Alexander to
Diodorus Sicelus 17.3
(Diodorus's numbers when each contingent is added adds to 5,100, which means that the 4,500 number of the total is probably a corruption during copying at some later time)
What about the navy? This is a hot charcoal topic to be avoided at all costs by the Skopje falsifiers of history who scream in all tones that Alexander had taken very few infantrymen from the League of Corinth city state Greeks with him. Let us now look into the contribution of the other Greeks into Macedonia's Panhellenic campaign against Persia.
Alexander only managed to put to sea 22 Macedonian triremes and 38 smaller warships, triaconters and penteconters, with a total of 6,000 crews, mostly Chalcidice Greeks. These numbers almost certainly represented the full strength of Macedonia's fleet at the time.
The Greek Common Peace League provided 160 triremes, mostly Athenian along with their crews of about 32,000 men.If we compare this to Macedonia's 12,000 Phalangites plus 1800 Companion cavalry men plus 6000 seamen, all of who were in fact Macedonian citizens from the previously independet but by now incorporated into the Macedonian kingdom Greek city states of Chalcedice, then we can start comprehending why this was indeed called a Panhellenic effort.
N.G.L.Hammond tells us that
"in addition to the warships which carried equipment and supplies, the later sufficient for one month only. The entire force may be estimated at 90,000 men. At least half of these men came from the Greek Community and from centers of mercenary recruitment in Greece, and only a quarter at most came from within the Macedonian kingdom. They were all under the command of Alexander as king and Hegemon..."
When the history falsifiers make noises about how many city state Greeks fought with Dareius versus how many fought with Alexander, what they conveniently hush up is the fact that most of Alexander's Greeks were Macedonia's allies while all of Dareius' were merely paid mercenaries. What determined who was able to hire more of each depended on who had the bigger coffers...Dareius did! Nobody even mentions the League of Corinth Greek states contribution, especially that of Athens, to Alexander's navy. The Panhellenic expedition would have been a grand nill had Alexander been unable to cross his army through the Hellespont. Had the Persian fleet of 400 triremes been there, to stop him, Alexander's 22 Macedonian triremes would have been utterly useless, and one month later, with depleted supplies he would have to return to Pella penniless. It was the Athenian navy, mainly, and the other Greek ships that made the crossing of the Hellespont safe for Alexander and his passage into Asia flawless.
Another little point that many people like to forget is the money issue. Who paid for all this? Alexander, as we saw had only 70 talents in his coffers and had to borrow money to start all this.
"The financial responsibility was divided between Macedonia and the Greek Community. The king provided wages and maintenance for the Macedonian and Balkan soldiers and for the crews of the Macedonian fleet....The member states of the Greek Community which sent a flotilla of ships maned them with crews at their own expense. (Tod no. 192), and those which provided soldiers must have been seen to it that they were properly equipped for instance with cavalry mounts and remounts." (N.G.L.Hammond, The Genius of Alexander the Great, page 62)
In other words, this was not simply a Panhellenic campaign in words alone...it is not like the other Greeks told the 20 year old son of the rtecently assasinated king of Macedonia, go do whatever you like in Asia and leave us alone...they actually invested in his adventure, and they invested heavily! Had the Athenians held back from offering their triremes to him and paid the salaries of their sailors for duration of all this truly amphibious operation Alexander would never had achieved his foorhold in Asia. Additionally the amphibious opperations in Alicarnassos, Ephessos etc, and of course as mentioned earlier the crossing of the Hellespont would have never been possible. Alexander had many reasons to be grateful to the other Greeks of the Common Peace.
Additionally, when Alexander says:
Alexander the son of Philip and all the Greeks except the Lacedaemonians from the Barbarians who dwell in Asia.´
he is not simply glorifying his Common Peace Greek allies who, by contributing infantrymen, cavalrymen, ships and money made this expedition possible for him; he is not simply saying that to him there are no Macedonians or Athenians, there are no Thessalians or Peloponnesians, but only Hellenes; he is not simply making himself, Alexander, the Hegemon of all the Hellenes, the living embodiment of the Panhellenic campaign of ALL (pan-) the Greeks (including the Macedonians) against the barbarians who dwell in Asia. By specifically excluding the Lacedaemonians and Sparta, Alexander also makes another interesting point, which Cambridge professor Paul Cartledge was keen to point out:
"The point of the accompanying inscription was to remind the Greek world that it was the Spartans who had sold out the Greeks of Asia to Persia in 386, and that they were now not only in more or less in active opposition to Macedon, outside the framework of the League of Corinth, but actually in treasonous contact with Persia."
Paul Cartledge, Alexander the Great, Vintage, page 140)
By the same token, it was clear to all that it was neither Athens, or Thebes nor Sparta or any of the other city states that brought about Gorgias' and Isocrates' vision to fruition. The dynamic force uniting the fratricidal warring parts of Greece into a Hellenic League for the purpose of a Panhellenic expedition of revenge against the barbarians of Asia, was himself:
ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ ΦΙΛΙΠΠΟΥ - ALEXANDROS PHILIPPOY - Alexander son of Philip!
To be continued]
"The Genius of Alexander the Great", N.G.L. Hammond, The University of South Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, 1997
"Who's who in the age of Alexander the Great", Waldemar Heckel, Blackwel, 2006
"An introduction to Alexander Studies", Eugene N. Borza, in "Alexander the Great" by Ulrich Wilcken, English translation, NY, 1967
J.R.Hamilston, "Alexander the Great", University of Pittsburgh Press, 1974
Paul Cartledge, Alexander the Great, Vintage, NY, 2005