Classical Studies 2440A/B Midterm: Classics 2440 Midterm Notes

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Western University
Classical Studies
Classical Studies 2440A/B

Introduction: Alexander’s Fame C 37-56 R xvi-xviii CARTLEDGE: -26 Alexander is master of the once mighty Persian empire -30 took his victorious arms to the limits of the known oikumene (inhabited world rd -Before 33 birthday he died -Death in 323 BCE very largely due to so called Alexander Romance -Most famous for being a conqueror in antiquity -Parthia =modern Iran -Anabasis=’March Up Country’ is our best ancient historical source on Alexander “Alexander died, Alexander was buried, Alexander returneth into dust; the dust is earth; of earth we make loam; and why of that loam, whereto he was converted, might they not stop a beer-barrel?” -A chauvinistic English illustration of the fact that Alexander has featured in the national literatures of some eighty countries. His mark has made its way across centuries. -Epoch = -Alexander born at Pella in Macedonia in summer 356 -Began his campaign of conquest against the Persian Empire in 334 -Between 334 and 331 he defeated the Persian Great King’s Mediterranean navy by land capturing its bases on by one, especially in the Levant, where the siege of Tyra in 332 was crucial -With mainland Greece under firm control of Regent Antipater, he was able to focus on winning a series of major set-piece battles against Darius III -Of these there were three: the Granicus river in western Anatolia in 334, Issus in southern Anatolia in 333, and Gaugamela in Mesopotamia in 331 -After the middle of 329 when a kinsman who was the successor of Darius was executed he had no rival to his new massively enlarged empire which stretched from Greece to Pakistan -Admirable military successes occurred in 329 and 327 through episodic and irregular guerrilla fighting against tribal warrior bands -Philip fought his wars by marriages -> combined straightforward fighting and conquest with marital diplomacy and bridge-building after defeat and he had done so no fewer than seven times -Alexander imitated him twice -> In Sogdia in 327 and in Iran in 324 and these marriages were due to the complexity of any subsequent maintenance of his authority -Had Iran and its environs secured in summer of 327 -Victorious in 326 over the Paurava Rajah’s elephants and all at the River Hydaspes -Afterwards when his men, the Macedonian core reached the River their sufferings from long years of campaigning and unheard of natural torments took a toll and alexander had to suffer his first defeat to his own men and let some of them go home (specifically back to Iran by sea) -When he himself returned to Iran he found taking full control of his new found empire difficult as his Asiatic appointees as governors proved to be corrupt, inefficient or disloyal if not all three -His childhood chum and now Imperial High Chancellor Harpalus decided in 324 to defect to mainland Greece and took with him a large amount of Alexander’s treasures -His Grand Vizier Hephaestion who was a childhood friend had also died from a disease (there was a rumour he and Alexander were once more than good friends) -Alexander assassinated at Babylon in June 323 -By the early third century there were three major kingdoms in Greece and the Middle East: the Antigonid in Macedonia and old Greece (the heartland of the Aegean Greek world), the Ptolemaic in Egypt, and the Seleucid in Asia -> a fourth, the Attalid kingdom based on Pergamum was added in the course of the third century -Archelaus (r. 414-399) simultaneously removed the capital further east from Aegae to Pella. Here he built a new palace, tamed the various local warlords of the Upper Macedonian cantons, established a network of fortifications to ensure their loyalty, and revamped the Macedonian army in partial imitation of the arms, armour and tactics that had been practiced for over two centuries in Greece further to the south. Archelaus’ unification and modernization were seriously jeopardized due to Macedon witnessing the coming and going of no fewer than four rulers within the decade following his death. -Stability reasserted by Amyntas III (r. 393-369), father of Philip II (r. 359-336) and grandfather of Alexander III (r. 336-323) -Philip established Macedon as the biggest thing in the north of the Greek peninsula and expanded its imperial control to both west and east from the Adriatic to the Black Sea and almost as far north as the Danube. Also extended his hegemony over the Greeks to his south, as far as the borders of Sparta’s territory in the southeast Peloponnese. Institutionalized all this within the framework which was called the League of Corinth -Summer of 336 Philip was assassinated in full public view by Pausanias, a disgruntled member of his own personal bodyguard during the wedding of his daughter, Cleopatra, Alexander’s full sister -Alexander then seized the throne and was elected to the PanHellenic anti-Persian command -First he quelled dissidence on the northern border among the Thracians and Illyrians and then crushed greek resitance led by Thebes -Spring of 334 he set sail for Asia and never returned to Macedon or left Asia -Established himself as a new King of Asia: adopted version of Persian regalia, used native Iranians in highest of commands and administrative positions, married two Persian and one sogdian woman and encouraged his most intimate companions to do so as well, incorporated Iranian troops in formerly exclusive Macedonian regiments, formed new elite units composed solely of oriental soldiers, bestowed honorific oriental titles such as Kinsmen on Orientals before doing the same to his Macedonians etc -Greek courtiers: Chamberlain -> Eumenes, Official Historian -> Callisthenes, Admiral -> Nearchus (companion from boyhood), Official sculptor -> Lysippus -335 -> first season’s campaigning as king in the far north beyond the Danube and in southern Greece -332 -> seven month siege of Phoenician Tyre -331 -> decisive victory over Persian Great King Darius III in titanic land battle at Gaugamela -329 and 327 -> Guerrila war in central Asia -326 -> Victory over Rajah Porus and his elephants at the River Hydaspes -Hephaestion -Bucephalas -Alexander was the classic deisidaimon (superstitious man) -Pothos: passionate yearning or irresistible desi
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