Alexandria's founded by Alexander

Alexandria's founded by Alexander the Great (by year BC): 334 Alexandria in Troia (Turkey) - 333 Alexandria at Issus/Alexandrette (Iskenderun, Turkey) - 332 Alexandria of Caria/by the Latmos (Alinda, Turkey) - 331 Alexandria Mygdoniae - 331 Alexandria (Egypt) - 330 Alexandria in Areia (Herat, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria of the Prophthasia/in Drangiana/Phrada (Farah, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Arachosia (Kandahar, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Caucasus (Begram, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria of the Paropanisades (Ghazni, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria Eschate or Ultima (Khodjend, Tajikistan) - 329 Alexandria on the Oxus (Ai-Khanoum OR Termez, Afghanistan) - 328 Alexandria in Margiana (Merv, Turkmenistan) - 326 Alexandria Nicaea (on the Hydaspes, India) - 326 Alexandria Bucephala (on the Hydaspes, India) - 325 Alexandria Sogdia - 325 Alexandria Rambacia (Bela, Pakistan) - 325 Alexandria Oreitide - 325 Alexandria in Opiene (confluence of Indus & Acesines, India) - 325 Alexandria on the Indus - 325 Alexandria Xylinepolis (Patala, India) - 325 Alexandria in Carminia (Gulashkird, Iran) - 324 Alexandria-on-the-Tigris/Antiochia-in-Susiana/Charax (Spasinou Charax on the Tigris, Iraq) - ?Alexandria of Carmahle? (Kahnu)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Philip is bouncing back - Macedonia forged by Philip II - 6

Philip is bouncing back (352 BC)
Philip was not going to sit idle on his hands, of course. He had learned his lesson (one that even Alexander was aware of as we witness later on in history) and his first step was to restore the troops’ morale and their confidence in him as a king. He had to keep his army busy and victorious. Keeping Macedonia’s borders safe was not enough, he needed to expand in Greece or even in Asia.

With his head high, Philip marched his new inspired army into Thessaly in 352 BC and ordered his men to wear crowns of laurel as they went into battle – a highly symbolic sign to show that he was fighting for a religious cause, on behalf op Apollo “as though the god were going before” (cfr. Justin, Diodorus) and not merely for revenge or on behalf of his Thessalian allies. In a well orchestrated attack of cavalry and infantry together with the Thessalians, Philip soon annihilated the Phocians on what is called the Crocus Field. As the story goes, a large number of them simply fled out of guilt when they saw the crowned Macedonians attacking on behalf of their god. Over 6,000 Phocians and mercenaries were killed in battle; 3,000 were captured and drowned as to punish them for the sacrilege of seizing Delphi. No mercy, that is clear. This battle restored Philip’s leadership and the confidence of his army, which he never lost again.

Philip immediately saw his opportunity to secure Macedonia’s southern border by stabilizing the situation in Thessaly. An agreement was signed at Pherae, consolidated by his marriage with a local woman named Nicesipolis (she died 20 days after giving birth to their daughter Thessalonice, meaning ‘Thessalian Victory’). It hereby became clear that whoever defected from the Thessalian League of city-states also defected from Philip. His position was so strong now that he was elected archon (leader) for life, a highly exceptional nomination as he was not a Thessalian. The Third Sacred War was at a stalemate.

I am really amazed to see how often the Macedonian army is marching up and down northern Greece, crossing it time and again from east to west or vice versa.

By now, the Athenians had regained their influence over the Chersonese, and eastern Thrace, fickle as ever, had abandoned Philip once again. On top of that Olynthus had sued for peace with Athens. High time for Philip to reassert his presence and chance worked in his favor. Late 352 BC he was asked to assist a coalition of Central Thrace, Byzantium and Perinthus (two cities inside the territory of eastern Thrace) in besieging the fortress town of Heraion Teichos, close to Perinthus. He marched his army east, took the town and returned it to Perinthus, presumably its original owner. This may sound a trivial intervention but it meant another blow for the Athenians who jealously wanted to keep the corn route from the Black Sea in their hands. We should not forget that each spring Athenian ships loaded with wheat from the Danube and Maritza basins, sailed down via Byzantium, the Hellespont and further across the Aegean to Athens. On this route they badly needed safe-havens for their precious cargo and now Philip was threatening their supply line.

Philip now turned to Olynthus where it did not come to open war, a stern warning seemed to have done the trick - for now at least. After a short intervention in Epirus where Philip extended his power by taking his nephew Alexander, i.e. Olympias younger brother, with him to court at Pella, he turned his full attention again to the peninsula of Chalcidice. The Olynthians still made trouble in spite of their treaty of 357 BC and Philip’s earlier warning.

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