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 Dragiana/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)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

End of the Third Sacred War and Peace with Athens - Macedonia forged by Philip II - 9

End of the Third Sacred War and Peace with Athens (346 BC)
An embassy of ten men was sent to Pella to discuss ‘peace and the common interests of Athens and Philip’ (cfr. Demosthenes). This would be the first of four embassies. Personally, I find this passage very exciting because of the vivid and captivating story told by Mary Renault in her book Fire from Heaven, featuring young Alexander.  The ten envoys travelled to Pella in March 346 BC, when Alexander was about ten years old. Among them were great names like Philocrates, Nausicles, Demosthenes, and Aeschines. Each had prepared his speech on the proposed alliance and peace, and they had decided to speak in order of age, the youngest last and this happened to be Demosthenes after Aeschines who tells us that he began “in a voice dead with fright, and after a brief narration of earlier events suddenly fell silent and was at a loss for words, … Seeing the state he was in, Philip encouraged him to take heart and not to suppose that he had suffered a complete catastrophe. … But Demosthenes … was now unable to recover; he tried once more to speak, and the same thing happened.” What an appearance for such an orator!

Having listened graciously to every ambassador, Philip told them that he recognized Athens’ claim to the Chersonese, their corn route to the Black Sea. On the subject of the Sacred War, he made believe through his usual confusing diplomacy that he would consider the protection of the Phocians but he needed Athens’ full guarantee to support him in this matter. In other words, he meant to exclude Phocis from the treaty. As to the Athenian prisoners taken at Olynthus in 348 BC, he would release them without ransom as soon as they had accepted his terms – a handy gesture to put their fate in Athens’ hands. In short, Philip’s idea was that of a bilateral agreement between him and his allies on one side and Athens and their allies on the other.

As soon as the embassy left, Philip set off to Thrace cleaning up all their independent forts along the coastline, but not before the had sent Antipater, Parmenion and Eurylochus to Athens to repeat his terms of peace and receive Athens’ consent in return. The news was buzzing in Athens’ Assembly, which at first was inclined to accept Philip’s proposal but Demosthenes had to put his own twist as usual and persuaded the Assembly to go for a Common Peace in which every state was free to join. Of course, this was refused by Antipater when he was called in the next day for that were not his king’s terms. In the end, the Athenians and their allies swore their oaths to the peace and alliance to Macedonia.

The Macedonian envoys left Athens which prepared a second delegation with the same men to set off to Pella. Since Philip was still warring in Thrace, the Athenians sat there waiting for some time while Demosthenes filled his days with brooding schemes. After Philip gave his oath to peace, the company left and collected the oaths from the king’s allies on their way back to Athens. By this treaty, the war between Athens and Amphipolis finally came to an end.

Philip then played his own political maneuver with Thebes which in the end forced the Phocians to surrender, not to the Amphictyonic Council  as they should, but to Philip. How that went down with the Athenians in 346 BC, I don’t know. They must have been relieved to learn that the Third Sacred War was now over and that Delphi finally was liberated – Apollo’s crowned soldiers had done their job!

At this stage, the punishment of Phocis had to be decided and the Athenians once more sent an embassy to Philip, without Demosthenes this time, who thought he could do more harm to Philip talking to the people of Athens… It is this delegation that attended the Amphictyonic Council  instead of Athens. Several states wanted to impose the legal penalty for sacrilege, whereby all the Phocian males would be thrown from the Phaedriades cliffs of Delphi. Since Philip did not want to take side for or against Phocis he managed to obtain a milder punishment, meaning that those who had participated in the occupation and robbery of Delphi would be cursed, their lands confiscated, their membership to the Council withdrawn, their weapons and horses taken away. Phocis itself would not be allowed to consult the oracle and the people couldn’t buy any horses until they had repaid the money stolen from Delphi’s treasury. The exact sum is not known but seems to vary between 1,622 and 3,244 talents, a considerable amount of money in any case.

To reward Philip for the liberation of Apollo’s treasury, Thessaly proposed to give Phocis’ two votes in the Council to Philip, who as Archon automatically held at least half of all the votes already. These two votes, however, were Philip’s in his own right, whereby he became an official member of Amphictyonic Council  – no small achievement for a ‘barbarian’ king!

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