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, Afghanistan) - 329 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)

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Hellenica Oxyrhynchia by P.J. McKechnie and S.J. Kern

Repeated references in previous reading material (e.g. The History of Alexander the Great and the Ephemerides of Alexander’s Expedition by CA Robinson and Xenophon, The Persian Expedition) and the historical background of the papyri dump discovered at Oxyrhynchus in Egypt, led me to pick up this book, Hellenica Oxyrhynchia with an introduction, translation and comments by P.J. McKechnie and S.J. Kern (ISBN 0-85668-358-2).
 
The authors have brought together the first publications by B.P. Grenfell and A.S. Hunt in 1908 with those made on later fragments. They are a collection of different copies of the same document written by the same unknown author.

The most recent fragments are being kept at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo and these are also the oldest papyri dating to the late first century AD. The so-called Florence Fragment was discovered in 1934 and is relatively small; it is kept at the Istituto Papirologico in the University of Florence and is dated to the late second century AD. The principal papyrus is the one discovered by abovementioned British explorers in 1906, consisting at first of about 230 fragments that are dated to late first or early second century AD. It is however possible that further portions of this Hellenica Oxyrhynchia will be discovered and identified in the future.

The fragments generally cover the history of Greece between 409 and 407 BC on one hand and 396 to 394 BC on the other. These papyri are a continuation of Thucydides’ history and pick up where Xenophon’sHellenica’ begins. A serious effort is made, thanks to the authors of this edition, to clarify the endless wars between Athens and Sparta about politics and power, combined with the warring and bribing of the Persians who were experts in setting up one party against the other. The tale is fragmentary because the papyri are only fragments, but all the available Greek texts (reproduced on the left page) are given with a parallel translation in English (on the right hand page); these texts are further being commented upon in details, including remarks and finding made in works of earlier authors.

The major question: i.e. the name of the author remains unanswered. Pros and cons are being discussed, ranging from Xenophon, Theopompus and Cratippus to Dionysus of Halicarnassus, Daimachus of Plataea and Ephorus – to name only a few.

Captivating, highly interesting and making you want to dig out the subject further.

More information about the papyri of Oxyrhynchus can be found in my previous story “Get involved with Oxyrhynchus” and in my comments on Peter Parson’s book “City of the Sharp-Nosed Fish”.

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