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)

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Amphipolis looted after all?

Well, the news just went out: the tomb of Amphipolis has been looted! At least that is what archaeologist Panagiotis Faklaris broadcasted today. He bases this statement on the fact that the tomb was filled with soil. The soil or sand filling is not new, so why did it take him so long to make this statement? Strange looters who cover up the site of a crime, unless someone took pity on the robbed resting place and poured in the sand to safeguard the remains?

In this statement Faklaris says the tomb “has been looted in the past”. Which past? How long ago? 

I can’t help but finding this announcement rather vague – with all the respect to the man in the field, that is. Am I the only skeptical listener?

Now the hunt is on to find out who is buried here. To be continued …


Pending more news, I feel like including a view of the beautiful location of Amphipolis, overlooking the Strymon River. Such a wonderful spot!

25 comments:

  1. Sarantos Kargakos insists on Amphipolis: The tomb belongs to Alexander the Great

    The historian and author Sarantos Kargakos speaking in the evening newscast of Alpha on Tuesday, said he believes that the tomb belongs to Alexander the Great.

    “The monument shows that this is the tomb of a very eminent man. Who was more eminent than Alexander?”, he said.

    “Olympiada would not have left the remains of her son. It affirms my belief that my hunch is right”, he added, explaining that: “the fact that she did not go to Babylon, where the relics of Alexander stayed for two years, nor did she attend the transfer from Alexandria to Babylon makes me think that this woman, who dominated in Macedonia until 316, might have transferred the relics of her son in Macedonia in secrecy”.

    - See more at: http://www.balkaneu.com/request-inclusion-tomb-amphipolis-unesco-world-heritage/#sthash.0kO0O33d.dpuf

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great! Sarantos Kargakos is going to re-writer history? For his theory implies that:
      - Arrian lied about Alexander being interred in Egypt
      - Ptolemy was stupid enough to let Olympias steal her sons remains and
      - Ptolemy's son was even more stupid to build the shrine in Alexandria for a body that was not Alexander's
      - Julius Caesar was so naive to believe that he saw the remains of Alexander in Alexandria, as were Caligula, Caracalla and all the others?
      A far searched story, if you ask me.
      I would go as far as to accept that the tomb MIGHT have been intended for Alexander, but certainly not that Alexander's relics were transferred to this tomb in Amphipolis!

      Delete
    2. And even more than that, Perdicas won the stupidity competition by fighting a war against Ptolemy, losing his leading position in the post-Alexander era, destroying the Royal army and killing himself, just to regain a random mummy that he knew it was not Alexander

      Delete
  2. Tighter security ordered at Amphipolis tomb

    Regional authorities in Central Macedonia, where archaeologists are excavating a large burial mound that has sparked intense media interest and captivated the public’s imagination have asked the government to increase security at the site. The request was made during a meeting on Thursday between Governor Apostolos Tzitzikostas and Public Order Minister Vassilis Kililias.

    Reports said that the ministry will introduce additional measures to safeguard the tomb that dates to between 325 and 300 BC, about the end of warrior-king Alexander the Great’s reign.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, they better secure the digging zone! They cannot loose face at this stage of the excavation, can they?

      Delete
  3. http://www.empedotimos.blogspot.gr/2014/08/blog-post.html?m=1
    Another speculation about the resting place of Alexander. Seems to answer, in his own way, many questions. Notice please that this blog speculated about the filling the tomb in purpose before it was mentioned by the ministry of culture.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do you know who the author is? I can't figure that out ...

      Delete
  4. Replies
    1. How should I interpret your comment? Incredible as "amazing", or incredible as something you don't believe in?

      Delete
  5. He expanded on his theory here: http://www.empedotimos.blogspot.gr/2014/09/blog-post.html

    It is nice, speculative work, and he tries to take into account many sources. But I do not agree with some of his interpretations (I commented in his latest post about that), mostly because he seems to interpret the information the sources provide in isolation from their historical context. Of course, nobody can rule out his detective work, since that is based on non-examinable assumptions (for now), and furthermore these assumptions cannot be evaluated with objective criteria. So there is still a glimmer of hope that he will be proven right :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very interesting and thank you for the links. I'll come back to these blogs and comments in a separate article.

      Delete
  6. For me one major problem is in this theory, is the question (Planet said it wery well), why they wanted the corpse back in Macedonia in a glamorus tomb but they could not say it anyware or use it as a symbol of the kindoms legacy.
    Maybe one explanation is that after the death of Olymbias, Antipater and Kassander wanted to erase the memory of Alexanders glory.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes but then neither Antipater or Cassander had much to say when supposedly this tomb received Alexander's body two years after his death. Men like Perdiccas, who was meant to take the place of Antipater (!) and Ptolemy occupied the leading roles.

      Delete
    2. The speculation describes the return of Alexanders relic after Perdicas defeat and a overall agrement between the generals.
      This story will end probably as false but remains fancinent as a novel like Da vinci code!

      Delete
    3. You are funny! I like your comparison to the Da Vinci Code!
      Maybe we could write our own detective story?

      Delete
  7. incredible as something I don't really believe in but as something which is the fruit of a brilliant mind. Cassandre had no interest to destroy the potential symbols of the memory of Alexandre but to advance them to darken the crimes committed against Roxanne and her son. Break the descent and flatter the memory of a man.

    The one who plundered the grave is Lucius Aemilius Paullus Macedonicus whose interest was to remove any recollection of the past power of Macedonia.

    The question is: did he content with destroying the outside of the grave, that is what could be seen either did he plunder or did try to plunder the inside? In view of the colossal swag brought back by Macedonicus in Rome during his triumph where he dragged the humiliated Perseus behind his tank , I let you envisage the answer.

    But I want also to believe in the miracles which sometimes happen....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, miracles do happen ... sometimes ...
      I think Cassander is the inventor of the expression "over my dead body" as nothing would be tolerated to be in his way to gain fame himself. When you think that even his father, Antipater, did not allow him to lie on the couches with the other men during the symposia but demanded that his son sat like a child at the end of the table, it is not difficult to imagine the frustration Cassander grew up with. Once he came to power after his father's death he truly went over dead bodies and he killed all those close to Alexander! He was rewarded dying of gout - how glorious!
      You keep on blaming Lucius Macedonicus for the destruction of the tomb of Amphipolis. You may be right or not, but then why did he not destroy the tomb of Aegae in the process? His grudge or thirst for power cannot have been directed towards Alexander personally, can it?

      Delete
  8. Some News

    http://greece.greekreporter.com/2014/09/05/greek-culture-minister-comments-on-amphipolis/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. More news on Sunday? That's tomorrow. I don't expect anything significant to happen so soon.

      Delete
  9. I think it is also important to separate the essence of the theory discussed in the page of Empedotimos, from its various details.

    The main idea is that for Ptolemy it would have been sufficient to give to the people of his kingdom the false impression that he is the keeper of Alexander's body. That is something he could have used to build a society centered around an Alexandrian cult. But to achieve that, he should have first obtained the actual body from Perdicas. Once that was done and as soon as everyone was convinced that Alexander's body was in Egypt, he could replace it with any other random mummy, with the actual one sent somewhere else, possibly to Amphipolis. Whether such an exchange of bodies took place after the Triparadisus meeting or at some other time is secondary to the whole idea.

    The question is whether such thing is even theoretically possible to have occurred. As long as the body is sent back to Macedonia, one would naturally expect for Antipater or Cassander to take advantage of that and gain fame. So, if the exchange happened, what could keep everyone silent? The only possibilities I can come up with is that:

    a) Antipater and Cassander did not find out about the exchange & entombment and other groups were involved to keep this secret (e.g. Olympias).
    b) Ptolemy and Antipater agreed to keep the exchange as secret, otherwise Ptolemy's plans for his kingdom would be ruined. Ptolemy was an ally, but I still cannot see how Cassander would have honoured such an agreement. Unless only Antipater knew, not his son.
    c) Antipater/Cassander knew about the transfer, but kept the secret since for them the important thing was to have Alexander buried in their kingdom. Alexander's favourite soothsayer, Aristander, prophesized that the country in which the the body of Alexander the Great was buried would be the most prosperous in the world. So maybe it was enough for Antipater etc. to know that. At that time they really took seriously such prophecies...

    So, too many things have to happen in parallel, too many people have to behave and honour their agreements, too much secrecy and deception has to be involved to end up with Alexander at Amphipolis. One definately needs a miracle for the whole scenario to be possible. But as you said, miracles happen, and of course we hope to have a miracle in few days from now...

    One last comment is about the role of the Romans: what is discussed in the page of Empedotimos may only be possible if the tomb was not looted by Romans. If it is looted, even and we find no evidence to whom it belonged, then it may be safe then to say that Alexander was not in there. If he was, Romans would have not been quiet, and we would definately not have emperor stories visitng the Soma.

    I still think the theory discussed here: http://rogueclassicism.com/2014/09/01/thinking-out-loud-about-the-amphipolis-tomb-the-rogueclassicist-speculates/

    makes obvioulsly more sense

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It seems you have been thinking about the same line as I did. I just published my own thoughts under Debates about the Tomb of Amphipolis still ongoing …
      Yes, agree that the different possibilities you came up with are not conclusive either.

      Delete
    2. I just read your Rogue Classicism link, great! Finally someone with common sense!
      I published it as well. Thank you so much for sharing it with me!

      Delete
  10. If Macedonicus ever find Aegae tombs, these places had a very minor political signification for the Romans. Alexander and his generals were the big fishes. Remember that even the Romans were fascinated by Alexander. Who stole his belt and his armour in Alexandria? Who broke the nose of his mummy? Remember that the Romans were very very superstitious people. Suetone wrote this amazing story about Nero who manage to cross the Bay of Ostia with his horse in order to conjure a malediction who said that he wouldn't....

    ReplyDelete