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The "Fred thread": the Argead Macedonian Army
Apologies for length: it has been a task to reduce this epitome to just short of incomprehensibility.

Quote:Shall we get back to the subject matter of this thread and discuss who exactly who were the 'dory/aspis' armed Macedonian troops? Fred has already touched on this......

If I'm not allowed to let my thread drift I shall have to take my keypad and cursor and go home! The troops who demanded Eumenes come to the fore prior to Paraetecene and who subsequently crashed sarissa upon shield were the Silver Shields...

Quote: But in addition to all this you have not said where, at the feast, the 3,000 Hypaspists were…

At the risk of answering a question with a question, I repeat an earlier, unanswered, question of some importance to “all this” and other matters.

Quote:What is the source for Eumenes having 3,000 Macedonian infantry in the army of Orcynii?

In the absence of an answer I shall attempt to address it with apologies in advance for the Paralus “Photius epitome” of the First Diadoch War.

Perdiccas and the royal army installed Eumenes in his satrapy in 322. He then wintered there prior to his invasion of Psidia/Cilicia whilst Eumenes “entrusted the cities of the country to his own friends, appointed commanders of garrisons, left behind him such judges and administrators as he wished” (Plut. Eum. 3.14). Eumenes, as a trusted “friend”, accompanied him in the spring of 321.

Not long after this Eumenes is sent to straighten out the confusion caused by Neoptolemus in Armenia. Eumenes meets with Neoptolemus and finds that he cannot “constrain him by personal intercourse” and that Neoptolemus’ “Macedonian men-at war were conceited and bold’. Neoptolemus’ Macedonians had been detached from the royal army at Babylon and were veterans of the Asian campaign. Eumenes, in consequence, “raised a force of cavalry as a counterpoise to them” (ibid 4.2). Whatever the reasons for the intervention, Eumenes evidently straightens matters out and eventually returns to Perdiccas. It is clear that Eumenes has little or, more likely, no Macedonians – it is Neoptolemus who does

As the political climate deteriorated Eumenes, at the council meeting in Cilicia, was sent back to and tasked to defend the Hellespont against the coming invasion by Craterus and Antipater “with a considerable army” (Dio 18.25.6). This “considerable army” later turns out to be the forces of Neoptolemus and Alcetas (in Psidia) who would combine their forces with Eumenes’ and place themselves under Eumenes’ leadership. Cleitus, with the fleet, would cruise the straits. Eumenes would contribute his Cappadoccian cavalry and what infantry he could raise and which Perdiccas might spare (likely Asiatics).

Neoptolemus, commanding the bulk of the Perdiccan forces and with “a considerable number of Macedonians in his following” (Diod. 18.29.4), refused and deserted with his army. Cleitus and the fleet had already done so. These Macedonians, considering Perdiccas must have had at least 5-6,000 in the royal army (and 10,000 had ostensibly been led to Macedonia by Craterus), could not be more than 2,500-3,000 for Alcetas in Psidia also had Macedonians (including hypaspists). Eumenes brought him to battle. Diodorus and Plutarch are clear in describing a battle in which Eumenes’ infantry was utterly defeated whilst his cavalry – his superior arm – won the day (Diod. 18.29.4; Eum. 5.5). Riding down Neoptolemus’ pursuing Macedonian infantry he “compelled them to lay down their arms and make oath with him to serve under him” (Eum. 5.5). The reason these Macedonians did so is simple: Eumenes had captured their baggage (ibid). As the Argyraspides’ later example illustrates, men of the camp and the Asian campaign had much to protect including “treasure” and family.

Some ten days later Eumenes faced the forces of Craterus (and the escaped Neoptolemus). The source tradition is united, again, in that this time, the phalanxes did not meet. This was a deliberate ploy by Eumenes because, as Diodorus says (18.30.1), “he could not equal the Macedonian phalanx with his foot soldiers” further stating that Eumenes’ infantry was “twenty thousand foot soldiers, men of every race…” (18.30.5). This was not the only reason though. This time Eumenes had Macedonians in his phalanx – clearly few, if any, more than the “large number of stout Macedonians” he’d won over from Neoptolemus – and the two could not be trusted to fight each other. Craterus’ infantry, still in perfect formation at battle’s end, agreed to take service under Eumenes and then took the first opportunity to decamp for Antipater. These, clearly, were “national drafts” from the homeland as opposed to the “permanent camp dwellers” of Alexander’s anabasis and those later gifted or “swapped” to Antigonus when Antipater went home to die.

Skipping to post Triparadeisos we find Antigonus deputed to wipe out the remaining Perdiccan forces - Eumenes, Alcetas and Attalus. The latter pair is attested as refusing to serve under the Cardian and jostling for the command and so they would fight and fall divided (Eum 8.8). Eumenes had no opportunity and is not attested as having gained any further Macedonian troops and so we can still assume his army contained the 2,500-3,000 infantry he took over from Neoptolemus - assuming none had died in either previous battle.

In the spring of 319 he faced Antigonus at Orcynii. Here a certain Perdiccas attempted to desert with 3,000 troops and 500 cavalry. That these were Macedonian is nowhere specified (unlike the 3,000 under Holkias who’d deserted Antigonus for some weeks and were eventually repatriated to Macedon – Polyaenus 4.6.6) and the fact that Eumenes, having forced them back, distributed “the common soldiers among the other troops” (Diod. 18.40.4) clearly indicates they were not for he certainly did not have enough Macedonians to so dilute them. Further, as has been so well pointed out, these “Macedonians” had only just recently voted Eumenes a “bodyguard”.

The sources are again adamant that Eumenes, by treachery, suffered a crushing reverse with some 8,000 dead. How many of these were Macedonian we do not know. Eumenes scarpers for Armenia in the aftermath and Diodorus reports his army as deserting to the victor. These deserters will have almost certainly included Eumenes’ Macedonians for the simple reason that Antigonus had captured their baggage (ibid 40.8).

It is difficult to imagine soldiers who had deserted Neoptolemus for their baggage eking out an existence on the wintry plains of Cappadoccia for a year in the hope that their general might escape his incarceration – they certainly did not wander about Phrygia awaiting Craterus and Neoptolemus. It beggars belief that they would do so whilst all their belongings (and most likely families) were held by the besieging general. Further, one wonders just what Antigonus – “the most energetic of the commanders […]who excelled in keenness and daring” (ibid 23.3-4) – was thinking in allowing a group of “skilled, trained, soldiers” to wander so “perilously close by, near to Antigonus' besieging army” especially when he’d the entire contents of their camp!

It is hardly to be thought that the strategos autokrator of Asia, needing to move on Alcetas and Attalus in Psidia and with Arrhidaeus in Hellespontine Phrygia preparing against him, did not attend to these supposed 2,500-3,000 Macedonians. He’d certainly done so with the 3,000 Macedonians who’d deserted him under Holkias. It is unthinkable that Antigonus would leave only a holding force at Nora when taking his army into Psidia whilst some 2,500-3,000 veterans of the anabasis and confirmed “Eumenids” loitered near to Nora. They may well receive aid from other satraps who did not share Antigonus’ ambitions. Indeed later, at about the time of the siege’s end, Arrhidaeus is reported as sending forces to relieve Eumenes in Nora. There is no chance that Antigonus would leave these men in the vicinity whilst such was ever a possibility.

Quote: Although Plutarch says he gathered “all” the soldiers, we may take it that most of those who had gone over to Antigonus stayed there. This is re-inforced by the fact that Eumenes fled, so his force must have been small – 1,000 cavalry and an unknown number of Infantry, perhaps no more than the 700 ‘bodyguards’ left after mounting some, and probably no more than the 3,000 who formed his ‘Macedonian’ infantry previously.

It is at that this point that Olympias, Alexander’s mother, sends the ‘silvershields’ and Eumenes Satraps – Peucestas et al join him with their bodyguards and other troops including Persian archers and slingers– and it is likely that these were ‘Macedonian’ bodyguards.

Eumenes was released from Nora “at the approach of spring” in 318 (Nepos Eum 5.4 and Diodorus who says a year). What then follows is a period of negotiation between Polyperchon and Eumenes. Diodorus’ compressed summary would give the impression this all happened within days but the truth is different. There is an offer from Polyperchon – which can only have reached Eumenes after Polyperchon was informed of his release (and hardly within “days”) – and then there is what is reported as a confirmation of terms (the money to recompense Eumenes, the authorisation to draw funds, the appointment as “strategos autokrator” of Asia for the royal house, et al). This evidently occurred over the weeks or months of the spring / early summer at the latest. Eumenes, revolting from Antigonus, moved into Cilicia in the later weeks of the summer of 318 and took those troops he could raise locally and those friends, et al he’d installed in his satrapy. It is unlikely in the extreme that this included a speculated 3,000 Macedonian veterans who’d been allowed to await the release their general and had done so without pay for up to 18 months (Eumenes was in no position to pay them. cf the ruckus at Triparadeisos and the Hellespont under Antipater over pay).

The circles at the feast in Persis are much like the battle array descriptions: never as complete as one might like. For example, the only attested corps of Asiatics armed in the Macedonian fashion in the army list at Susiane is Peucestas’ 3,000. When we get to Paraetecene there are 5,000. These, unless they are “allies”, are not listed at the feast. The Macedonian satraps will have brought most (if not all) of their satrapal Macedonian “somatophylakes” and it is these who are likely the “hetairoi who’d served under Alexander”. If the “hypaspists” or the “men from the hypaspists” are epigoni elite, they may just as easily be numbered in the outside circle or not mentioned in the circle the Silver Shields occupy. Either way, there is no exhaustive list of the make-up aside from the Silver Shields, hetairoi and the commanders and notable Persians et al (who are not named). There is little chance they are the speculated 3,000 allowed to await the release of Eumenes.
Paralus|Michael Park

Ἐπὶ τοὺς πατέρας, ὦ κακαὶ κεφαλαί, τοὺς μετὰ Φιλίππου καὶ Ἀλεξάνδρου τὰ ὅλα κατειργασμένους

Wicked men, you are sinning against your fathers, who conquered the whole world under Philip and Alexander!

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