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View Poll Results: Who was the greater overall leader, Philip of Macedon or Sulla?
Philip II of Macedon 35 68.63%
Sulla 16 31.37%
Voters: 51. You may not vote on this poll

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Old November 14th, 2017, 10:53 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by Salaminia View Post
Right. My turn to fail to understand. Amyntas ruled for 23 years. It matters not how old Alexander II was when Philip was born (last of the three, though there was a sister as well) because he was the eldest. He was very clearly old enough to succeed his father on his death and duly did so. There is nothing certain about the marriage date of Amyntas and Eurydike and there is nothing certain about the birth date of Alexander II. Carney's guess that he was born no later than 388 is based only on the fact that he, as eldest son, duly succeeded Amyntas and must have been 18 (Women and Monarchy in Macedonia, p 41). Regardless, by the time Philip was born (abt 382), there were two sons ahead of him. While few things are black and white, what most certainly is black and white is the fact that the eldest son (Alexander II - Just. 7.4.8) inherited the throne and, on his death, the next eldest.
It actually does.

If you claim Philip was never going to be king, that means it would be similar to how after 240, we are pretty sure Alexander was going to be king. Which means if anyone born to Philip after 240, we can pretty much expect that they won't be born to be king unless Alexander dies somehow.

Now I am not claiming there is a meritocracy in this succession business, but the idea that Philip was NEVER going to be king seems to be your position, but if his 2 brothers are within 9 years of him, that just mean you are saying a 9 yr old child was assumed to be king, and that his younger brothers won't receive the kind of education and position that are expected from an heir to the throne. Is that the case? Was Alexander II so old that his status was already determined and he was old enough for no one to care about his health and assume he would ascend the throne? No? Then Philip was at the minimum a backup to the backup. He probably won't succeed, but he was one of the legitimate heir to the throne.

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Carney much discusses Egyptian practice but Egypt (even under the Ptolemies) was not Macedonia.
Carney is a well respected Hellenist writers who wrote the following.


Arsinoë of Egypt and Macedon: A Royal Life (Oxford University Press. New York 2013).
Philip II, Alexander III: Father and Son, Lives and Afterlives. Co-edited with Daniel Ogden. (Oxford University Press: New York 2010).
Olympias, Mother of Alexander the Great. (Routledge: London and New York 2006).
Women and Monarchy in Macedonia. Univ. of Oklahoma, 2000.

Professor Carney specialized in the ancient world, specifically in Alexander the Great and ancient Macedonia, the Hellenistic period, and women of that period.

You can disagree with her learned opinion, but don't you dare to take away her specality. This is disgraceful.

Do you see me question your education and your publishing?

Quote:
It is clear that Amyntas, just like Philip, was polygamous (Just. 7.4.5). Just like Philip, Amyntas had a "dominant wife" and this wife produced the heir to the throne. And, just like Olympias, Eurydike made much of her position during Amyntas' lifetime and, especially, afterwards. The name was pregnant with power in the years following.

I would note that there are inverted commas about royal wife. As I've said above, both Amyntas and Philip had a mother of the royal heir. That wife was certainly the most important at court.
Yes but the point is that their son's position made them dominant, rather than their position made their son heir.

That as wives of king, they are equal with all the other woman, they were all married, and non were chief. It was only when the heir becomes official, that their position informally becomes more powerful. But that doesn't mean all the other woman were in a status below either Olympias or Eurydike.
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Old November 14th, 2017, 12:24 PM   #52

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I have not time to respond to everything overnight and will do so when time allows. Meantime I need to set something straight.

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Carney is a well respected Hellenist writers who wrote the following.


Arsinoë of Egypt and Macedon: A Royal Life (Oxford University Press. New York 2013).
Philip II, Alexander III: Father and Son, Lives and Afterlives. Co-edited with Daniel Ogden. (Oxford University Press: New York 2010).
Olympias, Mother of Alexander the Great. (Routledge: London and New York 2006).
Women and Monarchy in Macedonia. Univ. of Oklahoma, 2000.

Professor Carney specialized in the ancient world, specifically in Alexander the Great and ancient Macedonia, the Hellenistic period, and women of that period.

You can disagree with her learned opinion, but don't you dare to take away her specality. This is disgraceful.

Do you see me question your education and your publishing?
You appear to have a penchant for both putting words into others mouths and lecturing people. I well know who Elizabeth Carney is and have many of her works. Nowhere in the comments I have made have I somehow "taken away" Liz Carney's speciality and I fail to understand what such a statement means. One can always disagree with another but that, in your world, somehow means I disrespect that other and "take away" their speciality. This, I'm afraid, is nonsense. I might just as well observe that AB Bosworth disagreeing with NGL Hammond means that Bosworth was taking away Hamond's speciality!! For that matter, I've often disagreed with Hammond (particularly his method on occasion). That does not mean I dared to take away his speciality.
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Old November 14th, 2017, 01:14 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by Salaminia View Post
I have not time to respond to everything overnight and will do so when time allows. Meantime I need to set something straight.



You appear to have a penchant for both putting words into others mouths and lecturing people. I well know who Elizabeth Carney is and have many of her works. Nowhere in the comments I have made have I somehow "taken away" Liz Carney's speciality and I fail to understand what such a statement means. One can always disagree with another but that, in your world, somehow means I disrespect that other and "take away" their speciality. This, I'm afraid, is nonsense. I might just as well observe that AB Bosworth disagreeing with NGL Hammond means that Bosworth was taking away Hamond's speciality!! For that matter, I've often disagreed with Hammond (particularly his method on occasion). That does not mean I dared to take away his speciality.
Sal, the feeling is mutual. You may feel like I am lecturing you, and I also felt like you were lecturing me.

On other other hand, I have always state my position, explain them with sources from how I arrive at the conclusion, and asked you to elaborate your position.

That hardly seem like lecturing.

On the other hand, you hardly elaborated your position that are relevant to my question. You keep on saying Philip's mother and Alexander's mother were royal wife, but you never establish whether the wives of the kings were equal, or that one is marriage and the rest were concubines. You went on about how they were 'queen' but are the rest not queens? The establishment of the heir was not presumptive at birth. Can you contradict that? Was Alexander born to be king? What evidence do you have of that? If the dispute was on whether or not Philip was born in a position of power, a royal prince who can inherit the throne, then we should establish whether or not the oldest son born was immediately the heir presumptive, but you can't. And I kept asking you for proof, but you go on about how Carney is wrong, and never really establish why.

As I said, I don't think I know all Macedonian history or even 10%, but from the things I read specifically about this topic, it seems Carney was pretty specific on the statement she wrote.

On the other hand, when you write that she writes about Egypt and not Macedonia, that seems very much like you are saying she is a expert in Egypt rather than Macedonia.

Did I put that in your mouth, or did you write

"Carney much discusses Egyptian practice but Egypt (even under the Ptolemies) was not Macedonia."

Was she writing about Macedonia, in the titles from which I quote, or was she writing about Egypt?

How about Olympias, Mother of Alexander the Great, Women and Monarchy in Macedonia, and The Emergence of a Title for Royal Women in the Hellenistic Period?
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Old November 15th, 2017, 09:37 PM   #54

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Sulla brought 5 legions to Greece, remember? That's 25,000. Plutarch indicates he may not have even used all of this force in the first battle, as you know from our discussion of it (Sulla is indicated to have 16,500 men in the initial battle against 120,000). There were some residual soldiers in Greece, but not many, and it's not clear they were with Sulla during the battles either. His entire force (including soldiers recruited from Greece, etc) is described by Appian as being 40,000 when he leaves to go back to Italy (of which 25,000 are Roman infantry), but there's no reason to believe he had recruited these forces off the bat when arriving in Greece, or used them all. It's also a very paltry force when the opposing army has 120,000 and 90,000 well armed soldiers respectively. I realise you think every source about Phillip is 100% accurate, and every source about Sulla is full of lies, but I don't agree for the reasons we went into in depth. The size of Mithridates armies is broadly consistent across a number of sources, including ones you yourself originally invoked, and is plausible for the reasons gone into. We could equally dismiss the numbers of Phillip's foes using the logic you invoke.
No, he brought 5 legions plus other cohorts and troops of horse as per Appian, The Mithridatic Wars, 6. Plutarch also says in his Life of Sulla that Sulla when he marched on Rome to restore order [before moving into Greece] had six "full" legions under his command. I'm doubting that up to 30,000-35,000 soldiers is a "paltry" force. It was composed of legionaries, veterans at that. Was Alexander's army "poultry" because it wasn't a mass levy army of Mithridates? [as per Plutarch]

As for the Battle of Chaeronea, we have much talked about it, but I feel I need to at least give a quick premise of my thoughts, as you've done it yourself.

I find it interesting that Sulla had 5 legions and brought them all out of Attica and into Thessaly, plus the troops he requested plus the extra cohorts and horse plus deserters [Sulla's forces were Italians and some Greeks and Macedonians, who had lately deserted Archelaus and come over to him, and a few others from the surrounding country, but they were not one third the number of the enemy - Appian]. These would easily number over 30,000, but not exceed 40,000 as Appian says Sulla's forces were less than 1/3 of 120,000 [according to him]. Yet, Plutarch describes Sulla's total forces AFTER he links up with yet MORE reinforcements [a whole legion] as 16,500 strong in total. It's obviously weird that Sulla is suddenly missing half of his army. Caesarmagnus posits that Sulla, faced against 120,000 troops, decided that he only needed 16,500 out of 30,000~ of his troops to win. Just another day another battle, right/ Even though Plutarch nor Appian make no mention that Sulla ever divided his forces or only used half of his army for the battle.

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"one of".
Fair enough, but not that impressive. The instances I mentioned happened 250+ years before Sulla. He would also have read about Alexander the Great and probably Hannibal as well, I highly doubt Sulla is being so improvisational here. His tactics in the Mithridatic Wars was basically Marius'. And the passage Plutarch writes in Sulla is basically a direct rip-off as in his Marius.

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I have no idea why a slugfest is indicative of bad generalship. If both sides are well led, and there is no room no maneuverer or do something fancy, then sometimes a battle will come down to a slugfest; because there is no scope to exploit your opponent. That's a true test for a general in some ways; can you win when there is no "trick" to pull, because your foe is too strong and smart for it. Generalship is very important in these circumstances, you need to know the caliber of your men to be sure they can win, how to deploy the fronts/wings, with which forces/commanders, you need to know how to inspire them to victory, how to stop them from breaking. Sulla was in the front lines with his men, doing just that. No tactical innovation was possible, they were pinned against the walls of Rome (intentionally) to defend it, and the opposing armies were competently led. They had also just arrived via a forced night march, and had no time to do anything else.

As for the numbers, you need to work a little bit off inference based on the forces as they were moving around, but (from memory) Sulla had 8 legions with him, and all the other forces he had were deployed far away at that point. He then gets news that a combined army of 70,000 has joined another army, and has to force march to Rome to defend it. He wouldn't have had time to get any further men, and it's fairly clear from Appian that he'd have been outnumbered 2 to 1 or more (depending on how many men from the final army that joined the other 70,000 men survived the battle they lost, prior to combining). For clarity, the final force that combines is described as 30,000 strong, plus 2 legions, plus "others". This force is defeated in battle by Pompey and loses 20,000 men, then the remnants of the 30,000 go to earth, while the other forces of 2 legions plus "others" go with the 3 generals mentioned to join the 70,000. So we're talking about a force well over 80,000 as against Sulla's 40,000.
Except the great generals such as Alexander or Hannibal never found themselves in situations where they couldn't maneuver or perform great battlefield tactics.

Do you have any historians who agree roughly or are these based of your own inferences? There's also no reason to suggest that Sulla was "forced" to make a move.


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He was born to the royal family, as someone pointed out, and was in line to be King depending on circumstances. Sulla was born to nothing and ended up the greatest and most powerful man in the world at the time.
"Born into nothing." Except he was a patrician ... that's nothing, hey?

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Old November 15th, 2017, 10:11 PM   #55
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Except the great generals such as Alexander or Hannibal never found themselves in situations where they couldn't maneuver or perform great battlefield tactics.
Hannibal actually found himself in a pickle more than once. There were a few battles where he found himself where there was no way to maneuver, and had to just bail. Otherwise Capua wouldn't be lost. He also bailed when he try to move on Locri, which was in my opinion a mistake, had he know who Scipio would one day become, he would have attacked. Had he killed or capture Scipio when the Romans sallied out, he probably could have turn the war around. While few Romans could boast that they defeated Hannibal, none have done so like Scipio. He also lost to a Publius Licinius Crassus, ancestor to our dear friend Crassus.
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"Born into nothing." Except he was a patrician ... that's nothing, hey?
The guy I mentioned, Publius Licinius Crassus, a plebeian, his children and descendants would wear the purple 7 times before any Cornelius Sulla would. Been born to a patrician house REALLY isn't something.

I don't know how often this has to be repeated. The power and the wealthy has long join forces that cross the class divide between the Patrician. We hear all the patrician because these patrician were RICH AND POWERFUL, not because they were patrician. Do we honestly think people give half a **** about the Julii before Marius married a Julia? Or that any one would say, Oh a Cornelius Sulla! What a prestigious name? No, they would say, Cornelius Sulla? Is that a freeman's name? Who was a Cornelius Sulla?

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Old November 15th, 2017, 10:12 PM   #56

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He bailed though.
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Old November 15th, 2017, 10:18 PM   #57
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He bailed though.
I think strategically two different mindset.

Hannibal at this point no longer expected any reinforcement. He hope his brother would join him, but he bail b/c he can't afford losses the way Sulla could. I am not too sure what would be better, like winning another great battle, and lose like 20% and see what's up after, or bail. At some point he needed to throw the die and he really didn't. He kept fainting. I know the reason why, but then since it didn't work we will never know what happens if he just go all in.
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Old November 15th, 2017, 11:20 PM   #58

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Sal, the feeling is mutual. You may feel like I am lecturing you, and I also felt like you were lecturing me.
Well Marius, I note that my position under my avatar has become “Lecturer”!! Perhaps I should go back to teaching rather than lecturing…

Anyway, this is starting to become a trifle convoluted about what I might or might not have written or believe. As it stands I’ve little time and have just had a publication deadline brought forward on me, so I will need to focus elsewhere. Let’s see if we can’t clear some things up first.

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If you disagree with a well published author, that's fine, but I like to see sources where you claim that 1) there are anointed heirs at their birth (is that your position? I arrive at this conclusion from a) your claim that Alexander was BORN to be king, which he wasn't, Alexander wasn't really considered heir until he was 14 according from what I read, and b) your claim that Phillip was NOT at all born to be king, that he was excluded from succession) 2) that there are chief wives, although after I read back, we may differ on our opinion what is a 'royal wife.' I think you mean that there is a chief wife for the king, and rest are either lesser wives, or concubine, which I disagree base on reading. If that's not your position, that you mean there are many royal wives, and Olympia is just one of the royal wife, then I can agree with that position. Otherwise, I like to see sources that would contradicts her.
This began because ‘Magus wrote the below:

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Phillip had the happy fortune of being born a King.
Aggienation contradicted that and I agreed. Now, the basis of this is comparing Philip and Sulla’s starting positions. The fact is that Philip was not “born to be king” and he was not in line to be king on Perdikkas’ death. More on this below.

Much confusion over “royal wife” so, let’s remove that less than clear title and go with Carney’s “dominant wife”. That one might be dominant does not mean the others are not wives. It simply means that the king had a ‘favoured’ or dominant wife and from this woman came the heirs. We see this both with Philip and his father, Amyntas. The latter clearly favoured Eurydike. Philip, although estranged from Olympias, had clearly favoured her and her son as the sources show. Philip is shown as being quite chuffed at the news of the birth of Alexander (Plut. Alex. 3.8):

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To Philip, however, who had just taken Potidaea, there came three messages at the same time: the first that Parmenio had conquered the Illyrians in a great battle, the second that his race-horse had won a victory at the Olympic games, while a third announced the birth of Alexander. These things delighted him, of course, and the seers raised his hopes still higher by declaring that the son whose birth coincided with three victories would be always victorious.
As I’ve said, Arrhidaios was clearly afflicted with some mental deficiency which debarred him from being considered for the throne. It may, as Carney says, have not been readily apparent until later in life. It may also have been quite apparent from early on and hence Philip’s pleasure – particularly at the seers’ prognostications.

I have not said that Alexander (assuming III) was “born to be king”. I did say that Alexander II was born to be king. As we see, he was Eurydike’s son - the dominant wife - and he succeeded.


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What makes some of Philip's wives queen, and others not?

I honestly don't see how in YOUR MONOGAMOUS VIEW a king can only have 1 queen. Whereas from the writing of Carney, it seems quite clear that it wasn't the case. Do you have sources to back up that only Olympia was consider as queen and the rest not?
I do not have a “monogamous view”. I’ve clearly stated that Macedonian kings were polygamous. That there was one queen comes as a result of that wife being the queen mother. Thus Eurydike is such for Alexander II and Olympias for Alexander III. This does not mean that the father, the previous king, had only one wife and the others were concubines. As I wrote, the sources describe Olympias as queen after Philip’s death and that would be because she is the queen mother of the king – Alexander and later his son.

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Do you have any evidence that Phillip as king only has one queen, and the rest of his 'wives' are mere concubines.
I nowhere stated that. Again, all were wives and one was the dominant wife as Carney calls her.

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Seems like Alexander had an older brother, who lost favors to Alexander when Alexander was around 14. Which means, at some point, some other woman (if you were correct) who was not queen had an older son who was heir presumptive. And at another point towards the end of Philip's life, he married another woman (and if you were correct) who was not queen, but had relative that challenged Alexander's legitimacy as he states something about now we can finally have a legitimate heir.
You don’t understand the basis of Attalos unfortunate (for him) jibe. The Macedonian court saw the king as first among equals and he ruled with the consent of his nobility. Losing that support could see him killed. Attalos is well connected and is advancing his position at court via the marriage of his daughter to Philip. Olympias was Epeirote royalty and so Alexander, in Attalos’ slight, is a mongrel: half Macedonian and half Epeirote. Attalos claims that a son born of the union of Philip and his daughter will produce a proper heir. What this shows is that Olympias was afraid of being replaced as the dominant wife and her son marginalised. This would not have happened. Attalos was about to be off to Asia with the advance force and Philip was to follow. Philip, realising his error, ensured the return to court of his heir.


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Well we are going to disagree on this part. Philip took side against Alexander, or did nothing. It would be unthinkable for the king to allow someone else to undermine his heir, and it would be worse to allow them to just leave.
Philip was quite obviously four sheets to the wind and his judgement seriously impaired (like his son in Marakanda). As I wrote above, Philip needed Attalos who clearly had allies at court - Parmenio being one. Alexander attacked the father of the groom and all descended into farce. That Philip regretted this lack of judgement in allowing him to leave is shown by his efforts to return him to court.

As I wrote above, Philip needed Attalos. Alexander clearly did not once he ascended the throne.

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And yes at time Arrhidaios was clearly out of the picture, which means he was in picture before.

Also, Philip's own marriages involving marrying securing the border of the kingdom and peace with neighbors and other political issues. I don't think the fact that one of his son marries the daughter of some important nobleman is indication that he wasn't in the picture.
I disagree strongly. Arrhidaios is here being treated as a daughter: a pawn to be married off to gain political capital. There is no way that Philip would ever marry off his heir to a lowly Persian satrap – even one willing to cooperate with his invasion.


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When Philip's father was alive, my point is that Philip COULD HAVE succeed his own father. Your point was the he could not have.

When Philip was alive, my point was Arrhidaios could have succeed Philip, your point was that he could not have.

My point is not that when Philip's brother died, could he succeed, the idea has always been the son of king would succeed. So that when you are born the son of a king, you were born into great potential for power.

If you can show some succession patterns, which does not seem to be around, then maybe you can make the argument on what dq Philip and what dq Arrhidaios ON THE DAY Alexander was born. But I have a pretty penny on you can't show what dq Arrhidaios the day Alexander was born, or that if Alexander was not born, then Arrhidaios would be king.
We can only go on the material we have. I’ve already quoted that material: the three sons of Amyntas’ dominant wife, Eurydike. Here, as is plain, the eldest son inherited the throne on the death of Amyntas. As I wrote, once Alexander II died without issue, the next eldest inherited: Perdikkas. Philip was the youngest and, as he would not inherit, Alexander bargained him off as a hostage for Thebes’ help. Philip V would do the same with his youngest son (Demetrios) when he sent him off the Rome as a hostage (see Livy 39.35.3 for youngest). Thus Philip preserved his heir, Perseus, his eldest son and Alexander II kept his successor (Perdikkas) at home until he’d a son of his own.


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On his death, with no offspring, the throne then passed to the next eldest brother. It's pretty straightforward: had Alexander survived neither Perdikkas or Philip would ever be king (as happened in Argead history - dead end lines). The eldest inherited here. In fact, he, as youngest, was sent off as a hostage.
This is bs. Is the eldest inherit, or not? Was Alexander the eldest? No? Then your claim just fallen apart didn't it?
I’m afraid not. Justin, 7.4.9:

Quote:
Having escaped so many dangers, he (Amyntas) died at an advanced age, leaving the throne to Alexander, the eldest of his sons.
We might also note that at 7.4.5 Justin names the three sons in birth order: Alexander, Perdikkas and Philipus.

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On the other hand, when you write that she writes about Egypt and not Macedonia, that seems very much like you are saying she is a expert in Egypt rather than Macedonia.

Did I put that in your mouth, or did you write

"Carney much discusses Egyptian practice but Egypt (even under the Ptolemies) was not Macedonia."

Was she writing about Macedonia, in the titles from which I quote, or was she writing about Egypt?
I have not said that Carney is an “expert in Egypt”. I was simply writing about the tranches from her work which you posted where she discusses Egyptian practices. Egypt, as I’ve said, is not Macedonia. As an example, Macedonian kings – the Argeads – did not regularly marry their sisters as Pharaohs did and, later the Ptolemies aping local mores.
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Old November 15th, 2017, 11:28 PM   #59

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Let's not also forget that Philip was drunk when he banished Alexander and quickly came to his wits once he sobered up. There's no way Philip could have lived long enough to raise and train another son. Such ideas are ludicrous, Alexander was clearly the heir apparent. He was in command of the entire left wing of the Macedonian army at Chaeronea.
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Old November 15th, 2017, 11:35 PM   #60
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Let's not also forget that Philip was drunk when he banished Alexander and quickly came to his wits once he sobered up. There's no way Philip could have lived long enough to raise and train another son. Such ideas are ludicrous, Alexander was clearly the heir apparent. He was in command of the entire left wing of the Macedonian army at Chaeronea.
The question was not whether or not Alexander was heir apparent at this point.

The question was when Alexander was born, was he heir apparent. If there were an heir apparent for the oldest son, then Alexander was not born a king. For he had an older brother who did not show deficiency until much later.

My argument remains the same, that Philip was in line for succession after his father when he was born. He may not be the first in line, but he was in line. Which puts him rather high above someone who was essentially forgotten and destitute.
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