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Old June 13th, 2018, 12:54 PM   #1
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Greatest of the diodochi.


Now what i mean is, of all the rulers of the successor states who is the greatest general?
Antigonus I
Demetrius I
Seleucus I
Eumenes
Pyrrhos
Antiochus III
Ptolemy III
Mithridates VI

Ok, so my choices are Seleucus and Antigonus. Seleucus managed to get the lions share of Alexanders empire and beat the most successful of the diodochi at the time- Antigonus. Speaking of which was amazing. But i believe that if eumenes wasnt backstabbed he would beat antigonus. Seleucus also beat him at his prime. So ya. Would love to hear ur answers
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Old June 13th, 2018, 05:41 PM   #2

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A perennial question. It is hard to argue with results and, on that basis, you'd have to plump for Seleukos. From unprepossessing beginnings to near all of Alexander's empire.

From the viewpoint of naked ability, Eumenes is the surprise packet. Even though dealing with contested command authority, he fought Antigonos to a standstill. Had his troops taken to the field and resumed battle at Gabiene, he will have won. Antigonos' phalanx had been belted was most unlikely to stand up to a second day - it had fled field essentially by battle's end.

Antigonos, too, was no slouch. His initial campaigns against the "Perdikkans" demonstrated the ancient version of blitzkrieg: fast marches and skillful deployments. Even in his last campaign at over 80 years of age, he'd battled Lysimachos back to a beach head before Seleukos arrived over winter to salvage matters.
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Old June 14th, 2018, 12:32 AM   #3
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I mean, the top three generals were Seleukos, Antigonus and Eumenes as Salaminia has already pointed out. In terms of actual success, Seleukos takes the winning prize. I think the majority of people would also select Seleukos, and hence this thread has already essentially been answered above.
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Old June 14th, 2018, 01:49 AM   #4

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I'm with Antigonos on this one, he ultimately defeated Eumunes, who had fought well but was out-generaled by Antigonos on a number of occasions, and as Sala mentioned, his campaigns against the Perdikkans were impressive, so to his swift victories against three Persian armies which were operating behind Alexander's lines.
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Old June 14th, 2018, 02:10 AM   #5
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Eumenes was not outgeneraled but betrayed and backstabbed. A big difference in my opinion.

Cassander and Lysimachus should also be on a list.

Seleucus is a top dog also to me.
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Old June 14th, 2018, 02:29 AM   #6
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I mean they were all officers of Alexander and most either grew up along with Alexander or earned their keep fighting under his father. Such experience was impressive.

In terms of pure military performance, Antigonus is probably number one. In terms of a combination of military performance and actual success? Seleukos.
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Old June 14th, 2018, 02:58 AM   #7

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There was that, but he was also outgeneralled, the capture of the baggage was a key reason for their betrayal, also, at the battle of Orkynia in 319 BC, with a much smaller army than Eumenes, he put it to flight, though that too had a touch of betrayal, though we should praise his ability to negate Eumenes strength in cavalry, and in my opinion, had a good deal to do with his clever stratagem convincing the enemy his army was bigger than it really was. He killed 8000 and most of the Eumenes' army went over to him, leaving Eumenes fleeing and eventually trapped in Nola with a small body of men. He also quickly went on to beat Attalos and Alketas. In two brilliant campaigns in the course of one season, he'd annihilated the Perdikkan faction and two armies, adding many of their numbers to his own forces.

Last edited by markdienekes; June 14th, 2018 at 03:03 AM.
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Old June 14th, 2018, 04:23 AM   #8

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Apollonides, who "commanded the cavalry in the army of Eumenes" (Diod. 18.40.5), was the bloke who betrayed Eumenes at Orkynia. He took the cavalry with him - how many we aren't told, but enough to lose the battle. Pays to remeber that Eumenes had already defeated Neoptolemos and Krateros in succession by this time. Yes, he lost the baggage at Gabiene but Alexander had "lost" his too at Gaugamela. Eumenes correctly said that they'd regain it in the victory that was already his had Peukestas and a good deal of cavalry not "retired" from the battle. Antigonos had been dealt with harshly here: his phalanx had their sarisai handed to them. The same was the case at Paraitakene where the "victor" chose to detain Eumenes' herald while he covered up his losses (over 7,754 casualties) by burying the dead and sending on the wounded before allowing Eumenes to take up his own dead.


That said, Antigonos did, as Markdienekes has remarked, provide excellent service to Alexander in the two campaigns against the Persian forces after Issos. He (and Balakros??) did this with a force almost entirely of mercenaries and local recruits. Ed Anson has done a bit of work on this and raises the logical but ultimately unprovable suggestion that Antigonos had come to some form of understanding with Ariarathes in Cappadocia. This is the posited reason for Antigonos not following Perdikkas' order to invade Cappadocia along with Leonnatos and Eumenes in 323.
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Old June 14th, 2018, 05:24 AM   #9

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At Gabiene, Eumenes' cavalry had routed because they'd been whipped by Antigonos, much like his phalanx had been whipped by Eumenes. The phalanx couldn't win the battle for Eumenes as Antigonos forced them to retire from the fight when his cavalry returned. I'd say the fight was about even, only Antigonos completely undid Eumenes by taking the baggage.

They were well matched generals, I just feel Antigonos was better. Only slightly.

Forgive my poor grammar, hard typing on a phone!

In the words of Roisman:

In fact, the Satrap's and the other commanders retreat suggests that they shared with the Silver Shields a dim view of Eumenes' chances. It was also hard for him to make a strong case for victory when they could see Antigonus and apparently the better part of his cavalry just waiting for them to make a move (Alexander's Veterans, pp.229).

Antogonus knew his Phalanx would not stand against the strength of Eumenes', and adjusted his battle to his cavalry strengths, and beat Eumenes, in my opinion, fair and square, by routing Eumenes' cavalry, capturing the baggage, and forcing the infantry of Eumenes to retire (albeit in good order) from the battlefield.

Last edited by markdienekes; June 14th, 2018 at 06:19 AM.
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Old June 14th, 2018, 05:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macon View Post
Eumenes was not outgeneraled but betrayed and backstabbed. A big difference in my opinion.

Cassander and Lysimachus should also be on a list.

Seleucus is a top dog also to me.
Guarding your baggage train so the enemy doesn't capture it is part of generaling. And politics, that too.
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