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Alexander’s Veterans and the Early Wars of the Successors

By Joseph Roisman

Publication Year: 2012

This first focused analysis of veterans’ experiences in ancient Greece offers a fresh, “bottom-up” perspective on important military and political aspects of early Hellenistic history.

Published by: University of Texas Press

Series: Fordyce W. Mitchel Memorial Lecture Series


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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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p. vii

Map of Alexander’s Campaigns

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pp. viii-x

List of Abbreviations

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pp. xi-xii

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pp. xiii-xiv

Th is book originated in an invitation to participate in the conference on the origin of the Hellenistic world that took place in Edinburgh in 2006. By most ancient and modern accounts, the Hellenistic world was the creation of Alexander’s great successors. ...

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pp. 1-8

In the spring of 319 BCE, Eumenes of Cardia and Antigonus the One- Eyed—both former commanders under Alexander the Great—fought at Orcynia in Cappadocia over the control of Asia Minor.1 Antigonus won the battle and Eumenes fled in the company of Macedonian troops who had served with Alexander. ...

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Chapter 1. Motives and Bias in the History of Hieronymus of Cardia

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pp. 9-30

One is reluctant to begin an investigation by lamenting the sorry state of the evidence, but the case of Hieronymus of Cardia justifies this not-uncommon complaint. Too little is known about the career of this historian, whom many scholars regard as the bedrock of early Hellenistic history, ...

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Chapter 2. Alexander and Discontent: The King and His Army in India and Opis, Mesopotamia

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pp. 31-60

The chronological starting point for the history of Alexander’s veterans is the king’s death at Babylon in June 323. Yet there is something to learn about their conduct and ambitions in the post-Alexander era from two episodes of their conflict with him while he lived. ...

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Chapter 3. The Veterans and the Macedonian Internal Strife in Babylon (323)

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pp. 61-86

On June 11, 323 BCE, Alexander died in Babylon without leaving an heir.1 The question of who would replace him as king and as the ruler of the empire led to dissension both within the elite and between the elite and the masses. The crisis also provided the rank and file with an opportunity rare in Macedonian history: ...

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Chapter 4. The Dissolution of the Royal Army, I: The Veterans of Perdiccas and Craterus

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pp. 87-118

At the time of Alexander’s death, the two largest concentrations of veterans were in the royal army in Babylon and with Craterus in Asia Minor. Soon the Macedonian core of the royal army would shrink. Every general who left Babylon for his satrapy must have wanted to take with him at least a Macedonian guard unit ...

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Chapter 5. The Dissolution of the Royal Army, II: The Veterans of Eumenes, Neoptolemus and Alcetas, and the Meeting in Triparadeisus

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pp. 119-144

Eumenes, Neoptolemus, and Alcetas were generals who supported Perdiccas and who operated in diff erent territories in Asia Minor. Perdiccas later appointed Eumenes as his chief commander in Asia Minor, but seems to have allocated veterans only to Neoptolemus and Alcetas. ...

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Chapter 6. The Veterans, Eumenes, and Antigonus in Asia Minor

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pp. 145-176

The history of the Macedonian veterans from the settlement of Triparadeisus (summer 320) to Eumenes’ assumption of the command over the Silver Shields (spring 318) must be reconstructed from highly condensed accounts and fragmentary or anecdotal evidence. ...

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Chapter 7. Eumenes and the Silver Shields

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pp. 177-211

Shortly after leaving Nora in the spring of 318, Eumenes received letters from the royal guardian, Polyperchon, and Alexander’s mother, Olympias. The consequent change in his fortunes delights our sources, who are keen on highlighting the roller-coaster nature of his career. ...

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Chapter 8. The Silver Shields in Battle and Eumenes' Death

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pp. 212-236

In previous chapters we have discussed the relationships between the Silver Shields and their commanders, along with the unit’s role and status in the Successors’ armies. Oddly, and in spite of the veterans’ formidable military reputation, the ancient accounts barely refer to their performance on the battlefield after they joined Eumenes. ...

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pp. 237-244

The Silver Shields were the last of Alexander’s veteran infantrymen to leave an impression on the histories of the period. Faint traces of their existence after they moved to Antigonus’s side may be found in his colonies. When Seleucus returned to Mesopotamia in 312, he drafted Macedonian settlers in Carrhae into his force. ...


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pp. 245-256


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pp. 257-264

E-ISBN-13: 9780292735972
E-ISBN-10: 0292735979
Print-ISBN-13: 9780292735965
Print-ISBN-10: 0292735960

Page Count: 280
Illustrations: 1 figure, 2 maps
Publication Year: 2012

Series Title: Fordyce W. Mitchel Memorial Lecture Series
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OCLC Number: 785394708
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Alexander’s Veterans and the Early Wars of the Successors

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Greece -- History -- Macedonian Hegemony, 323-281 B.C.
  • Greece -- History -- Macedonian Hegemony, 323-281 B.C. -- Historiography.
  • Greece -- Kings and rulers -- Succession -- History -- To 1500.
  • Generals -- Greece -- History -- To 1500.
  • Alexander, the Great, 356-323 B.C. -- Friends and associates.
  • Veterans -- Greece -- History -- To 1500.
  • Greece -- History, Military -- To 146 B.C.
  • Babylonia -- History, Military.
  • India -- History, Military.
  • Turkey -- History, Military.
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