Dividing the Spoils: The War for Alexander the Great's Empire (Ancient Warfare and Civilization)

By Robin Waterfield

Alexander the good conquered a major empire--stretching from Greece to the Indian subcontinent--and his loss of life prompted 40 bloody years of world-changing occasions. those have been years full of excessive event, intrigue, ardour, assassinations, dynastic marriages, treachery, transferring alliances, and mass slaughter on battlefield after battlefield. And whereas the lads fought at the box, the ladies, comparable to Alexander's mom Olympias, schemed from their palaces and pavilions.

Dividing the Spoils serves up a fast paced narrative that captures this turbulent time because it revives the reminiscence of the Successors of Alexander and their nice contest for his empire. The Successors, Robin Waterfield exhibits, have been no mere plunderers. certainly, Alexander left issues in nice disarray on the time of his demise, with out assured succession, no management in position compatible for the sort of huge realm, and large untamed parts either bordering and inside of his empire. It used to be the Successors--battle-tested partners of Alexander akin to Ptolemy, Perdiccas, Seleucus, and Antigonus the One-Eyed--who consolidated Alexander's earnings. Their competing objectives, despite the fact that, ultimately resulted in the break-up of the empire. to inform their tale in complete, Waterfield attracts upon quite a lot of ancient fabrics, delivering the 1st account that makes entire feel of this hugely complicated period.

Astonishingly, this era of brutal, cynical struggle was once additionally characterised through fabulous cultural achievements, specifically within the fields of philosophy, literature, and artwork. a brand new global emerged from the airborne dirt and dust and haze of conflict, and, as well as chronicling political and armed forces occasions, Waterfield offers plentiful dialogue of the fantastic cultural flowering of the early Hellenistic Age.

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Yet, by way of hijacking Alexander’s corpse, he had declared himself Alexander’s heir—and Alexander’s inheritor should still inherit Alexander’s aggressiveness. instead of having average goals, it truly is extra average to imagine that he used to be simply being sufferer. and there's no option to clarify his activities at present other than as indicating a sustained application to realize keep an eye on of Greece. First, he softened up the Greek towns below Cassander’s and Lysimachus’s regulate in 310 by means of asking them to not be tempted through the Antigonid promise of freedom, and to hitch his alliance instead—a circulate that used to be designed to undermine not only his previous enemy Antigonus but in addition his former allies, Cassander and Lysimachus.

His territory was once so titanic that it is helping to think about it when it comes to a couple of significant blocks of territory, outlined not only by way of the geographical beneficial properties akin to mountain levels or seas that shaped their borders, but additionally via the truth that ripples unfold through occasions inside of one block didn't unavoidably achieve neighboring blocks. the ecu territories—Macedon, Greece, and Thrace—constitute one such block, separated from Asia by way of the slender and demanding Hellespont; Asia Minor is one other, bordered to the east and southeast via ambitious mountains.

Demetrius’s snail used to be reconstructed in concept through A. Rehm, “Antike Automobile,” Philologus 317 (1937), 317–30. thirteen. Plutarch, lifetime of Demetrius 24. 1. 14. e. g. DS 22. ninety two. three, Plutarch, lifetime of Demetrius 2. 2. 15. The Flatterer, fr. four Arnott; Athenaeus, The discovered Banqueters 587d. the road is addressed to a soldier, who in Menander’s comedies of the interval used to be frequently a Demetrius look-alike. See S. Lape, Reproducing Athens: Menander’s Comedy, Democratic tradition, and the Hellenistic urban (Princeton: Princeton collage Press, 2004), 61–3.

Therefore the Greeks mentioned the battle because the Hellenic battle, the struggle for Greek freedom, however it has end up often called the Lamian conflict after the location of its most crucial part. 14 inspired via Athens and the Aetolians, and seizing the chance created through Alexander’s loss of life, quite a few Greek towns joined the rebels. except hostility towards the Exiles Decree, the complete of mainland Greece have been struggling with a serious scarcity of grain, and deeply resented the truth that Alexander had denied them provides whereas sending lots east to help his campaigns.

The tools have been nonetheless a similar: skillful maneuvering so you have been able to disable an enemy send by means of ramming (with or with out next boarding by way of marines) or through breaking its oars and oarsmen. the most concepts or advancements within the early Hellenistic interval stemmed from an identical love of gigantism that produced—to identify quite a few extraordinary examples—enormous armies, the Colossus of Rhodes, the Lighthouse at Alexandria, and the temple of Apollo at Didyma. Ever-larger vessels have been being equipped.

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