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Three Seeking Harpalus.

Antipater & the Greeks.


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The Failure of Macedonian Authority.


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Athens and Macedonia, in the Absence of Alexander 

Christopher W. Blackwell, edition of July 1, 2005

page 7 of 9

·  Preliminaries to Crisis ·

This chapter will discuss events from 330 until early 324, the most immediate background to the Harpalus Affair. The analysis will be divided into two sections. The first will be a final exposition of events that weakened the structural integrity of the Macedonian hegemony in Greece, thus undermining the authority of both individual Macedonians and “Macedonia” as an entity in which individuals participated. The second part will describe how events in 325 and early 324 demonstrate the extent to which Alexander’s domain had coherence only by virtue of his presence and constant intervention. While Alexander had been absent, things had fallen apart, and his efforts at restoring them actually exacerbated the problems faced by the Macedonian presence in Greece. By the beginning of summer, 324, Macedonia was in no position to face a challenge to its authority of the sort that the Harpalus Affair would pose.

We should first summarize the dynamics of power and authority among Macedonia, its principals, and the Greeks from 335 to 330. Alexander had formalized a Macedonian hegemony by means of an act of terror, the razing of Thebes, and an institution, the Common Peace. The Common Peace would prove to be a valid organization with effective mechanisms for resolving disputes. It would also be an active presence in the political discourse of Greece under Alexander, although not necessarily to the advantage of Macedonian authority. When Alexander crossed the Hellespont, Antipater remained behind. His position in Pella as an authorized representative of the absent king had precedent in Macedonian history, but his position in Greece, as a general of forces in the service of an absent “ ἡγεμών of the Greeks of the Common Peace” was unprecedented. Antipater had de facto responsibilities for securing Macedonia’s European hegemony, but with little ex officio authority that we can see. Whatever authority he was to have, he would have to assume through his actions. The first test came when Agis collected an army and went to war in the Peloponnese. In this case, the Common Peace seems not to have significantly served Antipater’s advantage. Each Peloponnesian state that failed to join Agis had reasons apart from “loyalty” to Macedonia. The debate among the Athenians, who eventually refrained from supporting the revolt, also seems to have depended more on a calculus of advantage than on any formal obligations imposed by the Peace; in fact, the Common Peace most clearly enters Athenian discourse on the side of those who would have joined Agis and gone to war with Antipater. These anti-Macedonians were also emboldened by a perception that Alexander’s success against Darius was in doubt.

Antipater was slow in facing Agis, perhaps because of the demands that Alexander’s Asian wars placed on Macedonian military power. Despite this, we have no evidence that he invoked the clause of the Common Peace that mandated “mutual assistance against violators” in an effort to secure Athens’ cooperation, which would have lent him a decisive advantage. In doing so, he acted more like a Macedonian general than an authorized representative of a hegemony. And when he finally assembled an army and defeated Agis, he again refrained from assuming any authority in Greece, but instead deferred to Alexander. This was no doubt a proper thing for Alexander’s στρατηγός to do, but it illustrates how Antipater was Alexander’s arm in Greece, but not his voice. There is also evidence to suggest that Alexander was concerned about Antipater’s successful exercise of power, and the implications it might have for Alexander’s own authority over his general. The king also undermined Antipater’s authority by issuing a decree of “freedom for the Greeks” that stood in vivid contrast to the stern measures Antipater was taking to consolidate Macedonian control over Greece. The decree created a public divide between king and general, and must have shown the Greeks that Macedonia was not monolithic and that Antipater’s word was not necessarily final.

Olympias was more successful at assuming authority. She remained in Pella during the first years of her son’s absence, and while Antipater sent his army south, she sent grain. In other ways, too, she acted and was treated like a head of state. As long as Pella was an advantageous platform from which to project authority, Olympias remained there. She may even have surrounded herself with a military bodyguard, which, while not representing any significant potential for coercive force, would have been an important token of authority. She moved from Pella to a more independent situation in Epirus in 330, when Alexander was preparing to move farther away, and Antipater had firmly established his power in Greece. From there she continued to participate in Greek affairs, and we find evidence that the Athenians, at least, were accustomed to receiving embassies from her, and conferring on her a certain authority as a Macedonian, an Epirote, and a representative of Alexander. Olympias’ success at defining a position through her actions created another divide in the Macedonian hegemony.

From 330, events show that “Macedonia” ceased to be a participant in Greek affairs in any meaningful sense. Hegemony yielded to uneasy dominance. Alexander, the final location of authority, was far away. Antipater, who had never relied on authority as much as on naked coercion to secure his needs, continued to protect his power, but increasingly without reference to Alexander or any structure beyond his own court and his own army. Olympias was not even in Macedonia, and as Alexander’s absence grew more and more prolonged, she seems to have participated less in Greek affairs. Macedonia retained its power, but its authority existed only in the absence of any meaningful challenge. We will first turn to examine Olympias and Antipater during the quietly tense years 330-325, before discussing how Alexander’s return from India and the Gedrosian desert in 325 set the stage for a crisis of hegemony.

· Olympias: 330 to 324 ·

Olympias’ actions after 330 are not well documented. This is not entirely surprising. In 330, when news of the battle at Megalopolis reached Alexander at Ecbatana, he dismissed his Greek soldiers, declared that the Greeks were free to live under their own laws, and turned all his energies eastward (Plut. Alex. 34.2; Arr. 3.19.5; Diod. 17.74.3; Curt. 6.2.17).294 His mother had moved to Epirus, as Berve says, “ihre Selbständigkeit gegenüber Antipatros zu betonen”, and with Alexander increasingly removed from Greek affairs, Olympias’ ability to act outside of Epirus must have diminished. Nevertheless, her relationship to Alexander could not change, and so what authority she derived from him was durable. She is reported to have maintained a correspondence with her son, often complaining about or levying accusations against Antipater. Diodorus mentions “her slanders against him” (τὰς kat*) αὐτοῦ διαβολάς ) (Diod. 17.118.1; 17.114.3). Plutarch mentions letters between Olympias and Alexander at many places (Plut. Alex. 39.7-14; Mor. 180d [Imp. Apoth.]; 333a [de virt. Alex.]). Arrian reports a rumor (λόγος ) that Olympias influenced Alexander against Antipater with “slanders” (τῆς μητρὸς τῶν διαβολοων τῶν ἐς Ἀντίπατρον ) (Arr. 7.12.5-6).295 We should, of course, approach this second-hand epistolary evidence with extreme caution, but we can probably accept that Olympias kept in contact with her son, and that she worked through her letters to improve, or at least maintain, her own position.296

As evidence for the persistence of Olympias’ associative authority we might note two speeches by Hyperides, one in defense of Euxenippus, dating to 330 bc, and one prosecuting Demosthenes, dating to 323. In 330 the Athenian Euxenippus was accused by Polyeuctus of being a pro-Macedonian stooge, one specific manifestation of which is the defendant’s alleged flattery of Olympias (Hyp. Pro Eux. col. 21). Years later, in the wake of the Harpalus Affair, Hyperides would attack Demosthenes by recalling how Callias of Chalcidice, an associate of Demosthenes, had dealings with Olympias (Hyp. in Dem. col. 20; cf. Din. in Dem. 44). The specifics of the events Hyperides is discussing are unclear due to the state of the two texts, but for our purposes it is sufficient to note that Olympias could be portrayed, in 330 and 323, as a representative of the Macedonian hegemony.

· Antipater and the Greeks: 330 to 325 ·

In 330 Alexander proclaimed to the Greeks that “the tyrannies were ended and that they might live according to their own laws” (τὰς τυραννίδας πάσας καταλυθῆναι καὶ πολιτεύειν αὐτονόμους ) (Plut. Alex. 34.2), but Antipater did not abolish tyrannies and leave the Greeks to govern themselves. As W.L.T. Adams states, “The final battle with Agis had been too costly to allow for a second one, or to grant the initiative to any other dissident force.” 297 Nor could he count on the unreliable treaty of Common Peace to insure support from the Greeks; the oaths of mutual assistance had not brought Athens to the side of Macedonia in 331, and the oaths of non-interference were too easily invoked against Macedonian authority. With Alexander already far in the east of Asia Minor and moving farther, Antipater was no longer supporting the king from the west but was securing his own position in Greece toward an indefinite future.298 His efforts are not well-documented, since the ancient sources tend to follow Alexander’s lead in forsaking Greece during this period. We can, however, uncover a mixture of heavy-handed measures and some more subtle diplomatic maneuvering.

For Antipater’s less-subtle steps toward control in Greece we have both direct and indirect evidence. Antipater maintained military garrisons at Megalopolis, Pellene, Corinth, and the Cadmea, near the ruins of Thebes (a reminder, if not a threat, to Athens) (Diod. 18.70-71).299 Based on the “rescript” of 318 BC, by which Polyperchon established his authority in Greece, we know that Antipater drove into exile his opponents in various cities and set his supporters in positions of power (Diod. 18.56.1-3, 18.56.7).300 He instituted tyrannies at Sicyon, Pellene, Messenia (Dem. 17.4, 7, 10, 16); there was also a garrison at Rhodes, which may or may not have been in Antipater’s purview (Diod. 18.8.1). In addition to these, there is more general evidence of widespread dissatisfaction among the Greeks with Antipater’s rule. When Alexander returned to Ecbatana in 324, a series of embassies made their way to him from Greece in order to complain about Antipater (Plut. Alex. 74.2; Justin 12.14.4).301 The measures that elicited complaint served Alexander’s advantage, but the king had already established that Antipater’s authority was not to be considered an extension of his own. This precedent suggested an “Antipatran hegemony” distinct from a Macedonian one, and allowed the Greeks to play the king against the στρατηγός.302 In the period after 330, then, we should consider to what extent events in Greece continued to describe a hegemonic structure that included both Antipater and Alexander as authorizing principals.

While we hear of no actions taken by the συνέδριον of the Common Peace after 330 BC, it may have survived at least nominally.303 It had proven its usefulness in managing disputes between Greek states, and more importantly as a discursive presence in Greek affairs. We can also see its potential in 330 as a forum in which the states could discuss how best to reach a modus vivendi in the immediate future following Antipater’s victory at Megalopolis. In his speech against Ctesiphon the orator Aeschines reminds the jury that the council of the Common Peace would meet soon (in Ctes. 254): And be mindful of the critical time at which you are casting your vote: In a few days the Pythian games will be held, and the συνέδριον of the Greeks will assemble. The city has already been subject to slander because of Demosthenes’ policies in the current crisis; if you crown him, you will seem to be in agreement with those who violate the Common Peace, but if you should do the opposite, you will release our people from these charges. καὶ τὸν καιρὸν μέμνησθε ἐν τὴν ψῆφον φέρετε. Ἡμερῶν μὲν ὀλίγων μέλλει τὰ Πύθια γίγνεσθαι καὶ τὸ συνέδριον τὸ τῶν Ἑλλήνων συλλέγεσθαι· διαβέβληται d*) πόλις ἐκ τῶν Δημοσθένους πολιτευμάτων περὶ τοὺς νυνὶ καιρούς· δόξετε d*) ἐὰν μὲν τοῦτον στεφανώσητε, ὁμογνώμονες εἶναι τοῖς παραβαίνουσι τὴν κοινὴν εἰρήνην, ἐὰν δὲ τοὐναντίον τούτου πράξητε, ἀπολύσετε τὸν δῆμον τῶν αἰτιῶν.

Aeschines is attacking Demosthenes for his anti-Macedonian stance, at a time when Antipater’s victory over Agis has made Macedonia seem stronger than ever. The nature of this “ συνέδριον of the Greeks” is not specified in the text, and A.W. Pickard-Cambridge has suggested that it is the Delphic Amphictyony, presumably based on its coincidence with the Pythian Games.304 However, there are two reasons to suppose this is the συνέδριον of the Common Peace. First, Aeschines refers to the Amphictyony by name thirteen times in this speech alone, so we have no reason to suspect periphrasis here.305 Second, he is talking about criticism of those who “violate the Common Peace”; this could, of course, be a topic of discussion at any general meeting of Greeks, but the close conjunction of τὸ συνέδριον τὸ τῶν Ἑλλήνων with τὴν κοινὴν εἰρήνην suggests that Aeschines is referring to the so-called Council of Corinth. This passage does not suggest that anything bad will happen to Athens because of this meetingor indeed, that anything will happen at all. But it does suggest that this συνέδριον retained some status as a occasion from which authoritative opinions, if not dictates, emerged. Aeschines’ comments on the “slanders” against Athens should be taken in the context of the measures Antipater took after the war with Agis. The garrisons and tyrannies were a reaction to perceived threats to Macedonian power, and a continuing anti-Macedonian rhetoric at Athens may have seemed, to other Greek states, to exacerbate their own sufferings. Thus, Aeschines says, public support for Demosthenes’ anti-Macedonian stances would not be well received by states who feared or were already experiencing the weight of Antipater’s hand.

Aeschines lost his case against Ctesiphon, and the Athenians vindicated Demosthenes. Opposition to Macedonia may have been forestalled by Antipater’s measures in 330, but the Athenians had by no means unanimously resigned themselves to domination by Macedonia. Rather, the debate continued while Athens’ position as the strongest potential opponent to Macedonian hegemony increased. With Agis’ defeat, Athens was the only survivor among the major powers that dominated the fourth century before Philip’s floruit. Sparta was defeated and Thebes had long since been razed.306 Despite strongly expressed opinions to the contrary, the Athenians had come to the aid of neither, but had acquiesced (or bided time) for fear of Macedonia.307 But at the same time, Athenian military potential was on the increase, thanks to Lycurgus’ management. In 325, for example, there were approximately 400 warships docked at Munychia.308 In addition to this fleet was a citizen army revitalized by Lycurgus’ reforms of the ephebate (Ath. Pol. 42).309 Consequently, there were in Athens prominent figures with diverse attitudes toward Macedonia, men who had invested their reputations in support for, tolerance of, or opposition to Macedonia. W.W. Tarn set forth the standard description of these “parties”: there were those who sought war with Macedonia, notably Hyperides; those like Demosthenes and Lycurgus, who advocated cautious delay in the hope that Athens would gain some advantage; there were the those, notably Phocion, who were resigned to Macedonian power; and those who actively served Macedonian interests, such as Demades.310

Antipater seems to have enjoyed relationships with Phocion, Demades, and Pytheas. Plutarch reports Antipater as having said “that he had two friends at Athens, Phocion and Demades: the one he had never persuaded to take a bribe; the other he bribed and never satisfied” (ὡς δυοῖν αὐτῷ φίλων Ἀθήνησιν ὄντων Φωκίωνος καὶ Δημάδου, τὸν μὲν λαβεῖν οὐ πέπεικε, τὸν δὲ διδοὺς οὐκ ἐμπέπληκε ) (Plut. Phoc. 30; cf. Phot. Bibl. 395b).311 Pytheas is particularly interesting, since he seems to have taken anti-Macedonian stances while enjoying some contact with Antipater. He spoke out against giving naval support to Alexander in 334 (Plut. Phoc. 21), and in 324 opposed giving divine honors to Alexander (Plut. Mor. 804b [Praec. Rei Publ. Ger.]), yet immediately after Alexander’s death he entered Antipater’s service (Plut. Dem. 27; Dem. Ep. 3.28; Suid. s. v. Πυθέας).312 W. Will has commented on the problem with Pytheas’ being at once an opponent of Macedonia and a friend of Antipater.313 Pytheas’ politics need not be seen as an inconsistency; we might compare Pytheas’ politics to the division between Alexander and Antipater that the king himself had made clear in 330. Alexander had made it known that Antipater’s authority was something other than an extension of his own. In consequence, we should not be surprised to see an Athenian treating differently with Antipater than with the larger Macedonian entity.

Antipater’s actions after 330 also suggest a separation between himself and Alexander’s dominion, that he acted in the interests of his own position and not necessarily as a servant of Alexander’s will. In the autumn of 325, the “Macedones” (not “Alexander”) presented a lavish gift of 5 talents to the Delphic Amphictyony.314 We know nothing of the details, but the appellation and the date suggest that this beneficence may have come from Pella and Antipater; it cannot have hurt his relations with the member-states of the Amphictyony, and we might recall that Philip used that body effectively to insert himself into Greek affairs as a guiding figure.315 More important, though, is evidence that shows him to have acted in his own interests when doing so contradicted Alexander’s stated intentions.

Plutarch describes one such instance, in the wake of Parmenio’s death (Alex. 49. 14-15): These things that had happened made Alexander a figure of fear to many of his friends, and particularly to Antipater. And he sent word in secret to the Aetolians, and exchanged guarantees with them. The Aetolians feared Alexander because of their seizure of Oeniadae, for when Alexander had heard about it, he said that the children of the Oeniadae would not take revenge on the Aetolians, he himself would. Ταῦτα πραχθέντα πολλοῖς τῶν φίλων φοβερὸν ἐποίησε τὸν Ἀλέξανδρον, μάλιστα d*) Ἀντιπάτρῳ, καὶ πρὸς Αἰτωλοὺς ἔπεμψε κρύφα, πίστεις διδοὺς καὶ λαμβάνων. ἐφοβοῦντο γὰρ Ἀλέξανδρον Αἰτωλοὶ διὰ τὴν Οἰνιαδῶν ἀνάστασιν, ἣν πυθόμενος οὐκ Οἰνιαδῶν ἔφη παῖδας, a)ll*) αὑτὸν ἐπιθήσειν δίκην Αἰτωλοῖς.

The Aetolians had captured Oeniadae and banished its inhabitants at some time in 330 BC (Diod. 18.8.6; Plut. Alex. 49.8).316 Aetolia’s transgression of the Common Peace was similar to Sparta’s, and Alexander had not approved. He issued his threat, which is also reported by Diodorus (18.8.6). But while Antipater moved in force to put down Agis’ rebellion, he did not move against the Aetolians.317 Alexander’s threat was never, in fact, carried out; instead, Plutarch tells us that Antipater and the Aetolians “exchanged guarantees” because of a shared fear of Alexander, almost certainly without Alexander’s approbation, and perhaps without his knowledge.318 Mendels argues that these events indicates a nascent “pro-Antipater” bloc in Greece, opposed to the “pro-Alexander” bloc represented by Olympias and Cleopatra.319. His interpretation has the agreements between Antipater and Aetolia raising the possibility of some sort of coup d’ētat against Alexander’s authority. This is too much to accept, if only because it is hard to imagine what such a coup would look likewith Alexander and his army 5,000 miles to the east, Antipater could hardly elevate his position, short of declaring himself “king”.

But Mendels does point in a useful direction. Antipater was in a difficult position, left in Greece with vague responsibilities, limited resources, and no expectation of help from any quarter. Alexander had undermined Antipater’s authority in the eyes of the Greeks, and had then turned away from Europe. The king had also put to death some of Antipater’s colleagues and relatives. On that occasion, the general is said to have asked, “If Parmenio plotted against Alexander, who can be trusted? And if he did not, what is to be done?” (εἰ μὲν ἐπεβούλευσεν εἶπε Παρμενίων Ἀλεξάνδρῳ, τίνι πιστευτέον; εἰ δὲ μή, τί πρακτέον; ) (Plut. Mor. 183f [Reg. et Imp. Apoth.]). The negotiations with Aetolia show how Antipater answered his question: in this case, by ignoring Alexander’s grandiose and impassioned response to Aetolian adventurism, and approaching the security of Macedonian power in Greece on his own terms and as realistically as possiblethese terms did not include a war in the mountains of western Greece.320

The Aetolians were powerful, a potential threat to Macedonia’s nominal hegemony if threatened, but also a potentially useful tool.321 Antipater could offer “guarantees” (πίστεις ) that he would not interfere with Aetolian possession of Oeniadae. If Antipater did not carry out Alexander’s threat, after all, no one would. And without supposing any plots against Alexander, we can describe two ways in which Antipater would profit from an accord with the Aetolians. Aetolia could offer, first, a strong friendly presence in the west and around the Corinthian Gulf, and second, a relationship that recognized Macedonian power in Greece without costing Macedonia any military effort.322

The πίστεις were exchanged “secretly” (κρύφα ) because, despite the benefits of such an arrangement, they flew in the face of Alexander’s unequivocal condemnation of Aetolia. We might also recall here another occasion on which the king rejected a seemingly sensible, practical, and profitable proposal that fell short of his grander designs. Shortly before the battle of Gaugamela, Darius offered to yield all his territory west of the Euphrates, make a treaty of alliance, and pay Alexander 30,000 talents, and give his eldest daughter in marriage. Alexander solicited his lieutenants’ advice (Diod. 17. 54.4-5):323

None of the others dared to offer advice because of the magnitude of the matter, but Parmenio spoke up: ‘I would take the offer and make a treaty, if I were Alexander.’ But Alexander said, ‘And I would take it too, if I were Parmenio.’ τῶν μὲν οὖν ἄλλων οὐδεὶς ἐτόλμα συμβουλεῦσαι διὰ τὸ μέγεθος τῆς ὑποκειμένης ζητήσεως, Παρμενίων δὲ πρῶτος εἶπεν, Ἐγὼ μὲν ὢν Ἀλέξανδρος ἔλαβον ἂν τὰ διδόμενα καὶ τὴν σύνθεσιν ἐποιησάμην. d*) Ἀλέξανδρος ὑπολαβὼν εἶπεν, Κἀγὼ εἰ Παρμενίων ἦν ἔλαβον ἄν.

By the end of 330 the careful Parmenio was dead, and Antipater seems to have learned even greater caution. Although an agreement with Aetolia would serve hegemony, it did so according to a design not Alexander’s, and Antipater had good reason to keep secret his workmanlike arrangement.

We have now seen the scant evidence for interactions among the Greeks and the Macedonians in Greece between 330 and 325 BC. The very paucity of events suggests several things. First, Antipater seems to have been successful at insuring no repetition of Agis III’s challenge to his power. Second, within this enforced order neither he nor Olympias seems to have found occasion to exercise authority in Greek affairs, at least in any way that merited note in our sources. These two prominent Macedonians had defined their positions and maintained them during Alexander’s absence. Olympias was in Epirus, where she had autonomy from Antipater, but beyond which she enjoyed a lessened authority while her son was absent from Greek affairs. Antipater did act in Greece and interact with the Greeks, but did so in his own name and often in apparent contradiction to his ostensible function as Alexander’s agent in Europe. Increasingly, then, we find evidence that there was no “Macedonia” in Europe, in the sense of a structural unity with a common agenda and having Alexander as its organizing principle. Instead, we have Macedonians pursuing individual and sometimes incompatible ends. A similar state of affairs came about not only in Greece but throughout Alexander’s domain during the five years of his Indian campaign. In the second half of this chapter we will examine what Alexander found upon his return to the west in 325, what it tells us about Macedonian authority, and how the king’s efforts to restore a coherent order in Asia prepared the way for a crisis in Europe.

· Alexander’s Return ·

Alexander returned from his campaigns in Bactria and India in 325 bc. He found his empire in a critical state after his absence, a state that was, however, not without precedent. Certain incidents during Alexander’s career suggest a pattern: from time to time rumors of his death would arise; these would be followed by more or less localized uprisings against Macedonian power; and these uprisings would die a quick (and sometimes violent) death when the king was revealed to live. It happened in 336 when Alexander was fighting in Illyria. The Thebans had heard rumors that he had been killed fighting in the north, and based on this mistaken notion they expelled their Macedonian garrison. Alexander reappeared, marched swiftly southward, and razed the city (Arr. 1.7.6). It happened again in 325, when Alexander was gravely wounded fighting the Malli. Diodorus tells us that some of the Greek mercenaries whom he had settled in Bactria and Sogdiana were unhappy living in so foreign a place (τὸν ἐν τοῖς βαρβάροις κατοικισμὸν χαλεπῶς ἔφερον ), and upon hearing that Alexander had died revolted from the Macedonians (ἀπέστησαν ἀπὸ τῶν Μακεδόνων ) under the leadership of Athenodorus (17.99.5-6).324 These anecdotes reveal the extent to which Macedonian power depended finally on Alexander himself, rather than on an institutional structure or even on the capabilities and resources of his lieutenants and representatives. Plutarch seems to make this connection when he moves from a discussion of Alexander’s injury in 325 directly to a description of the problems that beset the empire generally (Alex. 68.2-3): local officials governing rapaciously, others actively in revolt, Olympias and Cleopatra plotting against Antipater, “and upheaval and revolution generally ran everywhere” (καὶ ὅλως διέδραμε σάλος ἁπάντων καὶ νεωτερισμός ).325

His prolonged absence from Greece and then from western Asia Minor had an effect similar to the occasional rumors of his death, but on a much bigger scale. When he marched east he left behind satraps, governors, and generals to manage as they saw fit. As with Olympias and Antipater, these people were free to interpret their own needs and to establish the limits of their own authority and power as best they could. Many seem to have taken advantage of their positions for private gain and to have acted in ways contrary to the interests of a Macedonian empire. Many also seem to have had little confidence in Alexander’s ever returning. Harpalus was one such person.326 Another was Cleomenes, whose example is worth describing. Alexander had placed him in charge of the fiscal administration of Egypt, and instructed him to oversee the ongoing building at Alexandria (Arr. 3.5.4, 7.23.7; [Arist.] Oec. 1352a 29). Cleomenes took advantage of his control over Egyptian grain to make huge profits during the shortages of the early 320s ([Arist.] Oec. 1352a 17-23). Arrian records a letter that Alexander wrote to Cleomenes, whom the historian calls “a bad man who had committed many crimes in Egypt” (Κλεομένει, ἀνδρὶ κακῷ καὶ πολλὰ ἀδικήματα ἀδικήσαντι ἐν Αἰγύπτω ) (Arr. 7.23.7-8). In this letter, written in 324, Alexander both acknowledges Cleomenes’ misdeeds and offers to overlook them in exchange for a splendid shrine dedicated to Hephaestion:327

‘If,’ the letter went on, ‘I am pleased with the temples and the shrine for Hephaestion you have prepared, then I will overlook any crimes you may have committed, and if you commit crimes in the future, however great, you will suffer no inconvenience from me.’ ἢν γὰρ καταλάβω ἐγώ, ἔλεγε τὰ γράμματα, τὰ ἱερὰ τὰ ἐν Αἰγύπτῳ καλῶς κατεσκευασμένα καὶ τὰ ἡρῷα τὰ Ἡφαιστίωνος, εἴ τέ τι πρότερον ἡμάρτηκας, ἀφήσω σε τούτου, καὶ τὸ λοιπόν, ὁπηλίκον ἂν ἁμάρτῃς, οὐδὲν πείσῃ ἐξ ἐμοῦ ἄχαρι.

Cleomenes’ behavior as a public official in Egypt was of little concern to Alexander, except as it provided the king with leverage to insure prompt performance of his will. Furthermore, Cleomenes was in Egypt and controlled Egypt’s vast resources. He was therefore both powerful enough and far enough away from Alexanderwho after all never “returned” farther west than Babylonthat the king could hardly have punished him or forced his wishes upon him without considerable effort. And so we find the king negotiating with Cleomenes, from a strong position but not overwhelmingly so. Negotiation implies a degree of equality between parties and is therefore not the mark of authority. This example shows the fundamental problem Alexander faced in the last years of his life: his empire was too large and its constituent parts too powerful and, more and more, too independent for him to exert authority over all of them. Moreover, as we will see, Alexander’s efforts to restore his authority over certain areas could, and did, have unfortunate consequences elsewhere.

Many others seem to have behaved like Cleomenes while Alexander was gone, and some of these were within Alexander’s reach upon his return. We know of eleven governors, satraps, and senior officials deposed and executed after 325, several more who died from causes other than execution, and several summoned away from their posts and not returned before Alexander’s death.328 Apart from executing the worst offenders, or at least the most accessible ones, Alexander took a more general step against his satraps who had established their autonomy too well. Late in the year 325 BC, he issued a “Mercenaries Decree”, ordering his satraps to disband the armies of mercenaries they seem to have assembled privately (Diod. 17.106.3, 17.111.1-2; Curt. 10.1.45).329

The Mercenaries Decree was Alexander’s reaction to finding his conquered territory populated by other people’s armies. It could have been expected to insure that the military power in Asia answered only to Alexander, and thus insure that the king was the sole locus of authority. This cure for Asia, however, may have worsened the disease in Europe. First of all, the satraps do not seem to have become more loyal with the loss of their armies. On the contrary, Hyperides suggests that the next year the dissatisfied satraps were willing to lend assistance to anti-Macedonian parties in Greece. Referring to the growing rebelliousness among Greeks and others early in 323, the orator claims that Demosthenes alone lost Athens the help of the satraps, “who would otherwise willingly join forces with us, bringing their money and as many soldiers and they have” (τοὺς δὲ ς?[ατράπας,] οἳ αὐτοὶ ἂν ἧκο?[ν] ἑκόντες πρὸς ταύτη?[ν τὴν] δύναμιν, ἔχοντες τὰ χρήματα καὶ τοὺ[ς?] στρατιώτας ὅσους ἕκ?[α]στος αὐτῶν εἶχεν ) (Hyp. In Dem. col. 19). Despite the fact that these satraps did not give visible support to Macedonia’s opponents in Greece, Hyperides’ comment shows that the Mercenaries Decree may have fostered hope among Greeks who sought an end to the Macedonian hegemony.

Alexander’s decree caused an immediate practical problem for the hegemony in Greece as well. The satraps’ armies consisted largely of Greek mercenaries. According to Pausanias, Alexander wanted them to settle in Asia (1.25.5). However, as the incident with Athenodorus and the mercenaries in Bactria has shown us, when displaced Greeks found their employment at an end they did not necessarily look forward to starting a new life thousands of miles from home. In early 324, as a result of the Mercenaries Decree, several thousand Greek soldiers returned to Europe. Because many of them had become mercenaries in the first place after having been exiled from their native cities, they remained for the time being without homes and without employment.330 We will examine in greater detail what became of these men, but for the moment it is sufficient to note that the Mercenaries decree had two consequences that were potentially dangerous to Alexander’s interests: first, by stripping satraps of their armies and therefore much of their individual authority, the decree increased the ranks of people who had reason to resent Alexander’s Macedonia; second, the decree potentially increased the power of Macedonia’s opponents by creating a military force who might be willing to sell its allegiance to whoever could pay.

These problems must have become quickly apparent, because Alexander issued another decree regarding the stateless mercenaries. This Exiles Decree ordered the Greek states to repatriate those who had been exiled during the widespread political unrest that marked the second half of the 4th century BC (Diod. 17.109; 18.8.2-6; Curt. 10.2.4; Din. In Dem. 82; Hyp. In Dem. 18; Justin 13.5.2). The decree was not formally promulgated in Greece until Nicanor read a letter from Alexander to the exiles themselves at the Olympic festival, August 324 (Diod. 18.8.2).331 But Alexander’s intentions had been known since early that year. The Greeks certainly knew that an announcement would be made at Olympia, for Diodorus says that “all the exiles were present at the festival, numbering more than 20,000” (ἦσαν d*) οἱ φυγάδες ἀπηντηκότες ἅπαντες ἐπὶ τὴν πανήγυριν, ὄντες πλείους τῶν δισμυρίων ) (Diod. 18.8.6). Even if we replace Diodorus’ suspicious figure with a great many, and dismiss his statement that these represented “all” the exiles, this passage suggests that word of the decree preceded Nicanor to Olympia.332 Dinarchus provides complementary (and contemporary) evidence as well: “…when they were saying that Alexander was reinstating the exiles, and Nicanor had come to Olympia” (ἐπειδὴ δὲ τοὺς φυγάδας Ἀλέξανδρον ἔφασαν κατάγειν καὶ Νικάνωρ εἰς Ὀλυμπίαν ἧκεν ) (Din. In Dem. 82). The orator is careful to distinguish the prior rumors (what “they were saying”) with their later fulfillment, when Nicanor came to Olympia.333 Alexander must have made a decision regarding the exiles in March at the latest, to allow time for Nicanor’s journey from Susa. An inscription commemorates Alexander’s intention to return Samian exiles to Samos, an important part of the Exiles Decree, and says that he made his will known “at his camp” (ἐν τῷ στρατοπέδῳ ).334 R.M. Errington would put this camp at Babylon in 323 bc, in the context of later envoys who came to Asia in response to the Decree.335 However, A.J. Heisserer has pointed out that the Athenian βουλή reacted to the news about Samos by ordering Leosthenes to negotiate with the Aetolians “concerning an alliance” (περὶ συμμαχίας ) during the archonship of Anticles (325/4) (Diod. 17.111.1-4; cf. Justin 13.5.1-6). Heisserer thus puts Alexander’s public remarks on the Samian exiles, and therefore the earliest known expression of the Exiles Decree at a camp in Susa, early 324.336

The Exiles Decree is fundamental for our understanding of Macedonian and Greek politics in the final, critical years of Alexander’s life. Its impact on events was significant and ongoing, and we should be careful to note how this decree entered the discourse differently on two different occasions. Its initial announcement at Susa in early 324 was a response to a situation that existed in early 324, and its promulgation at Olympia in August of that year happened under very different circumstances, with different implications for our understanding of events. We will examine its place in the earlier context here, and reserve discussion of its later effect for the concluding chapter.

We can see the Exiles Decree in early 324 as an attempt to mitigate the two potentially damaging consequences of the Mercenaries Decree, which set loose a large body of trained soldiers who could be employed by those dissatisfied with Macedonian hegemony, while at the same perhaps driving dissatisfied officers and satraps into the arms of anti-Macedonian Greeks. With this new decree Alexander could have hoped to limit both sources of danger. The decree would profit the displaced Greeks, who would, if it were enforced, be able to return to their homes. At the same time, the decree could have been expected to throw into chaos those states that were potentially most dangerous to Macedonian power, particularly Athens. Diodorus makes explicit these possible benefits (18.8.2):337

For Alexander, a short time before his death, decided to restore all the exiles to the Greek cities, both for the sake of appearances, and wishing to have in each city many who were his own in their loyalties, opposed to the revolutions and revolts of the Greeks. Ἀλέξανδρος γὰρ βραχεῖ χρόνῳ πρότερον τῆς τελευτῆς ἔκρινε κατάγειν ἅπαντας τοὺς ἐν ταῖς Ἑλληνίσι πόλεσι φυγάδας, ἅμα μὲν δόξης ἕνεκεν, ἅμα δὲ βουλόμενος ἔχειν ἐν ἑκάστῃ πόλει πολλοὺς ἰδίους ταῖς εὐνοίαις πρὸς τοὺς νεωτερισμοὺς καὶ τὰς ἀποστάσεις τῶν Ἑλλήνων.

Diodorus does not say that the Exiles Decree intended to settle affairs in Europe, but to throw the Greeks off balance. In the short term it would not matter whether or not any exiles actually did return to their homes; as was the case when Alexander dealt with Cleomenes’ mismanagement of Egypt, the king did not seem as interested in the well-being of those in his sphere as in his immediate practical advantage. Alexander’s interests of the moment would have been well served if his decree gave the exiles an investment in Alexander’s authority, and forced those who resisted it to change whatever plans they might have had involving the homeless mercenaries.

The Athenians were especially affected by the Exiles Decree, since it threatened their possession of Samos. Since we know that Alexander’s intentions toward the Samians were made known in Susa, probably in early 324, this matter must inform our discussion of events before Nicanor’s general announcement in August. The Athenian Timotheus had taken Samos from the Persians in 366/5, and the Athenians had expelled many Samians and established a cleruchy there (Diog. Laert. 10.1; schol. ad Aesch. In Tim. 53; Diod. 18.8.7-9; Strabo 14.1; IG II2 1437, 1443, 3207.20-21).338 Thus the Athenians could consider their possession of Samos to predate even Philip II’s Common Peace and to have had Macedonia’s tacit approval.339 But Alexander seems to have favored the Samians, or at least to have entertained a pro-Samian lobby at his court. An inscription from Samos records the success with which Gorgos of Iasus interceded with Alexander. The inscription notes that Alexander announced his intention to restore Samos to the Samians, “with Gorgos having spent time with Alexander and showing great diligence and devotion on behalf of the δῆμος of the Samians, so that the Samians might return quickly to their homeland” (διατρίβων Γόργος παρὰ Ἀλεξάνδρωι πολλὴν εὄνοιαν καὶ [προ]θυμίαν παρείχετο περὶ τὸν δῆμο[ν τ]ὸν Σαμίων σπουδάζων, ὅπως ὅτ[ι τ]άχος Σάμιοι τὴμ πατρίδα κομίσαιντο ) (Syll.3 312 ll. 4-11).340

Our discussion of Antipater and Olympias at the beginning of this chapter noted that these two Macedonians seem to have refrained from interfering in Greek affairs, in any significant way at least, between 330 and 325 BC. This uneasy calm ended when Alexander made public his intentions regarding the Samians in the early months of 324. Apparently without reference to or consultation with his στρατηγός in Europe, Alexander had, from Susa, asserted Macedonian authority over Athens and had self-consciously challenged Athenian interests. We should note that on no previous occasion had Alexander’s Macedonia issued any demand to the Athenians that would directly and significantly harm the city’s power or prosperity. The consequences of this assertion of authority, at a time when Macedonian authority in Greece had gone largely unexercised for five years, and when Alexander’s own authority in Asia had been questioned, will be present throughout the remainder of this study. With this in mind, we should return to the exiled mercenaries themselves, and examine where they went when they left Asia, how they got there, and the role the Athenians played.

According to Pausanias, Alexander’s wishes regarding the former mercenaries were foiled by a man named Leosthenes (Paus. 1.25.5): Although Alexander wanted all those Greeks who were soldiers for pay under Darius and under the satraps to settle in Persia, Leosthenes acted first and conveyed them in ships to Europe. ὁπόσοι γὰρ μισθοῦ παρὰ Δαρείῳ καὶ σατράπαις ἐστρατεύοντο Ἕλληνες, ἀνοικίσαι σφᾶς ἐς τὴν Περσίδα θελήσαντος Ἀλεξάνδρου Λεωσθένης ἔφθη κομίσας ναυσὶν ἐς τὴν Εὐρώπην. And (Paus. 8.52.5): He took the Greek mercenaries in Persiasome 50,000 of themput them on ships, and conveyed them by sea to Greece, all against the will of Alexander. μέν γε τὸ Ἑλλήνων μισθοφορικὸν [2τὸ]2 [καὶ] ἐν Πέρσαις περὶ πέντε που μυριάδας ἐπὶ θάλασσαν καταβάντας ναυσὶν ἐς τὴν Ἑλλάδα ἀνέσωσε καὶ ἄκοντος Ἀλεξάνδρου·

In early 324, thousands of soldiers crossed the Aegean to Taenarum, where they assumed some sort of organization: Diodorus says that they were joined by Persian satraps and generals who had “survived” (περιλειφθέντες ), referring perhaps to men who escaped Alexander’s purges (17.111.3). It is not clear that the mercenaries had any particular intentions, but whatever their plans, Taenarum was a suitable destination. It had been a Spartan naval base for some time (cf. Arr. 2.13.6), and its geography made it nearly unassailable.341

The identity of Leosthenes and his intentions regarding the mercenaries requires some discussion. Some scholars have noted the resonance between these mercenariesreleased from their commands in Asia and banding together, homelessand Xenophon’s 10,000; thus Leosthenes has been portrayed as an adventuring condottiere leading self-governing exiles. Mendels, for example, says that the mercenaries “acted as a political entity” and elevated Leosthenes to lead them.342 But it is difficult to imagine such a “political entity” acting on its own for long, and we have reason to suspect that the Athenians had a hand in organizing and maintaining the military population at Taenarum. Leosthenes himself was an Athenianhe was later to command the Athenian forces that besieged Antipater’s army at Lamiabut to what extent he was an Athenian in early 324 has been debated. J.K. Davies notes that if this Leosthenes was the son of the Athenian Leosthenes who was exiled for treason in 362/1 BC (Diod. 15.95; Polyaen. 6.2.1-2), then the mercenary leader may have been disenfranchised in 324, unable to participate in the Athenian democracy due to a fine of ἀτιμία.343 If this were the case, then Leosthenes’ involvement with the mercenaries would have been a private affair, not an effort of Athenian policy. Hyperides’ praise of Leosthenes, which appears in the funeral oration given in 322 bc for those who died in the Lamian war, does divide Leosthenes’ career into, first, his service as mercenary captain and, second, his command of Athenian troops (Hyp. Ep. col. 5): And having raised a mercenary army, he assumed command of the army of citizens and defeated the first opponents of Greek freedom, the Boeotians, Macedonians and Euboeans, as well as their allies, in a battle in Boeotia. καὶ ξενικὴν μὲν δύναμιν [2συ]2στησάμενος, τῆς δὲ πολιτικῆς ἡγεμὼν καταστὰς τοὺς πρώτους ἀντιταξαμένους τῆι τῶν Ἑλλήνων ἐλευθερίαι Βοιωτοὺς καὶ Μακεδόνας καὶ Εὐβοέας καὶ τοὺς ἄλλους συμμάχους αὐτῶν ἐνίκησε μαχόμενος ἐν τῆι Βοιωτίαι.

The orator presents the ξενικὴ δύναμις , the mercenary army, first among Leosthenes’ accomplishments, before his assumption of leadership of the citizenry. But this order need not be temporal; the two participles are both aorist, both equally prior to the main verb, and more importantly, they are balanced by the antithetical/ concessive μέν δέ . The effect is to subordinate the mercenary army to the more important (in a public funeral oration) πολιτικὴ δύναμις . So Hyperides’ evidence does not necessarily imply that Leosthenes’ involvement at Taenarum was independent of his service to Athens.

Further evidence has emerged in this century to suggest that Leosthenes was not only enfranchised but actually held office in the Athenian year 324/3. An inscription from Athens mentions some officials for that year: three στρατηγοί, the κοσμητής, the σωφρονίστης, two ἐπιμεληταί, and a διδάσκαλος (Michel, RIG suppl. II 1704).344 Leosthenes from Cephale is listed as “general over the territory” (στρατηγὸς ἐπὶ χώρᾳ ). Since generals were elected in the 6th prytany of the Athenian year (Ath. Pol. 44.4), Leosthenes would have been elected στρατηγός in early 324, although he would not have begun his term until that summer.345 Leosthenes also held, in all likelihood, the trierarchy at some point before 324/3 BC. This office entailed financial support for a warship and often caused its holders to fall into debt; an inscription records Leosthenes’ estate (κληρονόμοι) as owing on such a debt in 324/3 (the archonship of Cephisodorus).346

Leosthenes held the trierarchy before the mercenaries gathered at Taenarum; he was elected “general over the territory” while they were doing so; and he assumed the office later the same year. This strongly suggests that the Athenians were responsible for assembling this mercenary army.347 The author of the pseudo-Plutarchan Lives of the Ten Orators says that the orator Hyperides, “argued in the assembly that they not disband the mercenary army at Taenarum, the one Chares had assembled, for Hyperides was well-disposed to the general” (συνεβούλευσε δὲ καὶ τὸ ἐπὶ Ταινάρῳ ξενικὸν μὴ διαλῦσαι, οὗ Χάρης ἡγεῖτο, εὐνόως πρὸς τὸν στρατηγὸν διακείμενος ) (Plut. Mor. 848e [Vit. X Or.]). The name “Chares” is a problem, since this source alone mentions him in connection with Taenarum, and this source is not among the most reliable. Chares was active in the Aegean in 331, and some have dated this passage to the period of naval warfare following Alexander’s invasion of Asia.348 Griffith points out, however, that before the Spartans’ defeat in 330 bc they and not the Athenians would have been responsible for any troops at the Laconian port of Taenarumwe should remember that the Athenians pointedly avoided participation in Sparta’s military efforts against Macedonia. “To read Leosthenes instead,” he argues, “redeems the text from sheer nonsense.” 349

Furthermore, accounts of Harpalus’ arrival at Athens might support the idea of an Athenian-supported force in the Peloponnese. Diodorus says that after Harpalus was turned away from Attica, “when no one would accept him, he left his mercenaries near Taenarum in Laconia and taking part of him money became a suppliant to the δῆμος ” (οὐδενὸς δὲ αὐτῷ προσέχοντος τοὺς μὲν μισθοφόρους ἐπέλιπε περὶ Ταίναρον τῆς Λακωνικῆς, αὐτὸς δὲ μέρος τῶν χρημάτων ἀναλαβὼν ἱκέτης ἐγένετο τοῦ δήμου ) (17.108.7).350 If the Athenians were involved with the soldiers at Taenarum, Harpalus would certainly have helped his case with the Athenians by adding his own troops to this body. We might also read in this context Hyperides’ statement that Demosthenes lost Athens the support of the satraps (Hyp. In Dem. 19). If the orator can be trusted, these satraps will have been interested in the forces at Taenarum, and will have been pleased by the addition of Harpalus’ troops. It was Demosthenes who moved that Harpalus be held at Athens (Hyp. In Dem. 8), and this act of official prevarication might have disheartened potential supporters for action against Macedonia.351

These several pieces of evidence, taken together, make an argument that the Athenians authorized Leosthenes to ferry mercenaries from Asia to Taenarum, but no single piece presents a particularly strong case. O. Schmitt has questioned this interpretation and has suggested another view of events. First of all, he argues, conveying thousands of men across the Aegean must have been a prolonged undertaking involving immense resources; it is difficult to imagine such an operation going on under Macedonian noses without interference. Second, there were those in Athens who supported Macedonia’s position of primacy in Greece, so there can have been no hope of keeping secret even the intention to assemble an large army of mercenaries.352 So, Schmitt argues, Leosthenes must have conveyed these troops on behalf of Alexander himself, in order to form a Macedonian Reservepotential in the Peloponnese, to make up for the depletion of Macedonian manpower during Alexander’s campaigns.353

Schmitt’s theory is interesting, but demands that we accept too many questionable propositions, while it resolves too few problems. It would answer the question of how the mercenaries got from the coast of Asia to the Peloponnese and how they were maintained once there. However, Schmitt does not adequately explain why Alexander would employ Leosthenes, an Athenian, rather than a Macedonian or even a Persian, to lead a force that can only have been intended for war with Athens.354 Furthermore, Diodorus mentions many of the men at Taenarum being, in 323, “weaponless” (ἀνόπλους ), a strange state of preparedness for troops in Alexander’s pay (Diod. 18.9.5). If Taenarum was a Macedonian stronghold in 324 it would seem unlikely for Harpalus, having fled his position in Asia, to have stopped there upon reaching Greece. For that matter, his adding soldiers to the garrison would be a strange way to win the confidence of the Athenians. The debate that Harpalus’ arrival sparked at Athens, from what we can tell, seems to show a certain fear of Macedonian retribution, but hardly what one would expect with a huge invasion force a single day’s journey away. Finally, Schmitt’s argument depends entirely on the Athenians’ being unable to undertake this task with their own resources, which may or may not have been the case. Athens had a large navy in 324perhaps larger than Alexander’sAlexander was far from the Aegean coast. Taking these two considerations together with Hyperides’ comment on the anti-Macedonian sentiment among many satraps, we might explain how the “boatlift” could have taken place unmolested (Hyp. In Dem. 19).

Despite the uncertainty of our evidence, we can conclude that Athens at least approved of the congregation at Taenarum, and may well have sponsored it. Leosthenes was involved while already “ στρατηγός-elect”. Harpalus was able to reassure the Athenians by leaving his own mercenaries at Taenarum. And while we cannot say with any certainty whose authority brought about this stateless army in the Peloponnese, the Athenians were quick to assert custody of it once Alexander had died (Diod. 18.9.4): And when some people returned from Babylon having seen the ‘eclipse’ of the king with their own eyes, the People prepared openly for war and sent some of Harpalus’ money and many arms to Leosthenes and ordered him to act secretly no longer, but to proceed with preparations openly. ἐπεὶ δέ τινες ἐκ Βαβυλῶνος ἧκον αὐτόπται γεγονότες τῆς τοῦ βασιλέως μεταλλαγῆς, τότε φανερῶς δῆμος ἀπεκαλύψατο πρὸς τὸν πόλεμον καὶ τῶν μὲν Ἁρπάλου χρημάτων μέρος ἐξέπεμψε τῷ Λεωσθένει καὶ πανοπλίας οὐκ ὀλίγας καὶ παρήγγειλε μηκέτι παρακρύπτειν, ἀλλὰ φανερῶς πράττειν τι τῶν συμφερόντων.

By mentioning the Athenians’ decision to act “openly”, Diodorus implies that they had been preparing for war covertly for some time previously. Leosthenes seems to have wanted only orders, supplies, and a payroll to bring his army to the ready. Justin says that in response to the Macedonian threat, the Athenians “contracted” 30,000 men (contracto XXX milium exercitu), who seem likely to have been the very mercenaries we are discussing (13.5.2). Plutarch, too, refers to “the Athenians beginning to help Harpalus and to arm themselves against Alexander” (τῶν γὰρ Ἀθηναίων ὡρμημένων Ἁρπάλῳ βοηθεῖν καὶ κορυσσομένων ἐπὶ τὸν Ἀλεξανδρον ) (Plut. Mor. 531a [De Vit. Pud.]).355 The evidence is vague, but does help us to conclude that the mercenaries at Taenarum received at least some Athenian support in 324 and 323, although we cannot know its extent.356 We should not, however, imagine that there can have been any secrecy about the implications of jobless soldiers under an Athenian commander.357 Yet Antipater seems to have taken no steps to prevent these soldiers from collecting in the south, to force them to disband, or to confront them. We have seen how Antipater worked after 330 to prevent having to fight another major campaign in Greece, and we should probably conclude that in 324 he was unwilling to start a war with Athens on his own initiative; indeed, he did nothing until the Athenians marched north toward Macedonia in 323. The troops at Taenarum received support from somewhere during their eighteen-month wait, and their continued presence en masse suggests that war between the Macedonians and Greeks was, already at the beginning of 324, deemed inevitable. Further discussion of Antipater’s inaction belongs properly in an analysis of the Harpalus Affair and the events that followed to the end of Alexander’s life, and so we will take up this problem again in the final chapter.

We have by now seen the immediate results of Alexander’s Mercenaries Decree and concomitant Exiles Decree, issued in the winter of 325/4. The former worked to limit the autonomous power and authority that his satraps in Asia had assumed during his absence. The latter worked to limit the damage to a Macedonian hegemony caused by the Mercenaries Decree. Together they created a destabilizing situation in Greece and broke the uneasy calm that seems to have prevailed since the end of 330. The Exiles Decree directly threatened Athenian interests and represents the first occasion in Alexander’s career when the Macedonian hegemony did so. Because of the Mercenaries decree, thousands of Greek soldiers lost their places in Asia and came to Greece through the efforts of an Athenian. The Exiles Decree had not yet been generally announced, but it already gave the Athenians, at least, both a motive for resisting Macedonian authority, and increased potential to do so.

· Conclusions ·

This chapter has treated events in Greece from the end of 330 bc to the beginning of 324, as well as Alexander’s return from the east in 325 and the immediate consequences thereof. We have seen that, in Greece, neither of the two most prominent Macedonians did much to assert their authority over the Greeks. Olympias clearly retained her association with Alexander in the eyes of the Athenians and its attendant potential for action authoritatively, but unlike during the period 335-330, we do not find her participating in the public sphere. Antipater followed his victory over Agis with a serious of measures to insure the security of his power, installing tyrannies, establishing pro-Macedonian oligarchies, and maintaining garrisons at key points. But beyond these there are few examples of his acting on behalf of a Macedonian authority larger than his own. In the case of his negotiations with Aetolia, in fact, Antipater seems to have acted contrary to Alexander’s wishes. During these years the order in Greece was “Macedonian” only by virtue of inertia, and the lack of any challenge. Alexander’s return from India reveals to us, as it must have revealed to the Macedonians and the Greeks at the time, the extent to which the coherence of his domain depended on his presence and personal intervention. He found that during his absence a number of highly placed officials had not only turned their offices to their own ends, but had acquired private armies, the most visible and (to Alexander) dangerous tokens of autonomous authority. His efforts to resume command of the structures of power may have helped secure his position in Asia, but did serious damage to the security of a Macedonian hegemony in Greece and its prospects. His “purge” of the satraps and his decree disbanding the satraps armies’ increased potential support for any in Greece who would have challenged Macedonia. The mercenaries dislocated by the decree, Greek but largely stateless, represented a destabilizing army, should anyone hire their services. Alexander’s response to these problems, the Exiles Decree, was present in the discourse of events early in 324, but was not made official until August. The time during which the decree was rumored but not yet announced worsened matters. The Athenians knew that Alexander was threatening their possessions on Samos, but the business of restoring the exiles to their cities, and thereby disarming their potential as a force to be used against Macedonia, would not begin for months. During this time the Athenian Leosthenes, with the approval if not the sponsorship of the Athenians, conveyed mercenaries from Asia to the Peloponnese and organized them at Taenarum. Antipater did nothing to prevent it. And with this we move from the period delineated in terms of Alexander’s return to the series of crises that challenged Macedonian authority in Greece. We have seen how the dynamic relationships among the Greeks, Olympias, and Antipater, had evolved since Alexander crossed the Hellespont in 335. With this as context we may return to the Harpalus Affair and the futile Macedonian embassies.

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Note 294  

J.R. Hamilton (1969) 212 ad Plut. Alex. 42.5. Cf. F. Schachermeyr (1949) 238; E. Badian (1967) 190; U. Wilcken (1967) 147; N.G.L. Hammond and F.W. Walbank (1988) 77.

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Note 295  

It is worth pointing out that the “rumor” here, that which Arrian doubts, is not Olympias’ accusations against Antipater, only whether Alexander acted on them. The two sentences, while convoluted, make this clear: “Among those who enjoyed telling secrets (the more secret the better) - the people who prefer to twist something straightforward away from the truth, so it seems shameful - this particular rumor circulated: that Alexander was yielding to his mother’s slanders, and so was considering removing Antipater from Macedonia. And as it happened he tried to remove Antipater, not because of any fault in the man, but so there would not be any irreparable or out-of-control damage arising from Olympias’ and Antipater’s quarrel.” (*lo/gos de/ tis ou(=tos e)foi/ta a)fanh\s para\ toi=s ta\ basilika\ pra/gmata, o(/sw| e)pikru/ptetai, tosw=|de filotimo/teron e)chgoume/nois, kai\ to\ pisto\n e)s to\ xei=ron ma=llon, h(=| to\ ei)ko/s te kai\ h( au)tw=n moxqhri/a a)/gei, h)\ pro\s to\ a)lhqe\s e)ktre/pousin, e)chttw/menon *)ale/candron h)/dh th=s mhtro\s tw=n diabolw=n tw=n e)s *)anti/patron a)palla/cai e)qe/lein e)k *makedoni/as *)anti/patron. kai\ tuxo\n ou)k e)s a)timi/an th\n *)antipa/trou h( meta/pemyis au)tou= e)/feren, a)ll*) w(s mh/ ti e)k th=s diafora=s au)toi=s ge/noito a)/xari e)s a)llh/lous kai\ ou)de\ au)tw=| i)a/simon.)

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Note 296  

E. Carney (1987a) 49 n.43, is properly skeptical toward these letters, but I would not agree that “rejecting all ‘epistolary’ information about her is not unreasonable.” For these letters, see also: J.R. Hamilton (1969) 89; D. Mendels (1984) 139 n.56; N.G.L. Hammond (1989) 172.

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Note 297  

W.L.T. Adams (1984) 83.

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Note 298  

Pace N.G.L. Hammond (1989) 214: “But Antipater prevailed with the help of his Greek allies, and Alexander gave easy terms to the insurgents. He hoped by these lenient methods to hold the Greeks of the Common Peace together during what he realized would be an absence of several more years.” The weight of evidence, I would argue, suggests that in 330 BC Alexander had little interest in Greek affairs.

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Note 299  

W.L.T. Adams (1984) 84 n.32; R. Sealey (1993) 207.

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Note 300  

K. Rosen (1967) 76-68; W.L.T. Adams (1984) 84 and n.33.

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Note 301  

Cf. above, page 74 and note 206.

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Note 302  

Cf. W.L.T. Adams (1984) 83-84; E. Badian (1961) 28; P. Green (1991) 298; J.R. Hamilton (1969) 91 ad Plut. Alex. 24.2

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Note 303  

A.J. Heisserer (1980) 228; D. Mendels (1984) 139 and n.59.

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Note 304  

A.W. Pickard-Cambridge (1914) 428.

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Note 305  

Aesch. in Ctes. 107 (twice), 108, 109, 112, 116 (twice), 119, 122, 124 (twice), 128, 129.

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Note 306  

For Thebes: Arr 1.9.9; Diod 17.14; Plut Alex. 11.5-6; Justin 11.3.7-11.4.12.

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Note 307  

F. Mitchel (1973) 171.

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Note 308  

IG II2 1629; Plut. Mor. (Vit. X. Or.) 852c; W.W. Tarn (1927c) 441; F. Mitchel (1973) 211; O. Schmitt (1992) 67.

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Note 309  

F. Mitchel (1973) 212-214; O. Schmitt (1992) 69-71.

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Note 310  

W.W. Tarn (1927c) 440-441. For a critique of Tarn’s view, suggesting it to be at once too simple and too complex, see F. Mitchel (1973). See also, L. Tritle (1988); M.H. Hansen (1989) 63; I. Worthington (1992) 43 and n.9.

The details of Athenian politics during this period are beyond the scope of the present study, but have been covered at length many times, notably: G. Mathieu (1929); P. Cloché (1957); F. Mitchel (1965); F. Mitchel (1973); S. Jaschinski (1981); W. Will (1983); L. Tritle (1988); M.H. Hansen (1989); I. Worthington (1992); M.H. Hansen (1991); R. Sealey (1993); E.M. Harris (1994).

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Note 311  

See A.W. Pickard-Cambridge (1914) 445, 462; L. Tritle (1988) 43-44, 120 n.50; R. Sealey (1993) 214 and n.33.

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Note 312  

Cf. H. Berve (1926) 337-338. Alexander’s deification is discussed in chapter VI.

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Note 313  

W. Will (1983) 126 n.185: “Nach Berve II 338 war Pytheas unter Alexander ein Gegner der Makedonen. Dem widersprich eindeutig der Übertritt im Jahre 323/2 an die Seite des Antipater.”

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Note 314  

J. Bousquet (1974) 22-23; N.G.L. Hammond (1980) 462; N.G.L. Hammond (1989) 58-59.

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Note 315  

For the suggestion that this sum was Antipater’s gift: N.G.L. Hammond and F.W. Walbank (1988) 89.

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Note 316  

For the geographical importance of Oeniadae, see Polyb. 4.65.8-10.

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Note 317  

Cf. E. Badian (1961) 37 n.159; R. Sealey (1993) 213. For Aetolia and the Common Peace, see H. Bengtson Staatsverträge II.403.

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Note 318  

D. Mendels (1984) 131.

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Note 319  

D. Mendels (1984), esp. 138. For an opposing view, see O. Schmitt (1992) 88 and n.25; he calls Mendels’ theory “unhaltbarkeit”.

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Note 320  

E. Badian (1961) 37, and J.R. Hamilton (1969) 138-139 would put these negotiations in 324 bc, in the context of the Harpalus Affair and the Exiles Decree; Badian says, “Plutarch presents, as he often does, a logical as a chronological connection”. D. Mendels (1984) 132 n.52, counters: “But, one can argue, that sometimes Plutarch does not present a logical as a chronological connection! Moreover, Diod. 18.8.6, cited by Badian to fix the date of the negotiations to 324 simply refers to the seizure of Oeniadae and Alexander’s threat, events which occurred several years earlier, as also the other issue mentioned, i.e. Athens’ cleruchic occupation of Samos. There is no reason to conclude that the negotiations between Aetolia and Antipater took place in 324. Thus the Diodorus passage (18.8.6) cannot reasonably be adduced to counter the context given in Plut. Alex. 49.14-15.”

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Note 321  

D. Mendels (1984) 137, notes that Aetolia seems to have been remarkably free of internal turmoil.

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Note 322  

See D. Mendels (1984) 136.

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Note 323  

Cf. Plut. Alex. 29.7-8; Curt. 4.11.1-22; Justin 11.12.9-15; A.B. Bosworth (1988) 76.

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Note 324  

While Diodorus reports these rebels as having been massacred by the Macedonians (kateko/phsan), Curtius reports them as having made their escape (Curt. 9.7.11; cf. Diod. 18.7.1-9). See also, G.T. Griffith (1935) 24-26.

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Note 325  

D. Mendels (1984) 141-142.

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Note 326  

For Harpalus’ “corruption” in Babylon: Diod. 17.108.4-6; Curt. 10.1.45. For his Athenian ἑταῖραι: Athen. 13.586b-d; Athen. 594d-596a. Also, I. Worthington (1992) 41.

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Note 327  

For the authenticity of this letter, see J.R. Hamilton (1953) 157; J. Vogt (1971). For Cleomenes generally, H. Berve (1926) no. 432; A.B. Bosworth (1988) 234-235; W. Will (1983) 109-110; O. Schmitt (1992) 9.

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Note 328  

Arr. 6.15.3, 6.27.1, 6.27.3-4, 7.4.1, 7.6.1; Curt. 9.8.9, 9.10.21, 9.10.29, 10.1.1-2, 10.1.39; Plut. Alex. 68.4. For the definitive discussion of the details surrounding these purges, see E. Badian (1961) 16-18. Also, H. Berve (1926) vol. 1, 276, vol. 2 nos. 200, 519, 780, 785; S. Jaschinski (1981) 26-27. A.B. Bosworth (1971) 123 and n.3, thinks that Badian’s account, while generally accurate, “probably exaggerates the extent of the terror”; he does not, however, offer much contradictory evidence.

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Note 329  

See G.T. Griffith (1935) 33; E. Badian (1961) 25-27; F. Schachermeyr (1973) 479; D. Mendels (1984) 141; R. Sealey (1993) 212. S. Jaschinski (1981) 48-49, argues for a later date on the strength of Hyp. in Dem. col. 19, and Diod. 18.9.1-4, which both mention the affair of Harpalus in the spring and summer of 324. This dating scheme is unique to Jaschinski, and seems unlikely. The passage from Diodorus he mentions also includes the death of Alexander and the Lamian War, thus condensing a period of at least a year; accordingly, it is a poor source for chronological argument. The passage from Hyperides mentions satraps being restless, which could just as easily be a result of the Mercenaries Decree as a cause thereof. Alternatively, the “satraps” Hyperides mentions could have been the same ones Diodorus mentions as having accompanied the mercenaries to Greece (o(moi/ws de\ kai\ tw=n *persikw=n satrapw=n kai\ tw=n a)/llwn h(gemo/nwn oi( perileifqe/ntes xrh/mata/ te kai\ stratiw/tas a)qroi/zontes e)/pleon e)pi\ *tai/naron th=s *lakwnikh=s) (17.111.2), which would imply that the Mercenaries Decree predated the Harpalus Affair. Jaschinski does admit that an earlier date, late in 325, would make narrative sense: “Im ersten Fall wäre das Söldnerdekret eine von mehren Maßnahmen gewesen, die er nach seiner Rückkehr aus Indien traf, um die Macht der Satrapen zu brechen und ihren während seiner Abwesenheit erworbene Selbständigkeit in eine absolute Unterwerfung unter seinen Willen zu verwandeln.” For further discussion of Jaschinski’s thesis, see M. Errington (1982); O. Schmitt (1992) 15.

Artaxerxes III had issued a similar decree to his satraps (Schol. Dem. 4.19; Diod. 16.22.1); R. Sealey (1993) 105 n.8.

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Note 330  

For a social history of exiles in 324 BC, S. Jaschinski (1981) 73-83.

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Note 331  

R. Sealey (1960); R.M. Errington (1975) 53; S. Jaschinski (1981) 62-63.

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Note 332  

E. Bikerman (1940) 30.

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Note 333  

See N.G. Ashton (1983) 51.

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Note 334  

Syll. 3 312 l. 12-13; cf. E. Bikerman (1940) 29-30.

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Note 335  

Diod. 17.113.3-4; Arr. 7.19.1, 7.23.2. R.M. Errington (1975) 54-55.

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Note 336  

A.J. Heisserer (1980) 188-189. For bibliography, see H.H. Schmitt (1969) no. 413.

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Note 337  

Cf. D. Mendels (1984) 143-144, contra E. Bikerman (1940) 35; S. Jaschinski (1981) 73-85.

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Note 338  

A.J. Heisserer (1980) 186; R. Sealey (1993) 106.

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Note 339  

F. Mitchel (1973) 211.

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Note 340  

A.J. Heisserer (1980) 184-193. This Gorgos is the same man who offered Alexander panoplies and siege engines for an invasion of Attica (Athen. 538b).

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Note 341  

G.T. Griffith (1935) 259. Griffith describes Taenarum thus: “From the land it could be approached only through Spartan territory, and even supposing that a hostile army reached the neck of the promontory, an assault was still almost out of the question; the two possible routes are difficult even today, and could have been made impassable by a small defending force. …It was the one place in Greece where one could be perfectly safe from the Macedonians.”

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Note 342  

D. Mendels (1984) 142-143. Cf. K.J. Beloch (1923) 4.1 p. 68; R. Sealey (1993) 212 and n.150.

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Note 343  

J.K. Davies (1971) 342-343.

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Note 344  

G. Mathieu (1929) 161-168.

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Note 345  

G. Mathieu (1929) 168. Cf. K.J. Beloch (1923) 4.2 p.24.

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Note 346  

IG II2 1631. For the definitive discussion of this evidence, see I. Worthington (1987).

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Note 347  

E. Badian (1961) 38; S. Jaschinski (1981) 49-50; N.G. Ashton (1983) 51-54; A.B. Bosworth (1988) 225; N.G.L. Hammond and F.W. Walbank (1988); L. Tritle (1988) 435.

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Note 348  

H. Berve (1926) no. 819; H.W. Parke (1928) 201.

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Note 349  

G.T. Griffith (1935) 35-36 and n.4.

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Note 350  

P. Cloché (1957) 267; I. Worthington (1992) 49-50.

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Note 351  

See N.G. Ashton (1983) 53: “The Athenian action resulted in other Greek πόλεις (and perhaps even ‘Persian’ satraps) abandoning plans for rebellion, no doubt having viewed the treatment of Harpalus as a sign that Athens had no further intention to organize the above mentioned du/namis.”

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Note 352  

O. Schmitt (1992) 13-17. For Macedonian informants, Dem. 17.11; Hyp. Pro Eux. col. 20, Ep. col. 11; Din. In Dem. 28, 104; Plut. Dem. 27.2.

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Note 353  

O. Schmitt (1992) 19-23. He also accepts Plut. Mor. (Vit. X Or.) 848e as accurate, saying that Alexander also retained Chares for this task.

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Note 354  

His explanation that Leosthenes got the job because of Gastfreundschaft is unconvincing: O. Schmitt (1992) 21.

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Note 355  

N.G. Ashton (1983) 54.

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Note 356  

So G. Mathieu (1929) 168; I. Worthington (1987) 490.

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Note 357  

As E. Badian (1961) 38, implies when referring to Leosthenes’ “secret appeal” to the Athenian βουλή.

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