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Athens and Macedonia, in the Absence of Alexander 

Christopher W. Blackwell, edition of July 1, 2005

page 8 of 9

·  The Failure of Macedonian Authority ·

With the Harpalus Affair we have returned to the point of departure. We began with the two-sided question: Why did three separate Macedonian embassies seek Harpalus’ extradition from Athens, and why did the Athenians reject all three? Because these questions concerned the structures of power and authority both between the Greeks and the Macedonian hegemony, and within Macedonian ranks, we have examined these relationships, their respective bases, and how they changed during the years 335-324 bc. We have seen that the institutional foundation for a Macedonian hegemony, the Common Peace, did not in practice work to the benefit of the Macedonians in Greece. We have also seen how the two principal Macedonians in this hegemony, Antipater and Olympias, enjoyed authority based mainly on their own actions. Both were associated with Alexander, but neither could rely on a well-defined office or title to provide traditional or formal authority. Of these two, Antipater wielded far more power, but Olympias seems to have been more successful at assuming an authoritative position when dealing with the Greeks. She also secured her autonomy from Antipater by moving to Epirus in 330. Antipater fulfilled his functionmaintaining the security of Macedonian power in Greecewith his own resources, rather than soliciting support from the states of the Common Peace. Antipater’s position was not helped by Alexander’s demands on Macedonian manpower or his rhetoric, which seriously contradicted Antipater’s actions. During Alexander’s five-year-long march to India and back, both Antipater and Olympias seem to have entrenched themselves in their respective positions; the surviving evidence suggests that their interaction with the Greeks ebbed during this time. The period of relative calm from 330 to 325 ended with Alexander’s return to Susa. He found that many of his officers and satraps had failed to act as was proper for servants of the king’s empire, but had exploited their positions and, most seriously, assembled private armies. Alexander reacted by executing a number of officials and issuing the so-called Mercenaries Decree, which ordered the satraps to disband their armies. They did, and while the decree no doubt helped Alexander maintain control over his Asian provinces, it created an unacceptable situation in Greece, as many of the jobless mercenaries made their way west across the Aegean. Alexander then issued the Exiles Decree, or at least made his intention to do so known at Susa in early 324. This second order commanded the cities of Greece to readmit and reenfranchise all those who had been exiled for political reasons. The Exiles Decree probably effected the return of no exiles during the first half of 324, because it would not be promulgated in Greece until the Olympic festival in August, but it affected events nevertheless. The Athenians were particularly concerned about the threat to their possessions on Samos. With this background, then, we can reexamine the Harpalus Affair, and hope to suggest some answers to our questions.

· The Harpalus Affair: Summary of Events ·

A brief review of the Harpalus Affair itself is in order. Alexander’s treasurer, Harpalus, fled from his post in Asia with 5,000 talents of silver and 6,000 mercenaries (Diod. 17.108.6).358 He sailed with thirty ships to Sunium in Attica and requested admittance to Athens (Curt. 10.2.1). His first arrival must have been impressive and frightening to the Athenians, who refused to let him land (Diod. 17.108.7; Plut. Mor. 846a [Vit. X Or.]). With this he sailed to Taenarum, left the greater part of his entourage there, and returned as a suppliant to Athens with two ships and 700 talents (Diod. 17.108.7).359 Philocles, the Athenian στρατηγός responsible for the ports (στρατηγὸς ἐπὶ τήν Μουνιχίαν καὶ τὰ νεώρια ) admitted him, probably against the orders of the assembly (Din. In Phil. 1-2).360

The very fact of Harpalus’ arrival at Athens reveals something of Athens position vis-à-vis Macedonian power. Harpalus already had ties to Athens, having been involved with several Athenian women and having been given honorary citizenship there.361 Part of his reason for choosing Athens as a destination had to do with these pre-existing ties, no doubt, but his most pressing concern will have been to escape from Alexander’s power. He clearly saw Athens as a refuge, a place where he could be beyond Alexander’s reach, at least temporarily.

The very fact of his arrival at Sunium, then, tells us something about the scope of Macedonian authorityHarpalus, a high-ranking officer in Alexander’s empire, saw a hope of safety among Athenians. Athenian military power was, in Greece, second only to Antipater’sif thatand there were voices among the Athenians that opposed Macedonia’s hegemonic assumptions.362 Harpalus failed to gain admittance on his first attempt to enter Athens precisely because of the tense relationship between Athens and the Macedonians.363 In 323, Dinarchus reminded the Athenians that they had turned Harpalus away because, “you thought [him] to have arrived intending to seize your city” (h)/|sqeq*) ἥκειν καταληψόμενον τὴν πόλιν ὑμῶν ) (Din. In Arist. 4). They assumed that thirty Macedonian warships must represent an invasion because they, better than anyone, knew what reasons Alexander might have for invading Athens. Only once he had got rid of his fleet and his mercenary army, thus shedding the coat of a Macedonian officer, was he allowed to enter Athens as suppliant.

At the same time, the Athenians were not brazenly defiant of Macedonia. If Harpalus hoped that his hosts would swiftly embrace him publicly, he was mistaken in his understanding of the relationship between Athens and the Macedonian hegemony, and must not have paid attention to Athens’ recent history. As in 336, when the Thebans expelled their Macedonian garrison, or in 332 when Agis began a war with Antipater, the Athenians in 324 BC waited and debated. We have seen the fear with which the Athenians regarded Harpalus’ fleet, and we have seen the arguments put forth over what to do with Harpalus. The city’s policy cannot be described as anti-Macedonian, and many citizens were clearly frightened of Alexander’s power. But at the same time, the Athenians were in some sense “extra-Macedonian”. Their debate focused on their own interests and internal issues, with no regard for Macedonian authority.364 Ernst Badian has shown the extent to which Harpalus’ flight was damaging to Alexander’s authority in Asia and entirely the result of the king’s policies there.365 But the fact that the Athenians rejected three embassies who tried to take possession of Harpalus, will reveal a failure of Macedonian authority in Greece that was complete and perhaps inevitable.

Before examining the reception of these embassies, however, we should examine their dispatch. The least equivocal evidence tells us that Philoxenus, one of Alexander’s lieutenants in Asia, first demanded Harpalus’ extradition (Plut. Mor. 531a [De Vit. Pud.]; Hyp. Dem. col. 8; Polyaen. Strat. 6.49; Arr. 7.23.1).366 Despite Philoxenus’ credentials as one of Alexander’s men in Asia, the Athenians did not give Harpalus up (Hyp. Dem. 8). After the representatives of Philoxenus, two other embassies arrived. Diodorus refers to Harpalus “sought for by Antipater and Olympias” (ἐξαιτούμενος δὲ u(p*) Ἀντιπάτρου καὶ Ὀλυμπιάδος ) (17.108.7). Plutarch, also mentions Antipater (Plut. Mor. 846b [Vit. X Or.]). There were now three embassies representing three different Macedonians, each of whom could claim to be an authorized representative of Alexander’s will.

· The Harpalus Affair: Three Embassies ·

But why did these three Macedonians each issue a demand for Alexander’s treasurer? None of our sources gives a reason, and it would be irresponsible to paint too colorful a picture. We can, however, suggest an answer based on Antipater’s and Olympias’ actions prior to the summer of 324. Both Antipater and Olympias enjoyed authority derived from Alexander, and no other person in Europe outranked them. But neither held a clearly defined office, one that would confer institutional or traditional authorityand establish the limits thereofbeyond the boundaries of the Macedonian state. In Alexander’s absence, then, there was no one to mediate between the two and no structure to delineate the boundary between one’s authority and the other’s. From 335 to 324 Antipater and Olympias each enjoyed authority in Greece only when acting authoritatively, and they enjoyed only as much power as they could secure for themselves.

For this reason Olympias remained in Pella while Alexander was relatively nearby in western Asia Minor. Pella was a recognized platform from which she could project authority as a Macedonian and as the mother of Alexander. Also, in the early years of her son’s rule, the interrelationship among herself, Antipater, Alexander, and the Greeks was still very much undefined; there had not yet been sufficient occasion for action to give shape the structure of authority in Greece. Once Antipater had exercised his power in the war with Agis, and Alexander was planning to remove himself from immediate participation in Greek affairs, Olympias’ position in Pella became limiting, and so she moved to Epirus. Here she seems to have worked to project authority as, at once, Alexander’s mother, a representative of the Macedonian hegemony, and a head of the Epirote state.

The ad hoc structure of the Macedonian hegemony is also revealed through Antipater’s actions. When he invoked authority it was not his own, and when doing so was inconvenient he was content with power. He seems to have eschewed the Common Peace as a foundation for hegemony during the war with Agis, relying more on his own army and hired mercenaries than on the unlikely prospect of widespread allied support. He referred the settlement after Megalopolis to Alexander and the συνέδριον of the Common Peace, but his doing so presented him as Alexander’s arm, the site of Macedonian power in Greece, rather than Alexander’s voice, an agent of Macedonian authority. And his relationship with Alexander further undermined whatever authority he might have enjoyed as στρατηγός in Europe. The demands Alexander’s Asian war placed on Macedonian manpower hindered Antipater’s efforts to dominate the Greeks; the general’s successful exercise of military power in the Peloponnese may have shown too much independence for Alexander’s liking; and Antipater’s efforts to forestall any further resistance to his power in Europe flew in the face of Alexander’s proclamation that tyranny was ended and that the Greeks were now free. After the king marched east, we find Antipater negotiating with the Aetolians in the interests of his own security, in explicit contradiction to Alexander’s expressed hostility toward Aetolia because of Oeniadae.

Despite the conflicts and competition between Antipater and Olympias, it would be wrong to say that Antipater was in a state of “rebellion” from Alexander’s rule. At least, it would be meaningless to say so in the middle of 324 bc. “Rebellion” would imply, first, that there was some possibility of real (as opposed to rhetorical) conflict between Alexander and Antipater, and there no evidence of this.367 Second, it would imply that Antipater had something to gain by rejecting his place in the larger context of Alexander’s Macedonian domain. We cannot imagine that he did. He, Olympias, and Alexander, regardless of their intramural competition, had roughly the same interest in keeping Greece peaceful, if not submissive. Alexander’s charismatic authority, his reputation as the omnipotent conqueror of Asia, and his vast, if distant, military potential helped maintain the security of European Macedonia, as we see in the Athenians’ panic upon the arrival of Harpalus’ fleet.

But even without supposing pernicious plots, we can understand Olympias’ and Antipater’s conflicting demands for Harpalus. This man, a long-time officer and companion of Alexander, had deserted his post, pillaged the treasury, and arrived in Greece with an army and the means to pay them. His actions undermined the Macedonian hegemony both in Asia and in Europe, and his presence in Greece was a direct threat to the stability of Antipater’s and Olympias’ positions at a time when (because of Alexander’s decrees) those positions were already increasingly unstable. Securing Harpalus from the Athenians would not only have secured this dangerous presence, but would also have asserted Macedonian authority over the long-reluctant and increasingly indifferent Athenians. This in turn would validate the idea of a Macedonian hegemony. Harpalus was also a prize worth competing for, a generally useful trophy, the more so because he had brought with him a vast sum of money. Whoever got Harpalus could either earn Alexander’s gratitude by returning him, or keep his money for other uses. The relationship between Antipater and Olympias, which was largely forced on them by the absence of any institutional definition or precedent, may have led them to vie for Harpalus without any specific plans; in other words, even though we cannot recover any specific intentions Antipater or Olympias may have harbored regarding Harpalus, their conflicting, competing claims are fully explicable in the context of their respective places in a nominally Macedonian structure.

A request from Olympiaswhom some have seen as the least likely of the three to have sent an embassy to Athens on this occasion368is particularly appropriate, given what we have seen of her earlier actions. She, more than Antipater, was successful in defining herself as an authorized representative of Alexander, but such a definition could only stand if constantly reinforced. She did not command coercive power and, after 330, was away from the traditional locus of Macedonian authority. With Alexander so far removed from affairs in Greece, she was also less able to take advantage of her association with him. In other words, she had to rely heavily on symbols of authority, although we also know that when practical power came her way she readily used it. The bodyguard she maintained, for example, was symbolic of position and the potential for coercive power (Curt. 1.7.37-40). And her later presence at the head of an army during the wars of succession show that she was by no means limited to the symbolic (Diod. 19.11.2; 19.35.3).369 Harpalus could offer both sorts of advantage, both as a token of her ability to exert authority over the Greeks and, if she could secure either his money or his mercenaries or both, as a source of real power. In the uncertainty of early 324 bc, either of these possible benefits could explain an embassy from Olympias to the Athenians.

Philoxenus’ position in Asia and general absence from the political dynamics of Europe make him, for our purposes, the least significant of the three. Nevertheless, we can offer some possible explanations for his embassy to Athens.370 First of all, he may have been acting on a direct order from Alexander. He is the only one of the three for whom this can be said, since his position on the Carian coast was considerably closer (if not actually close) to Alexander than were Pella or Epirus. His being a specifically authorized agent of Alexander does not, however, seem likely, since Demosthenes seems to have doubted that Philoxenus spoke with Alexander’s voice (Hyp. In Dem. 8). And Philoxenus could have had ample motivation of his own for seeking Harpalus. First of all, he was a satrapPolyaenus uses the term ὕπαρχος , which is the Greek translation of the Persian office (Strat. 6.49).371 Since Alexander’s purges and the Mercenaries Decree of late 325, his surviving officers in Asia will no doubt have been motivated to at least seem diligent in their service, and Philoxenus seems to have been particularly active. Pausanias (2.33.4) says that after Harpalus’ escape from Athens, Philoxenus chased him and his men all over the Aegean, finally seizing Harpalus’ paymaster (διοικητής ) at Rhodes. Arrian reports Philoxenus meeting Alexander at Babylon in 323, στρατίαν ἄγων ἀπὸ Καρίας, “leading an army from Caria” (7.23.1). With many former officials in Alexander’s Asian empire dead or in disgrace, Philoxenus may have been taking every opportunity to advance himself. Harpaluswho had taken Philoxenus’ position in 333 (Arr. 3.6.7)372would have been an impressive trophy of service and competence had the general of Caria secured him from the Athenians.

The three Macedonians who sought Harpalus stood to profit from him. Custody of Harpalus would have conferred a symbolic and practical advantage on whoever acquired it, and would have removed his destabilizing presence from participation in affairs between Greeks and Macedonians. Olympias, Antipater, and Philoxenus must all have been interested in the stability of Macedonia’s hegemony over the Greeks, and so all three sent envoys bearing their authority to the Athenians. But authority is as much given as expressed, and we should turn now to a reexamination of the debate at Athens and the eventual rejection of the Macedonian demands.

· The Harpalus Affair: the Debate and Decision at Athens ·

It is clear that the Athenian decision to hold Harpalus rather than to surrender him to the Macedonians cannot be explained simply as a provocatively anti-Macedonian stance. According to the orator Hyperides, Demosthenes won the day with this argument (Hyp. In Dem. 8): [Demosthenes was] saying that the city would do well not to surrender Harpalus to those from Philoxenus, nor would any blame from Alexander need befall the δῆμος on account of that man. φάσκων οὔτε τοῖς παρὰ Φιλοξένου ἐλθοῦσι καλῶς ἔχειν τὸν Ἅρπαλον ἐγδοῦναι τὴν πόλιν οὔτε δεῖν αἰτίαν οὐδεμίαν τῷ δήμῳ di*) ἐκεῖνον par*) Ἀλεξάνδρου καταλείπεσθαι.

This is not an argument for defying Macedonia, but for seeking the city’s advantage without incurring Alexander’s anger. Dinarchus’ speech against Demosthenes goes back and forth between accusing him of stealing from Alexander (In Dem. 68-69, 89) and accusing him of stealing from Athens (15). Clearly there was, among Athenians, a certain fear of Alexander and a willingness to delay taking overt action toward Macedonia, but at the same time a willingness to defy Olympias, Antipater, and Philoxenus for the city’s good. When we look at each Macedonian, however, we can see that Athens’ caution toward Alexander and refusal to surrender his treasurer to these embassies were not incompatible.373

It is not difficult to explain why the Athenians rejected Antipater’s claim, now that we have seen the historical background to the Harpalus Affair. The Athenians, while clearly worried about Alexander’s power, do not seem to have considered Antipater as great a threat. In 331, in the debate over whether to join in a war against Antipater’s army, an Athenian orator was able to say, “should [Athens] decide to use force against its misfortune it could easily destroy its enemies” (ὡς τῷ συμφέροντί γε προελομένην χρῆσθαι κρατεῖν ἂν τῶν πολεμίων ῥᾳδίως δυνηθεῖσαν ) (Dem. 17.24).374 In 323, as soon as Alexander was dead, the Athenians launched a war against the Macedonian in the north, and almost won (Diod. 18.12.1, 18.14.4-5; Plut. Eum. 3).375 On the other hand, Antipater’s power was by no means negligible and would only have been increased by the receipt of Harpalus’ treasure.

None of these considerations would have had bearing on Athens’ decision, however, if Antipater were seen as an authority of a Macedonian hegemonic structure with Alexander at its head and Alexander’s army as its eastern arm. But the course of events since 335 may have suggested to the Athenians that this was not the case, that they could ignore his efforts to assert his authority in the city’s affairs. Antipaterand Olympias and Philoxenus for that matterhad no institutional authority to demand Harpalus. The treasurer’s embezzlement and flight was a Macedonian affair, and his arrival in Athens was an Athenian affair, but his presence in the city as a suppliant cannot be seen as formally obliging the Athenians toward the Macedonians.376 Not that it would have mattered, for Antipater had, as we have seen, refrained from imposing any formal obligations on the Athenians, even when the Common Peace would have justified doing so. But most important of all is the gulf between Antipater and Alexander that is most apparent in the years 330-324, as Alexander’s words repeatedly contradicted the actions Antipater took on behalf of Macedonia. We have seen this in the settlement after Megalopolis and in Antipater’s negotiations with Aetolia. The Greeks seem to have been aware of this gulf, to have taken advantage of it, and perhaps, even, to have widened it. When Alexander returned from the east he received embassies from Greeks who complained about Antipater, seeking to improve their lot by invoking Alexander’s authority against that of his general (Plut. Alex. 74.2; Justin 12.14.4; cf. Diod. 18.56).377 If the competition between Antipater and Olympias was at all as antagonistic and well-known as our sources suggest, this would have further separated Antipater from the king.

Antipater was not authorized by virtue of his position, his actions, or his relationship to Alexander. His demand for Harpalus did not stand on an unexpressed but persuasive argument. Nor did a sufficient potential for coercive force lurk silently behind his request. All these elements would have been necessary for his words to have been received at Athens as an authoritative command, but all were absent. We can see then that the Athenians had no reason to surrender Harpalus to Antipater. Furthermore, since they were concerned about Alexander’s reaction to their decision, they would have had good reason not to give the treasurer over to a man whose relationship with the king was unclear, at best, and at worst potentially inimical.

Olympias did not suffer the same disadvantages as Antipater. A request from her might well have carried a measure of Alexander’s authority, and we have seen more precedents for her acting as an official in Greek affairsthe grain from Cyrene, for example, and her injunction against Athenian involvement in the temple at Dodona (Hyp. Pro Eux. col. 19). But while this temple was clearly in her purview, Harpalus was not. Nor was she herself speaking from a potent, authorized position in Greece. Epirus was not Pella, after all, and while she may have acted as a head of state there, this did not necessarily translate into authority as a principal figure in a larger Macedonian structure. Her separation from Antipater, while to her immediate benefit, will also have undermined the idea of a unified “Macedonia” that could act in Greece. The Athenians did not want to anger Alexander, but surrendering Harpalus to his mother, in north-western Greece, cannot have seemed equivalent to sending him back to Asia. Finally, the presence of an embassy from Philoxenus, who was in Asia and closest to the king, may have made Olympias’ claim even less compelling.

We actually have an account of the reasons Demosthenes put forth for rejecting the order from Philoxenus. While it is neither full nor detailed, it can suggest how the Athenians could hope to reject his claim without incurring Alexander’s anger. According to Hyperides, Demosthenes urged the assembly to keep Harpalus rather than surrender him to “those from Philoxenus”; furthermore, Demosthenes claimed that “no blame from Alexander need befall the δῆμος on account of that man.” (οὔτε δεῖν αἰτίαν οὐδεμίαν τῷ δήμῳ di*) ἐκεῖνον par*) Ἀλεξάνδρου καταλείπεσθαι ) (Hyp. In Dem. 8). For our purposes, the prepositional phrase di*) ἐκεῖνον , “on account of that man”, is most interesting. διά with an accusative of person implies agency (cf. And. De Myst. 144; Dem. De Cor. 18.9; De Fals. Leg. 97.1), and so we might understand this quotation to say that Athens would suffer no blame from Alexander for rejecting Philoxenus’ demand, because Philoxenus would not tell. Philoxenus is said to have been a ὕπαρχος , a satrap, in Caria (Polyaen. Strat. 6.49). Alexander had demonstrated his suspicion of these officials, as a class, in the winter of 325/4 (Diod. 17.106.3, 17.111.1-2; Curt. 10.1.45), and there is evidence that several satraps were hostile to the king in 324: Hyperides mentions “the satraps, who would 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. 19). It does not matter that Philoxenus is shown, by his later actions, to have been active in Alexander’s service. Demosthenes, who wanted to keep Harpalus in Athens, could have hoped to portray Philoxenus as yet another satrap interested in increasing his personal power. The orator may even have thought so himself, and we should not expect the Athenian ἐκκλησία to have had a deep familiarity with Alexander’s Asian bureaucracy. In any case, many of the satraps of Asia had shown themselves, during Alexander’s absence, to have been more interested in establishing their fiefdoms than in maintaining the coherence of Alexander’s empire. Philoxenus was a satrap, and in the absence of some unequivocal token of his authority as a representative of Alexander, the Athenians had no reason to treat him as such. Ignoring Philoxenus’ demand was safe, for if he should prove not to represent Alexander, the city would have avoided the anger of the king, and should he prove otherwise, the Athenians could always claim that they had merely shown an excess of caution for Alexander’s interests.

Apart from assertions of authority carried to Athens by emissaries, none of these Macedonians had any other means of securing Harpalus. We hear of no negotiations between Athenians and Macedonians on the subject of Harpalus. Demosthenes may have discussed Harpalus with Alexander’s envoy Nicanor at the Olympic festival in August, shortly after Harpalus had been detained, but Nicanor had left Alexander’s presence months earlier, and could no more be said to have carried the king’s opinion on Harpalus than any of the other three we have discussed.378 Nor does it seem that the Macedonians tried to coerce Athens into releasing the treasurer. There is some evidence seeming to suggest that Alexander planned an invasion of Greece from across the Aegean.379 The satyric play Agēn, performed in late 325 for Alexander, contained mention of an intended invasion (Athen. 13.595d-596b).380 A Samian, Gorgos of Iasus, is said to have offered Alexander siege-engines and other weapons for an invasion of Athens (Athen. 12.538b).381 Curtius mentions such plans in connection with the affair of Harpalus and Athenian resistance to the Exiles’ Decree: “Having learned of these events, the king, angry both at Harpalus and at the Athenians, ordered that a fleet be prepared at once, with an eye toward Athens” (his cognitis rex Harpalo Atheniensibusque iuxta infestus classem parari iubet Athenas protinus petiturus) (10.2.2). Justin reports similarly, saying that when Alexander heard of unrest among the Greeks, “He ordered that 1000 warships be commandeered from the allies, with which to wage war in the West, and that an invasion be made with overwhelming force for the destruction of Athens” (mille naves longas sociis imperari praeceperat, quibus in Occidente bellum gereret, excursurusque cum valida manu fuerat ad Athenas delendas) (13.5.3). But this evidence, if we believe it, shows only talk of plans for preparations for an invasion of Athens. There is absolutely no evidence that any such preparations ever took place. Athens was never invaded; there were no great sea-battles in 324, or even in 323 when Macedonians and Greeks were openly at war. It seems that Alexander did have a large fleet prepared, but it was based at Babylon, with no access to the Mediterranean (Arr. 7.19.3-7.22.5).382 Nor is it clear that such a fleet could have been prepared and launched from the coast of Asia Minor. The fact that Leosthenes had brought his mercenaries across the sea, and Harpalus had brought his, in both cases without apparent molestation, suggests that Alexander’s presence was not strongly felt on the Aegean coast. The Athenians must have realized this, too, once Harpalus’ fleet proved not to be an invasion.

No one of the three Macedonians could successfully assert authority at Athens, nor (evidently) offer a persuasive argument, attractive exchange, or convincing threat. We do not have to imagine that the Athenians were on the brink of immediate war with Alexander, although they were certainly arming themselves against the eventuality.383 On the contrary, the debate at Athens and the eventual decision to hold Harpalus shows the extent to which the Macedonian presence in Greece was divorced from Alexander’s authority. Each of these three Macedonians suffered a failure of authority because of the absence of any meaningful and effective Macedonian structure in Greece. In the case of Antipater and Olympias, their lack of precedented and defined offices or titles had forced them to act autonomously too often for them to claim authority within a hegemonic framework. In the case of Philoxenus, his office itself may have undermined his authority, since the satraps of Alexander’s provinces in Asia had undermined that structure, or at least, Alexander’s own actions of 324/5 suggested that they had. And among the parts of this divided and incoherent Macedonian presence none seems to have had the power to act, beyond dispatching embassies with empty orders.

· After Harpalus: the Promulgation of the Exiles Decree ·

We have only seen the immediate results of Athens’ rejection of Macedonian demands for Harpalus. That nothing happened immediately is not necessarily significantAntipater had, after all, taken several months to prepare for his war with Agis. But as R. Sealey has noted, there is no evidence to suggest that Athens suffered any long-term sanction because of the Harpalus Affair: “It is important to recognize that the protracted conflicts in Athens after the escape of Harpalus were strictly internal; the Athenians were not required to refund the money of Harpalus by Alexander or by anyone professing to act for him.” 384 Harpalus escaped and was killed in Crete, and the Athenians pointed fingers at each other over what they had done and what they should have done differently. At the same time, we can see that as late as the next spring, 323 BC, the Athenians continued to fear the consequences of having lost Alexander’s treasurer; during his speech against Demosthenes, Dinarchus asked the defendant, rhetorically, what he would recommend should Alexander demand his money: “Would you propose that we fight a war, since we so successfully managed our previous wars?” (γρά[ψ]εις σὺ Δημόσθενες πολεμεῖν ἡμᾶς, ἐπειδὴ καὶ τοὺς πρότερον πολέμους καλῶς διῴκησας; ) (In Dem. 68-69). The continued nervousness at Athens over Alexander’s response to the Harpalus Affair and the continued failure of any such response to be forthcoming cries for an explanation, which in turn will suggest the importance of Harpalus and the Macedonian embassies for our understanding of the Macedonian hegemony.

While Harpalus was still at Athens, at the beginning of August 324 bc, Nicanor promulgated the Exiles Decree at Olympia (Diod. 18.8.2).385 Alexander had first made known his intentions regarding the exiles early in that year, and had probably dispatched Nicanor in February.386 The decree that Nicanor carried, then, was written under circumstances that had changed dramatically by the time it was read, five months later. The Athenians and Aetolians were by then discussing an alliance, Leosthenes had convened the makings, at least, of a mercenary army at Taenarum, and most importantly, the Athenians had rejected three demands for Harpalus’ extradition. We must read the text of the decree in this context. Diodorus preserves the letter from Alexander to the exiles (18.8.4): King Alexander to the exiles from the Greek states. We have not been the cause of your exile, but we will be the cause of your return, each to his own homeland (except for those under a curse). We have written to Antipater about these things, so that he might compel those states not wishing to restore you. Βασιλεὺς Ἀλέξανδρος τοῖς ἐκ τῶν Ἐλληνίδων πόλεων φυγάσι. τοῦ μὲν φεύγειν ὑμᾶς οὐχ ἡμεῖς αἴτιοι γεγόναμεν, τοῦ δὲ κατελθεῖν εἰς τὰς ἰδίας πατρίδας ἡμεῖς ἐσόμεθα πλὴν τῶν ἐναγῶν. γεγράφαμεν δὲ Ἀντιπάτρῳ περὶ τούτων, ὅπως τὰς μὴ βουλομένας τῶν πόλεων κατάγειν ἀναγκάσῃ.

This epistle has been widely accepted as authentic; its presence in Diodorus’ narrative may be attributed to some pro-Samian source, perhaps Duris of Samos, who would have been understandably interested in the Exiles Decree.387 The letter’s content is largely affirmed, and nowhere contradicted, by an inscription from Delphi regarding the exiles of Tegea, which outlines the details of a διάγραμμα from Alexander.388 The text of Alexander’s letter is revealing. The wording of the letter Nicanor read shows how this decree could have sown division in the Greek states and given the exiles an investment in Alexander’s rule, thus reducing the manpower available to a rebellious state or would-be condottiere.389 These may have been achievable aims in early 324, after the Mercenaries Decree had exacerbated the problem of exiles. But in the summer of 324 this decree can only have harmed Macedonian authority over the Greek states.

The edict itself was not even addressed to the representatives of πόλεις who gathered for the Olympic festival, but to the exiles themselves. It did not, then, represent an act of diplomacy as much as one of demagoguery. Alexander’s decree had no basis other than Antipater’s (ostensible) ability to “force” (ἀναγκάσῃ ) unwilling cities to obey (Diod. 18.8.4). In other words, to whatever extent the Exiles Decree was meant to effect the change it mandated, it depended on compulsion rather than authority. Historians in this century have, however, spent considerable energy defending Alexander’s decree as “legal”, or “constitutional”. E. Bickerman, for example, tries to read the decree as right and proper according to the Common Peace: Il semble, en effet, qu’ Alexandre, prescrivant à Antipatros de faire rentrer les exilés, ait pu invoquer une clause du pacte fédéral, conçue en ces termes: ‘les synèdres et les préposés à la sûreté commune doivent veiller à ce que les condamnations à mort et au bannissement ne soient pas prononcées, en violation des lois en vigueur, dans les cités qui participent à la paix générale (Dem. 17.15)’ Si, par négligence des ‘préposés à la sûreté’, qui sont des commissaires royaux, des bannissements injustifiés étaient prononcés, Alexandre aurait le droit ou mēme l’obligation d’intervenir.390

The Exiles Decree, however, was not addressed to the member-states of the Common Peace but to the exiles from “Greek cities” generally (τοῖς ἐκ τῶν Ἐλληνίδων πόλεων φυγάσι ) (Diod. 18.8.4). A.W. Pickard-Cambridge stated in 1914 that the Exiles Decree was in fact a violation of the Common Peace, but it might be more accurate to say that the Exiles Decree had nothing whatever to do with it.391 N.G.L. Hammond and H. Walbank recognize this and try to explain it in such a way as to maintain Alexander’s “legality”: “The announcement was not an ‘order’, as hostile critics suggested (e.g. Hyp. In Dem. 18, ἐπιτάγματα) but the starting-point for a dialogue, during which envoys were sent to Alexander, for instance at Babylon.” 392 Alexander’s threatto have Antipater force the Exiles Decree on the unwillingseems more appropriate to an order than an invitation to dialogue.

The Exiles Decree was a bald-faced command from Alexander to the Greeks. If the συνέδριον of the Common Peace had anything to do with the decree, we do not hear of it. We have no evidence to show that Alexander was concerned with “constitutional niceties”, to use T.T.B. Ryder’s phrase.393 The immediate results of the announcement suggest that Alexander either did not care about enforcing his decree, or had not considered the specifics of its implementation.394 This command was received variously by the Greeks. But two of the most powerful states, the Aetolians and Athenians, reacted strongly (Diod. 18.8.6; Justin 13.5.1-6).395 The Exiles Decree represented, for the Aetolians, a renewal of Alexander’s vow to punish them for taking Oeniadae and expelling its inhabitants.396 The Athenians were concerned about their control of Samos.397 The two entered into negotiations “concerning an alliance” (περὶ συμμαχίας ) (Diod. 17.111.1-4; 18.8.1-7).398

The alliance between Athens and Aetolia is interesting for several reasons. First, it represents the first bloc of Greeks since the demise of Agis that clearly possessed a military potential sufficient to oppose Antipater. The Greeks had been relatively quiet since Antipater’s victory in 330, but with Alexander adding his interference to Antipater’s, and with Macedonian authority seeming less sound, we have increasing evidence that at least some Greeks were treating Macedonia not as an invincible master, but as a powerful but estimable enemy.399 Second, a possible alliance between Aetolia and Athens might further complicate our understanding of the relationship between Alexander, the Greeks, and Antipater. At some point between 330 and 325, Plutarch tells us, Antipater had “contacted the Aetolians in secret and exchanged guarantees” (πρὸς Αἰτωλοὺς ἔπεμψε κρύφα, πίστεις διδοὺς καὶ λαμβάνων ), in reaction to Alexander’s murders of Parmenio and others (Plut. Alex. 49. 14-15); now, in 324, the Athenians were doing likewise. In both cases, the Aetolians’ concern was the same, to maintain possession of Oeniadae. It is possible that whatever understanding they had with Antipater fell by the wayside in the aftermath of the Exiles Decree. It is also possible that the relationship survived the announcement at Olympia. We have also seen evidence, albeit scant, that the Athenians may have preferred Antipater to Alexander: Plutarch claims that the Athenians were initially inclined to surrender Harpalus to Antipater, not to Alexander, before Demosthenes dissuaded them (Mor. 846b [Vit. X Or.]). At the very least, the evidence for alliances among the Athenians, Aetolians, and Antipater shows how Alexander’s actions repeatedly shook the order of Macedonian power in Greece: his executions of lieutenants in 330 led Antipater to negotiate with Aetolia, and his Exiles Decree let Aetolia and Athens to form a dangerous (to Macedonia) alliance.

The letter that Nicanor read at Olympia might have itself seemed to separate the king’s policies from those of his στρατηγός in Europe. The decree makes it clear that “we” (meaning Alexander) were not to blame for these exiles’ plight. While it is true that the people immediately to blame were those empowered in individual cities, it is also true that many of the exiles must have been expelled when Antipater set in place governments friendly to him; we should note that Polyperchon would issue a decree restoring to their cities all those who had been exiled “by our generals” (ὑπὸ τῶν ἡμετέρων στρατηγῶν ) (Diod. 18.56).400 It may be, as Badian suggests, that what seems to be Alexander’s apology to the exiles for Antipater’s behavior was “mere propaganda”, or it may as Mendels suggests, “that Alexander in saying this wanted to place the blame squarely and directly on his viceroy.” 401 Whether or not he intended to would not change the effect of the διάγραμμα, and that might have been to undermine further the perceived unity, and therefore authority, of the Macedonian hegemony.

More important, and for our purposes more useful, is the ostensible role of Antipater in effecting the return of the exiles. We do not know what Alexander’s instructions to the general were, since the phrase γεγράφαμεν δὲ Ἀντιπάτρῳ here, “we have written to Antipater”, indicates a correspondence different in extent and detail from the Decree read at Olympia.402 But the public document clearly burdens Antipater with the task of enforcing the decree while not giving him any further authority or suggesting that he had a share in its authorship; the decree makes clear that this edict is Alexander’s alone.403 Antipater would have been the logical choice to enforce the decree, except that the decree was unenforceable. Antipater’s garrisons and puppet governments in Greece had been necessary to avoid open confrontation such as with Agis in 331/0, and in 323 he would have to be rescued by Macedonian forces from Asia.404 Forcing compliance on the Aetolians and Athenians would have involved a much greater commitment than a single battle, for to assure the restoration of exiles and the restoration of property would probably require not only successful battles, but occupation forces in several cities. It must have been clear in Greece that Antipater could not oblige Alexander in this matter, and by claiming that he would, Alexander illustrated how powerless was the Macedonian presence in Greece. Nicanor was, in effect, equivalent to another embassy seeking Harpalushe represents a failed attempt at authoritative speech without the possibility of coercion. All that remained was persuasion and negotiation, in which Alexander engaged with the envoys that made their way to him later that year (Diod. 17.113.3-4; Arr. 7.19.1; 7.23.2).405

One final, ironic aspect of the Exiles Decree is worth mentioning here, namely Tegea’s response, which is recorded on Syll.3 306. The Tegeans reinstated their exiles, who in this case were the men responsible for organizing their city’s revolt, with the Spartans, in 331 BC By the latter half of 324 we have a political and social context in which the Macedonians have either asserted an authority that proved lacking, or failed to act at all. Leosthenes built up an unemployed army in Greece, and was not prevented from doing so. When three different Macedonians demanded Harpalus the Athenians ignored them all. Alexander’s Exiles Decree claimed coercive force that never materialized. This decree also highlighted cracks in the Macedonian monolith and inspired Aetolia and Athens to seek an alliance against the Macedonian hegemons. But it is in this context that many of the Greek states accorded Alexander divine honors, although interpretation of the evidence and significance of the “divinity question” 406

The Exiles Decree finished what the arrival of Harpalus started; it further exposed the impotence of the Macedonian “hegemony” in 324. The Athenians’ refusal to surrender Harpalus can be explained by the lack of a valid structure in which Antipater, Olympias, and Philoxenus might have defined themselves as bearers of an authority greater than that which they could claim individually. The Exiles Decree reinforced this lack. Alexander’s letter could be seen to blame Antipater for the Greeks’ troubles, but although Antipater was responsible for the exile of many Greeks, Alexander had needed his στρατηγός to dominate Greece, and had himself contributed to the condition of these unemployed and stateless men by ordering the satraps’ armies disbanded.407 With his decree, Alexander heightened the Aetolians’ fears regarding Oeniadae, which fears Antipater seems to have worked earlier to soothe (albeit in his own interest). In doing so, the decree brought Aetolia and Athens toward an alliance that would directly threaten Macedonia’s military preeminence in Greece. It also undid some of the work of Antipater’s victory at Megalopolis, by reintroducing to Tegea the leaders of its anti-Macedonian revolt. While doing so much to destabilize Greecewhich may have been at least partially intendedAlexander’s decree also undermined Macedonian authority with its empty threat to have Antipater force the states to comply. And all of these effects will have, in turn, highlighted the distance between the king and the Macedonians and Greeks in Europe.

It remains to explain why there was no war in 324 BC, when so much had happened to shatter the image of a Macedonian hegemony that could and would maintain itself at the head of a peaceful Greece. If the Athenians were arming themselves and allied with Aetolia, and Antipater was persistently inactive in Greek affairs, why do we find Hyperides in the spring of 323 mentioning the idea of war with the Macedonians as though it were a ridiculous idea? A final redefinition of authority and a final critical episode suggest an answer, and will complete our inquiry into the dynamics of power and authority in the Macedonian hegemony of Greece. The former “event” is Alexander’s deification, and the latter is Craterus’ march westward, toward the Hellespont and Antipater.

· Alexander’s Divinity ·

By the latter half of 324 we have a political and social context in which the Macedonians have either asserted an authority that proved lacking, or failed to act at all. Leosthenes built up an unemployed army in Greece, and was not prevented from doing so. When three different Macedonians demanded Harpalus the Athenians ignored them all. Alexander’s Exiles Decree claimed coercive force that never materialized. This decree also highlighted cracks in the Macedonian monolith and inspired Aetolia and Athens to seek an alliance against the Macedonian hegemons. But it is in this context that many of the Greek states accorded Alexander divine honors, although interpretation of the evidence and significance of the “divinity question” has long been controversial.408

An abundance of ancient evidence bears on Alexander’s deification, although much of it is epigrammatic. Aelian reports that Alexander asked for deification (Ἀλέξανδρος ἐπέστειλε τοῖς Ἕλλησι θεὸν αὐτὸν ψηφίσασθαι ), whereupon Damis the Spartan said, “If Alexander wishes to be a god, let him be a god” (Ἀλέξανδρος βούλετει θεὸς εἶναι, ἔστω θεός ) (Ael., Var. Hist. 2.19); Plutarch echoes this story, reporting that when the Athenians had voted to make Alexander a god Pytheas exclaimed, “But Alexander, whom you have voted a god, is younger than me” (καὶ μὴν Ἀλέξανδρος εἶπεν ἐμοῦ νεώτερός ἐστιν, ὃν ψηφίζεσθε θεὸν εἶναι ) (Plut. Mor.. 804b [Praec. Ger. Res Pub.]). Lycurgus is reported as having said during debate on the subject, “What sort of god would this be, when you would have to purify yourself upon leaving his temple?” (πάλιν δὲ θεὸν ἀναγορευόντων Ἀλέξανδρον Κ̓αὶ ποδαπὸς ἂν [2εἴη]2?̓ εἶπεν Ὀ῾ θεός, οὗ τὸ ἱερὸν ἐξιόντας δεήσει περιρραίνεσθαι; ) (Plut. Mor. 842d [Vit. X. Or.]). Timaeus, quoted by Polybius (12.12b.3) says that Demosthenes opposed granting divine honors to Alexander (διότι ταῖς Ἀλεξάνδρου τιμαῖς ταῖς ἰσοθέοις ἀντέλεγον ). Demades was fined 100 (according to Aelian, Var. Hist. 5.12) or 10 talents (according to Athen. 6.251b) for proposing that divine honors be granted Alexander; he defended himself by appealing to a cautious Realpolitik: “Take care lest, while you guard heaven, you lose the earth.” (videte ne, dum caelum custoditis, terram amittatis) (Val. Max. 7.2, ext. 13).409 Pausanias (8.32.1) mentions a house at Megalopolis dedicated to Alexander and containing a statue of Ammon, which Fredricksmeyr, following Habicht, is surely right to identify as a shrine.410

J.P.V.D. Balsdon’s 1950 article on Alexander’s divinity is the definitive critique of this evidence. His thesis is that the impulse to grant divine honors originated among the Greeks; Alexander did not request divinity. The contemporary evidence for Alexander’s deification is concentrated in the years 324-323 (Din. In Dem. 94; Hyp. In Dem. 31). This evidence makes no mention of any request from Alexander, only a debate at Athens. All references to Alexander’s requesting his own deification come from Aelian and the Plutarchan Moralia and can be traced to a single source, Callisthenes; this man concluded his account of Alexander’s life c. 330 bc, seems often to have been hostile toward Alexander, and may also reflect the private jokes current among the king’s entourage. Apart from this there is nothing to suggest that Alexander solicited divinity.411 Balsdon’s article touches many issues, and other scholars have offered refinements, clarifications, and corrections to specific points but without undermining the persuasiveness of his central argument.412

We are interested in seeing how Alexander’s divinity might illuminate the increasingly complex relationships between him, his fellow Macedonians, and the Greeks. Toward this end a few, less epigrammatic, anecdotes from the primary sources are particularly significant. The evidence given above is itself enough to show that Alexander received divine honors from the Greeks. The remaining evidence can help us reconcile this elevation of Alexander’s authority at a time when events increasingly undermined both the perceived power and the effective authority of the Macedonians in Greece. Arrian’s only reference to a new, divine status for Alexander is his note that in 323 some Greeks came to Asia to crown Alexander, “as though they were envoys to a god” (ὡς θεωροὶ δῆθεν ) (Arr. 7.23.2).413 At the same time, the first half of 323 BC, a fragmentary passage in Hyperides’ speech against Demosthenes says that “[someone] wished… to set up a statue of Alexander, king and invincible god… ” (. . . ἐβούλετ[ο . . . ] στῆσαι εἰκό[να Ἀλεξάν]δρου βασιλ[έως τοῦ ἀνι]κήτου θε[οῦ ) (In Dem. 32). This latter probably refers to a desire expressed in a public debate at Athens regarding the awarding of divine honors to Alexander. Both Hyperides and Dinarchus mention opinions offered by Demosthenes before the δῆμος. Hyperides says that his opponent was “then conceding before the assembly that Alexander could be the son of Zeus and of Poseidon too if he wished” (to/t*) ἐν τῷ δήμωι συγχωρῶν Ἀλεξάνδρῳ καὶ τοῦ Διὸς καὶ τοῦ Ποσειδῶνος εἶ[ναι εἰ βούλ]οιτο ) (Hyp. In Dem. 31). Dinarchus has Demosthenes suggesting legislation on the subject, “first threatening prosecution for the recognition of any god other than the traditional ones, then saying that the people had no right to dispute the honors in heaven for Alexander” (καὶ τοτὲ μὲν γράφων καὶ ἀπαγορεύων μηδένα νομίζειν ἄλλον θεὸν τοὺς παραδεδομένους, τοτὲ δὲ λέγων ὡς οὐ δεῖ τὸν δῆμον ἀμφισβητεῖν τῶν ἐν οὐρανῷ τιμῶν Ἀλεξάνδρω ) (Din. In Dem. 94).414

A public debate in the Athenian ἐκκλησία on whether or not to honor Alexander as a god will not only have confirmed Alexander in his authority, regardless of the immediate and practical outcome, but will have elevated his authority above anything he may have enjoyed before. We would be mistaken to dismiss the Greeks’ consideration of such honors as merely a cynical political exercise.415 Even if we agree with Balsdon that motions to grant such honors to the king represent his supporters’ efforts to “ingratiate themselves to him, to compromise their opponents,” we must conclude that such motions had a very real effect on the relationship between the Greeks and Alexander.416 Only by increasing the king’s authority in the eyes of the Greeks could such motions have “compromised” his opponents. Furthermore, Hyperides and Dinarchus nowhere suggest that the debate at Athens was itself insincere; they criticize only Demosthenes’ prevarication on the subject. Both orators freely condemn their opponent for advancing pro-Alexander policies (Hyp. In Dem. 15.6-23.25; Din In Dem. 28-40, 64-71); Dinarchus seems to play on the Athenians’ fear of Alexander (68-69); and Hyperides speaks openly about the possibility of war against the Macedonians (35-36). But neither says one word against the granting of divine honors to Alexander.

Taken together the evidence from Arrian and the orators further illustrates, and also helps to explain, the seemingly inconsistent attitudes of the Greeks toward Alexander and the Macedonian hegemony. The Athenians could revere Alexander while continuing to resist his orders; they could debate, in all sincerity, his divine honors while arming themselves against the Macedonian hegemony. From a historian’s point of view, Alexander’s divine honors represent a pivotal moment in the course of events. By honoring the king as a divinity, the Greeks seem also to have elevated him out of his place in the immediate structure of Macedonian power. As a god, Alexander became extra-political. Events had already created a vast distance between the king and Antipater. The debate over Alexander’s divinity took this movement to a conclusion. Since 335 Alexander had been present in Greece only vicariously, but by 323 his presence is reduced to a name and a charisma, without any effective participation in events.

· Antipater, Craterus, and the End of Hegemony ·

Antipater did not consider Alexander to be divine.417 Throughout the events we have discussed, Antipater often seemed to act independently of Alexander, and occasionally in contradiction to Alexander’s expressed opinions. These occasions demonstrated how tenuous and poorly defined were both the basis of Macedonian power and the structure of Macedonian authority in Greece. Throughout the events of 324, however, it was still meaningful to speak of a Macedonian hegemony, a single political entity that included both Alexander and the Macedonians in Greece. Alexander seems to have assumed one in assuring the exiles that Antipater would enforce their restoration. Alexander’s deification, however, inflicted a fundamental change in the relationship between him and the Greeks, and in 323 we find another such change in the relationship between him and the στρατηγός Antipater.

In late 324 or early 323 Alexander dispatched Craterus with a force of 10,000 veterans toward Europe. Arrian says (7.12.4; cf. Diod. 18.4.1, 18.12.1; Justin 12.12.9): He ordered Craterus to lead these men and assume control of Macedonia, Thrace, and Thessaly and assure the freedom of the Greeks; he ordered Antipater to bring fresh Macedonian troops to replace those who had been released. Κρατερῷ δὲ τούτους τε ἄγειν ἐκέλευσε καὶ ἀπαγαγόντι Μακεδονίας τε καὶ Θρᾴκης καὶ Θετταλῶν ἐξηγεῖσθαι καὶ τῶν Ἑλλήνων τῆς ἐλευθερίας· Ἀντίπατρον δὲ διαδόχους τοῖς ἀποπεμπομένοις ἄγειν Μακεδόνας τῶν ἀκμαζόντων ἐκέλευσεν.

Craterus, however, did not pass into Europe, and in fact got no further than Cilicia by June of 323 when Alexander died (Diod. 18.4.1).418 Nor did Antipater make any move to gather an army of reinforcements and leave Greece to join Alexander. According to the ancient sources, Antipater feared that this summons was in fact Alexander’s effort to bring him to Asia and kill him (Curt. 10.10.15; Justin 12.14.3). They note Alexander’s distrust of his general and of his sons (Arr. 7.12.5; Plut. Alex. 74.1).419 It is not difficult to compare this summons to Alexander’s purge of the satraps in late 325, and it is even more compelling to recall the executions of Parmenio, Philotas, and Alexander of Lyncestis (see above, page 75).420 Antipater was no doubt well aware of how Alexander dealt with his lieutenants whom he deemed untrustworthy. These precedents, the evidence for Alexander’s suspicion, and Craterus’ failure to complete his mission have led historians to believe that Antipater finally rebelled against Alexander in 323.421 The sum of the evidence, including the background to this event that we have seen, raises problems with such an interpretation and suggests that “rebellion” will not suffice.

Scholars have raised several objections to idea that the events surrounding Craterus’ mission show Antipater to have been in rebellion. Worthington would dismiss the idea of any animosity between Alexander and Antipater based on the events of 324: “the king had confidently given Antipater carte blanche in his dealings with any Greek city that refused to receive back its exiles (Diod. 18.8.4), and according to Plut. Phoc. 17.10, after Alexander defeated Darius he dropped the salutation χαιρεῖν from all correspondence except that with Antipater and his ξένος Phocion.” 422 Neither of these points is particularly persuasive, though, and neither has any relevance to 323 BC. We have seen, first, that Alexander’s assumption that Antipater would enforce the Exiles Decree was unrealistic and, as such, worsened Antipater’s position in Greece. We should also note that Antipater took no steps that we hear of to restore any exiles; rather than evidence of trust, the Exiles Decree was another occasion for Antipater to act independently of Alexander’s will.

Others have pointed out that Diodorus, whose source for these events is Hieronymous of Cardia, seems to imply Cilicia as the final objective for Craterus, which would eliminate the question: Craterus stopped at Cilicia because that is where he was supposed to stop (Diod. 18.4.1, 18.12.1).423 Bosworth has shown, however, that Diodorus is not, in fact, implying this.424 Diodorus’ first note of Craterus’ mission mentions only Cilicia, but his second one combines the mission to Cilicia with his orders to bring the 10,000 veterans back to Macedonia. Furthermore, in both cases, Craterus was “sent in advance” (προεσταλμένος ); the historian uses this word twenty times, and “in every case it refers to a group or individuals sent as a forerunner of a greater enterprise.” 425 This enterprise, Bosworth suggests, was Alexander’s own arrival there. Having shown that Cilicia was not Craterus’ final destination, but a stop on the way to Greece, he goes on to argue that the general was to wait in Cilicia until “Antipater had left the Balkans with his new army of young Macedonian recruits.” 426 But this would involve having no Macedonian army at all in Greece for as long as it took Antipater to cross the Hellespont, for him send word to Craterus that he had done so, and for Craterus to march back from Cilicia to Macedonia. This would, of course, have been disastrous for Macedonian interests in Greece, and so we are left, again, looking for another way to explain why Craterus went no further than he did.

There is one other objection that is particularly interesting for our purposes and has to do with Antipater’s son, Cassander.427 Plutarch says that shortly before Alexander’s death, June 323, Cassander was “newly arrived” (ἀφῖκτο μὲν νεωστί ) at the king’s court (Plut. Alex. 74). Griffith has suggested that Antipater will hardly have sent his son to Alexander if there were as much suspicion and hostility between himself and the king as the sources suggest.428 Bosworth suggests, to the contrary, that Cassander must have been sent before Antipater knew of Craterus’ mission.429 This is probably true, given the distance both Cassander and Craterus had to travel. With so many tensions between Antipater and Alexander, on the other hand, Cassander’s mission still begs for an explanation.

During this same period, winter 324/3, Alexander sent a letter to Cleomenes, who had been mismanaging Egypt (Arr. 3.5.4, 7.23.7; [Arist.] Oec. 1352a.29; see above, page 111). The letter offered to overlook the man’s crimes in exchange for a lavish shrine in honor of Hephaestion. We have noted earlier that the letter shows Alexander to have had no effective authority over Cleomenes; the king was unable to command, and so resorted to negotiation. Cleomenes can no longer have been said to be a part of Alexander’s rule, but neither was he “in rebellion”. Egypt had slipped quietly into a new position, in Alexander’s sphere of influence, but no longer in his empire. We should see the mission of Craterus in a similar light. Rather than describing Antipater as being in “rebellion”a term that implies more positive action than we find in this casewe should see this event as the first practical expression of a relationship that had existed for some time already. Antipater had defined and redefined his place in a Macedonian structure throughout Alexander’s absence from Greece. As events progressed and the structure became increasingly tenuous, the general’s place became increasingly autonomous, and his actions focused more on his own security in Pella than on any larger goals set by Alexander. In the Harpalus Affair the Athenians had acknowledged this fact by failing to recognize Antipater as an agent of Alexander’s will. With the Exiles Decree Alexander presumed upon Antipater’s interest in a larger Macedonian empire, but the general could not, or at least did not, move to cooperate. He did send his son Cassander to Asia, however. We do not know much about Cassander’s mission, but Plutarch does say that he defended his father against accusations, whereupon Alexander battered the man’s head against a wall (Plut. Alex. 74.2-3). This anecdote may be too colorful to accept, but we might see Cassander in a similar light as the letter from Alexander to Cleomenes: by sending his son to speak with the king, Antipater was redefining his relationship with Alexander. He certainly seems to have done so by 323, when Craterus was marching toward Europe. Alexander’s order that Antipater come to Asia with an army, even if it did not represent an immediate threat to his life, would have forced Antipater to exchange a position that he had defined and secured for something unknown. We have seen that Antipater had little enough investment in Alexander’s “Macedonia” by the end of 324, when Macedonia had no more authority to invoke in Greece. When Craterus came, Antipater simply did nothing, and in doing nothing he denied that Alexander had authority over him. With Cassander we can see the possibility of negotiation, and with Craterus the threat of coercion, but neither effected anything. In June Alexander died, and the Greeks went to war with Antipater shortly thereafter. But the Macedonian hegemony in Greece had already ceased to exist.

· Conclusion ·

In the course of this examination we have seen how the Macedonians in Europe, Antipater and Olympias, had to define their own positions, acquire their own power, and assume whatever authority they could by their own actions. They operated in an unprecedented and only loosely defined structure, without the benefit of formal or traditional authority. Alexander was a participant in the hegemony of Greece, but only indirectly and often inconsistently. The institutional basis for hegemony, the Common Peace, was real and effective, but did not reliably serve the needs of Macedonian power; its terms were too easily invoked against Macedonian interference, and Antipater preferred to rely on his own resources rather than demand the support of his Greek “allies”. After 324 the gulf between Alexander and the Macedonians in Europe widened, weakening the structure of power that had kept an uneasy peace throughout most of his absence. The king’s actions exacerbated tensions in Greece, and his attempts at resolving those tensions were either poorly timed or assumed a level of efficacy and will that Antipater did not possess. When Harpalus fled his post in Asia and entered Athens, the Macedonian hegemony was forced to claim an authority it had never actually exercised before. In the absence of clearly defined roles, and in the service of conflicting (or at least competing) interests, three Macedonians issued demands for custody of the treasurer. The Athenians, who were interested in avoiding Alexander’s anger, acted as they had every reason to dothey refused to acknowledge any of the embassies as an authorized representative of the king’s will. We can see their decision as consistent with the developments of the previous ten years, during which the actions of the Macedonian hegemony had exposed its incoherence. The Athenians’ rejection of Macedonian envoys seeking Harpalus was critical because it put into effect a separation of Macedonian authority, represented by Alexander, from the authority of individual Macedonians. The Harpalus Affair exposed the Macedonian hegemony as impotent. Alexander’s letter containing the Exiles Decree confirmed this impotence by issuing a threat on behalf of Antipater that Antipater could not hope to have carried out. In the final year of Alexander’s life the failure of the hegemony became complete. Alexander’s personal charisma ascended to new heights, but without in any way reaffirming the position of Macedonia as leader of the Greeks. The collapse was completed with Antipater’s defiance of the order to march into Asia, and with Craterus’ failure to advance toward a possible confrontation.

At no time between 335 and 323 could the Greeks ever have matched the combined power of the Macedonians. It was this power that had allowed Philip to establish a Macedonian hegemony, in form and in fact, over the Greeks, and had allowed Alexander to assume it upon his father’s death. But what was in 336 a Macedonian hegemony quickly came to be something less, a hegemony of Macedonians. By the end of Alexander’s life neither term would have any meaning. Despite the power of Antipater’s and Alexander’s armies, and despite the charisma of the king himself, the Macedonians did not establish a coherent structure of authority in Greece. In the absence of definite authority, Macedonia and the Macedonians failed to manage a hegemony that could survive Alexander’s departure, his absence, and his return.

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Note 358  

Worthington (1992) 41, cf. Jaschinski (1981) 27-28.

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Note 359  

Worthington (1986), gives a full discussion of inscriptional and textual evidence for these ships. Also, Berve (1926) 138; Badian (1961) 31, 37 and n.161; Ashton (1983) 57 and n.46; Will (1983) 118.

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Note 360  

Ashton (1983) 51; Badian (1961) 31 and n.106; Cloché (1957) 266-267; Pickard-Cambridge (1914) 452;Worthington (1986) 223.

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Note 361  

Athen. 13.586b-d, 594d-596a; S. Jaschinski (1981) 7-18; Worthington (1992) 41.

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Note 362  

Cf. K.J. Beloch (1923) 4.1 p. 58. For a (brief) discussion of the Athenian military build-up in the 330s and early 320s see above, page 106.

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Note 363  

N.G. Ashton (1983) 47-63; P. Cloché (1957) 267; Worthington (1986) 223, cf. H. Berve (1926) 78; Worthington (1992) 49-50.

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Note 364  

Cf. R. Sealey (1993) 214.

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Note 365  

E. Badian (1961).

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Note 366  

C.D. Adams (1901) 134-135; Also, H. Bengtson (1937) 127 n.5 contra: A. Schäfer (1887) 309 n.2; A.W. Pickard-Cambridge (1914) 452. Cf. H. Berve (1926) 390; H. Bengtson (1937) 390; E. Badian (1965) 168-169.

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Note 367  

At least not in the summer of 324. Later that year Craterus would lead an army toward the Hellespont, with instructions to assume Antipater’s place while that man brought reinforcements to Alexander. For discussion of these events and their implications, see below, page 144.

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Note 368  

For example, I. Worthington (1984a) 48.

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Note 369  

Cf. E. Carney (1987a) 74; E. Carney (1994) 371, and above, page 99.

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Note 370  

For Philoxenus generally: Cf. Berve (1926) 389-390; H. Bengtson (1937a); E. Badian (1965) 168-169.

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Note 371  

Cf. H. Berve (1926) 390.

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Note 372  

H. Berve (1926) 389-390; E. Badian (1965) 168-169.

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Note 373  

Not many scholars have actually discussed the Athenians’ decision or the possible consequences had they decided differently. Of those who have, A.W. Pickard-Cambridge (1914) 453, argues that the Athenians were waiting to deliver Harpalus to Alexander personally, with no explanation of how that might happen. G. Colin (1925) 328 and (1934) 9, sees little significance in the multiplicity of requests beyond its forcing Athens to play favorites. W. Will (1983) 121, sees the requests as complementary and cumulative in their effect, rather than contradictory and competing. P. Green (1991) 252: sees the overlapping requests as conflicting and confusing to the Athenians. O. Schmitt (1992) 38, follows Pickard-Cambridge. R. Sealey (1993) 213, sees Antipater and Olympias as having acted together, but supposes that the Athenians feared the anger of Antipater if they gave Harpalus to Alexander.

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Note 374  

Cf. Plut. Mor. 818e [Praec. Ger. Reipub.]; G.L. Cawkwell (1961); E. Badian (1967) 182.

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Note 375  

See K.J. Beloch (1923) 4.1 p. 58; A.B. Bosworth (1971) 125; F. Mitchel (1973) 212.

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Note 376  

G. Colin (1925) 328: “Peut-ētre voilait-il [Demosthenes] éviter à Athènes le déshonneur de livrer un suppliant et l’en nui de céder à des menaces.”

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Note 377  

Cf. E. Badian (1961) 28 and n.87; J.R. Hamilton (1969) 91 ad Plut. Alex. 24.2; W.L.T. Adams (1984) 83-84; P. Green (1991) 298.

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Note 378  

Diod. 17.109, 18.8.4; Curt. 10.2.4; Din. In Dem. 82; Hyp. In Dem.. 18; Justin 13.5.2. For the chronology of these events, see I. Worthington (1986a) 66-67; I. Worthington (1992) 50. For Demosthenes and Nicanor discussing Harpalus, cf. P. Green (1991) 252-253. For the date of the Olympic festival in 324, see R. Sealey (1960).

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Note 379  

N.G. Ashton (1983) 54-56; cf. O. Schmitt (1992) 38-39.

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Note 380  

For the date of the Agēn, see H. Lloyd-Jones (1966) 16-17; A. Lingua (1979) 35-36; B.M. Kingsley (1986) 168; I. Worthington (1986a) 64.

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Note 381  

A.J. Heisserer (1980) 187-193.

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Note 382  

A.B. Bosworth (1988) 168-169.

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Note 383  

As suggested by, for example, N.G. Ashton (1983); A.B. Bosworth (1988) 149-150, 225.

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Note 384  

R. Sealey (1993) 214.

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Note 385  

R. Sealey (1960); R.M. Errington (1975) 53; S. Jaschinski (1981) 62-63 (but where his chronology touches on Harpalus it is untenable, see chapter II above, especially note 37).

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Note 386  

See above, page 16.

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Note 387  

See A. Heuss (1938) 135; E. Bikerman (1940) 25 and n.6; R.B. Kebric (1977) 74-76; N.G.L. Hammond and F.W. Walbank (1988) 80; O. Schmitt (1992) 24 n.110, 33.

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Note 388  

Syll. 3 306, esp. ll 1-3; E. Bikerman (1940) 30; A.J. Heisserer (1980) 205-229. We might also compare an earlier diagra/fa (the Aeolic equivalent to dia/gramma) by which Alexander restored exiles to Eresos on Lesbos in 334: IG XII, 2, 526; cf. Arr. 1.17.10-12, 2.1.4; A.J. Heisserer (1980) 27-78, especially his historical reconstruction at 58-78.

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Note 389  

E. Bikerman (1940) 31. For the Exiles Decree mandating restoration of property and rights: Syll. 3 306 ll. 10, 57, 59. Cf. J.R. Hamilton (1969) 138. G. Dobesch (1975) 130, suggests that Alexander issued the Exiles Decree in lieu of a personal (and presumably armed) return to Europe; cf. Curt. 10.2.4; S. Jaschinski (1981) 66-67.

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Note 390  

E. Bikerman (1940) 33.

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Note 391  

A.W. Pickard-Cambridge (1914) 456.

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Note 392  

N.G.L. Hammond and F.W. Walbank (1988) 80-81. Cf. N.G.L. Hammond (1989) 232-234.

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Note 393  

T.T.B. Ryder (1965) 107-108.

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Note 394  

R.M. Errington (1975) 54.

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Note 395  

T.T.B. Ryder (1965) 109; D. Mendels (1984) 147; R. Sealey (1993) 126, 212-213.

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Note 396  

See above, page 108.

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Note 397  

Demosthenes was present at Olympia, as the Athenian ἀρχιθέωρος, when Nicanor made the announcement (Din. In Dem. 82, 103) - at this point, the Athenians had taken Harpalus into custody, and he had not yet escaped; I. Worthington (1992) 50. It is likely that Demosthenes discussed both Harpalus and the issue of Samos with Nicanor; cf. R.M. Errington (1975) 53; P. Green (1991) 252-253.

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Note 398  

A.J. Heisserer (1980) 188-189.

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Note 399  

Cf. F. Mitchel (1973) 211.

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Note 400  

For the local causes of exile, cf. IG XII, 2, 526. For Antipater’s installing sympathetic governments, E. Badian (1961) 28 and n.87; G.L. Cawkwell (1969) 180 n.1; and see above, page 104.

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Note 401  

E. Badian (1961) 31; D. Mendels (1984) 145 n.105.

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Note 402  

E. Bikerman (1940) 28 n.3; for parallel uses of the perfect of gra/fw, cf. P.Mich. 1.14; P.Tebt. 1.21; P.Tebt. 3.730; and the discussion at C.B. Welles (1934) 148, ad 31.25-38. D. Mendels (1984) 144, does not think that the use of γράφω in the letter indicates separate instructions to Antipater, but that “Alexander only sent him a ‘copy’ ”.

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Note 403  

See E. Bikerman (1940) 28-29.

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Note 404  

See A.B. Bosworth (1971) 125, and below, note 418.

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Note 405  

See R.M. Errington (1975) 53.

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Note 406  

A.J. Heisserer (1980) 221; cf. Diod. 18.11.1-2; Paus. 1.25.2; Justin 13.5.1.

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Note 407  

Cf. D. Mendels (1984) 146 and n.106.

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Note 408  

For discussions of the “divinity question”: W.W. Tarn (1948) 2.347-374; J.P.V.D. Balsdon (1950); E. Bickerman (1963); C. Habicht (1970) 17-36, 245-255; K.M.T. Atkinson (1973); J.R. Hamilton (1973) 138-141; F. Mitchel (1973) 211; P.A. Brunt (1976) 495-496; E.A. Fredricksmeyr (1979); E. Badian (1981); S. Jaschinski (1981) 93-119; A.B. Bosworth (1988) 278-290; A.B. Bosworth (1988a) 113-123; R. Develin (1989) 407; N.G.L. Hammond (1989) 234-235; O. Schmitt (1992) 39-41; A. Stewart (1993) 95.

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Note 409  

One further epigram appears in Diogenes Laertius, who describes the philosopher Diogenes’ reaction to debate on Alexander’s deification: “When the Athenians were voting to equate Alexander with Poseidon, he said, ‘You had better go ahead and make me Sarapis’ ” (yhfisame/nwn *)aqhnai/wn *)ale/candron *dio/nuson, *)ka)me/,*) e)/fh, *)sa/rapin poih/sate) (Diog. Laert. 6.63). The philosopher was not, however, alive at the time; see J.P.V.D. Balsdon (1950) 383.

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Note 410  

E.A. Fredricksmeyr (1979) 1-2. He dates this shrine to 330 BC; cf. C. Habicht (1970) 29 and n.3.

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Note 411  

J.P.V.D. Balsdon (1950) 384, notes too that the issue of Alexander’s deification seems to have coincided with or followed closely after the Exiles Decree. “For this last instruction, which was sent by Nicanor and read to the assembled Greeks at Olympia, there is abundant evidence, literary and epigraphic. For the sending of a request for divine honours, if we except the common source of the passages in Plutarch’s Moralia and in Aelian, referred to already, there is no evidence at all. Arrian is silent; but his silence is not fatal, for there is a lacuna in his text and he says nothing, either, of the dispatch ordering the recall of the political exiles. Plutarch is silent, in his life of Alexander, but then he is silent too about the recall of the exiles. But, more serious, Diodorus and Q. Curtius, both of whom mention the order for the recall of the exiles, make no mention of any request for consecration.”

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Note 412  

C. Habicht (1970) 17-36, dilutes Balsdon’s argument somewhat and suggests that Alexander may have “requested” divine honors even if he did not “demand” them; this distinction is not a meaningful one. Cf. F. Mitchel (1973) 211. Cf., likewise, N.G.L. Hammond (1989) 234-235, who thinks that Alexander requested, not deification per se, but honors like a god.

K.M.T. Atkinson (1973), argues against Balsdon by noting that epigrams are little more than the most memorable, most quotable, excerpts from actual speeches. She is surely correct in asserting that the pithy sayings attributed to Pytheas, Lycurgus, and Damis represent evidence that Alexander’s deification was debated at Athens and Sparta. But her subsequent analysis of Athenian laws against impiety and the rhetorical tricks employed by Dinarchus, while interesting and persuasive in many particulars, does not, finally, lead to the conclusion that Alexander demanded divine honors for himself.

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Note 413  

Whereas J.P.V.D. Balsdon (1950) 385, argues that Arrian’s phrase w)s qewroi\ dh=qen suggests that the Greeks treated Alexander with deference like that due a god, without treating him like a god, E.A. Fredricksmeyr (1979) 3-5, concludes something quite different. Arrian uses ὡς δῆθεν at 4.18.4, 6.13.2, 7.8.2, and Ind. 15.9: “In each case the phrase conveys an ambivalence. From the perspective of the present it indicates what was then considered as real or true, but subsequently was shown to be not real or true.” In this case, Arrian describes the Greek envoys crowning Alexander “as though they were ambassadors to a god”, and then the historian immediately mentions Alexander’s death shortly thereafter - while he was (really) thought to be a god at the time, he was shortly shown to be mortal.

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Note 414  

K.M.T. Atkinson (1973) 313, notes that Dinarchus’ word choice - a)nfisbhtei=n - allows the orator to confuse the issue, by claiming Demosthenes to have said: “The people have no right to dispute (a)mfisbhtei=n) Alexander’s divinity”, when in fact he might have meant “the people have no (legal) right to debate (ἀμφισβητεῖν) Alexander’s divinity.”

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Note 415  

As, for example, both Tarn and Balsdon do, in very different ways. W.W. Tarn (1948) 2.327-374, suggests that, since the Exiles Decree was beyond Alexander’s authority as ἡγεμών of the Common Peace, he asked for divine status in order to give his decree legitimacy; the historian adds that Alexander did not mean for the Greeks actually to worship him. As Atkinson says, “How the (purely formal) transformation of himself into a god would in fact have attained this result was never made quite clear by Tarn’s theory.” K.M.T. Atkinson (1973) 310-311.

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Note 416  

The context of Balsdon’s remark is this: Observing that Alexander was in 324 increasingly active in Greek affairs, he concludes, “This was the moment for his supporters to do everything that they could to ingratiate themselves with him, to compromise their opponents. The question of divine honours was an excellent one on which to force the issue.” J.P.V.D. Balsdon (1950) 387-388.

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Note 417  

The Suda says that Antipater “alone of the διάδοχοι did not choose to call Alexander a god, since he considered it a profanation” (mo/nos de\ tw=n diado/xwn qeo\n kale/sai *)ale/candron ou)x ei)/leto, a)sebe\s tou=to kri/nas) (Suda, s.v. Ἀντίπατρος).

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Note 418  

He remained in Cilicia, in fact, until the middle of 322, before entering Europe to help Antipater against the Athenians and their allies; Diod. 18.14.4-5; Plut. Eum. 3; 125.

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Note 419  

Arrian, it should be noted, mentions the rumors of distrust between king and general only to dismiss them; cf. G.T. Griffith (1965) 15; A.B. Bosworth (1971) 125-126; F. Schachermeyr (1973) 516-519; P. Green (1991) 251.

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Note 420  

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; H. Berve (1926) vol. 1, 276, vol. 2 nos. 200, 519, 780, 785; E. Badian (1961) 16-18; A.B. Bosworth (1971) 123 and n.3; S. Jaschinski (1981) 26-27.

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Note 421  

See especially, E. Badian (1962) 89-90; P. Green (1991) 251-252.

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Note 422  

I. Worthington (1992) 67 n.110.

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Note 423  

This view set forth in W.W. Tarn (1921) 8; J. Hornblower (1981) 95-96.

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Note 424  

A.B. Bosworth (1988a) 209-210.

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Note 425  

A.B. Bosworth (1988a) 209; cf. Diod. 16.94.2, 16.93.9; 17.2.4.

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Note 426  

A.B. Bosworth (1988a) 210.

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Note 427  

H. Berve (1926) no. 44.

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Note 428  

G.T. Griffith (1965) 16.

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Note 429  

A.B. Bosworth (1971) 126 n.6.

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