also, how about just a list of favourite ancient world fiction and non-fiction for the source-impoverished among us, if you've got the time or inclination?
HELL ya, obvs these are heavily biased toward my personal research interests & is like.. in no way comprehensive. also, in no particular order
this is so bad because i literally only seek out bad historical fiction for a laugh but two genuinely good books are
• the golden mean, annabel lyon • i, claudius & claudius the god, robert graves
• laughter in ancient rome (mary beard) is a great tour of roman culture & comedy, particularly in the empire
• confronting the classics (mary beard) is a collection of articles and reviews that’s quite nice, but you could also find each one individually on jstor, And I Am A Bit Miffed that i spent money on it
• alexander to actium (peter green) is the authoritative text on the hellenistic age
• ghost on the throne (james s. romm) is a short read about the diadochi wars and the dawn of the hellenistic age. also? BALLER fucking title
• alexander of macedon (peter green) is the only alexander biography you need to read
• philip ii of macedon (ian worthington) is dry if you don’t like military history, but if you do it’s so fun –> by the spear is the funner version
• into the land of bones (frank l. holt) is a fairly good read about alexander’s bactrian campaign, but check it out from the library, don’t buy it
• alexander’s lovers by andrew chugg is what you’d expect
• cleopatra,DUANE ROLLER. DO NOT read. the schiff.
• mark antony (paolo de ruggiero) is a fucking riot –> patricia southern’s biography by the same title is much more scholarly.
• catullus’ bedspread (daisy dunn) is a biography of my favorite boy
• antony and cleopatra (adrian goldsworthy)
• the patrician tribune (w. jeffrey tatum) is a very good, very scholarly, very technical piece on publius clodius pulcher, whom i love most
• spqr (mary beard) is great if you want a really broad primer to rome
• you’ll be hard pressed to find olympias (elizabeth carney), a dissertation that was printed and circulated to a few university libraries including my own, but it really is the single authoritative text on her life, and it’s fab
• learning latin the ancient way is navigable if you don’t know latin, and it is a F A S CI N A T IN G compilation of ancient workbooks and language acquisition texts along with some great essays & things, and it can help you learn a bit of the language too!
my absolute favorites, POTENTIALLY A BIT DRY if it’s not your area, are:
• in search of the lost testament of alexander the great, a collection of articles by the top scholars of the field
• a companion to ancient macedonia ^ ditto, fucking fascinating
• the many faces of war in the ancient world ^
• ancient historiography on war and empire ^
the life and times of marc antony by arthur weigall, a riotously problematic and biased account of my best boy, published in the 1930s, that i found on a back shelf in the library, sadly collecting dust. first favorite thing: good books. second favorite thing? EXTREMELY bad books
Before the clash, a silence fell upon the field and the voice of Antigenes, commander of the Argyraspides, was heard as he spoke to Antigonus’ phalanx, composed of younger soldiers: “Wicked men, are you sinning against your fathers, who conquered the whole world under Philip and Alexander?”.
Then, his veterans began advancing and smashed his rivals once again.
Athens has raised an army to fight Macedon. Her ambassadors now tour Greece to try and win the support of the other city states…
And they were very successful in their mission. Here is Diodorus’ list of who joined her crusade.
Athens’ Allies Acte* - all Aenianians - all Aetolians - all Alyzaeans - all Argives - all Athamanians - all Carystians - all Dolopians - all Dorians - all Eleans - all Illyrians - though only a few Leucadians - all Locrians - all Melos** - all, excl. Lamians Messenians - all Molossians - only those subject to Aryptaeus Oetaeans - all, excl. Heracleans Phocians - all Phthiotis*** - all Achaeans excl. Thebaens Sicyonians - all Thessalians - all, excl. Pelinnaeum (Gk. Pelinna) Thracians - though only a few
* i.e. all who lived on what is now Mount Athos ** The text refers to ‘the Melians except those of Lamia’. As Melos is an island to the south of mainland Greece and Lamia is in central Greece I am not wholly sure that my Melos can be Diodorus’ Melians but have no alternative suggestion as to who they might be *** The home of Achilles
As can be seen from the list and map above, Alexander’s death brought about a general uprising in Greece against Macedonian rule, and the first battle was not long in coming.
Athens sent 7,000 infantry (2,000 of which were mercenaries) and 500 cavalry to Leosthenes. He wanted to march north through Boeotia but had a problem - they were on Macedon’s side.
After destroying Thebes, Alexander had given Boeotia her land. The Boeotians knew that if Athens defeated Antipater, she would restore the city and give her back her land. To ensure this didn’t happen, a Boeotian army was sent to face Leosthenes in battle.
Diodorus says no more of it than that Leosthenes won, erected a trophy, and ‘hurried back’ to the safety of Thermopylae. It may have been over in a blink of an eye but Boeotia vs Athens remains significant as the first battle of the diadoch period to take place in mainland Greece.
The Wars of the Diadochi I. Greek Settlers vs. Pithon AWAY WIN (by default) II. Boeotia vs Athens (incl. Allies) AWAY WIN