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223
MACEDONIAN EMPIRE

and Alexander’s father-in-law Oxyartes in the Paropanisidae. Alexander had at first trusted Persian grandees more freely in this capacity; in Babylonia, Bactria, Carmania, Susiana he had set Persian governors, till the ingrained Oriental tradition of misgovernment so declared itself that to the three latter provinces certainly Macedonians had been appointed before his death. Otherwise the only eastern satrapy whose governor was not a Macedonian, was Areia, under Stasanor, a Cypriote Greek. In the case of certain provinces, possibly in the empire generally, Alexander established a double control. The financial administration was entrusted to separate officials; we hear of such in Lydia (Arr. i. 17, 7), Babylonia (id. iii. 16, 4), and notably in Egypt (id. iii. 5, 4). Higher financial controllers seem to have been over groups of provinces (Philoxenus over Asia Minor, Arr. i. 17, 7; see Beloch, Gr. Gesch. III. [i] p. 14), and Harpalus over the whole finances of the empire, with his seat in Babylon. Again the garrisons in the chief cities, such as Sardis, Babylon, Memphis Pelusium and Susa, were under commands distinct from those of the provinces. The old Greek cities of the motherland were not formally subjects of the empire, but sovereign states, which assembled at Corinth as members of a great alliance, in which the Macedonian king was included as a member and held the office of captain-general. The Greek cities of Asia Minor stood to him in a similar relation, though not included in the Corinthian alliance, but in federations of their own (Kaerst, Gesch. d. hellenist. Zeitalt. i. 261 seq.). Their territory was not part of the king’s country (Inscr. in the Brit. Mus. No. 400). Of course, in fact, the power of the king was so vastly superior that the Greek cities were in reality subject to his dictation, even in so intimate a matter as the readmission of their exiles, and might be obliged to receive his garrisons. Within the empire itself, the various communities were allowed, subject to the interference of the king or his officials, to manage their own affairs. Alexander is said to have granted the Lydians to be “free” and “to use the laws of the ancient Lydians,” whatever exactly these expressions may mean (Arr. i. 17, 4). So too in Egypt, the native monarchs were left as the local authorities (Arr. iii. 5, 4). Especially to the gods of the conquered people Alexander showed respect. In Egypt and in Babylon he appeared as the restorer of the native religions to honour after the unsympathetic rule of the Persians. The temple of Marduk in Babylon which had fallen began to rise again at his command. It is possible that he offered sacrifice to Yahweh in Jerusalem. In Persia, the native aristocracy retained their power, and the Macedonian governor adopted Persian dress and manners (Diod. xix. 48, 5; Arr. vi. 30). A new factor introduced by Alexander was the foundation of Greek cities at all critical points of intercourse in the conquered lands. These, no doubt, possessed municipal autonomy with the ordinary organization of the Greek state; to what extent they were formally and regularly controlled by the provincial authorities we do not know; Pithon, the satrap of the Indian province is specially described as sent “in colonias in Indis conditas” (Just. xiii. 4, 21). The empire included large tracts of mountain or desert, inhabited by tribes, which the Persian government had never subdued. The subjugation of such districts could only be by a system of effective military occupation and would be a work of time; but Alexander made a beginning by punitive expeditions, as occasion offered, calculated to reduce the free tribes to temporary quiet; we hear of such expeditions in the case of the Pisidians, the tribes of the Lebanon, the Uxii (in Khuzistan), the Tapyri (in the Elburz), the hill-peoples of Bajaor and Swat, the Cossaei (in Kurdistan); an expedition against the Arabs was in preparation when Alexander died.

See A. Köhler, Reichsverwaltung u. Politik Alexanders des Grossen in Klio, v. 303 seq. (1905).

Alexander, who set out as king of the Macedonians and captain-general of the Hellenes, assumed after the death of Darius the character of the Oriental great king. He adopted the Persian garb (Plutarch, de fort. Al. i. 8) including 4. Court. a head-dress, the diadema, which was suggested by that of the Achaemenian king (Just. xii. 3, 8). We hear also of a sceptre as part of his insignia (Diod. xviii. 27, 1). The pomps and ceremonies which were traditional in the East were to be continued. To the Greeks and Macedonians such a régime was abhorrent, and the opposition roused by Alexander’s attempt to introduce among them the practice of proskynesis (prostration before the royal presence), was bitter and effectual. The title of chiliarch, by which the Greeks had described the great king’s chief minister, in accordance with the Persian title which described him as “commander of a thousand,” i.e. of the royal body-guard, was conferred by Alexander upon his friend Hephaestion. The Greek Chares held the position of chief usher (εἰσαγγελεύς). Another Greek, Eumenes of Cardia, was chief secretary (ἀρχιγραμματεύς). The figure of the eunuch, so long characteristic of the Oriental court, was as prominent as ever (e.g. Bagoas, Plut. Alex. 67, &c.; cf. Arr. vii. 24).

Alexander, however, who impressed his contemporaries by his sexual continence, kept no harem of the old sort. The number of his wives did not go beyond two, and the second, the daughter of Darius, he did not take till a year before his death. In closest contact with the king’s person were the seven, or latterly eight, body-guards, σωματοφύλακες, Macedonians of high rank, including Ptolemy and Lysimachus, the future kings of Egypt, and Thrace (Arr. vi. 28, 4). The institution, which the Macedonian court before Alexander had borrowed from Persia, of a corps of pages composed of the young sons of the nobility (παῖδες βασίλειοι or βασιλικοί) continued to hold an important place in the system of the court and in Alexander’s campaigns (see Arr. iv. 13, 1; Curt. viii. 6, 6; Suid. βασίλειοι παῖδες; cf. the παῖδες of Eumenes, Diod. xix. 28, 3).

See Spiecker, Der Hof und die Hofordnung Alex. d. Grossen (1904).

The army of Alexander was an instrument which he inherited from his father Philip. Its core was composed of the Macedonian peasantry who served on foot in heavy armour (“the Foot-companions” πεζεταῖροι). They formed the phalanx, 5. Army. and were divided into 6 brigades (τάξεις), probably on the territorial system. Their distinctive arm was the great Macedonian pike (sarissa), some 14 ft. long, of further reach than the ordinary Greek spear. They were normally drawn up in more open order than the heavy Greek phalanx, and possessed thereby a mobility and elasticity in which the latter was fatally deficient. Reckoning 1,500 to each brigade, we got a total for the phalanx of 9,000 men. Of higher rank than the pezetaeri were the royal foot-guards (βασιλικοὶ ὐπασπίσται), some 3,000 in number, more lightly armed, and distinguished (at any rate at the time of Alexander’s death) by silver shields. Of these 1,000 constituted the royal corps (τὸ ἄγημα τὸ βασιλικόν). The Macedonian cavalry was recruited from a higher grade of society than the infantry, the petite noblesse of the nation. They bore by old custom the name of the king’s Companions (ἑταῖροι), and were distributed into 8 territorial squadrons (ἴλαι) of probably some 250 men each, making a normal total of 2,000. In the cavalry also the most privileged squadron bore the name of the agema. The ruder peoples which were neighbors to the Macedonians (Paeonians, Agrianes, Thracians) furnished contingents of light cavalry and javelineers (ἀκοντισταί). From the Thessalians the Macedonian king, as overlord, drew some thousand excellent troopers. The rest of Alexander’s army was composed of Greeks, not formally his subjects. These served partly as mercenaries, partly in contingents contributed by the states in virtue of their alliance. According to Diodorus (xvii. 17, 3) at the time of Alexander’s passage into Asia, the mercenaries numbered 5,000, and the troops of the alliance 7,000 foot and 600 horse. All these numbers take no account of the troops left behind in Macedonia, 12,000 foot and 1,500 horse, according to Diodorus. When Alexander was lord of Asia, innovations followed in the army. Already in 330 at Persepolis, the command went forth that 30,000 young Asiatics were to be trained as Macedonian soldiers (the epigoni, Arr. vii., 6, 1). Contingents of the fine Bactrian cavalry followed Alexander into India. Persian nobles were admitted into the agema of the Macedonian cavalry. A far more radical remodelling of the army was undertaken at Babylon in 323, by which the old phalanx system was to be given up for one in which the unit was to be composed of Macedonians with pikes and Asiatics with missile arms in combination—a change calculated to be momentous both from a military point of view in the coming wars, and from a political, in the close fusion of Europeans and Asiatics. The death of Alexander interrupted the scheme, and his successors reverted to the older system. In the wars of Alexander the phalanx was never the most active arm; Alexander delivered his telling attacks with his cavalry, whereas the slow-moving phalanx held rather the position of a reserve, and was brought up to complete a victory when the cavalry charges had already taken effect. Apart from the pitched battles, the warfare of Alexander was largely hill-fighting, in which the hypaspistae took the principal part, and the contingents of light-armed hillmen from the Balkan region did excellent service.