Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Greeks captivated by Alexander-era tomb at Amphipolis

  1. #1
    Contributor 1980s's Avatar
    Join Date
    19 Jul 08
    Posts
    697

    Greeks captivated by Alexander-era tomb at Amphipolis


  2. #2
    Senior Contributor
    Join Date
    12 Aug 08
    Location
    UK/Europe
    Posts
    4,205
    Not seen any decent pictures or read any professional archeological reports from this site as yet. The best (continually updated), with good pictures, website is possibly here; Amphipolis Tomb Timeline: What We Know So Far About the Magnificent Ancient Greek Monument | GreekReporter.com



    Entrance to the tomb.



    One of the Caryatids depicting eternal vigilance.



    Entrance to the third chamber


    Presuming that the dating to the mid to late fourth century is accurate - and certainly the architecture fits from what I have seen - then we are indeed talking Philip/Alexander timeline, the fact that the tomb is considerably larger than that of Philip of Macedon (Alexander's father) suggests it may well have occured after the invasion of Persia and the defeat of Darius.

    The million pound/dollar/whatever question is who is it?

    Could it be Alexander himself? Very doubtful sadly. His body was seized by Ptolemy and buried in Alexandria by Ptolemy's son. Caesar, Pompey and Octavian/Augustus all saw the tomb in Alexandria in that 1st century AD.

    Theodoros Mavraganis, Professor of History and Archaeology in the University of Cyprus, believes it may be the tomb of Hephaestion, possibly Alexander's closest friend and captain of the Companion Cavalry. Hephaestion died in 324 BC at Ecbatana in modern day Iran. It is said that in his grief at Hephaestion's death Alexander imitated Achilles after the death of Patroclus by having all his hair cut off and it has been speculated that had Hephaestion outlived Alexander the Diadochi Wars may not have occured as all would have accepted Hephaestion as successor. Mavraganis says the presence of the caryatids in the tomb may be a reference to Athens - Hephaestion's birth place.

    Another theory is that it may be the tomb of Alexander’s Persian wife, Roxana, and his son, Alexander IV who were banished by Cassander to Amphipolis around 310BC and subsequently murdered there or there abouts on Cassander's orders since Alexander's son clearly was a potential threat (in the same way Augustus, Caeser's nephew, murdered Caesar's son (Caesarion) by Cleopatra). Problem with this theory is that a. if you're going to murder Alexander's widow and legitimate son why would you make such a tomb to publicise their murder? b. Frankly Cassander was small fry among the Diadochi only ruling Macedonia and Greece - probably the least powerful of his rival contemporaries. It is doubtful he could have afforded the architecture of such a tomb though certainly the native Greek craftsmen were within his kingdom.

    The other theory is that it may be the tomb of the 'admiral' Nearchus who's home was at Amphipolis, although he was born in Crete. After the Diadochi Wars broke out he sided with Demetrius (Antigonus), who killed Cassander's son Alexander V and became Demetrius I of Macedon in 294BC. It is not known where or how Nearchus died but he was reportedly older than Alexander and there is no word of him after 300BC is heard so it is likely he died before Demetrius became King of Macedon so who would have created such a tomb for Nearchus? Not Cassander or his son certainly as they had fought the Antigonids for control of Macedon.

    So who is it? Out of all these theories Hephaestion fits best for me. This tomb, it's size and extent, is unlikely to have been made during the Diadochi conflicts when everyone was murdering each other. You don't murder or bury a rival (or an advisor to a rival in the Nearchus case) in such a tomb that must have taken some time to build. Assuming that the caryatids and stone blocks are made elsewhere (there may have also been a stone lion on a large plinth on top of it originally which was found a few kilometres away 100 years ago) just getting the materials to the site and putting them in place, doing the mosaic floor, takes time and money - in other words peace. During the diadochi madness there was less time and money was spent on war and intrigue not to mention the intense rivalry that precluded honouring Roxana/Alexander IV after having murdered them etc... Whoever's tomb it is, or was, the scale and comparative extravagance suggest to me a time of relative stability and a person of immense importance. Of the proposed candidates this fits best with Hephaestion who would have been buried while Alexander still lived.

  3. #3
    Senior Contributor Mihais's Avatar
    Join Date
    15 Apr 08
    Location
    Transylvania
    Posts
    5,099
    Cassander may have killed Alexander's family,but he certainly didn't bragged about it.Hephaestion was buried in the East,where he died and if you recall Alexander died not long after.Hephaestion was definetely not going to rule anything,IMO.He was hated by most of the generals and disliked by most of the rest.Though he would have been the best guardian for Roxane,Alexander and Herakles had he lived.
    You also need not underestimate how much money was available at the time.The Hellenistic era started with the release of 200 years of savings from the Persian treasury.
    Those who know don't speak
    He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36

  4. #4
    Senior Contributor
    Join Date
    12 Aug 08
    Location
    UK/Europe
    Posts
    4,205
    You may be right regarding Hephaestion, particularly in a regent role protecting the interests of Alexander and Herakles. I doubt much of the Persian wealth made it back to Macedon - certainly the archeology does not support a sudden upturn in Greek standards of living post conquest; it would suggest if anything a lower standard of living. The accepted theory is that as the 'Greek' center of power shifted east and south (to Babylon and Seleucia in the east and Alexandria to the south) so did many of the native Hellenes as well as the trade centers. By the time of Pompey/Caesar Alexandria was almost certainly a far larger city than Rome and boasted it's famous library and attached academy while Athens had become essentially a provincial backwater. The money stayed for most part in the new centers of power is the generally accepted theory.

    Any theory as to who the tomb may have belonged to?

  5. #5
    Administrator
    Lei Feng Protege
    Defense Professional
    Join Date
    23 Aug 05
    Location
    Arlington, VA
    Posts
    13,037
    well, Macedon was always considered a half-barbarous backwater full of peasant yokels by the rest of the greeks....
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  6. #6
    Senior Contributor
    Join Date
    05 Sep 06
    Posts
    4,012
    There's also another theory claiming it could be Laomedon of Mytilene. Next thing, someone's probably gonna claim it was whichever guy was feeding Alexander's horse...

    Edit: Oh, and another theory says it could be Alexander's mother Olympias - who was stoned to death after being beaten in battle by Cassander, and supposedly denied burial.
    Last edited by kato; 10 Oct 14, at 18:00.

  7. #7
    Senior Contributor Mihais's Avatar
    Join Date
    15 Apr 08
    Location
    Transylvania
    Posts
    5,099
    In the mind of an ancient Greek,the exact words of Asty would be translated as:Macedon,a land near non-greek world,full of folks who don't live in a polis and don't have the rest of the Greek political traits.
    A modern reader will understand:Macedon,a place of wanton savagery full of retrograde people,rural and conservative(who cling to their guns and bible,eventually ).

    Language is a damn complicated thing(so that's why military language is short,to the point and barked ).

    Sara,I have no idea who's there,if there is someone in the first place.We'll get our answer in time.

    If I were to take a wild guess,I'd say Roxana and Alexander IV.Cassander was enough of a bastard to have them killed.It may have not been prudent to bury them at Aigai,so Amphipolis makes sense.It would have been also imprudent not to have a grandiose funeral for the son and wife of Alexander.Officially they just died.

    As Kato says,Olympia may be a contender.It took her victims families to throw rocks at her.No soldier dared to touch Alex's mother.So it could be a late attempt to fix things and give her a burial.

    Problem with ancient history is that secrets aren't recorded.And most interesting things are secret.
    Last edited by Mihais; 10 Oct 14, at 18:46.
    Those who know don't speak
    He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36

  8. #8
    Administrator
    Lei Feng Protege
    Defense Professional
    Join Date
    23 Aug 05
    Location
    Arlington, VA
    Posts
    13,037
    Problem with ancient history is that secrets aren't recorded.And most interesting things are secret.
    yup, for that reason historians often learn more from reading diaries than they do from official histories.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  9. #9
    Senior Contributor
    Join Date
    12 Aug 08
    Location
    UK/Europe
    Posts
    4,205
    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    Edit: Oh, and another theory says it could be Alexander's mother Olympias - who was stoned to death after being beaten in battle by Cassander, and supposedly denied burial.
    It is said by the ancient historians that Olympias was denied burial.

  10. #10
    Senior Contributor
    Join Date
    14 Mar 08
    Posts
    1,916
    Quote Originally Posted by Mihais View Post
    In the mind of an ancient Greek,the exact words of Asty would be translated as:Macedon,a land near non-greek world,full of folks who don't live in a polis and don't have the rest of the Greek political traits.
    A modern reader will understand:Macedon,a place of wanton savagery full of retrograde people,rural and conservative(who cling to their guns and bible,eventually ).

    Language is a damn complicated thing(so that's why military language is short,to the point and barked ).

    Sara,I have no idea who's there,if there is someone in the first place.We'll get our answer in time.

    If I were to take a wild guess,I'd say Roxana and Alexander IV.Cassander was enough of a bastard to have them killed.It may have not been prudent to bury them at Aigai,so Amphipolis makes sense.It would have been also imprudent not to have a grandiose funeral for the son and wife of Alexander.Officially they just died.

    As Kato says,Olympia may be a contender.It took her victims families to throw rocks at her.No soldier dared to touch Alex's mother.So it could be a late attempt to fix things and give her a burial.

    Problem with ancient history is that secrets aren't recorded.And most interesting things are secret.
    Well, Olympia could have had a tomb built for her during her life...

    I assume that a skeleton hasn't been uncovered yet?

  11. #11
    Senior Contributor
    Join Date
    12 Aug 08
    Location
    UK/Europe
    Posts
    4,205
    It gets better!!!!

    Attachment 38222

  12. #12

  13. #13
    Senior Contributor
    Join Date
    12 Aug 08
    Location
    UK/Europe
    Posts
    4,205
    Katerina Peristeri 'We surmise it was a funerary heroon (hero worship shrine) dedicated to Hephaestion."

  14. #14
    Senior Contributor Doktor's Avatar
    Join Date
    25 Aug 08
    Location
    Skopje, Macedonia
    Posts
    13,668
    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    Katerina Peristeri 'We surmise it was a funerary heroon (hero worship shrine) dedicated to Hephaestion."
    Considering the original claims, this is the best they can come up with.
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

    To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

  15. #15
    Senior Contributor Monash's Avatar
    Join Date
    01 Mar 10
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    1,489
    Possibly a prescient tomb dedicated to the remains of the Greek economy.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Beware of Greeks Bearing Bonds
    By troung in forum International Economy
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 21 Sep 10,, 21:17
  2. Discovering How Greeks Computed In 100 B.C.
    By sun in forum Ancient, Medieval & Early Modern Ages
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 31 Jul 08,, 05:39
  3. Greeks phone tapped
    By EricTheRed in forum Europe and Russia
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 04 Feb 06,, 18:51
  4. Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
    By speedracer in forum International Economy
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 30 Apr 05,, 19:09
  5. Jesus' tomb in Kashmir?
    By Ray in forum International Economy
    Replies: 24
    Last Post: 05 Apr 05,, 06:39

Share this thread with friends:

Share this thread with friends:

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •