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Chris Hahn wrote:



Looking over one translation of Diodorus, the infantry center of Eumenes’ army is reported to number “more than six thousand mercenaries, five thousand men who had been equipped in the Macedonian fashion, more than three thousand Silver Shields, and more than three thousand hypaspists”. This produces a total of approximately 17,000 heavy infantry.


In comparison, the infantry center of Antigonus is given as: “more than nine thousand mercenaries, three thousand Lycians and Pamphylians, more than eight thousand mixed troops in Macedonian equipment, and nearly eight thousand Macedonians”.


The Antigonid phalanx outnumbers the enemy foot by at least 11,000 then. Accepting a depth of 10-16 ranks, the Antigonid phalanx would extend further than the infantry center of Eumenes.


In his Armati scenario for this battle, Mr. Steve Phenow argues that Diodorus exaggerates the numbers under Antigonus. Unfortunately, he provides no details or corrected order of battle.



With respect to cavalry engaged, Diodorus seems off a bit with the numbers in the wings and the total numbers present. For example, adding up the stated sums on Pithon’s wing, I get 6,900 horse. This total does not include the “the (mysterious) cavalry who are called the two-horse men”.


Is there another ancient source or modern academic source that provides more information on this point or these points?


It appears that the elephant math is a bit off as well.





Patrick Waterson wrote 


Phil Sabin takes his figures from Diodorus.


"The entire army of Eumenes consisted of thirty-five thousand foot soldiers, sixty-one hundred horsemen, and one hundred and fourteen elephants." - Diodorus XIX.28.4


Of the 35,000 foot, some of which were light troops accompanying the elephants, 17,000 are listed as phalangites and the remainder are simply not listed. We can surmise a combination of light troops, peltasts and maybe even some local tribal types similar to those in Diodorus XIX.16.3


"Including reinforcements brought by Pithon and Seleucus, Antigonus had in all more than twenty-eight thousand foot soldiers, eight thousand five hundred horsemen,5 and sixty-five elephants." - idem IX.29.1


"Of his infantry, more than nine thousand mercenaries were placed first, next to them three thousand Lycians and Pamphylians, then more than eight thousand mixed troops in Macedonian equipment, and finally the nearly eight thousand Macedonians, whom Antipater had given him at the time when he was appointed regent of the kingdom." - idem XIX.29.3


From the placement of Antigonus' troops it does look as if all his infantry were phalangites. However ...


... we may note that the Lycians and Pamphylians are listed separately from the 'more than eight thousand mixed troops in Macedonian equipment', and if 'Macedonian equipment' denotes phalangites, it suggests the Lycians and Pamphylians, highland peoples, may well have been peltast types rather than phalangites. 'Mercenaries' would include Cretans and similar missilemen, who were an integral component of any Macedonian army but are otherwise inexplicably missing. When Antigonus is fighting the Cossaeans in XIX.19, "he selected the finest of the peltasts and divided the bowmen, the slingers, and the other light-armed troops into two bodies," which demonstrates the existence in his army of these troop types.


We can thus probably reduce Antigonus' phalanx by the 3,000 Lycians and Pamphylians and an indeterminate number of peltasts and other light troops. The question of how many mercenaries - if any - were phalangites is harder to resolve, but they are listed separately from the troops 'in Macedonian equipment' and my inclination would be to assume that the Lycians, Pamphylians and perhaps one third of the mercenaries were peltasts and that the remaining mercenaries were missile/light troops. This would give Antigonus, like Eumenes, an almost equal ratio of non-phalangite infantry to phalangite infantry.


This would result in infantry contingents as follows:


Eumenes: 17,000 phalangites, 18,000 lighter infantry types.


Antigonus: 16,000 phalangites, 12,000 lighter infantry types.


Result: the phalanx contingents, probably still 8 deep Alexandrian fashion, each occupy an approximately 1,000 yard frontage when closed up for action and Eumenes' phalanx has a slight (about 60 yard) overlap.

Bill wrote


Holly thanks for posting the information from Lost Battles. Slight clarification on the Heavy cavalry of both sides. Sabin describes Antigonus' 4700 heavies as settlers, allies, and mercenaries. Eumenes' 3000 are described as colonists and natives accompanying the various satraps.


Quote from: eques on April 14, 2017, 10:50:12 PM

Any ideas on what the non Companion Cavalry consisted of (light and heavy)? Were they Asiatic or European? What is meant by "settlers, allies, colonists and mercenaries" with reference to the cavalry? LB doesn't really go into detail as to what they were.


Based on their description the lights and heavies would probably be unshielded javelin/light spear cavalry and a probably a mix of Greek and Asiatic horse. Colonists and settlers would most likely be Greeks and Macedonians from the various cities that Alexander founded. While "natives" would be Asiatic, "allies" is vague, but are probably like those of the satraps in Eumenes' army Mercenaries could be Greek and/or Asiatic.

Patrick Waterson wrote


Expanding on Bill's details of both sides' cavalry, Diodorus gives us the following:




"On his left wing Eumenes stationed Eudamus, who had brought the elephants from India, with his squadron of one hundred and fifty horsemen, and as an advance guard for them two troops of selected mounted lancers with a strength of fifty horsemen. He placed them in contact with the higher land of the base of the hill, and next to them he put Stasander, the general, who had his own cavalry to the number of nine hundred and fifty. After them he stationed Amphimachus, the satrap of Mesopotamia, whom six hundred horsemen followed, and in contact with these were the six hundred horsemen from Arachosia, whose leader formerly had been Sibyrtius, but, because of the latter's flight, Cephalon had assumed command of them. Next were five hundred from Paropanisadae and an equal number of Thracians from the colonies of the upper country. In front of all these he drew up forty-five elephants in a curved line with a suitable number of bowmen and slingers in the spaces between the animals ..." - Diodorus XIX.27.2-5




"In front of the whole phalanx he placed forty elephants, filling the spaces between them with light armed soldiers. On the right wing he stationed cavalry: next to the phalanx, eight hundred from Carmania led by the satrap Tlepolemus, then the nine hundred called the Companions and the squadron of Peucestes and Antigenes, which contained three hundred horsemen arranged in a single unit. At the outer end of the wing was Eumenes' squadron with the same number of horsemen, and as an advance-guard for them two troops of Eumenes' slaves, each composed of fifty mounted men, while at an angle beyond the end of the wing and guarding it were four troops, in which there were two hundred selected horsemen. In addition to these, three hundred men selected from all the cavalry commands for swiftness and strength were stationed by Eumenes behind his own squadron. Along the whole of the wing he drew up forty elephants." - idem XI.28.2-4


This gives us:

150 heavy cavalry with Eudamus

100 possibly light cavalry (2x50)

950 unspecified cavalry with Stasander [probably heavy, Macedonian-style]

600 unspecified cavalry with Amphimachus [ditto]

600 Arachosian cavalry under Cephalon [probably light, with javelins]

500 Parapomisdae cavalry [probably light, with javelins]

500 Thracians, presumably cavalry. [probably dual capability, light and heavy]

Eumenes' left wing cavalry total: 3,400



800 Carmanian cavalry with Tlepolemus [perhaps dual capability, heavy and light]

900 Companions (we know what these are)

300 Macedonian cavalry (squadrons of Peucestes and Antigenes, heavy)

300 heavy cavalry with Eumenes

100 additional cavalry, perhaps light (2x50)

200 selected horsemen perhaps light (4x50)

300 cavalry selected 'for strength and swiftness' [count as fast heavy]

Eumenes' right wing cavalry total: 2,900





"On this wing he stationed the mounted archers and lancers from Media and Parthia, a thousand in number, men well trained in the execution of the wheeling movement; and next he placed the twenty-two hundred Tarentines who had come up with him from the sea, men selected for their skill in ambushing, and very well disposed to himself, the thousand cavalry from Phrygia and Lydia, the fifteen hundred with Pithon, the four hundred lancers with Lysanias, and in addition to all these, the cavalry who are called the "two-horse men," and the eight hundred cavalry from the colonists established in the upper country. The left wing was made up of these cavalrymen, all of whom were under the command of Pithon." - idem XIX.29.2-3




"The first of the horsemen on the right wing adjacent to the phalanx were five hundred mercenaries of mixed origin, then a thousand Thracians, five hundred from the allies, and next to them the thousand known as the Companions with Antigonus' son Demetrius as commander, now about to fight in company with his father for the first time. At the outer end of the wing was the squadron of three hundred horsemen with whom Antigonus himself was entering the battle. As an advance guard for these there were three troops from his own slaves, and parallel to them were as many units reinforced by a hundred Tarentines." - idem XIX.29.4-5


We get:

1,000 mounted archers

2,200 Tarentines

1,000 Phrygian and Lydian cavalry [heavy, perhaps now using lance]

1,500 unspecified cavalry with Pithon

400 'lancers' with Lysanias

an unspecified number of 'two-horse men'

600 colonist cavalry [heavy]

Antigonus' left wing cavalry total: 6,700 plus the 'two-horse men'



500 mixed mercenaries [probably light]

1,000 Thracians [probably dual capability]

500 allied cavalry [probably heavy-ish]

1,000 Companions with Demetrius

300 'ile basilike' with Antigonus

3+3 troops of slaves [assume 6x50 light cavalry]

100 Tarentines

Antigonus' right wing cavalry total: 3,700 (if the 'troops' of slaves were the same size as Eumenes')


Diodorus or his copyist may have engaged in some double counting here, as he gives Antigonus' overall cavalry strength as 8,500 rather than the 10,400 implied by adding up the contingents (and this is without the 'two horse men'). Eumenes' total of 6,100 is close enough to the sum total of 6,300, but Antigonus' total is about 2,000 out.


Quick Fix: Tarentines were usually few in number. Assume the 2,200 Tarentines on Antigonus' left are meant to be only 200. Add in a further 100 'two-horse men' and the numbers work out. (This is an assumption to allow us to arrive at a usable OB rather than the final word on the subject.)


Second Quick Fix: Eumenes has two lots of selected horsemen. Assume Diodorus got confused and there was in fact just the one, the 300. Removing the possibly inserted additional 200 selected horsemen brings Eumenes' sum total to the 6,100 of Diodorus' overall figure.

July 7, 2017 at 12:58 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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Patrick Waterson wrote


Quote from: eques on April 14, 2017, 10:50:12 PM

PS, of Eumenes' 17,000 "heavy troops" 6,000 are listed as Mercenaries. Do you think THEY were phalangites unlike Antigonus'?


It looks that way:


"Of the foot soldiers he placed first the hypaspists, then the Silver Shields, and finally the mercenaries and those of the other soldiers who were armed in the Macedonian fashion." - Diodorus XIX.40.3


This is from left to right. The mercenaries are combined with or sandwiched next to 'the other soldiers who were armed in the Macedonian fashion', which indicates they were phalangites, both from their positioning and the fact that their next-door neighbours are described as the other soliders armed in Macedonian fashion. It could in theory be the case that Diodorus is using 'other' to refer only to the hypaspists and argyraspides, but if that were so, then it would make more sense to leave out 'other' and simply say that the mercenaries were next to the soldiers armed in Macedonian fashion.


So we can safely conclude that Eumenes' mercenaries in his phalanx were phalangites.


Quote from: willb on April 16, 2017, 04:54:01 AM

The presence of Tarantines at this time seems a bit odd as Pyrrhus supposedly introduced shielded cavalry to the Greeks and that was not for almost another 40 years.


There may be another explanation for the question of shielded cavalry. Tarantines are attested in Successor service by Diodorus and cavalry shields appear from time to time in Alexandrian Macedonian and Successor-related source descriptions. In particular, at Malli, of those of Alexander's Companions who manage to reach him, one holds a shield over him to protect him. Adding in various other bits of evidence, this suggests to me that the Companions, and probably also the Thracian and Thessalian contingents in Alexander's army, could fight with logkhe and shield or with xyston as the need arose (they might take only one weapon set into the field, but in some circumstances could, like later Byzantine trapezitoi, have taken and used both). Under this approach or understanding, in later generations the ability to use both weapon configurations would, if anything, gradually be lost, so that cavalry units would end up specialising in the one or the other.


This, if correct, would mean that both weapon systems might be in use in the same army at the same time, making it very hard for our generation to decide whether it was the one or the other. :)

Andreas Johannsen wrote


Another possibility re the Tarantines might be that they're literally Tarantines, as in men from Taras/Tarentum, armed in some unspecified way that doesn't necessarily include shields.


But as Patrick says, shields were definitely possessed by some Macedonian cavalry by Alexander's time, and there hints in e.g. Arrian that they might be used from horseback. So Pyrrhos' introduction of shielded cavalry to Greece may be exaggerated.




Tangentially, Herodotos claims that Xerxes' Persian and other West Iranian cavalry were armed like their infantry, which taken at face value means they had spear, bow and shield (aspis), in which case the Greeks ought have been very long familiar with shielded cavalry by Paraitakene; but as the Persian infantry's shield was the sparah pavise (or so the received wisdom has it), it's hard to imagine the same really being used from horseback.

Andreas Johansson

Duncan wrote


Re: The Armies at Paraetacene

« Reply #17 on: April 16, 2017, 09:29:37 PM »


Quote from: Patrick Waterson on April 14, 2017, 06:27:46 PM

Phil Sabin takes his figures from Diodorus.

"The entire army of Eumenes consisted of thirty-five thousand foot soldiers, sixty-one hundred horsemen, and one hundred and fourteen elephants." - Diodorus XIX.28.4

Of the 35,000 foot, some of which were light troops accompanying the elephants, 17,000 are listed as phalangites and the remainder are simply not listed. We can surmise a combination of light troops, peltasts and maybe even some local tribal types similar to those in Diodorus XIX.16.3


At Diodoros XIX.14.5, Peucestes satrap of Persia joins Eumenes with


At this time Peucestes had ten thousand Persian archers and slingers, three thousand men of every origin equipped for service in the Macedonian array, six hundred Greek and Thracian cavalry, and more than four hundred Persian horsemen.

Shortly after this, at XIX.17.4-6,


Keeping this river in front of them as a protection and holding the bank from its source to the sea with pickets, they awaited the onset of the enemy. Since this guard because of its length required no small number of soldiers, Eumenes and Antigenes requested Peucestes to summon ten thousand bowmen from Persia. At first he paid no heed to them, since he still bore a grudge for not having received the generalship; but later, reasoning with himself, he admitted that should Antigonus be victorious the result would be that he himself would lose his satrapy and also be in danger of his life. In his anxiety, therefore, about himself, and thinking also that he would be more likely to gain the command if he had as many soldiers as possible, he brought up ten thousand bowmen as they requested.


Unless there is some kind of duplication in Diodorus, the army under Eumenes now contains twenty thousand Persian light infantry. Which accounts for the 18,000 non-phalanx infantry, with a comfortable margin for losses and detached outposts.


It's worth checking back through Diodoros at least from the start of Book XIX to see the assembly and development of the two armies.

(This point originally from Luke U-S at http://lukeuedasarson.com/EumenidDBM.html ).



Dave Beatty wrote

This is brilliant, I have 3000 x 15mm troops painted up and ready to go already... now to find a venue with a table large enough...


As I plot out the coordinates for this, it looks as if it is in the southwest suburbs of modern Esfahan.


The map in Lost Battles leaves a bit to the imagination, and since there is no mention anywhere of a river (the Zayandeh Rud bends from the south to the east just west of the purported battlefield) I suppose that Eumenes might have deployed north-south facing west perhaps astride the modern Ghaemieh Street with his left flank anchored on the hill line north and east of the modern power plant, or perhaps further east astride the Agharabparast Expressway or Highway 65. This latter would put a line of hills to Eumenes’ rear about 3 miles away (just south of the modern Hemmat helicopter base). It has been 40 years since I was out that way and it has changed a lot, but as I recall that is not much of a river in the summer even though there are several modern bridges across it.


Anybody else have an idea of the precise layout of the battlefield?


Dave Beatty

Patrick Waterson wrote


I think you are the only one among us who has actually seen it, Dave.


Diodorus offers the following terrain clue:


"On his left wing Eumenes stationed Eudamus, who had brought the elephants from India, with his squadron of one hundred and fifty horsemen, and as an advance guard for them two troops of selected mounted lancers with a strength of fifty horsemen. He placed them in contact with the higher land of the base of the hill ..." - Diodorus XIX.27.2-3


That apart, we have little to go on, other than the following:


"As Antigonus looked down from a high position, he saw the battle line of his enemy and disposed his own army accordingly." - idem XIX.29.1


So there should be another 'high position' in the vicinity - not necessarily for Antigonus' army (though see below), but one from which the man himself can see Eumenes' deployment.


Once the battle gets under way:


"... as soon as Eumenes' Silver Shields and the remaining body of his infantry had routed those who opposed them, they pursued them as far as the nearer hills ..." - idem XIX.30.8




"... [Antigonus] assembled those of his soldiers who were fleeing and once more formed them into a line along the foothills." - idem XIX.30.10


This means we want a range of hills, or at least foothills, behind Antigonus' position in addition to the one on which Eumenes rests his left.


The river is conspicuous by its non-participation.

July 7, 2017 at 1:09 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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