The Anabasis of Alexander/Book VII/Chapter VI

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An Army of Asiatics Trained under the Macedonian Discipline.

The viceroys from the newly-built cities and the rest of the territory subdued in war came to him^ bringing with them youths just growing into manhood to the number of 30,000, all of the same age, whom Alexander called Epigoni (successors).[1] They were accoutred with Macedonian arms, and exercised in military discipline after the Macedonian system. The arrival of these is said to have vexed the Macedonians, who thought that Alexander was contriving every means in his power to free himself from his previous need of their services. For the same reason also the sight of his Median dress was. no small cause of dissatisfaction to them; and the weddings celebrated in the Persian fashion were displeasing to most of them, even including some of those who married, although they had been greatly honoured by the king putting himself on the same level with them in the marriage ceremony. They were offended at Peucestas, the viceroy of Persis, on account of his Persianizing both in dress and in speech, because the king was delighted by his adopting the Asiatic customs. They were disgusted that the Bactrian, Sogdianian, Arachotian, Zarangian, Arian, and Parthian horsemen, as well as the Persian horsemen called the Evacae, were distributed among the squadrons of the Companion cavalry; as many of them at least as were seen to excel in reputation, fineness of stature, or any other good quality; and that a fifth cavalry division was added to these troops, not composed entirely of foreigners; but the whole body of cavalry was increased in number, and men were picked from the foreigners and put into it. Oophen, son of Artabazus,, Hydarnes and Artiboles, sons of Mazaeus, Sisines and Phradasmenes, sons of Phrataphernes, viceroy of Parthia and Hyrcania, Histanes, son of Oxyartes and brother of Alexander's wife, Roxane, as well as Autobares and his brother Mithrobaeus were picked out and enrolled among the foot-guard in addition to the Macedonian officers. Over these Hystaspes the Bactrian was placed as commander; and Macedonian spears were given to them instead of the barbarian javelins which had thongs attached to them.[2] All this offended the Macedonians, who thought that Alexander was becoming altogether Asiatic in his ideas, and was holding the Macedonians themselves as well as their customs in a position of contempt.[3]

  1. The Epigoni, or Afterborn, were the sons of the seven chiefs who fell in the first war against Thebes. See Herodotus, Pindar, Sophocles, etc.
  2. For this mesanculon see Gellius (Noctes Atticae, x. 25); Polybius, xxiii., 1, 9; Euripides (Phoenissae, 1141; Andromache, 113S); Alciphron, iii. 36.
  3. It was at this time that Harpalus, viceroy of Babylon, having squandered a great deal of the treasure committed to his charge, became frightened at the return of Alexander, and fled to Greece with 50,000 talents and 6,000 mercenary troops. See Diodorus, xvii. 108.