Camp Notices – Horsing Around Edition

Son of Ammon-Zeus

The King’s Speech

At the beginning of his Hellenika, Xenophon tells us how the Persian satrap Pharnabazos drove his horse as far as it would go into the sea in order to help the Peloponnesians in their fight against the Athenian forces. Xenophon does not record his horse’s name, which is a pity, for such a brave animal deserves be remembered to the fullest extent.

In reading of Pharnabazos’ horse, I am inevitably reminded of the bravery of my own, Bucephalus. Of course, he – Bucephalus – was not always so kingly. When I first met him he was in fact a coward who was afraid of his own shadow. With gentle words, however, and by turning him away from that which he feared, I tamed him. Then, we confronted his fear together and he was no longer afraid. Seeing what I had done, my father commended me and said that if I could control such a wild animal I would one day be able to control a great empire.

How right he was.

The lesson that I draw from my own experience and that of Pharnabazos is this. If treated well, animals accept our wisdom and our lordship, and when they do that they will fight faithfully ever after for us.

Of course, we know little about Pharnabazos’ relationship with his horse. Perhaps he was a cruel master who drove the animal into the sea against its wishes, but I do not think so. Just as it takes a brave man to engage in close quarters combat, so it takes a brave animal to confront what must appear to it to be a deadly onrush of foaming water. And bravery is not born of cruelty but love and fine leadership.

When you next go to your horse, or whatever other animal you own, remember this, and treat it well; and remember this also: that this lesson would not have been possible without the good example of a Persian.


Demaratus, Macedon’s biggest cry baby, talks about what makes him teary

2. Spots

“I woke up to a a sunny morning. It was the day after I had received the confirmation of my first promotion. To celebrate, I ate my breakfast outside – in Helios’ warm embrace!. As I ate, I was greeted by proud friends who had just heard the good news. Even my neighbour with whom I had been at odds came and congratulated me. Life was perfect! But then, as I took my plates indoors, I saw it in my mirror; on my nose was a… a… a… Oh! Woe! I can hard— hardly say it!

[Interview paused while Demaratus tries unsuccessfully to hold back his tears]

“I am sorry. Forgive me. Even now, ten years later, it affects me so. For on my nose was a big. Red. Spot. Woe!!! A horrid spot, an mocking spot, an evil spot!”

INTERVIEWER: Did you not just squeeze it?

“How could I? To squeeze it would be to squeeze it a little bit of myself out and leave it to die upon the earth! It would have been to destroy myself! And it was such… such a gentle spot! Oh woe! Woe upon woe upon woe! I cannot continue! By Zeus, I cannot—!

[Interview ends as Demaratus breaks down in a flood of tears]

Next Week: Demaratus cries over spilt milk

“Stalking you? Do we look like Facebook?”

The Ironic Erinys
on Theramenes and Kritias
“It was a shame that Theramenes was executed; he always stood his ground.”
“Joking apart, Kritias truly was an honourable man.”
“I would not have felt threatened at all by the men with the daggers. Words hurt more than weapons!”
“Hemlock tastes lovely. You should try it.”

The Good (Macedonian) Sex Guide

Your questions answered by Lady Aphrodite who does it behind Xerxes’ Palace and makes her clients feel hotter than the flames

Dear Lady Aphride etc etc,

Do you think rhaphanidosis is a good way to punish adulterous men who are caught in the act?

Looking Over His Shoulder

Bottoms up!

Dear Looking over His Shoulder,

Firstly, for those men and women who do not know what you are referring to I should say that rhaphanidosis is an Athenian punishment for the crime you mention and involves pushing a plant root, usually of the horse radish variety, up the adulterer’s bottom. Now that that lovely image is in everyone’s mind, I shall answer your question: only if it is wife holding the root.

Have a nice day,
Yours Lady Aphrodite who. etc.

Camp Notices

Proxenus & Engineering and the Chicken
Following the success of his talk on the last hemera Areos, Proxenus will be joining forces with Aristobulos for a talk and demonstration on how to build a model of the Royal Tent using only leaves and twigs. The Royal Pages and Hypaspists who guard Alexander’s tent will be sculpted out of chicken meat, which Aristobulos’ chicken will be eating after the talk is over. People are invited to watch the chicken but asked not to disturb it.

Pneuma Soc
Next hemera selenes the Pneuma Society will be taking time out from its look at Herodotus’ account of Aristonike’s oracle to the Athenians to discuss the following – ‘What do the words of a drunk man mean?’ If you have ever wondered if they be deciphered, or if drunks can tell the truth, or even if they should be allowed to speak at all – or just hit and sent to sleep on the couch, then come along and listen to what Pneuma’s panel of experts has to say.

Kaloi k’agathoi Soc
The KkS is a group for men who are currently serving or have served in the front line of the phalanx. The first meeting is next hemera Areos. It is not intended that the KkS have a designated speaker; instead, meetings be centred around a discussion on where members got the scars and deformities that make them so beautiful and fair. A free krater of wine will be given to anyone who received either in the course of battle (liars will be beaten and then given free wine).

Union of Macedonian Mothers
The UMM will be extorting [should that not read ‘collecting’? – Ed] money for their outing to Susa over the next hemera Herma and hemera Dios. If you enjoy your life then you may donate after the morning sacrifices and any time during the day or night outside the Pella and Aegae Wine Tents  or Lady Aphrodite’s brothel on those days.

Names of non-donors will be taken for retribution purposes.

Mobile Library
Ptolemy Lagides regrets to announce that from now on, smashing will not be allowed in the mobile library due to the mess to papyri and damage to shelves that it causes.

There are better ways to get a girlfriend, to be honest

Kottabos Soc
“Fed up of talking? Just want to drink and find out who your true love is? Then come to the Pella Wine Ten at sunset next hemera Dios and join likeminded men. Bowls and poles will be provided!”

Pella Theatre Group
Further to the recent announcement, the PTG regrets to announce that the first night of its new play Waiting for Barsine has, er, been delayed due to the non-arrival of the script. The Group apologises to all patrons who were expecting to see the play next week. Amyntas With the Quill says he is working as hard as he can every day and night on the play in order to make it as good as possible.

Pork Chop Soc
The PCS will be holding its first meeting for women and children next hemera Aphrodites. It will take place in the ruin of Xerxes’ Palace. A map of the known world (and guesses as to what lies beyond it) has been drawn on the floor. Attendants will be invited to move mock armies around in the manner of a game of Rome: Total War Bastard to see who can win control of the most territory. As per the recent survey of women to see what they would do if they ran the world (nothing except be nice to one another) Club Tyrant, Carve Up Amyntas warns that as this meeting is expected to be really boring but you never know.

Herodotus looking business like

Random Facts from Herodotus
by Hephaestion Amyntoros

  • Pythius offered Xerxes 2000 silver talents to his war chest
  • The battle at Mycale took place in the evening
  • The Dorian temple is called the Triopium; they were very picky about who they let use it

Camp Notices
Editor: Eumenes of Cardia
Deputy Editor: Leonnatus Son of Anteas

Wise Words
As Theramenes was led to his execution he protested against the unfair sentence handed down to him…

… when Satyros told him he would be sorry if he did not keep quiet, Theramenes answered, “And if I keep silent, will I not be just as sorry?”

(Xenophon Hellenika)

Alexander on the internet
Twitter: @AlexanderIIIFacebookand Pinterest

Categories: Camp Notices | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Camp Notices – Horsing Around Edition

  1. This was great. All of it. It is so much different than anything you’ve posted so far or perhaps in my naivitae as a blogger I wasn’t looking on the right place. For sure if it hadn’t been for the dog’s gravitation to humans and its constant loyalty to him it has been conjectured that man would not have evolved either as quickly or at all into what he has become. The horse too is a loyal creature and will ride itself to death for its master–but dogs are a bit smarter I think. Besides God has a dog and his name is Bosco. He doen’t need the horse because he thinks himself anywhere he wants to be. The dog gives him companionship and reminds him what unselfish love is all about. KB


  2. What a witty, fascinating and clever post! Lovely stuff about War Horses.


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