The battle at Megalopolis is over and Macedon is triumphant! Three years ago, King Agis III of Sparta betrayed Greece by accepting Persian money in order to challenge Macedonian rule. He gathered 20,000 men to his cause and the world shook with fear for what his victory over Macedon might mean.
I, Amyntas, rode out against him with 40,000 men and my army laid waste to Agis’ anti-Macedonian coalition of traitors. Even Agis himself died, struck down by a single javelin thrown from a sturdy Aegaen hand!
Who is there to oppose us in all the world, Macedonians? There is no one in Greece, no one in Persia, no one anywhere. And never will there be. My son, Cassander, fought most bravely at Megalopolis; he is the next generation. If all our young men are as faithful and strong as he, Macedon will never fall! I am proud to be his father, proud to be Alexander’s regent, and proud to have given the king the victory in this mighty battle!
The Queen’s Speech
Upon my birth I was named by my father, Neoptolemus I, Polyxena. When I was initiated into mysteries of Dionysus I signified the new person that I had become by renaming myself Myrtale. And when King Philip triumphed at the Olympic Games in his third regnal year, I became Olympias. Thus, have I proved to you that I am a woman of power, devotion, and glory. And I know, faithful Macedonians, that you do not doubt it. For whose son is it who drives all before him in the land of the hateful Persians? Who was it who was impregnated by Zeus himself on that glorious night? Who is it whose womb is sealed by the sign of the lion?
As I know that you are faithful, you know that I speak of myself. Therefore, listen not to siren voices who try to claim glory for themselves when all they did was fight mice in a battle of no consequence. As Alexander is my king, I am your queen; as you are his children, I am your mother; faithfulness to him has given you riches; faithfulness to me has given you Glory.
Remember that when people speak of how they conquered a field in the Peloponnese.
Aristotle’s Racing Tips
Greetings, horse friends. This week sees the Athens derby take place. It will be a time of celebration for all Athenians. The big race, of course, will be the King Codras stakes, which will see the best riders compete for the ten talent prize. Unique to the Codras stakes, a prize will also be offered to the family of any rider who sacrifices himself to save his horse.
So, who are the runners and riders? Well, let’s start with Simon of Athens who is riding the beautiful mare, Xenophon’s Perspective. Before continuing, I must refute criticism I received after last week’s Racing Tips. A reader from Arcadia asked how I could give any useful tips since, according to my philosophy, horses do not actually exist.
I hope I did not give the impression that horses do not exist, as that would be most inconvenient for the continued existence (no pun intended) of this column. What I meant to say was that horses exist in a different way to how, for example, paper and happiness exist. In fact, this world is so varied that there are many different modes of existence.
Further to this, we can divide up all that exists between those that have a dependent existence and those that exist independently of all other things. An example of the former is breath. It only exists on account of the man who breaths; also, wealth. It only exists for you if you follow my racing tips. An example of the latter are horses and their riders, although it does occur to me that a rider loses his essential rider-ness if he does not have a horse to ride. Oh dear. And I can’t analyse this issue any further because I have nearly reached my word limit. Oh well, to my reader in Arcadia, I hope I have at least demonstrated that horses do in fact exist after all.
(odds on to be named ‘philosopher of the year’ again this year)
Every Macedonian needs to place to rest rest or, if necessary, somewhere he can quietly assassinate an enemy and dispose of his body.
The tents along the Haliacmon and Axius rivers are the perfect place for R and R (Rest and Revenge).
Off the road, hidden within deep woodland or down steep banks, each tent is totally secluded. Indeed, each one has been sited sufficiently far away from its neighbours to ensure that any cries of love or pain will not be heard by anyone except you and your lover – or victim.
I cannot stress enough how effective the siting plan has been. When I visited a number of the tents, I spoke to a number of locals who assured me that no one had been murdered in their area for many, many years. From speaking to friends-in-the-know in Pella, however, I knew that this was not the case. The fact that both the Haliacmon and Axius are fast running rivers makes disposal of bodies (or just body parts) easy.
The tents themselves are small (six rooms maximum incl. torture chamber) but they are furnished. If you intend to torture your enemy before killing him, though, I would recommend you bring your own torture devices as the ones I saw were a bit rusty. Having said that, I was very impressed with the quality of the hunting gear.
The tents do not come cheap and are clearly aimed at the Macedonian nobility. The nobleman who erected them is from Upper Macedonia, which probably explains the cave-like size of the tents and rusty weapons, so it is to be hoped that as he gains more experience of the Royal Court, he will improve the facilities on offer. If he doesn’t, who knows, maybe he will become a victim of his lack of success in one of these very tents.
Sons of Makedon
(21st before Alexander son of Philip II)
One of the greatest Macedonians kings, Philip spent thirty-eight years on the throne before falling in battle against Illyria. But for Philip’s strength over the course of many years, Macedon would certainly have been defeated by the Illyrians who were constitutionally unable to stop invading us. Like Alexander, Philip I was far-seeing and brave. He did, however, have an unfortunate tendency to fart during banquets, though, which embarrassed his wife no end. Philip’s favourite saying was ‘I can break wind as often as I break bones – and with more force, too!’. The court’s reaction is not recorded.
Pella Wine Palace
The PWP is opening for business again on the next hemera heliou following its recent rebuilding. Patrons are asked not to light torches while in the building this time – especially not to juggle, and double especially not after several kraters of wine; a slip of the hand last time ended up gutting the building and led to an expensive rebuilding bill and endless cups of wine being consumed by slow builders.
- The management is delighted to announce that following a donation from Queen Olympias the main drinking area will be named the Pausanias Room.
Antipater is delighted to announce that we have received the latest report from Callisthenes. Our king’s court historian latest report details the burning of the city of Persepolis. Our revenge against the Persians is complete! A public reading of Callisthenes’ report will take place in the royal palace courtyard at noon the next hemera selenes.
Sarissa Wine Club (Pella Division)
This coming hemera Areos there will be a spear and philosophy symposium in the home of our venerable founder, Amyntas of the White Beard. Amyntas will be leading the event during which an attempt will be made to reconcile Aristotle’s philosophy with our love of drinking wine out of hollowed out sarissas.
The Macedon and Thessaly Cultural and Historical Society will be meeting in the Royal Palace on the next hemera Hermu to discuss ‘trading links between Macedonian and Thessalian nobility in the third regnal year of King Karanus with particular reference to the grapes of the Pieria region’. A very catchy title; it promises to be a very interesting evening. Hm.
Friends of Epirus
Meeting in Queen Olympias’ quarters on the next hemera Hermu to discuss ‘wielding power in a foreign land and how best to use it’. Not everyone welcome.
Kings and Courtesans Party
On the next hemera Dios come to the Royal Palace dressed up as your favourite monarch or whore! Prizes will be given for the best costume. Ladies are encouraged to emulate Phyrne at her trial. Men: Please do not borrow or steal a real diadem on pain of being executed like Amyntas last time.
Greeks and Macedonian Exchange
Are Macedonians Greek (Yes). Are Macedonians better than Greeks (Yes). Why should the Greek poleis be thankful we are in charge (too many reasons to mention). Amazingly, many people still regard these questions as being unsettled. Come to the palace on the next hemera Aphrodites to discuss them, get drunk and start a fight with your opponent.
A friend for my son – Antipater
Snakes for the Queen – Court Staff
(Image source – History of Macedonia)
Edited by Court Staff