The King’s Speech
Last summer, the Greeks (except the Lacedaemonians about whom nobody cares) voted to make me supreme commander of the expedition against the Persians. It was a glorious moment which, if you can remember it, means you weren’t there. I believe there are soldiers who are still nursing hangovers from the after-voting parties.
Thirteen days ago, those of us who had recovered, set out from Amphipolis to secure Macedon’s borders against attack from the Triballian and Illyrian people. On Mount Haemus the phalanx was attacked by an avalanche of carts and not one man was killed.
How did this miracle happen? Well, we know how; I would like to point you to the why. The phalanx survived because,
α. It obeyed my orders
β. The gods are on our side
γ. See (α) and (β) above and repeat to
my your heart’s content
As we continue operations against our Thracian foes and prepare for the Persian war, I know that you will not forget the above. Particularly (α). Why would you? Obedience to me will ensure that glory, even if not long life, awaits you. And if glory is not enough of a reason consider that following (α) will virtually guarantee you a quicker death than a traitor gets. No king who sometimes has to execute even his friends can say much fairer than that.
Have a good day.
The Camp Notices is dedicated to getting to know what the rank and file think. This has nothing to do with intelligence gathering and everything to do with a genuine interest in the soldiers’ thoughts. Honest. This week, we asked a random selection of phalangites,
“Which country are you looking most forward to invading, and why?“
Amyntas of Aegae Egypt, because it’s rich
Amyntas of Lyncestia Same as Amyntas – Egypt, because it’s rich
Amyntas of Methani Rhodes. It has money and lots of ships. I like ships
Amyntas of Amphipolis Same as Amyntas and Amyntas, though not Amyntas – Egypt, because it’s rich
Amyntas of Olynthus Egypt, because it’s rich. Has anyone said that?
Amyntas of Pella Egypt – I hear the women are beautiful. Oh yes, and it’s rich
Ptolemaios of Pella Egypt, because it is rich
Thanks to all who took part
Ο ΤΟΥ ΟΙΝΟΥ ΑΝΑΞ
(The Master of the Wine)
I have had a busy three days since the Macedonian phalanx locked shields and bravely lay down underneath them so that the oncoming Thracian carts did no more than clatter over head and body.
For, despite the fact that the Pella Wine Tent’s amphorae are carried on armoured carts in the middle of the baggage train surrounded by veterans who are sworn to protect them even unto death, despite all this, an ugly and false rumour went round that some of the enemy carts kept running after leaving the phalanx and smashed into the PWT’s amphorae spilling the wine into the ground. There was panic, and I believe one man drowned himself in mud alleged to have been created by the wine spill, shouting as he dived, “Give me wine or give me death!”.
As soon as I heard this rumour I made it my responsibility to go up and down the line and inform as many of you as possible that it was not so. With these new Camp Notices I am delighted to tell all of you in writing (or those of you who can read, anyway) what I have been saying with my own tongue these last seventy-two hours straight: OUR WINE IS SAFE. If you don’t believe me, come to the tent. See; Drink; Believe! Get drunk; join the Sarissa Wine Club; enjoy the remaining three hours of your life before you accidentally decapitate yourself drinking wine from a hollowed out sarissa!
ο του οινου αναξ
WINES ON OFFER THIS WEEK
Archon wines inspired by Athens’ first rulers
MEDON WINE Very popular in Delphi
ACASTUS WINE Said to be so strong it’ll make a democrat of a king; not true
ARCHIPPUS WINE A lighter version of the Acastus wine
THERSIPPUS WINE So strong you’ll want it to rule you for life
PHORBAS WINE Too strong for Trojans
MEGACLES WINE This wine can also function as a clothes cleaner removing even impossible staines
DIOGNETUS WINE For pro-drinkers and alcoholics only as gives you a headache that’ll last for thirty years* (*days)
CARTS FOR SALE
- Did you capture any men, women or children or possessions belonging to said invidiuals in the fighting following the Thracians’ “sauve-qui-peut” on Mount Haemus?
- Have you nothing to put the goods or injured civilians on as a result?
A number of carts survived their close encounter with our phalanx and are available for sale at competitive prices from Honest Amyntas. If you would like to buy one, put the word out and he’ll find you.
Clubs and Societies Noticeboard
All dates are subject to change in the event of a battle taking place on that day or cancellation in the event that the host is killed during said battle
Aristobulos and his Chicken
This hemera heliou join Aristobulos as he conducts an exciting experiment at the top of the nearest hill. Amyntas the modeller has kindly made him a to-scale cart and figurines with which he will demonstrate to those who didn’t see what happened on Mount Haemus how the Thracians tried to kill our mighty men. To add an extra bit of excitement, though, Aristobulos will be adding grain to the cart and placing his chicken in it.
- Will she eat all the grain before the cart reaches the bottom of the hill?
- Will the noise of the shields cause her to fly away?
- Will she fly away as the cart flies down the hill?
Come along and find out!
The Linear b Rite of the daily sacrifices is enjoying a resurgence in popularity among old and young alike. Join Aristander in his tent on the next hemera Selenes as he explains what these ancient and venerable words mean. Wine will be served. By the end of the evening you will either be drunk or able to conduct your own private offerings in Mycenaean Greek.
DID YOU KNOW? The Mycenaeans had 123.5 words for ‘wine’? Depending upon demand, Aristander will be holding classes to teach them to any who are interested.
The Sarissa Wine Club
The Club President Writes,
“It has come to my attention that Club members who took Thracians prisoner during our recent engagement with them on Mount Haemus have been forcing their slaves to drink wine out of their hollowed-out sarissae.
…..“This is an unacceptable practice.
…..“The right to drink wine out of a hollowed-out sarissa is given to us by the king and is not to be taken lightly lest he choose to deprive us of it. Members should resist with great strength the pleas even of their mothers and fathers should they ask them if they might also drink from their sarissa. Remember, non-members are non-trained and cannot be relied upon to drink safely from our most deadly of weapons.
…..“Some will say ‘But neither can Sarissa Wine Club members, that’s why you have on average three cremations a week and a permanent recruitment drive’ and while that’s true it is also beside the point. In any case, why risk killing your slave when you will be able to get a good price for him or her in the market place?
…..“To bring order to the situation, we will be holding a special Slave Sarissa Wine Drinking competition in the Pella Wine Tent this coming hemera Areos. All slaves nominated for the contest will be given full training on how to safely drink wine out of a sarissa half an hour beforehand, or twenty minutes if I’m late. The winning slave owner will receive an amphora of wine of his choice. The slave will receive nothing as he is scum and not to be regarded as human, although I need to check up on that.”
The Union of Macedonian Mothers
Alexander’s army has fought its first battle. The men are already growing rich. Can they be relied upon to save or spend their money wisely? No, of course not. Given half a chance they’ll spend it on wine, whores or by gambling it away. Do you want to stop this from happening? If so, come to our symposium on the hemera hermu next week to how to simultaneously take control of your husband’s money and convince him that he is still in charge of it
Did you send any slaves or booty home after our fight with the Thracians? Did you ask for confirmation of its arrival at the correct location? Join us on the next hemera Dios. By then, a messenger should have arrived from Lysanias and Philotas to let us know that everything has indeed been delivered to the correct place. If it turns out your slave(s)/booty has gone astray you can let us know and we will write to Lysanias and Philotas by return so that they can put the matter right.
You earned your reward. Don’t let it slip away!
This coming hemera Aphrodites, Amyntas of the popular Amyntas, Amyntas and Cleopatra acting troupe will be presenting a one-man show “A Day in the Life of Hesiod” which seeks to explore in as authentic a manner as possible the boring existence of the man who has somehow become our second most famous poet. The production is aimed at hyperactive children and comes with a guarantee that by the end of it even they will be stupefied to the point of utter and deep stillness.
Next hemera Khronu, the Daughters will be holding a Whores and Hegemons party to celebrate recent Macedonian successes over the awful Thracians. Come dressed up. If you do, though, please make sure the costume belongs to you.
Congratulations to Amyntas of Aegae on his victory over Amyntas of Aegae in the Pan-Hellenic Pankration League this week; it was a win that was all the more remarkable for Amyntas having blinded Amyntas in both eyes in the early moments of the contest.
Commiserations to Amyntas of Aegae who had to have his leg amputed this week following his goring ten days ago. We understand, however, that he will be taking part in the peg leg competition where he is certain to be a success.
Congratulations to Marcus the Roman who won this week’s first prize with his poem titled ‘Medea Upon Slaying Her Children’. The full text of his winning entry is as follows.
“My poem is an epic romance which seeks to draw elements of high mythology and social realism together in order to form an organic whole. Medea has often been regarded as wholly to blame for the deaths of her children, Tisander and Alcimenes; what I wanted to do is subvert that traditional understanding of her rôle by presenting a view of her which not only dissonant and discomforting but also tender and life-affirming. My Medea is Life – my life, your life, everyone’s life; as my words reveal, she is – in effect – the Cosmic Other. I hope that in reading my poem, the reader will be inspired to contemplate the mysteries of our existence in a way that he has never done before.”
Editor Eumenes of Cardia
Deputy Editor A Slave