Camp Notices

Camp Notices – Farewell to Allies Edition

Alexander of Macedon

The King’s Speech
To the allies of Macedon

Together, we crossed the Hellespont to take revenge on Darius III for Persian atrocities visited upon the Greek poleis. In three major battles, we took it. But war was not enough; for our revenge to be complete, we had to take Persia’s three major cities – Babylon, Susa and Persepolis – and thus, the empire. Yet, that too, we did. Now, having entered Ecbatana, we have taken the summer residence of the Persian kings. Our revenge is not only complete but gilded it as well.

This begs the question: what next? For me the answer is clear: pursuit of Darius. There can be only one King of Asia and I will not permit another to live in defiance of me. For you, however, it may be different. Your work is done; if you wish to return to Greece, albeit with a heavy heart, I will release you.

Be assured, if you decide to return home, you will depart with your wages fully paid and a bonus added – and I assure you, it will be most generous one. More than that, you will leave with my blessing and a guard to ensure your safe passage.

If, however, you decide to re-enlist with my army, I promise that the bonus you receive for your loyalty will be substantially greater than that which those leaving received. It is only right that those who work hardest and longest are paid the most.

We will not be staying in Ecbatana for long so make your decision now: Return home rich, or stay with me, and not only win even greater wealth but glory as well.

From the Archive
Codrus: The king whose favourite kind of sacrifice is himself

Athens was rocked today by an earthquake. The news that Codrus had tried to take the place of a prisoner who was about to executed for some crime or another in the mistaken belief that if he survived the Dorians would one day conquer Athens made no impact on anyone whatsoever as Athenians are used to Codrus’ acts of self sacrifice and, if they are being honest, it rather bores them.

Aphrodite in action

The Good (Macedonian) Sex Guide
Your questions answered by Lady Aphrodite who does it behind schedule as she likes to do it slllooooow

Dear La etc etc

I get turned on by volcanoes. Is this normal?

Yours Who Loves to Rock and Be Rocked

Dear Rock,

There is nothing wrong with being aroused by an volcano – just as long as you remember that your wife / prostitute is only going to be interested in another kind of spurt.

Lady Ap etc etc


Ptolemy Lagides
On how to tell a story

III. Appropriate Stories for Children

I have received the following correspondence.

I have a son aged six and a daughter, 8. He is of a nervous disposition. I did not know this until I told him the story of Orestes and Elektra; now, he wonders about the house with a haunted look, worried that his sister will kill his mother and make the Erinyes come after him. Please could you publish this letter as a warning to other parents: be careful what tales you tell your children! The wrong ones could cause them great suffering!


I am happy to publish this letter although not as a warning. The truth is, we live in a world where children need to grow up fast. Violence is an essential part of our world and so the earlier they are exposed to it the better. In my opinion, [Redacted] did the right thing in reading the Oresteia to his son. If it doesn’t kill him the story will almost certainly make him a strong fighter as an adult. It may also make him psychologically damaged as well but that isn’t my problem.

I like to practice what I preach, so if you would like to read some of my stories for children, visit my ‘Storify’ page here.


The Big Question

Last week, 7 out of 10 Macedonians voted that they would rather be assailed by brigands than Alexander’s badass mother. This week’s competitor is a thunder bolt – the weapon of Zeus himself.


Why should you fear Olympias more than Zeus? Well, statistically speaking, the chances of being struck by lightening are a whole lot less than being given a tongue lashing and then murdered by the queen. If you don’t believe us, just ask Philip II [Are you sure this is appropriate for the Camp Notices? – Eumenes]

Olympias of Macedon

Camp Notices

Friends of Rome
The FoR will be meeting on the next hemera heliou in Amyntas Africanus’ tent to continue their series looking at the Roman consuls. This week, Marcus Horatius Pulvillus comes under the candle light. Pulvillus was the third suffect of the newly established Roman Republic in the twenty-eighth year of Amyntas I (replacing Spurius Lucretius Tricipitinus who died in office). He may also have served as Pontifex Maximus. Using this as his springboard, Amyntas Superbus will be asking the question, ‘Is religion politics, and politics religion?’

  • Amyntas Africanus and Amyntas Superbus would like to thank Aristobulos for making a model of the Tarpeian Rock, complete with toy prisoners to throw off. The model will be auctioned at the meeting.

The Wine Sarissa Club
Current Vacancies: 8
A quiet meeting last week (and the cancellation of the WS Ultras’ pankration and wine competition) saw only four deaths as a result of drink-stabbing accidents. The club will be aiming to correct this at the next meeting on the next hemera selenes when it holds a special open-session for residents of Ecbatana, so that they might come and experience this little slice of Macedonian “culture”.

Wine and Punishment Soc
This coming hemera Areos, the WinPuSoc will be looking at being beaten to death and how one delivers the ‘kick that kills’ both literally and figuratively.

The League of Amazing Eunuchs
The LAE will be meeting in the Aegae Wine Tent on the next hemera Hermu to hear Bagoas give a talk about his namesake and fellow eunuch who became the vizier for Artaxerxes III (who reigned from the first to twenty-first regnal year of Philip II) before overthrowing him in favour of Darius III Codomannus.

Wear Alexander! Merchandise from Macedon

The Union of Macedonian Mothers
Will be holding a special ‘goodbye’ party on the next hemera Dios for all the mothers whose husbands have decided to leave Alexander’s service. Donations to pay for the party and parting presents will be sought from all husbands; Cleopatra of the UMM knows you will all be generous. It goes without saying that she also knows where you live.

Kaloi k’agathoi Soc
Next hemera Aphrodites the KkS will be holding a symposium on ‘The Beauty of Cacophony’. The meeting will take place in Ugly Amyntas’ tent but will also involve a walk to the Pella and Aegae Wine Tents to compare the levels of noise in each. Guests are asked not to stay behind and get drunk.

Pock Chop Soc
In the light of our arrival in Ecbatana the PCS will be meeting on the next hemera Khronu to discuss “Who was the greatest king: Croesus, Astyages, or Nebuchadnezzar II?”. Croesus had his wealth, Astyages brought stability, Nebuchadnezzar built the ‘hanging gardens’ of Babylon. They ruled in life together, but who, in death, had most impact upon the world before Cyrus the Great overthrew their empires?

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

Wise Words

“May all the gods whom I settled in their sacred centres ask daily of Bêl and Nâbu that my days be long and may they intercede for my welfare. … The people of Babylon blessed my kingship, and I settled all the lands in peaceful abodes.”

(Cyrus the Great)

Always pray for your ruler

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Camp Notices – Chariots & Wine Edition

Horns & Diadems = an all conquering badass

The King’s Speech

Nobody enjoys an evening’s entertainment as much as I do. However, even I would draw the line at the antics of certain members of the Wine Sarissa Club, which I saw last night.

It is one thing to drink wine out of a hollowed out sarissa, but really quite another to do it when racing round the camp in a chariot. Especially when there are people on foot nearby – such as me.

This unfortunate entry in the WSC’s ever expanding repertoire of ways to die young is, no doubt, a consequence of the emergence of the Wine Sarissa ultras. I understand that next week, they intend to host a pankration and wine competition (see the society notices below). I look forward to it because I know that whatever happens deaths will be limited to those in the circle. I do not look forward to being nearly run over by drunk wine-drinking men in chariots.

This is what it means to be Macedonian – being reckless without being stupid; mad but not crazy, and – if you really don’t mind – being fast without running your king over. Failure to adhere to this third element of our identity will cause me to teach you what it means to be dead. Sarissans, you are warned; Sarissan ultras – I look forward to seeing blood and gore.

Thank you for your consideration.


From the Archive
Codrus: the death wish king
the monarch who can’t help sacrificing himself for a good cause

Athens is not in shock tonight after learning that King Codrus injured himself after jumping in front of a out-of-control camel to save the life of a kitten. It is believed that Codrus, a life long cat lover, acted in the belief that if the moggie died and he survived, Athens would be ruined in accordance with the Delphic Oracle’s prophecy.

The Delphic Comment was reached and made a comment; unfortunately, we have not been able to decipher it yet.

Ptolemy, but not yet

Ptolemy Lagides
On how to tell a story

III. What to do if you forget your narrative

So, there you are, in the middle of the circle; two hundred eyes fixed upon you, one hundred souls hanging upon your every word; you speak slowly, looking each person in the eye as you do so; your voice quietens and your body tenses; the denouement is coming… is coming… coming…

Uh… what was it again?

Forgetting what happens next is a humiliating experience for a poet. It can also be a lethal one if the audience gets irate.

What can he do to avoid shame and being dead? This is an important question as the consequences of forgetting can not only be embarrassing but – assuming the poet is not killed – expensive, as he is forced to give his audience its money back.

The old advice (reputedly given by Homer, but I doubt that) is ‘if you forget your narrative just have someone get stabbed in the dark’, the idea being that by the time you have sung that scene you will have remembered what was supposed to happen and will be able to weave the stabbing into the story proper.

But what if you don’t remember?

What if your mind goes completely blank?

I personally recommend simply making the rest of the story up as you go along with any unresolved threads being used as the basis of a sequel. “But, Ptolemaios,” you are saying, “What if I am singing The Iliad? My audience will know what happens next even if I don’t. I can’t make that story up!”

To which I reply – Pirate Poets. Your audience know Homer’s Iliad. They do not know that version of the fight for Helen which exists in, oh, let’s say some obscure village in Asia Minor. But you do. Or rather, if you brazen it out enough, you will convince your audience that you do, and that is just the same.

If your audience accepts your word that what you just made up is a legitimate story, you are fine; however, it may want to see proof of this variation. That’s when you go to the pirate poets; when you do, simply tell them the story you told your audience, and they will run up a fake manuscript showing your version of it!

Once they see the MS, your audience will be so impressed at your depth of knowledge that you will probably be able to charge higher prices to sing for them in the future!


  • Pirate poets can be found in or near all disreputable establishments. For us, that means the Pella Wine Tent.
  • If the pirate poet threatens to expose you to your audience, kill him.
  • Don’t use shark poets as they charge exorbitant amounts of money per word and then give you an MS that was written for someone else.


The Good (Macedonian) Sex Guide
Your questions answered by Lady Aphrodite who invented a position called the ziggurat

Dear Lady Aphrodite who does it in the vanguard with the officer class,

My wife has recently become obsessed with Hephaistos, and has taken to fondling her poker instead of mine, if you see what I mean. I am worried that she will try to brand me in my sleep. What can I do?

Blaming Her Friendship with Thaïs of Athens


Dear Blaming,

The good news is that if your wife does brand you, slave chic is very popular in certain regions of Upper Macedon! But maybe that is not your thing. Well, if your wife insists on being Hephaistos, why don’t you be Aphrodite who was serially unfaithful to her partner? The girls and I in my tent are currently offering a two-for-one deal. How about it?

Lady Aphrodite Who Never Misses An Opportunity

Lady Aphrodite (the goddess one)

Camp Notices

Loot Soc
We are in possession of a splendid Persian couch with golden armrests that was handed into the society by an honest Macedonian this last week. Do you know to whom it might belong? Please contact Pillaging Amyntas if so.

The Wine Sarissa Club
Current Vacancies: 12
Tomorrow (the hemera heliou) funerals will be held for those brave and drunken men who died during our sarissa wine drinking race round the camp last night. Unfortunate deaths aside, a great time was had by all so this event will likely be repeated in the future.

  • There is a rumour going round that we almost ran the king over. If this turns out to be true, and he hasn’t banned the club as a result, the next race may be held a little further away to avoid trouble and him.

NB: The hard core members of the Wine Sarissa Club are called the WS Ultras. This coming hemera selenes they will be holding a pankration and wine drinking competition through the night. The traditional format for this competition will be adhered to, i.e., one ten minute round of pankration followed by the downing of a krater of wine, followed by another ten minute round of pankration etc. Last man standing/alive wines. Sorry, wins.

Union of Macedonian Mothers
Cleopatra of the UMM will be debating with Alexander on the subject ‘Why Mothers Are Better Than Conquerors’ this coming hemera Areos in the AWT. In case you can’t make it, don’t worry about not knowing the outcome. We all know she will win. If you don’t, your lack of faith in the UMM will be remembered.

Wine & Punishment Soc
This coming hemera Hermu, Wine & Punishment will be discussing being buried alive. Not for the squeamish.

Engineering and the Chicken
Also on the hemera Hermu, Aristobulos will be giving a talk in his tent on his recent visit to Pasargadae with particular reference to Cyrus’ tomb, which, he is glad to report, was found in good shape. After his talk, he will be building a model of the tomb using snow and fish meat. After the talk, Aristobulos’ chicken will be eating the fish; guests are invited to stay and watch but asked not to distract her.

Friends of Rome
The FoR will be meeting in Amyntas Africanus’ tent this coming hemera Dios to continue their discussion of Roman Consuls. This week, they will be looking at the first two Suffect Consuls: Spurius Lucretius Tricipitinus and Publius Valerius Publicola, who ruled Rome in the twenty-eighth year of King Amyntas I. Amyntas Africanus will open the meeting by asking ‘How did the rape of his daughter Lucretia affect Spurius Lucretius Tricipitinus as consul?

  • Please note that in accordance with Roman tradition, diluted wine will be served as this symposium

Friends of the Pella Wine Tent
Next hemera Aphrodites the inaugural meeting of the FPWT will meet in the Pella Wine Tent to discuss whatever comes to mind and get drunk.  Anything else would be a discourtesy.

The Big Question

Olympias of Macedon, badass mother

Who would you rather meet on a dark night – brigands or Olympias?

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

Wise Words

“Moderation is the best thing.”


[Has this been checked with Alexander? – Eumenes]

Alexander on the ‘net
Twitter: @AlexanderIIIFacebookand Pinterest

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Camp Notices – Cyrus Edition

Cyrus wannabe [Very funny, Leonnatus; please delete this before we publish the Notices – Ed]

The King’s Speech

This week, as the army continued on its way to Ecbatana, I broke away from the main column to visit Pasargadae, the home and burial place of Cyrus the Great.

For those of you who do not know, Cyrus founded the Persian empire during the twenty-sixth regnal year of my predecessor, Alcetas I. He was a brave soldier, wise legislator, and friend to men. I strongly recommend Xenophon’s Kúrou paideía, which can be bought from the mobile library, for more information about him.

While at Pasargadae, we entered Cyrus’ tomb to pay homage to him, and when we left, we left him under the protection of the Magi.

The Magi, of course, are men of great dignity. As such, they would be within their rights to charge a great fee for protecting Cyrus’ tomb. But they do not; in fact, they guard it for no more than one sacrificial sheep and horse per month.

I commend the loyalty and devotion of the Magi to you. If they will guard a king for so little, what will you do for your king who gives you so much?


Demaratus, Macedon’s biggest cry baby, talks about what makes him teary
3.  ‘Mycenae, rich in gold’

“But it was. It was. Oh my gods, it was! Homer was right! Gold, lovely gold! I just can’t take the thought of it any more!!!”

[Interview stopped as Demaratus sobs over his copy of The Iliad]

Next Week: Demaratus cries over the First Intermediate Period in Egypt

From the Archive
Codrus: the death wish king
the monarch who can’t help sacrificing himself for a good cause

Reports are coming in today that King Codrus of Athens threw himself onto the hearth in his palace yesterday evening. This remarkable event is said to have taken place after his wife, the queen, spilt some hot water on her finger while making dinner. Hearing her cry, Codrus – remembering the prophecy that Athens would not survive a disaster if the king lived through it and believing that it referred to the hand of his queen – leapt forward and spear tackled the cauldron. He then lay down on the fire. Quick thinking servants put the fire out before it could consume him.

Our reporters say that Athens remains standing.      

Once upon a Ptolemy

Ptolemy Lagides
On how to tell a story

II. Getting An Audience

A few nights ago, following last week’s column on how to engage your audience while telling a story, I was asked in the Pella Wine Tent how does a poet get an audience in the first place?

That is a good question. Men are very busy these days and will not readily give up their time to hear even a good story. A poet may use a number of methods to grab people’s interest.

1. Pay people to listen. Sadly, most (i.e. all) poets are very poor. If they were rich they would probably be politicians so this method is not very practicable.

2. Coerce. Blackmailing people can be fun but sadly, is not wise in this instance. The last thing you want to happen while singing of Achilles’ rage (if you really must sing the same song as every other poet ever) is to get stabbed in the back – literally – by an audience member with a grudge.

3. Ask / Beg / Plead. There is nothing wrong with any of these options in and of themselves, but be wary – if you use any of them, you are effectively telling your prospective audience members ‘I am soft, listen to me for a while, then beat me up and take my money; in fact, don’t even do that, here it is, and can I lick the dirt of your sandals for you?’

4. Get them drunk. This is my favourite method. If you whip out your lyre or lute at the right moment during a drinking session, the kind of people who would be likely to take advantage of you ( [3] above) will be too drunk to be of any trouble. Similarly, the kind of people who would be minded to listen will do just that, for they will be grateful that you have given them an opportunity to slow down on their drinking, because – apparently – there are some people out there who do not drink to get drunk.


Camp Notices

The Union of Macedonian Mothers will be taking revenge on the men who continue to try and pierce their wives ears and other body parts with xystons and spears and who failed to give a donation for the outing to Susa two weeks ago. Cleopatra (tyrannos – Is that right, Leonnatus? I really don’t want to get on her wrong side – Ed) apologises for the inconvenience to wives and mistresses if their man turns up dead.

The Kaloi k’agathoi Soc will be holding nine nights of petition (NNP) from the hemera heliou onwards to ask Ares to send us a new Persian army against which Alexander may win new glory and his soldiers loot – and scars. The NNP is open to all and will be followed by wine and an SAE (scar admiration exchange).

The Wine Sarissa Club meets at midnight on the next hemera Hermes for a special Under the Moonlight meeting. Wine drinking and initiations (there are currently six vacancies due to deaths by over drinking) will be punctuated by prayers and hymns to Selene.

Love and Strife Soc. This new society is dedicated to the discussion and dissemination of the works of the Acragian philosopher Empedocles. Mystical Amyntas, a lifelong admirer of Empedocles’ work, invites anyone who is interested in knowing more about the great man’s writings to his tent at sunset on the next hemera Areos. M. Amyntas says, “Empedocles was the greatest philosopher to live before Socrates. The first half of our symposia will involve a reading of a portion of his On Nature; the second will be a discussion of the same, which will last until we are all too drunk to continue.

Engineering and the Chicken. There will be no E&tC meeting this week as Aristobulos is in Pasargadae; however, he wishes to thank all those who prayed for his chicken over the past week. The Camp Notices is happy to report that she is back to full health and, no doubt, ready to eat another structure upon the return of her master.

This coming hemera Hermes, the Friends of Rome will be holding the first in a series of symposia to discuss the rôle of the Roman consul since its inception in the twenty-eighth regnal year of King Amyntas I. The first symposium will look at Lucius Iunius Brutus and Lucius Tarquinius Collatinus, and will be asking the question ‘Were they right to overthrow the Roman monarchy?‘. Of course they weren’t, but if you would like to find out why, visit Amyntas Africanus’ tent at sunset to find out why.

Wine and Punishment Soc. A new society dedicated to discussing different forms of capital punishment over a krater or two of wine. This week: crucifixion. The first meeting will be held in the Pella Wine Tent on the hemera Dios, and will look at the fate of Polycrates of Samos (who was, by-the-bye, betrayed to death by the Persians).

Loot Soc thanks to all who attended its exchange session in the Aegae Wine Tent last hemera Aphrodites. There will be another one on the same day next week. It was very interesting seeing all the the loot that was brought for sale or exchange – the head of an unknown pharaoh, Gyges’ queen’s clothing, and Moses’ staff being among some very notable items on display.

Meet The Macedonians

A more humourless face than this has not been seen since Lycurgus bored the world

Seleucus, son of Antiochus. The man who knows not what a comb looks like and teller of unfunny jokes. Seleucus loves his mum and can be found most evenings in the Pella Wine Tent extolling the virtues of both his parents. Seleucus says he is thoroughly committed to Alexander’s mission and that his ambition is to one day ‘found one or two cities’ of his own. Good luck, sir!

A Walk through Nature
by Craterus Son of Alexander
Can you guess what type of flower this is?

Actually, it isn’t a flower at all, at least, not one that sprouts from the ground, but a tree in bloom, and the tree is not just any old tree but a cornel tree, which we use to make our sarissas.

We use cornel trees because of their toughness of their wood; and not just for weapons, either, but a whole range of implements – usually, of course, the handle.

I am often disappointed by the little thanks that we give the gods’ bounty. The next time you chop down a shrub or a tree for whatever use – even if it is just to burn – why not say a little thank you to father Zeus and any other appropriate god for what they have given us?

  • Craterus is a commander in the phalanx, and a flower lover. He won Macedon’s Strongest Man award three years in succession in the first – third year of Alexander’s reign; if he says you thank the gods for trees, then we suggest you get thanking before he gets angry and gets beating.

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

Wise Words

“Let no one untrained in getting drunk enter.”

(Sign above the Pella Wine Tent)

Alexander on the ‘net
Twitter: @AlexanderIIIFacebookand Pinterest

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Camp Notices: Lessons from Syracuse Edition

Not Dionysus of Syracuse

The King’s Speech
Less than a hundred years ago, in the eighth regnal year of my predecessor Archelaus I, Carthage captured the cities of Selinus and Himera in Sicily. They took 3,000 Greeks hostage and sacrificed them to their gods. This despicable act preceded an attack on Acragas and then Gela. As Carthage captured the former and lay siege to the latter, Dionysus I of Syracuse was elected strategos autokrator in his home city and charged with its defence.

Over the next few years, he rebuilt the Syracusian army in preparation for a counter strike. His work was concluded in the second year of the joint kingship of Orestes I and Aeropus II. That year, he marched out against the Carthaginians defeating them in Motya following a hard fought battle.

The bloodshed was so bad, Dionysus worried that there would be no Carthaginians left to be sold as slaves. Carthage had suffered a terrible loss, but it was not was defeated; a year later, Himilco of Carthage attacked Dionysus’ forces. Syracuse and Carthage then fought each other for four years until (i.e. in the second and last regnal year of Argaeus II and first regnal year of Amyntas II) Himilco was forced to sign a peace treaty.

The treaty gave Carthage a presence on Sicily. Why? Dionysus had won the war. Well, he wanted an excuse to continue as strategos autokrator, that is to say, as a tyrant. What better way to ensure this than by signing a treaty that kept the Syracusians looking over their shoulders at their enemies.

So, why do I mention all this? Well, now that I am the Lord of Asia, I know that some of you are wondering why we are now marching north to Ekbatana and not to Babylon and home.

The reason is Darius III Codomannus. He lives, and while he lives, he remains a rival to my throne; the throne that he once sat upon. Now, you might argue that as he has been deposed from it, he cannot be considered a threat. But this is a short sighted view. For as long as Darius remains alive, he may gather a new army to himself that could threaten my rule. Of course, I could do what Dionysus I did and come to terms with him. But he (Dionysus), as I have stated, only did that in order to maintain his own authority. I intend to pursue and apprehend Darius in the interest of long term Greek safety and unity between peoples. I have peace in mind, not power.

I know some of you would like to return home; you shall – and with even more riches than you currently own – but I would not have you leave here under threat of a surprise attack. When you leave, you shall look only forward, not over your shoulder as the men of Syracuse were forced to do. It is for this reason that we go north; and it is for this reason that I warn you to look out for Darius as we ride for I fully expect him to challenge me once more.

When he does I will defeat him. Then, he will either be dead or will submit to my authority; when that happens the ghost of Dionysus I of Syracuse that haunts us now will be banished forever and the peace that he could not give his people shall be given by me to mine.


The Ironic Enrinys
On Minoa

“Look, you’ll only get rid of the ear wax if you put your finger IN your ear.”

“I always told the children that they would be back from the Labyrinth in time for tea.”
“Sheep were more popular than bulls on Minoa.”
“Minoan men were frightened of women’s breasts.”
“The Dorian Greeks only invaded Minoa because they were provoked.”

Book Charts
courtesy of the mobile library

1. The Iliad by Homer (no change)
2. The Odyssey by Homer (no change)
3. Odes by Pindar (new)
4. Histories by Herodotus (down one place)
5. Anabasis by Xenophon (down one place)

The new chart shows no change in the top two positions for the five hundredth year and 2600 (ish) week in succession. Below it, however, Pindar has shot into third place displacing Thucydides from the top five. What has led to Pindar’s sudden popularity? Who can say but maybe it will inject a bit of life in this frankly moribund chart. Perhaps we’ll just start making it up; Would you like that? Let me know, or, why not just come to the library and take another bloody scroll out!
Sarcastic Amyntas

Ptolemy a few years hence

Ptolemy Lagides
On how to tell a story

I. Don’t be afraid to involve your audience.

Every night in the Pella Wine Tent I see men telling stories about things that have happened to them, the gods or some other subject and as they speak (or sing) they recline on their couch as if their audience has the plague or bad B.O.

This is very bad practice.

A good story-teller wants to make his audience feel as much part of the story as possible. If it is a peaceful one (e.g. about what you did at home/while marching) why not insert a reference to food or drink into the narrative; if you do you will have an excuse to provide one or the other or even both to the people listening to you. This is particularly useful if you sense that your audience is getting bored.

Similarly, if your story is about war, don’t be afraid to stab or smack, punch or strangle one of your listeners. They won’t complain (on account of being dead) and the surviving members will leave you afterwards with the satisfaction of having got as close to the action of the narrative as one can without having jumped into the story itself. You will be thanked for this and adored by generations to come as a second Homer (Possibly).


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

“Oh my! Oh, oh my! Oh, oh, oh my! Giving men the right to vote! The right to decide their future! OH MY! IT’S ALL TOO, TOO MUCH!!!!!!!!”

[Interview stopped as Demaratus gets confused and tries to kill himself so that he can die happy]

Next Week: Demaratus cries over his Boot Straps

Camp Notices
Now that we are on the road again, all meetings will be after sundown unless otherwise stated

Proxenus and the Engineering and the Chicken Soc.
Aristobulos informs the Camp Notices that due to the success of last week’s talk, during which he and Proxenus made a model of the Royal Tent using only leaves and twigs, they will be teaming up again this coming hemera selenes to make a full sized model of the ark of the covenant out of according to the directions laid out in the Israelites’ holy book. To add to the challenge, both objects will be made out of whatever material guests bring with them.

* Aristobulos’ chicken will not be eating any food used in the challenge this week as she has been feeling under the weather for the last few days. Please pray to Asklepios for her recovery as Aristobulos has been feeling very lonely without her.

Pneuma Soc
Last week’s discussion on ‘What do the words of a drunk man mean?‘ will continue on the hemera Areos this week. The talk will be followed by a workshop during which one male and one female guest will be invited to get drunk so that their words can be analysed for possible meaning.

* If you would like to volunteer to be one of the drunk guests, please let Deep Thoughts Amyntas know by midnight on the hemera selenes.

Get drunk. Dance.

Pork Chop Soc
The PCS regrets to announce that following last week’s real life massacre during a game of Rome: Total War Bastard for children it will not be starting a children’s division of the club. Destroying one’s enemies in the context of a game is one thing but doing it in real life because you lost or ‘wanted total and utter victory’ is another. The PCS thanks the UMM for not destroying it in any revenge action as a result of the unfortunate bloodshed.

Wine Sarissa Soc
Scythian Extra Strength Rot Gut, acquired from some shady camel traders on the first day after we left Persepolis, will be used at this week’s meeting on the hemera Hermu. There are currently three vacancies for places in the society; if you would like to join it and are prepared to drink the Rot Gut+ you will be given free membership for two years instead of one. If you die in the attempt, the society promises to crucify the traders should they ever be seen again.

Union of Macedonian Mothers
The UMM understands that women like to beautify themselves in whatever way possible and applauds this; however, please do not let any man pierce ANY PART OF YOUR BODY with his xyston or sarissa. These weapons are WHOLLY INAPPROPRIATE TOOLS FOR PIERCINGS. And no, it does not matter if he does it when sober rather than drunk.

Men who attempt to pierce their wives with a spear are reminded that the UMM know where you live.

Kaloi k’agathoi Soc
This coming hemera Dios the KkS will be holding a discussion in the Pella Wine Tent on ‘The Beauty of the Gorgon”. You would have to have a heart of stone to miss it.

Loot Soc
Have you ever looted something that you no longer want? If so, Loot Soc is for you. The Society of Looters and Pillagers (to give it its full name) is a friendly society dedicated to helping members get rid of loot they don’t want and acquiring looted goods that they do over a flagon of wine or two. We will be holding our next buy-or-exchange session in the Aegae Wine Tent next hemera Aphrodites.

The Good Macedonian Sex Guide
Your questions answered by Lady Aphrodite who does it at the end of the baggage train with aplomb

Dear Lady Aphrodite who d etc etc

Theognis said that “there is nothing sweeter than an honest wife”. Is this true?

Thinking about marriage

Sweet as.

Dear Thinking about marriage,

Yes it is; but I would add, there is nothing spicier than a whore. Which you go with just depends on your taste.

Lady Aphrodite who does it at th etc etc

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

Wise Words

“A man’s homeland is wherever he prospers”

(Aristophanes Plutus)

Worth remembering – Alexander

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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)

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Camp Notices – Upper Macedon Coming Through Edition

The King’s Speech

Last night, those of us lucky enough to be in the Pella Wine Tent witnessed some first rate speed drinking, vomiting and death during the latest Inter-Macedon drinking competition.

Unsurprisingly, following the opening all-against-all round, the final was contested between the men of Eordaea and Orestis, with the former coming out on top. Upper Macedon really will never be rivalled for the brutality of its life and culture and the ability of its men to survive drinking innumerable kraters of wine in a limited amount of time.

Upper Macedon’s continued dominance in the competition is no shame to Lower Macedonians, for without us our mountain brothers would still be using bark to wipe their bums, as the saying goes. Yes, Upper Macedon has the strength, but Lower Macedon has the cunning; divided, we were both at danger from the northern tribes and Greek poleis; together – thanks to my father – we are unbeatable across the world.

You might ask where was Lower Macedon’s cunning last night. Before answering that, I would like to thank my fellow Bottiaeans for volunteering to take charge of the dining arrangements for the Thracian drinkers at next week’s Pan-Greece drinking final.

Thrace has a reputation for backwardness that is even stronger than Upper Macedon’s but with it comes a reputation for being even more formidable drinkers. They deserve every honour they get, especially other Greeks helping them with their preparations to defend their crown.

Therefore, I am delighted that men from my own region are looking after them so that the Thracians can be on their best form when they compete against Eordaea.

Now, what was I saying again?

Further to the above, my condolences go to the friends and families of those men who died during the competition last night. They died, if not nobly, then for a more-or-less good cause.

Demaratus, Macedon’s biggest cry baby, talks about what makes him teary
1. Soil
“When I hold a clump of black soil I think of all the plants that will grow in it and my heart explodes with pride! Food means life, life means fit men, and fit mean means soldiers for Alexander! Oh, how wonderful his army is to see I— I must— oh![Interview paused while Demaratus tries unsuccessfully to hold back his tears]

“Forgive me; at least they were tears of joy, though! Unlike when I see dusty, brown soil; then I know that the ground is dead. DEAD! Woe is me! it’s all too much!”

Next Week: Demaratus cries over turnips

The Ironic Erinys
on Greek literature

“Come on Orestes, we only want to play”

“When we chased Orestes, I didn’t mean him any harm; I just wanted to tickle him.”
“Sophocles treated King Creon far too harshly; poor lamb.”
“I was really sad when Agamemnon got angry with Calchas.”
“Frankly, the reason we never chased Elektra is because she scared us.”
“That Sappho was a right moody cow.”

Camp Notices

The Mobile Library
Ptolemy Lagides would like to advise users of the library that fines for the late return of scrolls cannot be paid in kind; nor will attempts to haggle be entertained.

The Wine Sarissa Club will be holding a symposium on the ‘detrimental health effects of drinking diluted wine‘ this coming hemera heliou. Diluted wine will be offered as part of the session although members are reminded that they drink it at their own risk (to their reputation).

Engineering and the Chicken
This coming hemera selenes Aristobulos will be building a model of a silver mine out of fruit, meat and beer while discussing the economic benefits that the mines bring to Macedon. After the talk, his pet chicken will be eating the mine. Guests are permitted to stay and watch the chicken if they please but are asked not to get in its way.

Proxenus will be giving a talk on the next hemera Areos on how he and his team erect Alexander’s Royal Tent ‘quickly, safely, and securely’. This talk will take place in the Aegae Wine Tent; afterwards, a practical demonstration will take place outside which all non-drunk attendees will be invited to take part in.

Thirty Seconds to Persia will be demonstrating different war cries from across the known world this hemera Hermu in the Pella Wine Tent.

Coin & Kind Society
As you will recall, Alexander established a new mint in Babylon during his stay there. But how are coins made? This hemera Diosin the PWT  we welcome a member of the Babylonian mint to Persepolis to speak to us about the money making process. During the talk, coins bearing the image of Zeus basileus (Ba’al) made in Babylon will be handed out – and handed back at the end of the talk, on pain of death.

Pork Chop Soc
The PCS will be meeting next hemera Aphrodites in the ruins of Xerxes’ Palace to discuss the following topic ‘Should Philip II have turned back from Thermopylae in his thirteenth regnal year?‘ Wine and food will be served.

Did You Know?
Thucydides once called the Macedonian army a mob that was liable to panic? How times change!

The (Macedonian) Good Sex Guide
by Lady Aphrodite who does it behind the front line while all their spears are up

You Pays Your Money But The Following Writer Did Not Get His Choice

Dear Lady Aphr etc etc,
I visited a new prostitute this week and she charged me the full rate for intercrural sex. Do you agree that this is unfair?
Yours, Unsatisfied.

Dear Unsatisfied,
Yes, it is unfair. Do not complain to her, though, as you would not wish to rub her up the wrong way with your annoyed ejaculations. Rather, go and speak to her mistress afterwards. She will be certain to satisfy you so that there are no more thighs and lows between you and your mistress.
Yours Lady A. etc.

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

Wise Words
“If you add a little to a little, and then do it again, soon that little shall be much.”


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Camp Notices – Harder Than Sparta Edition

Your king and your god

The King’s Speech
This week, the Union of Macedonian Mothers won the monthly Harder Than Sparta award for their continued success in telling men what to do, when to do it, and how to please their wives and not get their throats cut.

As it happens, in the five years since I came to the throne of Macedon no one except the UMM has won the award. You might think that this renders it meaningless; I say let’s focus on the number of lives that the UMM has saved through its policy of engagement and, when that has failed, happy use of main force.

Of course, a fair few of the men whom the UMM has saved have gone on to accidentally kill themselves during meetings of the Wine Sarissa Club. For that reason, the award of Most Likely To Die Before Alexander’s Next Major Battle went to every WSC member. The WSC has been as successful in this category as the UMM has in the Harder Than Sparta one so the award is very well earned.

For the sake of my expedition, however, I would like to remind WSC members that the award is for ‘Most Likely’; there is no need for you to prove yourself worthy of the award by going on a ‘drink and spear’ session. No one has ever survived a “D&S” session. The chances of doing so are so minimal not even criminals sentenced to death go on one. Do the right thing by me, yourself, and your wife – stick to drinking out of a sarissa tip. It’s good, clean fun (mostly).

Cleopatra of the UMM: If you hear of any men who fail to obey the above order, you have my permission to practice on them for next month’s Harder Than Sparta award.


This Week’s Top Trending Tent Topics
What are they talking about in the Aegae and Pella Wine Tents?


Camp Notices
Congratulations to the fifty-eight people called Amyntas who got married this week. Bad luck to the brides who got confused and married the wrong man.

Soldiers are asked to desist from trying to stab stray dogs with their sarissas or spears of an evening due to the number of injuries being caused to their fellow men as they pass by.

The king has become aware of illegal pankration matches taking place in the ruins of Xerxes’ palace and other dark places. The first rule of illegal pankration matches is that you do not keep quiet about your victories. Yes, the fight was illegal, and you may be executed if found guilty of the offence but the king wants to know who the best fighters are; partly for betting purposes, and so that he can promote those fighters who killed their opponents with especial speed or effectiveness. Don’t worry about the law – the king is the law, and if he likes you, you live.

Coenus will be giving a talk on the hemera heliou this week on ‘How to feel fear like an Athenian’. This perennially popular talk will be followed by a re-enactment of Athenians being scared in a variety of situations.

As people have been asking, yes, Alexander still disapproves of beards.

Confirmation has been received that Demaratus started crying with joy after he woke up following a good night’s sleep yesterday.

What’s Making Elektra Mad This Week?
The sun rises, the sun falls; Elektra remains mad as Herakles. What is making her mad this week?

Elektra: Still mad for it

hemera selenes Puppies
hemera Areos Oak leaves
hemera Hermu Sedge
hemera Dios Ear wax
hemera Aphrodites Smithing
hemera Khronu The second hour

Sponsored by the Erinyes
“Blood eyed bitches, and proud of it”

In this section of the Camp Notices, Alexander’s generals take it in turns to look at the circumstances under which Alexander might lose a battle:

Society Notices

Waiting for Barsine – a new play by Amyntas of the Pella Theatre Group is a one man show based on Alexander waiting for the princess to come and see him. Coming Soon (unlike Barsine).

Pneuma Soc
Dedicated to discussing the words of the Delphic Oracle. On the hemera selenes this week, Pneuma will continue its look at Priestess Aristonike’s oracle to the Athenians as recorded in the seventh scroll of Herodotus’ histories.

Engineering and the Chicken
On the hemera Areos this week, Aristobulos will be recreating the Overhanging Gardens of Babylon using mud and bits of twig. The plants will be crafted using fish, which will be fed to Aristobulos’ chicken after the close of the meeting.

The Pork Chop Soc
On the hemera Hermu, the Pork Choppers will be holding a discussion on Cleisthenes’ democratic reforms in Athens. Speaking for the reforms will be Amyntas of Athens, and against them Perdiccas Son of Orontes.

Society of Shield Maidens and Spear Lords
A chance for girls and boys to learn how to use shields and spears. A new group, run by Ptolemy Son of Lagos and Craterus following the success [is this right? – Ed.] of their reconstruction of the battle at Gaugamela. First class begins on the hemera Dios.

Romulus and Remus suckle on the Capitoline Wolf

Club Focus

Who Are You?
The Friends of Rome
Is It True the FoR only has two members?
Yes. Amyntas Africanus (“Consul”) and Amyntas Superbus (“Tribune”). The second names are obviously not our real names but acknowledgments of famous Romans.
Why Does the FoR exist?
Many Macedonians don’t take Rome seriously – Alexander calls it a ‘village of mudhuts on the top of seven hills’. But we think great things lie ahead for Rome and Greece ought to be taking her seriously.
Ha ha ha
Hey,  you are supposed to be asking us questions!
Alright. What Do You Do?
We meet every week to discuss some aspect of Roman society, history and religion.
How Do Losers Join?
Sorry, ‘losers’?! Because society numbers are still rather low, we meet in Amyntas Africanus’ tent. This also stops us from being laughed at for our beliefs. Everyone is welcome. Even women. We would love to be able to re-enact the Rape of the Sabine Women one day.
Any Last Words?
Please join our society! Rome WILL be important one day; Please, please come! And stop laughing!
No chance. Ha ha ha haaaa!

Face of our Fathers


Liked his hair; a good orator.

Random Facts from Herodotus
by Hephaestion Amyntoros

  • Sesostris was the only Egyptian king to rule Ethiopia
  • It was Abronichus who brought news of the fate of Leonidas to the Greeks
  • When asked by Darius I under what circumstances they would eat the dead bodies of their fathers, the Greeks in his court said they would do it… for not all the money in the world

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

Wise Words
“May you bed down,
Head to breast, upon
the flesh
of a plush


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Camp Notices – Watch Your Tongue Edition

Alexander, the man in chargeThe King’s Speech
On a recent visit to the Pella Wine Tent I overheard two Macedonians arguing over whether the poet Theognis was from Megara on the Isthmus of Corinth or Megara Hyblaea. It was an interesting discussion to listen to until they started fighting. Personally, I have no idea where Theognis lived, and for the time being, do not much care.

What I do care about, however, is his wisdom. We Macedonians are proud drinkers but there does come a point when for the sake of our lives we need to stop. Theognis sums up the reason why in these lines,

My head is heavy with wine, Onomakritos, and wine overpowers me.
I am no longer in control of my good judgement,
and the room whirls about me.

A few days ago, I witnessed a drunk man lose his ‘good judgement’ [gnome] when he criticised a very important person’s relationship with a good man. The drunk almost lost his life in consequence.

The incident to which I refer is not secret so I imagine you will know what I am talking about. I exhort you, therefore, to be careful when you drink not to say the wrong thing (such as, for example, I can’t love Hephaestion) in front of the wrong person (such as, for example, me) on pain of death. Theognis shows us how we should behave,

At the common meal a man should be prudent and mindful,
… let him bring in laughter.


What’s Making Elektra Mad This Week?
The rage of Elektra reaches out across the centuries. What is making her mad this week?

Elektra, still mad for it

hemera heliou Pigeons
hemera selenes Cubits
hemera Areos Angels
hemera Hermu Demons
hemera Dios Codes
hemera Aphrodites Gaul
hemera Khronu kosmos

Sponsored by Tisiphone
“Murdering murderers like there’s no tomorrow”

An Open Letter from Parmenion

On behalf of the king, thank you to everyone who made our women feel extra-special following last week’s Camp Notices. Naturally, Alexander spoke differently to you than the way I would have done, but then, he is Alexander and I am Parmenion.

A number of individuals and societies undertook events for the benefit of our women. I thank Perdiccas for his fascinating (ahem) presentation on ‘how to compile statistics while on the road‘, and Lysmichus for his on ‘good animal keeping‘; Strategos Wolfe was a much appreciated assistant! I also thank the League of Amazing Eunuchs for the insights offered in their class on the benefits of being snipped. They made a lot of men uncomfortable, and a lot of women laugh. Last, but by no means least,  I thank the Union of Macedonian Mothers for its fascinating study of ‘Why women are better‘. Well, I say it was a study, but it was just Cleopatra of the UMM standing up and saying, ‘Well, we are; who dares defy me?’ No-one did, of course, which perhaps proved her point. Or re-enforced her status as the hardest women in the east.

Where there are women, children are never far behind so naturally they also were catered for. Thanks go to Ptolemy Son of Lagos for starting a series of classes at the mobile library to help women learn to write. And thanks to Polyperchon Son of Simmias and Hephaestion Amyntoros for their music classes.

Obviously we regret the deaths of a number of the children who took part in the Wine Sarissa Club’s re-staging of the battle at Arbela. I believe most were drunk, however, so would not have suffered overmuch. Naturally, the Pork Chop Soc has apologised for handing out free crucifixion and impalement kits to children during their workshop on ‘Effective methods of torture that you might require when you grow up to be a successful general‘.

Finally, thank you to the grandmothers who spent the week roving the camp, picking up lost children during the various classes and workshops and returned them to their families. Without you, no war in twenty years time will be possible.


Good Sex Guide
by Lady Aphrodite who does it behind your back while you are telling stupid jokes

In this edition of the GSG, I will publish a letter (with permission) and my response.

Dear Lady Aphrodite who etc etc,
My husband is a literalist and obsessed with Sophocles’ Lovers of Achilles. He has nearly killed me three times now by hurling spears at me in our bed chamber while looking at me ever so sexily. I like how he looks, but what can I do to dissuade him from this practice?

Dear Distressed,
Please refer your husband to that portion of the play where love is compared to a snowball and remind him that in this hot climate, which we now find ourselves in, if he insists on taking master Sophocles’ play literally you ought to have no love between you at all. If he is consistent with his beliefs, he will very quickly drop them. If he doesn’t, since he loves Achilles so much, stab him in the heel.

Lady Aphrodi etc etc

Club Focus
Get to know one of the many societies within the camp

Wine Sarissa Club
Who Are We?
The Wine Sarissa Club (WSC) is dedicated to two things i. Drinking ii. Appreciation of Macedon’s finest weapon, the sarissa
What Do We Do
Drink and admire each other’s sarissas whether they be contemporary or historic (i.e. from the age of Philip II)
How To Join
Present yourself to Amyntas of the Sarissa any time you see him in the Pella Wine Tent. Membership is by initiation. This involves drinking wine from a hollowed out twenty-one foot sarissa. If you can drink it without falling over drunk or by killing yourself accidentally when you push the tip of the weapon down your throat to get the last drops of wine then you are in.

Membership is limited, but don’t worry, due to accidents and the occasional fight, we usually have vacancies.

WSC Weekly Statistics (as compiled by Perdiccas)
Adult Dead: 9
six during initiation into the club, three while drunk drinking from a sarissa
Children Dead: 6
all during the restaging of the battle at Arbela

The above adult deaths, added to those of the last few weeks means we now have 25 membership vacancies.

Camp Notices

Thaïs of Athens
will be leading a new appreciation of Prometheus in the mobile library all this week at sunset. Attendees are invited to bring rations for luncheon and contribute stories of how fire has affected their lives.

The Lulz Spartans will be giving a talk in the Aegae Wine Tent this coming hemera heliou on how the Spartan state has successfully bred fine soldiers but too few generals. The talk is free – they are doing it for the lulz.

The Friends of Rome (i.e. Amyntas Superbus and Amyntas Africanus) will be curating an exhibition on the Kingdom of Rome from the hemera hermu onwards. They plead for anyone even half-interested in that seven hill mudhut village to come along.

Please can people stop telling Naïf Amyntas that is alright for men to attend the Thesmophoria festival. It is not alright. One day he will go and the women will tear him apart. He doesn’t need that. Thank you for your co-operation.

This week, the Egyptian Cat shredded just a minor portion of the left armrest of Alexander’s couch. The king thanks the gods for the cat’s restraint.

Face of Our Fathers

Cleomones, hopefullyCleomones I was a tactically astute Spartan king. This relief may or may not be him; we’re not sure. Anyway, not surprisingly, the Spartans didn’t know a good king when they had him and deposed Cleomones. Lucky for them, and Greece, his place was taken by his half-brother, Leonidas I. For more information about Sparta, don’t forget to attend the LOL Spartans’ talk

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

Wise Words
“He spent his days in the gaming-house, where cocks and quails are set fighting, and dice-playing goes on.”
(Æschines Against Timarchus)
Comment: tbh Timarchus sounds like our kind of man


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Camp Notices – Pella Wine Tent Edition

Alexander the Great, son of Zeus-Ammon

The King’s Speech

A number of factors have made my expedition the success that it has been this far, and will no doubt remain: the skill of you, my army, the loyalty of my officers, the phalanx and sarissa and, of course, the Pella Wine Tent.

Of these factors, I am clear in my mind that the presence of the PWT has been key to the overthrow of Darius III’s wicked empire. An Athenian would dispute this, saying that it simply makes us drink sodden degenerates, but it is upon stupid antics and the tales that are told of them afterwards that men thrive.

With that in mind, I am pleased to welcome the new manager of the PWT, Amyntas of Vergina. He is the twelfth of his line (so’s to speak) to bear that proud name so I am sure you will have no problem remembering it.

The manager of the PWT is, quite literally, a law unto himself. However, if Amyntas wishes to do what his predecessor did not, and survive to the end of his term of office I have the following friendly advice:

1. Do not raise wine prices without telling the king
2. Do not even joke about banning fights
3. Do not give any suggestion What So Ever that you thought Attalus, father of Cleopatra hard done by

I assure you all that I have no other reason than Amyntas’ well-being for giving the above advice. I had nothing to do with his predecessor’s unfortunate demise, which occurred after he accidentally ran into a sword eighteen times after doing the above three things.


What’s Making Elektra Mad This Week?
Now that she can’t be mad at her mother anymore, we look at what will be making Elektra mad in the week ahead.

Elektra Madder Than A Gluttonous Spartan hemera heliou Spiders
hemera selenes
hemera Areos Snot
hemera Hermu Holly
hemera Dios The red wine sea
hemera Aphrodites Pontifex Maximus
hemera Khronu Cuirasses

This column is sponsored by the Erinyes
“Never a job undertaken ungrudgingly”

How To Get The Most out of the Pella Wine Tent
by Amyntas of Vergina

1. Drink faster

News From Macedon
Please bear in mind that it takes three months for messengers to get to Persepolis from Macedon so if your family has been sold into slavery they are likely dead already.

Seven whole days recently passed during which time Queen Olympias and Antipater did not argue with each other once. Seasoned political observers described the peace as “wholly unnatural” to the point where some offered to betray either the Queen Mother or Regent in a manner of their choosing so that they could claim to be offended and start a new, comforting feud.

Cambyses’ Army [see Glossary on this Web blog – AOS] has been sighted sailing up and down the Rhenos River in Germania threatening local tribes. Emissaries from this region have asked Antipater to call him home before he ’causes himself a mischief’ (translation from the Germanic).

The death toll in the silver mines in the month of Thargelion was 356 – 15% down on Munychion. Mine commander, Amyntas of the Mines, said on the fifth day of Skirophorion, “We practice a hard and not necessarily fair system of work here so to lose fewer slaves in a month would be nice except that, of course, they are slaves, so who cares?”.

Aristotle of Stageira has reacted “with great sadness” at his failure to proceed to the finals of the inter-polis Rome: Total War Bastard competition. “This uncouth game punishes players who think about what they are doing rather just rush senselessly into battle.” he told this reporter before going off to drown his sorrows at a Symposium.

Society Notices

The League of Amazing Eunuchs
The LAE would like to confirm that it does not intend to make Priapus it’s patron-god. Whoever started spreading this rumour is very vile.
– Limp Amyntas (epistates on the day this notice was written)

Friends of Rome Society (I)
We will be eating wolf at our next meeting on the hemera Areos during which our “consul” Amyntas Superbus will give a talk on The Rise of the Praetorship: classes in conflict. Please note, all wine is diluted at our meetings in accordance with the Roman fashion.
– Amyntas Africanus

Friends of Rome Society (II)
Please come to our meeting. Just because we dilute our wine does not mean we are soft. Look at this way – you can drink more before getting drunk! Please come, it’s getting boring with just Amyntas Africanus and me.
– Amyntas Superbus

 The Wine Sarissa Club
A general discussion on different types of dagger will be held over wine and meat on the hemera Dios this coming week. Do you prefer a smooth blade or a serrated one? When you push it in do you withdraw it straight away or twist it? Which part of the body is easiest to cut? All these questions and more will be answered before we get outrageously and probably lethally drunk. A practical demonstration of best dagger practice will be conducted depending on the capture of any Persians beforehand.
– Straight Edge Amyntas

The Society of Anyone Not Called Amyntas
As to who this society is for, I think the name of the group explains it pretty clearly. And as for what we do – we celebrate the life of anyone not called Amyntas. This week (on the hemera Dios) we are looking at the life and work of Pisistratos, the famous tyrant of Athens. His name is not even an anagram of Amyntas.
– Ironic Amyntas
— Only joking, Ptolemy son of Amyntas (don’t rub it in)

Face of our Fathers

Herodotus of Halicarnassus

Herodotus, not so much a badass as baldass

Good Sex Guide
By Lady Aphrodite Who etc etc etc

1. Drinking wine and sex do not together

Patrons, do not believe anyone who tells you otherwise. A good prostitute wants you in her, not your puke, when the inevitable happens while you kiss. You might say that she should not care given that you have paid to be with her, but consider: if you are content to put not just your manhood but pukey fluid in her then you should pay double for the privilege.

Now we understand one another.

Helen of the tent behind the Pella Wine Tent (AKA Lady Aphrodite Wh etc etc)

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

Wise Words
“Are we out of Caria yet?”
(Herodotus as a young child )


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Camp Notices – Well Done, Eunuchs Edition

Yours truly

The King’s Speech

Believe it or not wine is not the be-all and end-all of our lives. Anyone who lives as if it is, is missing out on a great deal of what life has to offer; for example, the theatre.

If you aren’t a fan of the theatre then remember that it and wine and both intimately connected as plays used to be performed in Athens during the Great Dionysia festival. That aside, the theatre is worth taking seriously as the themes that the great playwrights discuss are eternal ones. For instance, hubris in Persian Women, revenge in Suppliants, and principles in Antigone.

If you are still unable to appreciate what the theatre has to offer then I would suggest that you stay away from the Pella Theatre Group’s tent when they are putting on a performance.

And if you are attending through obligation please do not upset other patrons by making up your own masks so that it looks like your flesh has melted off.


What’s Making Elektra Mad This Week?

Now that she can’t be mad at her mother anymore, we look at what will be making Electra mad in the week ahead.

Elektra: Madder than Hades

hemera heliou Amputated legs
hemera selenes Silk
hemera Areos Blonde hair
hemera Hermu The Evening Star
hemera Dios Half-eaten apples
hemera Aphrodites Her own left nipple
hemera Khronu Grace and favour homes

This column is sponsored by the Erinyes
“Furious to help”

Lost & Found
LOST – the will to live; I attended Seleucus’ stand-up show in the Aegae Wine Tent yesterday and now want to kill myself, please help me forget it ever happened – Every Macedonian ever (Are we sure this notice is not a hoax? – Eumenes)
LOST – my little finger, in the Pella Wine Tent last night during a duel. If found, please return to Amyntas of the Nine Fingers
LOST – one empire, one family to Alexander of Macedon. Please can you persuade him to give them back – Darius Codomannus (Leonnatus, I know you said you verify all notices, but really – Eumenes)


Following a recent spate of incidents involving young children incorrectly applying and removing masks leading to their skin being shredded by glue the Pella Theatre Group will be conducting a workshop to demonstrate to parents how theatre masks should be put on and taken off.

The Pork Chop Soc is looking for a new Keeper of the Maps following the death of the last holder of this post. As is well known, the former Keeper decided to test the accuracy of the maps by taking them into the Persian hinterland. Unfortunately, it turned out that they were not very accurate at all; he got lost, and died of hunger before passing traders could find him. Therefore, the PCS not only need a new Map Keeper but one who is willing to keep them up-to-date. Please see Carve-Up Amyntas for further details.

The Wine Sarissa Club is pleased to announce the acquisition of six sarissas dating from the reign of King Philip II, which had been in the possession of Amyntas of the Gap Tooth. As is well known, Amyntas sadly died last week after accidentally beheading himself while showing new members how to drink from a hollowed-out sarissa. The Philippine sarissas were sold to the WSC by Amyntas’ sister Cleopatre for which we thank her.

The latest Rome: Total War Bastard expansion pack (Poseidon’s Realm) is now on sale from all good camp traders.

Camp Prostitutes ask patrons to ensure that they take all their belongings with them after visiting the brothel – especially their daggers. On a busy day it is not always possible for prostitutes to check the bed for items and this can cause a nasty surprise for either the next client or prostitute depending on whichever position is adopted.

Congratulations to the League of Amazing Eunuchs on its foundation. This society seeks to advance the cause of eunuchs and eunuchry and provide a meeting place for eunuchs to meet and discuss issues relating to their eunuchness.

Face of our Fathers

Agamemnon’s death mask

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

Wise Words
“I portray men as they ought to be, Euripides portrays them as they are.”

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Twitter: @AlexanderIII
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