Posts Tagged With: David Hogarth

David George Hogarth

David_HogarthAUCTOR. David George Hogarth (left) is not an instantly recognisable personality.

In fact, unless you have read a biography of T E Lawrence, or about the Arab Revolt during World War I, you might never have heard of him.

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you might recall that I have mentioned him a few times, but are forgiven if you don’t as despite the fact that Hogarth wrote a book about Alexander he was not a scholar of the Macedonian king.

LECTOR. So, what was he?
AUCTOR. Well, Hogarth was a scholar – being a Fellow at Oxford University – an archaeologist, antiquarian, intelligence officer during the Great War, writer, and President of the Royal Geographical Society.

LECTOR. He certainly got around
AUCTOR. Quite literally so – From what I have read so far, Hogarth appears to have travelled very widely in the Near and Middle East.

LECTOR. What is about him that interests you?
AUCTOR. As soon as I know, I’ll tell you. All I can say at the moment is that there is something in his person and writing that keeps inspiring me to read more of his books. Thus, having read Philip and Alexander of Macedon: two essays in biography, The Wandering Scholar in the Levant, and The Life of Charles M. Doughty, I am currently engaged on Accidents of an antiquary’s life.

LECTOR. Ah. Philip and Alexander!
AUCTOR. Indeed! As a result of starting Accidents, I have learnt that Hogarth’s career as a wandering scholar was inspired by a desire to follow in Alexander’s footsteps. Naturally, I’m delighted to have discovered this, but I don’t think it is the reason why I have become so interested in him.

T.E._Lawrence;_D.G._Hogarth;_Lt._Col._Dawnay

T E Lawrence (left), Hogarth (Middle), Lt. Col. Alan Dawnay (right)

LECTOR. So, does this mean you are quitting Alexander?
AUCTOR. Don’t be silly! No, my interest in Hogarth is, for now, a side project. I’m not going to set up a new blog. If I read something that is relevant to Alexander, I’ll mention it here. If it isn’t, it’ll go onto my general literary blog here. Or…

LECTOR. Typical writer, enjoys keeping people in suspense. Come on. The weekend is almost here.
AUCTOR. Well, all I was going to say is that if you – or anyone who reads this – are interested in Hogarth, I have created a Facebook page dedicated to him here. I am using it to file progress reports on my reading, quotes, titbits of information, etc. The page is – as far as I can tell – the only Fb specific page dedicated to Hogarth, which is a shame but also an opportunity.

So, if you are interested in a late Victorian/early twentieth century English scholar feel free to visit my Facebook page!

LECTOR. If only your blog posts were as short as that.
AUCTOR. Oh, be quiet; it’s your round.

(apologies to Hilaire Belloc for stealing his format)

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David Hogarth “A Wandering Scholar in the Levant”

I have just finished David Hogarth’s A Wandering Scholar in the Levant (John Murray 1896). It was a delightful account of his travels through the near east in search of the ‘Remains of Distant Times’ (p.7).

A few of passages made a strong impression on me. I covered one of them in this post and thought I would record the others here.

The first quotation really made me sit up. Ten renaissances! Egypt must certainly have been a powerhouse of cultural brilliance. The second, however, floored me. What’s going on? I wondered, One minute Hogarth is saying how excellent Egypt was the next he is deriding it.

I should have re-read the renaissance passage again. When I did, I realised that for Hogarth, Egypt’s renaissances were not the same as Europe’s. The were not a time of rediscovery and flowering anew. Rather, as the first sentence below shows, they were a time simply of restarting. This takes some of the gloss off Egypt’s past but one still has to admire a country that no less than ten times was able to pick itself up again.

For the record – I spaced Hogarth’s text out as you see it below to make it easier to read.

Each new agency has all to do over again; each new agency advances sometimes as far as the last, sometimes less far, never farther.

Egypt has seen not one Renaissance but ten –

the Renaissance of the Twelfth Dynasty(1), when the sculptures of Beni-Hassan and the gold-work of Dahshur recalled the standard of the Tomb of Ti:

the Renaissance of the Eighteenth(2), labouring up again to an inferior delicacy in relief sculpture in the eastern halls of Karnak, at Der el Bahari, in the monuments of Amenhotep III(3) at Luxor, and of Seti I(4) at Abydos:

the Renaissance again of the Saitic Pharaohs(5), to whose period belong three-fourths of the more exquisite trifles sold now in Egypt,

and the Renaissance of the Sebennytics (6), this last a conscious effort to throw back.

There was a Renaissance of the Ptolemies(7), another of early Christianity(8), another of the Fatimites(9), another of Saladin(10), another of the Mamluks(11), a last of Mehemet Ali(12).

And the impulse of one and all, almost beyond doubt, came from without Egypt, the Amenemhats and Usertasens(13) being foreigners as truly as the founder of the Dynasty that is reigning now(14).
(A Wandering Scholar, p.156)

‘Each new agency…’ In Hogarth’s opinion, it sounds like the Ptolemies went backwards.

Ptolemaic art is worse every way than Pharaonic – bad relatively and bad absolutely, corruptio optima pessima(15)!
(
A Wandering Scholar, p.165)

1. 1991-1803 B.C.
2. 1549-1292 B.C.
3. 1391–1353 or 1388–1351 B.C.
4. 1290–1279 B.C.
5. i.e. The Twenty-Sixth Dynasty 685–525 B.C.
6. i.e. The Thirtieth Dynasty 380 BC–343 B.C.
7. 305-30 B.C.
8. A.D.33-c4th Cent (I’m following Wikipedia here in dating the beginning of ‘Christian Egypt’ from St Mark’s arrival there)
9. A.D.909–1171
10. A.D. 1137/1138-1193
11. A.D. 1250-1517
12. A.D. 1805-1953
13. Amenemhat and Usertasen (aka Useresen, Senusret) were the names of seven pharaohs of the Twelfth Dynasty. The only ruler not to have that name was the eighth and last of that line, Queen Sobekneferu
14. i.e. Mehemet [Muhammad] Ali
The above dates and information was taken from Wikipedia
15. ‘The corruption of the best is the worst’ (from here)

***

But lest we think that Hogarth has no time for the Ptolemies at all:

… the only monarchs of the Nile valley that approach to absolute greatness are Ptolemy Philadelphus I., Saladin, certain of the Mamluks, and Mehemet Ali;

for these held as their own what the vainglorious raiders of the Twelfth and Nineteenth Dynasties but touched and left;

and I know no prettier irony than that among all those inscriptions of Pharaohs who “smite the Asiatics” on temple walls and temple pylons, there should occur no record of the prowess of the one King of Egypt who really smote Asiatics hip and thigh – Alexander, son of Philip.
(A Wandering Scholar, p.169)

I am very interested in Egypt’s history but I have to admit, when I read those last words about Alexander, I did smile.

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Hogarth at Ipsus

David_HogarthI have started David Hogarth’s A Wandering Scholar in the Levant, his episodic account of his travels in the near east.

In Chapter 2 DGH quotes from his diary entries to show that the life of a wandering scholar is not, as some believe, ‘a disguised holiday’.

One of the entries concerns the occasion he came to Ipsus, south-central Turkey – scene of the last great diadoch battle (for more details see my post here).

July 4th. – We are at the head of the valley of the Phrygian Lakes, down which Cyrus marched with his ten thousand Greeks on the way to Cunaxa. Here lies the site of Ipsus, and the great battle of 301 B.C., in which the greatest of the Successors, Seleucus, won Alexander’s heritage from old Antigonus, [and which] was fought probably on the grassy plain over which we rode to-day: two mounds near Chai perhaps conceal the slain.

I recovered enough strength to-day to begin a rough route-map with prismatic compass and dead reckoning of pace. Such surveying is an irritating occupation at the best of times. If the compass reading is to approach accuracy, it cannot be taken from the saddle. You must dismount twenty times in a morning. If a horse be left loose he will sidle off the track to browse and get bogged; if you slip your arm through his bridle, he jerks it up just as the needle was about to come to rest. He declines to stand to be remounted; the ill-girthed saddle slips round unless you throw your heel over like lightning, and agility is not one’s strongest point when weak and stiff from a malady hardly cured*.

So we crossed but slowly to Chai, and turned down beside, rather than on, the high road to Konia; everyone seems to go beside and not on this road, which is grass-grown, its bridges rotten and often disconnected from the embankments. A little village came in sight on the flank of the mountain, and we turned up to examine it in hope of finding relics of Ipsus; but no sooner had we arrived there than B**. was seized with violent shivering fits, and it became patent that we must stay where we were for the night.

We repaired to the village guest-house, and a weary afternoon has ensued for me, who became the centre of a crowd of gaping rustics, B. lying torpid the while, and a wearier evening, for no food appeared until nigh ten o’clock, the headman’s wife having long protested that she would not cook for giaurs***.

* Hogarth had been suffering from a fever
** H A Brown, Hogarth’s travelling companion
*** Derogatory term for a non-Muslim

Picture:Phaselis Birikimi

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David Hogarth on Alexander’s Influence

III.

The conventional view is that Alexander’s empire was short-lived.

And, let’s be honest, on this occasion, the conventional view is correct: officially, the Argead empire lasted just over twenty years, from 331 B.C., when Alexander defeated Darius III at the Battle of Gaugamela to c.310/09 B.C. when Cassander had Alexander IV assassinated.

If we are being generous we could bring the date down to 306-04 B.C. when Antigonus, Ptolemy, Cassander and Lysimachus finally declared themselves kings of their respective realms; however, the point remains.

But while Alexander’s political world did not long outlive him, his influence endured for many more years. It may even be said to be still alive today; I’ll come to that in a moment.

What has brought Alexander’s legacy to mind is reading Philip and Alexander of Macedon by David Hogarth, which I finished a few days ago. A few pages before the end, Hogarth considers the ways in which Alexander influenced several important empires. Despite, or perhaps because of, their obviousness I had not thought of them before. Here’s what he says.

If we look to the means which Alexander adopted in his last months to advance his great aim, we perceive that in conception he anticipated the cardinal cause of the provincial success of the Roman Empire. For he saw that universal conquests could not be accomplished, still less retained, with the strength of a single mother-people, but that the one half the world must be enlisted to conquer and hold the other half.

Had he lived to subdue North Africa, we may be sure that Moors and Numidians would have been found fighting under his banners in Spain and Gaul, and Spaniards and Gauls in Italy. His mixed army of Europeans and Asiatics, organized in Babylon in the spring of 323, was no more than the predecessor of those Gaulish and German legions which brought Emperors to Rome.

When the historian finds Alexander punishing with drastic severity Viceroys of his own race whom he believed, wrongly or rightly, to have outraged alien faiths and extorted provincial money, his thought will pass on to Tiberius and the quinquennium Neronis. When he sees Persians and Bactrians set high in a Macedonian empire, he thinks of Trajan the Spaniard, Elagabalus the Syrian, Maximin the Goth, and Philip the Arabian. The so-called Epigoni – those Oriental youths trained in the Macedonian manner, who were brought to Susa to be enrolled – recall the heirs of client kings, educated perforce in the Eternal City, and those children of the camps, who were the backbone of the legionary system.

Hogarth adds that it is only in the Susa Weddings that Alexander and Rome part ways, for nothing ‘so artificial ever entered into the policy of the most cosmopolitan of the Italian emperors.’

Susa aside, he notes

… that a “mixed” empire, with an Asiatic centre, successively Seleucid, Parthian, and Persian, survived Alexander’s death by fully a thousand years.

What about today?

Well, just over 2,300 years later, Alexander’s aim of bringing together a diverse range of people under one banner is happening as we speak in Europe.

Of course, the European Union is not an empire and never will be*; as and when its members achieve total political union, one country will not have control over all the others though some may dominate proceedings; however, just as the EU contains many peoples, men and women from all over the union are able to join its key institutions.

I think that Alexander would definitely have appreciated the trans-national army-of-sorts that already exists in NATO, and the requirement for anyone who wanted to climb the ladder in EU politics to follow in the footsteps of the Epigoni and relocate to Brussels and/or Strasbourg.

The children of the camps are no more. For now. If in the future, however, we start sending men and women into space to start colonising new planets the children of their camps will surely grow up to be their guards and successors. In a less bloody fashion, one hopes, than those who succeeded Alexander with so much damage to his legacy in the short term.

* May it never seek to oppress any other nation or people as well

Previous Posts on Philip and Alexander of Macedon

i. A Country Ancient and Modern
ii. General Ronald Storrs and Cardinal Francis Bourne

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General Ronald Storrs and Cardinal Francis Bourne

II.

David Hogarth portrays Alexander as having very little respect for his religion.

As a boy, he had treated cavalierly even the Pythia. As a man, he refused to listen when a soothsayer forbade his venture across the Sir Daria; he committed palpable fraud with the auspices to save his dignity at the Sutlej; and replied with scornful sarcasm to the last warnings of the prophets of Bel.
D G Hogarth “Philip and Alexander of Macedon” p. 195)

But he does not tell the whole story.

It is true that Alexander was very unkind to the Pythia, dragging her to the shrine so that she could prophecy for him (Plutarch Life 14) on a day when it was illegal for her to do so. And while he did indeed ignore Aristander who told him that the omens were against him, he only did having respected an earlier injunction against crossing the Sir Daria (i.e. the Tanais/Jaxartes), and, I should add, after being continually provoked by the Asian Scythians on the other side of the river (Arrian IV.4).

As for the events at the Sutlej (Hyphasis) river – Neither Curtius, Diodorus, Justin, nor Plutarch mention Alexander sacrificing there following the Macedonian army’s revolt. Arrian does (V.29) but there is nothing in his words that should make us suspect that Alexander fixed the result in order to save face.

If there was fraud on the banks of the Hyphasis river it was in the gigantic altars that Alexander set up. Curtius (IX.3.19) says that he wanted to create a ‘fraudulent wonder’ while Plutarch (Life 62) refers to them as ‘a number of ruses and deceptions’. Arrian (V.29) describes the altars ‘as a thank-offering to the gods’. Whichever way we look at them, though, is a moot point, as they were not what Hogarth was talking about.

The nature of Alexander’s response to the (Chaldaean) prophets’ warning not to enter Babylon on pain of death depends on who we read.

  • Arrian (VII.16) records Alexander as quoting Euripides to them: ‘Prophets are best who make the truest guess’, which is not what I would call ‘scornful sarcasm’.
  • Diodorus (XVII.112) says that Alexander, at first, paid heed to the prophets before being turned against them by Anaxarchus and the Greek philosophers. When that happened, ‘he came to despise all prophetic arts, and especially that which was held in high regard by the Chaldaeans’. How could Alexander change his stance so quickly? I would suggest he was still emotionally vulnerable after Hephaestion’s death.
  • Plutarch (Life 73) says that Alexander ignored the Chaldaeans’ warning but there is no mention of sarcasm by him.
  • Justin (Epitome XII.13) follows Diodorus in having Alexander listen to the Chaldaeans before – under Anaxarchus’ influence – deciding to ignore them. To be sure, he does say that Anaxarchus persuaded him ‘to slight the predictions of the Magi as fallacious and uncertain’ but would this have happened if Alexander had not been in a vulnerable state?

Contrary to how it may seem I am still enjoying reading David Hogarth’s Philip and Alexander of Macedon. The inspiration for this post, however, was not his book but a copy of the Westminster Cathedral Chronicle from February 1935, which I read yesterday. It contained an obituary of Cardinal Francis Bourne of Westminster diocese who died on 1st January that year. The obituary was supplemented by numerous photographs, of which was this one:

image

As the text says, we see in the photograph Cardinal Bourne speaking to General (Ronald) Storrs. He is of interest to me because of his connection to T E Lawrence. The two men served in the Middle-east, for a while working at the same time out of Cairo during World War One. Like Lawrence, Storrs was a classicist.

In May 1916, Sheriff Hussein decided to begin the Arab revolt agains the Ottoman empire. He asked the British for money to help pay for it*. Storrs, along with David Hogarth* took some (not all – the British wanted to make sure the revolt began before they gave the rest) of the requested funds to Sheriff Hussein.

On 28th December 1917†, Storrs was appointed Military Governor of Jerusalem** – the first, he said, since Pontus Pilate††! This was not the only occasion when the Bible was to be remembered. When General Allenby entered Jerusalem, he did so through the Jaffa Gate and on foot out of respect for the city’s status as a holy city in Christianity, Judaism and Islam†††. In 1936 Storrs acted as one of the pall bearers at T E Lawrence’s funeral.

***

With that all said, you may be wondering how I got from General Storrs and Cardinal Bourne to Alexander the Great in the first place. Well, seeing the General and Cardinal put me in mind of Alexander and Aristander. That’s all I might have written had I not read the passage from Hogarth’s book above earlier today, which led to this rather longer – and I fear, convoluted, post.

* Jeremy Wilson Lawrence of Arabia (Atheneum New York 1990) p.286

** And Kinahan Cornwallis, also a member of the Arab Bureau

*** ibid, p.487

† Ingeborg Rennert Center for Jerusalem Studies

†† Wikipedia

†† Wikipedia

See also
i. A Country Ancient and Modern
iii. David Hogarth on Alexander’s Influence

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From Zin to Scythia

Last Thursday, I visited the British Museum to hear Dr Sam Moorhead speak about the The Wilderness of Zin, which was published by the Palestine Exploration Fund (PEF) in 1915.

It’s authors were T E Lawrence and his (second, after D G Hogarth) boss at Carchemish, C L Woolley. The book’s purpose was to discuss the men’s search for evidence of the Israelites’ forty year sojourn in the wilderness of Zin (the Negev desert) after their flight from Egypt.

As it happened, Woolley and Lawrence found no proof of the Israelites’ presence there. To the best of my knowledge, no archaeologist ever has. Maybe the events depicted in the Old Testament are mythical or archaeologists are just digging in the wrong places or even the right places but wrong depth.

Whatever the answer, Woolley and Lawrence were not greatly incommoded by their failure. This is because their work was in fact a smokescreen. The real purpose of the expedition was to survey the desert on behalf of the War Office. This work was done by the third member of the party, Captain S F Newcombe.

The wilderness of Zin was in Ottoman territory, so had never been mapped before by the British. The reason why the War Office wanted – needed – it to be surveyed was because war was looming and Britain feared that the Ottoman empire might take up arms on the side of Germany.

If it did, Britain would need to know the lay of the land in order to defend her territory in Palestine (and, I should think, be able to attack the Ottoman’s?)

***

The PEF mission recalls to mind Derdas’ mission into Scythia in the summer of 329 B.C.

That year, Alexander reached the Tanais (aka Jaxartes) river in Sogdia. He was not in the best of health having suffered a broken leg fighting a Sogdian armed force that had massacred Macedonian foragers.

While he recovered from his injury, Alexander received a deputation of Scythians from the far side of the Tanais. Arrian calls them European Scythians as the country on that side of the river was believed to be part of Europe.

The Scythians came in peace, and Alexander made peace with them… for now. Once the meeting was over, he gave instructions to one of his Companions – Derdas – to accompany the Scythians back to their homes and, once there, to ‘conclude formally a pact of friendship’ with them.

This sounds all very reasonable and in keeping with Alexander’s policy of using diplomacy where possible in order to fulfil his objectives (recall how he tried to reach a diplomatic solution after Thebes’ rebellion in 335 B.C.).

However, Derdas also had a secret mission:

… to gather information about Scythia – its geographical peculiarities, the customs of its people, their numbers and military equipment.

Now why would Alexander want to know all that? I’m sure you’ve already guessed. Arrian spells it out. Alexander, he says, intended

… to found a city [i.e. Alexandria Eschate] on the Tanais… The site, he considered, was a good one; a settlement there would be likely to increase in size and importance, and would also serve both as an excellent base for a possible invasion of Scythia [as well as] a defensive position against raiding tribes from across the river. (my emphasis)
(Arrian IV.1)

***

Curtius repeats Arrian’s claim that Alexander founded Alexandria Eschate with a view to using it as both a barrier and springboard to invade Scythia (VII.6.13).

However, his account of Derdas’ mission is a little more aggressive than Arrian’s. According to Curtius, Derdas wasn’t sent over the river to conclude any pacts of friendship. Rather, he was sent to ‘warn [the European Scythians] not to cross the river Tanais without the king’s order’ (VII.6.12).

***

Derdas’ mission took nearly a year and he returned to Alexander in Spring 328 B.C. This reflects the length of time it took for Lawrence and Woolley to publish their report on their expedition to Zin.

After returning from Palestine, they had to work fast to write their report – the man in charge (?) of the expedition, Lord Kitchener, wanted it to be published ASAP in order to maintain the fiction that the expedition had been about the search for the Israelites.

Lawrence completed his contribution to the text before the end of 1914. By the end of the year he was working for the Arab Bureau in Cairo (under David Hogarth). As I understand it, Woolley completed the report and saw the book to the press before following in Lawrence’s footsteps to Egypt.

  • The Wilderness of Zin is online here
  • The PEF’s new edition can be found here
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A Country Ancient and Modern

I.

I have just started reading Philip and Alexander of Macedon by D G Hogarth. This book was first published in 1897 and so represents a Victorian (or Victorian’s) view of Alexander and his father.

I’m reading the book for two reasons.

One To find out what the Victorian view of Alexander was. As Philip and Alexander predates World War One I am imagining that its view of war, for example, might be more ‘positive’ (if that is the right word to use). Hogarth’s view of the Persians in relation to Alexander will also be interesting to see. Will his Alexander be to his subjects what Britain in the late Victorian period was to hers?

Two I would like to learn more about David Hogarth. I first discovered him in my reading about T E Lawrence; Hogarth was Lawrence’s boss during the 1910 archaeological season at Carchemish. The two would meet again during the Arab Revolt. Last week, I attended a talk on Lawrence at the British Museum. There, the speaker described Hogarth as a man ‘in desperate need of a biography’. If I can read more of his works, including, of course, his autobiographical ones, maybe I will jot down a few words about him.

T.E._Lawrence;_D.G._Hogarth;_Lt._Col._Dawnay T E Lawrence (L), D G Hogarth (centre), Lt. Col. Alan Dawnay (R)

***

It isn’t in my mind to do a ‘read through’ of Philip and Alexander but as and when I come across any information or insights I will be sure to share them.

On that note, I already have something I would like to mention. In his Prologue The Man of the Age Hogarth dismisses Connop Thirlwall’s idea that Philip was ‘”great, not for what he was, but for what it was given him to do!”‘. Philip, Hogarth replies, was not ‘a blind tool of heaven’ but could see clearly ‘the faults of a dying order’. His response was to evolve

… the first European Power in the modern sense of the word – an armed nation with a common national ideal.

I had to catch my breath when I read that as I am used to thinking of the nation state rising in the Middle Ages. Thinking about it, though, I can see the sense in what Hogarth is saying. If he is right, I wonder if we can call Alexander’s empire an E.U. of the east. I shall keep that thought in mind.

Picture credits
T E Lawrence, D G Hogarth and Lt. Col. A Dawnay: Wikipedia

See also
ii. General Ronald Storrs and Cardinal Francis Bourne
iii. David Hogarth on Alexander’s Influence

Categories: Alexander Scholars | Tags: , | 2 Comments

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