Arrian on Alexander the Great and Cappadocia

a directory to a used bookstore pasted on a concrete pillar and overlaid with large stickers with a dragon theme; in front of the table is a display of hardcover fantasy novelsby Rebecca Yarros
Russell Books in Victoria, BC has been colonized by dragons! Rawr.

The late George Cawkwell said that Xenophon’s Hellenica is for conoisseurs who can spot what he refuses to talk about or misrepresents. The whole year that he left out of his history may have been an accident, but he had strong ideas of what should and should not be talked about. Arrian’s Anabasis has some of the same quirks. Lets have a look at how he describes Alexander the Great’s march across Anatolia.

(Alexander cut the Gordian Knot). Next day he started for Ancyra in Galatia, where he was met by a delegation of Paphlagonians, who expressed their wish to be on terms of friendship with him, offering the submission of their people, and begging him not to march their troops into his territory. Alexander in reply ordered them to take their orders from Calas the governor (satrapes) of Phrygia, and then proceeded to Cappadocia, where he received the submission of all territory bounded by the River Halys and also of a large tract to the west and north beyond it. Then, leaving Sabictas as governor (satraesp) of Cappadocia, he advanced to the Cilician Gates. When he reached the position where Cyrus had once encamped in his campaign with Xenophon, he found the Gates strongly held.

Arrian, Anabasis, 2.4 tr. Aubrey de Selincourt (Greek text here)
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Three Ancient Traditions of Tactical Writing

A forthcoming conference has me thinking about writings on tactics in the ancient world. While the English word tactics indicate a clever way of fighting, the Greek adjective τάκτικη means “having been put into a formation for battle.” In other words, in the ancient world tactics were what we call organization and drill. Ancient and modern critics have complained that tactics in the Greek sense are insufficient education for a soldier, but experienced soldiers tended to recognize that they were necessary.
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