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TitleAntigonos Gonatus
TagsMacedonia (Ancient Kingdom) Armed Conflict Unrest
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Total Pages522
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Page 261

new s ort of historical writing appeared in the world, and the
credit of it is due to Macedonia, and not to Greece ; for the

Greeks who helped the Macedonians to start it either
belonged to Macedonian cities or were in Macedonian ser-

vice. What chiefly distinguishes it from the rhetorical
schools is that it was, almost exclusively, written by men who
had first lived through or played a part in the thing they

wrote, and who afterwards wrote down the thing they knew.
Probably their work was not popular, or much read ; the
literary men, the rhetoricians, held the field. But it was an
honest attempt toward the truth.

The place of honour is due to the three men of Macedonia
who, with the aid of the official documents, put down the true
facts of Alexander's expedition as they had themselves seen

it ; Ptolem}^ son of Lagos, afterwards king of Egypt, from the

military side ; Aristoboulos of Kassandreia from the point of

view of the geographer and ^thnokrgist; Nearchos. a Cretan

by birth but settled in Amphipolis, who told the story of the
fleet which he had himself commanded. Alexander's career
was quickly enough obscured by the usual clouds of rhetoric
and miracle-mongering ; and but for these three men, and

the practical Roman soldier from Bithynia who had the good
sense to use their writings, we should know little enough of
Alexander. jv

Antigonos himself, on each side, came of a family that had •]

numS^f^d" historians amongst its members. Marsyas of

Pella, half-brother or nephew of the elder Antigonos, had
commanded Demetrios' centre at Salamis and written a his- 1
tory of Macedonia." Antipatros the Regent ha d, written^ ['

history of the Illyrian wars of the Macedonian king Perdikkas,

and had also published two volumes of his own correspon-
dence,"^^ which must have formed a valuable quarry for Hiero-|A

nymos. Above all, Krateros, Antig onos' half-brother, produfiedf
a work both of great value in itself and astoundingly modernlf
in conception ; he collected from the Athenian archives, and

published, the Athenian decrees from the earliest times to his

own day, illustrating them with the necessary commentary.

"" Susemihl I, 533. On the relationship, Beloch 3, 2, 89.
'"• Suidas, 'AvTiTTuTpos.

R 2

Page 262




It formed, in fact, a history of Athens based on epigraphic

mat^ial. Naturally, his judgement was not always correct


~"higTs said to have occasionally inserted spurious matter, such

as the draft of a treaty which had never been completed. But

it was regarded as noteworthy if he ever gave a fact without
citing either a decree of the Assembly or a judgement of the
Court in support of it ; and the loss of such a work ma}^ be
heartily deplored."'^ Whether the actual priority in the study
of inscriptions belongs to him or to Philochoros cannot be
decided ; both the Macedonian prince and the Athenian
antiquary were precursors of that most learned_epigraphist
of the next century, Polemon of Ilion.

"Itjwas only fitting, then, that at Antigonos' court the out-

standing literary figure should be a historian : and though

rfiGTOnyriios, in all probability, only wrote at the end of his

active career, that career may be briefly referred to here


itrrttTTot "only illustrates the possibilities, ahke of adventure

antJoT power, which lay open to the Greek in the new world,
but it also brings before us the best type of the new school of
historian who had himself played his part in that world.
Hieronymos of Kardia '* was a Greek of the Thracian

Chersonese, a fellow-countryman of Eumenes, whose fortunes
he followed. He shared in the siege of Nora, and went as
envoy for Eumenes to Antipatros, on which occasion the old
Antigonos attempted to win him over. At Gabiene, where
Eumenes was taken, Hieronymos was found among the
wounded, and kindly treated by Antigonos, whose service
he afterwards entered, remaining thenceforth a loyal adherent

of the Antigonid house. In 312 Antigonos gave him a special

" F. H. G. ii, 617 ; Susemihl i, 599 ; Beloch 3, i, 495 ; W. Larfeld, Hand-
buch d. griech. Epig7-ap]nk, vol. i, 1907, p. 21, who concludes that the writer
ivas the Macedonian prince.— On his care to cite either a ^rjcpiafia or a Si/07,
Plut. Arist. 26.— On his admission of dvTiypa(f)a (Tvv6r]Kcov ws- yevofxivuiv (where
dpTiypa(pa clearly means, not copies, which would give no sense, but drafts
that were never completed), Plut. A7w. 13, 5.

'^^ F. Reuss, Hienmynios vo?i Kardia ; Susemihl i, 560 ; Beloch 3, I, 491,
cf. 3, 2, 3 seq. ; Wilamowitz, Griech. Lit., p. 105 (with special appreciation of
his truthfulness) ; H. Nietzold, Die Uberliefej'itng der Diadochoi-Geschichte
bis ztir ScJilacht bet Jpsos, 1905 (not seen); F. Reuss in Woch. Ki, Phil.
1905, 1389, reviewing Nietzold, and in Jali?-esbefic/it, 1909 ; J. B. Bury, The
Ancient Greek Historians, 1909.

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