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Boiy, Tom

Tom Boiy. Royal and satrapal armies in Babylonia during the Second Diadoch War. The Chronicle of the Successors on the events during the seventh year of Philip Arrhidaeus (=317/316 BC)

Compte-rendu réalisé par Vito Messina
Référence(s) :

Tom Boiy. « Royal and satrapal armies in Babylonia during the Second Diadoch War. The Chronicle of the Successors on the events during the seventh year of Philip Arrhidaeus (=317/316 BC) ». JHS, 130, 2010, p. 1-13.

Texte intégral

1The so-called ‘Chronicle of the Successors’, first published in 1924 by S. Smith, is a fragmentary text describing the main events concerning Babylonia at the time when Eumenes was in the region and during the first years of the reign of Philip Arrhidaeus. Given that this text has often been used to argue for a low-chronology hypothesis regarding the early Hellenistic period and Second Diadoch War, the text itself has been repeatedly edited and cited in the different interpretations made of its preserved passages. The present article studies in depth the passage dealing with the troops mentioned therein (namely the lúeren2.meš lugal, royal troops, and lúHa-ni-i šá lugal, royal Hanû troops), it discusses the implications for the chronological debate.

2The presence of royal troops in Babylonia is attested in several astronomical diaries, whereas other cuneiform sources from the Seleucid and Parthian periods contain no evidence of satrapal army units except for the “Chronicle of the Successors”, which clearly mentions satrapal and royal troops in Babylonia.

3The author argues that, especially during the Second Diadoch War, the situation must have been quite confused for those who recorded events: Eumenes was appointed strategos of Asia by Polyperchon in 318 BC; but Antigonus, appointed with the same title at Triparadeisus in 320, clearly considered himself as the legitimate strategos of Asia. Given this confused situation, we might conclude that the royal troops mentioned by Babylonian scribes are not necessarily units from Eumenes’ army, as supporters of the low-chronology hypothesis would have it. They might have been part of Antigonus’ army, an interpretation that seems to fit better with a high-chronology hypothesis. In this case, it would not be impossible that, in the autumn of 317 BC, while Antigonus was pursuing Eumenes in Iran and Seleucus was in Susa, both satrapal units (from Seleucus) and royal units (from Antigonus) were present in Babylonia.

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Vito Messina. Boiy, Tom, « Tom Boiy. Royal and satrapal armies in Babylonia during the Second Diadoch War. The Chronicle of the Successors on the events during the seventh year of Philip Arrhidaeus (=317/316 BC) », Abstracta Iranica [En ligne], Volume 32-33 | 2013, document 144, mis en ligne le 01 juillet 2016, consulté le 23 octobre 2017. URL : http://abstractairanica.revues.org/40466

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