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Failure of the Diadochi

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    Posted: 28 May 2012 at 13:56
Indeed. And I think you answer your own point here. If the empire had not fragmented among the successors, it would have fragmented anyhow. Egypt in particular was simply too rich and endowed with manpower to avoid seceeding into a self sustained nation. The opportunity to break away from a far off nominal ruler based in Iran was too tempting and too viable.

The Seleucids ended up with the lion's share of Alexander's empire. By the death of Seleukos I, they had probably more than 80% of it. And yet they couldn't bring all that might to bear under ordinary rulers. Only with an Alexandros, a Seleukos I or an Antioxos III could such might be used to hold the empire together. Under able but not brilliant rulers, this just was not possible.


Edited by Constantine XI - 28 May 2012 at 13:58
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gcle2003 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 May 2012 at 13:37
Isn't an important part of the point that they had each other to fight? For that matter, how much longer could Alexander have kept them under control?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 May 2012 at 03:51
In fairness, Seleukos I came pretty close. But even if he had not been murdered, he was 81 years old when preparing to cross over into Europe.

I think we must ask ourselves whether it was reasonable to expect a nation, with the technology and resources available in the 3rd century BC, to hold together such a large area as the Achaemenid empire. The Achaemenids themselves struggled terribly to do so by the 3rd century. Their grip on many of their provinces remained very shaky. The Achaemenids failed to keep a hold of these provinces and bring about centralisation over such a vast area. So did the Hellenistic rulers. So did the Romans. So did the Sassanids. The Arabs might conquer the area for Islam, but it was never ruled as a single political entity.

Still, I do think that had the Romans not interefered, that Antiochus III could have pulled it off. I remain dubious as to whether his successors could hold together a realm which was so linguistically and culturally fragmented, so large and beset by so many formidable enemies.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote okamido Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 May 2012 at 02:33
After the partitioning of Alexander's vast empire, why were none of these supposedly great generals capable of completing even the most remote facsimile of Alexander's actions?

Same armies, same supposed tactics, larger war-chests than Alexander started with as well as more experience and greater technology. Why then could none of them reunify what had belonged to Alexander, nor make conquests into Arabia, Armenia, Italy or North Africa?

I have never been a big fan of this period, so I rely on the knowledge of others to guide me. Smile
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