Wars of the Diadochi > Partition of Persepolis

Partition of Persepolis

Alexander the Great - Dove Decoration

Background

Partition of Persepolis, 315CassanderRegent,317-305King ofMacedon,305-297Second War of the Successors, 318-316; Partition of Persepolis, 315CassanderRegent,317-305King ofMacedon,305-297Third War of the Successors, 315-311The question now is, was Persepolis in existence in Augustus' day or rather did people customarily think of it as such, for in that case Augustus is definitely ruled out as Curtius' date? In any event, the first sentence of Curtius is clearly a misstatement of fact (though see Herzfeld, below). Alexander, of course, burned the palace at Persepolis, but Diodorus, XIX, 21 and 46, mentions the so-called partition of Persepolis in 316 B. C. We know from II Maccabees9, 1-2 that in 165 B. C. the people of Persepolis repulsed AntiochusIV Epiphanes. Strabo mentions Persepolis at II, 79, 80; XV, 727-730. Tarn (C. A. H., IX, p. 599, with bibliography), in discussingtrade routes of the first century B. C., refers to the description of Persepolis as " the mart of the Persians " and to Strabo's referencesto the Persepolis-Carmania route. Three graffiti of the second cen-tury A. D. have been found at Persepolis (E. Herzfeld, Archaeo-logical History of Iran, p. 80 and cf. p. 45; Iran in the Ancient East,p. 308 and cf. p. 276). It is not clear, to me at any rate, whether Herzfeld's references always mean Persepolis or Istakhr, the townthree miles from Persepolis that succeeded it and perhaps precededit. He speaks of Persepolis as sinking into oblivion soon after Alexander, says that Diodorus means Istakhr not Persepolis, andyet the graffiti, he says, come from Persepolis. Certainly by thesecond century A. D. the center of the area was Istakhr (cf. N. C. Debevoise, A Political History of Parthia, p. 268, with referencesand map).The one thing certain in Curtius, V, 7, 9 is that Persepolis no longer existed in his day. For our point, it matters not at all whether Diodorus and Strabo meant Persepolis or Istakhr: what does matter, as I see it, is that Persepolis stood for something other than oblivion in the thinking of Diodorus and Strabo. If Curtius had been their contemporary, would he have written as he did? It strikes me as more credible to speak of Persepolis in oblivion from the vantagehttp://www.friesian.com/hist-1.htm

Sources

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Secondary Sources

Reviewed Work(s): Die Zeit des Quintus Curtius Rufus by Dietmar Korzeniewski Review by: C. A. Robinson, Jr.Source: The American Journal of Philology, Vol. 82, No. 3 (Jul., 1961), pp. 316-319 Published by: The Johns Hopkins University PressStable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/292375
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