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Alexander and the Macedonians. Mutiny at Opis. 324 BC. Procession of the ‘successors’, at Susa, 324BC. The ‘successors’ were 30 000 young Persians recruited and trained as soldiers in Macedonian style.

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procession of the successors at susa 324bc
Procession of the ‘successors’, at Susa, 324BC

The ‘successors’ were 30 000 young Persians recruited and trained as soldiers in Macedonian style.

“The Epigoni were 30,000 young Iranians enlisted before the invasion of India, taught Greek and trained as Macedonian soldiers. They had shortly before joined the army, at Susa.”

These men were trained by Alex because:

  • well trained men were needed in his army
  • it showed Macedonians & Greeks were equal (Policy of Fusion)

The successors arrived at Susa with:

  • Macedonian clothing
  • Macedonian equipment
  • Speaking Greek
not such a good idea
Not such a good idea?

Historians believe that the Epigoni (or Successors). were not meant to replace the Macedonian soldiers, but the Macedonians got angry. The procession of successors indicates just how far Alexander was prepared to go with the policy of fusion.

But…..This procession led to the

Muting at Opis

reasons for the mutiny
reasons for the mutiny

At Opis in 324 BC Alexander decided to repatriate those “who, because of old age or disablement, were no longer fit for service” (Arrian). He did this, according to Arrian “to please the Macedonians.”

However, the older Macedonian soldiers saw this as Alexander wanting to replace them with the new ‘successors’ (the persians trained as macedonians) they saw being sent home as an insult They felt A sense of rejection: They believed that Alexander “thought them completely useless for war” (Arrian).

more reasons for the mutiny
More reasons for the mutiny
  • Loss of respect for Alexander: the Macedonians mocked Alexander openly about his claim to be son of Zeus Ammon and suggested he “carry on campaigning with his “father”
  • The Macedonians had Pent up frustrations about Alexander’s overt orientalism as part of the Policy of Fusion. e.g. adoption of Persian dress
  • The Macedonians Resented the promotion of Persians, in particular the inclusion of foreign cavalry in the Companion cavalry that supported Alexander
mutiny at opis7
Mutiny at Opis

On the next slide is the key events, they are currently jumbled and numbered incorrectly.

Your task:Draw a circular diagram in your notes and place the events in the correct order

  • mutiny at opis1.doc (word)
  • muting at opis.gwb (interactive whiteboard)
resolution of the mutiny
Resolution of the mutiny
  • Alexander’s troops begged forgiveness.
  • Alexander made them all his kinsmen.
  • Alexander gave a reconciliation banquet for 9,000 at which he prayed “that Persians and Macedonians might exercise a joint rule in harmony, (Arrian)

“Seating arrangements at the banquet were carefully organised. Closest to Alexander were the Macedonians, then the Persians, then distinguished men of other nationalities.”

  • 10,000 were repatriated, with a generous bonus of a talent per veteran.
reconciliation after mutiny at opis
Reconciliation after Mutiny at Opis
  • A huge feast was held to celebrate the reconciliation after the mutiny. Alexander poured libations & prayed for ‘harmony & partnership in rule between Macedonians & Persians’
  • Alexander proceeded to send the veterans home who were unfit for service. He paid them well & gave them a generous gift of one talent.
  • To avoid trouble back in Macedonia he told them to leave any children they had with the local women behind, and promised to bring them to Macedonia when they grew up
  • Crateus was sent as an escort to take them home. This was because Craterus opposed policy of fusion & was an enemy of Hephaiston.
  • Mutiny of Opis also shows the conflict between Alexander and his troops, as well as his determination to practice the Policy of fusion.
the end of alexander the macedonians
The end of ‘alexander & the macedonians’
  • ..\alexander and macedonians\alexander template relationship w macedonians.doc

opis Homework


Hamilton worksheet ‘Mutiny at opis’ p.121

Read notes on ‘Mutiny at opis’ p.122

Paul Artus:

Read p.104

alexander s response
Alexander’s response
  • He ordered ringleaders executed and abused the men about their ingratitude. According to Arrian, “oriental subservience had made him less indulgent towards the Macedonians.”
  • He withdrew and refused food and water for two days.
  • He then announced that Macedonians would be replaced by Persians who would be recognized as his kinsmen.