Between High and Low: A Chronology of the Early Hellenistic Period
The chronology of the period 323-311 BC, from the death of Alexander the Great until the battle of Gaza, and the way how Diodor of Sicily depicts it in the books 18-20 of his Universal History has occupied the scholarly world from the nineteenth century onwards. Two schools have dominated chronological research: the traditional or so-called high chronology and its opponent the low chronology. These chronological hypotheses disagree by one year at the end of the First Diadoch War and at the end of the Second Diadoch War, but the chronological gap is narrowed down to approximately six months at the end of the Third Diadoch War. A final complication is that both hypotheses agree on the chronology for the events in Asia Minor following Antipaters return to Europe until Eumenes retreat to the East during the Second Diadoch War. The author explores the chronological information in Babylonian, Aramaic, Egyptian and Lydian source material to reconstruct the events mentioned by Diodor. On the basis of Babylonian cuneiform evidence and the date formulas from Aramaic ostraca originating from Idumaea he proposes to combine the low chronology at the beginning with the high chronology later.
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according Achaemenid Aetolians Alcetas Alexander’s death alliance anagrapheus Antigonid Antigonus Monophthalmus Antipater Antipater’s Aramaic ostraca Arrian Arrian FGrHist 156 arrived Asander Asia Minor astronomical diaries astronomical tablet Athenian Athens Attalus Babylon Babylonia battle of Gaza BCHP Beloch besieged Boiy Bosworth campaign Cappadocia Carian Cassander Cassander’s cavalry Chronicle chronographical chronological reconstruction Cilicia cities Cleitus conquered Craterus cuneiform cuneiform tablets Darius date formulas defeated Demetrius Diadoch Diod Diodor documents dynasty early Hellenistic period Egypt Eumenes Eurydice FGrHist FGrHist 156 F9 fleet forces garrison goal-year text Greek Hellespontine Hieronymus high chronology Idumaea inscriptions late Achaemenid LBAT Leonnatus low chronology Lydian Lysimachus Macedonian mentioned Nicanor Olympias Oppert Peithon Peloponnese Perdiccas Philip Arrhidaeus Phoenicia Phrygia Plut Polemaeus Polyperchon preserved Ptolemy Ptolemy’s regnal reign of Alexander Saros Canon satrap Seleucid Seleucus siege Solar Saros soldiers Spek Successors Syria Triparadeisus troops Tyre Uruk king list Wheatley winter στρατηγός