The History Book Club discussion

Ghost on the Throne: The Death of Alexander the Great and the War for Crown and Empire
This topic is about Ghost on the Throne
23 views
07-13/20 - GHOST ON THE THRONE > WE ARE OPEN - SPOTLIGHTED BOOK - GHOST ON THE THRONE - Week Ten - September 14th, 2020 - September 20th, 2020 - 10. The Closing of the Tombs + Epilogue (pages 257 - 282) - No Spoilers, please

Comments Showing 1-19 of 19 (19 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Vicki, Assisting Moderator - Ancient Roman History (new) - rated it 3 stars

Vicki Cline | 3835 comments Mod
This is the Week Ten non-spoiler thread for the book The Ghost on the Throne: The Death of Alexander the Great and the War for Crown and Empire by James Romm

Ghost on the Throne The Death of Alexander the Great and the War for Crown and Empire by James Romm by James Romm (no photo)

Hello Everyone,

For the week of September 14th - September 20th, we are reading Chapter 10. The Closing of the Tombs and Epilogue of Ghost On the Throne by James Romm.

The tenth week's reading assignment is:

WEEK TEN - September 14th - September 20th -> 10. The Closing of the Tombs and Epilogue (257 - 282)

We will open up a thread for each week's reading. Please make sure to post in the particular thread dedicated to those specific chapters and page numbers to avoid spoilers. We will also open up supplemental threads as we did for other spotlighted books.

This book was kicked off July 13th.

We look forward to your participation. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Borders and other noted on line booksellers do have copies of the book and shipment can be expedited. The book can also be obtained easily at your local library, or on your Kindle.

There is no rush and we are thrilled to have you join us. It is never too late to get started and/or to post.

Vicki Cline will be moderating this selection.

Welcome,

~ Bentley

TO ALWAYS SEE ALL WEEKS' THREADS SELECT VIEW ALL

Ghost on the Throne The Death of Alexander the Great and the War for Crown and Empire by James Romm by James Romm (no photo)

REMEMBER NO SPOILERS ON THE WEEKLY NON SPOILER THREADS - ON EACH WEEKLY NON SPOILER THREAD - WE ONLY DISCUSS THE PAGES ASSIGNED OR THE PAGES WHICH WERE COVERED IN PREVIOUS WEEKS. IF YOU GO AHEAD OR WANT TO ENGAGE IN MORE EXPANSIVE DISCUSSION - POST THOSE COMMENTS IN ONE OF THE SPOILER THREADS. THESE CHAPTERS HAVE A LOT OF INFORMATION SO WHEN IN DOUBT CHECK WITH THE CHAPTER OVERVIEW AND SUMMARY TO RECALL WHETHER YOUR COMMENTS ARE ASSIGNMENT SPECIFIC. EXAMPLES OF SPOILER THREADS ARE THE GLOSSARY, THE BIBLIOGRAPHY, THE INTRODUCTION AND THE BOOK AS A WHOLE THREADS.

Notes:


It is always a tremendous help when you quote specifically from the book itself and reference the chapter and page numbers when responding. The text itself helps folks know what you are referencing and makes things clear.

Citations

If an author or book is mentioned other than the book and author being discussed, citations must be included according to our guidelines. Also, when citing other sources, please provide credit where credit is due and/or the link. There is no need to re-cite the author and the book we are discussing however.

Here is the link to the thread titled Mechanics of the Board which will help you with the citations and how to do them.

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Also, the citation thread:

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Introduction Thread

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Table of Contents and Syllabus

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Glossary

Remember there is a glossary thread where ancillary information is placed by the moderator. This is also a thread where additional information can be placed by the group members regarding the subject matter being discussed.

Here is the link:

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Bibliography

There is a Bibliography where books cited in the text are posted with proper citations and reviews. We also post the books that the author may have used in his research or in her notes. Please also feel free to add to the Bibliography thread any related books, etc with proper citations or other books either non fiction or historical fiction that relate to the subject matter of the book itself. No self promotion, please.

Here is the link:

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Book as a Whole and Final Thoughts - Spoiler Thread

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Link:

Ghost on the Throne The Death of Alexander the Great and the War for Crown and Empire by James Romm by James Romm (no photo)


message 2: by Vicki, Assisting Moderator - Ancient Roman History (new) - rated it 3 stars

Vicki Cline | 3835 comments Mod
Chapter Ten


An ancient fresco of Macedonian soldiers from the tomb of Agios Athanasios, Thessaloniki, Greece (public domain)

Discus sion Topics and Questions:

1. What must it have been like to be in the family of one of the Silver Shields and go traveling around to various battlefields?

2. Do you think Antigonus kept Eumenes alive because he was trying to decide whether to use him as an advisor?

3. There seems to be a lot of double-dealing and back-stabbing going on amongst the major players. Why would they trust each other?


message 3: by Marc (last edited Sep 14, 2020 10:14AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Marc Towersap (marct22) | 201 comments For question 2, I think Antigonus was wrestling with how he could keep Eumenes alive and useful. He I think kept punting, maybe tomorrow might give me a reason to not kill him, be it as a pawn to be traded, or a useful advisor/general in his army. After all, they both knew he couldn't be a 'king'. While the book never mentioned it (likely because there was no documentation/proof), I'm sure they would have talked, either directly or via a go-between. I thought it cruel to just starve him, but then again, it may have been a delaying tactic. ah, fun times in those ancient times (read that last sentence with a sense of sarcasm)


message 4: by Vicki, Assisting Moderator - Ancient Roman History (new) - rated it 3 stars

Vicki Cline | 3835 comments Mod
Sorry, folks, forgot to post this.

Everyone, for the week of September 14th - September 20th, we are reading Chapter 10 and the Epilogue.

The tenth week's reading assignment is:

WEEK TEN - September 14th - September 20th -> 10. The Closing of the Tombs and Epilogue (257 - 282)

Chapter Overview and Summary

Chapter 10


The battle at Paraitakene between Antigonus and Eumenes ended in a draw and both sides withdrew. Antigonus decided to stage a surprise attack in the night, since Eumenes’ forces were in separate camps rather far away from each other. However, the attack was discovered before it could be completed and both sides engaged. Because of the dust from the battle, Antigonus’ men were able to slip behind Eumenes’ and capture the baggage train and families that were there. The men of the Silver Shields were very upset to lose their possessions and people and made a deal with Antigonus to give up Eumenes. When he was turned over, he pleaded with his men to kill him rather than give him to Antigonus, but they refused. While in captivity, he was refused food and drink and was finally killed.

Meanwhile in Europe, Cassander had besieged Olympias in Pydna and she finally surrendered. He put her on trial and she got the death sentence. The men sent to kill her refused to harm Alexander’s mother, so a second, less merciful, group completed the task. Young Alexander and his mother were held captive for several years and were finally killed in secret. Cassander married Alexander the Great's half-sister, Thessalonica, hoping to found his own dynasty.

Epilogue

Polyperchon joined forces with Antigonus and they planned to make Alexander’s illegitimate son Heracles the new king of Macedon, but Cassander got Polyperchon to murder Heracles. Antigonus had Alexander’s sister Cleopatra killed, and that was the end of the Argead dynasty, but not the end of the wars between Alexander’s remaining generals.


Bill | 45 comments Your summary of the epilogue summed it up well. “ that was the end of the Argead dynasty, but not the end of the wars between Alexander’s remaining generals.” It was certainly the end of the book. The sub-title of the book was The Death of Alexander the Great and the Bloody Fight for His Empire. I feel like Romm didn’t finish the story. He got to the end of the Argeads and decided that was what the book was about. If nothing else, he should have given a 1 paragraph summary of what happened to each of the surviving generals: Ptolemy, Cassandra, Lysimachus, Antigonus and esp. Seleucus—who founded the Seleucid Empire. Wikipedia shows the Seleucid Empire lasting from 312 BC to 63 BC. That’s almost as long as Ptolemy in Egypt. I think Romm should have paid more attention to Seleucus. Rant over.


message 6: by Vicki, Assisting Moderator - Ancient Roman History (new) - rated it 3 stars

Vicki Cline | 3835 comments Mod
Marc wrote: "For question 2, I think Antigonus was wrestling with how he could keep Eumenes alive and useful. He I think kept punting, maybe tomorrow might give me a reason to not kill him, be it as a pawn to b..."

I was thinking the same thing. Too bad we don't know what they may have talked about.


message 7: by Vicki, Assisting Moderator - Ancient Roman History (new) - rated it 3 stars

Vicki Cline | 3835 comments Mod
Bill wrote: "Your summary of the epilogue summed it up well. “ that was the end of the Argead dynasty, but not the end of the wars between Alexander’s remaining generals.” It was certainly the end of the book. ..."

I kept wanting to read more about Seleucus. How did the Selucid Empire get named after him? What did he do? The story certainly seems unfinished. And the Epilogue didn't really seem like an epilogue, which is supposed to wrap up the whole story.


Bill | 45 comments Vicki wrote: "Bill wrote: "Your summary of the epilogue summed it up well. “ that was the end of the Argead dynasty, but not the end of the wars between Alexander’s remaining generals.” It was certainly the end ..."

Seems like the only purpose of Romm’s epilogue was to kill off Heracles and Cleopatra.


message 9: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael Kotsarinis (exlibrismichael) | 78 comments 1. What must it have been like to be in the family of one of the Silver Shields and go traveling around to various battlefields?

I can't say with any certainty but it seems it was quite common. They were probably used to this semi-nomadic style of life. Usually ancient armies would spend winters in cities or more permanent camps, campaigning only during summer. A similar way of living survived in Greece up to the 60s (yes, 1960s) with shepherds spending the summer in mountain pastures and winter in settlements around towns in the plains. It was a way of life few can understand today.


message 10: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael Kotsarinis (exlibrismichael) | 78 comments 2. Do you think Antigonus kept Eumenes alive because he was trying to decide whether to use him as an advisor?

Yes but also let's not forget that they became adversaries more by the circumstances rather than because they had a particular feud.
It must have been very difficult for Antigonus to kill such a remarkable man, I think he spent all that time trying to figure out how he could use him as an asset without risk. Since he couldn't arrive at a satisfactory solution he was forced to go on with the killing.


message 11: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael Kotsarinis (exlibrismichael) | 78 comments 3. There seems to be a lot of double-dealing and back-stabbing going on amongst the major players. Why would they trust each other?

I don't think anyone trusted anyone else more than they were forced to. They usually trusted one another to achieve a common goal or when one had no other choice.


message 12: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael Kotsarinis (exlibrismichael) | 78 comments It was quite fun participating in this read and I want to thank everyone for their comments and discussion. Of course I think we should all congratulate Vicki and Bentley for organizing so brilliantly all this!


message 13: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael Kotsarinis (exlibrismichael) | 78 comments And I quite agree with Bill and Vicki, there should have been more (at least another chapter) in this book. It seems rather hastily concluded as it stands.


message 14: by Vicki, Assisting Moderator - Ancient Roman History (new) - rated it 3 stars

Vicki Cline | 3835 comments Mod
3. There seems to be a lot of double-dealing and back-stabbing going on amongst the major players. Why would they trust each other?

I was thinking maybe they all had spies in each other's camps so they knew what was being planned or at least talked about. There were a few mentions of spies in the text.


message 15: by Vicki, Assisting Moderator - Ancient Roman History (new) - rated it 3 stars

Vicki Cline | 3835 comments Mod
Michael wrote: "It was quite fun participating in this read and I want to thank everyone for their comments and discussion. Of course I think we should all congratulate Vicki and Bentley for organizing so brillian..."

Thanks for the compliment, Michael. And thanks for your participation. It was so enlightening having someone here with knowledge of Greek history and language.


message 16: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael Kotsarinis (exlibrismichael) | 78 comments Vicki wrote: "Thanks for the compliment, Michael. And thanks for your participation. It was so enlightening having someone here with knowledge of Greek history and language."

It was a pleasure! There are people here more knowledgeable in the history of this period than me. I am glad my insights into the language were useful and please don't hesitate to ask any further questions even if it's a book I am not reading.


message 17: by Marc (last edited Sep 18, 2020 07:54AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Marc Towersap (marct22) | 201 comments thank you Michael! so glad you were with us on this read, your insights and how badly we are all pronouncing the names, very grateful. I'm at least now pronouncing 'Macedonian' more correctly!


message 18: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Sep 18, 2020 10:16PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Thank you Michael and a special thank you to Vicki.

Don't forget the Book as a Whole and Final Thoughts thread where you can write what were your final thoughts on the book.

No links please to other reviews elsewhere on goodreads because we have no self promotion (no links).

But we would sincerely like to hear from you about the book and what you liked the best about it and what could have been improved from your viewpoint - or if everything was great - then we would like to hear that too.

Your thoughts, rating and review are strictly your own.

Link: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/group...


message 19: by Savannah (new)

Savannah Jordan | 96 comments 1. I can't imagine being one of family members that had to follow my man, but I was told that during the revolutionary and civil war, there were quite a number of women who followed the soldiers. Believe their principal job was to do washing etc. You never see this in the movies, but a historian told me that this was the actual situation.

2. Yes, I do believe that Antigonus kept him alive because he was contemplating that possibility. Antigonus's son was for it. But I also believe that the Antigonus was fond of Eumenes. Eumenes seemed to be a very loyal and decent man. Something that was probably pretty uncommon back then.

3. I don't think the major players did trust each other, but they had no other option but to try to work with then and to try to guess when and how the others would turn on them.


back to top