Hi Ho Bucephalas, Away (to Attack Darius III)!
In Response To: Re: One's Hoss, of a Hoss! ()

Arrian does list Arbupales among the fallen at Granicus along with at least seven other princes. (Pierre Bryant, "From Cyrus to Alexander", p 823) But with respect to Arbupales, even Pierre Bryant thinks Arrian was confused. He writes, "We may also note Arbupales, a son of Darius who was himself a felonious son of Artaxerxes II (Arrian I.16.3). Apparently, Arbupales had escaped the purge that followed Darius' execution." (Bryant, pp 781-2)

Ancient historians naturally assumed that Persian princes of the rank of Arbupales would have supported Darius III against a Greek interloper. However, not all Persian princes were fighting for Darius III, and certainly the Persian Prince Alexander was fighting on his own behalf along with all the troops and Persian princes he could commandeer! This much we can take for Granicus! As regarding these leading princes, it may not have been possible for Darius III (or Alexander) to know exactly which were actually going fight for him or against him on the eve of a major battle with Alexander! Some may have made up their minds on the day of battle itself. The strategy of Alexander to go for the juggler was probably the only one he could have any confidence in.

Here's another excerpt from Bryant that helps to both describe and clarify the fog of this succession battle:

"It does not appear that he [Mazaeus] had been named satrap of Babylonia prior to Gaugamela, however, because the Babylonian contingents there were under the command of Bupares (Arrian III.8.4). However, if Bupares fell at Gaugamela, Darius may have conferred the position of satrap on Mazaeus (by letter) after the battle; his high rank in the court hierarchy and the prestige inherent in his recent military accomplishments (cf Quintus Curtius V.1.18) would easily have justifed his selection - but this is mere guesswork. We may add a remark that itself bears some importance: like Abulites of Susa, two (Artibelus, Brochubelus) or three (Antibelus; or is this name simply a result of confusion with the first?) of Mazaeus's sons had Babylonian names; from this we might deduce that their father at least cultivated close contacts with Babylonian society and perhaps that their mother was Babylonian. Thus in Babylon and Babylonian society, Mazaeus was a man of both power and influence." (p 849)

Recall that is was Mazaeus that ultimately greeted Alexander warmly outside the gates of Babylon and opened the city to him without any resistance. What's more, Babylonians cheered the arrival of Alexander, not as a foreign liberator, but as a returning hometown hero. In particular Babylonians were celebrating the triumph of their commander Bupares, who as the "son" of Mazaeus was even called Brochubelus (Cf Bucephalas). And once this prince took up residence again in Babylon he naturally began behaving more like the Persian Babylonians believed him to be.

It is intuitively obvious then that Arbupales/Bupares did not fight on the side of Darius III or die in either the battle of Granicus or Gaugamela, but was the Persian identity of Alexander. Roman writers and other historians have simply failed to recognize (or acknowldege) that the battle between Darius III and Alexander was one between rival princes of the same family. Alexander had a number of "felonious fathers" within that family prior to his conquest, but his biological daddy had been Artaxerxes II ("Zeus"). The legitimacy of his claim to the Persian throne was never seriously doubted. It could only be vigorously denied by those who considered themselves equally eligible.

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