Esatern Asiatic Successor 323 BC - 301 BC

Dry. Ag 1. Rv, H(S), H(G), O, RGo, Rd, BUA. Seleukos: WW, E.
Nominal list scale: 1 element equals equals 250 men (normal scale), except for Seleukos' army from 307 BC, where 1 element equals equals 500 men (twice normal scale).

C-in-C - Reg Kn (F) @ 31 AP 1
Ally-general - Reg Kn (F) @ 21 AP or Irr Cv (O) @ 12 AP 0-2
Satrapal heavy cavalry - Irr Cv (O) @ 7 AP 4-10
Replace satrapal Cv with Xystophoroi - Reg Kn (F) @ 11 AP 0-2
Replace satrapal Cv with colonists, etc - Reg Cv (O) @ 8 AP or Reg Kn (I) @ 10 AP 0-4
Median Lonchophoroi and other satrapal light cavalry - Irr LH (O) @ 5 AP 6-14
Satrapal or other horse archers - up to 1/2 Bactrians - all Irr LH (S) or all Irr Cv (O) @ 7 AP, rest Irr LH (F) @ 4 AP 1-8
Greek mercenaries - up to 1/4 Reg Sp (O) @ 5 AP, rest Reg Ax (O) @ 4 AP or Reg Sp (I) @ 4 AP 0-16
Pantodapoi - Reg Pk (I) @ 3 AP 4-16
Satrapal light infantry - up to 1/2 Irr Ps (S) @ 3 AP, rest Irr Ps (O) @ 2 AP 12-16
Satrapal levy archers - Irr Bw (I) @ 3 AP 0-4
Other satrapal foot - Irr Ax (O) @ 3 AP or Irr Ax (X) @ 3 AP 4-8
Camp defences - TF @ 1 AP 0-24

Only Peithon or Seleukos:
Macedonian Phalangites - Reg Pk (O) @ 4 AP 8-12
Thracians - Irr Ax (S) @ 4 AP or Irr Ax (O) @ 3 AP 0-4
Trieres - Reg Gal (O) @ 3 AP [Macedonian phalangites] 0-1
Triaconters - Irr Bts (O) @ 2 AP [any infantry] 0-2
River boats - Irr Bts (I) @ 1 AP [Ps] 0-6

Only Peukestas before 316 BC:
Persian archers and slingers - Irr Ps (O) @ 2 AP 30-75
Eudamos' elephants - Irr El (O) @ 16 AP 0-7

Only Seleukos from 312 BC:
Upgrade non-Kossaian ally-general to sub-general - Reg Kn (F) @ 31 AP 0-1
Scythed chariots - Irr Exp (O) @ 7 AP 0-4

Only Seleukos from 312 BC to 308 BC:
Babylonian levies - Irr Hd (O) or (F) @ 1 AP 0-5
Kossaian ally-general - on horse as Irr LH (O) @ 10 AP or on foot as Irr Ax (O) @ 8 AP or Irr Bw (I) @ 8 AP
Kossaians - up to 1/2 javelinmen as Irr Ax (O) @ 3 AP, rest archers as Irr Bw (I) @ 3 AP or Irr Ps (O) @ 2 AP

Only Seleukos from 307 BC:
Upgrade ally-general to sub-general - Reg Kn (F) @ 31 AP or Reg Pk (O) @ 24 AP 0-1

Only Seleukos from 303 BC:
Elephants - Irr El (O) @ 16 AP 6-16
Upgrade Macedonian phalangites as Argyraspids, etc - Reg Pk (S) @ 5 AP 0-4

Only if invading through steep hills, the enemy has PF, or a naval landing party:
Re-arm Macedonian Phalangites as Reg Ax (S) @ 5 AP if Argyraspids, etc, as Reg Ax (O) @ 24 AP if general, @ 4 AP otherwise Any

This list covers the armies of those Hellenistic Successors based in the Asian "Upper Satrapies" from the death of Alexander until their subjugation by Seleukos by 307 BC, including those of Peithon (also spelt Pithon) and Peukestas; the army of Seleukos himself until the battle of Ipsos, after which his army is covered by the separate Imperial Seleukid list, and also Antigonos' eastern-based subordinates such as Nikanor and Hippostratos. Peithon put down Philon's revolt in 323 BC, aided Seleukos against Eumenes and was soon executed by Antigonos. Peukestas joined Eumenes, was pardoned by Antigonos, and escaped execution; a pattern of events that led to several defections from Antigonos' cause. A Kossaian all-general can command only Kossaians, and must command all Kossains fielded; minima marked * apply only if any Kossainans are used. Irregular generals may only command troops labelled satrapal. Other ally-generals need not command compulsory troop types. Battles against any 4th century Persian, Successor or Mercenary Greek list count as civil wars. Foot elements must outnumber mounted elements.


Aggression: Since the upper satraps were on the whole too fractious to cooperate properly, they did not engage on aggressive campaigns of expansion, and united only in self-defence. They are therefore rated low in aggression, but not the minumum value, since Peukestas managed to unite them in 317 BC before Antigonos could strike at them.

Terrain: The upper satrapies were on the whole extremely arid regions, hence the climate rating; parks and gardens, a feature of the Persian administration, were the scene of at least one battle earlier in the 320s, these are probably best represented as O rather than E, since they are recorded as conceal an ambush of horsemen. Seleukos, based in Babylon, is allowed both WW (the Tigris or Euphrates) and E representing the irrigated fields that typified the area.

List scale: Most of these armies were between 10000 and 20000 men, and thus fit in nicely with the normal list scale of 1:250; after Seleukos conquered the upper satrapies sometime around 307 BC, his forces were considerably expanded, so that he led over 30000 men to Ipsos, including nearly 500 elephants. To fight battles at true scale with his army after this date, the list minima and maxima must therefore be multiplied by 2.

Generals: Satrapal generals all fought mounted at the head of their troops. Most were Macedonians, but a few local leaders were allowed to retain their positions, and these are represented by the irregular generals who may only command local troops. The various satraps weren't very cooperative, and Nicanor a battle against Seleukos as a direct result of the battlefield desertion of one of his satraps and 2000 horsemen - hence they are rated as ally-generals.

Xystophoroi: Most of the Macedonian horse went west with Perdikkas after Alexander's death; Peithon had 800 Macedonian horsemen, and Peukestas had 400 Persians who were quite possibly xystophoroi.

Satrapal and other cavalry: The satraps' military strength was their mounted forces - they provided Peithon with 8000 horse in addition to his Macedonians; Nicanor had 7000 horse, and even Peukestas' alliance fielded over 4500, the lowest reported total. Despite these impressive figures however, in every case the foot still always outnumbered the horse. Most of these were light cavalry it seems. Persans are noted as using thonged throwing javelins, and Median lonchophoroi are described as being experts in wheeling and retreating, which reads more like LH (O) than Cv, and Alexander certainly used mounted javelinmen from the area as light horse. Horse archers are noted as being part of Seleukos' army at Ipsos, as well as in Antigonos' army which included contingents from this area; Stasander the satrap of Aria brought along some Bactrians to serve with Peukestas, so it seems they were a normal part of any army based in this region and are thus compulsory. Peukestas is noted as controlling 600 Greek and Thracian horsemen, presumably retired mercenary colonists, and Seleukos seemingly found 200-odd cavalry amongst the colonists he picked up in 312 BC on the way to attack Nicanor; Hippostratos may have had 1000 Thracian colonist cavalry. I am not convinced Bactrians were light horse (or even normal horse archers) unlike eg. Dahae were, since Alexander is said to have had Bactrian cavalry AND horse archers at the battle of Hydaspes, and their actions at Gaugamela do not look like those typical of LH, even LH (S) given their willingness to charge enemy heavy cavalry.

Greek mercenaries: Despite the distance from the Mediterranean, Menander writing ca. 315 BC has a mercenary character in a play (Samia) talking about service in Bactria as nothing unusual. Certainly later Bactrian armies included Greek mercenaries, and this would indicate that earlier ones did too. Antigonos provided Hippostratos 3500 mercenary infantry when he was appointed general in charge of the upper satrapies after Peithon's execution who would have been at the very least mostly Greeks.

Pantodapoi phalangites: See my comments in the Eumenid list for grading these troops as (I). Peukestas commanded some 3000 of these men, presumably mostly Persians in his case; it is likely that other leaders also had small numbers of Macedonians and other troops making their palace guards who could be cobbled together for a battle.

Light infantry: Archers, and to a lesser extant, slingers, were the typical light infantryman of the area, but javelinmen are occasionally noted (eg. those in Alexander's experimental phalanx).

Levy archers: Persian archers are described as psiloi, but archers from other regions may have been less suited to skirmishing (or simply packed together more closely) - some from near India for instance carried effective sidearms, hence some are allowed to be Bw. The rating is kept at (I), since if they did adopt massed shooting, it is not recorded as having any great effect.

Other foot: Hillmen were no doubt pressed into service; those from near Indian used long spears and are graded as Ax (X) rather than Ax (O). The number of satrapal foot recorded (excluding Peukestas' Persians, or Seleukos' Ipsos army) ranges from 3000 to 10000.

Camp defences: Were used by Macedonian armies, but seemingly not all the time. Indeed it was Nicanor's laxity in defending his camp that enable Seleukos to reconquer Babylonia.

Macedonian phalangites: Pithon was given 3000 of these to help crush Philon's revolt, and Seleukos seems to have enrolled about 2000 on his return to Babylon in 312 BC. Otherwise, they do not seem to have been a feature of armies recruited from this area. I cannot agree with Bosworth who believes Seleukos' 2000 were old Argyraspids resettled by Antigonos (see Jeff Champion's note in Slingshot, issue 216 (July 2001), page 42), since Polyainos records the Argyraspids being posted to 'secure and out of the way places' which is almost the exact opposite of what Carrhae is! However, Polyainos records Seleukos using 'hypaspists' as an elite force against Demetrios, seemingly in 286 BC, so the Seleukid footguards were seemingly established by this time, and were probably so organised when he proclaimed himself king.

Thracians: Not directly attested, but Polyainos (4.6.14) mentions Antigonos (falsely) proposing to have 1000 of them serve with Pithon. Certainly some of Alexander's veterans would have been settled in the east.

Naval: Peithon and Seleukos had some vessels left over from Alexander's days with which they conducted a successful operation against Eumenes; the largest were two trieres, the majority are described as mere punts.

Elephants: Eudamos brought 120 elephants with him from India to join Peukestas' alliance (along with 300 foot and 500 cavalry who are assumed to be represented amongst the other troop types). Seleukos fought in India from 307 BC to 303 BC, when he concluded a peace settlement with Maurya Chandragupta which saw him exchange his Indian possessions for 500 elephants, some 400 of which were fielded at the battle of Ipsos.

Persian slingers and archers: Peucestas had 10000 of these hence the large number required, but as he later summoned 10000 more (afer Eumenes took over control of the army), many more are allowed.

Scythed chariots: A traditional Persian weapon, they are not however recorded as being used by Peukestas: nevertheless, Seleukos had over 120 of them at Ipsos.

Seleukid sub-generals: Seleukos fled Babylon in 316 BC to escape Antigonos, and returned in 312 BC to defeat Nikanor. He seems to have had a more convivial personality than most of the other rulers of the region, without any insorbordination problems; by this date he would have had his young son Antiochos, who commanded a cavalry wing at Ipsos, to assist him. By 308 BC he had secured most of the upper satrapies and could thereafter command more widespread loyalty, hence the option for a second sub-general.

Babylonian levies: As Jeff Champion has pointed out (Slingshot 229, 35-37), Seleukos used city levies to hold up an Antigonid invasion; the option to allow Hd (F) in addition to Hd (O) as they are graded in Persian service is because they seem to have fought reasonably effectively in urban and/or irrigated environments. Numbers are unknown; fiver elements equates to a 5000-strong ill-armed rabble.

Kossaians: A Babylonian source mentions (see Jeff's article immediately above) hillmen as an 'army' friendly to Seleukos, and when the fought Antigonos separately in a mountain action, Diodoros notes their archery, hence the grading as Ps and Bw. I allow the general to be mounted, since it is unlikely that they could have stolen Alexander the Great's Bukephalos so easily 20 years before without access to horses; the grading of LH is by analogy with their Median 'neighbours'. 5000 men seems about right for such a force.

This page last modified 30 June 2004.

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