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This article uses recent findings about the diversity of political organization in Archaic and Classical Greece beyond Athens, and methodological considerations about the role of civic Hestia in oligarchic communities, to add sharpness to current work on the political contextualization of Classical enkomiastic poetry. The two works considered here remind us of the epichoric political significance of such poetry, because of their attunement to two divergent oligarchic contexts. They thus help to get us back to specific fifth-century political as well as cultural Realien.
In Herodotus 5.17–21, Amyntas receives the Persian ambassadors sent to demand submission to Darius, accepts their offer, and gives a banquet to welcome the Persians. The youthful Alexander, outraged at the Persians' treatment of Macedonian women during the after-dinner drinking, assassinates the ambassadors by replacing the endangered women with young men carrying knives, who kill the Persians; Alexander then manages to keep the affair secret, by handing over his sister Gygaea to Bubares, the leader of the Persian search party and son of Megabazus. An account is then given in chapter 22 of Alexander's demonstration of Greekness at Olympia, and his victory in the stadion there.
Herodotus' treatment of Alexander and his father Amyntas has an important place in Book 5. Chapters 17–21 form a bridge between Darius' failed invasion of Scythia in Book 4 and the Ionian Revolt and subsequent Persian invasion of Greece in Books 5 and following; they follow immediately on from Megabazus' deportation of the Paeonians of Thrace to Persia on Darius' instruction in the first sixteen chapters. The Macedonian ruling family is thus introduced in a way that focuses on relations with Persia. Alexander's political and strategic actions then tie in with Herodotus' concern with medism, and the question of the allegiance by Greek poleis to the cause against Persia in Books 8 and 9.
Herodotus' engagement with Alexander here has been explored in some important work.
A numerical investigation of the stability of an axisymmetric magnetic field is discussed. The magnetic field permeates a finitely conducting fluid contained within a rapidly rotating cylindrical annulus. The fluid is incompressible and viscid. The evolution of a non-axisymmetric perturbation to the axisymmetric magnetic field is governed by the momentum and induction equations which are integrated using a spectral timestep method. We follow the growth of the perturbation to finite amplitude and find that the character of the solution is dominated by the most unstable axially dependent mode found from the linear theory.
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