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Greece 2, session iii Alexander's Successors


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Updating my postings for the Ancient Greece class of several years ago. This session traces the power struggles of the successors to Alexander through to the rise of Rome

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Greece 2, session iii Alexander's Successors

  1. 1. THE SUCCESSORS Διάδοχοι (Diadochoi, Successors) κοσµοπολις (Cosmopolis, World State)
  2. 2. The Diadochi were as much competitors in heroism with Alexander as mediators, and the posthumous fragmentation of his empire was the result of their desire to equal his achievement rather than to propagate it. His essentially unstable system was held in equilibrium only by his day-to-day efforts; when his death disturbed the balance, both army and empire fell apart. Keegan, p. 318
  3. 3. SUCCESSION STRIFE the problem with any sort of one-man rule is determining the strongman’s successor. America’s democratic constitutional process, which seems so “messy” to us, is a historically rare, peaceful exception traditional solutions fall in two broad categories: dynastic--an adult male heir, preferably seen as competent, with political support a new strongman--usually from the military, who can collect political support 323-276 BC-lacking the first, Alexander’s new empire would be racked with the second alternative, until, with the death of the last Successor, the Hellenistic era would take shape as a series of rival dynastic states
  4. 4. DIADOCHOI--PART I “The First Rank” Perdiccas Antipater ! ! ! ! “The Second Rank” Somatophylakes (Bodyguards) Ptolemy I Sotēr Macedonian satraps Antigonus I Monopthalmus, Seleucus I Nicator
  5. 5. DIADOCHOI--PART II Other Successors Royal Family Philip iii of Macedon, Alexander iv of Macedon, Olympias, Euridice ii & Cleopatra of Macedon Non-Macedonian Satraps and Generals Eumenes of Cardia & Pyrrhus of Epirus Sons of the Diadochoi Cassander, Demetrius Poliorcetes & Ptolemy Keraunos we will only examine the fate of those in bold type
  6. 6. THE PARTITION OF BABYLON-- is the distribution of the territories of Alexander the Great between his generals after his death. The partition was a result of a compromise, essentially brokered by Eumenes, following a conflict of opinion between the party of Meleager, who wished to give full power to Philip III of Macedon [Alexander’s half-witted brother], and the party of Perdiccas, who wished to wait for the birth of the heir of Alexander (the future Alexander IV of Macedon) to give him the throne under the control of a regent. Under the agreement, Philip III became king, but Perdiccas, as a regent, ruled. Perdiccas, as regent, managed the repartition of the territories between the former generals and satraps of Alexander. Meleager and about 300 of his partisans were eliminated by Perdiccas soon after. Wikipedia
  7. 7. The Initial Situation
  8. 8. commanded a battalion of the Macedonian phalanx. Distinguished in the Indian campaign 324-when Hephaestion [Alexander’s “Patroclus”] died suddenly, Perdiccas was appointed his successor as commander of the Companions 323-at Alexander’s death, he was appointed regent for the two potential heirs to the empire, the unborn son & the half-wit 322-he broke off his engagement to Antipater’s daughter because Olympias offered him the hand of her daughter Cleopatra, Alexander’s half-sister. Antipater allied with Ptolemy & Antigonus war broke out, he moved against Egypt. “A botched attempt to cross the Nile at the wrong place cost 2,000 men to drowning and crocodiles. This was no successor to Alexander.”--Green he was assassinated by his own officers, including Seleucus Perdiccas Περδίκκας, Perdikkas died 321/320 BC No image available
  9. 9. 334-323-he had been Alexander’s “regent” in Greece 323-was left in control of the Balkans by Perdiccas 321-after Perdiccas’ death, became regent, guardian of Alexander's half-wit brother Philip III and now-born son Having quelled a mutiny of his troops, he commissioned Antigonus to continue the war against Eumenes and the other partisans of Perdiccas 320-Antipater returned to Macedonia. Soon after, he was seized by an illness which terminated his active career 319-died, leaving the regency to the aged Polyperchon, passing over his own son, Cassander, a measure which gave rise to much later strife was he the assassin of Alexander? All the ancient sources mention this rumor, most, only to deny it Antipater Ἀντίπατρος Antipatros c. 397 BC – 319 BC
  10. 10. 340s-son of Antipater, taught by the philosopher Aristotle at Mieza in Macedonia. He was educated alongside the Crown Prince Alexander in a group that included Hephaestion and Ptolemy 319-Cassander rejected his father’s decision to give the regency to Polyperchon, and immediately went to seek the support of Antigonus, Ptolemy and Lysimachus as allies 317-after waging war on Polyperchon, and destroying his fleet, Cassander put Athens under the control of Demetrius of Phaleron, and declared himself Regent Alexander IV, Roxana, and Alexander’s supposed illegitimate son Heracles were all executed on Cassander's orders, and a guarantee to Olympias to spare her life was not respected 301-after the Battle of Ipsus, in which Antigonus was killed, he was undisputed in his control of Macedonia; however, he had little time to savor the fact, dying of dropsy in 297 coin of Cassander British Museum Cassander Κάσσανδρος Ἀντίπατρος, Kassandros Antipatros ca. 350 – 297 king of Macedon (305–297).
  11. 11. founder of the longest-lasting Ptolemaic dynasty 323-one of the organizers of the Partition. Became satrap of Egypt, nominally under the two kings without authorization, he quickly annexed Cyrenaica to the west (modern eastern Libya) 320-he then organized the war against Perdiccas 318-he secured Syria and Cyprus 315-when Antigonus One-Eye showed dangerous ambition, he joined the coalition against him 311-309--a brief peace interrupted the wars Marble bust in the Louvre 3rd century BC Ptolemy I Soter Πτολεµαῖος Σωτήρ, Ptolemaĩos Sōtḗr, Ptolemy the Savior c. 367 BC – c. 283 BC
  12. 12. founder of the Antigonid dynasty 321-with the death of Perdiccas, a new attempt at division of the empire took place. Antigonus found himself entrusted with the command of the war against Eumenes, who had joined Perdiccas against the coalition of Antipater, Antigonus, Ptolemy, Craterus, and the other generals 319-Antigonus and the other dynasts refused to recognize Polyperchon, since it would undermine their own ambitions. Once again, war broke out 315-Antigonus now was in possession of the empire's Asian territories, his authority stretching from the eastern satrapies to Syria and Asia Minor in the west. He seized the treasures at Susa and entered Babylon. The governor of the city, Seleucus fled to Ptolemy and entered into a league with him, Lysimachus and Cassander against Antigonus Antigonus I Monophthalmus Ἀντίγονος ὁ Μονόφθαλµος, "Antigonus the One-eyed" 382 BC – 301 BC
  13. 13. son of Antigonus Monophthalmus (One-eyed) 315-At the age of twenty-two he was left by his father to defend Syria against Ptolemy. He was defeated at the Battle of Gaza, his first (unsuccessful) siege 310-he was soundly defeated when he tried to expel Seleucus Nicator from Babylon; his father was defeated in the autumn. As a result of this Babylonian War, Antigonus lost almost two thirds of his empire: all eastern satrapies became Seleucus' Marble bust, Roman, 1st century AD of a Greek original from 3rd century BC Demetrius I ( Δηµήτριος, 337 – 283 ) Poliorcetes ( Πολιορκητής - "The Besieger") king of Macedon (294–288).
  14. 14. Antigonus Cassander Ptolemy Seleucus Lysymachus Ἀλεξάνδρεια Ἐσχάτη Alexandria Eschatē the farthest Alexandria these colonists made the first major interaction between an urbanized Indo-European culture and the Chinese civilization. This led to the opening of the Silk Road in the 1st century BC Wikipedia
  15. 15. son of Antigonus I Monophthalmus (One-eyed) 315-At the age of twenty-two he was left by his father to defend Syria against Ptolemy. He was defeated at the Battle of Gaza, his first and last unsuccessful siege 310-he was soundly defeated when he tried to expel Seleucus I Nicator from Babylon; his father was defeated in the autumn. As a result of this Babylonian War, Antigonus lost almost two thirds of his empire: all eastern satrapies became Seleucus' After several campaigns against Ptolemy on the coasts of Cilicia and Cyprus, Demetrius sailed with a fleet of 250 ships to Athens. He freed the city from the power of Cassander and Ptolemy, expelled the garrison which had been stationed there under Demetrius of Phalerum 307-besieged and took Munychia. After these victories he was worshipped by the Athenians as a tutelary deity under the title of Soter (σωτήρ) ("Preserver") [or “Savior”]Marble bust, Roman copy, 1st century AD of a Greek original from 3rd century BC Demetrius I ( Δηµήτριος, 337 – 283 ) Poliorcetes ( Πολιορκητής - "The Besieger") king of Macedon (294–288).
  16. 16. Antigonus clearly meant to secure firm control of the eastern Mediterranean sea routes, since he at once sent Demetrius to reduce that...great naval bastion, Rhodes, then under Ptolemy’s control…. For over a year (305/4), Demetrius assaulted the island’s capital with a fearsome array of siege engines, fire arrows, rams and torsion catapults. Ptolemy’s ships ran the blockade to supply the defenders, and in the end Demetrius was forced to leave the Rhodians independent. His title of “the Besieger” thus had a decidedly ironic flavor about it. The Rhodians celebrated by erecting a colossal statue of Helios at the harbor entrance, paid for by the sale of Demetrius’ abandoned siege-gear. They also bestowed on Ptolemy the title of “Savior.” Green, The Hellenistic Age, pp. 36-37
  17. 17. The Colossus of Rhodes was a statue of the Greek Titan Helios, erected during the 280’s BC. It is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. • Before its destruction in 226 BC - due to an earthquake - it stood over 107 ft high, making it one of the tallest statues of the ancient world.
  18. 18. 320-After Alexander’s death, Seleucus was nominated as the satrap of Babylon Antigonus forced Seleucus to flee from Babylon, but, supported by Ptolemy, he was able to return in 312 Seleucus' later conquests include Persia and Media. He was defeated by the emperor of India, Chandragupta Maurya and accepted a marriage alliance (with a 500-elephant-dowry) after ceding the territories considered as part of India Seleucus defeated Antigonus in the battle of Ipsus in 301 BC and Lysimachus in the battle of Corupedium in 281 He was assassinated by Ptolemy Ceraunus during the same year. His successor was his son Antiochus I established the Seleucid dynasty and empire. His kingdom would be one of the last holdouts of Alexander's former empire to Roman rule. It was only outlived by the Ptolemaic Kingdom in Egypt by roughly 34 years. He founded many cities, the most famous, Antioch, named for his son Roman copy from a Greek original, from Herculaneum. Now in the National Archaeological Museum of Naples, Italy. Seleucus I (given the surname by later generations of Nicator Σέλευκος Νικάτωρ, Seleucus the Victor) ca. 358 – 281
  19. 19. a second cousin of Alexander through Olympias. He was brother-in law to Demetrius Poliorketes 302-first expelled from the throne by Cassander. Taken as hostage to Alexandria where he married Ptolemy’s step- daughter Antigone 297-briefly restored to Epirus by Ptolemy, Pyrrhus had his co-ruler Neoptolemus II of Epirus, puppet of the now- deceased Seleucus, murdered. Next, he went to war against his former ally and brother-in-law Demetrius by 286- he had taken control over the kingdom of Macedon. Pyrrhus was driven out of Macedon by Lysimachus in 284 one of the strongest opponents of early Rome. Some of his battles, though successful, cost him heavy losses, from which the term "Pyrrhic victory" was coined Pyrrhus or Pyrrhos Πύρρος, Pyrros 319/318–272 king of Epirus (306-302 & 288–285) king of Macedon (274–272) Pyrrhus’ Wars Against Rome & Carthage 281-275 BC Plutarch records that Hannibal ranked Pyrrhus as the greatest commander the world had ever seen, ..t.--Wikipedia
  20. 20. the eldest son of Ptolemy Soter, ruler of Egypt, and his third wife Eurydice, daughter of the regent Antipater His younger half-brother, also called Ptolemy, became heir apparent and, in 282, ascended to the throne as Ptolemy II Ptolemy Keraunos had left Egypt and arrived at the court of Lysimachus. His half-sister, Arsinoe, was wife of Lysimachus After Lysimachus' defeat and death in the Battle of Corupedium in 281 BC, against Seleucus Nicator, Ptolemy Keraunos murdered Seleucus in order to gain the power of his former protector. He then rushed to Lysimacheia where he had himself acclaimed king by the Macedonian army. At this time he also formally relinquished his claim to the Egyptian throne. To stabilize his throne, Ptolemy asked his half-sister Arsinoe, the widow of Lysimachus, to marry him 279-he was captured and killed during the wars against the Gauls, who conducted a series of mass raids against Macedon and the rest of Greece. Ptolemy Keraunos Πτολεµαῖος Κεραυνός died 279 His epithet Keraunos is Greek for "Thunder" or "Thunderbolt" king of Macedon (281–279)
  21. 21. The Gallic threat was brief, but it had significant consequences. The Gauls soon transferred their terror to Anatolia, but only after being defeated at Delphi … by the Aetolian League (the organization of the city-states of northwest Greece) and Antigonus Gonatas (“Knock-knees”), the son of Demetrius Poliorcetes. Their victories over the Gauls transformed the position of both the Aetolians and Antigonus, legitimizing the emergence of the former as the preeminent power in central Greece and the protector of Delphi and the latter as king of Macedon. The final pieces of the new political system that had so gradually and painfully emerged from the wreckage of Alexander’s empire had fallen into place. Thus ended “Alexander’s funeral games.” Pomeroy et al., Ancient Greece, p 476
  22. 22. So-called dying Gaul and his wife. Marble, Roman copy after an Hellenistic original from a monument built by Attalus I of Pergamon after his victory over Gauls, ca. 220 BC
  23. 23. ...Alexander’s rejection of constitutional government, of civic militarism, and of municipal autonomy ensured that his conquests would never result in a stable Hellenic civilization in Asia, or even liberty in Greece-- but simply the Successor’s (Διάδοχι, Diadochi) kingdoms (323-31 B.C.) of his like-minded marshals who followed. For three centuries theocrats-- Macedonians, Epirotes, Selucids, Ptolemies, Attalids--would rule, fight, plunder and live in splendor amid a Hellenic veneer of court elites and professionals in Asia and Africa until at last they were subdued by the legions of republican Rome. Hanson, Carnage and Culture, p. 82