Diadochi

The Diadochi (/daɪˈædəkaɪ/; plural of Latin Diadochus, from Greek: Διάδοχοι, Diádokhoi, "successors") were the rival generals, families, and friends of Alexander the Great who fought for control over his empire after his death in 323 BCE. The Wars of the Diadochi mark the beginning of the Hellenistic period from the Mediterranean to the Indus River Valley.

Diadochi LA
The diadochi fought over and carved up Alexander's empire into several kingdoms after his death, a legacy which reigned on and continued the influence of ancient Greek culture abroad for over 300 more years. This map depicts the kingdoms of the diadochi c. 301 BCE, after the Battle of Ipsus. The five kingdoms of the diadochi were:
  Epirus
Other
Seleuco I Nicatore
Bust of Seleucus Nicator ("Victor"; c. 358 – 281 BC), the last of the original Diadochi.

Successors

An army on campaign changes its leadership at any level frequently for replacement of casualties and distribution of talent to the current operations. The institution of the Hetairoi gave the Macedonian army a flexible capability in this regard. There were no fixed ranks of Hetairoi, except as the term meant a special unit of cavalry. The Hetairoi were simply a fixed pool of de facto general officers, without any or with changing de jure rank, whom Alexander could assign where needed. They were typically from the nobility, many related to Alexander. A parallel flexible structure in the Persian army facilitated combined units.

Staff meetings to adjust command structure were nearly a daily event in Alexander's army. They created an ongoing expectation among the Hetairoi of receiving an important and powerful command, if only for a short term. At the moment of Alexander's death, all possibilities were suddenly suspended. The Hetairoi vanished with Alexander, to be replaced instantaneously by the Diadochi, men who knew where they had stood, but not where they would stand now. As there had been no definite ranks or positions of Hetairoi, there were no ranks of Diadochi. They expected appointments, but without Alexander they would have to make their own.

For purposes of this presentation, the Diadochi are grouped by their rank and social standing at the time of Alexander's death. These were their initial positions as Diadochi. They are not necessarily significant or determinative of what happened next.

The Diadochi

In Hellenistic times the title Diadoch was actually the lowest in a system of official rank titles. It was first used in the 19th century to denote the immediate successors of Alexander.

Craterus

Craterus was an infantry and naval commander under Alexander during his conquest of Persia. After the revolt of his army at Opis on the Tigris River in 324, Alexander ordered Craterus to command the veterans as they returned home to Macedonia. Antipater, commander of Alexander's forces in Greece and regent of the Macedonian throne in Alexander's absence, would lead a force of fresh troops back to Persia to join Alexander while Craterus would become regent in his place. When Craterus arrived at Cilicia in 323 BC, news reached him of Alexander's death. Though his distance from Babylon prevented him from participating in the distribution of power, Craterus hastened to Macedonia to assume the protection of Alexander's family. The news of Alexander's death caused the Greeks to rebel in the Lamian War. Craterus and Antipater defeated the rebellion in 322 BC. Despite his absence, the generals gathered at Babylon confirmed Craterus as Guardian of the Royal Family. However, with the royal family in Babylon, the Regent Perdiccas assumed this responsibility until the royal household could return to Macedonia.

Antipater

Antipater was an adviser to King Philip II, Alexander's father, a role he continued under Alexander. When Alexander left Macedon to conquer Persia in 334 BC, Antipater was named Regent of Macedon and General of Greece in Alexander's absence. In 323 BC, Craterus was ordered by Alexander to march his veterans back to Macedon and assume Antipater's position while Antipater was to march to Persia with fresh troops. Alexander's death that year, however, prevented the order from being carried out. When Alexander's generals gathered in Babylon to divide the empire between themselves, Antipater was confirmed as General of Greece while the roles of Regent of the Empire and Guardian of the Royal Family were given to Perdiccas and Craterus, respectively. Together, the three men formed the top ruling group of the empire.

Somatophylakes

The Somatophylakes were the seven bodyguards of Alexander.

Macedonian satraps

Satraps (Old Persian: xšaθrapāwn) were the governors of the provinces in the Hellenistic empires.

Non-Macedonian satraps and generals

The Epigoni

Originally the Epigoni (/ɪˈpɪɡənaɪ/; from Greek: Ἐπίγονοι, meaning "offspring") were the sons of the Argive heroes who had fought in the first Theban war. In the 19th century the term was used to refer to the second generation of Diadochi rulers.

Chronology

Struggle for unity (323–319 BC)

Partition of Babylon

Diadochi satraps babylon
The distribution of satrapies in the Macedonian Empire after the Settlement in Babylon (323 BC).

Without a chosen successor, there was almost immediately a dispute among Alexander's generals as to whom his successor should be. Meleager and the infantry supported the candidacy of Alexander's half-brother, Arrhidaeus, while Perdiccas, the leading cavalry commander, supported waiting until the birth of Alexander's unborn child by Roxana. A compromise was arranged – Arrhidaeus (as Philip III) should become King, and should rule jointly with Roxana's child, assuming that it was a boy (as it was, becoming Alexander IV). Perdiccas himself would become Regent of the entire Empire, and Meleager his lieutenant. Soon, however, Perdiccas had Meleager and the other infantry leaders murdered, and assumed full control.

The other cavalry generals who had supported Perdiccas were rewarded in the partition of Babylon by becoming satraps of the various parts of the Empire. Ptolemy received Egypt; Laomedon received Syria and Phoenicia; Philotas took Cilicia; Peithon took Media; Antigonus received Phrygia, Lycia and Pamphylia; Asander received Caria; Menander received Lydia; Lysimachus received Thrace; Leonnatus received Hellespontine Phrygia; and Neoptolemus had Armenia. Macedon and the rest of Greece were to be under the joint rule of Antipater, who had governed them for Alexander, and Craterus, Alexander's most able lieutenant, while Alexander's old secretary, Eumenes of Cardia, was to receive Cappadocia and Paphlagonia.

In the east, Perdiccas largely left Alexander's arrangements intact – Taxiles and Porus governed over their kingdoms in India; Alexander's father-in-law Oxyartes governed Gandara; Sibyrtius governed Arachosia and Gedrosia; Stasanor governed Aria and Drangiana; Philip governed Bactria and Sogdiana; Phrataphernes governed Parthia and Hyrcania; Peucestas governed Persis; Tlepolemus had charge over Carmania; Atropates governed northern Media; Archon got Babylonia; and Arcesilaus governed northern Mesopotamia.

Revolt in Greece

Meanwhile, the news of Alexander's death had inspired a revolt in Greece, known as the Lamian War. Athens and other cities joined together, ultimately besieging Antipater in the fortress of Lamia. Antipater was relieved by a force sent by Leonnatus, who was killed in action, but the war did not come to an end until Craterus's arrival with a fleet to defeat the Athenians at the Battle of Crannon on September 5, 322 BC. For a time, this brought an end to any resistance to Macedonian domination. Meanwhile, Peithon suppressed a revolt of Greek settlers in the eastern parts of the Empire, and Perdiccas and Eumenes subdued Cappadocia.

First War of the Diadochi (322–320 BC)

Ancient Macedonian soldiers, from the tomb of Agios Athanasios, Greece
Paintings of Ancient Macedonian soldiers, arms, and armaments, from the tomb of Agios Athanasios, Thessaloniki in Greece, 4th century BC

Soon, however, conflict broke out. Perdiccas' marriage to Alexander's sister Cleopatra led Antipater, Craterus, Antigonus, and Ptolemy to join together in rebellion. The actual outbreak of war was initiated by Ptolemy's theft of Alexander's body and its transfer to Egypt. Although Eumenes defeated the rebels in Asia Minor, in a battle at which Craterus was killed, it was all for nought, as Perdiccas himself was murdered by his own generals Peithon, Seleucus, and Antigenes during an invasion of Egypt.

Ptolemy came to terms with Perdiccas's murderers, making Peithon and Arrhidaeus regents in his place, but soon these came to a new agreement with Antipater at the Treaty of Triparadisus. Antipater was made regent of the Empire, and the two kings were moved to Macedon. Antigonus remained in charge of Phrygia, Lycia, and Pamphylia, to which was added Lycaonia. Ptolemy retained Egypt, Lysimachus retained Thrace, while the three murderers of Perdiccas—Seleucus, Peithon, and Antigenes—were given the provinces of Babylonia, Media, and Susiana respectively. Arrhidaeus, the former Regent, received Hellespontine Phrygia. Antigonus was charged with the task of rooting out Perdiccas's former supporter, Eumenes. In effect, Antipater retained for himself control of Europe, while Antigonus, as leader of the largest army east of the Hellespont, held a similar position in Asia.

Death of Antipater

Soon after the second partition, in 319 BC, Antipater died. Antipater had been one of the few remaining individuals with enough prestige to hold the empire together. After his death, war soon broke out again and the fragmentation of the empire began in earnest. Passing over his own son, Cassander, Antipater had declared Polyperchon his successor as Regent. A civil war soon broke out in Macedon and Greece between Polyperchon and Cassander, with the latter supported by Antigonus and Ptolemy. Polyperchon allied himself to Eumenes in Asia, but was driven from Macedonia by Cassander, and fled to Epirus with the infant king Alexander IV and his mother Roxana. In Epirus he joined forces with Olympias, Alexander's mother, and together they invaded Macedon again. They were met by an army commanded by King Philip Arrhidaeus and his wife Eurydice, which immediately defected, leaving the king and Eurydice to Olympias's not so tender mercies, and they were killed (317 BC). Soon after, though, the tide turned, and Cassander was victorious, capturing and killing Olympias, and attaining control of Macedon, the boy king, and his mother.

Wars of the Diadochi (319–275 BC)

The Wars of the Diadochi were a series of conflicts, fought between 322 and 275 BC, over the rule of Alexander's empire after his death.

In 310 BC Cassander secretly murdered Alexander IV and Roxana.

The Battle of Ipsus (301 BC)

The Battle of Ipsus at the end of the Fourth War of the Diadochi finalized the breakup of the unified Empire of Alexander. Antigonus I Monophthalmus and his son Demetrius I of Macedon were pitted against the coalition of three other companions of Alexander: Cassander, ruler of Macedon; Lysimachus, ruler of Thrace; and Seleucus I Nicator, ruler of Babylonia and Persia. Antigonus was killed, but his son Demetrius took a large part of Macedonia and continued his father's dynasty. After the death of Cassander and Lysimachus, following one another in fairly rapid succession, the Ptolemies and Seleucids controlled the vast majority of Alexander's former empire, with a much smaller segment controlled by the Antigonid dynasty until the 1st century.

The Epigoni

Decline and fall

This division was to last for a century, before the Antigonid Kingdom finally fell to Rome, and the Seleucids were harried from Persia by the Parthians and forced by the Romans to relinquish control in Asia Minor. A rump Seleucid kingdom limped on in Syria until finally put to rest by Pompey in 64 BC. The Ptolemies lasted longer in Alexandria, though as a client under Rome. Egypt was finally annexed to Rome in 30 BC.

Background

Ancient role

In ancient Greek, diadochos[1] is a noun (substantive or adjective) formed from the verb, diadechesthai, "succeed to,"[2] a compound of dia- and dechesthai, "receive."[3] The word-set descends straightforwardly from Indo-European *dek-, "receive", the substantive forms being from the o-grade, *dok-.[4] Some important English reflexes are dogma, "a received teaching," decent, "fit to be received," paradox, "against that which is received." The prefix dia- changes the meaning slightly to add a social expectation to the received. The diadochos expects to receive it, hence a successor in command or any other office, or a succeeding work gang on work being performed by relays of work gangs, or metaphorically light being the successor of sleep.

Basileus

It was exactly this expectation that contributed to strife in the Alexandrine and Hellenistic Ages, beginning with Alexander. Philip had made a state marriage to a woman who changed her name to Olympias to honor the coincidence of Philip's victory in the Olympic Games and Alexander's birth, an act that suggests love may have been a motive as well. Macedon was then an obscure state. Its chief office was the basileia, or monarchy, the chief officer being the basileus, now the signatory title of Philip. Their son and heir, Alexander, was raised with care, being educated by select prominent philosophers. Philip is said to have wept for joy when Alexander performed a feat of which no one else was capable, taming the wild horse, Bucephalus, at his first attempt in front of a skeptical audience including the king. Amidst the cheering onlookers Philip swore that Macedonia was not large enough for Alexander.[5] The two developed a close and affectionate relationship. When Philip was on campaign Alexander would remark with pride at the report of each victory that his father would leave him nothing of note to do.

And yet the faithless king fell in love with a young woman, Cleopatra. He married her apparently for love when he was too old for marriage, having divorced Olympias. By that time Philip had built Macedonia into the leading military state of the Balkans. He had acquired his expertise fighting for Thebes and Greek freedom under his patron, Epaminondas. When Alexander was a teen-ager, Philip was planning a military solution to the contention with the Persian Empire. In the opening campaign against Byzantium he made Alexander "regent" (kurios) in his absence. Alexander used every opportunity to further his father’s victories, expecting that he would be a part of them. There was a source of disaffection, however. Plutarch reports that Alexander and his mother bitterly reproached him for his numerous affairs among the women of his court.[6]

Alexander was at the wedding banquet when Attalus, Cleopatra's uncle, made a remark that seemed inappropriate to him. He asked the Macedonians to pray for an "heir to the kingship" (diadochon tes basileias). Rising to his feet Alexander shouted, using the royal "we," "Do we seem like bastards (nothoi) to you, evil-minded man?" and threw a cup at him. The inebriated Philip, rising to his feet, drawing his sword, presumably to defend his wife's uncle, promptly fell. Making a comment that the man who was preparing to cross from Europe to Asia could not cross from one couch to another, Alexander departed, to escort his mother to her native Epirus and to wait himself in Illyria. Not long after, prompted by Demaratus the Corinthian to mend the dissension in his house, Philip sent Demaratus to bring Alexander home. The expectation by virtue of which Alexander was diadochos was that as the son of Philip, he would inherit Philip's throne.

After a time the king was assassinated. In 336 BC, at the age of 20, Alexander "received the kingship" (parelabe ten basileian).[7] In the same year Darius succeeded to the throne of Persia as Šâhe Šâhân, "King of Kings," which the Greeks understood as "Great King." The role of the Macedonian basileus was changing fast. Alexander’s army was already multinational. Alexander was acquiring dominion over state after state. His presence on the battlefield seemed to ensure immediate victory.

Hegemon

When Alexander the Great died on June 10, 323 BC, he left behind a huge empire which comprised many essentially independent territories. Alexander's empire stretched from his homeland of Macedon itself, along with the Greek city-states that his father had subdued, to Bactria and parts of India in the east. It included parts of the present day Balkans, Anatolia, the Levant, Egypt, Babylonia, and most of the former Persia, except for some lands the Achaemenids formerly held in Central Asia.

Historical uses as a title

Aulic

In the formal "court" titulature of the Hellenistic empires ruled by dynasties we know as Diadochs, the title was not customary for the Monarch, but has actually been proven to be the lowest in a system of official rank titles, known as Aulic titulature, conferred – ex officio or nominatim – to actual courtiers and as an honorary rank (for protocol) to various military and civilian officials. Notably in Ptolemaic Egypt, it was reported as the lowest aulic rank, under Philos, during the reign of Ptolemy V Epiphanes.

Modern concept

Diadochi (Διάδοχοι) is an ancient Greek word that currently modern scholars use to refer primarily to persons acting a role that existed only for a limited time period and within a limited geographic range. As there are no modern equivalents, it has been necessary to reconstruct the role from the ancient sources. There is no uniform agreement concerning exactly which historical persons fit the description, or the territorial range over which the role was in effect, or the calendar dates of the period. A certain basic meaning is included in all definitions, however.

The New Latin terminology was introduced by the historians of universal Greek history of the 19th century. Their comprehensive histories of ancient Greece typically covering from prehistory to the Roman Empire ran into many volumes. For example, George Grote in the first edition of History of Greece, 1846-1856, hardly mentions the Diadochi, except to say that they were kings who came after Alexander and Hellenized Asia. In the edition of 1869 he defines them as "great officers of Alexander, who after his death carved kingdoms for themselves out of his conquests."[8]

Grote cites no references for the use of Diadochi but his criticism of Johann Gustav Droysen gives him away. Droysen, "the modern inventor of Hellenistic history,"[9] not only defined "Hellenistic period" (hellenistische ... Zeit),[10] but in a further study of the "successors of Alexander" (nachfolger Alexanders) dated 1836, after Grote had begun work on his history, but ten years before publication of the first volume, divided it into two periods, "the age of the Diadochi," or "Diadochi Period" (die Zeit der Diodochen or Diadochenzeit), which ran from the death of Alexander to the end of the "Diadochi Wars" (Diadochenkämpfe, his term), about 278 BC, and the "Epigoni Period" (Epigonenzeit), which ran to about 220 BC.[11] He also called the Diadochi Period "the Diadochi War Period" (Zeit der Diadochenkämpfe). The Epigoni he defined as "Sons of the Diadochi" (Diadochensöhne). These were the second generation of Diadochi rulers.[12] In an 1843 work, "History of the Epigoni" (Geschichte der Epigonen) he details the kingdoms of the Epigoni, 280-239 BC. The only precise date is the first, the date of Alexander’s death, June, 323 BC. It has never been in question.

Grote uses Droysen's terminology but gives him no credit for it. Instead he attacks Droysen's concept of Alexander planting Hellenism in eastern colonies:[13] "Plutarch states that Alexander founded more than seventy new cities in Asia. So large a number of them is neither verifiable nor probable, unless we either reckon up simple military posts or borrow from the list of foundations really established by his successors." He avoids Droysen's term in favor of the traditional "successor". In a long note he attacks Droysen's thesis as "altogether slender and unsatisfactory." Grote may have been right, but he ignores entirely Droysen's main thesis, that the concepts of "successors" and "sons of successors" were innovated and perpetuated by historians writing contemporaneously or nearly so with the period. Not enough evidence survives to prove it conclusively, but enough survives to win acceptance for Droysen as the founding father of Hellenistic history.

M. M. Austin localizes what he considers to be a problem with Grote's view. To Grote's assertion in the Preface to his work that the period "is of no interest in itself," but serves only to elucidate "the preceding centuries," Austin comments "Few nowadays would subscribe to this view."[9] If Grote was hoping to minimize Droysen by not giving him credit, he was mistaken, as Droysen's gradually became the majority model. By 1898 Adolf Holm incorporated a footnote describing and evaluating Droysen's arguments.[14] He describes the Diadochi and Epigoni as "powerful individuals."[15] The title of the volume on the topic, however, is The Graeco-Macedonian Age..., not Droysen's "Hellenistic".

Droysen's "Hellenistic" and "Diadochi Periods" are canonical today. A series of six (as of 2014) international symposia held at different universities 1997-2010 on the topics of the imperial Macedonians and their Diadochi have to a large degree solidified and internationalized Droysen’s concepts. Each one grew out of the previous. Each published an assortment of papers read at the symposium.[16] The 2010 symposium, entitled "The Time of the Diadochi (323-281 BC)," held at the University of A Coruña, Spain, represents the current concepts and investigations. The term Diadochi as an adjective is being extended beyond its original use, such as "Diadochi Chronicle," which is nowhere identified as such, or Diadochi kingdoms, "the kingdoms that emerged," even past the Age of the Epigoni.[17]

See also

References

Citations

  1. ^ Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert. "διάδοχος". A Greek-English Lexicon. Perseus Digital Library.
  2. ^ Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert. "διαδέχομαι". A Greek-English Lexicon. Perseus Digital Library.
  3. ^ Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert. "δέχομαι". A Greek-English Lexicon. Perseus Digital Library.
  4. ^ Frisk, Hjalmar (1960). "δέχομαι". Griechisches Etymologisches Wörterbuch (in German). I. Heidelberg: Carl Winter.
  5. ^ Plutarch, Alexander, Section VI.
  6. ^ Plutarch, Alexander, Section IX.
  7. ^ Plutarch, Alexander, Section XI.
  8. ^ Grote 1869, p. 15
  9. ^ a b Austin 1994, p. vii
  10. ^ Droysen, Johann Gustav (1833). Geschichte Alexanders des Grossen (in German). Hamburg: Friedrich Perthes. p. 517.
  11. ^ Droysen 1836, Einleitung
  12. ^ Droysen 1836, p. 670
  13. ^ Grote 1869, pp. 205–206
  14. ^ Holm 1898, p. 83
  15. ^ Holm 1898, p. 67
  16. ^ Carney, Elizabeth; Ogden, Daniel (2010). "Preface". Philip II and Alexander the Great: Father and Son, Lives and Afterlives. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  17. ^ "Diadochi and Successor Kingdoms". The Oxford Encyclopedia of Greece and Rome. Volume 1. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2010.

Sources

  • Anson, Edward (2014). Alexander's Heirs: The Age of the Successors. MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Austin, M. M. (1994). The Hellenistic world from Alexander to the Roman conquest: a selection of ancient sources in translation. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.
  • Boiy, Tom (2000). "Dating Methods During the Early Hellenistic Period" (PDF). Journal of Cuneiform Studies. 52.
  • Droysen, Johann Gustav (1836). Geschichte der Nachfolger Alexanders (in German). Hamburg: Friedrich Perthes.
  • Grote, George (1869). A History of Greece: from the Earliest Period to the Close of the Generation Contemporary with Alexander the Great. XI (New ed.). London, England: John Murray.
  • Holm, Adolf (1898) [1894]. The History of Greece from Its Commencement to the Close of the Independence of the Greek Nation. IV: The Graeco-Macedonian age, the period of the kings and the leagues, from the death of Alexander down to the incorporation of the last Macedonian monarchy in the Roman Empire. Translated by Clarke, Frederick. London; New York: Macmillan.
  • Shipley, Graham (2000). The Greek World After Alexander. Routledge History of the Ancient World. New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Walbank, F.W. (1984). "The Hellenistic World". The Cambridge Ancient History. Volume VII. part I. Cambridge, England.

External links

Antigonid–Nabataean confrontations

The Antigonid–Nabataean confrontations were three confrontations initiated by Greek general Antigonus I against the Arab Nabataeans in 312 BC. Following the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC, his empire was disputed between his generals, including Antigonus, who for a time controlled the Levant.Reaching Edom, just north of Petra, Antigonus became aware of the wealth of the Nabataeans, generated from the spice trade caravans. The three raids against the Nabateans either came to nothing or ended in disaster for the Greeks.

Antigonus I Monophthalmus

Antigonus I Monophthalmus (Ancient Greek: Ἀντίγονος ὁ Μονόφθαλμος, romanized: Antigonos ho Monophthalmos, Antigonus the One-eyed, 382–301 BC), son of Philip from Elimeia, was a Macedonian nobleman, general, satrap and king. During the first half of his life he served under Philip II, after Philip’s death in 336 BC, he served his son Alexander, he was a major figure in the Wars of the Diadochi after Alexander's death, declaring himself king in 306 BC and establishing the Antigonid dynasty.

Arsames I

Arsames I (Armenian: Արշամ) seems to have taken control of Commagene, Sophene and Armenia in the year 260 BC after the death of his grandfather Orontes III, king of Armenia, and his father Sames, king of Commagene.

Quite why they both died in the same year is not recorded, though it looks suspicious. It is known the Seleucid Empire was always trying to overthrow the Armenian dynasties who still ruled the lands their forebears had in the time of the Achaemenid Empire.

Ziaelas of Bithynia found refuge at the court of king Arsames, and upon the death of king Nicomedes I of Bithynia Ziaelas returned to take the kingdom in 254 BC.

Arsames also supported Antiochus Hierax against his brother, Seleucus II Callinicus, who was defeated at a battle against king Mithridates II of Pontus near Ankara in 239 BC, after which Seleucus lost control of any lands he had across the Taurus mountains. This was to the benefit of Arsames.

Arsames then founded the cities of Arsamosata in Sophene and Arsameia (known today as Eski Kale) in Commagene in 235 BC.

After his death his eldest son Xerxes became king of Commagene, Sophene and Armenia. Orontes IV would succeed Xerxes whilst another son known as "Mithras" (or Mithrenes II) is recorded as being the High Priest of the temple to the Sun and Moon at Armavir.

Babylonian War

The Babylonian War was a conflict fought between 311–309 BC between the Diadochi Antigonus Monophtalmus and Seleucus, ending in a victory for the latter. The conflict ended any possibility of restoration of the empire of Alexander the Great, a result confirmed in the Battle of Ipsus. It also marked the infancy of the Seleucid Empire by giving Seleucus control over the eastern satrapies of Alexander's former empire.

Battle of Corupedium

The Battle of Corupedium, also called Corupedion or Curupedion (Ancient Greek: Κύρου πεδίον or Κόρου πεδίον, "the plain of Kyros or Koros") was the last battle between the Diadochi, the rival successors to Alexander the Great. It was fought in 281 BC between the armies of Lysimachus and Seleucus I Nicator. Lysimachus had ruled Thrace for decades and parts of modern western Turkey ever since the Battle of Ipsus. Recently he had finally gained control over Macedon. Seleucus ruled the Seleucid Empire, including lands currently covered by modern eastern Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Iraq and Iran. Almost nothing is known about the battle itself save that Seleucus won the battle. Lysimachus died during the fighting. According to Memnon of Heraclea's History of Heraclea Pontica, Lysimachus was killed by a javelin thrown by Malacon, a Heracleian soldier serving under Seleucus.Although the victory gave Seleucus nominal control over nearly every part of Alexander's empire, save the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, his victory was short-lived. After crossing the Hellespont to take possession of Lysimachus' European holdings not long after the battle, Seleucus was assassinated by Ptolemy Keraunos and Macedon swiftly became independent once again.

Battle of Gaza (312 BC)

The Battle of Gaza was a battle of the Third war of the Diadochi between Ptolemy (and Seleucus) against Demetrius (son of Antigonus I Monophthalmus).

In late 312 BC, Ptolemy launched an invasion from Egypt, he marched with 18,000 infantry and 4,000 cavalry along the northern edge of the Sinai. Receiving timely intelligence, Demetrius recalled his troops from their winter quarters and concentrated them at Gaza. Demetrius's advisors told him not to fight the more experienced Ptolemy and Seleucus, but he ignored their advice.

Battle of Ipsus

The Battle of Ipsus (Ancient Greek: Ἱψός) was fought between some of the Diadochi (the successors of Alexander the Great) in 301 BC near the village of that name in Phrygia. Antigonus I Monophthalmus, ruler of Phrygia, and his son Demetrius I of Macedon were pitted against the coalition of three other companions of Alexander: Cassander, ruler of Macedon; Lysimachus, ruler of Thrace; and Seleucus I Nicator, ruler of Babylonia and Persia.

Battle of Paraitakene

The Battle of Paraitakene (also called Paraetacene; Greek: Παραιτακηνή) was a battle in the wars of the successors of Alexander the Great (see Diadochi) between Antigonus I Monophthalmus and Eumenes. It was fought in 317 BC.

Cassander

Cassander (Greek: Κάσσανδρος Ἀντιπάτρου, Kassandros Antipatrou; "son of Antipatros": c. 350 BC – 297 BC) was king of the Hellenistic kingdom of Macedon from 305 BC until 297 BC, and de facto ruler of southern Greece from 317 BC until his death.Eldest son of Antipater and a contemporary of Alexander the Great, Cassander was one of the Diadochi who warred over Alexander's empire following the latter's death in 323 BC. Cassander later seized the crown by having Alexander's son and heir Alexander IV murdered. In governing Macedonia from 317 BC until 297 BC, Cassander restored peace and prosperity to the kingdom, while founding or restoring numerous cities (including Thessalonica, Cassandreia, and Thebes); however, his ruthlessness in dealing with political enemies complicates assessments of his rule.

Craterus

Craterus or Krateros (Greek: Κρατερός; c. 370 BC – 321 BC) was an ancient Macedonian general under Alexander the Great and one of the Diadochi.

Craterus was the son of a Macedonian nobleman named Alexander from Orestis and brother of admiral Amphoterus. Craterus commanded the phalanx and all infantry on the left wing in Battle of Issus in 333 BC. In Hyrcania he was sent on a mission against the Tapurians, his first independent command with the Macedonian army. At the Battle of the Hydaspes in 326 BC, near modern Jhelum, he commanded the rearguard, which stayed on the western bank; his men crossed the river only during the final stages of the battle.

At the festivities in Susa, Craterus married princess Amastris, daughter of Oxyathres, the brother of Darius III. Craterus and Polyperchon were appointed to lead 11,500 veteran soldiers back to Macedonia. Craterus was in Cilicia, where he was building the fleet, when Alexander unexpectedly died in Babylon.

In 322 Craterus aided Antipater in the Lamian War against Athens. He sailed with his Cilician navy to Greece and led troops at the Battle of Crannon in 322. When Antigonus rose in rebellion against Perdiccas and Eumenes, Craterus joined him, alongside Antipater and Ptolemy. He married Antipater's daughter Phila, with whom he had a son, also called Craterus

He was killed in battle against Eumenes in Asia Minor when his charging horse fell over him, somewhere near the Hellespont, in 321.

Eumenes

Eumenes of Cardia (; Greek: Εὐμένης; c. 362 – 316 BC) was a Greek general and satrap. He participated in the Wars of the Diadochi as a supporter of the Macedonian Argead royal house. He was executed after the Battle of Gabiene in 316 BC.

Orontes III

Orontes III (Armenian: Երուանդ Գ, Yervand III) was King of Armenia. In his reign he struggled for control of the Kingdom of Sophene with king Antiochus II Theos until being defeated in 272 BC and was forced to pay a large tribute which included 300 talents of silver and 1,000 horses and mules. Orontes III was subsequently murdered in 260 BC, whether at the instigation of King Antiochus II is not recorded. His son, Sames, continued to rule in Sophene.

Partition of Triparadisus

The Partition of Triparadisus was a power-sharing agreement passed at Triparadisus in 321 BC between the generals (Diadochi) of Alexander the Great, in which they named a new regent and arranged the repartition of the satrapies of Alexander's empire among themselves. It followed and modified the Partition of Babylon made in 323 BC upon Alexander's death.

Following the death of Alexander, the rule of his empire was given to his half-brother Philip Arrhidaeus and Alexander's son Alexander IV. However, since Philip was mentally ill and Alexander IV born only after the death of his father, a regent was named in Perdiccas. In the meantime, the former generals of Alexander were named satraps of the various regions of his empire.

Several satraps were eager to gain more power, and when Ptolemy, satrap of Egypt, rebelled with other generals, Perdiccas moved against the former but was killed by a mutiny in his camp. Ptolemy declined the regency and instead brought to the office Peithon and Arrhidaeus. This designation met the strong opposition of Eurydice, wife of Philip III, leading, in the meeting called in 321 BC at Triparadisus of all the generals, to their replacement with Antipater. The meeting also proceeded to divide again the satrapies between the various generals.

Peithon

Peithon or Pithon (Greek: Πείθων or Πίθων, c. 355 – c. 314 BC) was the son of Crateuas, a nobleman from Eordaia in western Macedonia. Peithon was of Illyrian origin. He was famous for being one of the bodyguards of Alexander the Great, becoming the later satrap of Media, and claiming to be one of the diadochi.

Peithon (Peithon Krateau) was named one of the seven (later eight) Somatophylakes "bodyguards" of Alexander in 335 BC. After Alexander's death in 323 BC, Peithon was made the satrap of Media, the strategically important region that controlled all roads between east and west. Actually, the satrapy was too large for one man; Peithon would be very powerful, and could destabilize the entire empire. Therefore, he had to give up the northern part, which was given to Atropates, from then on the region was known as Media Atropatene.

The soldiers who remained in the eastern part of Alexander's realm after his death grew agitated by their lengthy stay abroad, and began spontaneous revolts. The regent Perdiccas sent Peithon to subdue the revolts. He was given a contingent of Macedonians. Peithon easily defeated his opponents and accepted their capitulation. His men, however, having hoped to plunder, massacred their opponents.

After Peithon returned to Media, Perdiccas began to distrust him. During the First War of the Diadochi, Perdiccas ordered Peithon to reinforce him and help him invade Ptolemaic Egypt and fight against Ptolemy. In the summer of 320 BC, Peithon, Seleucus, and Antigenes murdered Perdiccas and started negotiating with their opponents. Ptolemy suggested that Peithon be made the new Regent, but the other diadochi would not accept this. Therefore, Antipater was chosen to be the new Regent.

After the death of Antipater (the Regent of the Empire), Peithon tried to expand his power over the eastern satrapies. He invaded the satrapy of Parthia, killed its Satrap Philippos, and made his brother Eudemus the new satrap. The other satraps in inner Asia were quick to precieve their danger and united all their forces under Peucestas (also a former Somatophylakes), the satrap of Persia, who defeated Peithon, and drove him from Parthia. Pheiton returned to Media, and then went on to Babylon to try and persude Seleucus to back him in an attempt to reassert his authority. While in Babylon Eumenes and his army arrived from the west, Eumenes was gathering forces for a showdown with Antigonus Monopthalmus, the Strategos of Asia. Peithon and Seleucus rejected Eumenes request to join his cause (he claimed to be fighting for the kings Alexander IV and Philip III). Eumenes, then, went on to Susiana where he found the forces of the upper satrapies under Peucestas. Peithon joined the army of Antigonus Monopthalmus who had come east to take out Eumenes. During the battles of Paraitakene and Gabiene Peithon command the left flank of Antigonus's army. At Paraitakene he almost lost Antigonus the battle by charging the enemy without orders, but he redeemed himself at Gabiene by winning the battle on the left flank. After the Second War of the Diadochi, Peithon was among the most powerful diadochi in the eastern part of the Empire and he started to build his power again. Antigonus felt threatened by Peithon's growing power so he tricked him into coming to his court, where he had him executed

Second War of the Diadochi

The Second War of the Diadochi was the conflict between the coaliton of Polyperchon (as Regent of the Empire), Olympias and Eumenes and the coaliton of Cassander, Antigonus, Ptolemy and Lysimachus following the death of Cassander's father, Antipater (the old Regent).

Seleucus I Nicator

Seleucus I Nicator (; c. 358 BC – September 281 BC; Ancient Greek: Σέλευκος Αʹ Νικάτωρ, romanized: Séleukos Aʹ Nikátōr, lit. 'Seleucus I the Victor') was one of the Diadochi. Having previously served as an infantry general under Alexander the Great, he eventually assumed the title of basileus and established the Seleucid Empire over much of the territory in the Near East which Alexander had conquered.

After the death of Alexander in June 323 BC, Seleucus initially supported Perdiccas, the regent of Alexander's empire, and was appointed Commander of the Companions and chiliarch at the Partition of Babylon in 323 BC. However, after the outbreak of the Wars of the Diadochi in 322, Perdiccas' military failures against Ptolemy in Egypt led to the mutiny of his troops in Pelusium. Perdiccas was betrayed and assassinated in a conspiracy by Seleucus, Peithon and Antigenes in Pelusium sometime in either 321 or 320 BC. At the Partition of Triparadisus in 321 BC, Seleucus was appointed Satrap of Babylon under the new regent Antipater. But almost immediately, the wars between the Diadochi resumed and Antigonus forced Seleucus to flee Babylon. Seleucus was only able to return to Babylon in 312 BC with the support of Ptolemy. From 312 BC, Seleucus ruthlessly expanded his dominions and eventually conquered the Persian and Median lands. Seleucus ruled not only Babylonia, but the entire enormous eastern part of Alexander's empire.

Seleucus' wars took him as far as India, where, after two years of war (305–303 BC), he was defeated by the armies of the Maurya Empire and made peace by marrying his daughter to king Chandragupta, whereupon he was rewarded a considerable force of 500 war elephants, which would play a decisive role against Antigonus at the Battle of Ipsus in 301 BC and against Lysimachus at the Battle of Corupedium in 281 BC. Seleucus' victories against Antigonus and Lysimachus left the Seleucid dynasty virtually unopposed in Asia and in Anatolia. However, Seleucus also hoped to take control of Lysimachus' European territories, primarily Thrace and Macedon itself. But upon arriving in Thrace in 281 BC, Seleucus was assassinated by Ptolemy Ceraunus, who had taken refuge at the Seleucid court with his sister Lysandra. The assassination of Seleucus destroyed Seleucid prospects in Thrace and Macedon, and paved the way for Ptolemy Ceraunus to absorb much of Lysimachus' former power in Macedon. Seleucus was succeeded by his son Antiochus I as ruler of the Seleucid empire.

Seleucus founded a number of new cities during his reign, including Antioch (300 BC) and in particular Seleucia on the Tigris (c. 305 BC), the new capital of the Seleucid Empire, a foundation that eventually depopulated Babylon.

Siege of Megalopolis

The Siege of Megalopolis was a siege battle during the Second War of the Diadochi between Polyperchon, the Regent of the Macedonian Empire, and the people of Megalopolis who supported Polyperchon's rival Cassander. The siege failed and Polyperchon lost a lot of prestige, which was capitalized on by Cassander and his ally Antigonus.

Stasander

Stasander (in Greek: Στάσανδρος; lived 4th century B.C.) was a Soloian general in the service of Alexander the Great. Upon Alexander's death he became the satrap of Aria and Drangiana. He lost control of his satrapies after being defeated by the Antigonids in the Wars of the Diadochi.

Wars of the Diadochi

The Wars of the Diadochi (Ancient Greek: Πόλεμοι τῶν Διαδὀχων, Pólemoi tōn Diadóchōn), or Wars of Alexander's Successors, were a series of conflicts fought between Alexander the Great's generals over the rule of his vast empire after his death. They occurred between 322 and 275 BC.

The division of Alexander's empire
Philip II's Generals
The Somatophylakes
(Alexander's bodyguards)
Satraps at the
Partition of Babylon
(323 BC)
Satraps at the
Partition of Triparadisus
(321 BC)
Cavalry Generals
Infantry Generals
Other or unknown
command
Argeads
Antigonids
Ptolemies
Kings of Cyrene
Seleucids
Lysimachids
Antipatrids
Attalids
Greco-Bactrians
Indo-Greeks
Kings of Bithynia
Kings of Pontus
Kings of Commagene
Kings of Cappadocia
Kings of the
Cimmerian Bosporus
Mycenaean
Archaic
Classical
Hellenistic

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