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Regna Diadochorum anno 301 a.C.n. (W) (WMedia)

Kingdoms of the Diadochi after the Battle of Ipsus, c. 301 BC.
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 BC, after the Battle of Ipsus. The five kingdoms of the diadochi were:

  Kingdom of Ptolemy I Soter
  Kingdom of Cassander
  Kingdom of Lysimachus
  Kingdom of Seleucus I Nicator

The Macedonian Empire, 336-323 B.C. AND Kingdoms of the Diadochi in 301 BC and 200 BC. Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1911. Courtesy of the University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin. (LINK)

The Diadochi (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 BC. The Wars of the Diadochi mark the beginning of the Hellenistic period from the Mediterranean to the Indus River Valley.

Wars of the Diadochi

Wars of the Diadochi (LINK — The Ancient History Encyclopedia)

Wars of the Diadochi
published on 14 July 2016

On June 10, 323 BCE Alexander the Great died in Babylon.  Although historians have debated the exact cause most agree that the empire he built was left without adequate leadership for there was no clear successor or heir. The military commanders who had followed the king for over a decade across the sands of Asia were left to fight each other over their small piece of the territorial pie. These were the Wars of Succession or Wars of the Diadochi.  What followed were over three decades of intense rivalry.  In the end three dynasties would emerge, remaining in power until the time of the Romans.

Alexander’s Death

In 334 BCE Alexander and his army left Macedonia and Greece in the capable hands of Antipater I and crossed the Hellespont to conquer the Persian Empire. Now, after a decade of fighting, King Darius was dead, dying at the hands of one of his own commanders, Bessus. Although many in his army wanted to simply return home, the new, self-proclaimed king of Asia was making plans for the future. His proposed Exile Decree called for all Greek exiles to return to their native cities; however, as he sat in his tent at Babylon, trouble brewed throughout his empire. Many of his loyal troops not only protested the presence of Persians among their ranks but rebelled against his insistence that they take Persian wives. Several of the satraps — those he had put in charge to govern the occupied territories — were being executed for treason and malfeasance. After Alexander's death, other areas, even some closer to home, would seize the opportunity to revolt. Athens and Aetolia, upon hearing of the death of the king, rebelled, initiating the Lamian War (323 – 322 BCE).  It took the intervention of Antipater and Craterus to force an end to it at the Battle at Crannon when the Athenian commander Leosthenes was killed.

Of course, Alexander did not live to fulfill his dreams.  After a night of heavy partying, he fell ill; his health gradually deteriorated.  There were those, his mother Olympias included, who claimed he had been poisoned in a supposed plot conceived by the philosopher and tutor Aristotle and Antipater, fulfilled by his sons Cassander and Iolaus. On his death bed, barely able to speak, the king handed his signet ring to his loyal commander and chiliarch (replacing Hephaestion) Perdiccas.  In a scene befitting a king, he died surrounded by his commanders. Questions exist to this day concerning Alexander’s final words — “to the best.” — and what they meant. Since he had not specifically named a successor, the primary concern of those closest to the king, especially his commanders, was to choose a successor. 

A Search for a successor

Without Alexander, there was no government and no one had the authority to make decisions. Apparently, since he had treated his commanders equally, not wanting to create rivalry, his final words were meaningless. There was no one considered “the best.” There were, however, two likely candidates that could be considered as a possible successor. First, there was Alexander’s half-brother Arrhidaeus, the son of Philip II and Philinna of Larissa. He was already in Babylon. Next, one might consider waiting until the child of Alexander’s Bactrian wife Roxanne was born, but the future Alexander IV would not be born until August.

  Without Alexander, there was no government & no one had the authority to make decisions. 

According to one historian, the struggle for leadership would be more bitter and destructive than the decade-long war against the Persians. The commanders were split: some favored Arrhidaeus, others wanted Alexander’s unborn son, and then there were those who wanted to simply divide the empire among themselves. Perdiccas favored Roxanne and the future Alexander IV. For self-centered reasons, Perdiccas preferred Alexander’s wife and child; he would then be able to serve as regent for the young king. Later, with Perdiccas’s approval, Roxanne, favoring her son as the only true heir, chose to eliminate any competition, even if there were no children, by killing Alexander’s wife Strateria, the daughter of Darius, and her sister Drypetis. To add insult she threw their bodies down a well.

Hoping to maintain a unified empire, Perdiccas brought the commanders together to decide on a successor. Many disliked the idea of waiting for the birth of Roxanne’s child. Roxanne was not a pure Macedonian. One commander even suggested Alexander’s four-year-old son, Heracles, by his mistress Barsine, but this idea was easily dismissed. Some looked to Arrhidaeus, and even though he was considered mentally handicapped, he was still the half-brother of Alexander and a Macedonian. The infantry commander Meleager and a number of his fellow infantry staged a revolt, choosing Arrhidaeus as the successor and even naming him Philip III. Meleager disliked Perdiccas, considering him a threat to the state. He even tried to arrest him. Seeing this as a betrayal, Perdiccas had Meleager executed in the sanctuary where he had sought refuge. The revolt was quietly suppressed. Some commanders decided to briefly put aside their differences and wait for the birth of Roxanne’s child with guardians even being appointed to oversee the safety of both the child and the newly crowned Philip III. The regent Antipater would eventually have both of them brought to Macedon for safety.

Alexander The Great and Roxane

However, the death of Meleager changed the attitude of many of the commanders and set in motion the decades of war that would follow.  From 323 to 281 BCE the intense competition between the commanders would escalate, as they wrestled for the control of Greece, Macedon, Asia Minor, Egypt, Central Asia, Mesopotamia and India. Although there would be brief periods of peace, the empire would never be reunited. In the end there was only one solution: the Partition of Babylon divided Alexander’s kingdom among the more prominent commanders - Antipater and Craterus received Macedon and Greece, Ptolemy grabbed Egypt deposing Cleomenes, the bodyguard Lysimachus was awarded Thrace, Eumenes gained Cappadocia, and lastly, Antigonus the One-Eyed remained in Greater Phrygia.

The successor Wars

The four Successor Wars centered on the aspirations of three individuals and their descendants: Antigonus Monophthalmus I (382 - 301 BCE), Seleucus I Nicator (358 – 281 BCE) and Ptolemy I Soter (366 – 282 BCE).  It would be their heirs who formed the dynasties that would exist for two more centuries. The great empire that Alexander had built extended from Macedon and Greece, eastward through Asia Minor, southward through Syria to Egypt, and eastward again through Mesopotamia and Bactria and into India. No empire like it had ever existed, and none of the successors would ever achieve anything equal to it. From Alexander’s death in 323 BCE to the death of Lysimachus in 281 BCE, the old commanders fought, making and breaking numerous alliances — all with the selfish intentions of extending their own land holdings — no one could depend on another’s loyalty.

With the empire divided at Babylon, the commanders made their way home. Lysimachus would have to deal with a Thracian rebellion, Antipater and Craterus fought Athens and her allies in the Lamian War, and Ptolemy had to establish himself in Egypt. The new pharaoh also had to look across the Nile and determine his next move against Perdiccas. Despite their selfish concern over land, there was one commonality among all of the commanders: no one liked Perdiccas, and Perdiccas hated Ptolemy above all others. It was very obvious from the beginning that these two men would never agree. The two had even quarreled at Babylon when Perdiccas had wanted to wait for Alexander’s son to be born while Ptolemy wanted to divide the empire. 

As the king’s chiliarch, Perdiccas had established himself securely after Alexander’s death, always hoping to reunite the empire. He had the signet ring and the king’s body, preparing to return it to Macedon and a newly prepared tomb. However, at Damascus the body mysteriously disappeared — stolen by Ptolemy and taken to Memphis in Egypt.  Now, with the kidnapping of the body, the long disagreement finally ended in war (322 – 321 BCE). Three failed attempts to cross the Nile into Egypt cost Perdiccas his life; he own army tired of his failure and the death of 2,000 men and killed him. Some even believe Seleucus, a one-time ally of Perdiccas, was involved. Under Alexander, Seleucus had been the commander of an elite corps of hypaspists, yet he did not acquire any territory at Babylon. Instead, he was named the commander of the Companion Cavalry. His loyalty to Ptolemy in the fight against Perdiccas, however, brought him the province of Babylonia.

The First Succesor War ( 322- 320 BCE) was all about jealousy. Before his confrontation with Ptolemy, Perdiccas had already alarmed both Antipater and Craterus in Macedon as well as Antigonus in Phrygia by his army’s invasion of Asia Minor. The arguments over territory began when Perdiccas became furious at Antigonus because he refused to help Eumenes keep control of his allocated territory, Cappadocia. Eumenes was the commander of Perdiccas’s forces in Asia Minor. Antigonus wanted to avoid a conflict with Perdiccas and Eumenes, so he and his son Demetrius sought refuge in Macedon.  They joined forces with Antipater, Craterus, Ptolemy, and Lysimachus against Perdiccas and Eumenes. Unfortunately, Craterus died in battle when he own horse fell on him. After Perdiccas’s death, Eumenes became isolated, condemned to death in the Treaty of Triparadeisus.

Ptolemy I

The Treaty of Triparadeisus

Under the guidance of Antipater, the new treaty at Triparadeisus in 321 BCE secured many of the commanders in their allotted territories. Later, when Antipater died in 319 BCE, Cassander, his son, was not named the heir to the regency of Macedon and Greece but instead was made a cavalry commander. Antipater did not believe his son was capable of defending Macedon against the other regents. In his place, Antipater appointed a commander named Polyperchon as regent. This slight would lead to a series of conflicts between the two - Cassander would ally himself with Lysimachus and Antigonus while Polyperchon would align himself with Eumenes and later the dowager queen Olympias. However, the year 319 BCE would bring an end to the first war - Perdiccas, Craterus and Antipater were dead, Seleucus was firmly established in Babylonia, Ptolemy occupied Egypt, Lysimachus sat in Thrace, and Antigonus held much of Asia Minor. The only place of discontent was in Macedon and Greece where Cassander and Polyperchon were preparing to battle.

The Second & Third Successor Wars

Over the next decade the Second Successor War (319 - 315 BCE) and Third Successor War (314 - 311 BCE) would bring about a number of dramatic changes. Cassander would roust Polyperchon from Macedon and Greece, and with the help of Antigonus establish bases at Piraeus and on the Peloponnese. And to further secure his right to sit on the Macedonian throne, he would marry the daughter of Philip II, Thessalonica.  By 316 BCE at the Battle of Gabiene, Antigonus would finally be victorious against Eumenes gaining control of much of Asia- he had been ordered by Antipater at Triparadeisus to hunt down Eumenes. Eumenes would later be executed in 316 BCE after his own men betrayed him, surrendering him to Antigonus. Unfortunately, Seleucus would lose his hold on Babylonia after Antigonus’s invasion, seeking refuge with Ptolemy. Luckily, he would regain his territory in 311 BCE, eventually establishing a new capital, Seleucia.


The Peace of the Dynasts was concluded in 311 BCE but quickly ended when another war, the Babylonian War (311- 309 BCE) kicked off when Seleucus invaded Babylonia with Ptolemy’s support against Antigonus and his son Demetrius, regaining his lost territory at the Battle of Gaza.

In Thrace Lysimachus had been having trouble with one of the cities along the Black Sea coast. Setting his sights on the strategically important province for himself, Antigonus sent a small army to aid the city and provoke the local tribes. Finally, in 311 BCE, peace was achieved with Lysimachus remaining in control of the city, but this revolt finally drew him into the conflict that he had so long sought to avoid. He soon formed an alliance with Cassander, Ptolemy, and Seleucus.

  In 310 BCE Cassander ordered the death of both Alexander IV & his mother Roxanne.

Meanwhile, in Alexander’s old homeland, Macedon, Cassander was continuing his battle against Polyperchon. Earlier, Polyperchon had fled to Epirus and aligned himself with Olympias, hoping to invade and reclaim Macedon. Cassander realized that as long as Olympias and the young Alexander IV remained alive, they would be a threat to his hold on Macedon. In 316 BCE she had ordered the assassination of her step-son Philip III - his wife Eurydice would commit suicide. In 310 BCE Cassander ordered the death of both Alexander IV and his mother Roxanne. Olympias would also die, with dignity, at the hands of his soldiers.

The Fourth Successor War

In the Fourth Successor War (308-301 BCE) Cassander and Ptolemy would continue to have troubles with Demetrius I of Macedon, “the Besieger of Cities”, when he invaded Greece and “liberated” Athens in 307 BCE from Cassander’s governor. Later, in 302 BCE, he reinstituted the old League of Corinth. Meanwhile, Ptolemy had gradually been expanding northward, securing the island of Cyprus, only to lose to Demetrius at Salamis. Next, Demetrius chose to attack Rhodes but thanks to Ptolemy and his allies (Seleucus, Lysimachus, and Cassander) the siege ended in negotiations. That same year, 305 BCE, the various commanders declared themselves to be kings. By 303/302 BCE the war continued as Cassander fought to keep Demetrius and Antigonus out of Macedon. Cassander had little choice but call to his allies for help. Lysimachus moved his forces into Asia Minor causing Demetrius to abandon Greece and join his father. The Battle of Ipsus brought Lysimachus, Seleucus, and Cassander against Antigonus and Demetrius. The battle would cause not only the death of Antigonus but the end of any hope of restoring Alexander’s empire. Lysimachus and Seleucus divided Antigonus’s territory with the former getting lands in Asia Minor while the latter took Syria where he would ultimately build the city of Antioch.

Map of the Successor Kingdoms, c. 303 BCE

Lysimachus Against Seleucus

Although Cassander sat securely in Macedon, his safety would not last. He died in 297 BCE leaving his homeland to the army of Demetrius who declared himself king of Macedon and Greece. The victorious Lysimachus began to expand his territory further. After the death of his old ally Cassander, he set his sights on Macedon. With the assistance of King Pyrrhus of Epirus, he crossed the border and forced Demetrius out. Demetrius and his army escaped across the Hellespont and into Asia Minor, confronting the army of Seleucus.  Unfortunately for Demetrius, he was immediately captured only to die in captivity in 283 BCE, although his descendants would eventually regain Macedon and Greece.

In 282 BCE Lysimachus’s one-time ally Seleucus set his sights on Lysimachus’s territory in Asia Minor, and in 281 BCE the two armies met at Corupedium where Lysimachus met his death. The commander who had not received any land at Babylon and, at one point, lost what little he did gain, proved to be the true winner. Unfortunately, victory would have to be celebrated by his descendants. He would die at the hands of Ptolemy’s son Ptolemy Ceraunus in 281 BCE.

The death of Alexander the Great in 323 BCE had brought chaos. His failure to name a successor or heir left his commanders to eventually divide the empire among themselves. Jealousy led to over three decades of war where alliances were made and broken. The four wars of the diadochi would usher in the Hellenistic Period and bring into existence three dynasties that would exist until the time of the Romans.

Editorial Review This Article has been reviewed for accuracy, reliability and adherence to academic standards prior to publication.


📹 The Wars of the Diadochi

The Wars of the Diadochi (LINK)



📹 Diadochi and the Hellenistic Period — World History — KHAN ACADEMY

Diadochi and the Hellenistic Period — World History — KHAN ACADEMY (LINK)



The Successors

The Successors

Alexander the Great left behind a huge empire, stretching from Greece to India; but with his death it was an empire without a ruler. His young widow Roxana was pregnant with an unborn child, who would, if a male, become his heir, but he would not be able to take on Alexander’s mantle for many years.

The high command therefore appointed one of their number, Perdiccas, as Regent. They then divided Alexander’s empire up amongst themselves, each taking a major province (satrapy) to rule as governor (satrap).

They, plus their sons and one or two others who would come to prominence in the years ahead, have gone down in history as the “Successors”, because they succeeded to the rule of Alexander’s conquests.

One aspect of the period immediately following Alexander’s death was that some of his policies which had been particularly dear to him were abandoned. Many of his senior officers set aside the Persian wives he had forced them to marry, and Alexander’s moves towards creating a single Macedonian/Greek/Persian ruling class came to nothing.


The wars of the Successors

There began almost 50 years of wars, coups, alliances, counter-alliances, betrayals, assassinations and mutinies. In all these complex goings-on, a pattern developed by which any one of the Successors who attained a pre-eminent position amongst the rest would attract an alliance of the others to bring him down.

In 321, the regent Perdiccas was faced with such an alliance. In the ensuing war he was murdered by his own lieutenants.
A general named Antigonus emerged from this situation as the pre-eminent Successor. The others therefore joined forces against him. The resulting wars dragged on for the next two decades, with many twists and turns. At different times it was waged in Macedonia, Greece, Asia Minor, Syria and Mesopotamia; the city-states of Greece tried to regain their independence but failed, becoming the impotent playthings of different Successors.

Alexander’s widow and son were caught up in the violence and murdered in 310. From 307 onwards the surviving Successors began proclaiming themselves as kings: Antigonus in Asia Minor and Greece; Ptolemy in Egypt;  Lysimachus in Thrace, Cassander in Macedonia and Seleucus in the east.

🔗 (TimeMaps) — Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic world


🗺️ Partition at Babylon (323 BC)

Partition at Babylon (323 BC) (W)

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

The Partition of Babylon designates the apportionment of the territories of Alexander the Great between his generals after his death in 323 BC. The phrase is a proper name formulated by scholars in English in the late 19th century. For example, the Encyclopædia Britannica of 1885 presents it as one of a trio occurring sequentially in the period: "The list of satrapies at this period is known from the records of the partitions of Babylon (323), Triparadisus (321), and Persepolis (315).""Partition" as presented by the name does not mean that Babylon was politically partitioned, but rather the empire of Alexander was partitioned at Babylon; the same convention is applied as in the naming of a treaty, after the location where the agreement was reached.

Summary table, Babylon and Triparadisus

Summary table, Babylon and Triparadisus (W)

Summary table, Babylon and Triparadisus

Partition of Babylon Partition of Triparadisus
Role or 
Diodorus Siculus Justin Arrian+ / 
Diodorus Siculus Arrian
King of Macedon Philip III Philip III Philip III+ Philip III and 
Alexander IV
Philip III and 
Alexander IV
Regent Perdiccas Perdiccas Perdiccas+ Antipater Antipater
Commander of the Companions Seleucus Seleucus n/a Cassander Cassander
Commander of the Guards n/a Cassander n/a n/a n/a
Macedon Antipater Antipater Antipater+* and 
Antipater Antipater
Illyria Antipater Philo Antipater+* and 
Antipater Antipater
Epirus Antipater n/a Antipater+* and 
Antipater Antipater
Greece Antipater Antipater Antipater+* and 
Antipater Antipater
Thrace Lysimachus Lysimachus Lysimachus+* Lysimachus Lysimachus
Hellespontine Phrygia Leonnatus Leonnatus+* Leonnatus Arrhidaeus Arrhidaeus
Greater Phrygia Antigonus Antigonus Antigonus+* Antigonus Antigonus
Pamphylia Antigonus Nearchus Antigonus+* Antigonus Antigonus
Lycia Antigonus Nearchus Antigonus+* Antigonus Antigonus
Caria Asander Cassander Cassander+ Asander Asander
Lydia Menander Menander Menander+* Cleitus the White Cleitus the White
Cappadocia Eumenes Eumenes Eumenes+* Nicanor Nicanor
Paphlagonia Eumenes Eumenes Eumenes+* Nicanor? Nicanor?
Cilicia Philotas Philotas Philotas+* Philoxenus Philoxenus
Egypt Ptolemy Ptolemy Ptolemy+* Ptolemy Ptolemy
Syria Laomedon Laomedon Laomedon+* Laomedon Laomedon
Mesopotamia Arcesilaus Arcesilaus Arcesilaus* Amphimachus Amphimachus
Babylonia Archon Peucestas Seleucus* Seleucus Seleucus
Pelasgia n/a Archon n/a n/a n/a
Greater Media Peithon Atropates Peithon* Peithon Peithon
Lesser Media Atropates Atropates n/a n/a n/a
Susiana n/a Scynus n/a Antigenes Antigenes
Persia Peucestas Tlepolemus Peucestas* Peucestas Peucestas
Carmania Tlepolemus n/a Neoptolemus* Tlepolemus Tlepolemus
Armenia n/a Phrataphernes n/a n/a n/a
Hyrcania Phrataphernes Philip Phrataphernes Philip? Philip?
Parthia Phrataphernes Nicanor n/a Philip Philip
Sogdiana Philip Scythaeus Philip* Stasanor Stasanor
Bactria Philip Amyntas n/a 1 Stasanor Stasanor
Drangiana Stasanor Stasanor Stasanor* Stasander Stasander
Aria Stasanor Stasanor Stasanor* Stasander Stasander
Arachosia Sibyrtius Sibyrtius Sibyrtius* n/a Sibyrtius
Gedrosia Sibyrtius Sibyrtius Sibyrtius* n/a Sibyrtius? 2
Paropamisia Oxyartes Oxyartes? 3 Oxyartes* Oxyartes Oxyartes
Punjab Taxiles Taxiles Taxiles* Taxiles Taxiles
Indus Porus Peithon, son of Agenor Porus* Porus Porus
Gandhara Peithon, son of Agenor Peithon, son of Agenor Peithon, son of Agenor Peithon, son of Agenor Peithon, son of Agenor
Table notes 1 = There is a suggestion in Dexippus and Arrian that Oxyartes was left as satrap of Bactria 
2 = Not explicitly stated, but probable 
3 = Reading Oxyartes for Justin's "Extarches"




🗺️ Partition before the Battle of Ipsus (303 BC)

Partition before the Battle of Ipsus (303 BC) (W)

Map of the successor Kingdoms before the battle of Ipsus (303 BC).

The Battle of Ipsus (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 and his son Demetrius I of Macedon were pitted against the coalition of three other companions of Alexander: Cassander, ruler of MacedonLysimachus, ruler of Thrace; and Seleucus I Nicator, ruler of Babylonia and Persia.


🗺️ Partition after the Battle of Ipsus (301 BC)

Partition after the Battle of Ipsus (303 BC) (W)

Kingdoms of the Diadochi after the battle of Ipsus, c. 301 BC.

Kingdoms of the Diadochi after the battle of Ipsus, c. 301 BC.
  Kingdom of Seleucus
Other diadochi
  Kingdom of Cassander
  Kingdom of Lysimachus
  Kingdom of Ptolemy



Diadochi (W)

The Diadochi (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 BC. The Wars of the Diadochi mark the beginning of the Hellenistic period from the Mediterranean to the Indus River Valley.

Map of the successor Kingdoms (c. 303 BC) before the battle of Ipsus. (W)


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[citation needed]. 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.



Wars of the Diadochi

Wars of the Diadochi (W)

The Wars of the Diadochi (Greek: Πόλεμοι των Διαδόχων, Polemoi ton Diadochon), 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.

Diadochi kingdoms. The borders of alexanders empire in black lines, and the empires the succeeded his territory (coloured). (W)



1 - Ptolemaic Empire

1 - Ptolemaic Empire (LINK)

Ptolemy controlled Egypt and created a Ptolemaic dynasty that ruled Egypt until its absorption into the Roman Empire by Augustus in 30 B.C.


2 - Seleucid Empire

2 - Seleucid Empire (LINK)

Seleucus created in the Near East a large empire, sometimes stretching as far as Iran and even India.


3 - Antigonid Empire

3 - Antigonid Empire (LINK)

Finally, in Macedon the Antigonid dynasty ruled the smallest division of Alexander's Empire and had the most troubles from the start. The first founder of the Antigonid Dynasty was Antigonas, who gained control of Asia Minor after Alexander’s death. He attempted to reunite the empire under his own rule and declared himself king, but he was defeated and killed in 301 BC.

After numerous battles with neighboring kingdoms and losses to Seleucus, the Antigonid Dynasty ended up hemorrhaging most of Asia Minor (Anatolia) and was considerably reduced in size.


The Kingdom of Antigonos

The Kingdom of Antigonos (W)

The Kingdoms of Antigonos and his rivals c. 303 BC.


Alexander the Grea’'s Generals

Alexander the Great’s Generals (W)


Hellenistic rulers

Hellenistic rulers (W)



Perdiccas (355-321/320 BC) (W)

Perdiccas (Greek: Περδίκκας, Perdikkas; c. 355 BC – 321/320 BC) became a general in Alexander the Great's army and participated in Alexander's campaign against Achaemenid Persia. Following Alexander's death, he rose to become supreme commander of the imperial army and regent for Alexander's half brother and intellectually disabled successor, Philip Arridaeus (Philip III).

He was the first of the Diadochi who fought for control over Alexander’s empire but in his attempts to establish a power base and stay in control of the empire, he managed to make enemies of key generals in the Macedonian army, Antipater, Craterus and Antigonus Monophtalmus, who decided to revolt against the regent. In response to this formidable coalition and a provocation from another general, Ptolemy, Perdiccas invaded Egypt, but when the invasion floundered his soldiers revolted and killed him.



Antigonus I →

Antigonus I (382-301 BC) (306-301 BC) (W)

Antigonus I Monophthalmus
(Ancient Greek: Ἀντίγονος ὁ Μονόφθαλμος, translit. Antigonos ho Monophthalmos, Antigonus the One-eyed, 382–301 BC), son of Philip from Elimeia, was a Macedonian nobleman, general, and satrap under Alexander the Great. During his early life he served under Philip II, and 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.

Antigonus was appointed governor of Greater Phrygia in 333 BC. He was primarily responsible for defending Alexander’s lines of supply and communication during the latter's extended campaign against the Achaemenid Persian Empire. Following Alexander's victory at Issus, the Persian mercenary commander Memnon of Rhodes ordered a counter-attack into Asia Minor in an attempt to sever Alexander's lines of supply and communication; however, Antigonus defeated the Persian forces in three separate battles.

The dynasts unite against Antigonus

The most powerful dynasts of the empire, now kings in their own right, Cassander, Seleucus, Ptolemy and Lysimachus, responded to Antigonus' successes by allying with each other, often through marriage. Antigonus soon found himself at war with all four, largely because his territory shared borders with each of them.


Antigonid dynasty

Antigonid dynasty (306-168 BC) (W)

The Antigonid dynasty (Ἀντιγονίδαι) was a dynasty of Hellenistic kings descended from Alexander the Great's general Antigonus I Monophthalmus ("the One-eyed").

Succeeding the Antipatrid dynasty in much of Macedonia, Antigonus ruled mostly over Asia Minor and northern Syria. His attempts to take control of the whole of Alexander's empire led to his defeat and death at the Battle of Ipsus in 301 BC. Antigonus's son Demetrius I Poliorcetes survived the battle, and managed to seize control of Macedon itself a few years later, but eventually lost his throne, dying as a prisoner of Seleucus I Nicator. After a period of confusion, Demetrius's son Antigonus II Gonatas was able to establish the family's control over the old Kingdom of Macedon, as well as over most of the Greek city-states, by 276 BC.

It was one of four dynasties established by Alexander's successors, the others being the Seleucid dynasty, Ptolemaic dynasty and Attalid dynasty. The last scion of the dynasty, Perseus of Macedon, who reigned between 179-168 BC, proved unable to stop the advancing Roman legions and Macedon's defeat at the Battle of Pydna signaled the end of the dynasty.



Cassander →

Cassander (350-297 BC) (W)

(Greek: Κάσσανδρος Ἀντιπάτρου, Kassandros Antipatrou; "son of Antipatros": c. 350 BC – 297 BC), was king of the Hellenic 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.



Antipater →

Antipater (397-319 BC) (W)

Antipater (Greek: Ἀντίπατρος Antipatros, literally meaning "like the father"; c. 397 BC-319 BC) was a Macedonian general and statesman under kings Philip II of Macedon and Alexander the Great, and father of King Cassander. In 320 BC, he became regent of all of Alexander the Great’s Empire.

The fight for succession

The new regent, Perdiccas, left Antipater in control of Greece. Antipater faced wars with Athens, Aetolia, and Thessaly that made up the Lamian War, in which southern Greeks attempted to re-assert their political autonomy. He defeated them at the Battle of Crannon in 322 BC, with Craterus' help, and broke up the coalition. As part of this he imposed oligarchy upon Athens and demanded the surrender of Demosthenes, who committed suicide to escape capture. Later in the same year Antipater and Craterus were engaged in a war against the Aetolians when he received the news from Antigonus in Asia Minor that Perdiccas contemplated making himself outright ruler of the empire. Antipater and Craterus accordingly concluded peace with the Aetolians and went to war against Perdiccas, allying themselves with Ptolemy, the satrap of Egypt. Antipater crossed over to Asia in 321 BC. While still in Syria, he received information that Perdiccas had been murdered by his own soldiers. Craterus fell in battle against Eumenes (Diodorus xviii. 25-39).

Regent of the Empire

In the treaty of Triparadisus (321 BC), Antipater participated in a new division of Alexander's great kingdom. He appointed himself supreme regent of all Alexander's empire and was left in Greece as guardian of Alexander's son Alexander IV and his disabled brother Philip III.

Having quelled a mutiny of his troops and commissioned Antigonus to continue the war against Eumenes and the other partisans of Perdiccas, Antipater returned to Macedonia, arriving there in 320 BC (Justin xiii. 6). Soon after, he was seized by an illness which terminated his active career.

Death and struggle for succession

Antipater died of old age in 319 BC, at the age of eighty. By his side was his son Cassander.

Controversially, Antipater did not appoint Cassander to succeed him as regent,[2] citing as the reason for his decision Cassander's youth (at the time of Antipater's passing, Cassander was in his 30s). Over Cassander, Antipater chose the aged officer Polyperchon as regent.

Cassander became indignant at this, believing that he'd earned the right to become regent by virtue of his loyalty and experience. Thus he appealed to general Antigonus to assist him in battling Polyperchon for the position.

In 317 BC, after two years of war with Polyperchon, Cassander emerged victorious. Cassander would go on to rule Macedonia for nineteen years, first as regent and later as king, ultimately founding the Antipatrid dynasty.





Craterus (370-321 BC) (W)

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

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


Ptolemy I Soter

Ptolemy I Soter (367-282 BC) (W)

Ptolemy I Soter
(Greek: Πτολεμαῖος Σωτήρ, Ptolemaĩos Sōtḗr "Ptolemy the Savior"; c. 367 BC – January 282 BC) was a companion and historian of Alexander the Great who succeeded to his empire. Ptolemy became ruler of Egypt (323–282 BC) and founded the Ptolemaic dynasty which ruled it for the next three centuries, turning Egypt into a Hellenistic kingdom and Alexandria into a center of Greek culture.


Ptolemy I

Ptolemy I (W)

Ptolemy was the son of Arsinoe of Macedon by either her husband Lagus or Philip II of Macedon, the father of Alexander. Ptolemy was one of Alexander’s most trusted companions and military officers. He had been an intimate friend of Alexander since childhood.



Seleucus I Nicator

Seleucus I Nicator (358-281 BC) (W)

Seleucus I Nicator (c. 358 BC – September 281 BC; Ancient Greek: Σέλευκος Α΄ Νικάτωρ Séleukos Α΄ Nikátōr; "Seleucus 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.


Seleucus I Nicator

Seleucus I Nicator (W)

Bust of Seleucus I Nicator (Europos ca 358 BC-Lisimacheia 281 BC).

Seleucus I Nicator (c. 358-281 BC) (Σέλευκος Α΄ Νικάτωρ Séleukos Α΄ Nikátōr; "Seleucus 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.



Pyrrhus of Epirus

Pyrrhus of Epirus (319-272 BC) (W)

(Ancient Greek: Πύρρος, Pyrrhos; 319/318–272 BC) was a Greek general and statesman of the Hellenistic period. He was king of the Greek tribe of Molossians, of the royal Aeacid house (from c. 297 BC), and later he became king of Epirus (r. 306–302, 297–272 BC). He was one of the strongest opponents of early Rome. His battles, though victories, caused him heavy losses, from which the term Pyrrhic victory was coined. He is the subject of one of Plutarch’s Parallel Lives.

While he was a mercurial and often restless leader, and not always a wise king, he was considered one of the greatest military commanders of his time. In his Life of Pyrrhus, Plutarch records that Hannibal ranked him as the greatest commander the world had ever seen, though in the life of Titus Quinctius Flamininus, Plutarch writes that Hannibal placed him second after Alexander the Great. This latter account is also given by Appian.

He married Ptolemy I's stepdaughter Antigone (a daughter of Berenice I of Egypt from her first husband Philip — respectively, Ptolemy I's wife and a Macedonian noble) and restored his kingdom in Epirus in 297 BC with financial and military aid from Ptolemy I.



Lysimachus →

Lysimachus (306-281 BC) (W)

(Greek: Λυσίμαχος, Lysimachos; c. 360 BC – 281 BC) was a Macedonian officer and diadochus (i.e. "successor") of Alexander the Great, who became a basileus ("King") in 306 BC, ruling Thrace, Asia Minor and Macedon.


Attalid dynasty

Attalid dynasty / Kingdom of Pergamon (282-133 BC) (W)

Capital Pergamon
Common languages Greek, Lycian, Carian, Lydian
Government Monarchy
• 282–263 BC Philetaerus
• 263–241 BC Eumenes I
• 241–197 BC Attalus I
• 197–159 BC Eumenes II
• 160–138 BC Attalus II
• 138–133 BC Attalus III
• 133–129 BC Eumenes III
Historical era Hellenistic period
• Philetaerus takes control of the city of Pergamon 282 BC
• Attalus III bequeathed the kingdom to the Roman Republic 133 BC

Preceded by

Seleucid Empire
Lysimachian Empire

Succeeded by

Roman Republic

The Attalid dynasty (Δυναστεία των Ατταλιδών Dynasteía ton Attalidón) was a Hellenistic dynasty that ruled the city of Pergamon in Asia Minor after the death of Lysimachus, a general of Alexander the Great.

The kingdom was a rump state that had been left after the collapse of the Lysimachian Empire. One of Lysimachus' lieutenants, Philetaerus, took control of the city in 282 BC. The later Attalids were descended from his father and expanded the city into a kingdom.

Dynasty of Pergamon

Dynasty of Pergamon (W)


History of the Attalid Dynasty (the Pergamon Kingdom))

History of the Attalid Dynasty (W)

In 282 BC, Philetaerus deserted Lysimachus, offering himself and the important fortress of Pergamon, along with its treasury, to Seleucus I Nicator, who defeated and killed Lysimachus at the Battle of Corupedium in 281 BC. Seleucus was killed a few months later. Philetaerus, especially after the death of Seleucus, enjoyed considerable autonomy despite being nominally under the Seleucids. He acquired considerable wealth because Pergamon had been the treasure-hold of Lysimachus and extended his power and influence beyond Pergamon. He contributed troops, money and food to the city of Cyzicus, in Mysia, for its defence against the invading Gauls, thus gaining prestige and goodwill for him and his family. He reigned for forty years and built the temple of Demeter on the acropolis, the temple of Athena (Pergamon's patron deity), and Pergamon's first palace. He added considerably to the city's fortifications.

Eumenes I succeeded in 263 BC. He rebelled and defeated the Seleucid king Antiochus I Soter near the Lydian capital of Sardis in 261 BC. He freed Pergamon, and greatly increased its territories. He established garrisons, such as Philetaireia, in the north at the foot of Mount Ida, which was named after his adoptive father, and Attaleia, in the east, to the northeast of Thyatira near the sources of the river Lycus, which was named after his grandfather. He also extended his control to the south of the river Caïcus, reaching the Gulf of Cyme. He minted coins with the portrait of Philetaerus, who was still depicting the Seleucid king Seleucus I Nicator in his coins.

Pausanias wrote that the greatest achievement of Attalus I (reigned 241–197 BC) was his defeat of the Gauls, by which he meant the Galatians, Celts who had migrated to central Asia Minor and established themselves as a major military power. Several years later the Galatians attacked Pergamon with the help of Antiochus Hierax, who rebelled against his brother Seleucus II Callinicus, the king of the Seleucid Empire and wanted to seize Anatolia and make it his independent kingdom. Attalus defeated the Gauls and Antiochus in the battle of Aphrodisium and in a second battle in the east. He then fought Antiochus alone in a battle near Sardis and in the Battle of the Harpasus in Caria in 229 BC. Attalus won a decisive battle and Antiochus left to start a campaign in Mesopotamia. He gained control over Seleucid territories in Asia Minor north of the Taurus Mountains. He repulsed several attempts by Seleucus III Ceraunus, who had succeeded Seleucus II, to recover the lost territory.

In 223 Seleucus III crossed the Taurus, but was assassinated. Achaeus assumed control of the army. Antiochus III the Great then made him governor of Seleucid territories north of the Taurus. Within two years he recovered the lost territories and forced Attalus within the walls of Pergamon. However, he was accused of intending to revolt and to protect himself he proclaimed himself king.

In 218 BC Achaeus undertook an expedition to Selge, south of the Taurus. Attalus recaptured his former territories with the help of some Thracian Gauls. Achaeus returned from his victorious campaign in 217 BC and hostilities between the two resumed. Attalus made an alliance with Antiochus III, who besieged Achaeus in Sardis in 214 BC. Antiochus captured the city and put Achaeus to death in the next year. Attalus regained control over his territories.

The Attalids became allies of Rome during the First Macedonian War (214–205 BC) and supported Rome in subsequent wars. Attalus I, who had helped the Romans in the first war, also provided them with assistance in the Second Macedonian War (200–197 BC).

Eumenes II (reigned 197–159 BC) supported Rome in the Roman–Seleucid War (192–188 BC) and in the Third Macedonian War (171–168 BC). In 188 BC, after the war against the Seleucids, the Romans seized the possessions of the defeated Antiochus III the Great in Asia Minor and gave Mysia, Lydia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia to the kingdom of Pergamon and Caria Lycia and Pisidia, in the southwestern corner of Asia Minor, to Rhodes, another Roman ally. Later the Romans gave these possessions of Rhodes to Pergamon.

Before he became king, Attalus II was a military commander. In 190 BC he took part in the Battle of Magnesia, which was the final victory of the Romans in the war against the Seleucids. In 189 BC he led the Pergamene troops which flanked the Roman Army under Gnaeus Manlius Vulso in the Galatian War. In 182-179 BC, he was at war with Pharnaces I of Pontus. He won victories and gained some territory. He acceded to the throne in 159 BC. In 156-54 BC he made war against Prusias II of Bithynia with the help of the Romans. In 154 BC he was also assisted by Ariarathes V of Cappadocia, who provided troops led by his son Demetrius. Attalus expanded his kingdom and founded the cities of Philadelphia and Attalia. In 152 BC the two kings and Rome helped the pretender Alexander Balas to seize the Seleucid throne from Demetrius I Soter. In 149 BC, Attalus helped Nicomedes II Epiphanes to seize the Bithynian throne from his father Prusias II.

The last Attalid king, Attalus III died without issue and bequeathed the kingdom to the Roman Republic in 133 BC. The Romans were reluctant to take on territory in Asia Minor and did not take charge of the kingdom. Aristonicus, claimed to be the illegitimate son of Attalus III, assumed the dynastic name of Eumenes III, claimed the throne, instigated a rebellion and in 132 BC "occupied Asia, which had been bequested to the Roman people and was supposed to be free." In 131 BC Rome sent an army against him which was defeated. The Romans defeated Eumemes III in 129 BC. They annexed the former kingdom of Pergamon, which became the Roman province of Asia.

In the interior of the Pergamon Altar there is a frieze depicting the life of Telephus, son of Herakles. The ruling dynasty associated Telephus with its city and used him to claim descent from the Olympians. Pergamon, having entered the Greek world much later than its counterparts to the west, could not boast the same divine heritage as older city-states and so had to cultivate its place in Greek mythology retroactively.




Macedonian Empire (336–306 BCE)

Macedonian Empire (336–306 BCE) (W)

Portrait Title Name Birth Family relations Reign Death Notes
Argead dynasty (336–306 BCE)
Alexander III of Macedon.jpg King Alexander the Great 356 BCE Son of Philip II of Macedonia 336–323 BCE 13 June 323 BCE King of Macedonia from 336 BCE as Alexander III
Macedonia, dinastia degli antigonidi, tetradracma di filippo III, 323-316 ac ca.JPG King Philip III c. 359 BCE Son of Philip II of Macedonia June 323– 317 BCE 317 BCE Killed by Olympias
Alexandros IV Aigos Budge.png King Alexander IV Sept. 323 BCE Son of Alexander III Sept. 323–309 BCE 309 BCE King of Macedonia as Alexander IV until 309 BC. Killed by Cassander son of Antipater
Regent Perdiccas ? June 323–321 BCE 321 BCE Regent for Alexander IV & Philip III, Prince of Orestis
Regent Antipater 398 BCE Son of Iollas 321–319 BCE 319 BCE Regent for Alexander IV & Philip III
Regent Polyperchon 394 BCE Son of Simmias 319–316 BCE 303 BCE Regent for Alexander IV & Philip III. Exercised no actual power in Persia.
Kassander316BC.jpg Regent Cassander c. 350 Son of Antipater 316–309 BCE 297 BCE Regent for and murderer of Alexander IV. Exercised no actual power in Persia.

Seleucid Empire (31




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