Alexander IV of Macedon

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Alexander IV
Alexandros IV Aigos Budge.png
Reign323–309 BC
Predecessor Philip III
Successor Cassander
BornAugust 323 BC
Babylon
DiedLate Summer 309 BC (aged 13 or 14)
Macedon, Ancient Greece
Dynasty Argead
Father Alexander III of Macedon
Mother Roxana of Bactria
Religion Ancient Greek Religion

Alexander IV (Greek: Ἀλέξανδρος Δ΄; 323309 BC), erroneously called sometimes in modern times Aegus, [2] was the son of Alexander the Great (Alexander III of Macedon) and Princess Roxana of Bactria.

Ancient Greek Version of the Greek language used from roughly the 9th century BC to the 6th century AD

The ancient Greek language includes the forms of Greek used in Ancient Greece and the ancient world from around the 9th century BC to the 6th century AD. It is often roughly divided into the Archaic period, Classical period, and Hellenistic period. It is antedated in the second millennium BC by Mycenaean Greek and succeeded by Medieval Greek.

Alexander the Great King of Macedonia

Alexander III of Macedon, commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king (basileus) of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon and a member of the Argead dynasty. He was born in Pella in 356 BC and succeeded his father Philip II to the throne at the age of 20. He spent most of his ruling years on an unprecedented military campaign through Asia and northeast Africa, and by the age of thirty, he had created one of the largest empires of the ancient world, stretching from Greece to northwestern India. He was undefeated in battle and is widely considered one of history's most successful military commanders.

Roxana Bactrian princess and wife of Alexander the Great

Roxana was a Sogdian or a Bactrian princess of Bactria whom the Macedonian king, Alexander the Great, married, after defeating Darius III, the Achaemenian king, and invading Persia. She was born in c. 340 BC, though the precise date remains uncertain, and died in c. 310 BC.

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Birth

Alexander IV was the son of Alexander the Great (a Macedonian Greek) and Alexander's wife Roxana (a Sogdian). [3] [4] [5] He was the grandson of Philip II of Macedon. Because Roxana was pregnant when Alexander the Great died on 11 June 323 BC and the sex of the baby was unknown, there was dissension in the Macedonian army regarding the order of succession. While the infantry supported the unborn baby's uncle, Philip III (who was feeble-minded), the chiliarch Perdiccas, commander of the elite Companion cavalry, persuaded them to wait in the hope that Roxana's unborn child would be male. The factions compromised, deciding that Perdiccas would rule the Empire as regent while Philip would reign, but only as a figurehead with no real power. If the child was male, then he would be king. Alexander IV was born in August, 323 BC.

Ancient Macedonians Ancient ethnic group from the northeastern part of mainland Greece

The Macedonians were an ancient tribe that lived on the alluvial plain around the rivers Haliacmon and lower Axios in the northeastern part of mainland Greece. Essentially an ancient Greek people, they gradually expanded from their homeland along the Haliacmon valley on the northern edge of the Greek world, absorbing or driving out neighbouring non-Greek tribes, primarily Thracian and Illyrian. They spoke Ancient Macedonian, a language closely related to Ancient Greek or a Doric Greek dialect, although the prestige language of the region was at first Attic and then Koine Greek. Their religious beliefs mirrored those of other Greeks, following the main deities of the Greek pantheon, although the Macedonians continued Archaic burial practices that had ceased in other parts of Greece after the 6th century BC. Aside from the monarchy, the core of Macedonian society was its nobility. Similar to the aristocracy of neighboring Thessaly, their wealth was largely built on herding horses and cattle.

The Greeks or Hellenes are an ethnic group native to Greece, Cyprus, southern Albania, Italy, Turkey, Egypt and, to a lesser extent, other countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. They also form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world.

Sogdia ancient civilization of an Iranian people and a province of the Achaemenid Empire

Sogdia or Sogdiana was an ancient Iranian civilization that at different times included territory located in present-day Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, such as Samarkand, Bukhara, Khujand, Panjikent, and Shahrisabz. Sogdiana was also a province of the Achaemenid Empire, eighteenth in the list on the Behistun Inscription of Darius the Great. In the Avesta, Sogdiana is listed as the second best land that the supreme deity Ahura Mazda had created. It comes second, after Airyanem Vaejah, "homeland of the Aryans", in the Zoroastrian book of Vendidad, indicating the importance of this region from ancient times. Sogdiana was first conquered by Cyrus the Great, the founder of the Achaemenid Empire. The region would then be annexed by the Macedonian ruler Alexander the Great in 328 BC. The region would continue to change hands under the Seleucid Empire, Greco-Bactrian Kingdom, Kushan Empire, Hephthalite Empire, and Sasanian Empire.

Regents

After a severe regency, military failure in Egypt, and mutiny in the army, Perdiccas was assassinated by his senior officers in May or June 321 or 320 BC (problems with Diodorus's chronology have made the year uncertain [6] ), after which Antipater was named as the new regent at the Partition of Triparadisus. He brought with him Roxana and the two kings to Macedon and gave up the pretence of ruling Alexander's Empire, leaving former provinces in Egypt and Asia under the control of the satraps. When Antipater died in 319 BC he left Polyperchon, a Macedonian general who had served under Philip II and Alexander the Great, as his successor, passing over his own son, Cassander.

Egypt Country spanning North Africa and Southwest Asia

Egypt, officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a country in the northeast corner of Africa, whose territory in the Sinai Peninsula extends beyond the continental boundary with Asia, as traditionally defined. Egypt is bordered by the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the Gulf of Aqaba and the Red Sea to the east, Sudan to the south, Libya to the west, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north. Across the Gulf of Aqaba lies Jordan, across the Red Sea lies Saudi Arabia, and across the Mediterranean lie Greece, Turkey and Cyprus, although none share a land border with Egypt.

Antipater Macedonian general

Antipater was a Greek 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 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.

Civil War

Cassander allied himself with Ptolemy Soter, Antigonus and Eurydice, the ambitious wife of king Philip Arrhidaeus, and declared war upon the Regency. Polyperchon was allied with Eumenes and Olympias.

Ptolemy I Soter Macedonian general

Ptolemy I Soter was a companion and historian of Alexander the Great of the Kingdom of Macedon in northern Greece who became ruler of Egypt, part of Alexander's former empire. Ptolemy was pharaoh of Ptolemaic Egypt from 305/304 BC to his death. He was the founder of the Ptolemaic dynasty which ruled Egypt until the death of Cleopatra in 30 BC, turning the country into a Hellenistic kingdom and Alexandria into a center of Greek culture.

Antigonus I Monophthalmus Basileus

Antigonus I Monophthalmus, 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.

Eumenes Ancient Greek general and scholar

Eumenes of Cardia 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.

Although Polyperchon was successful at first, taking control of the Greek cities, his fleet was destroyed by Antigonus in 318 BC. When, after the battle, Cassander assumed full control of Macedon, Polyperchon was forced to flee to Epirus, followed by Roxana and the young Alexander. A few months later, Olympias was able to persuade her relative Aeacides of Epirus to invade Macedon with Polyperchon. When Olympias took the field, Eurydice's army refused to fight against the mother of Alexander and defected to Olympias, after which Polyperchon and Aeacides retook Macedon. Philip and Eurydice were captured and executed on December 25, 317 BC, leaving Alexander IV king, and Olympias in effective control, as she was his regent.

Epirus historical region in the Balkans

Epirus is a geographical and historical region in southeastern Europe, now shared between Greece and Albania. It lies between the Pindus Mountains and the Ionian Sea, stretching from the Bay of Vlorë and the Acroceraunian mountains in the north to the Ambracian Gulf and the ruined Roman city of Nicopolis in the south. It is currently divided between the region of Epirus in northwestern Greece and the counties of Gjirokastër, Vlorë, and Berat in southern Albania. The largest city in Epirus is Ioannina, seat of the region of Epirus, with Gjirokastër the largest city in the Albanian part of Epirus.

Aeacides of Epirus King of Epirus

Aeacides, king of Epirus, was a son of king Arybbas and grandson of king Alcetas I.

Cassander returned in the following year (316 BC), conquering Macedon once again. Olympias was immediately executed, while the king and his mother were taken prisoner and held in the citadel of Amphipolis under the supervision of Glaucias. When the general peace between Cassander, Antigonus, Ptolemy, and Lysimachus put an end to the Third Diadoch War in 311 BC, the peace treaty recognized Alexander IV's rights and explicitly stated that when he came of age he would succeed Cassander as ruler.

Amphipolis Place in Greece

Amphipolis is a municipality in the Serres regional unit of Greece. The seat of the municipality is Rodolivos. It was an ancient Greek polis (city), and later a Roman city, whose large remains can still be seen.

Glaucias of Macedon was an officer of the Companion cavalry at the Battle of Gaugamela. He may be the Glaucias who, on Cassander's orders, murdered Alexander IV of Macedon and his mother Roxana in the citadel of Amphipolis.

Lysimachus Macedonian officer

Lysimachus was a Macedonian officer and diadochus of Alexander the Great, who became a basileus ("King") in 306 BC, ruling Thrace, Asia Minor and Macedon.

Death

Tomb III in Vergina, probably belonged to Alexander IV Tomb III Vergina.jpg
Tomb III in Vergina, probably belonged to Alexander IV

Following the treaty, defenders of the Argead dynasty began to declare that Alexander IV should now exercise full power and that a regent was no longer needed, since he had almost reached the significant age of 14, the age at which a Macedonian noble could become a court page. Cassander's response was definitive: to secure his rule, in 309 BC he commanded Glaucias to secretly assassinate the 14-year-old Alexander IV and his mother. The orders were carried out, and they were both poisoned. There is controversy about the exact year of Alexander IV's death because of conflicting sources but the consensus of Hammond and Walbank in A History of Macedonia Vol. 3 is that Alexander was killed late in the summer of 309 BC, shortly after his alleged half-brother Heracles. However, Green thinks that Heracles was killed after Alexander IV's assassination. [7]

One of the royal tombs discovered by the archaeologist Manolis Andronikos in the so-called "Great Tumulus" in Vergina in 1977/8 is believed to belong to Alexander IV. [8]

Related Research Articles

323 BC Year

Year 323 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Longus and Cerretanus. The denomination 323 BC for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.

This article concerns the period 329 BC – 320 BC.

This article concerns the period 319 BC – 310 BC.

Year 319 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Cursor and Cerretanus. The denomination 319 BC for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.

Year 317 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Brutus and Barbula. The denomination 317 BC for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.

Year 309 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Dictatorship of Cursor. The denomination 309 BC for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.

Olympias Queen of Macedonia

Olympias was the daughter of king Neoptolemus I of Epirus, the sister of Alexander I of Epirus, the fourth wife of Philip II, the king of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedonia and the mother of Alexander the Great. According to the 1st century AD biographer, Plutarch, she was a devout member of the orgiastic snake-worshiping cult of Dionysus, and he suggests that she slept with snakes in her bed.

Perdiccas Ancient Macedonian military commander

Perdiccas 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.

Cassander King of Macedonia

Cassander 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.

Philip III of Macedon King of Macedonia

Philip III Arrhidaeus reigned as king of Macedonia from after 11 June 323 BC until his death. He was a son of King Philip II of Macedon by Philinna of Larissa, and thus an elder half-brother of Alexander the Great. Named Arrhidaeus at birth, he assumed the name Philip when he ascended to the throne.

<i>Diadochi</i> Political rivals in the aftermath of Alexander the Greats death

The Diadochi 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.

The Wars of the Diadochi, 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.

Polyperchon, was a Macedonian general who served both Philip II and Alexander the Great and then played an active role in the ensuing battles for control between Alexander's generals.

<i>Funeral Games</i> (novel) book by Mary Renault

Funeral Games is a 1981 historical novel by Mary Renault, dealing with the death of Alexander the Great and its aftermath, the gradual disintegration of his empire. It is the final book of her Alexander trilogy.

The Second War of the Diadochi was the conflict between the coalition of Polyperchon, Olympias and Eumenes and the coalition of Cassander, Antigonus, Ptolemy and Lysimachus following the death of Cassander's father, Antipater.

Eurydice was the Queen of Macedonia, daughter of Amyntas IV, son of Perdiccas III, and Cynane, daughter of Philip II and his first wife Audata. She was a significant person in the immediate aftermath of the death of Alexander the Great and the First and Second Wars of the Diadochi.

References

  1. Lepsius, Denkmäler aus Ägypten und Äthiopien (1849)
  2. The error was caused by a modern misreading, ΑΙΓΟΥ for ΑΛΛΟΥ, of the text of Ptolemy's Canon of Kings. See e.g. "s.v. Alexander the Great". Encyclopædia Britannica. 1. 1911. p. 549.Chugg, Andrew Michael (2007). The Quest for the Tomb of Alexander the Great. Lulu. p. 42. At Google Books.
  3. Ahmed, S. Z. (2004), Chaghatai: the Fabulous Cities and People of the Silk Road, West Conshokoken: Infinity Publishing, p. 61.
  4. Strachan, Edward and Roy Bolton (2008), Russia and Europe in the Nineteenth Century, London: Sphinx Fine Art, p. 87, ISBN   978-1-907200-02-1.
  5. Livius.org. "Roxane." Articles on Ancient History. Page last modified 17 August 2015. Retrieved on 29 August 2016.
  6. Anson, Edward M (Summer 1986). "Diodorus and the Date of Triparadeisus". The American Journal of Philology. The Johns Hopkins University Press. 107 (2): 208–217. doi:10.2307/294603. JSTOR   294603.
  7. Green, Peter. Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic Age. p44, 2007 Ed.
  8. "Royal Tombs: Vergina". Macedonian Heritage. Retrieved 9 July 2013.

Further reading

Alexander IV of Macedon
Born: 323 BC Died: 309 BC
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Philip III
King of Macedon
323311 BC
Succeeded by
Cassander
King of Asia
323311 BC
Succeeded by
Seleucus I Nicator
Pharaoh of Egypt
323311 BC
Succeeded by
Ptolemy I Soter