Philip III of Macedon

Last updated
Philip III of Macedon
Macedonia, dinastia degli antigonidi, tetradracma di filippo III, 323-316 ac ca.JPG
Tetradrachm of Philip III Arrhidaeus
King of Macedonia
Reigntraditional: 323–317 BC
Predecessor Alexander III
Successor Alexander IV
Pharaoh of Egypt
Reigntraditional: 323–317 BC
Predecessor Alexander III
Successor Alexander IV
Spouse Eurydice
Dynasty Argead dynasty
Father Philip II
MotherPhilinna of Larissa
Religion Ancient Greek religion

Philip III Arrhidaeus (Ancient Greek : Φίλιππος Γ΄ ὁ Ἀρριδαῖος; c. 359 BC 25 December, 317 BC) 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.

Contents

As Arrhidaeus grew older it became apparent that he had mild learning difficulties. Plutarch was of the view that he became disabled by means of an attempt on his life by Philip II's wife, Queen Olympias, who wanted to eliminate a possible rival to her son, Alexander, through the employment of pharmaka (drugs/spells); however, most modern authorities doubt the truth of this claim. [1]

Alexander was fond of Arrhidaeus and took him on his campaigns[ citation needed ], both to protect his life and to prevent his use as a pawn in any prospective challenge for the throne. After Alexander's death in Babylon in 323 BC, the Macedonian army in Asia proclaimed Arrhidaeus as king; [2] however, he served merely as a figurehead and as the pawn of a series of powerful generals.

Biography

Philip III as pharaoh on a relief in Karnak Theodule Deveria (French) - (Close-up of a Sculpture (Profile of a Head), Karnak) - Google Art Project.jpg
Philip III as pharaoh on a relief in Karnak

Even though Arrhidaeus and Alexander were about the same age, Arrhidaeus appears never to have been a danger as an alternative choice for Alexander's succession to Philip II; nevertheless, when the Persian satrap of Caria, Pixodarus, proposed his daughter in marriage to Philip, the king declined, offering his son Arrhidaeus as husband instead, and Alexander thought it prudent to block the dynastic union (which might have produced a possible future heir to Philip's domain before Alexander himself did), resulting in considerable irritation on the part of his father (337 BC). [3] Arrhidaeus' whereabouts during the reign of his brother Alexander are unclear from the extant sources; what is certain is that no civil or military command was given to him in those thirteen years (336–323 BC).

He was in Babylon at the time of Alexander's death on 10 June 323 BC. A succession crisis ensued. Arrhidaeus was the most obvious candidate, but he was mentally disabled and thus unfit to rule. [4] A conflict then arose between Perdiccas, leader of the cavalry, and Meleager, who commanded the phalanx: the first wanted to wait to see if Roxana, Alexander's pregnant wife, would deliver a male baby, while the second objected that Arrhidaeus was the closest living relative and so should be chosen king. Meleager was killed, and a compromise was engineered: Arrhidaeus would become king, with the name of Philip, and he would be joined by Roxana's yet-unborn child as co-sovereign should that child prove a male. This eventuality did indeed arise and resulted in Roxana's son, Alexander, becoming with his uncle Phillip III co-sovereign on the throne of Macedon. It was immediately decided that Philip Arrhidaeus would reign, but not rule: this was to be the prerogative of the new regent, Perdiccas.

When news arrived in Macedonia that Arrhidaeus had been chosen as king, Cynane, a daughter of Philip II, developed a plan to travel to Asia and offer the new king her daughter Eurydice for wife. This move was an obvious affront to the regent, whom Cynane had completely bypassed, and to prevent the marriage, Perdiccas sent his brother, Alcetas, to kill Cynane. The reaction among the troops generated by this murder was such that the regent had to give up his opposition to the proposed match and accept the marriage. From that moment on, Philip Arrhidaeus was to be under the sway of his bride, a proud and determined woman bent on substantiating her husband's power.

Coin of Philip III Arrhidaios. 323-317 BC. AR Tetradrachm (17.20 g, 1h). Babylon mint. Struck under Perdikkas, circa 323-320 BC. Head of Herakles right, wearing lion skin headdress / [BASILEWS FILIPPOU], Zeus Aetophoros seated left; wheel and monogram in left field, monogram below throne. Philip III Arrhidaios Babylon mint struck under Perdikkas circa 323 320 BC.jpg
Coin of Philip III Arrhidaios. 323-317 BC. AR Tetradrachm (17.20 g, 1h). Babylon mint. Struck under Perdikkas, circa 323-320 BC. Head of Herakles right, wearing lion skin headdress / [BASILEWS FILIPPOU], Zeus Aëtophoros seated left; wheel and monogram in left field, monogram below throne.

Eurydice's chance to increase her husband's power came when the first war of the Diadochi sealed the fate of Perdiccas, making a new settlement necessary. An agreement was made at Triparadisus in Syria in 321 BC. Eurydice moved deftly enough to achieve the removal of the first two designated regents, Peithon and Arrhidaeus (a namesake of her husband), but was powerless to block the aspirations of Antipater, whose position proved too powerful, and the latter was made the new regent; Philip Arrhidaeus and Eurydice were forced to follow Antipater back to Macedonia.

The regent died of natural causes the following year, nominating as his successor not his son Cassander, but his friend and lieutenant, Polyperchon. Cassander's refusal to accept his father's decision sparked the Second War of the Diadochi, in which Eurydice saw once again a chance to free Philip from the control of the regent.

An opportunity presented itself in 317 BC when Cassander expelled Polyperchon from Macedonia. Eurydice immediately allied herself with Cassander and persuaded her husband to nominate him as the new regent. Cassander reciprocated by leaving her in full control of the country when he left to campaign in Greece.

But individual circumstances and events at this time were subject to rapid change. That same year, Polyperchon and Olympias allied with her cousin, Aeacides, king of Epirus, and invaded Macedonia. The Macedonian troops refused to fight Olympias, the mother of Alexander. Philip and Eurydice had no choice but to escape, only to be captured at Amphipolis and thrown into prison. It soon became clear that Philip was too dangerous to be left alive, as Olympias' many enemies saw him as a useful tool against her, and so on 25 December 317 BC, she had him executed, while his wife was forced to commit suicide.

Tomb

Golden Larnax (Chrysi Larnaka) (with the Sun of Vergina on the lid) that contains the remains (bones) from the burial of King Philip II of Macedonia and the royal golden wreath. Formerly located at the Thessaloniki Archaeological Museum, since 1997) displayed in the underground museum of Vergina, inside the Great Tumulus. Phillip Museum.jpg
Golden Larnax (Chrysi Larnaka) (with the Sun of Vergina on the lid) that contains the remains (bones) from the burial of King Philip II of Macedonia and the royal golden wreath. Formerly located at the Thessaloniki Archaeological Museum, since 1997) displayed in the underground museum of Vergina, inside the Great Tumulus.

In 1977, important excavations were made near Vergina leading to the discovery of a two-chambered royal tomb, with an almost perfectly preserved male skeleton. Manolis Andronikos, the chief archaeologist at the site, along with a number of other archaeologists, decided it was the skeleton of Philip II, but others have disputed this attribution and instead proposed it to be the remains of Philip Arrhidaeus.

Arrhidaeus in fiction

He appears as one of the main characters in the novel Funeral Games by Mary Renault. In Renault's version, the villainous Cassander slows down his advance on Macedonia to give Olympias enough time to kill Arrhidaeus and Eurydice.

Arrhidaeus is also a main character in Annabel Lyon's novel The Golden Mean. In it, the young Arrhidaeus is tutored by Aristotle while he also mentors his younger half-brother, the future Alexander the Great. Alexander, who is initially disgusted with his brother's inferior intellect, learns to love him before he sets out to conquer the world.

In the Japanese fiction manga Historie, he was shown as an intellectually disabled young child that became happy when Eumenes made him a toy chariot and became sad when Alexander the Great destroyed his toy. Eumenes later replaced it with a new one, telling him to bury the chariot.

Arrhideaus is also portrayed in the Indian historical drama series Porus.

Related Research Articles

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 316 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Rutilus and Laenas. The denomination 316 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. She was extremely influential in Alexander's life and was recognized as de facto leader of Macedon during Alexander's conquests. After her son's death, she fought on behalf of Alexander's son Alexander IV, successfully defeating Adea Eurydice. After she was finally defeated by Cassander, his armies refused to execute her, and he finally had to summon family members of those Olympias had previously killed to end her life. 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.

Alexander IV of Macedon sovereign

Alexander IV, erroneously called sometimes in modern times Aegus, was the son of Alexander the Great and Princess Roxana of Bactria.

Antipater Macedonian general

Antipater 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 but died the next year; he had named an officer named Polyperchon as his successor instead of his son Cassander, and a two-year-long power struggle ensued.

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

Wars of the Diadochi Series of conflicts after the death of Alexander the Great over the empire he left behind

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 281 BC.

Meleager was a Macedonian officer who served Alexander the Great with distinction. Among the king's generals who went with him to Asia, he was the most experienced as the only military figure who exceeded his experience was the Macedonian general Antipater who remained in Macedon during Alexander's entire Asian campaign.

Polyperchon (Greek: Πολυπέρχων; b. between 390-380 BC – d. after 304 BC, possibly into 3rd century BC, 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.

Cynane was half-sister to Alexander the Great, and daughter of Philip II by Audata, an Illyrian princess. She is estimated to have been born in 357 BC.

Nicanor was a Macedonian officer who served the Diadochus Cassander and the son in law of Aristotle. He campaigned on Cassander's behalf in Attica and Hellespont during the early Wars of the Diadochi, but was executed by Cassander after the latter suspected him of plotting a coup.

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.

Partition of Babylon

The Partition of Babylon was the first of the conferences and ensuing agreements that divided the territories of Alexander the Great. It was held at Babylon in June 323 BC. Alexander’s death at the age of 32 had left an empire that stretched from Greece all the way to India. The issue of succession resulted from the claims of the various supporters of Philip Arrhidaeus, and the as-of-then unborn child of Alexander and Roxana, among others. The settlement saw Arrhidaeus and Alexander’s child designated as joint kings with Perdiccas serving as regent. The territories of the empire became satrapies divided between the senior officers of the Macedonian army and some local governors and rulers. The partition was solidified at the further agreements at Triparadisus and Persepolis over the following years and began the series of conflicts that comprise the Wars of the Diadochi.

<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. Elizabeth Donnelly Carney (2006). Olympias: mother of Alexander the Great. Taylor & Francis. pp. 24–25. ISBN   978-0-415-33316-0 . Retrieved 14 June 2011.
  2. Siculus, Diodorus. Bibliotheca Historica, 18.2.1-4.
  3. Plutarch. Alex.. 10.2-3.
  4. Habicht 1998, p. 69.
  5. Stella Drougou, Chrysoula Saatsoglou-Paliadeli. Verghina, Hellenic Minister of Culture, Athens, 2005 (p. 45, p. 59) ISBN   960-214-385-1
Philip III of Macedon
Born: 359 BC Died: 317 BC
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Alexander the Great
King of Macedon
King of Asia
Pharaoh of Egypt

323 BC – 317 BC
Succeeded by
Alexander IV