Philip III of Macedon

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Philip III Arrhidaeus
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.

Macedonia (ancient kingdom) Ancient kingdom in the Balkans

Macedonia, also called Macedon, was an ancient kingdom on the periphery of Archaic and Classical Greece, and later the dominant state of Hellenistic Greece. The kingdom was founded and initially ruled by the royal Argead dynasty, which was followed by the Antipatrid and Antigonid dynasties. Home to the ancient Macedonians, the earliest kingdom was centered on the northeastern part of the Greek peninsula, and bordered by Epirus to the west, Paeonia to the north, Thrace to the east and Thessaly to the south.

Philip II of Macedon Basileus of Macedon

Philip II of Macedon was the king (basileus) of the kingdom of Macedon from 359 BC until his assassination in 336 BC. He was a member of the Argead dynasty of Macedonian kings, the third son of King Amyntas III of Macedon, and father of Alexander the Great and Philip III. The rise of Macedon, its conquest and political consolidation of most of Classical Greece during the reign of Philip II was achieved in part by his reformation of the Ancient Macedonian army, establishing the Macedonian phalanx that proved critical in securing victories on the battlefield. After defeating the Greek city-states of Athens and Thebes at the Battle of Chaeronea in 338 BC, Philip II led the effort to establish a federation of Greek states known as the League of Corinth, with him as the elected hegemon and commander-in-chief of Greece for a planned invasion of the Achaemenid Empire of Persia. However, his assassination by a royal bodyguard, Pausanias of Orestis, led to the immediate succession of his son Alexander, who would go on to invade the Achaemenid Empire in his father's stead.

Philinna or Philine was the name of many Greek females, as, for instance, of the female dancer Philinna of Larissa in Thessaly, who was the mother of Philip III Arrhidaeus by Philip II. A first century BC papyrus fragment, the Philinna Papyrus, preserves a spell to cure headaches attributed to one Philinna the Thessalian. It was also the name of the mother of the poet Theocritus. The name occurs in Aristophanes' drama The Clouds. In the eighteenth century Goethe used it for a character in his novel Wilhelm Meister.

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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]

Plutarch Ancient Greek historian and philosopher

Plutarch, later named, upon becoming a Roman citizen, Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus, was a Greek biographer and essayist, known primarily for his Parallel Lives and Moralia. He is classified as a Middle Platonist. Plutarch's surviving works were written in Greek, but intended for both Greek and Roman readers.

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.

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).

Achaemenid Empire first Persian Empire founded by Cyrus the Great

The Achaemenid Empire, also called the First Persian Empire, was an ancient Iranian empire based in Western Asia founded by Cyrus the Great. Ranging at its greatest extent from the Balkans and Eastern Europe proper in the west to the Indus Valley in the east, it was larger than any previous empire in history, spanning 5.5 million square kilometers. Incorporating various peoples of different origins and faiths, it is notable for its successful model of a centralised, bureaucratic administration, for building infrastructure such as road systems and a postal system, the use of an official language across its territories, and the development of civil services and a large professional army. The empire's successes inspired similar systems in later empires.

Satrap Ruler of a province in ancient Persia

Satraps were the governors of the provinces of the ancient Median and Achaemenid Empires and in several of their successors, such as in the Sasanian Empire and the Hellenistic empires. The satrap served as viceroy to the king, though with considerable autonomy; and the word also came to suggest tyranny, or ostentatious splendour.

Caria historical region

Caria was a region of western Anatolia extending along the coast from mid-Ionia (Mycale) south to Lycia and east to Phrygia. The Ionian and Dorian Greeks colonized the west of it and joined the Carian population in forming Greek-dominated states there. The inhabitants of Caria, known as Carians, had arrived there before the Ionian and Dorian Greeks. They were described by Herodotus as being of Minoan Greek descent, while the Carians themselves maintained that they were Anatolian mainlanders intensely engaged in seafaring and were akin to the Mysians and the Lydians. The Carians did speak an Anatolian language, known as Carian, which does not necessarily reflect their geographic origin, as Anatolian once may have been widespread. Also closely associated with the Carians were the Leleges, which could be an earlier name for Carians or for a people who had preceded them in the region and continued to exist as part of their society in a reputedly second-class status.

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.

Babylon Kingdom in ancient Mesopotamia from the 18th to 6th centuries BC

Babylon was a key kingdom in ancient Mesopotamia from the 18th to 6th centuries BC. The name-giving capital city was built on the Euphrates river and divided in equal parts along its left and right banks, with steep embankments to contain the river's seasonal floods. Babylon was originally a small Akkadian town dating from the period of the Akkadian Empire c. 2300 BCE.

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.

Companion cavalry Ancient Macedonian cavalry

The Companions were the elite cavalry of the Macedonian army from the time of king Philip II of Macedon, achieved their greatest prestige under Alexander the Great, and have been regarded as the first or among the first shock cavalry used in Europe. Chosen Companions, or Hetairoi, formed the elite guard of the king (Somatophylakes).

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.

Cynane was half-sister to Alexander the Great, and daughter of Philip II by Audata, an Illyrian princess.

Alcetas, was the brother of Perdiccas and the son of Orontes from Orestis. He is first mentioned as one of Alexander the Great's generals in his Indian expedition.

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.

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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
323 BC – 317 BC
Succeeded by
Alexander IV
King of Asia
323 BC – 317 BC
Pharaoh of Egypt
323 BC – 317 BC