Ancient History & Civilisation

Dividing the Spoils: The War for Alexander the Great's Empire

Dividing the Spoils: The War for Alexander the Great's Empire

Alexander the Great conquered an enormous empire--stretching from Greece to the Indian subcontinent--and his death triggered forty bloody years of world-changing events. These were years filled with high adventure, intrigue, passion, assassinations, dynastic marriages, treachery, shifting alliances, and mass slaughter on battlefield after battlefield. And while the men fought on the field, the women, such as Alexander's mother Olympias, schemed from their palaces and pavilions.

Dividing the Spoils serves up a fast-paced narrative that captures this turbulent time as it revives the memory of the Successors of Alexander and their great contest for his empire. The Successors, Robin Waterfield shows, were no mere plunderers. Indeed, Alexander left things in great disarray at the time of his death, with no guaranteed succession, no administration in place suitable for such a large realm, and huge untamed areas both bordering and within his empire. It was the Successors--battle-tested companions of Alexander such as Ptolemy, Perdiccas, Seleucus, and Antigonus the One-Eyed--who consolidated Alexander's gains. Their competing ambitions, however, eventually led to the break-up of the empire. To tell their story in full, Waterfield draws upon a wide range of historical materials, providing the first account that makes complete sense of this highly complex period.

Astonishingly, this period of brutal, cynical warfare was also characterized by brilliant cultural achievements, especially in the fields of philosophy, literature, and art. A new world emerged from the dust and haze of battle, and, in addition to chronicling political and military events, Waterfield provides ample discussion of the amazing cultural flowering of the early Hellenistic Age.


Chapter 1. The Legacy of Alexander the Great

Chapter 2. The Babylon Conferences

Chapter 3. Rebellion

Chapter 4. Perdiccas, Ptolemy, and Alexander’s Corpse

Chapter 5. The First War of the Successors

Chapter 6. Polyperchon’s Moment

Chapter 7. The Triumph of Cassander

Chapter 8. Hunting Eumenes in Iran

Chapter 9. Antigonus, Lord of Asia

Chapter 10. The Restoration of Seleucus

Chapter 11. Warfare in Greece

Chapter 12. The End of Antigonus

Chapter 13. The Kingdoms of Ptolemy and Seleucus

Chapter 14. Demetrius Resurgent

Chapter 15. The Fall of Demetrius

Chapter 16. The Last Successors

Time Line

Cast of Characters




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