Cast of Characters

The early Hellenistic period may be unfamiliar to some readers. Only one of its characters is a household name nowadays. In this book, I have held back from naming incidental characters—I could have mentioned seven Alexanders, for instance—but even so, some might feel rather overwhelmed. This feeling will pass as the book is read and the characters become familiar, but in the meantime here is a list of all the major historical characters, for reference. A few genealogical trees follow the list.

Adea: daughter of Cynnane; wife of Philip III Arrhidaeus; took the name Eurydice on marriage; allied herself and her husband against Polyperchon; forced to commit suicide by Olympias in 317.

Agathocles: son of Lysimachus by Nicaea; successful general, especially against Demetrius; fell out with Lysimachus and was killed by him in 283 or 282.

Alcetas: brother of Perdiccas, fought on after his death; defeated by Antigonus in 319 and later killed trying to escape from imprisonment.

Alexander, son of Polyperchon: joint leader of Polyperchon’s viceregal forces; ally of Antigonus against Cassander in Greece; went over to Cassander’s side in 315, but was soon assassinated.

Alexander III of Macedon (336–323), the Great: stabilized Macedon before heading east; conquered the Persian empire 334–330; his death in Babylon in 323 triggered the succession crisis.

Alexander IV of Macedon (323–ca. 309): son of Alexander III; killed by Cassander to prevent his coming of age.

Alexander V of Macedon (297–294): son of Cassander; ruler or coruler of Macedon with his brother Antipater I; killed by Demetrius.

Alexarchus: eccentric brother of Cassander, founded a utopian community on the Athos peninsula called Ouranopolis, the Heavenly City.

Amastris: Persian princess; married to Craterus at the mass Susa wedding of April 324; later married Dionysius, ruler of Heraclea Pontica; on his death, ruled as regent for her sons, in alliance with Antigonus; married Lysimachus in 302; killed, apparently by her sons, ca. 284.

Antigenes: commander of a crack infantry regiment; appointed satrap of Susiana in 320; brutally killed by Antigonus in 317 after Gabene.

Antigonus Gonatas: son of Demetrius Poliorcetes; king of Macedon 276–239.

Antigonus Monophthalmus (the One-Eyed): satrap of Phrygia for Alexander the Great; reappointed in 323 and then again in 320; in 320 also made Antipater’s Royal General of Asia; used this position as a springboard to make himself ruler of all Asia by 314; died at Ipsus in 301.

Antiochus I of Asia (281–261): son of Seleucus; made coruler with responsibility for the eastern satrapies in 294 or 293.

Antipater: viceroy of Macedon during Alexander III’s eastern campaigns; lost out to Perdiccas after Alexander’s death, but regained the full regency in 320, only to die a year later of old age.

Antipater I of Macedon (297–294): son of Cassander, ruler or coruler of Macedon with his brother Alexander V; killed by Lysimachus ca. 293.

Apama: noble Iranian; married to Seleucus at the mass Susa wedding of April 324; unlike the other couples of the forced marriages, they stayed together; died ca. 300.

Aristonous: Bodyguard of Alexander the Great; fought for Perdiccas in the First War of the Successors; retired to Macedon, where he was killed by Cassander in 316.

Arrhidaeus: half brother of Alexander III, seePhilip III of Macedon.

Arrhidaeus: Macedonian noble, responsible for the cortège containing Alexander’s body; interim coregent in 320; awarded governorship of Hellespontine Phrygia in 320 but forced out by Antigonus in 319.

Arsinoe: daughter of Ptolemy I and Berenice; married successively to Lysimachus, Ptolemy Ceraunus (her half brother), and Ptolemy II (her full brother); first woman to be granted divine honors during her lifetime.

Asander: made satrap of Caria in 323 and reappointed in 320; originally an ally of Antigonus, but defected in 315; brought to heel by Antigonus in 313.

Attalus: originally an ally of Meleager, but soon joined Perdiccas; one of the rebels after Perdiccas’s assassination; defeated by Antigonus in 319 and later killed trying to escape from imprisonment.

Barsine: noble Iranian mistress of Alexander the Great, by whom she had Heracles; killed by Polyperchon and Cassander in 309.

Berenice: first the mistress and later the preferred wife of Ptolemy I; mother of Ptolemy II and Arsinoe.

Cassander of Macedon (regent 316–305; king 305–297): son of Antipater; passed over for succession to regency; joined forces with Antigonus and seized Macedon in 316; married Thessalonice; killed Rhoxane and Alexander IV and was responsible for killing Heracles; joined anti-Antigonid alliance and helped defeat the Antigonids in 301.

Chandragupta (c. 360–298): founder of the Maurya empire of India; clashed with Seleucus and won large chunks of territory.

Cleitus: associate of Craterus and in command of the Macedonian navy in the Lamian War (323–322); at first loyal to Perdiccas but changed sides; awarded the satrapy of Lydia in 320 but forced out by Antigonus in 319; died after defeat by Antigonus in 318.

Cleomenes: born and bred in Egypt; appointed satrap, or perhaps financial administrator, of Egypt by Alexander in 331; killed by Ptolemy I in 322.

Cleopatr a: sister of Alexander III of Macedon; wife of Alexander I of Molossia; ruled Molossia after his death; promised to Leonnatus, then Perdiccas, and later Ptolemy I; killed by Antigonus late in 309 or early in 308.

Craterus: one of Alexander’s most trusted generals; Alexander’s death found him in Cilicia; allied himself with Antipater for the Lamian War and then to deal with Perdiccas and Eumenes; died in battle with Eumenes in 320.

Cratesipolis: wife of Alexander, son of Polyperchon; after his death in 315, set up an independent enclave in Sicyon and Corinth; hung on there until Ptolemy I’s takeover in 309.

Cynnane: half sister of Alexander III; mother of Adea; killed (by accident?) by Alcetas in 321.

Darius III: last Achaemenid king of the Persian empire; killed by his own men in 330 following defeat by Alexander the Great.

Deidameia: sister of Pyrrhus; once betrothed to Alexander IV, but married Demetrius Poliorcetes.

Demetrius of Phalerum: ruler of Athens 317–307 for Cassander; ousted by Demetrius Poliorcetes; fled eventually to Alexandria.

Demetrius Poliorcetes (the Besieger): flamboyant and erratic son and heir of Antigonus Monophthalmus; his father’s right-hand man in the 300s; recovered after Ipsus and came to rule Macedon from 294 to 288; following an overambitious invasion of Asia, died in captivity under Seleucus’s protection in 282.

Demosthenes: persistent opponent of Philip II and Alexander III, warning his fellow Athenians about Macedonian intentions for Athens and southern Greece; accused of embezzling some of Harpalus’s money and exiled; returned just before the Lamian War, but his death was demanded by Antipater after victory in the war; committed suicide as a fugitive on the island of Calauria in 322, aged sixty-two.

Eumenes of Cardia: secretary and archivist to Philip II and Alexander III; awarded satrapy of Cappadocia in 323; fought on after Perdiccas’s death until defeat by Antigonus in 319; allied himself to Antigonus in 318, but then soon to Polyperchon; killed by Antigonus in 317 after Gabene.

Eurydice: daughter of Antipater; first wife of Ptolemy I; mother of Ptolemy Ceraunus, Ptolemais, and Lysandra.

Eurydice: seeAdea.

Harpalus: close associate of Alexander III, entrusted with the financial administration of the empire; on Alexander’s return from India, absconded with a large amount of money, first to Tarsus and then to Athens, where his money helped finance the Lamian War; assassinated on Crete in 323.

Hephaestion: the closest friend, probable lover, and second-in-command of Alexander III; died in 324, probably from alcohol abuse, to Alexander’s great grief.

Heracles: illegitimate son of Alexander III; never a contender for the Macedonian throne until 309, when Polyperchon set out to install him but treacherously killed him instead on Cassander’s orders.

Iolaus (or Iollas): son of Antipater; cupbearer to Alexander the Great, and hence fell under suspicion of having poisoned him; died ca. 320; his tomb was desecrated by Olympias in 317.

Lachares: ruler of Athens from ca. 297 until defeat by Demetrius Poliorcetes in 295.

Lanassa: daughter of Agathocles, king of Syracuse; briefly married to Pyrrhus before marrying Demetrius.

Leonnatus: Bodyguard of Alexander the Great; outmaneuvered by Perdiccas in the power struggle following Alexander’s death; sided with Antipater, while eyeing the Macedonian throne for himself, as husband of Cleopatra; killed in 323, early in the Lamian War.

Leosthenes: commander of the Greek forces in the Lamian War (323–322), during which he was killed.

Lysandra: daughter of Ptolemy I and Eurydice; married Alexander V and then Agathocles; fled to Seleucus’s court during the civil war following Agathocles’ execution by his father.

Lysimachus: Bodyguard of Alexander the Great; awarded Thrace in 323 and reappointed in 320; tied up in Thrace for many years, but emerged in the 300s and led the coalition forces against Antigonus and Demetrius at Ipsus in 301; gained Asia Minor and then took over Macedon as well in 284; his kingdom fell into civil war in 283; defeated and killed by Seleucus at Corupedium in 281.

Meleager: infantry commander under Alexander the Great; tried to seize power after Alexander’s death in 323 but killed by Perdiccas.

Menander: Companion of Alexander the Great, appointed satrap of Lydia by Alexander in 331; reappointed after his death in 323 but replaced in 320.

Menander of Athens (ca. 344–292): foremost surviving author of New Comedy plays.

Menelaus: brother of Ptolemy I and governor of Cyprus from ca. 315 until defeat by Demetrius Poliorcetes in 306.

Nearchus of Crete: Alexander III’s most trusted admiral; after Alexander’s death joined Antigonus’s court, and eventually became one of young Demetrius’s advisers.

Neoptolemus: a Molossian prince in Alexander’s court; ordered by Perdiccas to help Eumenes in Asia Minor, but instead joined Antipater’s side; died in a battlefield duel with Eumenes in 320.

Nicaea: daughter of Antipater, married first to Perdiccas and then to Lysimachus; mother of Agathocles.

Nicanor: son of Antipater; appointed satrap of Cappadocia in 320 but forced out by Antigonus ca. 319; killed by Olympias in 317.

Nicanor: general of Cassander, garrison commander of Piraeus from 319 until 317, when he was executed by Cassander.

Olympias: wife (Philip II), mother (Alexander III), and grandmother (Alexander IV) of Macedonian kings; an enemy of Antipater, in exile in her native Epirus from 330; returned at Polyperchon’s invitation in 317; killed by Cassander in 316.

Peithon: Bodyguard of Alexander the Great; appointed satrap of Media in 323; interim coregent in 320; too ambitious for his own good, he was killed by Antigonus in 316.

Perdiccas: Bodyguard of Alexander the Great; seized power after his death by gaining control of the two kings; the First War of the Successors was intended to curb his ambitions; assassinated by staff officers while invading Egypt in 320.

Peucestas: Bodyguard of Alexander the Great, appointed satrap of Persis in 323 and reappointed in 320; demoted by Antigonus as part of his settlement of the east in 316.

Phila: daughter of Antipater; married first to Craterus and then to Demetrius Poliorcetes; committed suicide in 288.

Philetaerus: governor or treasurer of Pergamum for Antigonus, then Lysimachus; fled to Seleucus in 283 during the civil war in Lysimachus’s kingdom; with Seleucus’s help, became the first ruler of independent Pergamum.

Philip II of Macedon (359–336): instigator of Macedonian greatness; unified and secured Macedon; hugely expanded its military capacity; planned to invade the Persian empire but was assassinated; his son Alexander III inherited the task.

Philip III of Macedon (323–317): birth name Arrhidaeus; mentally impaired half brother of Alexander the Great; a pawn in Meleager’s, then Perdiccas’s, then Adea’s maneuvers; killed on Olympias’s orders.

Philip IV of Macedon (297): son of Cassander, ruled for only a few months before dying.

Pleistarchus: younger brother of Cassander; one of Cassander’s main generals in Greece from 313 onward; awarded Cilicia after Ipsus, but lost it to Demetrius in 298; established by Lysimachus as an independent dynast in Caria.

Polemaeus (called Ptolemaeus, i.e., Ptolemy, in some sources): nephew of Antigonus Monophthalmus and an extremely effective general in the 310s; briefly independent in central Greece 310–309 before being killed by Ptolemy I on Cos.

Polyperchon: Craterus’s second-in-command in Cilicia at the time of Alexander’s death; Antipater’s deputy in Macedon 320–319; replaced Antipater as regent in 319; ally of Olympias; ousted by Cassander; reduced to some parts of the Peloponnese; tried to regain power by restoring Heracles in 309; died ca. 303.

Prepelaus: a general of Cassander from ca. 315; last heard of at Ipsus (301).

Ptolemais: daughter of Ptolemy I and Eurydice; became one of the many wives of Demetrius Poliorcetes.

Ptolemy I of Egypt (satrap 323–305; king 305–285): Bodyguard of Alexander the Great; awarded Egypt in 323 and reappointed in 320; pursued a policy of creating buffer zones around Egypt; successfully defended Egypt against two invasions (320, 306); expanded especially into the Aegean area, but an attempted takeover of Greece in 309 failed; abdicated in favor of his son Ptolemy II in 285 and died in 283.

Ptolemy II of Egypt (285–246): son of Ptolemy I by Berenice (and so not his eldest son).

Ptolemy Ceraunus: son of Ptolemy I by Eurydice (and so his eldest son); denied the throne by his father’s preference of Berenice; in exile in Lysimachus’s court, then Seleucus’s; assassinated Seleucus and made himself king of Macedon (281–279); killed during Celtic invasion.

Pyrrhus of Epirus (306–302, 297–272): restless great-nephew of Olympias and second cousin of Alexander the Great; allied first with, then against Demetrius (then with, then against again); later a thorn in the side of the Romans and, briefly, king of Sicily.

Rhoxane (or Roxane): Bactrian princess who became Alexander III’s first wife in 327; pregnant when he died, gave birth a few months later to Alexander IV; killed, along with her son, by Cassander ca. 309.

Seleucus I of Asia (305–281): after Alexander’s death, rose rapidly thanks to alliances with Perdiccas, then Antipater; appointed satrap of Babylonia in 320; ousted by Antigonus in 316; made a dramatic return in 311; defended his province, and established his realm from the Euphrates eastward; after Ipsus, added Syria; after Corupedium, added Asia Minor; killed by Ptolemy Ceraunus while trying to add Macedon as well.

Seuthes III of Thrace (ca. 330– ca. 300): Lysimachus’s bête noire, king of the Odrysians and effective ruler of inland Thrace.

Stratonice: daughter of Demetrius, granddaughter of Antipater, and niece of Cassander; married first to Seleucus and then to his son Antiochus.

Telesphorus: nephew of Antigonus; a not very successful general in Greece in 312; briefly independent in Elis.

Thessalonice: half sister of Alexander III; captured and subsequently married by Cassander in 316; failed to keep the peace between Antipater I and Alexander V; murdered by Antipater.

Zipoetes of Bithynia (327–280): ruler of independent Bithynia; subdued by Antigonus but resurgent after Ipsus.

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