Alexander I of Epirus

Alexander I of Epirus

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Alexander I of Epirus also known as Alexander Molossus
Molossians
The Molossians were an ancient Greek tribe that inhabited the region of Epirus since the Mycenaean era. On their northeast frontier they had the Chaonians and to their southern frontier the kingdom of the Thesprotians, to their north were the Illyrians. The Molossians were part of the League of...

(Greek
Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek is the stage of the Greek language in the periods spanning the times c. 9th–6th centuries BC, , c. 5th–4th centuries BC , and the c. 3rd century BC – 6th century AD of ancient Greece and the ancient world; being predated in the 2nd millennium BC by Mycenaean Greek...

: Ἀλέξανδρος ο Μολοσσός), was a king of Epirus
Epirus
The name Epirus, from the Greek "Ήπειρος" meaning continent may refer to:-Geographical:* Epirus - a historical and geographical region of the southwestern Balkans, straddling modern Greece and Albania...

 (350–331 BC) of the Aeacid dynasty
Aeacides of Epirus
Aeacides , king of Epirus , was son of Arymbas and grandson of Alcetas I. He succeeded to the throne of Epirus on the death of his cousin Alexander, who was slain in Italy. Aeacides married Phthia, the daughter of Menon of Pharsalus, by whom he had the celebrated Pyrrhus and two daughters, Deidamia...

. As the son of Neoptolemus I
Neoptolemus I of Epirus
Neoptolemus I of Epirus was a king of Epirus and son of Alcetas I, and father of Alexander I of Epirus and Queen Olympias. He was a maternal grandfather of Alexander the Great...

 and brother of Olympias
Olympias
Olympias was a Greek princess of Epirus, daughter of king Neoptolemus I of Epirus, the fourth wife of the king of Macedonia, Philip II, and mother of Alexander the Great...

, he was an uncle of Alexander the Great. He came at an early age to the court of Philip II of Macedon
Philip II of Macedon
Philip II of Macedon "friend" + ἵππος "horse" — transliterated ; 382 – 336 BC), was a king of Macedon from 359 BC until his assassination in 336 BC. He was the father of Alexander the Great and Philip III.-Biography:...

, and after the Grecian fashion became the object of his attachment. Philip in requital made him king of Epirus, after dethroning his uncle Arymbas
Arymbas
Arybbas was king of the Molossians. He was son of Alcetas and brother of Neoptolemus and grandfather of Pyrrhus. He married Troas . In ca. 360 BC, against an Illyrian attack, Arybbas evacuated his non-combatant population to Aetolia and let the Illyrians loot freely...

. When Olympias was repudiated by her husband, 337 BC, she went to her brother, and endeavoured to induce him to make war on Philip.

Philip, however, declined the contest, and formed a second alliance with Alexander I by giving him his daughter (Alexander I's niece) Cleopatra
Cleopatra of Macedonia
Cleopatra of Macedon , or Cleopatra of Epirus, was an Epirote-Macedonian princess and later queen regent of Epirus. The daughter of King Philip of Macedon and Olympias of Epirus, she was the only full sibling of Alexander the Great...

 in marriage (336 BC). At the wedding Philip was assassinated by Pausanias of Orestis. In 334 BC, Alexander I, at the request of the Greek colony of Taras
Taranto
Taranto is a coastal city in Apulia, Southern Italy. It is the capital of the Province of Taranto and is an important commercial port as well as the main Italian naval base....

 (in Magna Graecia
Magna Graecia
Magna Græcia is the name of the coastal areas of Southern Italy on the Tarentine Gulf that were extensively colonized by Greek settlers; particularly the Achaean colonies of Tarentum, Crotone, and Sybaris, but also, more loosely, the cities of Cumae and Neapolis to the north...

), crossed over into Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, to aid them in battle against several Italic tribes
Ancient Italic peoples
Ancient people of Italy are all those people that lived in Italy before the Roman domination.Not all of these various people are linguistically or ethnically closely related...

, the Lucanians and Bruttii
Bruttii
The Bruttii , were an ancient Italic people who inhabited the southern extremity of Italy, from the frontiers of Lucania to the Sicilian Straits and the promontory of Leucopetra, roughly corresponding to modern Calabria.-History:...

. After a victory over the Samnites
Samnium
Samnium is a Latin exonym for a region of south or south and central Italy in Roman times. The name survives in Italian today, but today's territory comprising it is only a small portion of what it once was. The populations of Samnium were called Samnites by the Romans...

 and Lucanians near Paestum
Paestum
Paestum is the classical Roman name of a major Graeco-Roman city in the Campania region of Italy. It is located in the north of Cilento, near the coast about 85 km SE of Naples in the province of Salerno, and belongs to the commune of Capaccio, officially also named...

, 332 BC, he made a treaty with the Romans
Roman Republic
The Roman Republic was the period of the ancient Roman civilization where the government operated as a republic. It began with the overthrow of the Roman monarchy, traditionally dated around 508 BC, and its replacement by a government headed by two consuls, elected annually by the citizens and...

. Success still followed his arms. He took Heraclea
Heraclea (Lucania)
Heraclea was an ancient city of Magna Graecia, situated in Lucania on the Gulf of Tarentum , but a short distance from the sea, and between the rivers Aciris and Siris , the site of which is located in the modern comune of Policoro, Province of Matera, Basilicata,...

  from the Lucanians, and Terina
Terina
Terina is a brand name used by the Norwegian meat processing company Nortura on its frozen and canned food. The production uses raw products from Gilde but is processed through the subsidiary Terina AS. There are processing plants in Namsos, Tynset, Sogndal and Lillehammer...

 and Sipontum from the Bruttii. Through the treachery of some Lucanian exiles, he was compelled to engage under unfavourable circumstances near Padosia
Pandosia (Epirus)
Pandosia was an ancient Greek city of Epirus. It was a colony of Elis, and a town of the Cassopaei in the district of Thesprotia in Epirus, situated upon the river Acheron....

, on the banks of the Acheron
Acheron
The Acheron is a river located in the Epirus region of northwest Greece. It flows into the Ionian Sea in Ammoudia, near Parga.-In mythology:...

, and was killed by the hand of one of the exile
Exile
Exile means to be away from one's home , while either being explicitly refused permission to return and/or being threatened with imprisonment or death upon return...

s, as he was crossing the river. He left a son, Neoptolemus
Neoptolemus II of Epirus
Neoptolemus II of Epirus was a son of Alexander I of Epirus and Cleopatra of Macedonia....

, and a daughter, Cadmea.

In a famous passage that is often considered the first specimen of alternative history, Livy
Livy
Titus Livius — known as Livy in English — was a Roman historian who wrote a monumental history of Rome and the Roman people. Ab Urbe Condita Libri, "Chapters from the Foundation of the City," covering the period from the earliest legends of Rome well before the traditional foundation in 753 BC...

 speculates on what would have been the outcome of a military showdown between Alexander the Great and the Roman Republic
Roman Republic
The Roman Republic was the period of the ancient Roman civilization where the government operated as a republic. It began with the overthrow of the Roman monarchy, traditionally dated around 508 BC, and its replacement by a government headed by two consuls, elected annually by the citizens and...

. He reports there that as Alexander of Epirus lay mortally wounded on the battlefield at Pandosia
Battle of Pandosia
The Battle of Pandosia was fought in 331 BC between a Greek force composed mostly of Macedonians, Epirotes and Tarantines against Southern Italic mountain tribes, including mostly Oscan speaking Samnites, Lucanians, and Bruttii. The Macedonians were led by Alexander of Epirus, the uncle of...

 he compared his fortunes to those of his famous nephew and said that the latter "waged war against women".

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