Antipater

Antipater

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Antipater was a Macedonian general and a supporter of kings 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 Alexander the Great. In 320 BC, he became Regent
Regent
A regent, from the Latin regens "one who reigns", is a person selected to act as head of state because the ruler is a minor, not present, or debilitated. Currently there are only two ruling Regencies in the world, sovereign Liechtenstein and the Malaysian constitutive state of Terengganu...

 of all of Alexander's Empire. Antipater was one of the sons of a Macedonian nobleman called Iollas or Iolaus and his family were distant collateral relatives to the Argead dynasty
Argead dynasty
The Argead dynasty was an ancient Greek royal house. They were the ruling dynasty of Macedonia from about 700 to 310 BC. Their tradition, as described in ancient Greek historiography, traced their origins to Argos, in southern Greece...

. Antipater was originally from the Macedonian city of Paliura; had a brother called Cassander
Cassander (brother of Antipater)
Cassander was a Greek Macedonian nobleman that lived in the 4th century BC.Cassander was the son of Iolaus by an unnamed mother and brother of the powerful Regent and general Antipater. Cassander’s family were distant collateral relatives to the Argead dynasty...

; was the paternal uncle of Cassander’s child Antigone and was the maternal great uncle of Berenice I of Egypt
Berenice I of Egypt
Berenice I was a Greek Macedonian noblewoman and through her marriage to Ptolemy I Soter, became the first Queen of the Ptolemaic dynasty of Egypt.-Family:...

. Antipater had 10 children from various unknown wives. His daughters were: Phila, Eurydice of Egypt
Eurydice of Egypt
Eurydice was daughter of Antipater and wife of Ptolemy, the son of Lagus. The period of her marriage is not mentioned by any ancient writer, but it is probable that it took place shortly after the partition of Triparadisus, and the appointment of Antipater to the regency, 321 BC. She was the...

 and Nicaea of Macedon, while his sons were: Iollas
Iollas
Iollas , son of Antipater, and brother of Cassander, king of Macedon. He was one of the royal youths who, according to the Macedonian custom, held offices about the king's person, and was cup-bearer to Alexander the Great at the period of his last illness...

, Cassander
Cassander
Cassander , King of Macedonia , was a son of Antipater, and founder of the Antipatrid dynasty...

, Pleistarchus, Phillip, Nicanor, Alexarchus and Triparadeisus.

Career under Philip and Alexander


Nothing is known of his early career until 342 BC, when he was appointed by Philip to govern Macedon
Macedon
Macedonia or Macedon was an ancient kingdom, centered in the northeastern part of the Greek peninsula, bordered by Epirus to the west, Paeonia to the north, the region of Thrace to the east and Thessaly to the south....

 as his regent while the former left for three years of hard and successful campaigning against Thracian
Thrace
Thrace is a historical and geographic area in southeast Europe. As a geographical concept, Thrace designates a region bounded by the Balkan Mountains on the north, Rhodope Mountains and the Aegean Sea on the south, and by the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara on the east...

 and Scythia
Scythia
In antiquity, Scythian or Scyths were terms used by the Greeks to refer to certain Iranian groups of horse-riding nomadic pastoralists who dwelt on the Pontic-Caspian steppe...

ns tribes, which extended Macedonian rule as far as the Hellespont. In 342 BC, when the Athenians
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

 tried to assume control of the Euboea
Euboea
Euboea is the second largest Greek island in area and population, after Crete. The narrow Euripus Strait separates it from Boeotia in mainland Greece. In general outline it is a long and narrow, seahorse-shaped island; it is about long, and varies in breadth from to...

n towns and expel the pro-Macedonian rulers, he sent Macedonian troops to stop them. In the autumn of the same year, Antipater went to Delphi
Delphi
Delphi is both an archaeological site and a modern town in Greece on the south-western spur of Mount Parnassus in the valley of Phocis.In Greek mythology, Delphi was the site of the Delphic oracle, the most important oracle in the classical Greek world, and a major site for the worship of the god...

, as Philip's representative in the Amphictyonic League
Amphictyonic League
In the Archaic period of ancient Greece, an amphictyony , a "league of neighbors", or Amphictyonic League was an ancient association of Greek tribes formed in the dim past, before the rise of the Greek polis...

, a religious organization to which Macedon had been admitted in 346 BC.

After the triumphal Macedonian victory at the Battle of Chaeronea
Battle of Chaeronea (338 BC)
The Battle of Chaeronea was fought in 338 BC, near the city of Chaeronea in Boeotia, between the forces of Philip II of Macedon and an alliance of Greek city-states...

 in 338 BC, Antipater was sent as ambassador to Athens (337–336 BC) to negotiate a peace treaty and return the bones of the Athenians who had fallen in the battle.

He started as a great friend to both the young Alexander and the boy's mother, 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...

; there were even rumours that he was Alexander's father. He aided Alexander in the struggle to secure his succession after Philip's death, in 336 BC.

He joined Parmenion
Parmenion
Parmenion was a Macedonian general in the service of Philip II of Macedon and Alexander the Great, murdered on a suspected false charge of treason....

 in advising Alexander the Great not to set out on his Asiatic expedition until he had provided by marriage for the succession to the throne. On the king's departure in 334 BC, he was left regent in Macedonia and made "general (strategos) of Europe", positions he held until 323 BC. The European front was to prove initially quite agitated, and Antipater also had to send reinforcements to the king, as he did while the king was at Gordium
Gordium
Gordium was the capital city of ancient Phrygia. It was located at the site of modern Yassıhüyük, about 70–80 km southwest of Ankara , in the immediate vicinity of Polatlı district. The site was excavated by Gustav and Alfred Körte in 1900 and then by the University of Pennsylvania Museum,...

 in the winter of 334–333 BC.

The Persian
Achaemenid Empire
The Achaemenid Empire , sometimes known as First Persian Empire and/or Persian Empire, was founded in the 6th century BCE by Cyrus the Great who overthrew the Median confederation...

 fleet
Naval fleet
A fleet, or naval fleet, is a large formation of warships, and the largest formation in any navy. A fleet at sea is the direct equivalent of an army on land....

 under Memnon of Rhodes
Memnon of Rhodes
Memnon of Rhodes was the commander of the Greek mercenaries working for the Persian king Darius III when Alexander the Great of Macedonia invaded Persia in 334 BC. He commanded the mercenaries at the Battle of the Granicus River, where his troops were massacred by the victorious Macedonians...

 and Pharnabazus was apparently a considerable danger for Antipater, bringing war in the Aegean sea
Aegean Sea
The Aegean Sea[p] is an elongated embayment of the Mediterranean Sea located between the southern Balkan and Anatolian peninsulas, i.e., between the mainlands of Greece and Turkey. In the north, it is connected to the Marmara Sea and Black Sea by the Dardanelles and Bosporus...

 and threatening war in Europe. Luckily for the regent, Memnon died during the siege of Mytilene
Mytilene
Mytilene is a town and a former municipality on the island of Lesbos, North Aegean, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Lesbos, of which it is a municipal unit. It is the capital of the island of Lesbos. Mytilene, whose name is pre-Greek, is built on the...

 on the isle of Lesbos
Lesbos Island
Lesbos is a Greek island located in the northeastern Aegean Sea. It has an area of with 320 kilometres of coastline, making it the third largest Greek island. It is separated from Turkey by the narrow Mytilini Strait....

 and the remaining fleet dispersed in 333 BC, after Alexander's victory at the Battle of Issus
Battle of Issus
The Battle of Issus occurred in southern Anatolia, in November 333 BC. The invading troops, led by the young Alexander of Macedonia, defeated the army personally led by Darius III of Achaemenid Persia in the second great battle for primacy in Asia...

.

More dangerous enemies were nearer home; tribes in Thrace
Thrace
Thrace is a historical and geographic area in southeast Europe. As a geographical concept, Thrace designates a region bounded by the Balkan Mountains on the north, Rhodope Mountains and the Aegean Sea on the south, and by the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara on the east...

 rebelled in 332 BC, led by Memnon of Thrace, the Macedonian governor of the region, followed shortly by the revolt of Agis III
Agis III
Agis III , son of Archidamus III, was the 20th Eurypontid king of Sparta.He succeeded his father in 338 BC, on the very day of the battle of Chaeronea...

, king of Sparta
Sparta
Sparta or Lacedaemon, was a prominent city-state in ancient Greece, situated on the banks of the River Eurotas in Laconia, in south-eastern Peloponnese. It emerged as a political entity around the 10th century BC, when the invading Dorians subjugated the local, non-Dorian population. From c...

.

The Spartans, who were not members of the League of Corinth
League of Corinth
The League of Corinth, also sometimes referred to as Hellenic League was a federation of Greek states created by Philip II of Macedon during the winter of 338 BC/337 BC after the Battle of Chaeronea, to facilitate his use of military forces in his war against Persia...

 and had not participated in Alexander's expedition, saw in the Asian campaign the long awaited chance to take back control over the Peloponnese
Peloponnese
The Peloponnese, Peloponnesos or Peloponnesus , is a large peninsula , located in a region of southern Greece, forming the part of the country south of the Gulf of Corinth...

 after the disastrous defeats at the Battle of Leuctra
Battle of Leuctra
The Battle of Leuctra was a battle fought on July 6, 371 BC, between the Boeotians led by Thebans and the Spartans along with their allies amidst the post-Corinthian War conflict. The battle took place in the neighbourhood of Leuctra, a village in Boeotia in the territory of Thespiae...

 and Battle of Mantinea
Battle of Mantinea (362 BC)
The Battle of Mantinea was fought on July 4 362 BC between the Thebans, led by Epaminondas and supported by the Arcadians and the Boeotian league against the Spartans, led by King Agesilaus II and supported by the Eleans, Athenians, and Mantineans...

. The Persians generously funded Sparta's ambitions, making possible the formation of an army 20,000 strong. After assuming virtual control of Crete
Crete
Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, and one of the thirteen administrative regions of Greece. It forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece while retaining its own local cultural traits...

, Agis tried to build an anti-Macedonian front. While Athens remained neutral, the Achaea
Achaea
Achaea is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the region of West Greece. It is situated in the northwestern part of the Peloponnese peninsula. The capital is Patras. The population exceeds 300,000 since 2001.-Geography:...

ns, Arcadia
Arcadia
Arcadia is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the administrative region of Peloponnese. It is situated in the central and eastern part of the Peloponnese peninsula. It takes its name from the mythological character Arcas. In Greek mythology, it was the home of the god Pan...

ns and Elis
Elis
Elis, or Eleia is an ancient district that corresponds with the modern Elis peripheral unit...

 became his allies, with the important exception of Megalopolis
Megalopolis, Greece
Megalópoli is a town in the western part of the peripheral unit of Arcadia, southern Greece. It is located in the same site as ancient Megalopolis . "Megalopolis" is a Greek word for Great city. When it was founded, in 371 BC, it was the first urbanization in rustic and primitive Arcadia. In...

, the staunchly anti-Spartan capital of Arcadia. Agis started in 331 BC to besiege the city with his entire army, generating great alarm in Macedon.

So to not have two enemies simultaneously, Antipater pardoned Memnon and even let him keep his office in Thrace, while great sums of money were sent him by Alexander. This helped to create, with Thessalian
Thessaly
Thessaly is a traditional geographical region and an administrative region of Greece, comprising most of the ancient region of the same name. Before the Greek Dark Ages, Thessaly was known as Aeolia, and appears thus in Homer's Odyssey....

 help and many mercenaries, a force double that of Agis, which Antipater in person led south in 330 BC to confront the Spartans. In the spring of that year, the two armies clashed near Megalopolis
Battle of Megalopolis
The Battle of Megalopolis was fought in 331 BC between Spartan led forces and Macedonia. Alexander's regent Antipater led the Macedonians to victory over King Agis III.-Background:...

. Agis fell with many of his best soldiers, but not without inflicting heavy losses on the Macedonians.

Utterly defeated, the Spartans sued for peace; the latter's answer was to negotiate directly with the League of Corinth
League of Corinth
The League of Corinth, also sometimes referred to as Hellenic League was a federation of Greek states created by Philip II of Macedon during the winter of 338 BC/337 BC after the Battle of Chaeronea, to facilitate his use of military forces in his war against Persia...

, but the Spartan emissaries preferred to treat directly with Alexander, who imposed on Sparta's allies a penalty of 120 talents
Talent (weight)
The "talent" was one of several ancient units of mass, as well as corresponding units of value equivalent to these masses of a precious metal. It was approximately the mass of water required to fill an amphora. A Greek, or Attic talent, was , a Roman talent was , an Egyptian talent was , and a...

 and the entrance of Sparta in the league.

Alexander appears to have been quite jealous of Antipater's victory; according to Plutarch
Plutarch
Plutarch then named, on his becoming a Roman citizen, Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus , c. 46 – 120 AD, was a Greek historian, biographer, essayist, and Middle Platonist known primarily for his Parallel Lives and Moralia...

, the king wrote in a letter to his viceroy: "It seems, my friends that while we have been conquering Darius here, there has been a battle of mice in Arcadia".

Antipater was disliked for supporting oligarch
Oligarchy
Oligarchy is a form of power structure in which power effectively rests with an elite class distinguished by royalty, wealth, family ties, commercial, and/or military legitimacy...

s and tyrant
Tyrant
A tyrant was originally one who illegally seized and controlled a governmental power in a polis. Tyrants were a group of individuals who took over many Greek poleis during the uprising of the middle classes in the sixth and seventh centuries BC, ousting the aristocratic governments.Plato and...

s in Greece, but he also worked with the League of Corinth, built by Philip. In addition, his previously close relationship with the ambitious 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...

 greatly deteriorated. Whether from jealousy or from the necessity of guarding against the evil consequences of the dissension between Olympias and Antipater, in 324 BC, Alexander ordered the latter to lead fresh troops into Asia, while Craterus
Craterus
Craterus was a Macedonian general under Alexander the Great and one of the Diadochi.He was the son of a Macedonian nobleman named Alexander from Orestis and brother of admiral Amphoterus. Craterus commanded the phalanx and all infantry on the left wing in Battle of Issus...

, in charge of discharged veterans returning home, was appointed to take over the regency in Macedon. When Alexander suddenly died in Babylon
Babylon
Babylon was an Akkadian city-state of ancient Mesopotamia, the remains of which are found in present-day Al Hillah, Babil Province, Iraq, about 85 kilometers south of Baghdad...

 in 323 BC however, Antipater was able to forestall the transfer of power.

The fight for succession


The new regent
Regent
A regent, from the Latin regens "one who reigns", is a person selected to act as head of state because the ruler is a minor, not present, or debilitated. Currently there are only two ruling Regencies in the world, sovereign Liechtenstein and the Malaysian constitutive state of Terengganu...

, Perdiccas
Perdiccas
Perdiccas was one of Alexander the Great's generals. After Alexander's death in 323 BC he became regent of all Alexander's empire.Arrian tells us he was son of Orontes, a descendant of the independent princes of the Macedonian province of Orestis...

, left Antipater in control of Greece
Hellenistic Greece
In the context of Ancient Greek art, architecture, and culture, Hellenistic Greece corresponds to the period between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the annexation of the classical Greek heartlands by Rome in 146 BC...

. Antipater faced revolts in Athens
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

, Aetolia
Aetolia
Aetolia is a mountainous region of Greece on the north coast of the Gulf of Corinth, forming the eastern part of the modern prefecture of Aetolia-Acarnania.-Geography:...

, and Thessaly
Thessaly
Thessaly is a traditional geographical region and an administrative region of Greece, comprising most of the ancient region of the same name. Before the Greek Dark Ages, Thessaly was known as Aeolia, and appears thus in Homer's Odyssey....

 that made up the Lamian War
Lamian War
The “Lamian War”, also referred to as the “Hellenic War” and the “War against Antipater”, was fought by the Athenians and their Aetolian, Locrian, and Phocian allies against the Macedonians in Thessaly during the winter of 323–322 BC...

, in which southern Greeks attempted to re-assert their independence. He defeated them at the Battle of Crannon
Battle of Crannon
The Battle of Crannon , fought between the Macedonian forces of Antipater and Craterus and rebellious Greek forces led by the Athenians, was the decisive battle of the Lamian War. Macedonian victory, though militarily unspectacular, convinced the Greeks to sue for peace...

 in 322 BC, with Craterus' help, and broke up the rebellion. As part of this he imposed oligarchy upon Athens and demanded the surrender of Demosthenes
Demosthenes
Demosthenes was a prominent Greek statesman and orator of ancient Athens. His orations constitute a significant expression of contemporary Athenian intellectual prowess and provide an insight into the politics and culture of ancient Greece during the 4th century BC. Demosthenes learned rhetoric by...

, who committed suicide
Suicide
Suicide is the act of intentionally causing one's own death. Suicide is often committed out of despair or attributed to some underlying mental disorder, such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, alcoholism, or drug abuse...

 to escape capture. Later in the same year Antipater and Craterus were engaged in a war against the Aetolians when he received the news from Antigonus
Antigonus I Monophthalmus
Antigonus I Monophthalmus , son of Philip from Elimeia, was a Macedonian nobleman, general, and satrap under Alexander the Great. During his early life he served under Philip II, and he was a major figure in the Wars of the Diadochi after Alexander's death, declaring himself king in 306 BC and...

 in Asia Minor
Anatolia
Anatolia is a geographic and historical term denoting the westernmost protrusion of Asia, comprising the majority of the Republic of Turkey...

 that Perdiccas contemplated making himself outright ruler of the empire. Antipater and Craterus accordingly conclude peace with the Aetolians and went to war against Perdiccas, allying themselves with Ptolemy
Ptolemy I Soter
Ptolemy I Soter I , also known as Ptolemy Lagides, c. 367 BC – c. 283 BC, was a Macedonian general under Alexander the Great, who became ruler of Egypt and founder of both the Ptolemaic Kingdom and the Ptolemaic Dynasty...

, the satrap
Satrap
Satrap was the name given to the governors of the provinces of the ancient Median and Achaemenid Empires and in several of their successors, such as the Sassanid Empire and the Hellenistic empires....

 of Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

. Antipater crossed over to Asia in 321 BC. While still in Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

, he received information that Perdiccas had been murdered by his own soldiers. Craterus fell in battle against Eumenes
Eumenes
Eumenes of Cardia was a Thracian general and scholar. He participated in the wars of the Diadochi as a supporter of the Macedonian Argead royal house.-Career:...

 (Diodorus xviii. 25-39).

Regent of the Empire


In the treaty of Triparadisus (321 BC) Antipater participated in a new division of Alexander's great kingdom. He appointed himself supreme regent of all Alexander's empire and was left in control of Greece as guardian
Legal guardian
A legal guardian is a person who has the legal authority to care for the personal and property interests of another person, called a ward. Usually, a person has the status of guardian because the ward is incapable of caring for his or her own interests due to infancy, incapacity, or disability...

 of Alexander's son Alexander IV
Alexander IV of Macedon
Alexander IV Aegus was the son of Alexander the Great and Princess Roxana of Bactria.-Birth:...

 and brother Philip III
Philip III of Macedon
Philip III Arrhidaeus was the king of Macedonia from after June 11, 323 BC until his death. He was a son of King Philip II of Macedonia by Philinna of Larissa, allegedly a Thessalian dancer, and a half-brother of Alexander the Great...

. Having quelled a mutiny of his troops and commissioned Antigonus to continue the war against Eumenes and the other partisans of Perdiccas, Antipater returned to Macedonia, arriving there in 320 BC (Justin
Justin
Justin is a given name. It may refer to:People* Justin , a common given name* Justin , 3rd century Roman historian* Justin I , or Flavius Iustinius Augustus, an Eastern Roman Emperor who ruled from 518 to 527...

 xiii. 6). Soon after, he was seized by an illness which terminated his active career, and died, leaving the regency to the aged Polyperchon
Polyperchon
Polyperchon , son of Simmias from Tymphaia in Epirus, was a Macedonian general who served under Philip II and Alexander the Great, accompanying Alexander throughout his long journeys. After the return to Babylon, Polyperchon was sent back to Macedon with Craterus, but had only reached Cilicia by...

, passing over his son Cassander
Cassander
Cassander , King of Macedonia , was a son of Antipater, and founder of the Antipatrid dynasty...

, a measure which gave rise to much confusion and ill-feeling.

Alexander's assassin?


Though the debate surrounding the cause of Alexander's sudden death has never been clearly resolved, all of our ancient sources—even those who reject the notion of murder and assign the death to natural causes—mention that rumours abounded in the late fourth century BC that Antipater had been responsible for poisoning the great king. Shortly before Alexander's demise, Antipater's position had recently come under threat, as Alexander's mother Olympias had been writing to her son that Antipater was fomenting unrest and disloyalty in Macedon. Alexander had summoned him to Babylon to answer these charges, but, citing his fear of an uprising in Greece, he had sent his son Cassander
Cassander
Cassander , King of Macedonia , was a son of Antipater, and founder of the Antipatrid dynasty...

 in his place. Cassander—so the rumour goes—then had his younger brother Iollas
Iollas
Iollas , son of Antipater, and brother of Cassander, king of Macedon. He was one of the royal youths who, according to the Macedonian custom, held offices about the king's person, and was cup-bearer to Alexander the Great at the period of his last illness...

, Alexander's butler, poison the king. Plutarch
Plutarch
Plutarch then named, on his becoming a Roman citizen, Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus , c. 46 – 120 AD, was a Greek historian, biographer, essayist, and Middle Platonist known primarily for his Parallel Lives and Moralia...

, who does not believe that Alexander was murdered, cites as the authority behind these rumours one Hagnothemis
Hagnothemis
According to Plutarch, Hagnothemis was the authority upon which rested the belief that Antipater poisoned Alexander the Great, after he had heard King Antigonus speak of it...

, who overheard Antigonus discuss the matter.

Literal works


Antipater was a student of Aristotle
Aristotle
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology...

 and Aristotle named him as executor-in-charge of his will, when he died in 322 BC.
According to Suidas, Antipater left a compilation of letters in 2 books and a history, called The Illyrian Deeds of Perdikkas.(Περδίκκου πράξεις Ιλλυριακαί)

External links