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Macedon

Successors of Alexander the Great

The Macedonian generals carved the empire up after Alexander's death (323 B.C.); these were the successors (the Diadochi), founders of states and dynasties—notably Antipater, Perdiccas, Ptolemy I, Seleucus I, Antigonus I, and Lysimachus. They had armies largely Macedonian and Greek in personnel, and most of them founded cities with colonies of their soldiers. Thus began the remarkable spread of the Hellenistic (Greek, rather than Macedonian) civilization. All these armies constituted a fatal drain on the population of Macedon. Macedon, with Greece as a dependency, was one of the states carved out of the Alexandrian empire. Almost immediately, however, there was struggle for the hold over Greece and even over Macedon itself. Cassander took (319–316 B.C.) Macedon and held it until his death (297); he refounded Salonica (now Thessaloníki). After a period of short-lived attempts by Demetrius I, Pyrrhus of Epirus, Lysimachus, and others to hold Macedon, Antigonus II established himself as king. He fought off the Galatian invaders and used his long reign (277–239 B.C.) to restore Macedon economically. There was constant trouble with the Greek city-states; many of them regained independence, but Antigonus III (reigned 229–221 B.C.), another strong king, reestablished Macedonian hegemony.

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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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