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Antigonus I

(c. 382—301 bc)


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(c.382–301 bc),

‘the One‐eyed’, Macedonian noble, was prominent under Philip II and governed Greater Phrygia for Alexander 2 the Great (334–323). Victorious over Persian refugees from Issus (332), he remained unchallenged in his satrapy until he fell foul of the regent Perdiccas, whom he denounced to Antipater in Macedon (322), unleashing war. Within half‐a‐dozen years, he had gained control of territory from the Hindu Kush to the Aegean, but his success brought immediate war with erstwhile allies: Cassander, Lysimachus and Ptolemy 1 (315). The ‘Peace of the Dynasts’ (summer 311) briefly ratified the status quo. Antigonus now directed his attention to the Greek world, broadcasting his liking for freedom and autonomy, and ultimately reactivated the Corinthian League as a weapon against Cassander (303/2). Athens welcomed him and his son, Demetrius (Poliorcētēs), with open arms and exaggerated honours (307), and in the following year the two had themselves proclaimed kings. But the achievements belied the propaganda. The invasion of Egypt (306) was abortive, as was Demetrius' year‐long siege of Rhodes (305/4). Finally the coalition of 315 was reforged. At Ipsus (in Phrygia) the combined Antigonid forces were defeated decisively and Antigonus died in battle. His ambitions had been too patent, his resources inadequate to contain the reaction they provoked.

Subjects: Classical Studies.


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