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Lӯsimachus

(c. 355—281 bc)


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(c.355–281 bc),

Macedonian from Pella, was prominent in the entourage of Alexander (2) the Great, achieving the rank of Bodyguard by 328. At Babylon (323) he received Thrace as his province, establishing himself with some difficulty against the dynast, Seuthes (322). He consolidated his power in the eastern coastal districts, but he made no mark in the wars of the Successors (see diadochi) until in 302 he invaded Asia Minor and fought the delaying campaign against Antigonus I which enabled Seleucus I to bring up his army for the decisive battle of Ipsus (301). His reward was Asia Minor north of the Taurus, the source of immense wealth, which he husbanded with legendary tight‐fistedness and a degree of fiscal rapacity. These new reserves (Pergamum alone held 9,000 talents) supported his impressive coinage and allowed him to consolidate in Europe, where he extended his boundaries north until he was captured by the Getic king, and forced to surrender his Transdanubian acquisitions (292). In 287 he joined Pyrrhus in expelling Demetrius, son of Antigonus, from Macedon and two years later occupied the entire kingdom. His writ now ran from the Epirote border to the Taurus, but dynastic intrigue proved his nemesis, when he killed his heir at the instigation of his second wife, and alienated his nobility (283). Seleucus was invited to intervene and again invaded Asia Minor. The decisive battle at Corupedium (281) cost Lysimachus his life. Asia passed to the Seleucids while Macedonia dissolved into anarchy.

Subjects: Classical Studies.


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