People - Ancient Greece: Polyperchon
(394–303 BC) Ancient Macedonian general who served
under Philip II and Alexander the Great.
Polyperchon in Wikipedia
Polyperchon (Greek: Πολυπέρχων) (394–303 BC), 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 the time of Alexander's death in 323 BC. Polyperchon and Craterus continued on to Greece, helping Antipater to defeat the Greek rebellion in the Lamian War. Polyperchon remained in Macedon and, following the First War of the Diadochi remained home as regent of Macedon while Antipater travelled to Asia Minor to assert his regency over the whole Empire.
Upon Antipater's death in 319, Polyperchon was appointed regent and supreme commander of the entire empire but soon fell into conflict with Antipater's son Cassander, who was to have been his chief lieutenant. The two fell into civil war, which quickly spread among all the successors of Alexander, with Polyperchon allying with Eumenes against Cassander, Antigonus and Ptolemy.
Although Polyperchon was initially successful in securing control of the Greek cities, whose freedom he proclaimed, his fleet was destroyed by Antigonus in 318 BC, and Cassander secured control of Athens the next year. Shortly thereafter, Polyperchon was driven from Macedon by Cassander, who took control of the weakling king Philip Arrhidaeus and his wife Eurydice. Polyperchon fled to Epirus, where he joined Alexander's mother Olympias, widow Roxana, and infant son Alexander IV. He formed an alliance with Olympias and King Aeacides of Epirus, and Olympias led an army into Macedon. She was initially successful, defeating and capturing the army of King Philip, whom she had murdered, but soon Cassander returned from the Peloponnesus and captured and murdered her in 316, taking Roxana and the boy king into his custody.
Polyperchon now fled to the Peloponnesus, where he still controlled a few strongpoints, and allied himself with Antigonus, who had by now fallen out with his former allies. Polyperchon soon controlled much of the Peloponnesus, including Corinth and Sicyon. Following the peace treaty of 311 between Antigonus and his enemies, and the murder of the boy-king Alexander and his mother, Polyperchon retained these areas, and when war again broke out between Antigonus and the others, he sent Alexander's natural son Heracles to Polyperchon as a bargaining chip to use against Cassander. Polyperchon, however, decided to break with Antigonus and murdered the boy in 309. He retained control of the Peloponnesus until his death a few years later, but played no further role in politics.
He had a son named Alexander who was a noted general in the Wars of the Diadochi.
Polysperchon in Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities (1898)
（Πολυσπέρχων). A Macedonian, and a distinguished officer of Alexander the Great (Arrian, Anab. iii. 11). In B.C. 323 he was appointed by Alexander II. in command of the army of invalids and veterans, which Craterus had to conduct home to Macedonia. He afterwards served under Antipater in Europe, and so great was the confidence which the latter reposed in him, that Antipater on his death-bed (319 B.C.) appointed Polysperchon to succeed him as regent and guardian of the king, while he assigned to his own son Cassander the subordinate station of Chiliarch. Polysperchon soon became involved in war with Cassander, who was dissatisfied with this arrangement. It was in the course of this war that Polysperchon basely surrendered Phocion to the Athenians, in the hope of securing the adherence of Athens. (See Phocion.) Although Polysperchon was supported by Olympias, and possessed great influence with the Macedonian soldiers, he proved no match for Cassander, and was obliged to yield to him the possession of Macedonia about 316. For the next few years Polysperchon is rarely mentioned, but in 310, he again assumed an important part by reviving the long-forgotten pretensions of Heracles, the son of Alexander and Barsiné, to the throne of Macedonia. Cassander marched against him, but distrusting the fidelity of his own troops, he entered into secret negotiations with Polysperchon, and persuaded the latter, by promises and flatteries, to murder Heracles (Diod.xx. 28). From this time he appears to have served under Cassander; but the period of his death is not mentioned.
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