People > Amyntas II of Macedon

Amyntas II of Macedon


Amyntas II of Macedon, often known as Amyntas the Little, is a relatively obscure figure in the history of Macedon. His reign, if it occurred at all, is not well-documented, and there is some confusion among historians about his existence and role. Here’s an exploration of the limited information available about Amyntas II and the context in which he might have lived:

Historical Context

  1. Macedonian Kingdom:

    • During the early history of the Macedonian kingdom, records are sparse, and much of what is known comes from later historians who may have confused or conflated different rulers and events.
    • The Argead dynasty, to which Amyntas II purportedly belonged, was the ruling family of Macedon, claiming descent from the mythological hero Heracles.
  2. Lineage:

    • Amyntas II is believed to be the son of Alexander I of Macedon, who reigned from around 498 to 454 BCE. Alexander I expanded Macedonian territory and increased its influence.
    • The exact position of Amyntas II within the dynasty is unclear, and there is debate over whether he actually ruled as king or if his existence has been conflated with other members of the royal family.

Ambiguities and Confusions

  1. Historical Records:

    • The historical records from this period are fragmentary and often contradictory. Later historians such as Herodotus, Thucydides, and others provide some insights but are not always consistent.
    • There is some confusion over the numbering and identification of Macedonian kings named Amyntas. Amyntas I, III, and IV are better documented, but Amyntas II remains enigmatic.
  2. Possible Reign:

    • If Amyntas II did exist and ruled, it would have been during a time of consolidation and expansion for the Macedonian kingdom, possibly in the mid-5th century BCE.
    • His reign, if it occurred, might have been brief and overshadowed by more prominent rulers of the Argead dynasty, such as Perdiccas II and Archelaus I.

Speculation and Historical Significance

  1. Dynastic Role:

    • Some historians speculate that Amyntas II might have played a role in the internal politics and dynastic struggles of the early Argead dynasty.
    • His position, whether as a king or a prince, would have influenced the succession and stability of the Macedonian throne.
  2. Legacy and Influence:

    • The legacy of Amyntas II, if he existed, would be primarily in his contribution to the continuity of the Argead dynasty.
    • His potential role in the lineage might have helped shape the future leadership of Macedon, leading to the more well-documented reigns of later kings.


Amyntas II of Macedon remains a shadowy figure in the history of the Macedonian kingdom. The paucity of reliable records and the confusion among ancient historians make it difficult to provide a clear account of his life and reign. If he did exist and rule, his significance lies in his place within the Argead dynasty and the early history of Macedon. Further research and archaeological discoveries might one day shed more light on this enigmatic figure and clarify his role in the development of the Macedonian kingdom.


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