People > Antipater

Antipater

Background

Antipater (c. 397 – 319 BCE) was a prominent Macedonian general and statesman who played a crucial role during the reigns of Philip II and Alexander the Great, and in the early years of the Hellenistic period following Alexander's death. Antipater was born around 397 BCE in Macedonia. Little is known about his early life, but he rose to prominence under King Philip II of Macedon, Alexander the Great’s father. Antipater was a trusted general and diplomat for Philip II. He played a significant role in Philip’s campaigns to unify and expand Macedonia, contributing to the establishment of the Macedonian Empire.

When Alexander the Great embarked on his campaign to conquer the Persian Empire in 334 BCE, Antipater was appointed as regent of Macedonia and the guardian of Alexander’s interests in Greece. This position gave him significant authority and responsibility, including managing the Macedonian homeland and dealing with potential rebellions. Antipater successfully maintained order in Greece during Alexander’s extended absence. He dealt with several uprisings, including the Spartan-led revolt in 331 BCE, which he suppressed at the Battle of Megalopolis.

The Lamian War (323-322 BCE)

Post-Alexander's Death: Following Alexander’s sudden death in 323 BCE, the Greek city-states, led by Athens, saw an opportunity to revolt against Macedonian rule in what became known as the Lamian War. Antipater played a crucial role in this conflict.

Battle of Thermopylae: Antipater initially faced setbacks, including being blocked at the pass of Thermopylae by Greek forces under Leosthenes. He retreated to the city of Lamia, where he was besieged. The siege of Lamia ended with the arrival of reinforcements led by Leonnatus and later Craterus. Antipater regrouped and decisively defeated the Greek coalition at the Battle of Crannon in 322 BCE, effectively ending the war and reasserting Macedonian dominance over Greece.

Regent and Power Struggles

Regent of the Empire: After Alexander’s death, Antipater was a key player in the power struggles among Alexander’s generals (the Diadochi). At the Partition of Babylon, he was confirmed as regent of Macedonia and Greece, while Perdiccas took control as the regent of the empire.

War with Perdiccas: Tensions among the Diadochi led to conflicts. Antipater formed an alliance with Antigonus, Ptolemy, and Craterus against Perdiccas. Their combined forces ultimately led to Perdiccas’ assassination in 321 BCE.

Settlement at Triparadeisos: In 321 BCE, the Diadochi met at Triparadeisos to reorganize the empire’s territories. Antipater was appointed regent of the entire Macedonian Empire, effectively making him the most powerful figure in the aftermath of Alexander’s death.

Later Years and Death

Antipater’s later years were marked by continued power struggles among the Diadochi. His position as regent was constantly challenged by other ambitious generals. Before his death in 319 BCE, Antipater appointed Polyperchon as his successor, bypassing his own son Cassander, which led to further conflicts among the Macedonian leadership. Antipater died in 319 BCE, leaving behind a turbulent legacy marked by his efforts to maintain stability in Macedonia and Greece during a period of significant upheaval.

Legacy

Antipater is remembered for his military prowess and political acumen. He successfully managed Macedonia’s affairs during Alexander’s campaigns and played a key role in the early struggles for control after Alexander’s death. His actions during the Lamian War and his role as regent helped stabilize the Macedonian Empire during a critical period of transition, although the peace he enforced was temporary as the Diadochi continued to vie for power.

Antipater was a pivotal figure in the late Classical and early Hellenistic periods, serving as a loyal general to Philip II and a capable regent during Alexander the Great’s conquests. His leadership during the Lamian War and his subsequent role in the Diadochi power struggles significantly influenced the course of Macedonian and Greek history in the years following Alexander's death.

Macedon King List

Macedon King List

KingGreekReignDynasty
Caranus (Karanos)Κάρανος808–778 BCEArgaed Dynasty
Coenus (Koinos)Κοινός778–750 BCEArgaed Dynasty
TyrimmasΤυρίμμας750-700 BCEArgaed Dynasty
Perdiccas IΠερδίκκας Αʹ700–678 BCEArgaed Dynasty
Argaeus IἈργαῖος Αʹ678–640 BCEArgaed Dynasty
Philip I of MacedonΦίλιππος Αʹ640–602 BCEArgaed Dynasty
Aeropus IἈέροπος Αʹ602–576 BCEArgaed Dynasty
Alcetas IἈλκέτας Αʹ576–547 BCEArgaed Dynasty
Amyntas IἈμύντας Αʹ547–498 BCEArgaed Dynasty
Alexander IἈλέξανδρος Αʹ498–454 BCEArgaed Dynasty
Alcetas IIἈλκέτας Βʹ454–448 BCEArgaed Dynasty
Perdiccas IIΠερδίκκας Βʹ448–413 BCEArgaed Dynasty
Archelausρχέλαος Αʹ413–399 BCEArgaed Dynasty
Orestes & Aeropus IIὈρέστης & Ἀέροπος Βʹ399–396 BCEArgaed Dynasty
Archelaus IIἈρχέλαος Βʹ396–393 BCEArgaed Dynasty
Amyntas IIἈμύντας Βʹ393 BCEArgaed Dynasty
PausaniasΠαυσανίας393 BCEArgaed Dynasty
Amyntas IIIἈμύντας Γʹ393 BCEArgaed Dynasty
Argaeus IIἈργαῖος Βʹ393–392 BCArgaed Dynasty
Amyntas IIIἈμύντας Γʹ393 BCEArgaed Dynasty
Amyntas IIIἈμύντας Γʹ392–370 BCEArgaed Dynasty
Alexander IIἈλέξανδρος Βʹ370–368 BCEArgaed Dynasty
Perdiccas IIIΠερδίκκας Γʹ368–359 BCEArgaed Dynasty
Ptolemy of Aloros (Regent)Πτολεμαῖος Αʹ368–365 BCEArgaed Dynasty
Amyntas IVἈμύντας Δʹ359–356 BCEArgaed Dynasty of Macedon">Argaed Dynasty
Philip IIΦίλιππος Βʹ359–336 BCEArgaed Dynasty
Alexander III the GreatἈλέξανδρος ὁ Μέγας336–323 BCEArgaed Dynasty
AntipaterἈντίπατρος334–323 BCEArgaed Dynasty
Philip III Arrhidaeus & Alexander IVΦίλιππος Γʹ & Ἀλέξανδρος Δʹ323–310 BCEArgaed Dynasty
PerdiccasΠερδίκκας,323–321 BCEArgaed Dynasty
AntipaterἈντίπατρος,321–319 BCEArgaed Dynasty
PolyperchonΠολυπέρχων,319–317 BCEArgaed Dynasty
CassanderΚάσανδρος,317–305 BCEArgaed Dynasty
CassanderΚάσανδρος,305–297 BCEAntipatrid Dynasty
Philip IVΦίλιππος Δʹ297 BCEAntipatrid Dynasty
Alexander V & Antipater IIΑντίπατρος Β'297–294 BCEAntipatrid Dynasty
Demetrius I PoliorcetesΔημήτριος ο Πολιορκητής306–286 BCEAntigonid Dynasty
Lysimachus & Pyrrhus of EpirusΛυσίμαχος & Πύρρος της Ηπείρου286–281 BCE & 286–285 BCENon-Dynastic Kings
Ptolemy KeraunosΠτολεμαίος Κεραυνός281–279 BCENon-Dynastic Kings
MeleagerΜελέαγρος279 BCENon-Dynastic Kings
Antipater EtesiasἈντίπατρος Ετησίας279 BCEAntipatrid Dynasty
SosthenesΣωσθένης279–276 BCEAntipatrid Dynasty
Antigonus II GonatasΑντίγονος Β' Γονατάς276–274 BCEAntigonid Dynasty
Pyrrhus of EpirusΠύρρος της Ηπείρου274–272 BCENon-Dynastic Kings
Antigonus II GonatasΑντίγονος Β' Γονατάς272–239 BCENon-Dynastic Kings
Demetrius II AetolicusΔημήτριος Β' Αιτωλικός239–229 BCEAntigonid Dynasty
Antigonus III DosonΑντίγονος Γ'229–221 BCEAntigonid Dynasty
Philip VΦίλιππος Ε'221–179 BCEAntigonid Dynasty
PerseusΠερσέας179–167 BCEAntigonid Dynasty
AndriscusἈνδρίσκος150-148 BCENon-Dynastic Kings

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