People > Lysimachus

Lysimachus

Background

LYSIMACHUS (c. 355-281 B.C.), Macedonian general, son of Agathocles, was a citizen of Pella in Macedonia. During Alexander's Persian campaigns he was one of his immediate bodyguard and distinguished himself in India. After Alexander's death he was appointed to the government of Thrace and the Chersonese. For a long time he was chiefly occupied with fighting against the Odrysian king Seuthes. In 315 he joined Cassander, Ptolemy and Seleucus against Antigonus, who, however, diverted his attention by stirring up Thracian and Scythian tribes against him.

In 309, he founded Lysimachia in a commanding situation on the neck connecting the Chersonese with the mainland. He followed the example of Antigonus in taking the title of king. In 302 when the second alliance between Cassander, Ptolemy and Seleucus was made, Lysimachus, reinforced by troops from Cassander, entered Asia Minor, where he met with little resistance. On the approach of Antigonus he retired into winter quarters near Heraclea, marrying its widowed queen Amastris, a Persian princess. Seleucus joined him in 301, and at the battle of Ipsus Antigonus was slain.

His dominions were divided among the victors, Lysimachus receiving the greater part of Asia Minor. Feeling that Seleucus was becoming dangerously great, he now allied himself with Ptolemy, marrying his daughter Arsinoe. Amastris, who had divorced herself from him, returned to Heraclea. When Antigonus's son Demetrius renewed hostilities (297), during his absence in Greece, Lysimachus seized his towns in Asia Minor, but in 294 concluded a peace whereby Demetrius was recognized as ruler of Macedonia. He tried to carry his power beyond the Danube, but was defeated and taken prisoner by the Getae, who, however, set him free on amicable terms.

Demetrius subsequently threatened Thrace, but had to retire in consequence of'a rising in Boeotia, and an attack from Pyrrhus of Epirus. In 288 Lysimachus and Pyrrhus in turn invaded Macedonia, and drove Demetrius out of the country. Pyrrhus was at first allowed to remain in possession of Macedonia with the title of king, but in 285 he was expelled by Lysimachus. Domestic troubles embittered the last years of Lysimachus's life. Amastris had been murdered by her two sons; Lysimachus treacherously put them to death. On his return Arsinoé asked the gift of Heraclea, and he granted her request, though he had promised to free the city.

In 284 Arsinoé, desirous of gaining the succession for her sons in preference to Agathocles (the eldest son of Lysimachus), intrigued against him with the help of her brother Ptolemy Ceraunus; they accused. him of conspiring with Seleucus to seize the throne, and he was put to death. This atrocious deed of Lysimachus aroused great indignation. Many of the cities of Asia revolted, and his most trusted friends deserted him. The widow of Agathocles fled to Seleucus, who at once invaded the territory of Lysimachus in Asia. Lysimachus crossed the Hellespont, and in 281 a decisive battle took place at the plain of Corus (Corupedion) in Lydia. Lysimachus was killed; after some days his body, watched by a faithful dog, was found on the field, and given up to his son Alexander, by whom it was interred at Lysimachia.

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

Sources

See Arrian, Anab. v. 13, vi. 28; justin xv. 3, 4, xvii. 1; Quintus Curtius v. 3, x. 30; Diod. Sic. xviii. 3; Polybius v. 67; Plutarch, Demetrius, 31. 52, Pyrrhus, 12; Ap ian, Syriana, 62; Thirlwall, History of Greece, vol. viii. (1847); P. Mahaffy, Story of Alexander's Empire; Droysen, Hellenismus (znd ed., 1877); A. Holm, Griechische Geschichte, vol. iv. (1894); B. Niese, Gesch. d. griech. u. maked. Staaten, vols. i. and ii. (1893, 1899); J. Beloch, Griech. Gesch. vol. iii. (1904); Hiinerwadel, Forschungen zur Gesch. des Koni s Lysimachus (1900); Possenti, Il Re Lisimaco di Tracia (1901); Ghione, Note sul regno di Lisimaco (Atti d. real. Aocad. di Torino, xxxix.); and Macedonian Empire.

Primary Sources

Secondary Sources

1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 17

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