People > Meleager

Meleager

Background

Meleager (Greek: Mελέαγρος Meleagros; died 323 BC) was a Macedonian officer who served Alexander the Great with distinction. Meleager, son of Neoptolemus, is first mentioned in the war against the Getae (335 BC). At the Battle of the Granicus in the following year (334 BC), he commanded one of the divisions (ταξεις) of the phalanx, a post which he afterwards continued to hold apparently throughout the campaigns in Asia. He was appointed, together with Coenus and Ptolemy, the son of Seleucus, to command the newly married troops which were sent home from Caria to spend the winter in Macedon, and rejoined Alexander at Gordium in the following summer (333 BC).

He was present at the battles of Issus and Gaugamela, and was associated with Craterus in the task of dislodging the enemy who guarded the passes into Persia. He took part in the passage of the Hydaspes and in various other operations in India. Despite a long series of services, Alexander did not promote him to any higher or more confidential position, nor does Meleager take part in any separate command of importance.

After the death of Alexander (323 BC), he was the first to propose in the council of officers, that either Arrhidaeus or Heracles, the son of Barsine, should at once be chosen as king, rather than waiting to see if the pregnant Roxana would bear a son.[2] The Roman historian, Curtius, states that Meleager broke out into violent invectives against the ambition of Perdiccas and then abruptly quit the assembly in order to encourage the soldiery to express their opposition against Perdiccas. The Greek historian, Diodorus, states that Meleager was sent by the assembled generals to appease the clamours and discontent of the troops, but instead of doing so, he joined the mutineers.

Meleager assumed the leadership of the opposition to Perdiccas and his party and placed himself at the head of the infantry, who had declared themselves (possibly at his instigation) in favour of the claims of Arrhidaeus to the vacant throne. Meleager ordered the execution of Perdiccas, but the implementation of this instruction was nullified by the boldness of the regent. The greater part of the cavalry, together with almost all the generals, sided with Perdiccas, and quitting Babylon, established themselves in a separate camp outside the walls of the city. A reconciliation between both sides was achieved, principally thanks to the intervention of Eumenes, and it was agreed that the royal authority should be divided between Arrhidaeus and the expected son of Roxana, and that in the meantime Meleager should be associated with Perdiccas in the regency.

It was impossible that Meleager and Perdiccas should long continue on friendly terms, and Meleager proved no match for Perdiccas. Perdiccas contrived to lull his rival into a sense of security, while he made himself master of Philip Arrhidaeus. Then he struck the first blow. The whole army was assembled under the pretence of a general review. Then the king, at the instigation of Perdiccas, suddenly demanded the surrender and punishment of all the leaders of the recent disorders. The infantry were taken by surprise, with 300 of the alleged mutineers being singled out and executed. Although Meleager was not personally attacked, he fled and took refuge in a temple, where he was pursued and put to death on the orders of Perdiccas.

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

Primary Sources

Arrian, Anabasis Alexandri, i. 4, 14, 20, 24, ii. 8, iii. 11, 18, v. 12; Curtius, Historiae Alexandri Magni, iii. 24, v. 14, vii. 27; Diodorus, Bibliotheca, xvii. 57

Curtius, x. 6-9; Justin, Epitome of Pompeius Trogus, xiii. 2-4; Photius, Bibliotheca, cod. 92; Diodorus, xviii. 2

Secondary Sources

Smith, William (editor); Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, "Meleager (1)", Boston, (1867)

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