People > Polyperchon
BackgroundPolyperchon (Greek: Πολυπέρχων; b. unknown – d. after 304, possibly into 3rd century BC), was a Macedonian general who served both Philip II and Alexander the Great and then played an active role in the ensuing battles for control between Alexander's generals (the Wars of the Diadochi).Polyperchon was a son of Simmias from Tymphaia in Epirus. He served under Philip II and Alexander the Great, accompanying Alexander throughout his long journeys. After the Battle of Issus (333 BC), Polyperchon was given command of the Tymphaean battalion of the phalanx which he retained until 324 BC.After his return to Babylon, Polyperchon (along with other veterans) 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 onto Greece.As Craterus' second in command Polyperchon acted as governor of Macedon and helped Antipater to defeat the Greek rebellion in the Lamian War. Polyperchon defeated the Thessalian cavalry of Menon, which was hitherto considered practically invincible.Following the First War of the Diadochi, Polyperchon remained in Macedon while Antipater travelled to Asia Minor to assert his regency over the whole empire.
See MacedonUpon Antipater's death in 319 BC, 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 disabled 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 BC, taking Roxana and the boy king into his custody.