Settlements > Argos



Alexander the Great, while primarily known for his extensive conquests in Asia and the establishment of the Hellenistic world, also had connections and influences in Greek cities, including Argos. Here's an overview of the relationship between Alexander the Great, the Hellenistic period, and Argos:

Background of Argos

  1. Location and Significance:

    • Geography: Argos is located in the northeastern part of the Peloponnese peninsula in Greece.
    • Historical Importance: One of the oldest cities in Greece, Argos played a significant role in Greek history and mythology. It was an important center during the Mycenaean period and continued to be influential in later Greek history.
  2. Political Context:

    • Classical Period: During the Classical period, Argos often found itself in competition with neighboring city-states like Sparta. It had a reputation for maintaining independence and sometimes aligning with Athens against Spartan hegemony.

Alexander the Great and Argos

  1. Greek Campaigns:

    • Consolidation of Power: Before embarking on his Asian campaigns, Alexander needed to secure Greece. Following his father Philip II’s efforts, Alexander continued to consolidate Macedonian control over Greece.
    • League of Corinth: Argos was a member of the League of Corinth, a federation of Greek states created by Philip II in 337 BCE to unite Greece against the Persian Empire. Alexander inherited this federation and used it to gain support for his campaigns.
  2. Role During Alexander’s Reign:

    • Military Contributions: As a member of the League of Corinth, Argos contributed troops and resources to Alexander's campaigns. Greek soldiers, including those from Argos, were part of the Macedonian army that conquered Persia.
    • Political Stability: Alexander’s dominance over Greece ensured that cities like Argos remained stable and relatively peaceful during his reign. This allowed for continued economic and cultural development.

Argos in the Hellenistic Period

  1. Post-Alexander Turmoil:

    • Wars of the Diadochi: After Alexander’s death in 323 BCE, his empire was divided among his generals, leading to the Wars of the Diadochi (Successor Wars). Greece, including Argos, experienced political and military upheaval during this period as various factions vied for control.
    • Macedonian Influence: Argos, like much of Greece, fell under the influence of the Macedonian successors of Alexander, particularly the Antigonid dynasty, which controlled Macedonia and parts of Greece.
  2. Cultural and Economic Development:

    • Hellenistic Influence: During the Hellenistic period, Argos continued to be an important cultural center. The spread of Hellenistic culture brought new architectural styles, artistic expressions, and intellectual influences to the city.
    • Economic Prosperity: Argos benefited from the increased trade and economic activity of the Hellenistic world. Its strategic location in the Peloponnese made it a key player in regional trade networks.

Significant Events in Argos During the Hellenistic Period

  1. Battle of Argos (272 BCE):

    • Conflict with Sparta: One significant event was the Battle of Argos in 272 BCE, where Pyrrhus of Epirus, a successor of Alexander, clashed with the Spartan forces. This battle was part of Pyrrhus’s campaign to control Greece, showcasing the continued instability and power struggles of the period.
    • Pyrrhus’s Death: Pyrrhus was killed in Argos during this conflict, marking a significant turning point in the power dynamics of the region.
  2. Cultural Contributions:

    • Theater and Arts: Argos was known for its contributions to Greek theater and arts. The city’s theaters hosted performances of Greek tragedies and comedies, continuing the cultural traditions of the Classical period into the Hellenistic era.
    • Education and Philosophy: The Hellenistic period saw the flourishing of philosophical schools and educational institutions, and Argos was part of this intellectual milieu, contributing to the broader Greek and Hellenistic cultural landscape.


  1. Historical Impact:

    • Continuity and Change: The Hellenistic period in Argos represented a time of both continuity and change. While the city maintained its historical significance and cultural traditions, it also adapted to the new political realities and cultural influences of the Hellenistic world.
    • Integration into the Roman World: Eventually, Argos, like the rest of Greece, was integrated into the Roman Republic and later the Roman Empire, continuing its legacy as a significant urban center.
  2. Cultural Heritage:

    • Archaeological Significance: Today, Argos is an important archaeological site, with remains from the Mycenaean, Classical, and Hellenistic periods providing valuable insights into the city’s long and varied history.
    • Historical Narratives: The history of Argos during the Hellenistic period is a testament to the city’s resilience and adaptability in the face of changing political and cultural landscapes.


While Argos was not directly a focal point of Alexander the Great's campaigns, its role as part of the League of Corinth and its contributions to his military efforts were significant. During the Hellenistic period, Argos continued to be an important cultural and economic center, navigating the complexities of the Successor Wars and the broader Hellenistic world. Its legacy as a historical and cultural hub continued well into the Roman period, reflecting the enduring influence of its rich past.


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