Antipater (Macedonia)

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Antipater , also known as Antipas , ( ancient Greek Ἀντίπατρος , Latinized . Antipater ; * 398 BC in Paliura , Macedonia; † 319 BC ), son of Iolaos, was a Macedonian general under Philip of Macedonia and Alexander the Great . After the death of the latter, he was one of the most important diadochi . He is the progenitor of the second Macedonian royal house of the Antipatrids .



Antipater belonged to the generation of King Philip II, whom he served as one of the closest confidants ( Hetairoi ). He worked at the Peace of Philocrates in 346 BC. As a negotiator with and received together with Parmenion after the victory in the battle of Chaeronea 338 BC. Attic citizenship granted. Due to his absence due to the war, Antipater temporarily took over the reign of Macedonia for the king.

Immediately after the murder of Philip in 336 BC BC Antipater in full armor led the young Alexander into the theater of Aigai , where he proclaimed him king. When Alexander in 334 BC When he set out on his campaign in Asia, Antipater was left behind as an administrator for Macedonia. In this role he ousted the Queen Mother Olympias , which he made a mortal enemy. Until 331 BC Chr. Alexander captured after taking Syria and Egypt . He probably wanted to wrest the bases of the Persian fleet first, because at the same time there had been uprisings in Greece that were financed with Persian money. As Alexander's strategist, Antipater was able to suppress these uprisings. In 330 BC he defeated the Spartans in a military conflict that Alexander disparagingly dubbedMouse War ”. At Megalopolis , whereby the Spartan king Agis III. fell. Thereupon he convened a Synhedrion of the Corinthian League , at which the further hegemony of Macedonia was affirmed. Antipater renounced a conquest of Sparta, but forced the placement of hostages and a penitential embassy to Alexander in Asia.

Despite his warlike Macedonian character, Antipater was considered an educated man. During his time as regent he was in correspondence with the philosophers Aristippus the Younger and Diogenes of Sinope . He was instructed in the art of rhetoric from the Attic orator Isocrates , whom he knew personally . He was friendly and close to Aristotle , who appointed him executor of his will.

In 324 BC In BC Alexander in Asia appointed the general Krateros to take over the reign of Macedonia, while Antipater was supposed to lead newly raised troops to Babylon . Before Krateros arrived in Macedonia, Alexander died in 323 BC. In Babylon.

Alexander's death

The Alexander historian Arrian reported the immediate rumor that the recall of Antipater in the reign was the result of ongoing slander on the part of the Olympias of their son. Antipater then planned to murder Alexander by poison. Plutarch even claims to have heard that Aristotle took this poison from the deadly water of the Styx in order to be able to take revenge for the death of his nephew Callisthenes . However, Plutarch also reported that most of the historians he knew believed the murder was pure fiction. Nevertheless, based on the reproduction of such rumors in ancient historiography, the thesis of a murder plot by the family of Antipater against Alexander emerged, which was included in the general canon at the latest in Christian historiography and the spread of the Alexander novel in the Middle Ages.

According to this, Antipater's victory at Megalopolis against the Spartans first attracted the envy and, through the intrigues of Olympias, finally the wrath of Alexander. In response to the news of his replacement by Krateros, Antipater sent his son Cassander to Babylon with a poison. Once there, he handed the poison over to his brother Iolaos , who served as the king's cupbearer and was able to administer the poison to him. In addition, Iolaos handed a poisoned pen to the dying Alexander to allegedly relieve him from vomiting, which is said to have ultimately led to his death.

According to Christian-Orthodox historiography, the forced death of Alexander occurred on September 14, in the four thousand nine hundredth year after the creation of Adam , the day on which the Orthodox also celebrate Christ's exaltation on the cross.


With Alexander's death, Antipater was once again able to assert himself as the ruler of Macedonia, as Krateros and the veterans he had brought home immediately recognized him in this office to assist him against the revolting Greeks in the Lamian War . The regent of the Alexander empire , Perdiccas , recognized him as administrator of the European part of the empire ( stratēgós tēs Eúrōpēs ). By the year 322 BC The Greeks could be subjugated again, in Athens Antipater ended democracy and installed an oligarchic government under Phocion , whereupon the old Macedonian enemy Demosthenes committed suicide.

After that, Antipater's relationship with Perdiccas worsened, as the latter had rejected his daughter as a wife and teamed up with Olympias. After Antigonos Monophthalmos had fled from Asia to Europe, Antipatros formed a coalition against the Imperial Regent together with Krateros and Ptolemaios , which triggered the first Diadoch war. Antipatros and Krateros tried to win the war in Asia Minor, but had to be there in the spring of 320 BC. A devastating defeat at the Hellespont against Eumenes of Kardia , in which Krateros fell. Nevertheless, the war was won a little later, as Perdiccas on the Nile against Ptolemy failed and was then murdered by his own men. Antipater then moved to Asia in order to create a new imperial order, because Ptolemy had secured the favor of the imperial army and thus manipulated the rise of Arrhidaios and Peithon as new imperial regents. In July 320 BC BC Antipater ended these conditions at the Triparadeisus conference in Syria. Due to his authority as one of the oldest generals, he was appointed the new regent of the Reich by the army assembly. The satrapenies were reoccupied and the two followers of Perdiccas, Eumenes and Alketas , were ostracized.

On his return to Macedonia, Antipater led the kings Philip III. Arrhidaios and Alexander IV. Aigos and their family members with them. He also had the imperial army divided: one half was subordinated to Antigonos Monophthalmos, the strategist of Asia, the other half moved to Macedonia. There were also several war elephants in this train , which was the first time this animal was brought to Europe. Descendants of these elephants were still used by Pyrrhos in his war against Rome .

Antipater died in 319 BC. BC, shortly after his arrival in Macedonia. He had appointed his old friend, Polyperchon , to succeed him as regent . His son Kassander , who had been passed over , disputed this arrangement and thus triggered the second Diadoch War.


From his marriage to a woman no longer known by name, he had several children:


Web links


  1. Arrian, Anabasis 7.12.7, 7.27.1-2; Plutarch, Alexander 77; Justin , 12.13.6; Curtius Rufus , 10.10.14-19; Diodor , 17.118.1-2
  2. For a description of the alleged murder in the Alexander novel by Pseudo- Callisthenes see 3.27-30
  3. Pseudo-Callisthenes 3.31; Orosius 3.20; Otto von Freising Chronica 2.25
predecessor Office successor
- Regent of Macedonia
334–319 BC Chr.
Arrhidaios and Peithon Regent of the Alexander
Empire 321-319 BC Chr.