Antigonus II Gonatas: A Political Biography

Antigonus II Gonatas: A Political Biography

Antigonus II Gonatas: A Political Biography

Antigonus II Gonatas: A Political Biography


Antigonus Gonatas assumed the title of King of Macedonia in 283 BC; he became the undisputed ruler of Macedonia in 276 BC and reigned for more than forty years. Blunt, honest and tenacious, Antigonus won not only Macedonia, but also its people. Pragmatic and occasionally ruthless, he was a well-educated man with a keen interest in philosophy. He gathered about him poets, philosophers and historians; his long reign, despite vicissitudes, re-established Macedonia as a nation.Janice J. Gabbert portrays the eventful life of this enigmatic king in a lively and engaging manner. Her aim is to trace the political career of a man about whose life almost no official records survive. Taking into account the most recent epigraphical evidence, the author brings to life a fascinating political figure. This is the first study entirely devoted to Antigonus for over eighty years, and essential reading for those interested in the history of the Successors of Alexander.


I have attempted in the following pages to describe the life of an important person in history and the events associated with him. The focus is deliberately narrow; other works exist on the general history of the third century BC and there is no need to duplicate them.

The paucity and ambiguity of the evidence is well known and this is not the place to attempt to solve all problems, even if it were possible. I have, however, attempted to make clear the areas where problems and controversy exist, to indicate possible solutions, and to provide a bibliography for further study of individual problems.

This book was originally to be a joint project with Professor Allen M. Ward of the University of Connecticut. Some progress had already been made when Professor Ward was forced to withdraw due to the pressures of other commitments. I decided to attempt to complete the work alone, but am grateful for his early assistance, and whatever is good in this may be to his credit. Of course, I assume full responsibility for the text in its current condition, including any errors or omissions.

Much gratitude is due also to Richard Stoneman of Routledge for his patience and understanding during the many delays in getting this manuscript into print.

The nature of the subject, and the evidence for it, is such that a biography of Antigonus Gonatas will never be sufficiently complete; the work is never entirely finished. Yet his was an interesting life, in interesting times, of historical importance. It is worth writing about, and I hope it will be found useful.


January 1996

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.