3

THE SUCCESSORS

THE STRONGEST

Less than a year before his death, Alexander had sent Craterus home to Macedonia to replace Antipater as regent. Antipater's influence in Macedonia and in Greece had become enormous. He was one of the few members of Philip II's generation who remained among the most powerful of Macedonia's leaders.

When Philip had appointed Alexander, at the age of 16, as regent in his absence, Antipater was the young man's adviser. When Alexander visited Athens, as Macedonia's ambassador, immediately after the Battle of Chaeronea in 338, Antipater was at his side. And when Alexander began his conquest of Persia in 334, he left Antipater behind as his regent.

For almost twelve years, Antipater had been the virtual dictator of Macedonia and Greece. He had made enemies in Greece by his autocratic methods and his support of oligarchic governments. But he had also won admiration for his defeat of the Spartan resistance in 331. By 323 his control of the Greek mainland must have appeared both personal and absolute.

Alexander may have wanted to make certain that Macedonia was still loyal, not to Antipater, but to himself. Antipater was ordered to bring new recruits to Asia, 1 although Curtius reports a rumor that Craterus was given secret instructions to murder Antipater. 2

There can be little doubt that, next to Alexander, Antipater was the strongest man in the empire. Next to Antipater, Craterus was the strongest. With the death of Philotas and Hephaestion, Craterus had risen to the top of the younger generation of men under Alexander. He was second only to the king and often held independent commands. Alexander had sent his best man on the difficult assignment of unseating Antipater.

-23-

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Ptolemy of Egypt
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations viii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgements xii
  • Abbreviations and Short Titles xiii
  • Ancient Sources xiv
  • 1 - In the Shadow of Alexander 1
  • 2 - Ptolemy the Historian 17
  • 3 - The Successors 23
  • 4 - Ptolemy as Satrap 28
  • 5 - The War with Perdiccas 36
  • 6 - The War with Antigonus 41
  • 7 - Ptolemy the King 52
  • Chronological Table 72
  • Glossary of Personal Names 74
  • Notes 85
  • Select Bibliography 93
  • Index 99
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