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Lysimachus (Greek: Λυσίμαχος, Lysimachos; 360 BCE - 281 BCE) was a Macedonian officer and diadochus (i.e. "successor") of Alexander the Great, who became a basileus ("king") in 306 BCE, ruling Thrace, Asia Minormarker andMacedonia.

Early career

Lysimachus was born in 362/361 BC, the son of the Thessalian Agathocles from Crannon. He was granted citizenship in Macedon and was educated at the court in Pellamarker. He was probably appointed Somatophylax during the reign of Philip II. During Alexander's Persia campaigns, he was one of his immediate bodyguards. In 324 BCE, in Susa, he was crowned in recognition for his actions in India. After Alexander’s death in 323 BCE, he was appointed to the government of Thrace as strategos.

Diadochi

In 315 BCE, he joined Cassander, Ptolemy and Seleucus against Antigonus, who, however, diverted his attention by stirring up Thracian and Scythian tribes against him. In 309 BCE, he founded Lysimachiamarker in a commanding situation on the neck connecting the Chersonese with the mainland. He followed the example of Antigonus in taking the title of king.

In 306 or 305, he assumed the title of "King", which he held until his death at Corupedium in 282/1.

In 302, when the second affiance between Cassander, Ptolemy and Seleucus was made, Lysimachus, reinforced by troops from Cassander, entered Asia Minor, where he met with little resistance. On the approach of Antigonus he retired into winter quarters near Heracleamarker, marrying its widowed queen Amastris, a Persian princess. Seleucus joined him in 301 BCE, and at the battle of Ipsus Antigonus was defeated and slain. His dominions were divided among the victors. Lysimachus share was Lydia, Ionia, Phrygia and the north coast of Asia Minor.

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Other diadochi

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Feeling that Seleucus was becoming dangerously great, Lysimachus now allied himself with Ptolemy, marrying his daughter Arsinoe II of Egypt. Amastris, who had divorced herself from him, returned to Heraclea. When Antigonus’s son Demetrius I of Macedon renewed hostilities (297 BCE), during his absence in Greecemarker, Lysimachus seized his towns in Asia Minor, but in 294 BCE concluded a peace whereby Demetrius was recognized as ruler of Macedonia. He tried to carry his power beyond the Danube, but was defeated and taken prisoner by the Getae king Dromichaetes (Dromihete), who, however, set him free on amicable terms. Demetrius subsequently threatened Thrace, but had to retire due to a sudden uprising in Boeotia, and an attack from the king Pyrrhus of Epirus.

In 288 BCE, Lysimachus and Pyrrhus in turn invaded Macedonia, and drove Demetrius out of the country. Lysimachus left Pyrrhus in possession of Macedonia with the title of king for around seven months before Lysimachus invaded. For a short while the two ruled jointly but in 285 BCE Lysimachus expelled Pyrrhus.

Later years

Domestic troubles embittered the last years of Lysimachus’s life. Amastris had been murdered by her two sons; Lysimachus treacherously put them to death. On his return Arsinoe asked the gift of Heraclea, and he granted her request, though he had promised to free the city. In 284 BCE Arsinoe, desirous of gaining the succession for her sons in preference to Agathocles (the eldest son of Lysimachus), intrigued against him with the help of her brother Ptolemy Keraunos; they accused him of conspiring with Seleucus to seize the throne, and he was put to death.

This atrocious deed of Lysimachus aroused great indignation. Many of the cities of Asia revolted, and his most trusted friends deserted him. The widow of Agathocles fled to Seleucus, who at once invaded the territory of Lysimachus in Asia. In 281 BCE, Lysimachus crossed the Hellespontmarker into Lydia, and at the decisive Battle of Corupedium was killed. After some days his body was found on the field, protected from birds of prey by his faithful dog. Lysimachus's body was given over to his son Alexander, by whom it was interred at Lysymachiamarker.

References

  1. Heckel, Waldemar. Who's Who in the Age of Alexander the Great: Prosopography of Alexander's Empire. Blackwell Publishing, 2006, ISBN 1405112107, p. 153. "Lysimachus (Lysimachos). Son of Agathocles, a Thessalian from Crannon, whom Theopompus describes as a flatterer of Philip II. He was presumably not as humble as Theopompus claims. Agathocles and his sons were granted Macedonian citizenship and Lysimachus was educated at the court in Pella. Brother of Philip and Autodicus, though a third brother, Alcimachus, is not positively identified as such. Born perhaps as early as 362/1, Lysimachus may have been appointed Somatophylax already during the reign of Philip II. Justin's claim that he was 74 when he died at Corupedium must be treated with suspicion, since this would make Lysimachus too young to have accompanied Alexander from the beginning of the expedition as a pais basilikos."
  2. Heckel, Waldemar. Who's Who in the Age of Alexander the Great: Prosopography of Alexander's Empire. Blackwell Publishing, 2006, ISBN 1405112107, pp. 153-154. "Near Sangala in India some 1,200 of Alexander's troops were wounded, among them Lysimachus the Somatophylax. He had earlier boarded a thirty-oared vessel at the Hydaspes (in the company of two other Somatophylakes), before the battle with Porus, though his role in the actual battle is not attested; presumably he fought in the immediate vicinity of Alexander himself. When Alexander decided to sail down the Indus river system to the Ocean, Lysimachus was one of those from Pella charged with a trierarchy in the Attic fashion. He is named by Arrian in the only complete list of Somatophylakes. At Susa in spring 324, Lysimachus and the rest of the Somatophylakes were crowned by Alexander, though unlike Leonnatus, Lysimachus appears to have earned no special distinction."
  3. Heckel, Waldemar. Who's Who in the Age of Alexander the Great: Prosopography of Alexander's Empire. Blackwell Publishing, 2006, ISBN 1405112107, p. 155. "In 323 Lysimachus was assigned control of Thrace, and was probably strategos rather than satrap. The subordinate position of strategos may account for the failure of the sources to mention Lysimachus in the settlment of Triparadeisus; his brother Autodicus was, however, named as a Somatophylax of Philip III at that time."
  4. Williams, Henry Smith. Historians History of the World (Volume 4), p. 450.
  5. Heckel, Waldemar. Who's Who in the Age of Alexander the Great: Prosopography of Alexander's Empire. Blackwell Publishing, 2006, ISBN 1405112107, p. 155. "In 306 or 305, he assumed the title of "King", which he held until his death at Corupedium in 282/1."
  6. Williams, Henry Smith. Historians History of the World (Volume 4), p. 454.
  7. Williams, Henry Smith. Historians History of the World (Volume 4), p. 505.


Sources

  • Arrian, Anabasis v. 13, vi. 28.
  • Justin xv. 3, 4, xvii. I.
  • Quintus Curtius V. 3, x. 30.
  • Diodorus Siculus xviii. 3.
  • Polybius v. 67.
  • Plutarch, Demetrius, 31. 52, Pyrrhus, 12.
  • Appian, Syriaca, 62.
  • Connop Thirlwall, History of Greece, vol. viii. (1847).
  • J. P. Mahaffy, Story of Alexander’s Empire
  • Droysen, Hellenismus (2nd ed., 1877).
  • Adolf Holm, Griechische Geschichte, vol. iv. (1894).
  • Benediktus Niese, Geschichte der griechischen und makedonischen Staaten, vols. i. and ii. (1893, 1899).
  • Karl Julius Beloch, Griechische Geschichte vol. iii. (1904).
  • Hunerwadel, Forschungen zur Gesch. des Könige Lysimachus (1900).
  • Possenti, Il Re Lisimaco di Tracia (1901).
  • Ghione, "Note sul regno di Lisimaco" (Atti d. real. Accad. di Torino, xxxix.).


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