Alexander I of Macedon
|King of Macedon|
silver tetradrachm of Alexander I
|Reign||traditional: 498–454 BC|
|Royal house||(Ancient) Macedon|
|Religious beliefs||Ancient Greek religion|
According to Herodotus, he was unfriendly to Persia, and had the envoys of Darius I killed when they arrived at the court of his father during the Ionian Revolt. However, he was forced to submit to Persia during the invasion of Greece by Darius' son Xerxes I, and he acted as a representative of the Persian governor Mardonius during peace negotiations after the Persian defeat at the Battle of Salamis in 480 BC. Despite his cooperation with Persia, he frequently gave supplies and advice to the rest of the Greek city states, and warned them of Mardonius' plans before the Battle of Plataea in 479 BC. After their defeat in Plataea, the Persian army under the command of Artabazus tried to retreat all the way back to Asia Minor. Most of the 43,000 survivors were attacked and killed by the forces of Alexander at the estuary of the Strymon river. Alexander eventually regained Macedonian independence after the end of the Persian Wars.
Alexander claimed descent from Argive Greeks and Heracles, although Macedon was considered a "barbaric" state by some in Athens, whose territories were threatened by its expansion. After a court of Elean hellanodikai determined his claim to be true, he was permitted to participate in the Olympic Games possibly in 504 BC, an honour reserved only for Greeks. He modelled his court after Athens and was a patron of the poets Pindar and Bacchylides, both of whom dedicated poems to Alexander. The earliest reference to an Athenian proxenos, who lived during the time of the Persian wars (c. 490 BC), is that of Alexander I. Alexander I was given the title "Philhellene" (Greek: "φιλέλλην", fond of the Greeks, lover of the Greeks), a title used for Greek patriots.
Alexander had four sons:
- King Alcetas II
- King Perdiccas II
- Prince Philip
- Prince Amyntas, who was thought to be the father of Balacrus, father of Meleager and grandfather of Arsinoe of Macedon
Alexander's grandson was Archelaus I.
- Malcolm Errington, "A History of Macedonia", University of California Press, 1993, p.4: "Ancient allegations that the Macedonians were non-Greeks all had their origin in Athens at the time of the struggle with Philip II. Then as now, political struggle created the prejudice. The orator Aeschines once even found it necessary, in order to counteract the prejudice vigorously fomented by his opponents, to defend Philip on this issue and describe him at a meeting of the Athenian Popular Assembly as being 'Entirely Greek'. Demosthenes' allegations were lent an appearance of credibility by the fact, apparent to every observer, that the life-style of the Macedonians, being determined by specific geographical and historical conditions, was different from that of a Greek city-state. This alien way of life was, however, common to western Greeks of Epiros, Akarnania and Aitolia, as well as to the Macedonians, and their fundamental Greek nationality was never doubted. Only as a consequence of the political disagreement with Macedonia was the issue raised at all."
- Herodotus 5.22
- A History of Macedonia. Volume 2 Review: John Cole
- Thucydides and Pindar: Historical Narrative and the World of Epinikian Poetry Page 180 By Simon Hornblower ISBN 0-19-924919-9
- Hospitality By Conrad Lashley, Paul Lynch, Alison J. Morrison Page 25 ISBN 0-08-045093-8
- φιλέλλην, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
- Plato, Republic, 5.470e, Xenophon Agesilaus, 7.4 (in Greek)
- Satyrus the Peripatetic, FGrH 631 fr 2
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Alexander I of Macedon|
- Smith, William (1867). "Alexander I". In William Smith. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology 1. Boston: Little, Brown and Company. p. 118.
Alexander IDied: 454 BC
|King of Macedon