Neoptolemus I of Epirus

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For a hero, see Neoptolemus. For a grandson of this king, see Neoptolemus II of Epirus.
Neoptolemus I
Born Neoptolemus I
Title King of Epirus
Religion Ancient Greek religion
Children King Alexander I of Epirus
Queen Olympias
Princess Troas (married Arybbas of Epirus)
Parent(s) Alcetas I (father)
Relatives Arymbas (brother)
Alexander the Great (grandson)

Neoptolemus I of Epirus (Greek: Νεοπτόλεμος Α' Ηπείρου) (370–357 BC) was a king of Epirus and son of Alcetas I, and father of Troas, Alexander I of Epirus and Queen Olympias. He was a maternal grandfather of Alexander the Great.[1]

He claimed he was a descendant of hero Achilles and King Lycomedes, while Emperor Caracalla claimed that he was a descendant of Neoptolemus I.

Olympias was originally known as Polyxena. It is possible that Neoptolemus gave her that name.


God Poseidon and Olympias, daughter of Neoptolemus, medallion

His name means "new war".[2]

This was also a name of one hero in Greek mythology.


On the death of Alcetas, Neoptolemus and his brother Arybbas agreed to divide the kingdom, and continued to rule their respective portions without any interruption of the harmony between them, until the death of Neoptolemus, which, according to Johann Gustav Droysen, may be placed about 360 BC.

The first epigraphical evidence of the Molossian league goes back to 370 BC under Neoptolemus.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ A Classical Dictionary, Containing a Copious Account of All the Proper Names by John Lemprière
  2. ^ Name of Neoptolemus
  3. ^ Cabanes, L'Épire 534,1


 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainSmith, William, ed. (1870). "article name needed". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Alcetas I
King of Epirus
with Arymbas
370–357 BC
Succeeded by