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Alexander II of Epirus

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Alexander II
King of Epirus
Illustration of silver tetradrachm of Ptolemy I of Egypt, in the name of Alexander the Great (ca. 310-305 BC). Obverse: youthful head, covered with the skin of elephant's head. Reverse: Pallas Athena, holding spear and shield; before her eagle on thunderbolt.
Reign272 - 255 BC[1]
PredecessorPyrrhus I of Epirus
SuccessorPyrrhus II of Epirus
SpouseOlympias II of Epirus
IssuePyrrhus II of Epirus
Ptolemy of Epirus
Phthia of Macedon
FatherPyrrhus I of Epirus
MotherLanassa of Syracuse
ReligionAncient Greek religion

Alexander II (Greek: Άλέξανδρος) was a king of Epirus, and the son of Pyrrhus and Lanassa, the daughter of the Sicilian tyrant Agathocles.[2]


He succeeded his father as king in 272 BC, and continued the war which his father had begun with Antigonus II Gonatas, whom he succeeded in driving from the kingdom of Macedon. He was, however, dispossessed of both Macedon and Epirus by Demetrius II of Macedon, the son of Antigonus II; upon which he took refuge amongst the Acarnanians. By their assistance and that of his own subjects, who entertained a great attachment for him, he recovered Epirus. It appears that he was in alliance with the Aetolians.[3]

Alexander married his paternal half-sister Olympias, by whom he had two sons, Pyrrhus ΙΙ, Ptolemy ΙΙ and a daughter, Phthia.[4] Beloch places the death of King Alexander II "about 255", and supports this date with an elaborate chain of reasoning.[5] On the death of Alexander, Olympias assumed the regency on behalf of her sons, and married Phthia to Demetrius.[6][4] There are extant silver and copper coins of this king. The former bear a youthful head covered with the skin of an elephant's head. The reverse represents Pallas holding a spear in one hand and a shield in the other, and before her stands an eagle on a thunderbolt.[7][8][9][2]

Alexander II of Epirus on a cameo of agate


  1. ^ Sampson, Gareth C. (2020-08-05). Rome & Parthia: Empires at War: Ventidius, Antony and the Second Romano-Parthian War, 40–20 BC. Pen and Sword Military. ISBN 978-1-5267-1015-4.
  2. ^ a b Mason, Charles Peter (1867). "Alexander II". In Smith, William (ed.). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. Vol. 1. Boston: Little, Brown and Company. p. 116.
  3. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Alexander II." . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 1 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 545.
  4. ^ a b Smith, William, ed. (1867). "Olympias (2)". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. Vol. 3. Boston: Little, Brown and Company. p. 23.
  5. ^ Cross, Geoffrey Neale (2014). Epirus. Cambridge University Press. p. 124. ISBN 978-1-107-45867-3.
  6. ^ Universal Pronouncing Dictionary of Biography and Mythology, by Joseph Thomas - 1908 - page 90
  7. ^ Justin, xvii. 1, xxvi. 2, 3, xxviii. 1
  8. ^ Polybius, ii. 45, ix. 34
  9. ^ Plutarch, Pyrrhus 9


Preceded by King of Epirus
272–255 BC
Succeeded by