Cassander: The Self-Made King of (What Was Left Of) Macedon

Cassander was born in 355 B.C.E. as the son of Antipater. He was a member of the so-called Iolaid House, an obscure family of high political prominence in Macedon. The house drew its privileges and identity from one Iolaus who had served as archon for Perdiccas II (r. 448-413) at the beginning of the Peloponnesian War. From then on, the […]

Roxana: The Light and Dark Sides of An Eastern Beauty

Roxana was the daughter of the Bactrian noble Oxyartes, born around 340 B.C.E. She became the first formal wife of Alexander III “the Great” in the spring of 327.  The circumstances surrounding Roxana’s marriage with the Macedonian invader are unclear. It may be that, before the marriage, Roxana, along with her mother and sister were captured by Alexander’s forces before […]

Polyperchon: Unlucky or Unskilled General?

Polyperchon was a general who served in the ranks of Alexander III the Great and later fought for imperial rule. He was born sometime in the time frame 394 – 380 B.C.E., as the son of Simmias from Tymphaia, a rough and remote area under the Pindus. Tymphaia was incorporated into the Macedonian state in 350. Yet, the Tymphaei/Tymphaios remained […]

Cynane: The Badass Queen of Early Hellenistic Age

Cynane was born around 358 B.C.E. as the daughter of Philip II of Macedon and his first or second wife, Audata/Eurydice. She was the eldest of Philip’s daughters, inheriting from his father the belonging into the prestigious royal house of the Argeads. Cynane’s maternal line, often overlooked, was also reputable. Her mother Audata was an Illyrian princess, either a daughter […]

Cleopatra Eurydice: A Queen in the Midst of Plots and Intrigues

Cleopatra Eurydice was the last of the seven wives of king Philip of Macedon. She was a member of a noble family from the lower/coastal Macedon. Some then and many later believed that Philip’s marriage with Cleopatra threatened Alexander’s royal inheritance.  Cleopatra and her family were relative newcomers to the Argead court. However, her descent was held in high esteem. […]

Scerdilaidas: The History of a Master and Commander

Scerdilaidas was king of the Illyrian state of the Ardiaei during 218-206 B.C.E. Prior to his accession to the throne, he made a formidable career in the Illyrian military and in the Ardiaean court. Scerdilaidas was likely a brother or cousin of king Agron of the Ardiaei, who ruled during 250 – 231 B.C.E. During Agron’s rule, the Ardiaean state […]

Teuta: Queen of Illyria Who Challenged the Romans

Teuta was the queen of Ardiaei during the short but intense period 231-228 B.C.E. The Ardiaean state was the most powerful monarchy among the Illyrians. We know nothing about Teuta’s early life. She was born around 260, in an Illyrian royal household. At some point, she married Agron, then king of Ardiaei. The latter’s domain extended from river Narona (current […]

Adea Eurydice: The Teen Queen Who Shook an Empire

Adea Eurydice was born sometime between 338-335 B.C.E., to Amyntas IV, son of Perdiccas III, and Cynane, daughter of Philip II’s wife, Audata. She grew up without a father since, soon after birth, the newly crowned king Alexander III had Amyntas executed. Her mother Cynane, herself of Illyrian origin, dealt carefully with her education. Adea’s lessons, unlike those of other […]

Olympias of Epirus: The Surreal Story of a King’s Mother

Olympias of Epirus was born around 375 B.C.E. with the name Myrtale. She was the daughter of the Molossian king Neoptolemus in Epirus, part of the Aeacidae royal house. As for her mother, she is absent from sources, but some scholars have suggested that she was a Chaonian princess, in northwestern Epirus. This match makes sense when considering the Molossians’ […]

Illyrian Kings: A Handbook on Illyrian Monarchy; Main Rulers and Dynasties.

Illyrian kings are mentioned in few literal sources, even those written by ancient Greek and Roman authors, thus external and often hostile to Illyrians. As such, their names come up only in events concerning the Hellenes or Romans themselves. The absence of written records in Illyrian language (recognized as a spoken language) leaves inherent gaps in political developments that would […]