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Coin of Cassander.

Cassander (Greek: Κάσσανδρος , Kassandros Antipatros; ca. 350 - 297 BC), King of Macedonia (305 - 297 BC), was a son of Antipater, and founder of the Antipatrid dynasty.


Early history

Cassander is first recorded as arriving at Alexander the Great’s court in Babylon in 323 BC, where he had been sent by his father, Antipater, likely to help uphold Antipater’s regency in Macedon, although a later contemporary suggestion hostile to the Antipatrids was that Cassander had journeyed to poison the King.[1]

Whatever the truth of this suggestion, Cassander certainly proved to be singularly noted amongst the diadochi in his hostility to Alexander‘s memory[1]. Alexander IV, Roxanne, and Alexander’s supposed illegitimate son Heracles would all be executed on his orders, and a guarantee to Olympias to spare her life was not respected.[2] So too, Cassander would restore Thebes, which had been destroyed under Alexander. This gesture was perceived at the time to be a snub to the deceased King.[3] It was even said that he could not pass a statue of Alexander without feeling faint. Cassander has been perceived to be ambitious and unscrupulous, and even members of his own family were estranged from him.[4]

Later history

     Kingdom of Cassander Other diadochi      Kingdom of Seleucus      Kingdom of Lysimachus      Kingdom of Ptolemy      Epirus Other      Carthage      Rome      Greek colonies

As Antipater grew close to death in 319 BC, he transferred the regency of Macedon not to Cassander, but to Polyperchon, possibly so as not to alarm the other diadochi through an apparent move towards dynastic ambition, but perhaps also because of Cassander’s own ambitions.[5] Cassander rejected his father’s decision, and immediately went to court Antigonus, Ptolemy and Lysimachus as allies. Waging war on Polyperchon, Cassander would destroy his fleet, put Athens under the control of Demetrius of Phaleron, and declare himself Regent in 317 BC. After Olympias’ successful move against Philip III later in the year, Cassander would besiege her in Pydna. When the city fell two years later, Olympias was killed, and Cassander would have Alexander IV and Roxanne confined at Amphipolis.

Cassander associated himself with the Argead dynasty by marrying Alexander’s half-sister, Thessalonica, and had Alexander IV and Roxanne executed in either 310 BC or the following year. Certainly, in 309, Polyperchon would begin forwarding the claims of Heracles as the true heir to the Macedonian inheritance, at which point Cassander bribed him to have the boy killed.[6] After this, Cassander’s position in Greece and Macedonia was reasonably secure, and he would proclaim himself King in 305 BC.[7] After the Battle of Ipsus in 301 BC, in which Antigonus was killed, he was undisputed in his control of Macedonia. However, he had little time to savour the fact, dying of dropsy in 297 BC.

Cassander’s dynasty did not live much beyond his death, with his son Philip dying of natural causes, and his other sons Alexander and Antipater becoming involved in a destructive dynastic struggle along with their mother. When Alexander was ousted as joint king by his brother, Demetrius I took up Alexander's appeal for aid and ousted Antipater, killed Alexander, and established the Antigonid dynasty. The remaining Antipatrids such as Antipater Etesias would prove unable to re-establish the Antipatrids on the throne.

Of more lasting significance was Cassander’s refoundation of Therma into Thessalonica, naming the city after his wife. Cassander also founded Cassandreia upon the ruins of Potidaea.

Cassander as a fictional character


  1. ^ a b Fox, Robin Lane. Alexander the Great. p469, 2004 Ed.
  2. ^ Green, Peter. Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic Age. p38, 2007 Ed.
  3. ^ Green, Peter. Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic Age. p40-41, 2007 Ed.
  4. ^ Fox, Robin Lane. Alexander the Great, p475, 2004 Ed.
  5. ^ Green, Peter. Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic Age. p35-36, 2007 Ed.
  6. ^ Green, Peter. Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic Age. p44, 2007 Ed.
  7. ^ Green, Peter. Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic Age. p163, 2007 Ed.


External links

Born: ca. 350 BC Died: 297 BC
Preceded by
Regent of Macedon
317–305 BC
Succeeded by
Assumed Kingship
Preceded by
Alexander IV Aegus
King of Macedon
305–297 BC
Succeeded by
Philip IV

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

There is more than one meaning of Cassander discussed in the 1911 Encyclopedia. We are planning to let all links go to the correct meaning directly, but for now you will have to search it out from the list below by yourself. If you want to change the link that led you here yourself, it would be appreciated.


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