Detailed Look at the Diadochi

Coin of Cassander
Coin of Cassander at the British Museum. PD Courtesy of PHGCOM

 

Diadochi Basics
Diadochi Details

What Were the Diadochi?

The Diadochi were rival friends / military leaders who had served Alexander the Great. Historian Diodorus Siculus reports that, just as Alexander had predicted, there was fighting among his followers to determine who would succeed him:

 

When [Alexander] was quitting life in Babylon and at his last breath was asked by his friends to whom he was leaving the kingdom, he said, 'To the best man; for I foresee that a great combat of my friends will be my funeral games.' And this actually happened; for after the death of Alexander the foremost of his friends quarrelled about the primacy and joined in many great combats.
18.1

 

 

After the death of Alexander, and the disposal of his half-brother and posthumous son, the Diadochi were the successful claimants to power over Alexander's empire. Since the Diadochi were, literally, followers, the period of the Diadochi began with Alexander's death in 323 B.C. and ended about 30 years later, with the death of the last of the successors, Seleucus I. This period is referred to as the Wars of Alexander's Successors. By this time there were 3 divisions of the Hellenistic empire, the Ptolemies in Egypt, the Seleucids in Asia, and the Antigonids in Macedonia.

 

Who Were the Diadochi?:

Perdiccas was the dominant successor until his assassination in 321.

Diodorus Siculus reports that Perdiccas "gave Egypt to Ptolemy,... Syria to Laomedon of Mitylenê, Cilicia to Philotas, and Media to Pithon. To Eumenes he gave Paphlagonia and Cappadocia ...to Antigonus he gave Pamphylia, Lycia, and what is called Great Phrygia; then to Asander, Caria; to Menander, Lydia; and to Leonnatus, Hellespontine Phrygia....Thrace and the neighbouring tribes near the Pontic sea were given to Lysimachus, and Macedonia and the adjacent peoples were assigned to Antipater."

 

 

After Perdiccas came Antipater (d. 319), then Polyperchon, then after 314, Cassander against Antigonus Monophthalmos.

Where Were the Diadochi?

  • Cassander King of Macedonia - 310.
  • Antigonus and his son Demetrius Poliorcetes Kings of Syria - 307.
    (Syria was a group of separate states, including Armenia and Cappadocia.)
  • Ptolemy King of Egypt - 305.
  • Lysimachus King of western Turkey - 305.
  • Seleucus King in Babylonia - 305.

 

Uneasy Resolution of the Territory of the Diadochi:

 

At the 301 B.C. Battle of Ipsus, Ptolemy and Seleucus (64,000 infantry, 10,500 horse, 400+ elephants, and 120 chariots) decisively defeated Antigonus I Monophthalmus 'One-eyed' and Demetrius I Poliorcetes 'Besieger of Cities' (70,000 infantry, 10,000 horse, and 75 elephants). With the death of Antigonus and the defeat of Demetrius, the Antigonids lost a good portion of their empire. Syria and Mesopotamia went to Seleucus and Egypt to Ptolemy.

 

 

  • By 276, the Antigonid Dynasty (295 to 168 B.C.) in the person of Antigonus Gonatus 'knock-kneed', son of Demetrius Poliorcetes, ruled Macedonia;
  • the Seleucid Dynasty (305 to 63 B.C.) in the person of Antiochus I, ruled Mesopotamia and northern Syria, and
  • the Ptolemaic Dynasty (305 to 30 B.C.), in the person of Ptolemy II Philadelphus, ruled Egypt, extended to southern Syria, and was gaining territory in the Aegean.

 

What Happened to the Territory of the Diadochi:

Basically, the Romans took it.

  • The empire of the Seleucids had been greatly reduced. 3rd century Parthians took the eastern area. Greek settlers in Bactria revolted in the mid-second. Rome annexed what remained: it became the Roman province of Syria.
  • Egypt fell to the Romans under Octavian (Augustus) when Cleopatra died.
  • Lysimachus had taken control of Pergamum. When he died, Philetaerus, loyal to Seleucus I, took over. When Seleucus died, Philetaerus declared himself king, the first of the Attalid Dynasty. The last member of his dynasty died in 133. Rome gobbled up the territory, making it the province of Asia.

 

Sources:

 

  • "users.sbuniv.edu/~hgallatin/hi13le12.html" Alexander and His Successors in the Eastern Mediterranean, by Harlie Kay Gallatin
  • Guy Thompson Griffith, Simon Hornblower "Diadochi" The Oxford Classical Dictionary. Simon Hornblower and Anthony Spawforth. © Oxford University Press 1949, 1970, 1996, 2005.
  • Diodorus Siculus
  • Stephen Nutt "Ipsos, battle of" The Oxford Companion to Military History. Ed. Richard Holmes. Oxford University Press, 2001

 

Seleucid Dynasty:

 

  • 312-281 Seleucus I, Nicator (dated his reign from 312; king from 304)
  • 281-261 Antiochus I
  • 280-267 Seleucus
  • 261-246 Antiochus II
  • 246-226 Seleucus II
  • 226-223 Seleucus III
  • 223-187 Antiochus III
  • 210-193 Antiochus
  • 187-175 Seleucus IV
  • 175-170 Antiochus
  • 175-164 Antiochus IV
  • 164-162 Antiochus V
  • 162-150 Demetrius I
  • 150-145 Alexander I
  • 145-142 Antiochus VI
  • 145-139 Demetrius II
  • 142-138 Tryphon
  • 139-129 Antiochus VII
  • 129-125 Demetrius II
  • 128-122 Alexander II
  • 125-120 Cleopatra Thea
  • 125 Seleucus V
  • 125-96 Antiochus VIII
  • 113-95 Antiochus IX
  • 96-95 Seleucus VI
  • 95-92 Antiochus X
  • 95-88 Demetrius III
  • 95 Antiochus XI
  • 95-83 Philip I
  • 87-84 Antiochus XII
  • 83-69 Tigranes the Great
  • 69-64 Philip II
  • 69-64 Antiochus XIII

Antigonid Dynasty

  • 306-301 Antigonus I

Dynasty of Cassander

  • 304-297 Cassander
  • 297 Philip IV
  • 297-294 Alexander V
  • 297-294 Antipater I

Antigonid Dynasty

  • 294-287 Demetrius I
  • 287-285 Pyrrhus of Epirus
  • 285-281 Lysimachus
  • 281-279 Ptolemy Ceraunus
  • 279 Meleager
  • 279 Antipater II
  • 279-277 Sosthenes
  • 277-239 Antigonus II
  • 239-229 Demetrius II
  • 227-221 Antigonus III
  • 221-179 Philip V
  • 179-168 Perseus

Ptolemaic Dynasty

  • 323-283 Ptolemy I
  • 283-246 Ptolemy II
  • 246-222 Ptolemy III
  • 222-204 Ptolemy IV
  • 204-180 Ptolemy V
  • 180-145 Ptolemy VI
  • 145 Ptolemy VII
  • 145-116 Ptolemy VIII
  • 116-107 Ptolemy IX
  • 81-80 Cleopatra Berenice Philopator
  • 107-88 Ptolemy X
  • 88-81 Ptolemy IX (restored)
  • 80 Ptolemy XI
  • 80-58 Ptolemy XII
  • 58-55 Berenice Epiphanes
  • 55-51 Ptolemy XII (restored)
  • 51-47 Ptolemy XIII
  • 51-30 Cleopatra Philopator
  • 47-44 Ptolemy XIV
  • 36-30 Ptolemy XV Caesar

Attalid Dynasty of Pergamum

  • 283-263 Philetaerus
  • 263-241 Eumenes I
  • 241-197 Attalus I
  • 197-158 Eumenes II
  • 158-138 Attalus II
  • 138-133 Attalus III
  • 133-130 Eumenes III deposed; Roman rule 129 B.C.

Rulers of Bactria

  • 256-248 Diodotus I
  • 248-235 Diodotus II
    (all going forward are approximate)
  • 235-200 Euthydemus I
  • 200-190 Euthydemus II
  • 200-185 Demetrius I
  • 195-185 Antimachus I
  • 185-180 Pantaleon
  • 185-175 Demetrius II
  • 180-165 Agathocles
  • 171-155 Eucratides I
  • 155-130 Agathocleia and Menandros
  • 75-55 Calliope and Hermaios

 

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Your Citation
Gill, N.S. "Detailed Look at the Diadochi." ThoughtCo, Feb. 19, 2016, thoughtco.com/detailed-look-at-the-diadochi-118723. Gill, N.S. (2016, February 19). Detailed Look at the Diadochi. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/detailed-look-at-the-diadochi-118723 Gill, N.S. "Detailed Look at the Diadochi." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/detailed-look-at-the-diadochi-118723 (accessed December 15, 2017).