Antigonos The One-Eyed And The Creation Of The Hellenistic State

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Overview

Called by Plutarch "the oldest and greatest of Alexander's successors," Antigonos the One-Eyed (382-301 BC) was the dominant figure during the first half of the Diadoch period, ruling most of the Asian territory conquered by the Macedonians during his final twenty years. Billows provides the first detailed study of this great general and administrator, establishing him as a key contributor to the Hellenistic monarchy and state. After a successful career under Philip and Alexander, Antigonos rose to power over the...

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Overview

Called by Plutarch "the oldest and greatest of Alexander's successors," Antigonos the One-Eyed (382-301 BC) was the dominant figure during the first half of the Diadoch period, ruling most of the Asian territory conquered by the Macedonians during his final twenty years. Billows provides the first detailed study of this great general and administrator, establishing him as a key contributor to the Hellenistic monarchy and state. After a successful career under Philip and Alexander, Antigonos rose to power over the Asian portion of Alexander's conquests. Embittered by the persistent hostility of those who controlled the European and Egyptian parts of the empire, he tried to eliminate these opponents, an ambition which led to his final defeat in 301.
In a corrective to the standard explanations of his aims, Billows shows that Antigonos was scarcely influenced by Alexander, seeking to rule West Asia and the Aegean, rather than the whole of Alexander's Empire.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520208803
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 6/6/1997
  • Series: Hellenistic Culture and Society Series
  • Pages: 540
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard A. Billows is Assistant Professor of History at Columbia University.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2007

    Diadochi/Epigonoi: Hellenistic Zeitgeist: {335-146 B.C.}

    After the demise of Alexander III's proselytism and the amalgamation or the syncretism and synoecism of the heterochthonous with the autochthonous, a ditrichotomous conglomeration of Diadochi autarchies/ stratocracies were castrametated: the Antingonid: 323-146 B.C, Ptolemaic: 323-30 B.C and the Seleucidae: 312-65 B.C after the redistribution of hegemonies and suzerainties at the promulgation of Triparadisus on 320 B.C. Antigonus I 'Monopthalmus' retained the diadem over the Propontic autarchies of Selymbria, Perinthus and Byzantium, Syria-Cilicia Phoenice and the Chaldaeans. His demarcation was leviathanesque, brobdingnagian, behemothesque and antediluvic, and his vision ecumenical. However, due to his megalomania and hubris he started to instatiate in the salacious and meretricious in lautitious, voluptuous bacchanalias. He became effeminate, sybaritic and pendantic. However, a great amelioration and contesseration between Seleucus I 'Nicator', Polysperchon, Lysimachus and Ptolemy Soter was inimical to the lucripetous, concupiscible of apocolocyntosis and ultramontane of Antigonus I 'Monopthalmus'. Before his obstrigillation and velitation at Ipsus on 301 B.C he redistributed his suzerainties to his multifarious exarchs and catapanes binding a heterogeneous stratocracy to one that was propitious for a homogeneous infrastructure. At the battle he in his classical sarissa phalanxes and quincuncialis in oblique echelon. At the battle he, Demetrius I 'Poliorcetes' and Pyrrhus of the Thresprotians and Molossians were debellated and pessundated mainly due to the 500 cataphracted pachyderms of Seleucus I 'Nicator' from a mellifluous promulgation from Sandracottus of the Hydaspes. Antigonus I's empire was the inchoate of the kleptocratic, internecine and heresiarchal it became fissiparous and though contumacious and obstreperous, in order to preserve it one had to be ubiquitous and circumforaneous so that it made one vertiginous and somniferous. The obstrigillations of the Diadochi were from 322-320, 319-315, 314-311 and 308-281 B.C of the battles of Paraitacen, Gabiene, Gaza, Salamis, Rhodes, Ipsus and Corupedium. Antigonus I's vision of empire was legendary.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2000

    A Definitive Biography of the Most Intriguing of Alexander's Successors

    This is a remarkably interesting scholarly biography of the man I've always found to be the most interesting of the Successors of Alexander. Antigonus the One-Eyed originally seemed one of the least likely of Alexander's Generals to come into the dead King's inheritance, but thanks to his shrewdness, military skill, and the mistakes of others, within ten years of Alexander's death he had taken control of two-thirds of the dead King's former realm. Twelve years later, all of the other Successors united against him in a great coalition, and Antigonus went down fighting (at the age of 80) at the Battle of Ipsus in 301 B.C. The ancients saw Antigonus's life as a cautionary tale about the dangers of hubris and vaulting ambition; Billows takes a more positive view. If your interest in this book comes from the standpoint of an ancient history buff rather than an academic, you should understand that Billows's book started out life as a dissertation, and it's really two books in one. The first book -- which consists of the first 190 pages -- is essentially a well-researched biography that treats Antigonus's life and career in chronological order. The second book -- consisting of the last 120 pages -- treats Antogonus's foreign relations, economic and social policies, etc., and will be of more interest and utility to scholars. Billows argues that Antigonus should be better known not merely because of his dramatic life story and his status as the founder of the Antigonid line that eventually ruled Macedon from 277-167 B.C., but also because he laid the foundations upon which Seleucus I built the Seleucid Empire. It seems to me there is some truth to this, but Billows may push the argument farther than it can really be sustained, given that Antigonus controlled large swatches of the area that became the Seleucid Empire for as little as five or six years. The University of California Press is to be commended for including excellent maps of the vast area of the Middle East across which Antigonus played out his life story, as well as including detailed plans of such Diadochoi battles as Paraitakene, Gabiene, and Gaza that show the composition of the rival armies in detail. The account of Antigonus's dramatic struggle with the wily Eumenes of Cardia -- a running series of battles and campaigns fought over a huge stretch of the Middle East -- is a high point of the book. Finally, the detailed bibliography in Billows's book will point the scholar or ancient history buff to numerous other references and scholarly discussions of individual battles and commanders.

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