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Amyntas III Grandfather of Alexander the Great Biography 393-370BC Ancient Coins Investment
Amyntas III - Grandfather of Alexander III the
Martin Price, in 'Coins of the Macedonians' (p.21), makes the interesting suggestion that this type belongs to the reign of the infant Amyntas IV (359-357 B.C.), for whom Philip II was regent. This can scarcely be considered proven, however, and the style of the coins seems to be more akin to the issues of the early part of the 4th Cent. B.C.
A great-grandson of Alexander I, Amyntas dethroned the
usurper Pausanias in 389 B.C. He was temporarily expelled from his
Kingdom by the Illyrians in 383, but returned two years later with
He came to the throne after the ten years of confusion which followed the death of Archelaus I. But he had many enemies at home; in 393 he was driven out by the Illyrians, but in the following year, with the aid of the Thessalians, he recovered his kingdom. Medius, head of the house of the Aleuadae of Larissa, is believed to have provided aid to Amyntas in recovering his throne. The mutual relationship between the Argeadae and the Aleuadae dates to the time of Archelaus.
To shore up his country against the threat of the Illyrians, Amyntas established an alliance with the Chalkidian League led by Olynthus. In exchange for this support, Amyntas granted them rights to Macedonian timber, which was sent back to Athens to help fortify their fleet. With money flowing into Olynthus from these exports, their power grew. In response, Amyntas sought additional allies. He established connections with Kotys, chief of the Odrysians. Kotys had already married his daughter to the Athenian general Iphicrates. Prevented from marrying into Kotys' family, Amyntas soon adopted Iphicrates as his son.
After the King's Peace 387 BC, Sparta was anxious to re-establish its presence in the north of Greece. In 385 BC, Bardylis and his Illyrians attacked Epirus instigated and aided by Dionysius of Syracuse, in an attempt to restore the Molossian king Alcetas I of Epirus to the throne. When Amyntas sought Spartan aid against the growing threat of Olynthus, the Spartans eagerly responded. That Olynthus was backed by Athens and Thebes, rivals to Sparta for the control of Greece, provided them with an additional incentive to break up this growing power in the north. Amyntas thus concluded a treaty with the Spartans, who assisted him to reduce Olynthus (379). He also entered into a league with Jason of Pherae, and assiduously cultivated the friendship of Athens. In 371 BC at a Panhellenic congress of the Lacedaemonian allies, he voted in support of the Athenians' claim and joined other Greeks in voting to help Athens to recover possession of Amphipolis.
With Olynthus defeated, Amyntas was now able to conclude a treaty with Athens and keep the timber revenues for himself. Amyntas shipped the timber to the house of the Athenian Timotheus, in the Piraeus.
By his wife Eurydice, Amyntas had three sons, Alexander II, Perdiccas III and the youngest of whom was the famous Philip II of Macedon. Amyntas died at an advanced age, leaving his throne to his eldest son.
Alexander III of Macedon, popularly known to history as Alexander the Great, ("Mégas Aléxandros") was an Ancient Greek king (basileus) of Macedon. Born in 356 BC, Alexander succeeded his father Philip II of Macedon to the throne in 336 BC, and died in Bablyon in 323 BC at the age of 32.
Alexander was one of the most successful military commanders of all time and it is presumed that he was undefeated in battle. By the time of his death, he had conquered the Achaemenid Persian Empire, adding it to Macedon's European territories; according to some modern writers, this was much of the world then known to the ancient Greeks (the 'Ecumene'). His father, Philip, had unified most of the city-states of mainland Greece under Macedonian hegemony in the League of Corinth. As well as inheriting hegemony over the Greeks, Alexander also inherited the Greeks' long-running feud with the Achaemenid Empire of Persia. After reconfirming Macedonian rule by quashing a rebellion of southern Greek city-states, Alexander launched a short but successful campaign against Macedon's northern neighbours. He was then able to turn his attention towards the east and the Persians. In a series of campaigns lasting 10 years, Alexander's armies repeatedly defeated the Persians in battle, in the process conquering the entirety of the Empire. He then, following his desire to reach the 'ends of the world and the Great Outer Sea', invaded India, but was eventually forced to turn back by the near-mutiny of his troops.
Alexander died after twelve years of constant military campaigning, possibly a result of malaria, poisoning, typhoid fever, viral encephalitis or the consequences of alcoholism. His legacy and conquests lived on long after him and ushered in centuries of Greek settlement and cultural influence over distant areas. This period is known as the Hellenistic period, which featured a combination of Greek, Middle Eastern and Indian culture. Alexander himself featured prominently in the history and myth of both Greek and non-Greek cultures. His exploits inspired a literary tradition in which he appeared as a legendary hero in the tradition of Achilles.
Alexander fighting Persian king Darius III. From Alexander Mosaic, from Pompeii, Naples, Naples National
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