Hellenistic Monarchy: Success and Legitimation
The Hellenistic period could be said to have arrived in a big bang. In 306 BC, four years after the sordid death of the last Argead king, Antigonus the One-Eyed declared himself and his son Demetrius kings, and assumed the diadem as the regalia of royalty. His example was followed almost immediately by Ptolemy, Seleucus, Lysimachus, and Cassander, not to mention Agathocles in Sicily. There was now a plethora of Macedonian kings who (with the exception of Cassander) held sway outside Macedon. Traditional scholarship has concentrated on the supposed contrast between Antigonus and the other kings; Antigonus was attempting to recreate the universal monarchy of Alexander, while the other dynasts had strictly regional bases of power. This chapter examines the nature of Hellenistic monarchy and the mutual expectations of ruler and subject.
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