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Argead dynasty

The Argead dynasty (Greek: Ἀργεάδαι, Argeádai) was an ancient Macedonian royal house
of Dorian Greek provenance.[1][2][3] They were the founders and the ruling dynasty of the
kingdom of Macedon from about 700 to 310 BC.[4]

House of Argos

Vergina Sun

Parent house Temenids (Heracleidae)

Country Macedonia, (Ancient Greece)

Founded 808 BC

Final ruler Alexander IV of Macedon

Titles Basileus of Macedonia

King of Persia

King of Asia

Pharaoh of Egypt

Hegemon of the Hellenic League, Strategus

Autokrator of Greece

Religion Ancient Greek Religion

Estate(s) Macedonia

Dissolution 310 BC

Their tradition, as described in ancient Greek historiography, traced their origins to Argos, in
Peloponnese, hence the name Argeads or Argives.[5][6][1] Initially the rulers of the
homonymous tribe,[7] by the time of Philip II they had expanded their reign further, to
include under the rule of Macedonia all Upper Macedonian states. The family's most
celebrated members were Philip II of Macedon and his son Alexander the Great, under
whose leadership the kingdom of Macedonia gradually gained predominance throughout
Greece, defeated the Achaemenid Empire and expanded as far as Egypt and India. The
mythical founder of the Argead dynasty is King Caranus.[8][9]

Origin …

Triobol of Argos (top), and a bronze coin of King Amyntas II of Macedon (bottom). The early Argead kings
often copied the wolf of Argos' coins on their own coinage to highlight their supposed ancestry from this

The words Argead and Argive derive (via Latin Argīvus[11]) from the Greek Ἀργεῖος (Argeios
meaning "of or from Argos"[12]), which is first attested in Homer where it was also used as a
collective designation for the Greeks ("Ἀργείων Δαναῶν", Argive Danaans).[13][14] The
Argead dynasty claimed descent from the Temenids of Argos, in the Peloponnese, whose
legendary ancestor was Temenus, the great-great-grandson of Heracles.[1]

In the excavations of the royal palace at Aegae, Manolis Andronikos discovered in the
"tholos" room (according to some scholars "tholos" was the throne room) a Greek
inscription relating to that belief.[15] This is testified by Herodotus, in The Histories, where
he mentions that three brothers of the lineage of Temenus, Gauanes, Aeropus and
Perdiccas, fled from Argos to the Illyrians and then to Upper Macedonia, to a town called
Lebaea, where they served the king. The latter asked them to leave his territory, believing in
an omen that something great would happen to Perdiccas. The boys went to another part of
Macedonia, near the garden of Midas, above which mount Bermio stands. There they made
their abode and slowly formed their own kingdom.[16]

Herodotus also relates the incident of the participation of Alexander I of Macedon in the
Olympic Games in 504 or 500 BC where the participation of the Macedonian king was
contested by participants on the grounds that he was not Greek. The Hellanodikai, however,
after examining his Argead claim confirmed that the Macedonian kings were Greeks and
allowed him to participate.[17]

The route of the Argeads from Argos, Peloponnese, to

Macedonia according to Herodotus.

Another theory supported by modern scholars, following the ancient author Appian, is that
the Argead dynasty actually descended from Argos Orestikon in Macedonia, and that the
Macedonian kings claimed a descent from Argos in Peloponnese to enforce their

House of Argos
According to Thucydides, in the History of the Peloponnesian War, the Argeads were
originally Temenids from Argos, who descended from the highlands to Lower Macedonia,
expelled the Pierians from Pieria and acquired in Paionia a narrow strip along the river Axios
extending to Pella and the sea. They also added Mygdonia in their territory through the
expulsion of the Edoni, Eordians, and Almopians.[19]

Dynasty …

Argead Rulers
King Reign (BC) Comments

Founder of the Argead dynasty and the first king of

Caranus 808–778 BC

Koinos 778–750 BC

Tyrimmas 750–700 BC

Perdiccas I 700–678 BC

Argaeus I 678–640 BC

Philip I 640–602 BC

Aeropus I 602–576 BC

Alcetas I 576–547 BC

Amyntas I 547–498 BC

Alexander I 498–454 BC

Perdiccas II 454–413 BC

Archelaus 413–399 BC

Orestes and
399–396 BC
Aeropus II

Archelaus II 396–393 BC

Amyntas II 393 BC

Pausanias 393 BC

Amyntas III 393 BC

Argaeus II 393–392 BC

Amyntas III 392–370 BC Restored to the throne after one year.

Alexander II 370–368 BC

Ptolemy I 368–365 BC

Perdiccas III 365–359 BC

Amyntas IV 359 BC

Expanded Macedonian territory and influence to

achieve a dominant position in the Balkans, unified
Philip II 359–336 BC
most of the Greek city-states in the League of Corinth
under his hegemony.

Alexander the Great, the most notable Macedonian

king and one of the most celebrated strategists and
Alexander III 336–323 BC rulers of all time. Alexander at the top of his reign was
simultaneously King of Macedonia, Pharaoh of Egypt,
King of Persia and King of Asia.

Antipater 334–323 BC Regent of Macedonia during the reign of Alexander III.

Philip III Arrhidaeus 323–317 BC Only titular king after the death of Alexander III.

Son of Alexander the Great and Roxana. Served only as

Alexander IV 323–310 BC a titular king and was murdered at a young age before
having the chance to rise to the throne of Macedon.

Family tree …

king of

king of

Perdiccas I
king of
Argaeus I
king of

Philip I
king of

Aeropus I
king of

Alcetas I
king of

Amyntas I
king of
∞ Eurydice

Alexander I
king of
Alcetas II king of
king of Macedon
Macedon Phillipus Menelaus Amyntas ∞
454-448 BC
BC ∞

Aeropus II
I Amyntas II
king of
king of king of
Macedon Arrhidaeus
Macedon Macedon
413-399 393 BC

Orestes Amyntas III
II Pausanias
king of king of
king of king of da
(son) Macedon Macedon
Macedon Macedon
399-396 393, 392-
395-394 394 BC
BC 370 BC

1.Audata of
Illyria da
2.Phila of Neo
(1) (1) Elimeia
Argaeus (1)
Alexander Perdiccas daughter of (1) Philip II
II Eurynoe
II III Derdas III king of
king of ∞
king of king of 3.Nicesipolis Macedon da
Macedon Ptolemy
Macedon Macedon of Thessalia 359-336
393-392 of Aloros
371-369 365-360 niece of BC
BC regent
BC BC Jason of
4.Philinna of

III the Great
(3) king of
Amyntas (4) Philip III
Thessalonike Macedon
IV Arrhidaeus
(1) ∞ 336-323
king of king of da
Cynane Cassander BC
Macedonia Macedon
of emperor of
350 BC 323-317 BC
Macedonia Macedonian

Eurydice emperor of
II Macedonian

References …


s. Howatson & Harvey 1989, p. 339: "In historical times the royal house traced its
descent from the mythical Temenus, king of Argos, who was one of the Heracleidae,
and more immediately from Perdiccas I, who left Argos for Illyria, probably in the mid-
seventh century BC, and from there captured the Macedonian plain and occupied the
fortress of Aegae (Vergina), setting himself up as king of the Macedonians. Thus the
kings were of largely Dorian Greek stock (see PHILIP (1)); they presumably spoke a
form of Dorian Greek and their cultural tradition had Greek features."

v. Cosmopoulos 1992, p. 30.

w. Grant 1988, p. 259: "It was the descendants of these Dorians [...] who formed the
upper class among the Macedonians of subsequent epochs."

x. Cosmopoulos 1992, "TABLE 2: The Argeiad Kings" (p. 30).

y. Argive , Oxford Dictionaries.

z. Hammond 1986, p. 516: "In the early 5th century the royal house of Macedonia, the
Temenidae was recognised as Macedonian by the Presidents of the Olympic Games.
Their verdict considered themselves to be of Macedonian descent."

{. Rogers 2004, p. 316: "According to Strabo, 7.11 ff., the Argeadae were the tribe who
were able to make themselves supreme in early Emathia, later Macedonia."

|. Green 2013, p. 103.

}. According to Pausanias (Description of Greece 9.40.8-9 ), Caranus set up a trophy

after the Argive fashion for a victory against Cisseus: "The Macedonians say that
Caranus, king of Macedonia, overcame in battle Cisseus, a chieftain in a bordering
country. For his victory Caranus set up a trophy after the Argive fashion, but it is said
to have been upset by a lion from Olympus, which then vanished. Caranus, they assert,
realized that it was a mistaken policy to incur the undying hatred of the non-Greeks
dwelling around, and so, they say, the rule was adopted that no king of Macedonia,
neither Caranus himself nor any of his successors, should set up trophies, if they were
ever to gain the good-will of their neighbors. This story is confirmed by the fact that
Alexander set up no trophies, neither for his victory over Dareius nor for those he won
in India."

s~. Hoover 2011, p. 161; Hoover 2016, p. 295.

ss. Lewis & Short 1879, Argīvus .

sv. Liddell & Scott 1940, Ἀργεῖος .

sw. Cartledge 2011, Chapter 4: Argos, p. 23: "The Late Bronze Age in Greece is also called
conventionally 'Mycenaean', as we saw in the last chapter. But it might in principle have
been called 'Argive', 'Achaean', or 'Danaan', since the three names that Homer does in
fact apply to Greeks collectively were 'Argives', 'Achaeans', and 'Danaans'."

sx. Homer. Iliad, 2.155-175 , 4.8 ; Odyssey, 8.578 , 4.6 .

sy. The Greek inscription found in the tholos room of the royal palace at Aegae reads
"ΗΡΑΚΛΗΙ ΠΑΤΡΩΙΩΙ" (Andronikos 1994, p. 38: "Η επιγραφή αυτή είναι: «ΗΡΑΚΛΗΙ
ΠΑΤΡΩΙΩΙ», που σηµαίνει στον «Πατρώο Ηρακλή», στον Ηρακλή δηλαδή που ήταν
γενάρχης της βασιλικής οικογένειας των Μακεδόνων." [Translation: "This inscription is:
«ΗΡΑΚΛΗΙ ΠΑΤΡΩΙΩΙ», which means "Father (Ancestor) Hercules", dedicated to
Hercules who was the ancestor of the royal family of the Macedonians."])

sz. Herodotus. Histories, 8.137.

s{. Herodotus. Histories, 5.22.

s|. Appian. Syrian Wars, 11.10.63.

s}. Thucydides. History of the Peloponnesian War, 2.99.


Andronikos, Manolēs (1994). Vergina: The Royal Tombs . Athens: Ekdotikē Athēnōn. ISBN 960-

Cartledge, Paul (2011). Ancient Greece: A Very Short Introduction . Oxford: Oxford University
Press. ISBN 978-0-19-960134-9.

Cosmopoulos, Michael B. (1992). Macedonia: An Introduction to its Political History. Winnipeg:

Manitoba Studies in Classical Civilization.

Grant, Michael (1988). The Rise of the Greeks . New York: Charles Scribner's Sons.
ISBN 9780684185361.

Green, Peter (2013) [1991]. Alexander of Macedon, 356–323 B.C.: A Historical Biography .
Berkeley and Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-52-095469-4.

Hammond, Nicholas Geoffrey Lemprière (1986). A History of Greece to 322 BC . Oxford, UK:
Clarendon Press. ISBN 0-19-873095-0.

Hoover, Oliver D. (2011). Handbook of Coins of the Peloponnesos: Achaia, Phleiasia, Sikyonia, Elis,
Triphylia, Messenia, Lakonia, Argolis, and Arkadia, Sixth to First Centuries BC (The Handbook of
Greek Coinage Series, Volume 5). Lancaster/London: Classical Numismatic Group.

Hoover, Oliver D. (2016). Handbook of Coins of Macedon and Its Neighbors. Part I: Macedon,
Illyria, and Epeiros, Sixth to First Centuries BC (The Handbook of Greek Coinage Series, Volume
3). Lancaster/London: Classical Numismatic Group.

Howatson, M. C.; Harvey, Sir Paul (1989). The Oxford Companion to Classical Literature . Oxford,
UK: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-866121-5.

Lewis, Charlton T.; Short, Charles (1879). A Latin Dictionary . Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert (1940). A Greek-English Lexicon . Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Rogers, Guy MacLean (2004). Alexander: The Ambiguity of Greatness . New York: Random
House Publishing Group. ISBN 1-4000-6261-6.

Further reading …

Anson, Edward M. (2014). Alexander's Heirs: The Age of the Successors. Malden, MA:

Carney, Elizabeth Donnelly (2009). "The Role of the BASILIKOI PAIDES at the Argead
Court". In Howe, Timothy; Reames, Jeanne (eds.). Macedonian Legacies: Studies in
Ancient Macedonian History and Culture in Honor of Eugene N. Borza. Claremont, CA:
Regina. pp. 145–164.

Carney, Elizabeth Donnelly (2010). "Putting Women in their Place: Women in Public under
Philip II and Alexander III and the Last Argeads". In Carney, Elizabeth D.; Ogden, Daniel
(eds.). Philip II and Alexander the Great: Father and Son, Lives and Afterlives. Oxford:
Oxford University Press. pp. 43–53.

Errington, Robert Malcolm (1978). "The Nature of the Macedonian State under the
Monarchy" . Chiron. 8: 77–134.

Griffith, Guy Thompson (1979). "The Reign of Philip the Second: The Government of the
Kingdom". In Hammond, Nicholas Geoffrey Lemprière; Griffith, Guy Thompson (eds.). A
History of Macedonia. 2. Oxford: Clarendon. pp. 383–404.

Hatzopoulos, Miltiades B. (1996). Macedonian Institutions under the Kings (2 Volumes).

Paris: De Boccard.

King, Carol J. (2010). "Macedonian Kingship and Other Political Institutions". In Roisman,
Joseph; Worthington, Ian (eds.). A Companion to Ancient Macedonia . Oxford,
Chichester and Malden: Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 373–391. ISBN 978-1-4051-7936-2.

Ogden, Daniel (2011). "The Royal Families of Argead Macedon and the Hellenistic World".
In Rawson, Beryl (ed.). A Companion to Families in the Greek and Roman Worlds. Malden,
MA: Blackwell-Wiley. pp. 92–107.

External links …

"Argead Dynasty" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Archived from the original on 26 April

2008. Retrieved 13 May 2008.