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The Settlement at Triparadisus


Detail of the Alexander mosaic, found in Pompeii. National Archaeological Museum, Naples (Italy). After the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BCE, his brother Arridaeus and his posthumous son Alexander were made kings; but because Philip was considered mentally deficient and Alexander was still a baby, Perdiccas was made their regent. The satrapies were given to Alexander's generals. Soon, they started to behave independently.
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Marble head of Philip Arridaeus? Museo Nazionale, Napoli (Italy).
Philip Arridaeus? (Museo archeologico nazionale, Napoli; !!!)
The first to abandon the pretense not to be ruler of a kingdom of his own, was Ptolemy, who held Egypt. Perdiccas led an army to the country along the Nile, but was unable to proceed and killed. Ptolemy refused to become the new regent and put forward Peithon, an officer who plainly lacked the qualities to keep the empire together. This was considered outrageous and therefore, a conference was organized at Triparadisus (perhaps at Baalbek), in 320; Antipater, once the commander of the Macedonian forces in Europe, was to be the new regent. The satrapies were divided again, and this division was, in fact, the end of the former Persian empire.

The results of the conference are described by the Greek author Arrian of Nicomedia in the sequel to his better known Anabasis, the Events after Alexander. This work, which covered the events between 323 and 320, is now lost, but a Byzantine excerpt made by patriarch Photius (820-897) survives. Section 34-38 can be read below in the translation by John Rooke.


Map of the Persian empire. Design Jona Lendering.
Then and there Antipater made a new division of Asia, wherein he partly confirmed the former and partly annulled it, according as the exigency of affairs required. For, in the first place,
  • Egypt with Libya, and all the vast waste beyond it, and whatever else had been acquired to the westward, he assigned to Ptolemy;
  • Syria to Laomedon the Mitylenaean;
  • Cilicia to Philoxenus, for he held it before.
  • Among the higher provinces, Mesopotamia and Arbelitis were bestowed on Amphimachus, the king's brother;
  • Babylonia, on Seleucus;
  • the prefecture of all the province of Susa [i.e. Elam], on Antigenes, who was captain of the Macedonian Silver shields, and had first opposed Perdiccas.
  • Peucestas was confirmed in his government of Persis.
  • Tlepolemus in Carmania,
  • and Peithon in that of Media, as far as the Caspian Gate.
  • Philip in Parthia.
  • Stasander in that of the Arians and Drangians.
  • Stasanor the Solian, over Bactria and Sogdia;
  • and Sybirtius over the Arachosians.
  • The country of the Parapamisians [i.e., Gandara] was bestowed upon Oxyartes, the father of Roxane;
  • and the skirts of India adjacent to Mount Parapamisus, on Peithon the son of Agenor.
  • As to the countries beyond that, those on the river Indus, with the city Patala (the capital of that part of India) were assigned to Porus.
  • Those upon the Hydaspes, to Taxiles the Indian; for it was deemed no easy matter to dispossess those who had been confirmed in their territories by Alexander himself, their power was grown so strong. 
  • Of the countries to the northward of Mount Taurus, Cappadocia was assigned to Nicanor;
  • Phrygia, Lycaonia, Pamphylia, and Lycia, as before, to Antigonus.
  • Caria to Asander;
  • Lydia to Clitus; 
  • and Hellespontine Phrygia to Arridaeus. 
  • Antigenes was deputed collector of the tribute in the province of Susa, and three thousand of those Macedonians who were the most ready to mutiny, appointed to attend him. 
  • Moreover, he appointed Autolychus the son of Agathocles, Amyntas the son of Alexander and brother of Peucestas, Ptolemy the son of Ptolemy, and Alexander the son of Polyperchon, as guards to surround the king's person. 
  • To his son Cassander he gave the command of the horse; 
  • and to Antigonus, the troops that had before been assigned to Perdiccas, and the care and custody of the king's person, with order to prosecute the war against Eumenes
Which done, Antipater himself departed home, much applauded by all, for his wise and prudent management




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