Antipater  [399 - 319 BCE]

An autocratic general who, at age 65, became regent of Macedonia & commander of all Macedonian forces in Europe during Alexander's Asiatic campaigns (334 - 323 BCE). A top aide of Philip II, Antipater orchestrated the army's proclamation of Alexander as king soon after Philip's assassination (336 BCE ). Alexander immediately rewarded him by putting him in charge of domestic affairs as he focused his attention on his campaign against Persia. Thus Antipater was the de facto ruler of the homeland of Alexander's empire (Macedonia & Greece) for most of the conqueror's reign.  He repeatedly demonstrated his loyalty by sending Alexander reinforcements, thwarting a Persian assault upon Greece, and putting down rebellions by Sparta & Athens.  

But success as a soldier earned him powerful enemies. Long accustomed to efficient command, he had little experience with or patience for diplomacy or democracy.  In dealing with the Corinthian league of Greek city states he favored tyrants & oligarchs, angering the leaders of many of Alexander's Hellenic allies. Moreover, Alexander's mother, Olympias, resenting Antipater's consolidation of power,  fed her son a steady stream of rumors designed to undermine his trust in his regent. To make matters worse, when Antipater was finally summoned to Babylon, he countermanded Alexander's order by sending his son Cassander instead.

When Alexander died (323 BCE), Antipater retained his position as de facto governor of Macedonia.  But in his absence, Perdiccas was chosen as regent for Alexander's royal heirs (his pregnant wife Roxana & his illegitimate half-brother Philip). When Perdiccas broke his engagement to Antipater's daughter & began issuing royal decrees in Philip's name, however, Antipater joined an alliance with Antigonus & Ptolemy to depose him. But before they could act Perdiccas was murdered by his own officers (320 BCE) & one of the murderers claimed the role of royal regent. To prevent further chaos a conference of all leading Macedonian generals was convened at Triparadisus, Syria (319 BCE) which formalized the partitioning of Alexander's empire. Antipater was confirmed as governor of the Hellenic homeland & finally made regent for Alexander's heirs. But the octogenarian had little time to exercise this role, since he died within months.

References: Justin, Epitome 13.2, 4-6, 8.

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