MACEDONIA-SUCCESSORS OF ALEXANDER.
only by the wounds and death of Macedonians, I will instantly divest
myself of the pernicious ornament. Take back the fatal present. Give it
to some one worthier than I am, if he can preserve the splendid gift
unstained by the blood of his countrymen." The effect of this appeal was
such that the phalanx receded from its attitude, and gave in its
allegiance to the regency under Perdiccas. With him, however, in a short
time Leonatus was associated in the government, and soon afterwards
Meleager as a colleague.
Soon after the completion of these arrangements Queen Roxana gave birth
to a son. The event was hailed as a glad omen, and the child was honored
with his father's name. It was ordered that the infant should be
nurtured with the greatest care and treated as the heir expectant of the
Empire. The next thing demanding the attention of the leaders was the
division of the provinces. Ptolemy, son of Lagus, chose for his portion
the Nile valley, and thus became the founder of the Graeco-Egyptian
dynasty. By this choice he was removed somewhat from the broils into
which he foresaw that his colleagues would in all likelihood be plunged.
Antipater received Macedonia, but with him was associated the veteran
Craterus, whom it will be remembered Alexander had sent thither as
regent. The Thracian states fell to Lysimachus, and Cappadocia to
Eumenes. The Greater Phrygia was assigned to Antigonus, and the Lesser
to Leonatus. The home provinces of Persia were allotted to Pencestes,
and the kingdom of Media to Python. Perdiccas received Babylonia and
retained as his lieutenants in the government Aristonous and Seleucus.
Thus was the world parceled out among the generals of the conqueror.
During all these important transactions the body of the great dead lay
unburied in Babylon. He had given directions that he should be interred
in the oasis of Armun, near the shrine of Zeus. At length Perdiccas
undertook to fulfill the injunction of his master. The body was embalmed
and preparations made for a grand pageant to the distant place of
burial. Two years, however, elapsed before the funeral was actually
completed; and then the plan was changed and Alexandria substituted for
the Libyan oasis as the place of sepulture. Nor could posterity complain
that the great city founded in his honor was selected as the final
resting-place of the son of Philip rather than the green spot in the
desert which superstition more than rational preference had suggested.
The first disturbance which demanded the attention of the Regent
Perdiccas was the revolt of the mercenary Greeks. These troops had been
placed as garrisons and colonies in the cities of northern and eastern
Media, and upon them was imposed the duty of maintaining those borders
of the Empire intact from the encroachments of barbarians. As soon,
however, as it was known that the king was dead, the Greeks, believing
themselves now free from restraint, revolted, and placing themselves
under a commander of their own began their march for Greece. Perdiccas
at once dispatched his lieutenant, Python, to suppress the insurrection
and turn back the insurgents to the places from which they had issued.
This officer, however, proved treacherous and formed a design of making
Media independent, but Perdiccas sent after him public orders to kill
all the Greeks and divide their property among the Macedonian soldiers.
The nature of the orders being known in the army, Python did not
disobey, and the bloody mandate was executed without mercy.
The next revolt was in the province of Cappadocia. The people of this
country, under the lead of their native king, Ariathes, bade defiance to
the rule of the Macedonians, and Perdiccas intrusted to Eurnenes the
task of reducing them to obedience. The character of these warlike
barbarians was well known to the Regent, and he accordingly ordered
Antigonus and Leonatus, governors of the two Phrygias, to assist in the
work of subjugation. Both, however, refused to obey the order, and
Perdiccas himself was obliged to march to the aid of his colleague.
Notwithstanding the valor of the Cappadocians, they were quickly
overthrown by the veteran Macedonian army, and the authority of Eumenes
reestablished on a firm basis.
Soon afterwards an insurrection broke out