Page 0669

669

MACEDONIA-SUCCESSORS OF ALEXANDER.

Antipater undertook the subjugation of Eumenes. With him Antigonus

joined his forces, and the campaign against Cappadocia was pressed with

vigor. Nora, the strongest fortress in that country, was besieged, and

Eumenes was hard pressed to hold out against his assailants. While the

blockade was still in force, the unscrupulous Antigonus made overtures

to Eumenes, and tried to induce him to enter into a league against

Antipater; but Eumenes replied that he would enter into no alliance with

any except a representative of the House of Alexander. He then returned

into the fortress, and the siege was resumed.

Before the place could be taken Antipater died, and Polysperchon was

appointed to succeed him in the regency. In the mean time, the son of

Roxana was associated with Arrhidaeus, and both were put in charge of

the new Regent. It soon became apparent that Antigonus had expected the

general management of affairs to devolve on himself, and finding another

preferred before him, he began to take counsel how he might obtain by

force or intrigue that which was denied him by the free will of others.

He accordingly entered into a conspiracy with Cassander, the son of

Antipater. This ambitious soldier had succeeded in gaining the

affections of Eurydice, and hoped to gain not only her, but with her the

shadowy Empire, the crown of which was worn by her half-imbecile

husband.

For this piece of political gallantry Cassander was disinherited by his

father. The young man had fled to Antigonus, and now became his natural

ally. Hereupon Antigonus took the field and attempted to win by open

force, while Cassander, remaining in the shadow, continued to operate by

subtlety. Ephesus was presently seized, and some ship loads of money,

amounting to six hundred talents, destined to meet the expenses of the

Imperial government of the East, were captured by Antigonus. Eumenes was

again tempted to join him in an alliance against Polysperchon, but could

not be seduced from his loyalty.

The faithful satrap presently thereafter succeeded in making his escape

from Nora, and thus brought the siege to naught. He soon afterwards

entered into an open alliance with Polysperchon, who conferred upon him

the supreme command of all of the Asiatic armies of the Empire. Another

measure of the Regent was his edict reestablishing democracy in all the

states of Greece. It was thought by this means that the allegiance of

the Hellenic commonwealths would remain unshaken, notwithstanding the

temptations to which they were subjected by Antigonus. The event,

however, was the introduction of a reign of confusion such as not even

the turbulent Greeks could well endure. For a while the popular

distraction knew no bounds. The worst elements of society became

suddenly predominant. At Athens the aged Phocion, who had been forty-

five times elected general by the assembly, and was now eighty-five

years old, was condemned by the rabble to drink the hemlock. During the

year 318 B. C. a desultory warfare was carried on between Cassander and

Polysperchon. A naval battle was fought in the Bosphorus, in which

Nicanor, the admiral of Antigonus, was defeated with a loss of one-half

of his ships; but that satrap a few days afterward made a sudden descent

upon the victors while encamped on the coast of Thrace, and in the

battle of Byzantium inflicted on them a bloody defeat. Athens thereupon

surrendered to Cassander, and the government was conferred on Demetrius

Phalereus.

Meanwhile Polysperchon, as a means of strengthening his government, had

brought home to Pella, Olympias, the mother of Alexander. That ambitious

and passionate woman became a powerful influence in the affairs of

state. Her favorite scheme was to secure the united dominions of the

conqueror for her grandson Alexander, son of Roxana. The ascendancy of

Eurydice over the supporters of her husband, Arrhidaeus, was equally

marked. It thus happened that the Macedonian world was torn almost as

much by the rivalries of two women as by the arms of Cassander and the

Regent. The struggle, however, was brief

as it was fierce. Olympias, having gained

over the soldiery to her cause, compelled Eurydice and her husband, the king, to fly for their lives. Having soon afterwards obtained

possession of their persons, she caused them