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both to be assassinated. Thus, after a nominal reign of six years, was

extinguished the spectral successor of Alexander the Great.

Cassander was greatly enraged at this atrocity and hastened into

Macedonia to avenge the death of Eurydice. On his approach the aged

Olympias took counsel of discretion and escaped from the city. With her

grandson, Alexander AEgus, and his mother Roxana, she shut herself up in

the strong fortress of Pydna, and was there besieged by Cassander. At

the last, famine effected what arms had failed to accomplish, and the

relentless old queen surrendered herself to her enemies. She was

subjected to the form of a trial and put to death.

While these events were happening in Europe the struggle continued

between Eumenes and Antigonus in Asia. The former, in addition to the

conflict with his enemies in the field, was troubled not a little in his

civil councils. The Macedonians, upon whom he was compelled to rely for

support, looked upon him with disfavor, for he was a man of obscure

birth and foreign parentage. Meanwhile Antigonus, after his victory in

the battle of Byzantium, began a pursuit of Eumenes, who was then with

his army in Phoenicia.

The latter, unable to meet his foe in the field, began retreating toward

the east. He called upon Seleucus, the Babylonian satrap, to aid him

with men and supplies; but that prince, instead of complying, opened the

sluices of the Tigris and came near destroying Eumenes and his whole

army. They escaped from their peril, however, and made their way as far

east as the borders of Persia. Here, in B. C. 316, they were overtaken

by Antigonus, and a battle was fought, with indecisive results. In a

second conflict, however, Eumenes was defeated and taken prisoner. He

was carried through the Macedonian camp and begged the soldiers to kill

him, but they would not. But soon afterwards he was secretly put to

death in prison. For twenty years he had fought for the House of Philip;

and after every other general of note had abandoned the cause of

Alexander and began to contrive for himself, he still continued to

strive for the maintenance of Macedonian supremacy. Among the many who

had given free rein to selfishness and treachery, Eumenes alone kept his

honor bright and went down to the grave without a stain on his


Antigonus, having thus triumphed over all opposition, assumed the

regency. Polysperchon retired into Peloponnesus. Olympias was dead. The

young Alexander AEgus was thus left naked to his enemies. Antigonus

gathered his forces and made a campaign into Media. Having observed that

of late the veteran cohort known as the Argraspides, or Silver-shields,

had had too much to do in settling difficulties appertaining to the

government, he dispatched them on arduous expeditions to the frontier

provinces for the purpose of wearing them out with privations and

fatigue. A second measure was to get rid of Python. That turbulent

spirit was invited to join Antigonus with the promise of preferment, but

was presently seized and put to death. Then followed the overthrow of

Peucestes, satrap of Persia. Being jealous of this officer, Antigonus

followed him to his capital, Pasargadae, and having driven him from

authority appointed one of his own tools as his successor.

The next object of the Regent's dislike was Seleucus, governor of

Babylonia. Dissembling his purpose, he marched to the capital and was

royally entertained by Seleucus; but the latter, perceiving that he was

destined to fall by the same hand that had destroyed Python and

Peucestes, made his escape from Babylon and fled to Egypt. He was

cordially received by Ptolemy, and the two immediately sent proposals to

Cassander and Lysimachus to enter into a league against the ambitious

Antigonus. They were joined by Asander, satrap of Caria, and the

confederates then made their demands of the Regent. But he rejected the

overtures with disdain. Both parties made preparations for war, and in

B. C. 315 hostilities began. The struggle continued for a period of

twelve years, and involved all the leading populations from the Adriatic

to the Indus.

In the beginning of the contest Antigonus invaded Caria, and Asander,

the governor, was overthrown. The Regent next succeeded in securing the

favor of a strong party in Peloponnesus, where Polysperchon still