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Sample Essay on Wars of the Diadochi

About the wars of the Diachi

The wars of Diadochi were a series of battles following the death of Alexander the Great. The wars were between his most significant generals who fought for control of part or entire of his empire. The main issues were decided in the first twenty years of the battle that ended in 301 BC at the battle of Issus. The empire was split into three main states, known as successor states, including Egypt, Macedonia and the Seleucid Empire. The wars between surviving successors, however, continued at a less intense layer until the death of Seleucus I, in 280 BC.

Wars of the Diadochi: First Diadochi War

The first Diadochi battle took place between Perdicccas who ruled as a regent and Ariarathes who ruled in Cappadocia, central part of modern day Turkey. It took place in 322 BCE when Antipater and Craterus in Macedonia went against the orders of Perdiccas. Macedonia sensed war and allied with Ptolemy from Egypt.

Perdiccas ambushed Egypt and tried to cross river Nile, but many of his forces were swept away. He called commanders Antigenes, Seleucus and Peithon together for a new plan. However, he was killed before the end of the war. The commanders then agreed to make Ptolemy the empire’s regent but he declined because he was content with Egypt.

Ptolemy suggested Peithon as a regent, a suggestion that annoyed Antipater. Negotiations were therefore held settling for Antipater as the new regent ruling the empire in Macedonia. Ptolemy remained satrap of Egypt, Seleucus leader of Babylonia and Peithon ruled Media while Antigonous was the commandant in charge of Perdiccus and took control of Asia Minor.

Wars of the Diadochi: Second Diadochi War

The second war broke out after the death of Antipater in 319 BCE. He had appointed Polyperchon to succeed but his son Cassander planed a rebellion against the elected regent. Ptolemy had his eye on Syria when the war broke out hence, formed an alliance with Antigonus and Cassander to attack Syria.

Polyperchon was left desperate for allies and offered Greek the likelihood of autonomy but he didn’t get any support. Cassander invaded Macedonia but he lost in 316 BCE. In June 316 BEC, Antigonus moved to Persia, battled with Eumenes forces in an indecisive Battle of Paraitacene. Eumenes however died in a fight near Gabae towards the end of the war. Antigonus was left in charge of Asian part of Alexander’s empire. He invited Peithon of Media and had him killed as a way of cementing his control over the empire. Seleucus fled to Egypt on seeing that he would no longer control Babylon.

Wars of the Diadochi: Third Diadochi War

Antigonus controlled the entire of Asia, Ptolemy plotted with Lysimachus of Thrace and Cassander to invade Egypt. They demanded for royal treasury from Antigonus and the lands he had acquired. He refused leading to a war inn 314 BC. Antigonus attacked Syria, laid siege to City of Tyre for 1 year 3 months while Seleucus took over Cyprus.

On diplomatic grounds, Antigonus demanded for an explanation of his mother’s death, Olympians and Alexander IV. He allied with Polyperchon of Southern Greece and sent his forces to attack Cilicia. 

Ptolemy was worried about possible invasion of Egypt and retreated back. Seleucus marched to Babylon and in mid-311 BCE he was recognized as a satrap following the death of Peithon in Gaza.

Antigonus could no longer defeat Ptolemy, and decided to sign a truce in December 311 BCE. Cassander led Macedonia until Alexander IV was of age while Antigonus controlled Asia Minor. Seleucus controlled river Euphrates to India and in 310 BCE, Cassander killed Alexander IV and Roxane his mother. He then captured Ecbata, ordered a predawn attack and forced Antigonus back to Syria. Seleucus sent troops ahead to attack Antigonus territory.

Wars of the Diadochi: Fourth Diadochi War

The fourth Diadochi War broke out in 307 BCE when Antigonus faced off with a powerful Seleucus to his east and Ptolemy to the South. Egypt was secure, Ptolemy attacked Greece and he was motivated by the fact that Antigonus did not have support of Athens and other cities. Even so, Antagonus sent Demetrius to Greece in support of Cassander.

He later withdrew Demetrius; the two armies came together in the battles of Hellenistic period at Ipsus. Antigonus was killed in the battlefield marking a turning point in the Wars of Diadochi whose main and entire policy was focused on reuniting the entire Alexander’s empire.

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