Basileus of Macedonia
King of Persia
King of Asia
Pharaoh of Egypt
Hegemon of the Hellenic League
Ancient Greek Religion
Argead dynasty (Greek: Ἀργεάδαι, Argeádai) was an
ancient Macedonian Greek royal house. They were the founders and the
ruling dynasty of Macedon from about 700 to 310 BC. Their tradition,
as described in ancient Greek historiography, traced their origins to
Argos, in Peloponnese, hence the name Argeads or Argives.
Initially the rulers of the homonymous tribe, by the time of Philip
II they had expanded their reign further, to include under the rule of
Macedonia all Upper Macedonian states. The family's most celebrated
Philip II of Macedon
Philip II of Macedon and Alexander the Great, under whose
leadership the kingdom of Macedonia gradually gained predominance
throughout Greece, defeated the
Achaemenid Empire and expanded as far
Egypt and India. The mythical founder of the
Argead dynasty is King
4 Further reading
5 External links
Further information: History of
Macedonia (ancient kingdom)
Macedonia (ancient kingdom) and
Government of Macedonia (ancient kingdom)
The route of the Argeads from Argos, Peloponnese, to Macedonia
according to Herodotus.
The words "Argead" and "Argive" derive (via
Latin Argīvus) from
the Greek Ἀργεῖος (Argeios), "of or from Argos", which is
first attested in Homer, where it was also used as a collective
designation for the Greeks ("Ἀργείων Δαναῶν", Argive
Argead dynasty claimed descent from the Temenids
of Argos, in the Peloponnese, whose legendary ancestor was Temenus,
the great-great-grandson of Heracles. In the excavations of the royal
Palace at Aegae Manolis Andronikos discovered in the "tholos" room
(according to some scholars "tholos" was the throne room) an
inscription relating to that belief. This is testified by
Herodotus, in The Histories, where he mentions that three brothers of
the lineage of Temenus, Gauanes, Aeropus and Perdiccas, fled from
Argos to the
Illyrians and then to Upper Macedonia, to a town called
Lebaea, where they served the king. The latter asked them to leave his
territory, believing in an omen that something great would happen to
Perdiccas. The boys went to another part of Macedonia, near the garden
of Midas, above which mount Bermio stands. There they made their abode
and slowly formed their own kingdom.
Herodotus also relates the
incident of the participation of
Alexander I of Macedon
Alexander I of Macedon in the Olympic
Games in 504 or 500 BC where the participation of the Macedonian king
was contested by participants on the grounds that he was not Greek.
The Hellanodikai, however, after examining his Argead claim confirmed
that the Macedonians were Greeks and allowed him to participate.
According to Thucydides, in the History of the Peloponnesian War, the
Argeads were originally
Temenids from Argos, who descended from the
highlands to Lower Macedonia, expelled the Pierians from Pieria and
Paionia a narrow strip along the river Axios extending to
Pella and the sea. They also added
Mygdonia in their territory through
the expulsion of the Edoni, Eordians, and Almopians.
Founder of the
Argead dynasty and first King of Macedon
Orestes and Aeropus II
Restored to the throne after one year
Unifier of Greece under the rule of Macedon
Alexander the Great. The most notable ancient Greek King and one of
the most celebrated strategists and rulers of all time. Alexander at
the top of his reign was simultaneously King of Macedonia, Pharaoh of
King of Persia
King of Persia and King of Asia
Regent of Macedonia during the reign of Alexander III
Philip III Arrhidaeus
Only titular king after the death of Alexander III
Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great and Roxana. Served only as a titular king
and was murdered at a young age before having the chance to rise to
the throne of Macedon
^ Argive, Oxford Dictionaries.
^ Hammond 1986, p. 516: "In the early 5th century the royal house
of Macedonia, the Temenidae was recognised as Macedonian by the
Presidents of the Olympic Games. Their verdict considered themselves
to be of Macedonian descent ."
^ Howatson & Harvey 1989, p. 339: "In historical times the
royal house traced its descent from the mythical Temenus, king of
Argos, who was one of the Heracleidae, and more immediately from
Perdiccas I, who left
Argos for Illyria, probably in the mid-seventh
century BC, and from there captured the Macedonian plain and occupied
the fortress of Aegae (Vergina), setting himself up as king of the
Macedonians. Thus the kings were of largely Dorian Greek stock (see
PHILIP (1)); they presumably spoke a form of Dorian Greek and their
cultural tradition had Greek features."
^ Rogers 2004, p. 316: "According to Strabo, 7.11 ff., the
Argeadae were the tribe who were able to make themselves supreme in
early Emathia, later Macedonia."
^ Green 2013, p. 103.
^ According to Pausanias (Description of Greece 9.40.8-9), Caranus set
up a trophy after the Argive fashion for a victory against Cisseus:
"The Macedonians say that Caranus, king of Macedonia, overcame in
battle Cisseus, a chieftain in a bordering country. For his victory
Caranus set up a trophy after the Argive fashion, but it is said to
have been upset by a lion from Olympus, which then vanished. Caranus,
they assert, realized that it was a mistaken policy to incur the
undying hatred of the non-Greeks dwelling around, and so, they say,
the rule was adopted that no king of Macedonia, neither Caranus
himself nor any of his successors, should set up trophies, if they
were ever to gain the good-will of their neighbors. This story is
confirmed by the fact that Alexander set up no trophies, neither for
his victory over Dareius nor for those he won in India."
^ Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short. A
Latin Dictionary, Argīvus.
^ Henry George Liddell and Robert Scott. A Greek-English Lexicon,
^ Cartledge 2011, Chapter 4: Argos, p. 23: "The Late Bronze Age in
Greece is also called conventionally 'Mycenaean', as we saw in the
last chapter. But it might in principle have been called 'Argive',
'Achaean', or 'Danaan', since the three names that
Homer does in fact
apply to Greeks collectively were 'Argives', 'Achaeans', and
^ Homer. Iliad, 2.155-175, 4.8; Odyssey, 8.578, 4.6.
^ Andronikos 1994, p. 38: Inscription found in the tholos room of the
Agai Palace: "Η επιγραφή αυτή είναι:
«ΗΡΑΚΛΗΙ ΠΑΤΡΩΙΩΙ», που σημαίνει στον
«Πατρώο Ηρακλή», στον Ηρακλή δηλαδή
που ήταν γενάρχης της βασιλικής
οικογένειας των Μακεδόνων." [Translation: "The
inscription is: «ΗΡΑΚΛΗΙ ΠΑΤΡΩΙΩΙ», which means
"Father (Ancestor) Hercules", dedicated to Hercules who was the
ancestor of the royal family of the Macedonians."]
^ Herodotus. Histories, 8.137.
^ Herodotus. Histories, 5.22.
^ Thucydides. History of the Peloponnesian War, 2.99.
Andronikos, Manolēs (1994). Vergina: The Royal Tombs. Athens:
Ekdotikē Athēnōn. ISBN 960-213-128-4.
Cartledge, Paul (2011). Ancient Greece: A Very Short Introduction.
Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-960134-9.
Green, Peter (2013) . Alexander of Macedon, 356–323 B.C.: A
Historical Biography. Berkeley and Los Angeles, CA: University of
California Press. ISBN 978-0-52-095469-4.
Hammond, Nicholas Geoffrey Lemprière (1986). A History of Greece to
322 BC. Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press. ISBN 0-19-873095-0.
Howatson, M. C.; Harvey, Sir Paul (1989). The Oxford Companion to
Classical Literature. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Rogers, Guy MacLean (2004). Alexander: The Ambiguity of Greatness. New
York: Random House Publishing Group. ISBN 1-4000-6261-6.
Library resources about
Resources in your library
Resources in other libraries
Anson, Edward M. 2014. "The End of a Dynasty." In Alexander's Heirs:
The Age of the Successors. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Carney, Elizabeth Donnelly. 2009. "The role of the BASILIKOI PAIDES at
the Argead court." In Macedonian legacies: Studies in ancient
Macedonian history and culture in honor of Eugene N. Borza. Edited by
Timothy Howe and Jeanne Reames, 145–164. Claremont, CA: Regina.
--. 2010. "Putting women in their place: Women in public under Philip
II and Alexander III and the last Argeads." In Philip II and Alexander
the Great: Father and son, lives and afterlives. Edited by Elizabeth
D. Carney and Daniel Ogden, 43–53. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.
Errington, Robert Malcolm. 1978. "The nature of the Macedonian state
under the monarchy." Chiron 7:77–133.
Griffith, Guy Thompson. 1979. "The reign of Philip the Second: The
government of the kingdom." In A history of Macedonia. Vol. 2. Edited
by Nicholas Geoffrey Lemprière Hammond, and Guy Thompson Griffith,
383–404. Oxford: Clarendon.
Hatzopoulos, Miltiades B. 1996. Macedonian institutions under the
kings. 2 vols. Paris: De Boccard.
King, Carol J. 2010. "Macedonian kingship and other political
institutions." In A companion to ancient Macedonia. Edited by Joseph
Roisman and Ian Worthington, 373–391. Malden, MA: Blackwell-Wiley.
Ogden, Daniel. 2011. "The Royal Families of Argead Macedon and the
Hellenistic World." In A Companion to Families in the Greek and Roman
Worlds. Edited by Beryl Rawson, 92–107. Malden, MA: Blackwell-Wiley.
"Argead Dynasty". Encyclopædia Britannica. Archived from the original
on 26 April 2008. Retrieved M