Biographies – Lysimachus

Lysimachos - Photo

Lysimachus – Photo from

Lysimachus c. 361-281B.C. (Gr: Lysimachos) was son of Agathocles, a Thessalian from Crannon who moved with his family in Macedonia and became a flaterrer of king Philip. Lysimachos himself was born in Pella and his brothers were Philip, Autodicus and possibly Alcimachus. Lysimachos was a member of Alexanders’ companion cavalry who distinguished himself in India. Following Alexander’s death he became governor of Thrace and Chersonese.  After Perdiccas had rejected the hand of Antipater’s daughter Nicaea, Lysimachus married her. In 315 he joined the coalition of Ptolemy, Seleucos and Cassander against Antigonus. In 309 BC, he founded Lysimachia in a commanding situation on the neck connecting the Chersonese with the mainland. For many years he was obliged to occupy himself in pacifying his territory and consolidating his authority but in 302 B.C he launched a perfectly timed surpise invasion of Asia Minor and in the following year effected a junction of his forces with Seleucus to defeat and kill Antigonus at Ipsus in 301 B.C. In the meantime he married the Persian princess Amastris. Lysimachos was the principal beneficiary of the partition of Antigonus’ territories which followed the battle . His newly acquired dominions streched from north to south of Asia Minor, shut out Seleucos from the western seaboat and thus sowed the seeds of future conflict. After his divorce with Amastris he marries Arsinoe II of Egypt in order to seal an alliance with Ptolemy. A couple of years later Amastris was murdered by her own sons and Lysimachos had them killed. In the meantime Lysimachos had tried to expand his dominions against the lands of Getae but on the battle against them, he was defeated and captured by the Getae king Dromichaetes who released him afterwards. In the last years of his reign Lysimachos’s autocratic and extortionate methods of government became intensely unpopular and when Seleucos invaded his territory in 282, he met little resistance. Lysimachus made a stand at Corupedium near Magnesia and was killed in the battle.


 Plutarch – The Age of Alexander, Penguin Classics,

W. Heckel – “Who’s who in the Age of Alexander the Great”


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