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Perdiccas

Περδίκκας).


1.

The founder of the Macedonian monarchy according to Herodotus (viii. 137). He and his two brothers Gauanes and Aëropus were Argives who settled near Mount Bermius, whence they gradually conquered a part of the territory that was later known as Macedonia. Other writers, however, make Caranus the founder of the kingdom and Perdiccas only the fourth among the early kings. (See Caranus.) Perdiccas was succeeded by his son Argaeus. See Macedonia.


2.

The son and successor of Alexander I. of Macedonia, reigning from B.C. 454 to 413. Shortly before the Peloponnesian War, Perdiccas was at war with the Athenians, who sent a force to support his brother Philip, and Derdas, a Macedonian chieftain, against the king, while the latter espoused the cause of Potidaea, which had shaken off the Athenian yoke, B.C. 432 (Diod. Sic.xii. 34). In the following year peace was concluded between Perdiccas and the Athenians, but it did not last long, and he was during the greater part of his reign on hostile terms with the Athenians. In B.C. 429 his dominions were invaded by Sitalces, king of the powerful Thracian tribe of the Odrysians, but the enemy was compelled, by want of provisions, to return home (Diod. Sic.xii. 50). It was in great part at his instigation that Brasidas in B.C. 424 set out on his celebrated expedition to Macedonia and Thrace. In the following year (B.C. 423), however, a misunderstanding arose between him and Brasidas; in consequence of which he abandoned the Spartan alliance, and concluded peace with Athens (Thuc.iv. 82). Subsequently we find him at one time in alliance with the Spartans and at another time with the Athenians; and it is evident that he joined one or other of the belligerent parties according to the dictates of his own interest at the moment.


3.

Perdiccas III., king of Macedonia, B.C. 364-359, was the second son of Amyntas II., by his wife Eurydicé. On the assassination of his brother Alexander II., by Ptolemy of Alorus, B.C. 367, the crown of Macedonia devolved upon him by hereditary right, but Ptolemy virtually enjoyed the sovereign power as guardian of Perdiccas till B.C. 364, when the latter caused Ptolemy to be put to death, and took the government into his own hands (Just.vii. 4). Of the reign of Perdiccas we have very little information. We learn only that he was at one time engaged in hostilities with Athens on account of Amphipolis, and that he was distinguished for his patronage of men of letters. He fell in battle against the Illyrians in B.C. 359.


4.

Son of Orontes, a Macedonian of the province of Orestis, was one of the most distinguished of the generals of Alexander the Great. He accompanied Alexander throughout his campaign in Asia; and the king, on his death-bed, is said to have taken the royal signet ring from his finger and given it to Perdiccas (Q. Curt. x. 5, 4). After the death of the king (B.C. 323), Perdiccas had the chief authority intrusted to him under the command of the new king Arrhidaeus, who was a mere puppet in his hands, and he still further strengthened his power by the assassination of his rival Meleager. (See Meleager.) The other generals of Alexander regarded him with fear and suspicion; and at length his ambitious schemes induced Antipater, Craterus, and Ptolemy to unite in a league and declare open war against Perdiccas. Thus assailed on all sides, Perdiccas determined to leave Eumenes in Asia Minor, to make head against their common enemies in that quarter, while he himself marched into Egypt against Ptolemy. He advanced without opposition as far as Pelusium, but found the banks of the Nile strongly fortified and guarded by Ptolemy, and was repulsed in repeated attempts to force the passage of the river; in the last of which, near Memphis, he lost great numbers of men. Thereupon his troops, who had long been discontented with Perdiccas, rose in mutiny and put him to death in his own tent (Diod.xviii. 14-36).

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