Alexander I. or Alexander of Epirus
) , king of EPIRUS, was the son of Neoptolemus and brother of Olympias, the mother of Alexander the Great.
He came at an early age to the court of Philip of Macedonia, and after the Grecian fashion became the object of his attachment. Philip in requital made him king of Epirus, after dethroning his cousin Aeacides. When Olympias was repudiated by her husband, she went to her brother, and endeavoured to induce him to make war on Philip. Philip, however, declined the contest, and formed a second alliance with him by giving him his daughter Cleopatra in marriage. (B. C. 336.)
At the wedding Philip was assassinated by Pausanias. In B. C. 332, Alexander, at the request of the Tarentines, crossed over into Italy, to aid them against the Lucanians and Bruttii.
After a victory over the Samnites and Lucanians near Paestum he made a treaty with the Romans. Success still followed his arms.
He took Heraclea and Consentia from the Lucanians, and Terina and Sipontum from the Bruttii.
But in B. C. 326, through the treachery of some Lucanian exiles, he was compelled to engage under unfavourable circumstances near Pandosia, on the banks of the Acheron, and fell by the hand of one of the exiles, as he was crossing the river; thus accomplishing the prophecy of the oracle of Dodona, which had bidden him beware of Pandosia and the Acheron.
He left a son, Neoptolemus, and a daughter, Cadmea. (Justin, 8.6
; Liv. 8.3
; Diod. 16.72
The head on the annexed coin of Alexander I. represents that of Jupiter.