Alexander Lyncestes or Alexander the Lyncestian
), son of AEROTUS, a native of the Macedonian district called Lyncestis, whence he is usually called Alexander Lyncestes. Justin (11.1
) makes the singular mistake of calling him a brother of Lyncestas, while in other passages (11.7, 12.14) he uses the correct expression.
He was a contemporary of Philip of Macedonia and Alexander the Great.
He had two brothers, Heromenes and Arrhabaeus ; all three were known to have been accomplices in the murder of Philip, in B. C. 336. Alexander the Great on his accession put to death all those who had taken part in the murder, and Alexander the Lyncestian was the only one that was pardoned, because he was the first who did homage to Alexander the Great as his king. (Arrian, Arr. Anab. 1.25
; Curtius, 7.1
; Justin, 11.2
But king Alexander
not only pardoned him, but even made him his friend and raised him to high honours.
He was first entrusted with the command of an army in Thrace, and afterwards received the command of the Thessalian horse.
In this capacity he accompanied Alexander
on his eastern expedition. In B. C. 334, when Alexander
was staying at Phaselis, he was informed, that the Lyncestian was carrying on a secret correspondence with king Darius, and that a large sum of money was promised, for which he was to murder his sovereign.
The bearer of the letters from Darius was taken by Parmenion and brought before Alexander
, and the treachery was manifest. Yet Alexander
, dreading to create any hostile feeling in Antipater, the regent of Macedonia, whose daughter was married to the Lyncestian, thought it advisable not to put him to death, and had him merely deposed from his office and kept in custody.
In this manner he was dragged about for three years with the army in Asia, until in B. C. 330, when, Philotas having been put to death for a similar crime, the Macedonians demanded that Alexander the Lyncestian should likewise be tried and punished according to his desert. King Alexander
gave way, and as the traitor was unable to exculpate himself, he was put to death at Prophthasia, in the country of the Drangae. (Curtius, l.c.,
and 8.1; Just. 12.14
; Diod. 17.32
The object of this traitor was probably, with the aid of Persia, to gain possession of the throne of Macedonia, which previous to the reign of Amyntas II. had for a time belonged to his family.