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Heracles

Ἡρακλῆς), or HERCULES, a son of Alexander the Great by Barsine, the daughter of the Persian Artabazus, and widow of the Rhodian Memnon. Though clearly illegitimate, his claims to the throne were put forth in the course of the discussions that arose on the death of Alexander (B. C. 323), according to one account by Nearchus, to another by Meleager. (Curt. 10.6.11; Just. 11.10, 13.2.) But the proposal was received with general disapprobation, and the young prince, who was at the time at Pergamus, where he had been brought up by Barsine, continued to reside there, under his mother's care, apparently forgotten by all the rival candidates for empire, until the year 310, when he was dragged forth from his retirement, and his claim to the sovereignty once more advanced by Polysperchon. The assassination of Roxana and her son by Cassander in the preceding year (B. C. 311) had left Hercules the only surviving representative of the royal house of Macedonia, and Polysperchon skilfully availed himself of this circumstance to gather round his standard all those hostile to Cassander, or who clung to the last remaining shadow of hereditary right. By these means he assembled an army of 20,000 foot and 1000 horse, with which he advanced towards Macedonia. Cassander met him at Trarmpyae, in the district of Stymphaea, but, alarmed at the disposition which he perceived in his own troops to espouse the cause of a son of Alexander, he would not risk a battle, and entered into secret negotiations with Polysperchon, by which he succeeded in inducing him to put the unhappy youth to death. Polysperchon, accordingly, invited the young prince to a banquet, which he at first declined, as if apprehensive of his fate, but was ultimately induced to accept the invitation, and was strangled immediately after the feast, B. C. 309. (Diod. 20.20, 28; Just. 15.2; Plut. de fals. Pud. 4. p. 530; Paus. 9.7.2; Lycophron. Alex. 5.800-804; and Tzetz. ad loc.) According to Diodorus, he was about seventeen years old when sent for by Polysperchon from Pergamus, and consequently about eighteen at the time of his death: the statement of Justin that he was only fourteen is certainly erroneous. (See Droysen, Hellenism. vol. i. p. 22.)

[E.H.B]

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323 BC (1)
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