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Neopto'lemus Ii.

king of Epeirus, was son of Alexander I. and grandson of the preceding. At his father's death in B. C. 326, he was probably a mere infant, and his pretensions to the throne were passed over in favour of Aeacides. It was not till B. C. 302 that the Epeirots, taking advantage of the absence of Pyrrhus, the son of Aeacides, rose in insurrection against him, and set up Neoptolemus in his stead. The latter reigned for the dangers space of six years without opposition, but effectually alienated the minds of his subjects, by his harsh and tyrannical rule. He thus paved the way for the return of Pyrrhus, who landed in Epeirus in B. C. 296, at the head of a force furnished him by Ptolemy, king of Egypt. Neoptolemus, alarmed at the disaffection of his subjects, consented to a compromise, and it was agreed that the two rivals should share the sovereignty between them. But such an arrangement could not last long; at a solemn festival, where the two kings and all the chief nobles of the land were assembled, Neoptolemus had formed the design to rid himself of his rival by poison; but the plot was discovered by Pyrrhus, who in return caused him to be assassinated at a banquet to which he had himself invited him. (Plut. Pyrrh. 4, 5; Droysen, vol. i p. 250.)


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