previous next

Phila

2. Daughter of Antipater, the regent of Macedonia, is celebated as one of the noblest and most virtuous women of the age in which she lived. Her abilities and judgment were so conspicuous even at an early age, that we are told her father Antipater, was in the constant habit of consulting her in regard to political affairs. In B. C. 322, she was given by him in marriage to Craterus, as a reward for the assistance furnished by the latter to Antipater in the Lamian war (Diod. 18.18). But if any dependence can be placed on the authority of Antonius Diogenes (apud Phot. p. 111b.), she must have been previously married to Balacrus (probably the satrap of Cappadocia of that name) as early as B. C. 332; and this seems to accord well with the statement of Plutarch that she was already past her prime, when after the death of Craterus, who survived his marriage with her scarcely a year, she was again married to the young Demetrius, the son of Antigonus (Plut. Demetr. 14). The exact period of this last marriage is nowhere indicated, but it seems probable that it must have taken place as early as B. C. 319 (comp. Droysen, Hellenism. vol. i. p. 216; and Niebuhr, Kl. Schrift. p. 226); it was certainly prior to 315, in which year the remains of her late husband were at length consigned to her care by Ariston, the friend of Eumenes (Diod. 19.59). Notwithstanding the disparity of age, Phila appears to have exercised the greatest influence over her youthful husband, by whom she was uniformly treated with the utmost respect and consideration, and towards whom she continued to entertain the warmest affection, in spite of his numerous amours and subsequent marriages. During the many vicissitudes of fortune which Demetrius experienced, Phila seems to have resided principally in Cyprus; from whence we find her sending letters and costly presents to her husband during the siege of Rhodes. After the fatal battle of Ipsus, she joined Demetrius, and was soon after sent by him to her brother Cassander in Macedonia, to endeavour to effect a reconciliation and treaty between him and Demetrius. She appears to have again returned to Cyprus, where, in B. C. 295, she was besieged in Salamis by Ptolemy, and ultimately compelled to surrender, but was treated by him in the most honourable manner, and sent together with her children in safety to Macedonia. Here she now shared the exalted fortunes of her husband, and contributed not a little to secure the attachment of the Macedonian people to his person. But when, in B. C. 287, a sudden revolution once more precipitated Demetrius front the throne, Phila, unable to bear this unexpected reverse, and despairing of the future, put an end to her own life at Cassandreia. (Plut. Demetr. 22, 32, 35, 37, 38, 45; Diod. 20.93.)

The noble character of Phila is a bright spot in the history of a dark and troubled period. Her influence was ever exerted in the cause of peace, in protecting the oppressed, and in attempting, but too often in vain, to calm the violent passions of those by whom she was surrounded. She left two children by Demetrius; Antigonus, surnamed Gonatas, who became king of Macedonia; and a daughter, Stratonice, married first to Seleucus, and afterwards to his son Antiochus (Plut. Demetr. 31, 37, 53). Besides these, it appears that she must have had a son by Craterus, who bore his father's name. (Niebuhr, Kl. Schrift. p. 225.) The Athenians, in order to pay their court to Demetrius, consecrated a temple to Phila, under the name of Aphrodite. (Athen. 6.254a.)

hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
332 BC (1)
322 BC (1)
319 BC (1)
295 BC (1)
287 BC (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: