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So'sthenes

Σωσθένης), a Macedonian officer of noble birth, but unconnected with the royal family, who obtained the supreme direction of affairs during the period of confusion which followed the invasion of the Gauls. After the death of Ptolemy Ceraunus (B. C. 280), and the short-lived sovereignty of his brother Meleager, Antipater, a nephew of Cassander, was placed on the throne, but his incapacity became speedily apparent, and the times being such as to require an efficient military leader, he was set aside after a reign of only 45 days, and Sosthenes assumed the command of the army, though without the title of king. His arms were at first crowned with success : he defeated the division of the Gauls under Belgius, and for a time cleared Macedonia of the barbarians, but was in his turn defeated by Brennus, and compelled to shut up his troops within the walls of the fortresses. Brennus, however, now turned his arms against Greece. Macedonia became again free, and Sosthenes retained the administration of affairs during the space of nearly two years. Such at least is the statement of Porphyry, but the chronology of these events is extremely obscure. Sosthenes is included by the chronologers among the kings of Macedonia; but it is very doubtful whether he ever assumed the royal title, which he had at first expressly refused. (Just. 24.5, 6; Porphyr. apud Eusel. Arm. vol. i. pp. 156, 157, 162.)

[E.H.B]

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280 BC (1)
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