1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Lysimachus

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22003311911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 17 — LysimachusEdwyn Robert Bevan

LYSIMACHUS (c. 355–281 B.C.), Macedonian general, son of Agathocles, was a citizen of Pella in Macedonia. During Alexander’s Persian campaigns he was one of his immediate bodyguard and distinguished himself in India. After Alexander’s death he was appointed to the government of Thrace and the Chersonese. For a long time he was chiefly occupied with fighting against the Odrysian king Seuthes. In 315 he joined Cassander, Ptolemy and Seleucus against Antigonus, who, however, diverted his attention by stirring up Thracian and Scythian tribes against him. In 309, he founded Lysimachia in a commanding situation on the neck connecting the Chersonese with the mainland. He followed the example of Antigonus in taking the title of king. In 302 when the second alliance between Cassander, Ptolemy and Seleucus was made, Lysimachus, reinforced by troops from Cassander, entered Asia Minor, where he met with little resistance. On the approach of Antigonus he retired into winter quarters near Heraclea, marrying its widowed queen Amastris, a Persian princess. Seleucus joined him in 301, and at the battle of Ipsus Antigonus was slain. His dominions were divided among the victors, Lysimachus receiving the greater part of Asia Minor. Feeling that Seleucus was becoming dangerously great, he now allied himself with Ptolemy, marrying his daughter Arsinoë. Amastris, who had divorced herself from him, returned to Heraclea. When Antigonus’s son Demetrius renewed hostilities (297), during his absence in Greece, Lysimachus seized his towns in Asia Minor, but in 294 concluded a peace whereby Demetrius was recognized as ruler of Macedonia. He tried to carry his power beyond the Danube, but was defeated and taken prisoner by the Getae, who, however, set him free on amicable terms. Demetrius subsequently threatened Thrace, but had to retire in consequence of a rising in Boeotia, and an attack from Pyrrhus of Epirus. In 288 Lysimachus and Pyrrhus in turn invaded Macedonia, and drove Demetrius out of the country. Pyrrhus was at first allowed to remain in possession of Macedonia with the title of king, but in 285 he was expelled by Lysimachus. Domestic troubles embittered the last years of Lysimachus’s life. Amastris had been murdered by her two sons; Lysimachus treacherously put them to death. On his return Arsinoë asked the gift of Heraclea, and he granted her request, though he had promised to free the city. In 284 Arsinoë, desirous of gaining the succession for her sons in preference to Agathocles (the eldest son of Lysimachus), intrigued against him with the help of her brother Ptolemy Ceraunus; they accused him of conspiring with Seleucus to seize the throne, and he was put to death. This atrocious deed of Lysimachus aroused great indignation. Many of the cities of Asia revolted, and his most trusted friends deserted him. The widow of Agathocles fled to Seleucus, who at once invaded the territory of Lysimachus in Asia. Lysimachus crossed the Hellespont, and in 281 a decisive battle took place at the plain of Corus (Corupedion) in Lydia. Lysimachus was killed; after some days his body, watched by a faithful dog, was found on the field, and given up to his son Alexander, by whom it was interred at Lysimachia.

See Arrian, Anab. v. 13, vi. 28; Justin xv. 3, 4, xvii. 1; Quintus Curtius v. 3, x. 30; Diod. Sic. xviii. 3; Polybius v. 67; Plutarch, Demetrius, 31. 52, Pyrrhus, 12; Appian, Syriaca, 62; Thirlwall, History of Greece, vol. viii. (1847); J. P. Mahaffy, Story of Alexander’s Empire; Droysen, Hellenismus (2nd ed., 1877); A. Holm, Griechische Geschichte, vol. iv. (1894); B. Niese, Gesch. d. griech. u. maked. Staaten, vols. i. and ii. (1893, 1899); J. Beloch, Griech. Gesch. vol. iii. (1904); Hünerwadel, Forschungen zur Gesch. des Königs Lysimachus (1900); Possenti, Il Re Lisimaco di Tracia (1901); Ghione, Note sul regno di Lisimaco (Atti d. real. Accad. di Torino, xxxix.); and Macedonian Empire.  (E. R. B.)