Saturday, 4 December 2021

Death of Alexander the Great

It is said before burning himself alive on a funeral pyre, Calanus's last words to Alexander were "We shall meet in Babylon." Nobody knew what this meant as Alexander had no plans to go there. In February 323 BC, Alexander ordered his armies to prepare for the march to Babylon. He was warned not to enter the city.

This coin was minted within a year of Alexander’s death
In the week before Alexander's death, accounts mention chills, sweats, exhaustion and high fever, typical symptoms of an infectious disease. After Alexander died the future of his empire was uncertain. His generals scrambled to determine who should succeed him as Alexander had no heir. On his deathbed, Alexander passed his signet ring to Perdiccas, nominating him as his successor, but Perdiccas did not claim power immediately. Princess Roxana of Bactria was pregnant with Alexander’s child at the time, and the gender of the baby was unknown.
Roxane - Wife of Alexander the Great
The factions reached a compromise, and when Alexander IV was born in August 323 BCE, he and Philip III were jointly made kings but acted only as figureheads, while Perdiccas would actually rule the Empire as regent. The new regime was met with confusion, eventually resulting in the assassination of Perdiccas in 321 BCE and 40 years of war between the fragmented generals, splitting Alexander’s Empire into the Ptolemaic Kingdom, the Seleucid Empire, the Kingdom of Pergamon, and Macedonia.