House of Argos
Vergina Sun - Golden Larnax.png
Parent houseTemenids (Heracleidae)
CountryMacedonia, (Ancient Greece)
Founded808 BC
Final rulerAlexander IV of Macedon
TitlesBasileus of Macedonia

King of Persia

King of Asia

Pharaoh of Egypt

Hegemon of the Hellenic League, Strategus Autokrator of Greece
ReligionAncient Greek Religion
Estate(s)Macedonia
Dissolution310 BC

The Argead dynasty (Greek: Ἀργεάδαι, Argeádai) was an ancient Macedonian royal house of Dorian Greek provenance.[1] They were the founders and the ruling dynasty of the kingdom of Macedon from about 700 to 310 BC.[2]

Their tradition, as described in ancient Greek historiography, traced their origins to Argos, in Peloponnese, hence the name Argeads or Argives.[3][4][5] Initially the rulers of the homonymous tribe,[6] by the time of Philip II they had expanded their reign further, to include under the rule of Macedonia all Upper Macedonian states. The family's most celebrated members were Philip II of Macedon and Alexander the Great, under whose leadership the kingdom of Macedonia gradually gained predominance throughout Greece, defeated the Achaemenid Empire and expanded as far as Egypt and India. The mythical founder of the Argead dynasty is King Caranus.[7][8]

Origin

Triobol of Argos (top), and a bronze coin of King Amyntas II of Macedon (bottom). The early Argead kings often copied the wolf of Argos' coins on their own coinage to highlight their supposed ancestry from this city.[9][10]

The words "Argead" and "Argive" derive (via Latin Argīvus[11]) from the Greek Ἀργεῖος (Argeios), "of or from Argos",[12] which is first attested in Homer, where it was also used as a collective designation for the Greeks ("Ἀργείων Δαναῶν", Argive Danaans).[13][14] The Argead dynasty claimed descent from the Temenids of Argos, in the Peloponnese, whose legendary ancestor was Temenus, the great-great-grandson of Heracles.

In the excavations of the royal Palace at Aegae Manolis Andronikos discovered in the "tholos" room (according to some scholars "tholos" was the throne room) an inscription relating to that belief.[15] This is testified by Herodotus, in The Histories, where he mentions that three brothers of the lineage of Temenus, Gauanes, Aeropus and Perdiccas, fled from Argos to the Illyrians and then to Upper Macedonia, to a town called Lebaea, where they served the king. The latter asked them to leave his territory, believing in an omen that something great would happen to Perdiccas. The boys went to another part of Macedonia, near the garden of Midas, above which mount Bermio stands. There they made their abode and slowly formed their own kingdom.[16]

Herodotus also relates the incident of the participation of Alexander I of Macedon in the Olympic Games in 504 or 500 BC where the participation of the Macedonian king was contested by participants on the grounds that he was not Greek. The Hellanodikai, however, after examining his Argead claim confirmed that the Macedonian kings were Greeks and allowed him to participate.[17]

The route of the Argeads from Argos, Peloponnese, to Macedonia according to Herodotus.

Another theory supported by modern scholars, following the ancient author Appian, is that the Argead dynasty actually descended from Argos Orestikon in Macedonia, and that the Macedonian Kings claimed a descent from Argos in Peloponnese to enforce their Greekness.[18]

House of Argos

According to Thucydides, in the History of the Peloponnesian War, the Argeads were originally Temenids from Argos, who descended from the highlands to Lower Macedonia, expelled the Pierians from Pieria and acquired in Paionia a narrow strip along the river Axios extending to Pella and the sea. They also added Mygdonia in their territory through the expulsion of the Edoni, Eordians, and Almopians.[19]

Dynasty

Argead Rulers
King Reign (BC) Comments
Caranus 808–778 BC Founder of the Argead dynasty and first King of Macedon
Koinos 778–750 BC
Tyrimmas 750–700 BC
Perdiccas I 700–678 BC
Argaeus I 678–640 BC
Philip I 640–602 BC
Aeropus I 602–576 BC
Alcetas I 576–547 BC
Amyntas I 547–498 BC
Alexander I 498–454 BC
Perdiccas II 454–413 BC
Archelaus 413–399 BC
Orestes and Aeropus II 399–396 BC
Archelaus II 396–393 BC
Amyntas II 393 BC
Pausanias 393 BC
Amyntas III 393 BC
Argaeus II 393–392 BC
Amyntas III 392–370 BC Restored to the throne after one year
Alexander II 370–368 BC
Ptolemy I 368–365 BC
Perdiccas III 365–359 BC
Amyntas IV 359 BC
Philip II 359–336 BC Expanded Macedonian territory and influence to achieve a dominant position in the Balkans, unified most of the Greek city-states in the League of Corinth under his hegemony
Alexander III 336–323 BC Alexander the Great. The most notable Macedonian king and one of the most celebrated strategists and rulers of all time. Alexander at the top of his reign was simultaneously King of Macedonia, Pharaoh of Egypt, King of Persia and King of Asia
Antipater 334–323 BC Regent of Macedonia during the reign of Alexander III
Philip III Arrhidaeus 323–317 BC Only titular king after the death of Alexander III
Alexander IV 323–310 BC Son of Alexander the Great and Roxana. Served only as a titular king and was murdered at a young age before having the chance to rise to the throne of Macedon

Family tree

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Coenus
king of Macedon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tyrimmas
king of Macedon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Perdiccas I
king of Macedon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Argaeus I
king of Macedon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Philip I
king of Macedon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Aeropus I
king of Macedon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alcetas I
king of Macedon
576-547 BC
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Amyntas I
king of Macedon
547-498 BC
∞ Eurydice
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alexander I
king of Macedon
498-454 BC
 
 
 
 
 
Gygaea
Bubares
Achemenid
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alcetas II
king of Macedon
454-448 BC
 
 
 
 
 
Perdiccas II
king of Macedon
448-413 BC
∞ Symache
Cleopatra
 
Phillipus
 
Menelaus
 
Amyntas
 
Stratonice
Seuthes II of Thrace
 
Amyntas
satrap of Alabanda
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Archelaus I
king of Macedon
413-399 BC
 
 
 
 
 
Aeropus II
king of Macedon
399-395 BC
 
Amyntas II
king of Macedon
393 BC
 
 
 
 
 
Arrhidaeus
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
(son)
 
Orestes
king of Macedon
399-396 BC
 
Archelaus II
king of Macedon
395-394 BC
 
Pausanias
king of Macedon
394 BC
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Amyntas III
king of Macedon
393, 392-370 BC
 
1.Eurydice I
daughter of Sirras
2.Gygaea
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Argaeus II
king of Macedon
393-392 BC
 
(1) Alexander II
king of Macedon
371-369 BC
 
(1) Perdiccas III
king of Macedon
365-360 BC
 
(1) Eurynoe
Ptolemy of Aloros
regent
 
 
 
 
 
1.Audata of Illyria
2.Phila of Elimeia
daughter of Derdas III
3.Nicesipolis of Thessalia
nice of Jason of Pherae
4.Philinna of Larissa
 
(1) Philip II
king of Macedon
359-336 BC
 
5.Olympias
daughter of Neoptolemus I of Epirus
6.Meda of Odessos
daughter of Cothelas of Getae
7.Cleopatra Eurydice
nice of Attalus
 
(2) Menelaus
prince
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Amyntas IV
king of Macedonia
350 BC
 
(1) Cynane
 
(3) Thessalonike
Cassander of Macedonia
 
(4) Philip III Arrhidaeus
king of Macedon
323-317 BC
 
(4) Alexander III the Great
king of Macedon
336-323 BC
emperor of Macedonian Empire
330-323 BC
 
1.Roxana of Bactria
daughter of Oxyartes
2.Stateira II/Barsine
daughter of Darius III of Persia
3.Parysatis II
daughter of Artaxerxes III of Persia
 
(7) Caranus
prince
 
(7) Europa
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Eurydice II
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
(1) Alexander IV
emperor of Macedonian Empire
323-309 BC
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

References

Citations

  1. ^ Howatson, M.C. and Harvey, Sir Paul. 1989. The Oxford Companion to Classical Literature. Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 339.
  2. ^ Cosmopoulos, Michael B. 1992. Macedonia: An Introduction to its Political History. Winnipeg: Manitoba Studies in Classical Civilization, p. 30 (TABLE 2: The Argeiad Kings).
  3. ^ Argive, Oxford Dictionaries.
  4. ^ Hammond 1986, p. 516: "In the early 5th century the royal house of Macedonia, the Temenidae was recognised as Macedonian by the Presidents of the Olympic Games. Their verdict considered themselves to be of Macedonian descent ."
  5. ^ Howatson & Harvey 1989, p. 339: "In historical times the royal house traced its descent from the mythical Temenus, king of Argos, who was one of the Heracleidae, and more immediately from Perdiccas I, who left Argos for Illyria, probably in the mid-seventh century BC, and from there captured the Macedonian plain and occupied the fortress of Aegae (Vergina), setting himself up as king of the Macedonians. Thus the kings were of largely Dorian Greek stock (see PHILIP (1)); they presumably spoke a form of Dorian Greek and their cultural tradition had Greek features."
  6. ^ Rogers 2004, p. 316: "According to Strabo, 7.11 ff., the Argeadae were the tribe who were able to make themselves supreme in early Emathia, later Macedonia."
  7. ^ Green 2013, p. 103.
  8. ^ According to Pausanias (Description of Greece 9.40.8-9), Caranus set up a trophy after the Argive fashion for a victory against Cisseus: "The Macedonians say that Caranus, king of Macedonia, overcame in battle Cisseus, a chieftain in a bordering country. For his victory Caranus set up a trophy after the Argive fashion, but it is said to have been upset by a lion from Olympus, which then vanished. Caranus, they assert, realized that it was a mistaken policy to incur the undying hatred of the non-Greeks dwelling around, and so, they say, the rule was adopted that no king of Macedonia, neither Caranus himself nor any of his successors, should set up trophies, if they were ever to gain the good-will of their neighbors. This story is confirmed by the fact that Alexander set up no trophies, neither for his victory over Dareius nor for those he won in India."
  9. ^ Oliver D. Hoover, Handbook of Coins of the Peloponnesos: Achaia, Phleiasia, Sikyonia, Elis, Triphylia, Messenia, Lakonia, Argolis, and Arkadia, Sixth to First Centuries BC [The Handbook of Greek Coinage Series, Volume 5], Lancaster/London, Classical Numismatic Group, 2011, p. 161.
  10. ^ Oliver D. Hoover, Handbook of Coins of Macedon and Its Neighbors. Part I: Macedon, Illyria, and Epeiros, Sixth to First Centuries BC [The Handbook of Greek Coinage Series, Volume 3], Lancaster/London, Classical Numismatic Group, 2016, p. 295.
  11. ^ Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short. A Latin Dictionary, Argīvus.
  12. ^ Henry George Liddell and Robert Scott. A Greek-English Lexicon, Ἀργεῖος.
  13. ^ Cartledge 2011, Chapter 4: Argos, p. 23: "The Late Bronze Age in Greece is also called conventionally 'Mycenaean', as we saw in the last chapter. But it might in principle have been called 'Argive', 'Achaean', or 'Danaan', since the three names that Homer does in fact apply to Greeks collectively were 'Argives', 'Achaeans', and 'Danaans'."
  14. ^ Homer. Iliad, 2.155-175, 4.8; Odyssey, 8.578, 4.6.
  15. ^ Andronikos 1994, p. 38: Inscription found in the tholos room of the Agai Palace: "Η επιγραφή αυτή είναι: «ΗΡΑΚΛΗΙ ΠΑΤΡΩΙΩΙ», που σημαίνει στον «Πατρώο Ηρακλή», στον Ηρακλή δηλαδή που ήταν γενάρχης της βασιλικής οικογένειας των Μακεδόνων." [Translation: "The inscription is: «ΗΡΑΚΛΗΙ ΠΑΤΡΩΙΩΙ», which means "Father (Ancestor) Hercules", dedicated to Hercules who was the ancestor of the royal family of the Macedonians."]
  16. ^ Herodotus. Histories, 8.137.
  17. ^ Herodotus. Histories, 5.22.
  18. ^ Appian. Syrian Wars, 11.10.63.
  19. ^ Thucydides. History of the Peloponnesian War, 2.99.

Sources

  • Andronikos, Manolēs (1994). Vergina: The Royal Tombs. Athens: Ekdotikē Athēnōn. ISBN 960-213-128-4.
  • Cartledge, Paul (2011). Ancient Greece: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-960134-9.
  • Green, Peter (2013) [1991]. Alexander of Macedon, 356–323 B.C.: A Historical Biography. Berkeley and Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-52-095469-4.
  • Hammond, Nicholas Geoffrey Lemprière (1986). A History of Greece to 322 BC. Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press. ISBN 0-19-873095-0.
  • Howatson, M. C.; Harvey, Sir Paul (1989). The Oxford Companion to Classical Literature. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-866121-5.
  • Rogers, Guy MacLean (2004). Alexander: The Ambiguity of Greatness. New York: Random House Publishing Group. ISBN 1-4000-6261-6.

Further reading

  • Anson, Edward M. 2014. "The End of a Dynasty." In Alexander's Heirs: The Age of the Successors. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Carney, Elizabeth Donnelly. 2009. "The role of the BASILIKOI PAIDES at the Argead court." In Macedonian legacies: Studies in ancient Macedonian history and culture in honor of Eugene N. Borza. Edited by Timothy Howe and Jeanne Reames, 145–164. Claremont, CA: Regina.
  • --. 2010. "Putting women in their place: Women in public under Philip II and Alexander III and the last Argeads." In Philip II and Alexander the Great: Father and son, lives and afterlives. Edited by Elizabeth D. Carney and Daniel Ogden, 43–53. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.
  • Errington, Robert Malcolm. 1978. "The nature of the Macedonian state under the monarchy." Chiron 7:77–133.
  • Griffith, Guy Thompson. 1979. "The reign of Philip the Second: The government of the kingdom." In A history of Macedonia. Vol. 2. Edited by Nicholas Geoffrey Lemprière Hammond, and Guy Thompson Griffith, 383–404. Oxford: Clarendon.
  • Hatzopoulos, Miltiades B. 1996. Macedonian institutions under the kings. 2 vols. Paris: De Boccard.
  • King, Carol J. 2010. "Macedonian kingship and other political institutions." In A companion to ancient Macedonia. Edited by Joseph Roisman and Ian Worthington, 373–391. Malden, MA: Blackwell-Wiley.
  • Ogden, Daniel. 2011. "The Royal Families of Argead Macedon and the Hellenistic World." In A Companion to Families in the Greek and Roman Worlds. Edited by Beryl Rawson, 92–107. Malden, MA: Blackwell-Wiley.

External links