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Publisher's Summary

In 323 BC, Alexander the Great was on top of the world. Never a man to sit on his hands or rest upon his laurels, Alexander began planning his future campaigns, which may have included attempts to subdue the Arabian Peninsula or make another incursion into India. But fate had other plans for the young Macedonian king. One night, while feasting with his admiral Nearchus, he drank too much and took to bed with a fever. At first, it seemed like the fever was merely a consequence of his excess, and there was not much concern for his health, but when a week had elapsed and there was still no sign of his getting better, his friends and generals began to grow concerned. The fever grew, consuming him to the point that he could barely speak. After two weeks, on June 11, 323 BC, Alexander the Great, king of Macedon, hegemon of the League of Corinth, king of kings, died. 

On his deathbed, some historians claim that when he was pressed to name a successor, Alexander muttered that his empire should go “[T]o the strongest”. Other sources claim he passed his signet ring to his general Perdiccas, thereby naming him successor, but whatever his choices were or may have been, they were ignored. While the generals all subscribed to spreading Greek culture, they also had the loyalty of their own soldiers at their backs, and they would tear each other apart in a vicious internal struggle that lasted almost half a century before four factions emerged victorious: Macedonia; the Seleucid Empire in the East; the Kingdom of Pergamon in Asia Minor; and the Ptolemaic dynasty in Egypt. During the course of these wars, Alexander’s only heir, the posthumously born Alexander IV, was murdered, extinguishing his bloodline forever. 

Lysimachus was never able to establish a dynasty as enduring as the ones led by Antigonus, Ptolemy, and Seleucus, and he did not have a specific book dedicated to his life by the first-century-CE historian Plutarch like the other Diadochi, but his actions helped establish the political order of the Eastern Mediterranean region before the Roman conquest. During his lifetime, Lysimachus went from being one of Alexander the Great’s loyal bodyguards and generals to the king of Thrace and eventually, for a brief period, king of his homeland of Macedonia. The primary source materials paint the picture of a man driven by raw ambition and as astute a politician as he was an able commander. Lysimachus’s ambitions often earned him the enmity of peers, but they respected him due to his incredible battlefield successes and crafty guile. Ultimately, Lysimachus outlived all but one of Alexander’s other successor generals during a time of great turmoil.

King Lysimachus: The Life and Legacy of the Ancient Macedonian King Who Succeeded Alexander the Great looks at his tumultuous reign and how he affected the world in the wake of Alexander. You will learn about King Lysimachus like never before.

©2018 Charles River Editors (P)2018 Charles River Editors

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