Alexander II of Macedon

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Alexander II was king of Macedon from 370 - 368 BC, following the death of his father Amyntas II. He was the eldest of the three sons of Amyntas and Eurydice. Although he had already attained his majority, Alexander was very young when he ascended to the throne. This caused immediate problems for the new king as enemies to the dynasty resumed war. Alexander was simultaneously faced with an Illyrian invasion from the north-west and an attack from the east by the pretender Pausanias. Pausanias quickly captured several cities and threatened the queen mother, who was at the palace in Pella with her young sons. Alexander defeated his enemies with the help of the Athenian general Iphicrates, who had been sailing along the Macedonian coast on the way to recapture Amphipolis. At the request of the Aleuadai, Alexander intervened in a civil war in Thessaly. He successfully gained control of Larissa and several other cities but, betraying a promise he had made, put garrisons in them. This provoked a hostile reaction from Thebes, the leading military power in Greece at the time. The Theban general Pelopidas drove the Macedonians from Thessaly. He then neutralized Alexander by favoring the ambitions of Alexander's brother-in-law, Ptolemy of Aloros, and forced Alexander to abandon his alliance with Athens in favor of Thebes. As part of this new alliance, Alexander was compelled to hand over hostages, including his younger brother Philip. Alexander was assassinated during a festival at the instigation of Ptolemy. Although Alexander's brother Perdiccas III became the next king, he was under age, and Ptolemy was appointed regent.

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Preceded by:
Amyntas III
King of Macedon
Succeeded by:
Ptolemy I

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