Biographies from Ancient History

Mar 2018
Almaty, Kazakhstan
Antigonos III Doson

Antigonos III Doson was the cousin of Demetrius II Aetolicus(the previous king of Macedon) he reigned as regent for the young Philip V at first but later married the widow of the previouse king and gained legitamacy.

As king his first challenge came in the form of Illyrian invaders from the north, which he swiftly repelled.

After that he established trade and military alliances with the Aetolian and the Achaen leagues and making them his client states, making him the de facto ruler of Greece.

Cleomnese of Sparta was more or less wrecking the Achaens. So the latter called the Macedonians for help, and help they did. Antigonos decisively defeated Cleomnes at Sellesia.

His stay in the Pelloponese was short lived as new of barbarian invaders from the north came, on the way there he died of unknown circumstances.
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Mar 2018
Almaty, Kazakhstan
Philip V of Macedon

Philip V was king of Macedon and the son of Demetrius II Aetolicus. Ruled from 221BC-179BC.

Philip was born in 238BC and was the son of the previous Antigonid king, but he did not take up the throne at first as he was only 9 when his father died. As such, his half-cousin became regent and later king as Antigonos III Doson. Doson was a very capable ruler and left the kingdom rich and stable. When Philip took over at the age of 17,(younger than even when Alexander took the throne) year 220BC a war broke out against the Aetolian league in which he gained major success.

Hannibal Barca of Carthage at the time just won a major victory at Trasemine. Philip allied with Hannibal to try and take the Illyrian protectorates of rome while the romans were distracted. In 216 Hannibal defeats the romans at Cannae, Philip used the roman weakness and took major parts of Illyria, but failed to take the Ionian sea.

The romans after beating the Carthaginians at Zama finally turned east to Macedon. The Romans allied with the Aetolians and, though indirectly the Pergamese king Attalus I Soter. This is called the 1st Macedonian war.
The romans desided that the war was fruitless and left the Aetolians alone. Philip forced the Aetolians to sign a peace treaty (treaty of Phoenice) that was beneficial to Macedon, taking Illyria.

In the year 204BC Philip teamed up with the seleucid king Antiochus III against the child-king Ptolemy V Epiphanes. Philip took Ptolemaic territories in the aegean.

Noticing this, the romans demanded Philip stop his agression, but he refused.

This started the 2nd Macedonian (200BC) war. Philip managed to sack Abydos but was unable to defeat the romans and suffered a crushing defeat at Cynosphelae(197BC).This forced Philip to pay war indemnity to the romans and give his son Demetrius as hostage.

Due to the power vacume in greece the Seleucid king decides to take greece for himself. This started the syrian wars (192-188BC). Philip helped the romans in the conflict and the romans beat the Syrians at Magenisa(190BC), winning the war in the next 2 years.

Thanks to his help Philip was exemed of paying war indemnity and Demetrius was freed.

Philip trying to consolidate his power in Macedon reopened mines and began a massive recruitment drive, mustering a massive army not seen since the days of Alexander.

Demetrius as the younger son wanted to become king instead of Perseus, so he went to rome and asked them of assistance. Philip finding out about this reluctantly executed Demetrius in the year 180BC.

Fearing that rome will dethrone him, Philip conducted campaigns in Thrace to have a retreatment.

In 179BC Philip died at Amphipolis, at the ripe old age of 59.

Philip ruled Macedon for 40 years, the longest of any macedonian king. Overall i consider him a successful king, winning many battles(and losing many aswell), strengthening the economy by reopening mines and recruiting a massive army. He may not be a genius like Alexander or a great politician like caesar, but he is as much as interesting to me.
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Aug 2018
I have targeted Alexiad, written by Anna Comnena, the abdicated daughter of the Byzantine Empire Alexios Komnenos. I believe Alexios was one of the most successful for he truly revived the Empire in the face of so many enemies, uprisings and conspiracies. I expect it to be an energetic narration.
Alexios had to deal with new heretical movements centered in Balkans. He had to host the first wave of Crusaders. He defeated Patzineks using the Kumans, on the Danube area. It's almost an annihilation for the Patzieks had the habit of placing their families in camps behind the army. Kumans just killed them after they were done with the army. He subdued Normans for a brief time and recovered the lately lost areas.
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Tiberius Claudius Aurelius Aristobulus

In November 284 in Asia Minor the imperial army in the east discovered their emperor Numerian dead and decaying in his litter. In the politicking that followed, the commander of Numerian's bodyguard, Diocles, was declared emperor by the army and changed his name to Diocletianus (Diocletian). Standing on the podium before the assembled troops, the new emperor then accused Numerian's praetorian prefect/father-in-law Aper of having killed the emperor and immediately slew him with his own sword. This was all in spite of the fact that Numerian's brother Carinus was still emperor and was currently ruling in the west. News of Numerian's death and Diocletian's usurpation travelled, and Carinus' praetorian prefect Sabinus Julianus took matters into his own hands, launching his own usurpation against his benefactor. Julianus' usurpation was a fleeting affair. He fought Carinus near Verona in Italy and was soundly defeated and killed. However, the usurpation of Julianus meant that Carinus needed a new praetorian prefect, and he appointed the equestrian-ranked Tiberius Claudius Aurelius Aristobulus to assume this role.

Knowing he would need to face Diocletian in battle, Carinus sought to secure Aristobulus' loyalty. For the year 285 Carinus assumed the ordinary consulship and made Aristobulus his consular colleague. In receiving the office of consul, Aristobulus was also admitted into the senatorial order.

Carinus then marched against Diocletian, who had entered the Balkans with his army. Carinus was intimidating. He had already defeated two usurpers during his reign (Sabinus Julianus and, in 283, Marcus Aurelius Julianus). But Diocletian was not to be underestimated. By early 285 Diocletian had received recognition as emperor from the Roman Near East (a source of trained soldiers) and Egypt (the empire's most important source of grain, which was necessary for feeding the army). Moreover, Diocletian did not rely solely on armed combat in his war against Carinus.

When the armies of Carinus and Diocletian faced one another near the river Margus near Viminacium, Carinus' army gained the upper hand. Sources vary, but either Carinus won the battle or was in the process of winning the battle when he was struck down by one of his tribunes. The hostile sources, influenced by Diocletianic propaganda, claim that Carinus was killed because he had defiled the wives of his officers. Perhaps this is true, but it is a literary trope often applied by Romans to rulers that posterity has decided were tyrants. In any case, the tribune that slew Carinus was not necessarily the only person involved in the conspiracy. The future emperor Constantius I was the governor of Dalmatia during the reign of Carinus. He would soon receive a prestigious military career under Diocletian and his future co-emperor Maximian, receive a marriage alliance with Maximian in c. 288, and in 293 would be co-opted into their imperial college as Caesar, before being promoted to Augustus in 305. Could it be that Constantius made a friend of Diocletian (and Maximian) by switching sides during the civil war with Carinus? It seems likely. Indeed, Constantius eventually named a son of his Dalmatius, seemingly in honour of the appointment he held around the time of this civil war.

Likewise, Aristobulus appears to have betrayed his emperor. After Diocletian won the civil war, he allowed Aristobulus to retain the offices of praetorian prefect and consul. To allow Aristobulus to retain an office as powerful as the praetorian prefecture is telling. Aurelius Victor reports that this was because of the services (officia) that he had rendered. It would appear that, despite Carinus' attempts at securing the loyalty of his new praetorian prefect, Aristobulus turned against his master in favour of Diocletian.

At some point before 290 Aristobulus ceased to hold the praetorian prefecture, but Diocletian did not cease to present him with honours. He held the prestigious proconsulship of Africa for an exceptionally long tenure of four years (290-294), and he was then rewarded with the urban prefecture (295-296). These two posts represent the pinnacle of honours that could be awarded to a senator short of giving him a second ordinary consulship (a rarity for anyone who wasn't an emperor or Caesar).

What happened next is not known, but from what little we can glean about his career his life was an interesting one.
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