Your Assessment of Cassander/Kassandros, King of Macedon

Sep 2019
68
Vergina
Your Assessment of Cassander/Kassandros, King of Macedon

Cassander probably has the worst reputation of the Diadochi largely viewed as a ruthless evil figure. Cassander did not partake in Alexander the Great's Anabasis staying in Macedonia with his father Antipater who was serving as regent. He would only arrive in Babylon in 323 BC shortly before Alexander's death. It seems clear that Cassander did not like Alexander the Great very much or respect his legacy. This dislike may stem in part from a passage in Plutarch that relates how Alexander once by smashed Cassander's his head into a wall for laughing at a group of people preforming obeisance. Cassander, again according to Plutarch, was after this forever fearful of Alexander even fainting at the sight of his statue. He is also accused, by those who favor a conspiracy, of helping his brother Iollas murder Alexander.

During the successor wars, Cassander was snubbed by his father and did not receive the regency of Macedon with it instead passing to Polyperchon. Cassander then allied himself with Arrhidaeus faction against the supporters of Alexander IV. In the aftermath of Arrhidaeus murder by Olympias, Cassander sought the Macedonian throne for himself. He subsequently defeated and murdered Olympias, Roxana and Alexander IV. Cassander as King of Macedon sought to attach himself to Philip II's legacy and married his daughter Thessalonike. He also buried Arrhidaeus and Eurydice with honors at Aegae. Arguably his greatest accomplishment as king was the establishment of Thessaloniki which is the second largest city in Greece today.

What's your assessment of Cassander? Is his bad reputation deserved?

PS: Anything I missed let me know in comments, thanks.
 
Nov 2019
8
USA
Don't get me wrong, Cassander was a brutal, vicious man who would do anything to claw his way to power, even if it meant disposing of the Royal Family that had ruled Makedonia for who knows how long. Despite the fact he was nothing short of a tyrant, he was a damn good King in my opinion. He realized unlike his other Diadochi that he and his family had no legitimate claim to the throne of Makedonia, and understood that any potential rivals would need to be dealt with. Sure, disposing of Olympias, Roxana, and Alexander IV was terrible, but if they had been left alive they would have most certainly dethroned him and cast him aside. Perhaps he wasn't the most ethical of Kings, but I think Cassander deserves a decent amount of respect for his ability to consolidate and solidify the Antipatrid Dynasty.

As for potentially causing Alexander's death, who knows. There are still a hurricane of theories of why Alexander died, and there's no saying he was deliberately murdered by his generals or died from some kind of illness, though excessive drinking and other debauchery aren't known as being beneficial to one's health.
 
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Sep 2019
68
Vergina
Don't get me wrong, Cassander was a brutal, vicious man who would do anything to claw his way to power, even if it meant disposing of the Royal Family that had ruled Makedonia for who knows how long. Despite the fact he was nothing short of a tyrant, he was a damn good King in my opinion. He realized unlike his other Diadochi that he and his family had no legitimate claim to the throne of Makedonia, and understood that any potential rivals would need to be dealt with. Sure, disposing of Olympias, Roxana, and Alexander IV was terrible, but if they had been left alive they would have most certainly dethroned him and cast him aside. Perhaps he wasn't the most ethical of Kings, but I think Cassander deserves a decent amount of respect for his ability to consolidate and solidify the Antipatrid Dynasty.

As for potentially causing Alexander's death, who knows. There are still a hurricane of theories of why Alexander died, and there's no saying he was deliberately murdered by his generals or died from some kind of illness, though excessive drinking and other debauchery aren't known as being beneficial to one's health.
Good points. Olympias could be very ruthless: murdering Arrhidaeus, forcing Eurydice to commit suicide, scattering Iollas' ashes and overall purging of Antipatrid supporters. Undoubtedly she would have executed Cassander if given the chance. This has me thinking that perhaps Cassander didn't want to dispose the entire royal family simply take revenge on Alexander's line. He does seem to have been a faithful ally to Arrhidaeus/Eurydice though he may have turned on them had they lived longer.