The Story of the Greeks
Page: 117As soon as Perdiccas was dead, Roxana and her son were brought to Macedon, where they were finally placed under the protection of Polysperchon. When Olympias, the mother of Alexander the Great, saw his infant son, she was so anxious to secure the throne for him alone, that she slew the idiot king Arridæus and all his family.
Under pretext of avenging this crime, Cassander captured and slew Olympias; and then, having won Macedon and Greece from Polysperchon, and seeing that there was no one left to protect Roxana and the child king, he put both mother and son in prison, where they were killed by his order shortly after.
Thus, twelve years after Alexander's death, all his family were dead, and his vast kingdom was a prey to quarreling, which broke it up into several states.[Pg 262]
When Perdiccas died, An-tig´o-nus ("the one-eyed") was named his successor, and became governor of all the Eastern province. He no sooner heard that Cassander had murdered Alexander's family, than he marched westward, intending to avenge the crime.
On his way, Antigonus passed through Syria, the land governed by Se-leu´cus, and asked that ruler how he had spent the money of the kingdom. Seleucus, who had a bad conscience, instead of answering, ran away to Egypt, where he became a friend of Ptolemy.
Then, fearing that they would not be able to fight against Antigonus successfully, these two generals persuaded Cassander, ruler of Macedon, and Ly-sim´a-chus, ruler of Thrace, to join them.
For several years the war was kept up between the four allies on one side, and Antigonus and his son De-me´tri-us on the other. The field of battle was principally in Asia Minor. The fighting continued until the generals became weary of warfare, and concluded to make peace.
A treaty was then signed, settling the claims of all parties, and providing that all the Greek cities should have their freedom. This done, each went back to his own province; but it soon became evident that the peace would not last, for Cassander did not keep his promise to make the Greek states free.
When Cassander's wrongdoing became known, the generals called upon Demetrius to bring him to terms. The[Pg 263] Athenians were so pleased when they heard of this, that they received Demetrius with great joy.
Demetrius was such a good general that he soon managed to defeat Cassander at Thermopylæ; and when he came back to Athens in triumph, the happy people gave him the title of "The Preserver," called a month by his name, lodged him in the Parthenon, and worshiped him as a god. Some time after this, Demetrius conquered Ptolemy, who had shown that he would not abide by the treaty either. This victory was so great, that Demetrius' soldiers said he deserved a reward, and named him King of Syria.
When the other generals heard that Demetrius and his father had accepted the title of kings, they too put on royal crowns. Then, as each was still jealous of the rest, and wished to obtain more land for himself, war soon broke out among them once more.