Alcetas of Macedon

Alcetas (Ancient Greek: Ἀλκέτας, romanizedAlkétas) was king[a] of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedonia. He was a member of the Argead dynasty and son of Aeropus I.[3] By allowing thirty years for the span of an average generation from the beginning of Archelaus' reign in 413 BC, British historian Nicholas Hammond estimated that Aeropus ruled around 533 BC.[4]

King of Macedonia
Reignc. 533 BC
PredecessorAeropus I
SuccessorAmyntas I
IssueAmyntas I
FatherAeropus I

According to Herodotus and Thucydides, Alcetas was the fifth king of Macedonia.[3] However, a much later tradition records Caranus as the founder of Macedonia and therefore Alcetas as the eighth king. This unhistorical assertion is almost universally rejected by moderns scholarship as propaganda invented at the Argead court during the reign of Philip II.[5][6][7][8]

By all accounts, Alcetas was a calm and stable ruler, who sought to preserve his kingdom through peaceful means. Unlike his predecessors, he apparently did not engage in unnecessary warfare in order to extend the boundaries of his kingdom. His wife is unknown, but he was the father of Amyntas I.[9][10]



  1. ^ While Greeks such as Demosthenes and Aristotle referred to them as such, there is no evidence that any Macedonian ruler prior to Alexander III used an official royal title (basileus).[1][2]


  1. ^ Errington, R.M. (1974). "Macedonian 'Royal Style' and Its Historical Significance". The Journal of Hellenic Studies. 94: 20 – via JSTOR.
  2. ^ King, Carol (2010). "Macedonian Kingship and Other Political Institutions". In Roisman, Joseph; Worthington, Ian (eds.). A Companion to Ancient Macedonia. Wiley-Blackwell. p. 375.
  3. ^ a b "Herodotus, The Histories, Book 8, chapter 139, section 1". Retrieved 2023-02-28.
  4. ^ N.G.L., Hammond; Griffith, G.T. (1979). A History of Macedonia Volume II: 550-336 B.C. Oxford: Clarendon Press. p. 4.
  5. ^ Eder, Walter; Renger, Johannes, eds. (2006). Chronologies of the Ancient World: Names, Dates, and Dynasties. Boston: Brill. pp. 188–190.
  6. ^ Christesen, Paul; Murray, Sarah (2010). "Macedonian Religion". In Roisman, Joseph; Worthington, Ian (eds.). A Companion to Ancient Macedonia. Wiley-Blackwell. p. 432.
  7. ^ Greenwalt, William (1985). "The Introduction of Caranus into the Argead King List". Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies. 26 (1): 43–49.
  8. ^ Hammond 1979, p. 5.
  9. ^ Farr, Edward, History of the Macedonians (Robert Carter & Brothers, New York, 1850), p. 38
  10. ^ Smith, William, ed. (1870). "Alcetas". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. p. 98.

See alsoEdit

Alcetas of Macedon
Regnal titles
Preceded by King of Macedon
c. 533 BC
Succeeded by