Antigone of Epirus

Antigone (Greek: Ἀντιγόνη, born before 317 BC[1]-295 BC[2]) was a Greek Macedonian noblewoman. Through her mother's second marriage she was a member of the Ptolemaic dynasty and through her marriage to Pyrrhus she was queen of Epirus.

Antigone was the daughter and the second child of Berenice, a noblewoman from Eordeaea,[3] and her first husband Philip.[3] She had an elder brother called Magas and a younger sister called Theoxena.[3]

Antigone's father, Philip was the son of Amyntas by an unnamed mother.[4] Based on Plutarch (Pyrrhus 4.4), her father was previously married and had children, including daughters.[5] He served as a military officer in the service of the Macedonian King Alexander the Great and commanded one of the Phalanx divisions in Alexander's wars.[6]

Berenice's mother was the niece of the powerful regent Antipater[7] and was related to members of the Argead dynasty.[8]

About 318 BC, Antigone's father died of natural causes. After Philip's death, Antigone's mother took her and her siblings to Egypt where they were a part of the entourage of her mother's cousin Eurydice. Eurydice was then the wife of Ptolemy I Soter, the first ruler and founder of the Ptolemaic dynasty.

By 317 BC, Ptolemy I had fallen in love with Berenice and divorced Eurydice to marry her. Through her mother's marriage to Ptolemy I, Antigone was a stepdaughter to Ptolemy I and lived in her stepfather's court. Her mother bore Ptolemy I three children: two daughters, Arsinoe II, Philotera and the future Pharaoh Ptolemy II Philadelphus.[3]

In 300 BC or 299 BC, Pyrrhus of Epirus was sent as a hostage to Egypt by Demetrius I of Macedon as part of a short-lived rapprochement between Demetrius I and Ptolemy I.[9] In 299 BC/298 BC, Ptolemy I arranged for Pyrrhus to marry Antigone.[10][11]

Pyrrhus obtained a fleet of ships and funding from Ptolemy I and set sail with Antigone for his kingdom in Epirus.[12] Pyrrhus came into an agreement with his relative Neoptolemus II of Epirus, who had usurped the kingdom, to jointly rule Epirus.[12]

Antigone bore Pyrrhus two children: a daughter called Olympias and a son called Ptolemy.[13] Antigone possibly died in childbirth, as she seems to have died the same year as her son was born.[14]

As a posthumous honour to his first wife, Pyrrhus founded a colony called Antigonia, which he named after her.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Ptolemaic Genealogy: Antigone, Footnote 3". Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2011-08-13.
  2. ^ "Ptolemaic Genealogy: Antigone, Footnote 7". Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2011-08-13.
  3. ^ a b c d "Ptolemaic Genealogy: Berenice I". Archived from the original on 2011-10-05. Retrieved 2011-08-13.
  4. ^ Ancient Library article: Philippus no. 5 Archived June 5, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "Ptolemaic Genealogy: Berenice I, Footnote 6". Archived from the original on 2011-10-05. Retrieved 2011-08-13.
  6. ^ "Ancient Library article: Magas no.1". Archived from the original on 2011-08-05. Retrieved 2011-08-13.
  7. ^ Heckel, Who’s who in the age of Alexander the Great: prosopography of Alexander’s empire, p.71
  8. ^ "Ptolemaic Dynasty - Affiliated Lines: The Antipatrids". Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2011-08-13.
  9. ^ "Ptolemaic Genealogy: Antigone, Footnote 4". Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2011-08-13.
  10. ^ Plutarch, Pyrrhus 4.4
  11. ^ Pausanias, 1.11.5
  12. ^ a b Ussher, The Annals of the World, p.344
  13. ^ "Ptolemaic Genealogy: Antigone". Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2011-08-13.
  14. ^ "Ptolemaic Genealogy: Antigone, Footnote 8". Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2011-08-13.

SourcesEdit

  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainSmith, William, ed. (1870). "Antigone". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.