Ελληνική ιστορία και προϊστορία

Ελληνική ιστορία και προϊστορία
Ελληνική ιστορία και προϊστορία

Σάββατο, 6 Φεβρουαρίου 2016

Audata, Cynane and Eurydice II : Illyrian women relatives of Alexander the Great in Macedonia

Audata (Ancient Greek Αὐδάτη; ruled c. 359 – 336 BC) was an Illyrian princess and later a Macedonian queen when she married Philip II of Macedon in 359 BC. She was the daughter or niece of Bardyllis, the Illyrian king of the Dardanian State. In order to concentrate on the internal struggle necessary to secure his crown, Philip reaffirmed the treaty the Dardanians had imposed on Macedonia by force of arms and sealed the alliance with Bardyllis by his marriage of Audata. This action undoubtedly deterred a full-scale Dardanian invasion of Macedonia at a time when the country was most vulnerable. Philip immediately consolidated his power as a result, so much that he defeated Bardylis in a decisive battle in 358 BC. Audata was the first or second wife of Philip and took the name Eurydice, the name of Philip's Illyrian mother, after the wedding. This name change was probably due to dynastic reasons, because she was briefly the official queen of Philip. Calling her Eurydice could easily be a mistake of either Arrian of Photius, but it could also signify that Philip chose to change Audata's Illyrian name to something more Greek, or it could speak to his filial piety or simply to indicate that her status had changed. Soon after, Olympias became the main wife of Philip. Audata not only maintained an Illyrian identity in a Macedonian context but also passed that identity to her daughter and granddaughter. Illyrian women led armies in battle, a skill that Audata taught her only child, her daughter Cynane. She trained her daughter in riding, hunting, and fighting also. Cynane herself trained her daughter Eurydice II of Macedon after the manner of her own education, in martial exercises. Her granddaughter was also named Eurydice. Audata probably lived into her daughter's teens and may still have been alive at the time of her daughter's marriage to Philip's nephew Amyntas IV. The assignment of the name Eurydice to Cleopatra, the niece of Attalus in 337/336 BC may suggest that Audata was no longer alive or at the court at that time, but Alexander the Great would certainty have encountered her in Pella as a child.Cynane (Greek: Kυνάνη, Kynane or Κύνα, Kyna; killed 323 BC) was half-sister toAlexander the Great, and daughter of Philip II by Audata, an Illyrian princess. Audata trained her daughter in riding, hunting, and fighting in the Illyrian tradition. Her father gave her in marriage to her cousin Amyntas, by whose death she was left a widow in 336 BC. In the following year Alexander promised her hand, as a reward for his services, to Langarus, king of the Agrianians, but the intended bridegroom became ill and died. Cynane continued unmarried, and employed herself in the education of her daughter, Adea or Eurydice, whom she is said to have trained, after the manner of her own education, in martial exercises. When her half brother Philip Arrhidaeus was chosen king in 323 BC, Cynane determined to marry Eurydice to him, and crossed over to Asia accordingly
. Her influence was probably great, and her project alarmed Perdiccas and Antipater, the former of whom sent his brother Alcetas to meet her on her way and put her to death. Alcetas did so in defiance of the feelings of his troops, and Cynane met her doom with an undaunted spirit. Eurydice's wedding took place, but both daughter and son-in-law were eventually killed by Olympias. In 317 BC, Cassander, after defeating Olympias, buried Cynane with Eurydice and Arrhidaeus at Aegae, the royal burying-place. Polyaenus writes, "Cynane, the daughter of Philip was famous for her military knowledge: she conducted armies, and in the field charged at the head of them. In an engagement with the Illyrians, she with her own hand slew Caeria their queen; and with great slaughter defeated the Illyrian army. Eurydice (Greek: Εὐρυδίκη Eurydike; died 317 BC) was the daughter of Amyntas IV, son of Perdiccas III, Queen of Macedonia, and Cynane, daughter of Philip II and his first wife Audata. She was a significant person in the immediate aftermath of the death of Alexander the Great and the First and Second Wars of the Diadochi. Eurydice's birth name appears to have been Adea; the sources are silent on when it was changed to Eurydice. She was brought up by her mother Cynane, and seems to have been trained by her mother in masculine and martial exercises. She accompanied her mother on her daring expedition to Asia; and when Cynane was put to death by Alcetas, the discontent expressed by the troops, and the respect with which they looked on Eurydice as one of the surviving members of the royal house, induced the imperial regent, Perdiccas, not only to spare her life, but to give her in marriage to King Philip Arrhidaeus, Alexander the Great's half-brother and successor to the throne of Macedon. Sources hint that this was an unequal marriage, because the king was disabled mentally. Furthermore, although Philip Arrhidaeus was king of Macedon, this did not make him the imperial successor to Alexander; Alexander had won his empire by law of conquest, and the Asian portion of the empire (more than nine-tenths of the whole) was not part of the people of Macedon.The sources are again silent as to Eurydice during the life of Perdiccas; but after his death, in 321 BC Eurydice bid for power: she demanded that the new regents of Macedon, Peithon and Arrhidaeus, grant her a share of the regency. Eurydice's ties to the Macedonian army, and her status as king's wife, helped her gain influence and succeeded briefly in becoming a sort of de facto regent. She took an active part in the proceedings at the Treaty of Triparadisus in 321 BC. It was at this point, however, that a new adversary, Alexander the Great's general Antipater, returned to the king's court and laid claim to the vacant regency. In an attempt to forestall this and retain command over the Macedonian army, Eurydice spoke in public to the assembled soldiery, who were restless due to Antipater's inability to pay them. Eurydice's speech failed; the Macedonian army decided in favor of Antipater, and the general was appointed regent and guardian of the king. Eurydice, once again relatively powerless, accompanied her husband and Antipater to Macedonia. But the death of Antipater in 319 BC, the more feeble character of Polyperchon, who succeeded him as regent, and the failure of his enterprises in Greece, and above all, the favourable disposition he evinced towards Olympias, determined her again to take an active part: she concluded an alliance with Cassander, and, as he was wholly occupied with the affairs of Greece, she herself assembled an army and took the field in person. Polyperchon advanced against her from Epirus, accompanied by Aeacides, the king of that country, and Olympias, as well as by Roxana and her infant son. But the presence of Olympias was alone sufficient to decide the contest: the Macedonian troops refused to fight against the mother of Alexander the Great, and went over to her side. Eurydice fled from the field of battle to Amphipolis, but was seized and made prisoner.She was at first confined, together with her husband, in a narrow dungeon, and scantily supplied with food; but soon Olympias, becoming alarmed at the compassion excited among the Macedonians, determined to get rid of her rival, and sent the young queen in her prison a sword, a rope, and a cup of hemlock, with orders to choose her mode of death. The spirit of Eurydice remained unbroken to the last; she still breathed defiance to Olympias, and prayed that she might soon be requited with the like gifts; then, having paid as well as she could the last duties to her husband, she put an end to her own life by hanging, without giving way to a tear or word of lamentation. Her body was afterwards removed by Cassander, and interred, together with that of her husband, with royal pomp at Aegae.

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