King Of Macedon Cassander, son of Antipa-ter, born about 354 B. C, died in 297. History gives no account of his life previous to 323, in which year he undertook a journey to Babylon, in order to defend his father Antipater from the accusations which had been made against him before Alexander. Cassander's pride, and his contempt for the servility he saw exhibited-at the conqueror's court, are said to have offended that monarch and caused him to treat his visitor with indignity. "Whatever may have been the cause, it seems certain that the interview between the two led Cassander to a violent hatred of the great ruler, so undisguised that when Alexander died but a short time after, Cassander's name was everywhere connected with a story which attributed his death to poison. "When Antigonus was sent by Antipater against Eumenes in 321, Cassander was appointed chiliarch, or second in command of the expedition; and on the death of his father in 319, he was confirmed in this office by Poly-sperchon, whom his father, ignoring the claims of his son, had left regent of Macedonia. Indignant at being kept in a secondary position, he declared war against Polysperchon, having first formed an alliance with Ptolemy Lagi and Antigonus. Polysperchon had apparently won the favor of the Greek cities by declaring them independent of Macedonia, and Athens was especially well disposed toward him.
He had also the influence of Olympias on his side; and Antigonus, whom he considered the most formidable of his opponents, was at war with Eumenes in Asia. But Cassander's general Ni-canor held Munychia and the Pira3us, the port fortresses of Athens. Polysperchon, accompanied by the royal family (Alexander's), began a march into Attica to attack these; but while he delayed in Phocis, where by a treacherous action (see PHOCION) he endeavored to render more secure the allegiance of the Athenians, Cassander suddenly appeared near Athens and occupied the Piraeus with a large force. Polysperchon laid siege to it, but meeting with little success, he left his son Alexander to conduct the attack and went on into the Peloponnesus. Here he met with little resistance until he attacked Megalopolis, whose citizens repulsed his army at the same time that his fleet was destroyed by that of Cassander in the Hellespont. These defeats caused the Greek states to go over at once to the side of the victor, who treated Athens with clemency, and won friends throughout Greece by his justice and tact.
In the mean time he had formed an alliance with the wife of King Arrhidasus, Eury-dice, an energetic and intriguing queen, who had determined to free herself from Polysper-chon's oppression, and had herself raised an army with which she did Cassander good service in holding Macedonia. While he was pursuing his conquest in Greece, and just as he had laid siege to Tegea, he received news that Eurydice and her husband, with Cassander's brother Nicanor and 100 of his friends, had been murdered by the orders of Olympias. He at once hastened homeward, cut off Olympics from her allies, besieged her in Pydna during the winter of 317, captured her in the spring, and at once had her put to death, in violation, it is said, of his special agreement. He now imprisoned Alexander's son, Alexander AEgus, and his mother Roxana, and further prepared his way to the royal power by marrying Thessalonica, Alexander's half sister. It was probably within a year of his marriage that he rebuilt the two cities of Therma and Potidosa, naming them Thessalonica and Cas-sandria. In 315 he returned to Greece, and began the rebuilding of Thebes, which Alexander had destroyed 20 years before.
Poly-sperchon and his son had during his absence retaken some of the towns of the Peloponnesus, but Cassander regained possession of them without difficulty; and within the next year he and Polysperchon ended their rivalry by forming an alliance with several other leaders against the now formidable power of Antigonus. War was begun in 313; but Antigonus by specious promises gained the allegiance of nearly all the Greek states, and two years' conflict which followed was unfavorable to Cassander and his friends. In 311 peace was declared; and during that year Cassander made further way for his ambition by ordering the murder of his two prisoners, Roxana and Alexander AEgus. In 310 war again broke out, and now Polysperchon once more opposed his old enemy, putting forward Hercules, another son of Alexander, as the proper heir to the throne; but Cassander won him over by bribes, and induced him in 309 to put to death his protege and his mother. The ambitious ruler nevertheless lost ground rapidly; Corinth, Sicyon, and Athens, the only towns now subject to him in Greece, fell into the hands of the enemy in 308 and 307; a long series of defeats and indecisive battles followed; the war was carried into Asia without much change in its aspects; and it was only through the mistaken action of Demetrius, the son of Antigonus, who by going to his father's aid in Asia left Greece exposed, that affairs suddenly changed, and Cassander acquired a lasting advantage.
The battle of Ipsus, in 301, in which Antigonus was killed, gave the allies a final victory; and Cassander, Ptolemy, Seleucus, and Lysimachus divided the dominion of the dead king among them, Cassander receiving Macedonia and Greece. His remaining years were occupied with schemes for wider conquest. He invaded the island of Corcyra about 299, but was almost immediately driven from it by Agathocles of Syracuse. In 298 he began the carrying out of plans for gaining complete possession of those cities of southern Greece which still held out against him; but his death occurred before he had gained any considerable success.