Perdiccas: The Chosen One

Perdiccas Alexander Death Bed

Perdiccas was one of Alexander’s top generals. On his deathbed, when Alexander could no longer talk, he took off his ring and handed it to Perdiccas, which people took to mean that Perdiccas was Alexander’s chosen successor.

There was some disagreement about who should be the next ruler of Alexander’s empire, and this caused a bit of chaos. In the end they agreed that Alexander’s half brother Arrhidaeus would be the king, while Perdiccas would be in charge of the armies.

Meleager, another general who was one of the main driving forces behind the arguments and chaos, was soon executed on Perdiccas’ command.

In the meantime, one of Alexander’s wives had a son, who became Alexander IV. The plan was that he would be the king once he was old enough, and until then, Perdiccas would be his regent.

After Alexander’s death there were revolts around the empire. Many cities in Greece revolted against Macedonian rule. There was a lot more chaos as a result of this, and Perdiccas found himself now at war with another general, Antipater.

Antipater was looking for allies to fight against Perdiccas, and Ptolemy was happy to sign up.

At the same time, Perdiccas was preparing to transport Alexander’s body back to Macedonia. He set off the funeral procession, which was soon hijacked by Ptolemy who took the body back to Egypt.

Perdiccas gathered his army to head to Egypt and face Ptolemy, before eventually dealing with Antipater. Perdiccas had a large army, but Egypt was a hard place to invade. Ptolemy knew that Perdiccas would be coming, and sent men to guard all the key crossing points for the Nile.

The armies confronted each other at the Fort of Camels. Perdiccas sent his war elephants to the front, and Ptolemy bravely went to the walls, took out his spear, and fought them off. His men followed and they were able to beat wave after wave of Perdiccas’ men.

This failed battle, in addition to numerous failed attempts to cross the Nile led to a serious loss of morale among Perdiccas’ army. In one case he lost over 2000 men in a disastrous attempt to cross the Nile.

Eventually, his men had seen enough. They wanted blood. Three of Perdiccas’ commanders walked into his tent and killed him.

Ptolemy’s Egypt would be safe from war, for now.

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