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An 18th-century Rococo painting of The Amazon Queen Thalestris in the Camp of Alexander the Great, by Johann Georg Platzer	Source: Public Domain

Five Fascinating Tales from the Lives of Hellenistic Royalty (Video)

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The Hellenistic Age, spanning three centuries from Alexander the Great's death to the rise of the Roman Empire, was a period of Greek cultural expansion and the establishment of monarchies in Greece, Egypt, and Afghanistan. Five notable stories from this era highlight its intrigue and historical significance.

One legendary account involves Alexander the Great’s encounter with Thalestris, the queen of the Amazons. According to the story, Thalestris sought to have a child with Alexander, believing their union would produce a superior ruler. Although many contemporaries dismissed the tale as fiction, recent archaeological findings suggest that warrior women did exist in the Eurasian Steppe.

Ptolemy I Soter, another prominent figure, secured his legacy by bringing Alexander's body to Egypt, where it was entombed and venerated. This act not only cemented Ptolemy’s power but also highlighted the political machinations following Alexander's death, as generals vied for legitimacy and control.

Cassander, who harbored animosity toward Alexander, is notorious for his ruthless actions, including the murders of Alexander’s mother, Olympias, and his heir, Alexander IV. His relentless ambition ultimately led to his rise to power in Macedon.

Perseus of Macedon, the last king of his realm, expanded his influence aggressively, provoking the Romans and leading to the Third Macedonian War. Despite initial successes, Perseus was eventually defeated, captured, and died under harsh Roman imprisonment.

Lastly, Cleopatra VII, the final ruler of the Ptolemaic dynasty, is renowned for her intelligence, political acumen, and dramatic entrances designed to captivate powerful Roman leaders like Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. Her eventual defeat by Octavian marked the end of the Hellenistic era and the beginning of Roman dominance.


Top image: An 18th-century Rococo painting of The Amazon Queen Thalestris in the Camp of Alexander the Great, by Johann Georg Platzer      Source: Public Domain

By Robbie Mitchell

Robbie Mitchell's picture


I’m a graduate of History and Literature from The University of Manchester in England and a total history geek. Since a young age, I’ve been obsessed with history. The weirder the better. I spend my days working as a freelance... Read More

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