That certainly was a swift fall.

I'd think that if the Argead realm does fall, it will do so to a civil war. At this point in time, an outside threat being absolutely devastating would require something like time-displaced Mongols arriving. Unless they grow really decadent?
Civil war or a succession conflict is a likely catalyst for the eventual decline of the Argead Empire. Philip III's reign will be the zenith of the early Argead Empire, but eventually things will go wrong and the empire will be on the defensive. I'm pretty sure I've already hinted in one of the updates about where things go awry for the Argeads.
30th Dynasty
Thirtieth Dynasty of Egypt

Kheperkara Nakhtnebef I: 380-361
Irimaatenra Djedhor: 361-360
Senedjemibra Nakhthorheb I: 360-328
Khakaura Nakhtnebef II: 335-319 (335-328 as co-regent)
Menkhepera Nakhthorheb II: co-regent 328-326
Usermaatra Nakhtnebef III: 319-318
Sehetepkara Bakenanhur: 318-297
Userkara Psamtik V: 297-294
Nakhthorheb III: 294

An overview of the Thirtieth Dynasty, its rulers with their personal and throne names. Nakhthorheb III doesn't have a throne name because he was a short-lived usurper. With 86 years on the Throne of Horus the dynasty is one of the shorter-ruling ones, although of course it's still a lot longer than OTL. An actual update should be sometimes next week, probably Wednesday or Thursday.
Argead family overview
Argead family overview

Philippos II Nikator
(382-328) King of Macedonia from 359, Hegemon of the Hellenic League from 336, Great King of Asia from 333.

Spouses and children:
- Audata:
• Cynane: wife of Amyntas IV and Hephaistion, mother of Eurydice (with Amyntas), Amyntor and Alexander (with Hephaistion)
- Phila
- Nicesipolis:
• Thessalonike: married to Ptolemaios, mother of a son named Lagos
- Philinna:
• Arrhidaios: never married, lives at the court of his brother/nephew
- Olympias:
• Cleopatra: married to Alexander of Epirus, regent for her son Neoptolemos (from 330-312) and her grandson Aiakides (from 310), she is thus in practice the ruler of Epiros, together with Leonnatos, commander of the Macedonian forces in Epirus.
• Alexander III
- Eurydice

Alexandros III Megas (356-295) King of Macedonia, Great King of Asia, Hegemon of the Hellenic League from 328.

Spouses and children:
- Artakama:
• Philip III
• Cleopatra: married to Demetrios, son of Antigonos, they have two sons: Antigonos and Demetrios
• Karanos
- Nitokris:
• Olympias

Philippos III Euergetes (326-…) King of Macedonia, Great King of Asia, Hegemon of the Hellenic League from 295.

Spouses and children:
- Arsinoë, daughter of Lysimachos:
• Philip
Last edited:
I forgot that Perdiccas was already married to Roxana, so I changed Thessalonike's husband to Ptolemaios, who was married to Artakama' sister Artonis, but she died soon after (see update 28). I made it to have an overview of the members of the dynasty, but I don't intend this to be a 'dynastic' TL, I won't be meticulously detailing the lives of all its members.
31. Hēgemonía
31. Hēgemonía


King Philip says: these are the lands which are subject unto me, and by the grace of Zeus-Oromazdes I became king of them: Macedonia, Persia, Media, Babylonia, Elam, Assyria, Egypt, Lydia, Armenia, Cappadocia, Parthia, Drangiana, Aria, Bactria, Sogdia, Gandhara, India, Arachosia, Maka and Arabia. The Greeks of the Aegean and of Italy accept my leadership, the Illyrians, Thracians, Nubians, Scythians, Italians and Carthaginians bring me tribute. It is by virtue of ruling over all these peoples that I am called the Great King, as my father was before me and his father before him.

- Inscription of Philip III at Behistun

Philip’s Egyptian campaign was a great success, to that every Macedonian and Persian would certainly agree. An enemy that had vexed the Achaemenids for sixty years, and in the end weakened them enough that it enabled the conquests of Philip Nikator, had been subdued with relative ease. Philip crossed the Sinai back to Asia in October 295, but he did not immediately return to Babylon. He settled in the fortress at Gaza for some time, where he summoned the various local rulers of Philistia and Judea and made sure they were loyal. Those who had not been enthusiastic enough in their support of the Egyptian campaign he had replaced, but most of the local potentates had known which way the wind was blowing after the battle of Gezer and they had amply supplied Philip with provisions, horses, camels and men. In order to oversee these lands Philip created the new satrapy of Koile-Syria and Phoenicia, which was ruled from Damascus. This satrapy, which encompassed Koile-Syria, Phoenicia, Judea and Philistia, he granted to his close companion and brother-in-law Demetrios, who had just returned from his campaign on Sicily.

Among those who offered tribute to Philip were the Nabateans, who were quick to make amends with the new ruler of the Levant. Making sure that the trade between the Arab interior and the Mediterranean ports could continue uninterrupted was their foremost interest, so they were the ones who offered Philip his most impressive gifts. Many talents of silver, large amounts of myrrh and frankincense were gifted to the Great King of Asia, and Philip was impressed by their wealth and affluence. The Nabateans of this era were not ruled over by a king, and although they did have a central capital (Rekem i.e. Petra) most of them were nomadic herdsmen or travelled with the trading caravans. While they were not renowned warriors during the days of Philip III he still enlisted many of them, troops accustomed to the Arabian desert who rode on camelback could be a valuable asset during his next campaign. Philip left Gaza in November 295 and returned to Babylon, which he reached in January 294.

Like his father and grandfather before him Philip made a triumphant entrance into the capital, with large crowds gathered besides the roads and on the rooftops to catch a glimpse of their king. The plundered wealth of Egypt was put on display for the populace, gold, temple treasures and statues that the Egyptians regarded as divine were carried through the streets of Babylon. Several months later the statues of the gods of Babylon were also carried through the city, and were probably treated with more reverence than the Egyptian statues had been. This happened on the occasion of Akitu, an important new-year festival in honour of the god Marduk. Philip duly performed his duties as King of Babylon, and he participated during all the festivities during the ten day-long festival, even the ritual humiliation of the king in front of the statue of Marduk. Well-aware that he was not the ruler of a single people but of a polyglot empire Philip did his best to honour the traditions of his subjects, or at least as much as was possible to him.

Philip was of course the son of Alexander, but also of Artakama, and thus descendant of both the Argeads and the Achaemenids. Having already visited Macedonia, to bury his father, it is perhaps no surprise that shortly after the Akitu he visited Persia itself. There he visited the tomb of Cyrus at Pasargadae and the palace complex at Persepolis, where he commissioned the construction of an additional palace. Egypt seems to have made an impression on the king, for the new palace has some notable Egyptian influences, it’s gateway even resembles a pylon and an obelisk complete with hieroglyphic inscription was erected in front of it. Another building constructed at Persepolis during Philip’s reign was a temple to Ahura Mazda, the supreme deity of the Persians. This initial construction was not much more than a fire shrine and an enclosure, although it was richly decorated. Under later rulers it would be expanded and embellished, a truly royal shrine to Zeus-Oromazdes, protector of the dynasty and the realm.

Later sources claim that Philip intended to be crowned in the traditional manner of the Achaemenid rulers during his sojourn in Persia, but that he was deterred from doing so by the likely negative reaction of his Macedonian kinsmen. His Achaemenid heritage ensured that the remnants of the old Persian nobility were willing to support him, and it probably helped that Philip himself spoke Persian and could thus converse and mingle with the Persians without requiring a translator. But this doesn’t mean that the actual power of the Persian nobility would increase during Philip’s reign, while some Persians gained high positions at the court outside of Iran proper all satrapies remained in the hands of Macedonians. Intermarriage did occur, but it was mostly the sons of Macedonian generals marrying the daughters of Persian nobility. Philip did thus pay lip service to his Achaemenid heritage, but during his reign the Iranian nobility were still secondary compared to the Macedonians, and the few who did reach higher positions did so through showing their valour on the battlefield. This probably caused some resentment among the Persians, and if their position had not improved under later rulers perhaps native Iranian resistance against the Argeads could have been successfully revived.

For several years after the Egyptian campaign Philip was content with the state of his Empire, which he ruled from Babylon during those days, aided by the chiliarch Perdikkas. Several new cities were founded during the period such as Alexandria-in-Syria [1], which would serve as port for Nikatoris, and Artakameia-on-the-Euphrates [2], named for his mother. He instated quadrennial royal games, known as the Basileia (literally ‘royal’), which were held at Babylon every four years from 292 onwards. Just like his predecessors he sponsored many construction projects, and temples from the cataracts of the Nile to the banks of the Jaxartes mention his generosity. The royal family also expanded during this period, two more sons were born to Arsinoe, Alexander in 294 and Ptolemaios in 293. The king’s half-sister Olympias, born to his father Alexander and his Egyptian wife Nitokris, had been married of to Antiochos, the son of Seleukos, the general of the cavalry, further strengthening the Great King’s link with the Macedonian nobility. All in all the peace was a fruitful period for the Great King of Asia, but in 291 his thoughts went ,as they almost inevitably do for the ruler of a nascent empire, to the further expansion of his realm.

Philip himself had witnessed the great wealth that the Nabateans earned through the trade of incense and myrrh, and seizing the production of these valuable goods was more than enough motivation for an ambitious king. The prospect of an Arabian expedition was daunting, but certainly not beyond the means of the Great King of Asia. A fleet was constructed in the Persian Gulf which would be used to transport Argead forces down the eastern coast of the Arabian peninsula. At the start of Spring 290 the preparations were complete, and from Herakleia-on-the-Tigris a grand armada departed, including 200 triremes and 20 quinqueremes. It glided past the Arabian coast, past Gerrha and Maka, already subjugated by Alexander and now loyal territories who supplied the Argead army with men accustomed to the desert. The fleet stopped at Tylos (Bahrain), where Philip made offerings at a temple his father had founded there. To those living on the shore the passage of the royal fleet must have been an impressive sight, a reminder that they too were the subjects of a man whose dominion apparently stretched beyond what they could imagine. Afterwards the fleet stopped at Omana (Sohar) and then sailed south past the Arabian coast.

Philip was not in a hurry, and news of his campaign had long since spread among the kingdoms of southern Arabia. Hadhramaut was the first of these kingdoms he reached, the royal fleet sailed into the harbour of Qana in May 290. No resistance was offered, and Philip quickly disembarked his army at the port. A part of the fleet, under command of Lagos, son of the satrap of Egypt Ptolemaios, sailed onwards past the coast, to find the southern cape of Arabia and the passage to the Red Sea. Philip had learned in the meantime that the rulers of the various kingdoms had decided to put aside their quarrels and to oppose the invaders as a united front. Philip hired local guides and gathered his elite forces, 30000 strong, and marched of to the Hadhrami capital at Sabata [3], perhaps hoping that with a quick and decisive strike he could show the Arabs that resistance was futile. The march to Sabata was gruelling, but upon reaching the city the king of Hadhramaut, who was taken by surprise by the sudden appearance of the Argead army, fled the city with his troops. Philip treated the inhabitants of Sabata magnanimously, the city wasn’t plundered and he placed a relative of the former king on the throne to rule as a vassal.


Map of Southern Arabia

Philip thus requisitioned supplies and marched south-west, marching into Qataban, another kingdom. Here he encountered some resistance, there were some attempted ambushes in mountainous terrain and winding valleys of the region, but these the Argead army managed to repel with relative ease, losing more men to the inhospitable terrain than to its hostile inhabitants. It was upon nearing the city of Timna, capital of Qataban, that an Arab defector told Philip that the kings of Arabia had gathered their armies there to oppose him. The rulers of Saba, Hadhramaut, Qataban and Ma’in had hoped that their combined hosts might overpower the Great King of Asia. Overall command seems to have been in the hands of the King of Saba, a certain Anmar Yuha’man. Upon hearing that Philip was near the armies were gathered, horses, camels and men prepared for fighting while prayers were said to the gods. The Arab kings had positioned themselves just outside the walls of Timna, on several hills, hoping to break the Argead assault. But unknown to Anmar Yuha’man the battle was already decided before the fighting even started, spies of Philip had contacted the other Arab rulers and through promises of gold and clemency they decided to abandon the ruler of Saba. Perhaps they thought if foolish trying to resist a man who ruled most of the world, or perhaps local rivalries were stronger than aversion of the Greeks and Persians. In the end their motivation mattered little. After some skirmishes suddenly the Qatabanians and the Minnaeans retreated from the field, leaving the Sabaeans exposed to the Argead cavalry, which routed them decisively. Anmar Yuha’man did not survive, just like many of his men. Argead supremacy over southern Arabia was now secure.

The next month the Macedonians started their siege of the Sabaean capital at Marib, which did not hold out for long. It was a rich city, for long it had been the centre of the spice and incense trade, and Philip allowed his soldiers to plunder it. Several days of horrific violence followed, the city was gutted, and although later generations would resettle it it would be a long time before it would regain any prominence. Thankfully for the locals Philip did not demolish the large dam, which made sure that agriculture was possible in it’s parched lands. After the siege of Marib Philip went to the coast, where he visited Aden, which he renamed to Alexandria-Eudaimon, capital of the new satrapy of Arabia Eudaimon. Antiochos, son of Seleukos, was named its first satrap. Not long afterwards Philip left again, sailing up the Red Sea and landing in Egypt, where he inspected the ongoing construction of Alexandria-on-the-Nile and afterwards returned to Babylon via Syria, celebrating his triumphant entrance in January 289. Philip thus had made himself master of the rich lands of Arabia Eudaimon, but aside from some coastal garrisons there was no large-scale settlement of Hellenes or Persians. For the vast majority of its people nothing had changed, and many Arabs lived their lives without ever even laying eyes on a Greek or Persian. The change was mostly felt at the levels of the elites, by the local kings and wealthy merchants, who now had to deal with the satraps, envoys and custom agents of the Great King. In the end Saba, Qataban, Ma’in, Himyar and Hadhramaut did not even superficially Hellenise outside of some port cities. To the Great Kings this mattered little, as long as they got their share of the profitable spice and incense trade they were more than willing to let the Arabs do whatever they want.

Philip’s entrance in Babylon in 289 was the beginning of a decade of peace, which in hindsight could be seen as the hight of the early Argead Empire. From Aden to the Jaxartes, from the Danube to the Indus and from Sicily to the Himalayas a single Empire now ruled. Trade seemingly increased year-over-year, large scale construction projects continued across the Empire and immigrants from the Aegean still flocked to the newly-constructed cities of Mesopotamia. Hellenic cultural live flourished: playwrights and actors flocked to the newly-build theatres of the east, philosophers and learned men founded institutes of learning and often attended the satrapal and royal courts, eager as those warlords were to sponsor the more intellectual pursuits of life. The greatest benefactor was of course Philip himself, the Great King’s personal wealth was almost immeasurably large, income from the best farmlands of Mesopotamia and Egypt, of the various mines throughout the empires (which were all owned by the state) and the custom duties levied in ports and other centres of trade made sure of that. He also sponsored many building projects throughout the empire and was generally known for his generosity, which contributed to his epithet of ‘Euergetes’ i.e. benefactor.


Philippos III Euergetes [4]​

Despite his epithet however it seems that the Great King himself was a somewhat awkward figure those days. While an effective ruler and able general he always seemed somewhat distant from others, perhaps not strange if you consider that he was raised with the thought that he would rule most of the world. Simonides of Kos ,a historian from the time who lived in Babylon and wrote a chronicle of the rule of Philip III remarked that while the king had many hetairoi (companions) he had few philoi (friends), it seems he was closest to his brother Karanos and to Amyntor and Demetrios, whom he had known since his youth. Unlike his father and many other Macedonians he was never a heavy drinker, and while he did attend the long drinking sessions (the symposia) he rarely enjoyed it and often excused himself. While the more stoic among the court philosophers admired the king for this many others among the Macedonian nobility thought that it was rather strange and unbecoming of a monarch. The Great King enjoyed travelling, and even throughout the peaceful decade of the 280’s he is mentioned as having visited many parts of his empire, leaving the chiliarch Perdikkas to govern from Babylon in his stead. Perdikkas was one of Alexander’s old companions who ably supported Philip, but according to some historians of the time they also vexed him, sometimes treating the Great King as if he was still a child. Many of them had served under Philip Nikator and all of them under Alexander, they had the affection of the army and so Philip III could not easily dismiss them. Several had intermarried into the royal family and held satrapies, and when they died those often passed to their sons. A stronger-willed ruler might have done something about it, but it seems that Philip was unable or unwilling to redistribute the satrapies, perhaps fearful of the reaction of the Macedonian aristocracy.

Despite this backdrop of royal unease the Argead Empire itself did well. The wealthy lands of Egypt and Arabia Eudaimon were a welcome addition to the Empire. Egypt, under the able rule of its satraps Ptolemaios, and after his death in 283, his son Lagos, recovered quickly from the damage it endured during Philip’s invasion. Despite the fertile soil deposited by the Nile each year which ensured a bountiful harvest it was not agriculture that earned special attention from the country’s new rulers but its mineral wealth. The mines that were owned by the Thirtieth Dynasty or by one of the estates of the major cults of Egypt were all seized in accordance with Argead policy elsewhere. Ptolemaios is also known to have send mining expeditions into Egypt’s eastern desert, where they established permanent mining operations. Precious stones were also found and mined, such as emeralds, turquoise and quartz used for glass-making. Egyptian faience was exported all over the empire, and it’s grain once again fed the cities of Greece and the Aegean. Major construction projects in Egypt were the construction of the city of Alexandria and the reconstruction of Darius’ canal linking the Nile with the Red Sea. The various cults of Egypt were placated with generous gifts, and throughout his reign the land seemed docile despite its traumatic conquest. Perhaps Egypt was governable after all.

The 280’s were a time of peace and increasing prosperity, even if it did not spread far beyond the Macedonian settlers and local elites. The roads and sea lanes were well protected, encouraging trade and commerce, and the empire was governed relatively well. The only crisis that arose during the period occurred after the death of Krateros, who served as regent of Macedonia, in 281. His son with Phila, also named Krateros, claimed the regency over Macedon and requested that the Great King would grant it to him. It was an audacious request, and it certainly showed that the younger Krateros was an ambitious man, but Philip was unwilling to grant it. Macedonia was still the dynastic heartland, source of a large part of its military strength and a foothold in Europe, it would not be granted to an inexperienced young man. Krateros was summoned to Babylon, but upon his arrival he was arrested and accused of misconduct, he had supposedly arranged the theft of many artefacts from the Argead royal graves at Aigai. The charges were almost certainly trumped up, but that mattered little. Krateros was quietly disposed of and the regency of Macedonia was granted to Karanos, the Great King’s younger brother. With the older satraps dying off it granted Philip a chance to deal with a younger generation, perhaps more willing to bend to his will. As the 270’s dawned the future for the Argead Empire looked bright.


Philip III was a ruler more at ease in the saddle than he was in the palace, and it is for that reason that the later part of his reign was a happier time for him personally, even if it was not so for his realm.

- Excerpt from ‘The Life of Philippos Euergetes’ by Simonides of Kos

The death of Artakama in 279 was an inauspicious start to what would turn out to be an inauspicious decade. The mother of the Great King had held sway over the Argead court for a long time, and her passing was cause for mourning. She had provided the link between the Argead and Achaemenid lines, and as befits someone of her status she was given a magnificent funeral, and in the end she was laid to rest besides her husband at Aigai. It was later that year, in September 279, that after a decade of the peace the Great King marched of to war again. Once again India would be the target of a royal campaign, an attempt at expanding the imperial frontier.

The satrapy of the Indus and the vassal kingdom of Gandhara had been relatively stable ever since Alexander’s second Indian campaign in 310 BCE. The consolidation of Gandhara is in hindsight an enormously important event, but for Alexander it seems to have been an afterthought. Ruling from Taxila Poros II [5], as he was known by the Greeks, was an able and just ruler. He managed to navigate a middle way between the wishes of his Macedonian overlord and those of the local population. He sponsored the university at Taxila and appeared to be on good terms with both the local brahmanic establishment and the nascent Buddhist community. While some Hellenic sources attribute these good qualities to Poros’ time alongside Alexander this seems short-sighted and prejudiced. Philip’s father-in-law and satrap of the Indus Lysimachos died in 282, unmourned by the local population, and he was succeeded by his son Alexander, who died soon after under mysterious circumstances. He was succeeded by a quick succession of less than capable satraps and this had given Poros II a chance to consolidate his power. Poros ruled his realm as a vassal of the Great King and was largely autonomous, but during the late 280’s periodic outbursts of warfare, characterized not by full-scale conflict but by constant raids and plundering, harassed the eastern reaches of his realm, particularly the area of Trigarta. The situation was serious enough that Poros asked Philip for aid, despite his own sizeable forces. The opposing side during this conflict were again the Yaudheya, an aristocratic confederacy which had by this time gained dominion over the lands between the Upper Ganges and the Yamuna. It seems that they made Indraprashta [6] their capital, and on their coins they evoked the ancient Kuru Kingdom, which was based in roughly the same region.

It is more or less impossible to paint a clear picture of the exact political situation in India after the fall of the Nanda Dynasty, but it seems many of the territories once subject to Magadhan rule had claimed independence. South of the Yaudheya the Surasena kingdom arose, centred on the city of Mathura, while straddling the Vindhya hills and the areas southwest towards the Narmada was the home of the Kingdom of Avanti. Further east were states such as Kosala, Vrji and Magadha itself. Some of these were monarchies were local strongmen had seized power and claimed royal titles, others were oligarchical republics. Despite the collapse of the Nanda state trade flourished, and the consolidation of the west under the Argead Empire meant the opening of new markets for Indian merchants. Trade guilds grew rich during the era, showing that political fragmentation did not necessarily mean economic degradation. The many states of the Gangetic plain were also well-populated, and thus had no problem with raising sizeable armies. Philip III and his army appeared on the banks of the Yamuna in December 279, eager to deal a blow to the Yaudheya and perhaps outdo his father.


Argead forces fighting in India

Despite the size of his force, 80000 men from all over the empire and 30000 supplied by Poros himself, Philip’s campaign was not the success it was meant to be. What was imagined as a victorious march down the Yamuna turned into a campaign of attrition, the Yaudheya rarely engaged Philip directly and instead preferred harassing his supply lines, only giving battle when they were forced to. Once again Macedonian phalangites faced off against well-armed guild warriors and war elephants, and the battles were often bloody affairs, not decided by a glorious cavalry charge but by the discipline and perseverance of the Argead army. Philip’s greatest victory was the capture of Indraprashta after a year of campaigning, which seems to have broken the back of the Yaudheya resistance, even if only temporarily. Afterwards he pushed south into Surasena, perhaps dreaming of marching down the Ganges and spreading his realm towards the eastern ocean, but Mathura turned out to be a bridge too far. An inconclusive battle was fought near that city in February 277 and Philip was stopped by a temporary coalition of Indian rulers, the king of Surasena had received support from Panchala and Avanti to stem the tide of Argead expansion. Badly bloodied the Argead army returned to Taxila, leaving large parts of the Gangetic plain in ruins and the region’s nascent powers crippled. While most of the Indian plunder was carried back to Babylon the greatest prize belonged to Poros, his rivals were in disarray while he had managed to increase his own standing and during the remainder of his reign Gandhara was peaceful and prosperous. His talented son and heir Suracaksas, mentioned in Greek sources as Souraxes, commanded the Gandharan forces during the campaign and had shown himself an able commander and leader. In due time he would put the experience gained serving under the Great King to good use.

After a brief return to Babylon Philip went east again late in 277 and settled in Baktra. Ever since Alexander pushed them out the Saka had been relatively docile, but during the early 270’s raids across the Jaxartes became increasingly common which required countermeasures. Accompanied by his eponymous eldest son and by Amyntor the Great King fought a campaign against the invading Saka, he managed to relieve several isolated garrisons and in the end forced the Saka back over the Jaxartes. He did not pursue them beyond the river, probably judging that there was nothing worth conquering beyond. In order to prevent a repeat his solution was twofold: on the Sogdian frontier he settled many of his veterans, many of whom were not too happy with being settled on the edge of the known world, the other solution was a regular tribute to some of the Scythian tribes in exchange for not raiding the frontier. For some time this worked, but it certainly wasn’t a viable long-term solution. To future Argead rulers guarding the north-eastern frontier and preventing nomads from plundering Bactria or ranging across the Iranian plateau would be one of their primary concerns.

The Great King and his army returned to Babylon early in 275 where he entered in a triumphant procession, rather extravagant if you consider that no great victory had been achieved. Not long after his return Perdikkas passed away, which allowed Philip to install someone of his own choice as the new chiliarch. His choice went, unconventionally, to his own brother Karanos, who had shown himself to be an able administrator in Macedonia and he was someone who Philip could implicitly trust. Karanos was more sociable but less martial than his brother and he had many connections with the Macedonian aristocracy, but was markedly less interested in Persian affairs despite his own Achaemenid heritage. He was also somewhat of a schemer, and the network of informers he had on his payroll supposedly spread from Sicily to the Indus. As regent of Macedonia he was replaced by the crown prince Philip. In contrast to his younger brother the Great King himself did not often stay at the capital, eager as he was to avoid the life at court, and instead often visited his hunting estates or the building sites of his temples and cities. Late in 275 he send Amyntor to Upper Egypt with a force 12000 strong, perhaps in preparation for a campaign against the Kushite Kingdom. Thankfully for the Kushites that would never materialize due to circumstances in Italy.

While in Ekbatana early in 274 the Great King received two envoys from the League of the Rasna (Etruscans). The League had long since been in conflict with the Romans, who after being blocked in their southern advance by the Saunitai now had turned their gaze northwards. Before Alexander’s Italian expedition Rome seemed ascendant, but the hegemony he had enforced over much of the peninsula had left them in an uncomfortable position. After losing control over a large part of Campania during Alexander’s war against the Saunitai Rome was resentful, while officially it was an ally of the Argead Empire in practice it had become a vassal. In the 290’s they fought a conflict against the Rasna, who allied themselves with the Senones, a Celtic tribe who settled on Italy’s north eastern shore in Umbria. It was an inconclusive war, the Romans besieged the city of Tarchna (Tarquinii) for some years but did not manage to capture it, and when a Roman army was defeated near Velzna (Volsinii) in 289 by the Rasna-Senones coalition the war ended in a stalemate. The Romans however did not relent, and during the 280’s several wars were waged against the Picentines, which ended with them forced into an alliance with Rome and with the Romans establishing a colony at Ancona.


The Rasna marching off to war

In 276 the Romans resumed their war against the Rasna, citing as reason a mistreatment of some of their merchants. Once again the Senones were called in by the Rasna, but this time it seems luck was not on their side. Near Cosa their alliance was decisively defeated by the Romans under their consul Tiberius Coruncanius, and a year later Tarchna fell to a Roman assault. The Rasna were faltering, their only hope being the intervention of a power greater than Rome. It was thus that the envoys travelled to Ekbatana, offering earth and water to the Great King in exchange for his protection, which he was eager to give. Philip thus dispatched envoys to Rome, commanding the Romans to cease their aggression against his vassals. Many among Rome’s senators were willing to acquiesce, powerful as their city was it could not hope to stand against the Great King of Asia. But there were also others who argued that Philip was far away, that his promise of protection wasn't worth the papyrus it is written upon. Resentment against the Macedonians ran high, had they not denied Rome its rightful possessions in Campania? In a moment of patriotic fervour the Romans thus refused to relent, and knowing what would come next the Roman Assembly declared war on the Argead Empire.

Almost immediately another legion was called up, and under command of the consul Publius Valerius Laevinus it marched into Campania, catching the local Hellenes and Saunitai off-guard. They prevailed in a series of battles, which emboldened the Romans. Neapolis was captured by treachery and sacked brutally, the news of which startled the Argead court. They had not expected the Romans to refuse to stop their war against the Rasna, let alone launch an offensive against the Italiote League. The Roman victory had great repercussions, the Saunitai Confederacy was split, some of its members saw a chance to throw off the Argead yoke, while others prefered a distant overlord over the possibility of Roman domination. The Lucanians and Bruttians too wavered in their loyalty. The Romans also tried to find other, more powerful, allies. The recent regime change in Carthage [7] had brought to power a government that was willing to act aggressively against the Argeads, and an alliance between the two republics was signed halfway through 274. Some Roman raids into Megale Hellas later that year were repelled, but for now the war appeared to be a great success and a Roman dominated Italy seemed all but assured. Maybe the Roman Senate hoped that the Great King would be willing to sign away some of his peripheral territories in exchange for peace, but if they hoped this than they were sorely mistaken. Perhaps rumours had already reached Rome that fall, that the king had left Babylon and was heading west, that he had boarded a fleet and landed in Macedonia, where he joined up with even more reinforcements. Slowly this information trickled west, until there could be no doubt for the Romans and Carthaginians: the Great King was coming.


  1. OTL Seleucia Pieria
  2. OTL Dura-Europos
  3. Modern day Shabwa in Yemen
  4. OTL Antiochus Epiphanes
  5. This was not his personal name, rather it most likely refers to the clan/tribe he ruled, the Puru.
  6. Near modern day Delhi
  7. This will be addressed in the next update.
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Fantastic update, phoenix.

With the Empire at peace and well functioning, Philip can basically throw the manpower and resources of the entire world at whatever he points at. Looking at what happened to the Indians and the Gangetic Plain, it's safe to say that he razed the entire region over as a result of his campaigns, a place already in turmoil, so that'll probably lead to a future Indo-Hellenic state finding dominance amidst a land of unending chaos and instability.

Nubia could've also shared the same fate as the Indians or the Egyptians had the Romans not have gone to war with the Argead Empire. I'd say that Rome would've basically been screwed if they took on Philip's army alone but then they allied with the....Carthaginians.

ITTL this makes sense since they both have grievances against the great Empire of Asia and they actually need each other if they're going to realistically survive and even win against the Argeads, but it's just so cursed when you think of it out of context. I love it.
Rome might have a chance here. There's been ubrupt ends to their cnquering since Alexander and there's been no pyrrhic war, so manpower might be higher than otl. Definitely poorer without Campania earlier though. If they can tap into Carthage's mercenary pool, they might have a chance here. Probably won't be pretty though. At all.
Hell yeah the alliance the people (me) crave! Can't wait to see Punic troops liberating Egypt and their own Phoenician homeland.
Hell yeah the alliance the people (me) crave! Can't wait to see Punic troops liberating Egypt and their own Phoenician homeland.
More likely the Carthaginians will save Rome's ass when Philip inevitably sieges the city, imo.

Just having Rome and Carthage survive against the Argead Empire is noteworthy enough.

Sidenote, can we have someone named Hannibal fighting side by side with a Scipio, if that's possible?
Just for the added cursed points to the whole Rome-Carthage alliance.
Sidenote, can we have someone named Hannibal fighting side by side with a Scipio, if that's possible?
Hamilcar Barca due to be born next year, wonder if that will still happen. We need Hannibal to lead his elephants over some mountain range, don't think it will be the Alps this time though.

Edit I'm dumb and can't BC, he was born the year before the treaty was signed, hopefully that still happened. Curious about this regime change business as well, hopefully they've got some actual patriots running the show and are willing to fund their generals and armies so they can prosecute the war properly. Really don't want to see another version of the 2nd Punic war from our timeline.
Just for the added cursed points to the whole Rome-Carthage alliance.
Nothing cursed about it, this is a top 10 most ambitious crossover alliance of history for sure x'D
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Thanks for all the comments people! I hope you all don't mind the somewhat faster pace of this update.
Just for the added cursed points to the whole Rome-Carthage alliance.
OTL before the First Punic War Roman-Carthaginian relations were generally pretty positive, and they were briefly allied against Pyrrhus, so a Roman-Carthaginian alliance isn't entirely unprecedented.
Thanks for all the comments people! I hope you all don't mind the somewhat faster pace of this update.

OTL before the First Punic War Roman-Carthaginian relations were generally pretty positive, and they were briefly allied against Pyrrhus, so a Roman-Carthaginian alliance isn't entirely unprecedented.
I bet Rome will cling more tightly to this alliance since they lack some of the manpower of Otl they'd have from occupying Campania.

Will Massillia contribute to this alliance, or will they be too busy in Gaul?
Not long after his return Perdikkas passed away, which allowed Philip to install someone of his own choice as the new chiliarch. His choice went, unconventionally, to his own brother Karanos, who had shown himself to be an able administrator in Macedonia and he was someone who Philip could implicitly trust. Karanos was more sociable but less martial than his brother and he had many connections with the Macedonian aristocracy, but was markedly less interested in Persian affairs despite his own Achaemenid heritage. He was also somewhat of a schemer, and the network of informers he had on his payroll supposedly spread from Sicily to the Indus. As regent of Macedonia he was replaced by the crown prince Philip.
Betting that this is the seed that will grow into the speculated Macedonian/Asian split in the Argead realm, should that ever come to pass.

Most intrigued to see what comes of the new war in the West between the Roman-Carthaginian alliance and the Argead Empire. On their own, the Romans would probably only be able to eke out a negotiated loss at best as a reduced Argead vassal, but the naval strength of Carthage and numerous uprisings among the Italians will put things on more even footing. On the whole, I have a harder time seeing substantial Roman gains than substantial Roman losses, so I'm still reckoning this conflict to be tilted in favor of the Argeads. I may simply be underestimating Carthage, but as mentioned earlier, this is still the early Argead state's zenith.

I don't see Philip Euergetes being dislodged from Italy, or even the full annexation of the Etruscans/Rasna occurring (which is quite cool to think about), but there's certainly a broad swathe of outcomes that could befall the peninsula following this war. Based on the apparent wholesale devastation wreaked on the upper Gangetic plain and the Romans' conduct in Neapolis, though, I reckon that the regional powers and tribes in the contested/fought-over parts of Italy will have a lot of healing to do if they survive at all. This plays into the hands of both large powers in this contest - a depopulated Italy is less a threat to the Argeads' vassals (and rule over said vassals), and more vulnerable to Carthaginian influence - and unfortunately looks poised to hit Campania especially hard.
Would be a tad interesting if Philip is successful in razing Rome but repeats his father Alexander's failure to bring down Carthage. The Carthaginians take advantage of Argead decline which is inevitable as it is all empires and worms its way into involving itself in Italian affairs in between establishing colonial outposts.
Without a series of disasters (i.e. big chunks of the Argead army dieing en route due to freak storms wrecking the ships, or the Great King dieing at the worst possible moment) or Rome and Carthage both pulling out their most brilliant generals while Philip struggles with headstrong and incompetent subordinates, I cannot see Rome having the slightest chance of victory. Are we in a timeline where the Latin-speaking people fade into obscurity and oblivion with Etruscan being the language of central Italy?

That said, since the focus of the Great King's ire is Rome, Carthage might survive this war and grow stronger. If the Argeads are due a decline soon, possibly as a result of Karanos and Philip IV not quite agreeing as to who should be king next, then Italy might be up for grabs not long after this war.
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Rome does have the advantage of having been through less wars, but with the disadvantage of lacking the fertile Campania until recently. They should have around 200-300k citizens right now in Rome proper. Another factor in Rome's favor has been more consolidation, which was forced on them by Alexander. Without new territories to war and snatch up, I'm guessing citizens have been heading to the Latin colonies. I would think that the Latin Colonies have been more romanized or kept on a tighter leash to Rome than Otl. For all intents, there are more Roman colonies than allies within Latium.
I can't really react to most of the comments without spoiling anything, but some of the guesses are not that far from what will happen. Besides setting up the war between the Argeads and Rome another thing I wanted to emphasize in the last update was that Hellenic culture does not spread equally over the entire empire: in Southern Arabia and in India Hellenization by and large doesn't really spread beyond the various garrisons established there, and unlike Mesopotamia, Syria and Bactria there aren't many Macedonians and Greeks who settle there. I hope it kind of came across during the last update. Next update shouldn't be that far away, probably later this week.